Thai turkey burgers with pineapple salsa and sweet potato chips

An Asian twist on the traditional burger. Healthier too but no compromise on flavour.  Pineapple is an amazing food and has so many health benefits and makes a great salsa, if you want to know more then read here  Continue reading “Thai turkey burgers with pineapple salsa and sweet potato chips”

Hake with chorizo and potatoes

Hake is a member of the cod family but has a more subtle flavour and slightly firmer texture than its more well-known fishy relation. It is the perfect foil for strong, punchy flavours such as chorizo here, and indeed it is a popular fish in Spain. Continue reading “Hake with chorizo and potatoes”

Gnocchi with tomatoes, pinenuts and blue cheese

Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat as the gnocchi aren’t homemade but it’s still damned good and let’s face it, sometimes needs must! It’s such a quick and easy dish and the soft pillowy gnocchi with the garlicky sauce and oozy cheese are the perfect comfort food after a busy day. Glass of red wine mandatory. Continue reading “Gnocchi with tomatoes, pinenuts and blue cheese”

Pearl barley risotto with roasted squash, red peppers and rocket

Pearl barley is a great substitute for a traditional risotto, you don’t need to stir it the way you would with rice so it’s less time intensive to make Continue reading “Pearl barley risotto with roasted squash, red peppers and rocket”

Lentil and roast carrot salad with feta

lentil and roast carrot salad with feta

A great lunch dish, ideal for taking to work. Roasting the carrots with honey gives them a lovely sweetness which contrasts beautifully with the sharp saltiness of the feta. Continue reading “Lentil and roast carrot salad with feta”

Tagliatelle with parsley and walnut pesto

Tagliatelle with parsley and walnut pesto

Method:

A Tagliatelle twist on the traditional basil/pine nut pesto. So easy but so tasty!

Put the parsley, hazelnuts, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz to a semi-smooth paste. Add the parmesan and then, with the food processor going, drizzle in the olive oil gradually until everything is emulsified. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.

Cook the tagliatelle in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan with the reserved cooking water and mix through the pesto.

Serve immediately with more grated parmesan.

Gnocchi with creamy mushrooms and spinach

Method:

First, prepare the spinach. Put it into a large sieve or colander and pour over a kettleful of boiling water so that it wilts. Leave it to drain and once it is cool enough, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible before chopping roughly. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms. Fry them over a fairly high heat for five minutes or so until they are nicely browned and have given out all their liquid. Tip them out into a bowl and set aside.

Pour a little more olive oil into the pan and add the shallot. Fry for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and fry for a few minutes more before adding the white wine. Allow to bubble until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Return the mushrooms to the pan along with the chopped spinach and mix everything together. Add the creme fraiche along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.Simmer gently so the sauce thickens a little.

Meanwhile heat your grill to its highest setting and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. Cook according to packet instructions but generally the moment they rise to the surface, they are ready. Drain.

Grate some nutmeg into the sauce and add the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can be quite generous with the nutmeg. Mix the gnocchi in with the sauce then spoon into a gratin dish. Grate over a generous amount of parmesan and place under the hot grill for a few minutes until golden and bubbling. Leave to cool for a minute before eating or you’ll burn your mouth (like I did).

Baked salmon with baby potatoes and watercress mayonnaise

Baked salmon with watercress mayo

Preheat oven to 180C.

Crush the fennel seeds with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Put in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of the oil and add the potatoes. Mix well and tip into a large roasting dish. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Season each salmon fillet and wrap a slice of prosciutto around each one. Set aside.

Remove the foil from the potatoes and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes until almost tender. Arrange the tomatoes and salmon on top of the potatoes and sprinkle the fish with the remaining oil. Return to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until the salmon is done.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt and lemon juice together in a bowl. Add the watercress and capers and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the salmon and potatoes with the watercress mayo and wedges of lemon.

Pork, chorizo and bean stew

Pork, chorizo and bean stew

Method:

A warming meal for a cold evening. This recipe also freezes well.

Add a splash of olive oil to a casserole pan and brown the pork over a high heat. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the chorizo to the pan and fry until starting to crisp and the oil has turned red. Remove from the pan and set aside with the pork.

Turn the heat down to medium and fry the onion and peppers for a few minutes until starting to soften. Next, add the garlic, the two types of paprika, chilli flakes and dried oregano and fry for a minute or two.

