Corned beef bubble & squeak

Corned beef bubble & squeak

I’m going to admit here that I have a very soft spot for corned beef from a can, in fact the other day I made one of my favourite sandwiches – corned beef, onion and a certain very famous brand of sandwich pickle. I used half a can of the corned beef in the sandwich, but what to do with the other half? For dinner that night I had some left over boiled cabbage and mashed potato, this was of course earmarked for bubble and squeak for the next day. But then I remembered that humble half can of corned beef in the fridge… I love corned beef hash! When two dishes collide they can create something wonderful. Maybe what I am about to tell you is already a thing, but I have never heard of it, even though it sounds the most obvious thing to do! What better I thought than combine these two versions of fried leftover mashed potato and I must say my mouth started to water. As all the ingredients are seasoned already all that was need was a little oil in a frying pan and then throw in the three delicious components. I don’t bother mixing beforehand as I do it all in the pan as it cooks. I find doing it this way mixes in those crispy bits that make both bubble and squeak and hash taste so good. When a good crust appears at the bottom of the mix just mash it all together with a spatula or fish slice and keep doing the same and tasting until it has the perfect...
Bhindi Curry Recipe

Bhindi Curry Recipe

Here I have my bhindi curry recipe for you and yes it’s vegetarian. I don’t think we use enough okra in the UK and this oh so tasty curry is one of my personal favourites. Okra, or Bhindi as it’s called in India, is a delicious vegetable blessed with a great texture which can handle the strong flavours of chilli and spices (just ask our Cajun friends!), so I implore you to try this wonderful bhindi curry recipe. If you are a curry lover then prepare to have a new crush in your life. A bit of prep is needed to get the okra ready but after that this is a simple and quick stir fry style curry which is great as either a main or a side dish. So let’s get cooking! Bhindi Curry Recipe Serves 2 as a main 4 as a side Ingredients 500g x Okra 3 x Tbsp Vegetable Oil 5-6 x Curry Leaves (Optional) 1 x Green Hot Chilli Pepper 1 ½ x Tsp Black Mustard Seed 1 ½ x Tsp Ground Cumin 2 Tsp x Turmeric 5 x Tsp Curry Powder 2 x Large tomatoes Salt to taste Method First soak your whole okra for around 10 minutes. Now completely drain and thoroughly dry. Use a paper kitchen towel to pat dry, just remember water is not your friend at this stage. The reason being that when you cut up the okra any water will make them leak the gooey, sticky insides. Don’t let that put you off though! So now your okra is nice and dry top and tail them then cut...
Baxter’s Hearty Soup Review

Baxter’s Hearty Soup Review

Although like the rest of the UK I’m very familiar with the brand, I hadn’t tried any of Baxter’s Hearty Soup before. So when Baxter’s got in touch with me to sample a selection from the range, and taking into consideration the weather, I jumped at the chance. Yes at this time of year as the dark, cold and damp take over, I think I’m right in saying we all like to have a stock of tinned soups in the store cupboard for a quick warming lunch or even as a snack. With a long shelf life and super convenience it’s no wonder canned products have been with us for over a century and it doesn’t look like they are going to leave us anytime soon. Baxter’s Hearty Soup range has been around for a while, sold as a little more chunky and substantial than the regular kind, they sort of fill a gap between soup and stew. Containing 2 to 3 portions of your 5-a-day it’s more of a meal in a can. So what did I think of the flavours I got to try? Read on! Chicken & Country Vegetable It was a pleasant surprise to find the chunky vegetables that had good bite and texture, not like a lot of soups which have hunks of  veggies that instantly turn to mush in your mouth. It was pleasant tasting but the chicken flavour seemed to be lost somewhere. Even though the ingredients don’t mention tomato I could swear I got that flavour coming through. Whatever it was something was knocking the balance out of kilter. Tuscan Style...
Empanada – The Spanish for Pasty

