31 Mar 2014


Fantastic fresh zingy sumptous spiced pan seared chicken with a lime, coriander, coconut curry drizzle served on a watercress and spinach salad, what is not to love about this.

(serves 2)

2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 lime juiced
100ml coconut milk
salt and pepper
rapeseed oil
small bunch of coriander rough chopped
2 handfuls watercress
2 handfuls spinach
8 baby plum tom halved
1 beetroot rough chopped
1 avocado rough chopped
2 spring onions chopped
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce (optional)

Really quick and simple supper, lay the chicken breast skin (less) side down on a sheet of clingfilm, place another sheet of cling film on top and with a rolling pin bash the fat end of the chicken to the same thickness as the rest, bash the rest a little to make a lovely large escalope.  In a bowl place the curry and turmeric powder, lime juice and salt and pepper, rub this all over your chicken breast and place in the bowl to marinate for half an hour or longer if you want to prepare this part earlier.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and drizzle with oil, leave to one side while you make the coconut drizzle, add to the mariande bowl the coconut milk and mix well pour into a non stick pan and simmer until reduced and medium thick, remove from the heat and keep to one side.  Heat a non stick pan medium hot and add the oiled chicken breasts, sear each side until carmalised, a few minutes will do, then turn the heat down and cook for a couple more minutes each side until cooked.

Assemble the salad by placing the watercress and spinach piled high on two plates, toss over the baby plum tomatoes, beetroot, avocado and spring onions, along with a teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce drizzled over the leaves, serve with the seared coconut lime chicken and finish off with a generous drizzle of the coconut curry lime  sauce and fresh coriander.

30 Mar 2014


Gorgeous sharp soft goats cheese stuffed into a pocket made in the chicken breast with asparagus, pan seared in a hint of seasoned rapeseed oil for glorious caramelised flavour.  This was outstanding for me it was the warm soft sharp goats cheese and asparagus that wooed my taste buds with this dish.

(serves one just double up for more servings)

1 large chicken breast
50g soft goats cheese
3 spears asparagus
glug of rapeseed oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
handful of watercress
handful of spinach
1 avocado 
4 baby plum tomatoes
1 spring onion
optional 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce (naughty but essential)
small handful of mangetout
small handful of stem broccoli
small handful of harricotverts

First put a small deep pan of water on to boil and add the asparagus, mangetout, broccoli and french green beans and blanch for 3-5 minutes, remove and leave to one side.

Take your chicken breast and with a small sharp knife starting at the top fat end of the breast slice a whole 3/4 of the way across being careful not to go to close to the edge, now just keep gently pushing the knife down the chicken breast giving the knife a little wiggle left and right, in effect cutting a pocket making sure you don't pierce the outside of the chicken breast.

Season the pocket with a little salt and black pepper, cut the asparagus to fit the length of the pocket you have made and pop in the pocket.  Next take the goats cheese and a teaspoon at a time fill the pocket, and massage the goats cheese down to the bottom of the breast,fill to the top.  Rub the chicken breast with oil and sear in a hot non stick pan all sides until are caramelised, turn down the heat and cook through.

Place your watercress and spinach piled high on your plate, sprinkle over the rough chopped avocado, tomatoes, spring onion then a teaspoon of hot sweet chilli sauce, next sprinkle over the mangetout, broccoli and french green beans and finish of with the chicken breast, I sliced the chicken breast on the diagonal to allow the warm goats cheese to ooze out onto the salad giving every bite more flavour.

26 Mar 2014


Glorious roast chicken served with infused baked butternut squash and sweet potatoes that have cooked underneath the gorgeous roast chicken soaking up all the juices from the chicken and stock, finished off with a hint of cream and an oven baked crust of Parmesan cheese.  This one tray roast is a firm family favourite.  I just fancied both lyonnaise stock braised potatoes and creamy dauphinoise with a hint of cheese, so married the two together, perfect.

Roast chicken, when done well it is one of the most loved comforting meals, and so simple to cook, a must for me, is to choose the best bird I can afford, I try to buy Organic out door reared birds, they may cost a couple of pounds more but they taste far more superior and the chicken has so much more meat on it because they have lead a life rooting and scratching outdoors doing what they are supposed to.
This simple one tray cooked family style roast chicken is a great dish for when you want to spend all your time talking with your family rather than stressing over the stove, with this meal the whole dinner, start to finish is cooked in one tray full of glorious flavours ensured to please everyone.

(serves family 4)

1 large chicken
salt and pepper
rapeseed oil
3 sweet potatoes
1 butternut squash
1 Spanish onion
bunch fresh thyme
400ml chicken stock
150ml double cream
200g Parmesan cheese 
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt

First pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees then start by scrubbing the sweet potatoes removing most of the skin with a scourer, peel the butter nut squash then slice both in round disks, part of the butternut squash will need de-seeding and give you half circles, place in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Slice the onion thinly and add to the bowl.  Tip the squash, sweet potato and onion in to a deep roasting tin and cover with the stock. 