Add the Marsala or sherry and bubble for a few minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes, stock and tomato puree. Return the pork and chorizo to the pan and mix well. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the beans and simmer for another ten minutes or so until the pork is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with mash and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

 

Broccoli, feta and chickpea salad

Broccoli, feta and chickpea salad

Method:

Cook the broccoli in salted water until tender. Drain and rinse under a cold tap. Set aside.

Mix the chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, olives, hazelnuts and parsley in a large bowl. Add the broccoli, a good glug of olive oil, the lemon juice and some black pepper (you probably won’t need salt as the feta is quite salty) and mix everything well together.

Finally, add the feta and give another mix, trying not to break up the feta too much. Divide into two bowls and drizzle over a little more of your best extra virgin olive oil.

 

Onion bhajis

Onion bhajis

Method:

Serves 2 as a starter or wee snack!

Fry the onion gently in a couple of tbsp of the oil, stirring freqently until soft and translucent but not coloured – about 10 minutes. Add a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of salt, half tsp turmeric, half tsp ground coriander, quarter tsp ground cumin and quarter tsp ground ginger. Mix well, turn out the heat and set aside.

Measure the gram flour into a large bowl and add half tsp salt, quarter tsp ground cumin and half tsp ground coriander. Mix well. Mix the tomato puree with a shot glass (or egg cupful) of water. Add this to the flour and spice mixture along with the cooked onions.

Mix everything well together – it should be the consistency of thick batter.

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and deep-fry dessert spoonfuls of the mixture, in batches, until quite dark and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the lemon and pickles.

 

Tuna pilau

tuna pilau

Method:

This is a great ‘fridge surprise’ tea and leftovers are great for lunch – hot or cold – the next day!

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan (one that has a tight fitting lid) and add the curry leaves and onion with a pinch of salt. Fry gently, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised.

Add the garlic and ginger and continue frying for a few minutes. Next, add the spices and mix well.

Tip in the rice, coat well with the spice mixture and add the stock. You may not need the full 500ml, so leave a wee bit behind. Mix well, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for about 7 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is almost cooked.

At this stage, flake in the tuna and add the peas. If it looks really dry, you can add a bit more stock. Cover and continue to simmer for another few minutes until the tuna and peas have warmed through and the rice is cooked. Turn out the heat and leave to sit, covered for 2-3 minutes.

When ready to serve, squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle over the fresh herbs.

 

Chicken and mango salad

chicken and mango salad

Method:

This makes an ideal starter or light lunch.

Make the dressing by putting the ingredients in a jar. Screw tightly and shake well.

Assemble all the other ingredients in a large bowl. When ready to serve, pour over the dressing and toss. Couldn’t be easier…enjoy!

Pasta with broccoli, anchovy and chilli

Pasta with broccoli, anchovy and chilli

Method:

Perfect for lunch or a quick weeknight tea.

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Pour a good amount (1-2 tbsp) olive oil into a small frying pan. Keep the heat low. Add the anchovy and, using a wooden spoon, mash it up as it starts to heat. When it just starts to sizzle, add the garlic and chilli flakes. Keep the heat low and fry gently for a minute or two. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Turn the heat up a little and add the broccoli. Mix everything well together and then add the tomato. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just al dente. If it starts to dry out, add a tablespoon or so of the pasta cooking water.

When the broccoli is tender, squeeze in the lemon juice and add the parsley and a good grinding of black pepper. You won’t need salt as the anchovies are very salty.

Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Mix everything well together and serve immediately. Parmesan optional. I like it just drizzled with some really nice extra virgin olive oil and more black pepper.

 

 

 

Stir-fried chicken with chillies and basil

stir fried chicken with chillies and basil

Method:

This couldn’t be easier and is a really tasty stir fry. Make sure you have everything prepared and to hand before you start cooking as it all happens very quickly.

In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, soy and sugar with 2 tbsp water. Set aside.

Heat a wok until just smoking then add a good splash of oil. Add the chicken and stir fry over a high heat for a few minutes until it starts to colour. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and continue to stri fry for another few minutes until the onions begin to soften. Next add your soy sauce mixture and mix everything well together. Reduce the heat a little and allow the sauce to bubble and thicken. It should be a fairly dry dish. Add the basil leaves, mix and allow them to wilt in the sauce.

Serve at once with steamed rice.