Friday, 22 March 2019

Tasty Full English Breakfast with a Twist

Tasty Full English Breakfast with a Twist
An absolutely delicious alternative to a traditional Full English – such a tasty dish with a kick!

Serves 4
Prep time:  5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
8 rashers of smoked bacon
8 pork sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
150g chorizo, sliced
350g cherry tomatoes
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 tsp chilli flakes (add more for an extra kick)
150g baby spinach leaves
4 free range eggs
Freshly ground pepper

1.    Grill the bacon and to your desired crispiness.
2.    Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.  Add the sausage pieces and fry for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and golden.  Now add the chorizo, tomatoes, mushrooms and chilli flakes and fry for a further 3 minutes.
3.    Heat another frying pan over a medium heat and add 1tbsp of oil and fry your eggs.  Season with pepper and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
4.    Whilst the eggs are frying add the spinach to the sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms and mix through until the spinach has wilted.  Season to taste.
5.    To serve, divide the sausage mix amongst 4 serving plates and top with the bacon and eggs.  Enjoy!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Beef Madras

Beef Madras
A great British favourite – this curry is full of spice with melt in the mouth beef!

Serves 4 small portions, 2 large
Prep time:   20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes

1 cinnamon stick, 2.5cm
10 green cardamom pods
8 cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
6 dried Kashmiri chillies, seeds shaken out
2½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 pinch of salt
7500g diced beef/stewing steak
2.5 cm fresh root ginger, peeled
7 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tomatoes
4 whole green chillies, pierced

To serve
4 tbsp single cream
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
Basmati rice or Indian breads


1.    Place the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cumin and Kashmiri chillies into a spice grinder or pestle & mortar, grind until you have a fine powder.
2.    Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook on a gentle heat until softened.  Stir in the ground spices with the turmeric, garam masala, salt and a splash of water.  Cook for 1 minute.
3.    Add the beef and fully coat with the spices, cook until browned all over.
4.    In a small food processor blend the ginger, garlic, tomatoes with a splash of water until you have a smooth puree.  Add the mixture and green chillies to the beef, bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until all the sauce has almost been absorbed into the beef.
5.    Pour in enough water to cover the beef curry, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the beef is tender, around 1 ¼ hours.
6.    Uncover and simmer until you have a thick sauce, season to taste.  Serve the curry with a drizzle of cream, a sprinkling of fresh coriander, basmati rice or Indian breads, enjoy!

Baked Cod with a Chorizo Crumb

Baked Cod with a Chorizo Crumb
This is a simple and quick dish with great flavours!  The chorizo crumb gives the cod another dimension.

Serves 4
Prep time:  10 minutes (plus chill time)
Cooking time:  20 minutes


For the cod
175g chorizo, skin removed, sliced
50g breadcrumbs
25g toasted flaked almonds
Zest of ½ lemon
½ - 1tbsp olive oil plus extra for greasing
4 boneless, skinless cod fillets

For the Aioli
6tbsp mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ lemon, juice only

To serve
seasonal vegetables

Preparation method

1.    Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.  
2.    Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add the chorizo.  Cook until it releases oil and begins to crisp.
3.    Meanwhile, prepare the aioli by placing all the ingredients in a bowl, mix together and season to taste, place in the refrigerator to chill.
4.    Now add the chorizo and its oil to a food processor with the breadcrumbs, almonds, zest and olive oil and blitz until you have a crumb.  Season to taste.
5.    Place the cod on a lightly greased baking tray.  Heap the crumbs onto each fillet and pat down so that they are well covered.  Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the flesh has turned opaque and the crumb is golden.
6.    Remove the cod from the oven and divide between four plates with a serving of vegetables and a good dollop of lemon aioli.  Enjoy!

Monday, 18 March 2019

Lamb Steak Tikka Masala

Lamb Steak Tikka Masala
If you love curry you will absolutely adore this dish!

Serves 2-4
Prep time:  10 minutes (plus 24 hours marinating)
Cooking time: 25 minutes


For the Tikka Masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of salt
1 tsp fenugreek
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mild chilli powder
2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp cloves
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric

For the Lamb
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot chilli powder
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
600g good quality lamb steaks
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
2-3 tomatoes, blanched, peeled & finely chopped
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
Salt & pepper for seasoning
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Basmati rice & Indian breads, for serving


1.    Mix together all the spices for the tikka masala.
2.    To make the lamb, mix together 2 tsp of the tikka masala, a pinch of salt, smoked paprika, chilli powder, 5 garlic cloves, soy sauce and olive oil in a large bowl.  Coat the lamb in the spices, cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
3.    Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan until it begins to smoke.  Add the lamb and sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and place on a warm plate.
4.    Add 2 large tsp of tikka masala to the oil in the frying pan with the onions, garlic and tomatoes, fry for 2-3 minutes.
5.    Pour in the coconut milk, mix through and add the lamb.  Cook the lamb for 5 minutes on each side.  Remove the lamb to allow it to rest.
6.    Bring the sauce to a simmer to allow to thicken, season to taste.
7.    Serve the rested lamb with the tikka sauce, basmati rice Indian breads and a sprinkling of fresh coriander... Delicious!