Now take your chicken and cut in half, this I do this by placing the chicken as brought on a board and just push my knife straight down the middle of the bird all the way through, a little force is needed at the base of the chicken, not as much as you first think.  Place both halves skin side up on top of the potato's and stock, rub with and season generously with sea salt, pop in the pre-heated oven 45 minutes.

At 45 minutes take the dish from the oven take the chicken off the top off the dish, place on another roasting tray and pop back in the oven, meanwhile add the cream to the potatoes and gently mix in, sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese, pop back in the oven for a further15-20 minutes until the cheese has browned off.   
Carve the gorgeous roast chicken breast or leg and serve with the lyonnaise dauphinoise potatoes that will have soaked up all that stock and cream and now have a wonderful browned off Parmesan crust.

20 Mar 2014


Gorgeous zesty lime and Dijon homemade mayonnaise loaded with shredded poached chicken, jalapenos, fresh coriander, with a hint of cumin and curry powder, served with a creamy avocado guacamole and watercress spinach salad.

(serves 2)

2 chicken breasts
1 lime zest and juice
small bunch of fresh coriander torn
1 red chilli finely chopped
10 jalapeno slices chopped
1 pinch of cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 pinch cayenne 
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic grated
1 ripe avocado
6 stems of asparagus 
2 big hand fulls of watercress
2 big hand fulls of spinach

1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 lrg tsp Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
250ml rapeseed oil
salt and pepper

First poach the chicken in stock or water for 8 minutes and leave to cool in the liquid.  This can be done the day before.  Cook the asparagus on a griddle for 3-4 minutes, rough chop and place in a mixing bowl.  Shred the chicken and add to the bowl.  Next make the mayonnaise, in a large bowl place the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a glug of oil, using a balloon whisk mix the ingredients together, add the egg yolks and whisk well, slowly drizzle the oil in to the mix, whisking all the time, once the emulsion starts to thicken you can add the oil a bit faster. Once you have a glossy gorgeous emulsion that ribbons, season with salt and pepper, then add the cumin, curry powder, coriander, chili, cayenne, jalapeños, lime zest and start with half the lime juice adding more as you go.

Add the mayonnaise to the mixing bowl with the chicken and asparagus, taste and check for seasoning.  Mash the avocado and season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of lime juice, add the grated garlic.  To assemble your gorgeous zesty salad place the watercress and spinach on a plate and either load the centre with the avocado topped with the lime, coriander chicken mixture or using the avocado shells fill with avocado first and the top with the chicken mix, sprinkle with fresh chillies and more coriander.

18 Mar 2014


WOW what a fantastic way to have fajitas without breaking my new commitment to avoid wheat, I am finding my 80% commitment to the Paleo lifestyle very rewarding and love the helpful bloggers out there that have shown me how to still have all my favourite foods without substituting the wheat with gluten free processed replacements, how wonderful it is to replace the flour tortillas with iceberg lettuce leaves as the wrap, what's more the lettuce leaves held more fajitas filling than a wrap and did not leak any juices!

(serves 4)

1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
 pinch black pepper
pinch cayenne
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of sea salt
1 lime
1 red pepper sliced
1 tsp coconut oil
1lb turkey breast thinly sliced
8 whole iceberg lettuce leaves
1 tub sour cream
1 avocado mashed with garlic, salt and pepper
1 bag watercress
1 jar sliced jalapenos

This is a super fast pan to table in under 15 minutes, first make the fajitas spices by mixing all the ingredients together, generously sprinkle over the turkey, heat a non stick pan, add the coconut oil and melt, add the turkey and on a medium heat cook, 2 minutes before the turkey is cooked add the peppers, then when ready to serve add the lime juice. 

Meanwhile while why the fajitas is cooking, take off the first eight leaves of your iceberg lettuce and place on a serving plate, I found gently crushing the iceberg lettuce before trying to lift of the leaves ensured split free leaves perfect for wrapping.

I love to serve this family style, place the sour cream, mashed avocado with garlic salt and pepper, jalapenos and watercress in bowls on the table along with the iceberg wraps, serve the fajitas on a skillet or in the pan you cooked it in on the table and let everyone dive in and enjoy, this creates great communication and a wonderful family dinner time.

16 Mar 2014


The gorgeous simple Margherita pizza one of the best mouth watering pizza's it is so much more than it states, it has a wonderful history with links as far back as 1860 where it is mentioned in Francerco Debouchard's book of customs and traditions of Naples.

The Margherita pizza has remained honest and true to Naples and when using only the local ingredients from Naples you get to make the STG (specialita Tradiionali Garantite) Margherita, you have to use the local ingredients grown in Campania Italy, the tomatoes have to be San Marzano and they will have been certified with a DOP certificate stamp, the flour has to be Caputo 00, and the buffalo mozzarella will be di Campania.