Empanada – The Spanish for Pasty

As you know I have been living in Spain for the last couple of years and one thing I realised I was missing was the fish empanada (Empanada de Atún), a flavoursome pasty like creation available at every good bakery. It’s a lunchtime favourite for me when in Spain, quick and easy when on the hop. Being back in Blighty and having a lunchtime hankering for one I decided to create one that could stand up to any of the traditional versions I had tried before. Looking online at recipes it appeared they have the basic ingredients right, but none of the recipes I found were technically correct based on my extensive experience. You see just throwing the ingredients in to a pastry envelope just won’t cut it for me. Also I wanted to put my twist on this classic bringing a British touch to this Spanish classic. I have options for the old school style but try it my way…trust me it’s good 🙂 This delicious snack is best prepared with a little time, so get your aprons on, prepare to get a little messy and let’s get on with my recipe. You’re gonna love it! Empanada de ‘addock Serves 3 Ingredients 180g x Fresh Smoked Haddock* 1 x Medium Onion 1 x Medium Green Bell Pepper** 3 x Regular Fresh Tomatoes 1 x Teaspoon Smoked Paprika 2 x Tablespoons Good Olive Oil 1 x Good Pinch of Sea Salt 1 x Good Pinch of Black Pepper 1 x Pack of Shortcrust Pastry 1 x Egg * You can use any white fish or tuna fresh or canned (the...
Real Spanish Food – Fideuá

Real Spanish Food – Fideuá

I was honoured and excited to be invited for lunch by a Spanish friend, Vicente. He had often talked to me about his recipe for Fideuá – a Valencian dish similar to paella but using pasta instead of rice. As is usual in Spain we were blessed with glorious sunshine and we arrived to some welcome ice cold beers, and luckily early enough to watch the master at work. The huge gas fired paella pan was lit and a very, very large quantity of olive oil poured in to heat up. Vicente was making a chicken version of the dish (it is traditionally fish based) and once the olive oil had come to temperature a big bowl of diced chicken thighs were thrown into the pan. He told me that he always uses chicken thigh as breast has a tendency to dry out. I totally get where he is coming from, as I too prefer that cut of meat when making curries or stews. As the chicken sizzled away in the pan he kept moving it around to stop it sticking and to make sure the pieces were well sealed and coloured. Once he was satisfied with the chicken he scattered in a large amount of Spanish hot paprika, and oh my, the smell was just amazing! The rich, deep red colour of the paprika glowed under the Spanish sun… It really is a moment when the food of a country perfectly suits its environment…it looked, well, beautiful. Again he moved the chicken around in the pan to cook through the paprika so that it loses its harshness, then he was ready...
Easy Mac & Cheese

Easy Mac & Cheese

  Someone told me the other day they had heard about a secret, simple way to make one pan Mac & Cheese on the stove and asked if I had heard of it…I burst out laughing! I gave them this recipe for easy Mac & Cheese and they slapped their head with a Homer Simpson style “D’oh!”. We have been making this quick and super simple recipe for years in our house. Sometimes the simple things in life can be over complicated. Thing about Mac & Cheese is it’s a real classic comfort food and when you want comfort it should not become a pain in the bum to make. Sure you can make a more complex version that will take longer but this is so simple and tasty it’s the fast track to getting the cheesy goodness you crave. It’s great on its own or as a side with just about anything so let’s get on and make this, you may already have all the ingredients ready to go right now! Ingredients Serves 2 150g x Macaroni 500ml x Milk (I used semi-skimmed) 200g x Your favourite strong Cheddar cheese Salt Pepper (optional) Take a pan and put the Macaroni in. Now pour the milk over it…yes you read that right! The science here is that the pasta cooking in the milk will thicken it, thus removing the need to add flour or make a roux/cheese sauce and cooking the pasta separately in advance. Put on a low to medium heat until the milk gets hot but doesn’t boil. Keep on the heat until the pasta is cooked...