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... read more
Spanish Pork Stew Recipe

Spanish Pork Stew Recipe

This Spanish pork stew is served as tapas in a lot of the bars I frequent in Southern Spain, each place has their own variation, so I thought I would share my version with you. It really reminds me of those cooler evenings in Spain watching the sun go down with a beer and being handed a plate of this…wonderful! This is easy to make and great value too as we will use pork shoulder steaks, a good marbling of fat means this is a really tasty yet cheap cut of meat. This stew has bags of flavour thanks to sweet smoked paprika power which has a rich, deep and warming taste. It is a real exotic spice which is really useful to have in the kitchen cupboard. Serves 2 Ingredients 5-600G x Pork shoulder steaks 1 x Large onion 1x Large green pepper 2 x Cloves of garlic, crushed 2 x Teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika 1 x Teaspoon red or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 1 x Level teaspoon of sea salt ½ x Teaspoon of white pepper 3 x Tablespoons olive oil 2 x Tablespoons plain white flour Method Preheat your oven to 160C (320F or Gas Mark 3) First quarter your onion and pepper then slice medium to thin. Add the olive oil to a frying pan and place on the hob on a low heat. Add the sliced onion and peppers and slowly sauté until soft. When done add them to a lidded casserole dish. Chunk up your pork steaks into pieces about 1 inch (2.5cm) square. Toss the pieces of meat in the flour,... read more
Chorizo and Potato Recipe

Chorizo and Potato Recipe

This Spanish chorizo and potato recipe is just so easy you have no excuse not to invite it into your kitchen. It has both the flavour and colour of summer, the bright, rich taste will have you dreaming of your summer holidays. The Spanish are a bit like the British in their cooking, it’s all about keeping it simple and letting the great flavours of the ingredients shine through. In the UK some cafes serve potatoes fried in bacon fat with their fry ups. What they are doing here is using that bacon as a seasoning. This is what we will be doing here, but taking it to a whole new level! Chorizo is wonderfully salty, spicy, smoky and porky…that’s right sounds like the best seasoning in the world doesn’t it, and it might just be. Not just a great standalone lunch or supper, it’s also a great side dish. When you next get to do a BBQ make this and serve it with some plain BBQ chicken or pork, you will impress your guests and give them a proper meal to remember. Usually I would give you an idea of how many the recipe will serve. Not this time though. Chorizo comes in various sizes and weights, with this recipe that simply doesn’t matter. Make as much or as little as you want. Ingredients Approximate equal quantities of: Chorizo Potato (Any will do, although a firmer type of potato is better) Onion That’s it. No oil, salt, pepper or anything else is required. Imagine knocking this up when camping or at a festival, you will be a hero!... read more
Lamb with Couscous Recipe

Lamb with Couscous Recipe

Spring is here people! What better way to usher in the new season with lamb, synonymous with spring, succulent and delicious. This recipe lets lamb take the centre stage with style. I have to thank my brother or this recipe as he was shown it when a student down in the South of France back in the 80s. In France couscous restaurants are like our Indian restaurants, this is due to the strong links between Southern France and North Africa. Marseilles is a major trading port for the region with many North African immigrants living there. My brother was shown this super simple dish by a French friend. He brought it back to the UK and I was impressed. Back then to be able to make a couscous dish had a serious wow factor, as people just weren’t that exposed to North African cuisine here. I want to share this super easy recipe with you to celebrate spring and keep it in your back pocket, I know this will be something you will be making for years to come. Serves 1 (Increase quantities accordingly to serve more people) Ingredients 250-300g x Lean, French trimmed rack of lamb 1 x Yellow or red pepper 2 x Cloves of garlic Salt, pepper & olive oil Method First preheat your oven to 200C (180C Fan, Gas Mark 6). Dice your pepper into bite sized chunks and finely chop your garlic. Place them in a casserole dish with a lid and toss them together well with a good pinch of salt. Season your lamb well with salt and pepper. Now put a small... read more
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... read more
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... read more
Thanks Sarsons, I now pickle!

