Stuffed peppers

A couple of weeks’ ago I watched an episode of Yottam Ottolenghi’s cookery series where he was in Crete. He visited a family restaurant where one of the specialities was stuffed vegetables. All the family got together on a vine clad, sun drenched terrace to stuff courgettes, tomatoes and peppers with a simple mixture of…

Beetroot burgers

Here’s a recipe inspired by a four day cookery and meditation retreat at Sharpham House I went on recently. This was the recipe I made as soon as I got home from the trip. It was for supper that same evening – I couldn’t wait to start trying out what I had learnt, even after…

Spanish hunter’s chicken

This started out as a chicken cacciatore (Italian hunter’s chicken) – minus the mushrooms, which I think are traditional in hunter’s chicken (of any nationality). But I had lots of red peppers to use up, and pitted black olives, so I was in two minds – Spanish chicken, or chicken cacciatore? So this is a…

Smoked fish salad

With the World Cup in full swing my current priority is to get straight down to watching TV as soon as I get home from work, so cooking has taken a bit of a back seat. I have a  few home frozen meals for easy prep – some turkey and sweetcorn meatballs eaten cold with…

Pork meatballs with apple and sage

I think meatballs are the main reason I’m not a vegetarian – a trip to IKEA would never be the same again (although Sweden has admitted that its ‘national dish’ was actually Turkish). Having said that I should probably experiment with some vegetarian versions – the internet is full of this oxymoron of all recipes…

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…