Chilli Marrakech

A twist on the Mexican classic – chilli con carne goes Moroccan! I love lamb mince and this is an easy, good value recipe  for chilli Marrakech that really packs a flavour punch. It also freezes well if you want to make a bigger batch. Continue reading “Chilli Marrakech”

Oven braised spicy pork ribs

Oven braised spicy pork ribs

These oven braised spicy pork ribs are slowly cooked on a low heat in the oven giving you an amazing spicy and sticky, spicy pork rib which is ideal for 4 as a starter. Continue reading “Oven braised spicy pork ribs”

Chicken and mango salad

mango and chicken salad

Chicken and mango are a perfect combination for a fresh, healthy and summery salad Continue reading “Chicken and mango salad”

Smoked mackerel sushi

smoked mackerel sushi

This is a really easy smoked mackerel sushi dish and requires hardly any cooking.  You’ll need a rolling mat which you can buy from a Chinese supermarket or specialist (ahem) tobacconists! Continue reading “Smoked mackerel sushi”

Mexican beef stew

The main flavour of this Mexican dish is the chipolte chilli, a dried and smoked jalapeno, available from most supermarkets. This beef stew has all the great flavours of Mexican food Continue reading “Mexican beef stew”

Hot Swiss Trifle


This is a very easy recipe for a great hot trifle dessert.  First slice the swiss roll and arrange along with the apricots (or other fruit you want to use) on the bottom of a heatproof casserole dish.

Next make the custard, you can either use your own recipe or do what we have done here by upgrading a packet custard.  To do this blend the custard powder with the egg yolks, 1 tbsp sugar and a little of the milk.  Heat the remaining milk and when almost boiling stir into the mixed custard before returning  to pan. Bring to almost boiling point and keep stirring continuously until the custard has thickened to a level you are happy with, ideally the thickness of double cream.

Leave the custard to cool slightly before pouring it over the swiss roll and fruit.

Next you need to make the meringue.  To do this whisk the egg whites with the sugar until they form a stiff peak, its best to do this with an electric whisk if possible.

To finish the dish add the meringue to the top of the custard and bake at 180C for 20 mins or until the meringue is golden brown on top.  Serve while hot.

Nonya chicken curry

nonya curry


Make the Nonya curry powder
Roast all the spices, apart from the turmeric in a dry pan until fragrant. Allow to cool before grinding in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Mix in the turmeric. Keep what you need for this recipe (5 tbsp) and store the rest in an air-tight jar.

Make the curry
Whizz the onion, garlic and ginger with 1-2 tbsp water in a small food processor to make a paste.
Heat the oil in a shallow, wide pan over a medium heat and add the onion paste. Fry for a few minutes without letting it colour, stirring regularly. Add the curry powder and fry for 3-4 minutes until the oil is released.

Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. If you are using chicken thighs, add now (chicken breasts need less cooking so add nearer the end).
Throw in the lemongrass, lime zest, tamarind water and potatoes with a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. If using chicken breast, add 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Add the tomatoes 5 minutes before the end. Check the potatoes are tender before turning off the heat. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove lemongrass before serving.

Serve the curry in individual bowls sprinkled with the coriander leaves and red chilli

Marinated pork with kebab chilli sauce

soy marnitated pork with chilli sauce


First marinate the pork by placing in a dish, gently prick with a small sharp knife and then rub in the sugar, chilli and soy.  Cover and allow at least an hour but preferably longer.

Next make the kebab house chilli sauce.  Fry the onion for a few minutes in olive oil and then basically through everything else in and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, the sauce should be broken down so it helps if you keep an eye on it and give it the occasional stir.  Check for seasoning, it should be a little sweet, very hot and a bit sour, adjust the flavours if neccessary.  Remove from the pan and blitz it roughly before chilling (the sauce, not the chef!)

When you are ready to eat heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat with oilve oil.  Add the pork steaks and turn every two to three minutes, they will begin to carmelise and go a deep brown colour.  After ten minutes take the pan and place in the oven for a further ten minutes (depending on the thickness) at 180c.

When the pork is ready serve with the rice, rocket, yoghurt/mint mixture and chilli sauce…. pitta bread and hangover optional.

Pork with harissa sauce and salad

harissa pork


First make the harissa by adding the spices to a small frying pan and frying gently until they begin to give of an aroma, put them in a pestle in mortar and ground finely.

Next add the rest of the ingredients to a pan with some olive oil and fry for about ten minutes until the ingredients go a darker colour.  Add this mixture with the spices to a blende and finely blend before adding the yoghurt and then mixing with the pork to marinate overnight (or at least for an hour).