Thanks Sarsons, I now pickle!

I must confess that I have pickled chillies in the past after growing a glut of them one year, and it was pretty successful even if I say so myself. Yet making pickle is not something I practice or would claim to be an expert at, so when I was invited to a pickling workshop with Sarsons I thought it would be good for me to go along and share my experience with you dear reader. As a novice I paid full attention to our instructions as we were split into teams and given different ingredients to pickle. My team was in charge of the Asian style pickled carrot and radish (mooli/daikon), and I must say it was all pretty straight forward. Wash and slice your ingredients then add with your pickling spice and vinegar to a sterilised Kilner jar, seal and wait for a week or two until the pickling magic is complete. Can it really be this simple? Yes it can! Not only was it straightforward, it was fun. I suggest you grab your partner, kids, granny or anyone else who likes to play in the kitchen and get them involved. This time of year there is a lot of vegetables out there that lend themselves to pickling and what a gift to give at Christmas for very little outlay and not a lot of effort… But oh the pickle is good! So now at home armed with an array of vinegars courtesy of Sarsons, I decided to make one my favourite pickles – dill cucumbers. Another lucky team got to make these at the workshop where they... read more
Mushroom carbonara sauce

Mushroom carbonara sauce

Pasta coated in a rich, creamy carbonara sauce is one of those comfort foods that is so simple to make you can have it anytime. This makes it an impressive and hearty meal, if you are cooking for vegetarians or want to spoil your veggie girlfriend then this is a recipe to try out today! OK I know this isn’t traditional carbonara sauce as I have used mushrooms in place of pancetta or bacon and I have also gone off the beaten track by using macaroni instead of spaghetti. The technique is the important thing with this recipe. Speaking of technique although you could just throw some mushrooms in but as you will see in this recipe I have an easy process which will turn those white mushrooms into something a little special. Let’s get cooking! Ingredients Serves 2 2 x Large white mushrooms 3 x Large chestnut mushrooms 1 x Small white onion (or the equivalent in shallots) 1 x Large garlic clove 150ml x Single cream 100g x Parmesan (plus as much more as you like for garnish!) 1 x Egg yolk 200g x Pasta of your choice Olive oil Salt & pepper First off let’s transform the white mushrooms. Slice fairly thinly and place in a dry frying pan on a low to medium heat and sprinkle a pinch of salt over them. We want to dehydrate the mushrooms to intensify the flavour and to give them a wonderful meaty texture. Keep the mushrooms turning and after about 15-20 minutes they should have considerably reduced in size. Remove from the pan. Finely dice the onion and garlic and... read more
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... read more
Pulled Chilli Beef

Pulled Chilli Beef

As I am sure you know I am a big Mexican food fan. That classic mix of cumin, oregano, tomato and chilli flavours never cease to stimulate the taste buds whether with vegetables, chicken or fish. But beef, that’s a whole other story. It seems to be a match made in heaven and that’s why I want to share my pulled chilli beef recipe with you. The beauty of this dish is that you can serve it in loads of different ways, tacos, fajitas, burritos go without saying, but how about trying it with a simple tomato and onion salad or topping a burger or pizza with it. Try the recipe and get imaginative with serving, you won’t be disappointed. Pulled Chilli Beef Serves 4 Ingredients 1 x KG (2 lbs) Beef (rump is a good cut to use here!) 4 x Large tomatoes 3 x Tsp Cumin 2 ½ x Tsp Oregano 1 x Red chilli 1 x Large clove of garlic (or 2 x small) 1 x Tsp Dried coriander 1 ½ x Tsp Honey or Agave syrup 1 x Medium onion 1 x Medium Red pepper 1 x Heaped Tsp of salt Take your tomatoes, garlic and chilli, roughly chop and throw them into a blender. Blitz them until smooth and transfer to a pan. Add all the other ingredients except the salt, onion and red pepper. On a low to medium heat gently simmer them until reduced to approximately one third their original volume. It may sound like a bit of a chore doing this but trust me it’s all about creating amazing flavour! Once reduced set aside to... read more

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