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Chicken & Chorizo Braised in Cider

Chicken & Chorizo Braised in Cider
A rich cider and chorizo sauce, a perfect match for this dish of succulent chicken thighs… even better you can make this dish in advance!

Serves 4
Prep time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 tbsp olive oil
1kg chicken thighs
225g chorizo, diced
1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml dry cider
150 ml pint chicken stock
1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp double cream
Seasonal vegetables to serve


1.    Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
2.    Heat the oil in a large oven proof frying pan or casserole dish, add the chicken and fry for 10-12 minutes frequently turning until evenly browned.  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3.    Add the chorizo, onions, garlic and mushrooms to the remaining oil and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.  Sprinkle in the flour and stir until fully coated.
4.    Gradually pour in the chicken stock and cider whilst continuously stirring.  Bring to the boil until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Now add the mustard and season to taste.  Return the chicken to the pan and cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
5.    Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the double cream.  Serve the chicken and sauce with your favourite seasonal vegetables.  Enjoy!

Monday, 4 March 2019

The Perfect Pancake Recipe

The Perfect Pancake Recipe
This has to be my favourite Pancake recipe, they are delicious.  Add your favourite topping or just go classic!

Makes: 8
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
225ml semi-skimmed milk
2tbsp melted butter, cooled
Butter for frying
1tbsp grated lemon zest
2tbsp caster sugar for serving
1 lemon, quartered 


1.    To make the pancakes, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk the egg, egg yolk, caster sugar and rum into the milk, then add gradually to the flour, whisking until smooth, without over-beating. Stir in the 2tbsp melted butter. 
2.    Melt a little extra butter in a 15cm non-stick frying pan. 
3.    Add a small ladleful of the batter, tilting the pan to help it to spread thinly. Cook for 1-2 min until golden, then use a palette knife to turn (or flip) and cook for 1 min until golden brown. 
4.    Loosely roll the pancake and keep it warm while you make the remaining pancakes. Mix the lemon zest and caster sugar together, sprinkle it over the pancakes, and serve with lemon wedges.

Cooks tips
·         To get rid of lumps, whisk briefly with a hand whisk or strain through a sieve.
·         Don’t overwork the batter and you won’t need to rest it.
·         To get fine, lacy pancakes, add only enough batter barely to cover the base of the pan.
·         To get really crisp edges, add a tiny bit less still — so that even when you tilt the frying pan to swirl the batter, it doesn’t quite reach the sides.
·         And remember, the first one you make will always be a bit dodgy.

Friday, 1 March 2019


SPAM® and rice is always a really satisfying combination - with the addition of a bit of spice it becomes even better!

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1tbsp olive oil
340g tin of SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham, chopped
50g butter
1 large onion, peeled & roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
2 red chillies, de-seeded & finely chopped
1 tsp jerk or Cajun seasoning
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 large red pepper, de-seeded & roughly chopped
300g easy cook basmati rice
800ml chicken stock
Salt & freshly ground pepper

1.    Heat a large frying pan until hot, add the oil and the chopped SPAM® and let it sizzle and fry until golden brown.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2.    Add the butter then add the onion and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
3.    Add the chilli and the spices and fry for 1-2 minutes or until the spices are fragrant. Now add the red pepper and fry until softened, 1-2 minutes.
4.    Add the rice and stir well so that it is coated in all the spices, now add the stock.  Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just cooked.
5.    Add the SPAM®, cook for 4-5 minutes or until warmed through.  Season to taste and stir carefully.
6.    Serve on warmed plates - enjoy!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Best Beef bourguignon

 The Best Beef bourguignon
A delicious and rustic French classic! Red wine, brandy, pancetta, shallots, mushrooms and herbs, what a wonderful combination for beef!

Serves 4
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes

2 tbsp plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 kg shin of beef, cut into large cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
150g pancetta, cut into small chunks
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50ml brandy
500ml Burgundy, or other red wine
250ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme, leaves finely chopped
2 sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
25g butter
150g shallots
200g chestnut mushrooms

To serve
Buttery mashed potato
Crusty bread


1.    For the beef, sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour and set aside.
2.    Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the pancetta for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown and set aside.   Add the beef in batches and fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until browned on each side, set aside.   Add the carrots, shallot, onion and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until just softened.
3.    Now add the beef and pancetta to the pan and add the brandy and slowly tilt the pan towards the gas flame, or light it with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down.  Remove the beef and vegetables and set aside.
4.    Add the red wine to the pan to deglaze, return the beef and vegetables, add the beef stock and tomato puree, bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaves, thyme and parsley then cover and cook on a low heat for two hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.
5.    Heat the butter and remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the baby onions for 4-5 minutes, or until just golden-brown.
6.    Add the browned onions and chestnut mushrooms to the beef mixture and cook for a further 20 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7.    Serve with mashed potato and/or crusty bread, enjoy!