I was supper excited to find a supplier who can deliver from Italy the Caputo 00 flour in a 25kg sack, fresh Naples Campania buffalo mozzarella and the San Marzano DOP certified tomatoes, so I can truly cook a authentic Margherita pizza in my wood fired oven.

(makes 6 pizzas)

For the dough
15g yeast
500g 00 flour
10g salt
50g olive oil
320g water
semolina for handling
For the toppings
1 tin San Marzano tomatoes
1 shallot
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig oregano
3 balls di campania buffalo mozzeralla
fresh basil

Mix all the ingredients together and  knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough becomes springy and smooth, cover and leave to rest at room temprature for 1-3 hrs, this is then ready to divide into six balls ready to roll out on a flour dusted worktop.  Once you have rolled out your pizzas sprinkle with semolina to make handling easier and use immedaitly.


1 tin of san marzano DOP tomaotes
glug of olive oil
1 shallot fine diced
2 springs of thyme chopped
1 sprig oregano chopped
salt and pepper

Soften the shallot in a pan with the olive oil for a few minutes, add all the other ingredients and simmer until you have a medium thick base sauce, season to taste.


Place your dough on your pizza peel or wood board and spread on the San Marzano tomato sauce, not to much and leave at least 1-2" gap around the edge, this is so that the pizza rim can puff up, tear the buffalo mozzeralla and place on your pizza, pop in your wood fired oven for 2 minutes at 400-500 degrees or if cooking in the oven use a pizza stone and crank your oven up as hot as it will go, the pizza will take approx 6 minutes at 230 degrees.  I can not tell you how good this pizza is!

11 Mar 2014


This is so good make sure you make extra because once you have tasted the crispy sweet chili beef you won't want to stop, with my family serving this up was like feeding time at the zoo!  I was surprised how simple and quick this was to make and loved that this meal created that wonderful sharing dinner time.

(serves 4)

2x 8oz (227g) sirloin steak
6 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp marmalade (optional)
1 orange zest and juice
1 ltr groundnut oil
2 spring onions finely sliced
1 carrot julienne
1/2 courgette julienne
8 pancakes 

First get your steamer up to a simmer ready to cook the pancakes when serving, next in a deep wok or pan gently start to bring the oil up to 180 degrees, meanwhile in a saucepan mix the soy, sweet chili, marmalade, orange zest and juice together, bring to a rapid simmer and reduce until thick and syrupy, leave in the pan to one side. 

 Next julienne slice the carrot, spring onion and courgette and place on a serving dish.  Now thinly slice the sirloin and toss in the cornflour, place on a plate ready to fry.

This is fast so have every thing ready to serve, steam the pancakes while you are deep frying the beef in the hot oil for approx 3 minutes for medium cooked, drain on paper and toss into the sweet sticky orange sauce, serve with the pancakes and julienne vegetables.

8 Mar 2014


Gorgeous outstandingly amazing and sumptuous spiced North African Moroccan lamb, charred over a hot coal pot and wrapped up in a flatbread with Greek yogurt, harissa paste, onions, peppers and watercress spinach salad.

This is my first experience with Ras El Hanout, which translates to "head of the shop", meaning the very best top shelf ingredients reserved for special occasions or special family meals.

(Serves 4)

(makes 6)
500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
10g salt
50ml olive oil
320ml water

2 lamb loin fillets
100g watercress
90g spinach
Greek yogurt
1 onion sliced
1 green pepper sliced
4 tsp harissa paste

(Don't panic you can buy this paste already done)
1 fresh chilli chopped
1 shallot finely diced
1" ginger grated
2 garlic cloves grated
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds or star anise
1 tsp chilli flakes
5 cardamom pods seeds only
1pinch sea salt
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
50-100ml ground nut or rapeseed oil

When adding the oil to your spice mix add enough to make a paste not to dry but not loose either.  Rub the Ras El Hanout generously all over the lamb fillets and pop in the fridge until needed, (min 30 minutes).

To make the flatbread dough mix all the ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest.  This dough is wonderfully versatile you can use it immediately but resting for 20 minutes would give you a better flatbread, however if you want a lighter more airy flatbread leave the dough to rest for 1-3 hrs.  Any left over dough pop in the fridge covered with oiled cling film wrap and when ready to use bring out and leave on the side to come up to room temperature approx 15 minutes.  This dough can be kept for 48hrs in the fridge or popped into the freezer until needed, just bring up to room temperature before use.

