Kale, chorizo and bean hotpot

Ingredients:

  • 120g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g beans, drained and rinsed (haricot, cannellini, butter beans would all work well)
  • 80-100g kale, chopped
  • fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
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Method:

In a large pot, fry the chorizo in a little olive oil until it starts to go crispy and releases its lovely red oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion and carrot to the pan and fry, stirring until they start to soften. Next add the chilli, garlic and potato and mix well. Fry for a few minutes. Return the chorizo to the pan along with the tomato and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender.

Add the drained beans and the kale with a pinch of salt and some black pepper and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the kale has wilted and is tender. Add the parsley and mix through.

Serve in big bowls with crusty bread and eat with a spoon! It’s great reheated the next day and leftovers are ideal to take to work for lunch. Enjoy.

Beef tagine

Ingredients:

  • 600g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 800ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 1 small squash cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted
  • For the spice rub
  • sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika

Method:

Mix all the spice rub ingredients together and add the beef, massage it with the spice rub.  Cover with cling film and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight to let the flavours combine.

When ready to cook, heat olive oil in a tagine or casserole pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and coriander and fry for another few minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.

After it has cooked for one and half hours add the squash and cook for anoother hour.

Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, more with the lid off. Check fro seasoning and add more coriander along with the toasted almonds before serving.

Vietnamese spring rolls

Ingredients:

  • 6 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 red pepper thinely sliced
  • 2 cooked chicked breasts, shredded
  • Handful of coriander and mint chopped
  • 4 Spring onions finely sliced
  • Half a cucumber, cut into thin batons
  • 2 chillies finely chopped
  • Handful of beansprouts
  • Dipping sauce (see below)
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Method:

Soak the rice paper wrappers in warm water as per instructions on packet, you will be able to buy these from some supermarkets or preferably buy from a chinese supermarket.

Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and leave to sit for a couple of minutes to let the flavours combine.

Once the wrappers are pliable you can then build the spring rolls, simply remove the wrappers from the water and lay on a clean, damp dish cloth.  Place the wrapper in the centre and add a rounded tablespoon of the mixture in the centre of the roll in the shape of a cigar.  Fold both ends over and then roll lengthways to create the spring roll.

Cut in half and serve with dipping sauce, simple and tasty.

Black pearl

Ingredients:

  • 180ml vodka
  • 2 cups/500ml tangerine juice
  • 120ml lime juice
  • 120ml creme de cassis
  • 1 bottle champagne or other dry fizz
  • lime slices and blackberries for garnish
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Method:

Apparently this cocktail is “eminently appropriate for any time of the day”!

Combine the tangerine juice, lime juice and vodka in a jug. Mix well.

Fill 6 tumblers with ice cubes and pour over a splash of cassis. Fill the tumblers three-quarters full with the vodka and juice mixture and then top with champagne. Garnish with lime and berries.

Drink.

Cuban style pork with rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork chops
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 cup of fresh orange
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Half tsp cumin powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Rice and peas to serve

Method:

This is such a simple recipe, the flavour of orange doesn’t really shine through but all of the citrus juice results in a really tender piece of pork.

Mix all of the ingredients apart from the rice and peas together and marinade the pork in the mixture for about an hour.

In the meantime cook the rice and peas, the peas are simply mixed through the rice>

When the marinade is ready pan fry the pork steaks for about 7 mins each side depending on the thickness, make sure you add all the juice from the marinade so the meat has a sauce.  Once ready serve with the rice and pea, simple!

Tuna steak with puy lentil salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 1 can of puy lentils
  • 1 chilli sliced and deseeded
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 6 Cherry tomatoes quartered
  • Handful of chopped coriander
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • Half cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbls red wine vinegar

Method:

Prepare the salad by mixing together all of the ingredients in a bowl apart from the lemon juice and the tune, allow the flavours to combine for at least half an hour, but do not put in the fridge.  Check for seasoning.

Meanwhile season the tuna steak with salt and pepper on both sides and rub with some olive oil.  Heat a non-stick pan until smoking hot and then add the tuna, in order to make sure the tuna will cook evenly make sure it is at room temperature before cooking.

Tuna is best served slightly pink and will probably take 3 mins each side depending on the thickness, basically treat it like a small steak.  Once cooked remove from the pan and rest for a couple of minutes.  In the meantime arrange the saled on the plate before placing the tuna on top with some juice from the salad and a squeeze of lemon.

Orecchiette with broccoli, chilli and pine nuts

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 150g broccoli, cut into small florets
  • large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 red chilli, chopped (can also use pinch of chilli flakes)
  • splash of white wine
  • a couple of fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 200g orecchiette
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • parmesan cheese, grated to serve

Method:

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add a good pinch of salt and add the orecchiette. Cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the broccoli and fry, stirring, for a few minutes before adding the pine nuts, garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt. Fry for a few more minutes and then turn up the heat and add the wine. Reduce the heat and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes. Leave to simmer on a low heat until the tomatoes are cooked out and the broccoli is just tender.

Drain the pasta then add to the frying pan along with the parsley and some black pepper. Mix through and taste to check the seasoning. Serve in bowls with parmesan and a drizzle of your finest extra virgin olive oil.

Balsamic roast vegetables with bulgur wheat and feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 50g bulgur wheat
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • 150g feta cheese

Method:

An ideal take-to-work lunch.

Put the vegetables into a baking tray, sprinkle over the fennel seeds and chilli flakes, drizzle over some olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven (200C) for about 30 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Remove from the oven, add the balsamic vinegar and mix gently through.

Cook the bulgur wheat according to packet instructions (I boil mine unsalted for about 10 minutes, drain in a sieve and rinse with boiling water).

Mix the roasted vegetables with the bulgar wheat, adding the squeeze of lemon and the parsley. Divide into two lunchboxes – check out these cool ones http://www.black-blum.com/products/box-appetit/ – and crumble over the feta cheese. Finish with a flourish of your finest extra virgin olive oil and a good grind of pepper.

Tagliatelle with chicken and blue cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 120g blue cheese (Dolcelatte is ideal), cut into cubes
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • some grated parmesan
  • 200g tagliatelle
  • a small handful of toasted pine nuts to garnish

Method:

Proper comfort food but with a bit of class!

Put a large pan of water on to boil.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken strips until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t catch.

Next, add the wine and, over a fairly high heat, bubble for a few minutes until the wine has almost reduced away.

Add salt to the pan of boiling water and add the tagliatelle.

While the pasta is cooking, add the cream to the chicken. Bring to the boil then reduce and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Once the cream has slightly thickened, add the blue cheese. Mix well and allow to melt over a very low heat. Once the cheese has melted, add the parsley, a handful of parmesan and some black pepper. Taste and add salt if needed but remember the cheeses are quite salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the chicken. Mix well, serve in bowls with the pine nuts scattered over the top and more parmesan.

Tagliatelle with lamb and rosemary

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 200g lamb mince
  • 1 carrot, cut into small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • about a tsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 100ml white wine
  • 4-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • 200g tagliatelle
  • parmesan to serve

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a casserole pan and brown the mince, breaking up any lumps. Add the carrot, garlic and rosemary and continue frying for a few minutes over a medium heat, stirring all the time.

Turn up the heat and add the wine. Allow to bubble for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes and seasoning. Stir well, cover and reduce heat. Leave to simmer for about half and hour. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes or so to reduce the liquid – it shouldn’t be too wet.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the tagliatelle in plenty salted water until al dente. Drain well and add to the lamb sauce. Mix through and serve straight away with grated parmesan.