Lime chicken

Two weeks ago I spent a lovely long weekend in Lyme Regis to celebrate a milestone birthday of one of my friends. Her husband had rented a house for close family (and me – I’ve known my friend since we were five) as a surprise for her. The weather was fantastic most of the time,…

Tuscan chicken

This recipe is from one of my favourite cookery books ‘Pan cooked chicken dishes around the world’. It’s a bit of an old fashioned cookery book –  by which I mean it’s not authored by any celebrity chef – which I bought it years ago from a charity shop. The other week I was amazed…

Pork chop and pak choi

I went to Croydon’s Surrey Street market yesterday. I tend to go to the market after a meditation session at Croydon’s Buddhist Centre (they do lunchtime sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays open to everyone). I always come out of the meditation session feeling very relaxed and usually pop in to a charity to shop…

Pasta puttanesca

Pasta puttanesca, or prostitutes’ pasta (so named perhaps because it is so quick to make it left ladies of the night more time to earn their living) is one of my store cupboard standby recipes. I nearly always have the ingredients in stock and it’s also really handy to make on holiday. If I know…

Pasta bake

With the temperature plummeting it’s time to roll out some comfort, carb heavy recipes. As pasta bakes are cheap, tasty and very easy to make they can be top of your list. I say easy but I have just remembered an occasion years ago when I was cooking with my then teenage niece and we…

Chicken pilaf

Pilaf is a a kind of Middle Eastern risotto. I make pilaf with chicken leftovers after a roast, in this case after the weekend’s spatchcock chicken. You only need a handful or two of chicken, and the scrappy bits of chicken at that, as the key ingredient is rice. So it’s a great way to…

Spatchcock chicken with anchovy butter

Spatchcock (or butterfly) chicken is a way of cooking a chicken by cutting out the backbone and pressing the chicken out flat. It’s handy for cooking on the barbecue but also great for cooking in the oven because you can reduce the cooking time by about 30 minutes, keeping energy costs down. Cooking chicken this…

Griddled chicory with Gorgonzola dressing

This was a recipe I planned to use as a first course but with sourdough bread it was really substantial and I was too full to eat anything else. It’s based on a Jamie Oliver recipe which uses radicchio (which I couldn’t find so I used chicory instead) and raisins (which I didn’t have in…

Kedgeree

This is my version of kedgeree which uses a mix of cayenne pepper, curry powder and fresh chilli to give it heat and spice. I use brown rice for a healthier option (I love brown rice anyway) and often include different vegetables. I like using peppers and often use more than just one (a combination…

Meatballs in tomato sauce

I made a big batch of meatballs the other afternoon. It was a perfect way to spend a cold and wet January afternoon and to replenish supplies of home made ready meals for the freezer. All I need to do now is defrost a portion and boil up some spaghetti. I based this on a…

Roasted whole celeriac

This is my version of a Jamie Oliver’s ‘Zombie’ brain recipe – a whole roasted celeriac. I served it with courgettes and Cavolo Nero, instead of pearl barely. It’s a perfect vegetarian alternative to a traditional roast dinner and is very quick and easy to prepare.   I have kept the garlic whole because I wanted…

Cheap and cheesy vegetable bake

I popped into Sainsbury’s on my way back from a trip to Somerset on Sunday and found a packet of Brussels sprouts in the  bargain section – 300g reduced from 80p to 19p – so I decided to use them in a vegetable bake. Added to a few florets of cauliflower (taken from a cauliflower…