When ready to cook remove the prok from the marinade and pan fry on each side for a couple of minutes to colour the meat.  Add the marinade and cook for about ten minutes each side on a medium heat (depending on the thickness of the steaks).  The marinade will become a thick and silky sauce for your dish.

Serve with potato wedges and salad which is made byt simply combining the rest of the ingredients.

Malaysian spiced lamb curry

Malaysian spiced lamb


This is a really great Malaysian spiced lamb curry, beautifully spiced with a creamy coconut sauce and a fresh zing from the mint. Apologies for the slightly blurry picture…must have been the wine!

Split the cardamom pods and extract the seeds. Roughly crush the seeds with the cumin seeds and chilli flakes using a pestle and mortar, then mix in the coriander and paprika.

Roughly chop two of the onions and whizz in a blender with the garlic and ginger to form a paste. Add the spices and mix well. Slice the remaining onion and fry in the oil in a large pan for about 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured. Add the spice paste and cook gently, stirring, for 5 minutes until darkened slightly.

Add the lamb to the pan and stir well to coat in the spices. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat (about 350ml) and plenty salt and pepper. Next, add the cinnamon stick and star anise. Cover and simmer slowly for 1 and a half to 2 hours until the lamb is really tender.

For the last half hour, add the coconut milk and allow to simmer with the lid off to thicken slightly. Taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.

When ready to serve, add the mint and mix through. Serve with basmati rice and a squeeze of lime.

Harissa chicken with pink grapefruit dressing

harissa chicken with pink grapefruit dressing


This is actually a harissa chicken recipe from Ottolenghi but I’m sure they won’t mind us stealing it.  First make the harissa by adding the spices to a small frying pan and frying gently until they begin to give of an aroma, put them in a pestle in mortar and ground finely.

Next add the rest of the ingredients to a pan with some olive oil and fry for about ten minutes until the ingredients go a darker colour.  Add this mixture with the spices to a blende and finely blend before adding the yoghurt and then mixing with the chicken to marinate overnight (or at least for an hour).

When ready to cook pre heat the oven to 200c and lay the marinated chicken pieces on a large baking tray, cook for ten minutes at this heat.  While the chicken is cooking add the sauce ingredients together in a small pan and reduce by about 3/4 then allow to cool.  After ten minutes switch the oven of and grill the chicken for a further 10-15 mins until golden brown and cooked through.

Dress the rocket with the sauce and serve with rice.

Prawn and pomegranate salad



This is a very simple recipe, place the prawns in a small food bag and add the ginger, garlic, lime juice and chilli.  Leave to marinate for 30mins at least.  Prepare the salad by pan frying the peppers in a pan with some olive oil, when ready remove from the pan and mix in a bowl with the rocket, pomegranate seeds and cucumber.

Bring a small pan of water to the boil and reduce to a simmer, add the green beans and on top of this place the tied bag of prawns and place the lid on top. The prawns will stream in the bag and this way you will have a natural dressing for the salad.  When ready (should only take a few mins, the prawns will turn pink), set the bag aside and open to let the prawns cool down.

Drain the water and add the beans to the salad.  Add the prawns and use the juice in the bag to dress the salad. Season to taste.

Spiced lamb pies

Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients, to make the perfect spiced lamb pies you need to put in the effort.  These are amazing and another great addition for Christmas snacks Continue reading “Spiced lamb pies”

Beef carbonnade with carrot stoemp

Preheat oven to 150C.

Put the flour in a large bowl and season. Coat the beef in the flour.

Heat half the butter and half the oil in a large casserole pan over a high heat. Brown the beef in batches then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until softened. Stir in the puree, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the bay leaves, mustard and sugar. Gradually add the beer, stirring constantly, then the stock.

Return the beef to the pan, season and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 and a half hours, stirring halfway. Check seasoning and add parsley before serving.

To make the stoemp – cook the potatoes and carrots in a pan of salted water until tender. Drain and return the pan to the heat for a few minutes to dry off the vegetables. Add the butter and white pepper and mash coarsely. Add the milk and stir through with a wooden spoon. Check seasoning.

Bohemian goulash

In a large casserole pan over a high heat, fry the sliced peppers until slightly soft and charred at the edges. Remove and set aside. Add the pork to the pan and brown. Add the onion and fry until the onion is soft and starting to colour. Then add the garlic and return the peppers to the pan.

Mix everything well before adding the chilli, paprika, caraway seeds, oregano and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes. Next, add the tomatoes with about half a tin of water. Mix well then add the vinegar and mix again. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes-1 hour until the pork is tender.

Add the butterbeans and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes uncovered. Check the seasoning and serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime, a dollop of soured cream, some chopped coriander or parsley and plenty of basmati rice.