You can cook the lamb one of two ways, for that authentic charred smoked flavour cut the lamb into large chunks and placed them on a skewer, cook them over hot coals, don't turn the skewer until it has sealed and charred a little, approx 2-3 minutes each side for medium rare.  Or you can cook the lamb fillet whole in a dry non stick pan on a medium hot heat, sear all sides of the lamb, then turn the heat down and cook for  2 minutes more for rare, 4 minutes for medium and 5+ for well done, remove from the pan and leave covered in foil for 5-10 minutes to rest.  Cut on the diagonal.

Meanwhile take the dough and divide into 6 balls, roll out each ball to the rough size of a dinner plate around 8" however ops! my dinner plates are 12" !!!  Using the same pan on a medium hot heat cook the flatbreads approx 1-2 minutes on each side, the first flatbread will soak up all the aromatic spices and juices from the lamb, that bread is the chef's perk!  If you want to share this just add half a teaspoon of the Ras El Hanout paste to the pan with each bread you cook.  Keep the breads wrapped in a tea towel to keep warm.

To serve I like to place lots of bowls or a large chopping board with all the ingredients on so that everyone can dive in and help themselves to load up their warm flatbread with spinach and watercress topped with lots of Ras El Hanout lamb, Greek yogurt, harissa paste, onions and peppers, just gorgeous!

5 Mar 2014


You really will struggle to open another jar of shop brought mayonnaise after you have made this, it is outstandingly good, quick and simple to make and a pleasure to eat.

(makes 250ml approx)

1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsps Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
200-250ml rapeseed oil
1-2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
fresh ground white pepper

I urge you to make this by hand with a balloon whisk, the reason for this is a far superior finish with a lighter texture.  First place the white wine vinegar and mustard in a large whisking bowl and whisk together, add a glug of oil and the egg yolks and whisk, keep whisking and drizzle another glug of oil, repeat this until you have a glossy thick ribbon mayonnaise, season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and taste, adjust season if needed.  This can be keep in an air tight container in the fridge for around a week.

This mayonnaise can be flavoured for many other accompaniments,  for example for a Reuben sandwich you would add some horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, chopped dill pickles, chilli sauce and parsley or to make aioli you can grate a ton of fresh garlic into the mayo and toss with new or roast potatoes and one of my favourites is adding a glug of nandos hot piri piri sauce and making pirannaise, this goes with everything!

3 Mar 2014


This is so good and was great fun to cook, I love cooking outside, despite the rain and wind at present!   After many attempts I have finally married up several inspirational recipes and found this marinade tasted as close to the proper tandoori chicken cooked in a traditional tandoor.  I used my hot coal clay pot to cook the chicken and this allowed me to get that all important charred essential layer of flavour on to the chicken to add that authentic tandoor taste.  The flat breads really are worth the effort to make they only take 5 minutes to set the dough up and 3 minutes to cook and are outstandingly fabulous.

I have used kashmiri mild chilli powder in this recipe, you can find this on Amazon or in good deli stores.  If you want a redder traditional colour like in the Indian restaurants this is achieved by adding a paprika extract known as, paprika oleoresin I was unable to find this, it is used commercially and you can find it in the mix of tandoori masala powders readily available.  I used 1 tbsp of this rather than use food colouring.

5 cardamon pods de-seeded
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp  coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 grated nutmeg
2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp tandoori masala powder
1 lrg tsp salt
2" piece of ginger finely grated
6 garlic cloves finely grated
300g Greek yogurt
1/2 lemon juiced
4 chicken breasts 
500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
50ml olive oil
10g salt
320g water
200ml Greek yogurt
 8 tsps Harissa paste
watercress salad
 1 sliced onion
 1 sliced peppers
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander 

First make the flat breads, mix all the ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes, don't add any extra flour the stickiness will go with kneading cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes, if you want to make this further in advance, leave to prove at room temperature for 2-3hrs or make the day before and leave to prove in the fridge, up to 48hrs just bring out to come up to room temperature 15 minutes before using.

In a pestal and mortar or my favourtie a coffee grinder, grind the cradamon, cumin, cloves, black peppercorns and coridander seeds, tip into a larage bowl and add the yogurt, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli powder, tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, salt and lemon juice, mix well into a gorgeous paste and coat the chicken really well.  The longer you can leave this to marinate the deeper the flavour, 30 minutes and you will have a tandoori chicken meal but 5 hours or overnight in the fridge and you will have outstanding tandoori chicken.  Once marinated place the chunks of chicken on your skewers, if using wooden skewers soak them in cold water for 30 minutes prior to use.

Heat a dry non stick frying pan to a high heat, divide the dough into 6, dust with flour and roll out to the size of a dinner plate, place in the hot pan and cook each side for approx 2 minutes, wrap up in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the tandoori chicken.

Fire up your BBQ or coal pot and to start cook the skewers low down near the coals so as to char the chicken, don't turn the skewers until the meat has sealed, then once you have charred both sides pop higher up to finish cooking slowly, serve stuffed and rolled up in your flat bread with salad, yogurt and harissa.