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Archive: Sep 2013

Chicken Eggah

This is a delicious Middle Eastern dish for lunch or supper that is like a savory cake and full of favor.

Serves 4 to 6

1/3 cup olive oil
1 leek (white part only) finely chopped
1lb ground chicken or turkey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp grund cardamon
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
6 large eggs, beaten

Heat half the oil in a non stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the leek and saute for 10 minutes until lightly golden
Stir in the chicken and saute until turning white, using a wooden spoon to break up the lumps.
Stir in the salt and pepper, spices and chopped herbs.
Add the chicken mixture to the eggs and stir well to combine

Heat the remaining oil in a clean frying pan over medium heat.
Pour in the egg and chicken mixture, spreading it evenly over the base of the pan.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the eggs have set and the top is still a little runny.
Place the pan under a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes until the top is set and golden.
Gently shake the pan to loosen the eggah, then slide it onto a plate.
Serve hot or cold, cut into wedges

Rich, golden, satisfying chicken broth/stock

It’s time to prepare for those lovely warming dishes you’re going to cook over the next few months. Don’t throw away those roasted chicken carcasses! Put them into freezer bags and throw them in the freezer until you have a day when you can turn them into pure golden goodness.

It is beyond simple, but you do need a very large and tall saucepan or stock pan. It’s a great investment as I use mine a lot.

All you do is to wait until you have at least 4 or 5 carcasses frozen, then defrost them in the fridge overnight.

Put them all into the large saucepan, pushing them down into the pan and cover with water. Grind some black pepper and put in about 1 tbsp of dried oregano. Bring to a simmer and keep it simmering on VERY low for anything up to 8 hours or more. The lower you simmer, the clearer and golden the broth.

Occasionally stir the pot and push down the bones. When you are ready for the next step, remove the pot from the heat and set aside until it cools down a bit.

Get a large colander and pour the soup through it catching all the bones and meat in the colander while the juice goes in to the saucepan underneath it.

When the meat and bones have cooled enough to touch them, wash your hands then pick through all the bones and remove the meat.
Throw the bones away, put the meat into containers and freeze to use in pies, soups or anything else.

Put the remaining chicken juice in the fridge overnight to let the fat rise to the surface.

The following day, skim all the fat off the top of the stock and store the fat in a glass jar in the freezer to use for roast potatoes.

The broth should be really gelatinous if you’ve simmered it for long enough. Pour it into containers and freeze. You can use this very rich broth for soups, gravies, stews and almost anything. If you have stuffed your chickens with lemons, onions and fresh herbs when you roasted them, you will have all this added flavor to the stock.

Now sit down, look at your stack of golden goodness, pat yourself on the back and pour yourself a glass of wine.

I just had a bowl of neat steaming chicken broth and it was stunning!

Easy spinach, tomato and chickpea curry

Easy, tasty and healthy. What could be better!

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/4 inch piece ginger, grated
6 ripe tomatoes
1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin (I roast mine, it’s worth it)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of chili flakes
1 tsp yeast extract (I use Marmite, but you could also use beef or chicken stock concentrate)
4 tbsp red lentils
6 tbsp coconut cream
1 head of broccoli, broken into florets
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
6 oz bag of baby spinach leaves
1 lemon, halved
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds mixed with 1 tbsp chopped cashews

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and puree.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the spices, fry for a few seconds and add the puree and yeast extract.

Boil together for about 2 minutes then add the lentils and coconut cream.

Cook until the lentils are tender, then add the broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas and spinach, squeeze over the lemon and swirl through the sesame and cashew mixture.

Serve with brown rice, if you like


Quick mushrooms with red curry sauce

This is super quick and so tasty. It’s worth a trip to the Asian market for the few ingredients you might need.

Serves 4

2 cups coconut cream
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
2 tsp finely chopped lemongrass, white part only
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup coconut mik
2 tsp soy sauce (or mushroom soy sauce)
1 1/2 tbsp shaved palm sugar or brown sugar
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 tbsp lime juice
14 oz assorted mushrooms (shitake, oyster, enoki, button..)
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
3 tbsp torn Thai basil leaves or basil leaves

Place the coconut cream in a wok, bring to the boil and cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes

Add the red curry paste and chopped lemongrass and cook, stirring continuously, for 3 to 4  minutes or until fragrant.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, lime leaves and lime juice. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Stir in the assorted mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in the cilantro and basil and serve with steamed rice.


3 ingredient Coconut Macaroons

Yes, only  three ingredients and incredibly low fat and low calorie, for those that care!

Makes 12

2 extra large egg whites
4 oz superfine sugar (caster sugar)
6 oz desiccated coconut

Heat the oven to 350 F.
Whisk the egg whites, sugar and coconut together in a bowl until they lightly come together.
With wet hands, press the mixture into a flat, round shape about 1 inch high.

Cut out 12 rounds about 1 1/2 inches using a small pastry cutter or upturned liqueur glass and place on a lightly oiled or non stick baking tray.

Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes until very lightly golden, just touched with color.
Transfer the macaroons to a wire tray and cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Sticky toffee pudding

We’re getting to that time of year when this is just the ticket! It is one of my top three favorite desserts of all time and so good served with vanilla ice cream. It has a great sauce and the sweetness is from Medjool dates!

Serves 8

8 oz Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 oz unsalted softened butter
6 oz caster (superfine) sugar
2 large free range eggs
6 oz self-raising flour
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp whole milk plain yoghurt
2 tbsp a malted milk drink, like Ovaltine, see below. (You can get Ovaltine on

For the toffee sauce

4 oz unsalted butter
4 oz light muscovado sugar
5 fl oz heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with 7 fl oz boiling water.
leave to stand for a couple of minutes to soften, then drain.
Whizz the dates in a food processor until you have a puree.
Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar until pale using a wooden spoon  and add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Ovaltine.
Mix together well then fold in the yoghurt and your pureed dates.
Pour into a buttered ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

While the pudding is cooking, make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in color.
To serve, spoon out the pudding at the table and pour ver the toffee sauce.

Tender and crisp whole chicken legs with sweet tomatoes, garlic and basil

This is a simple, family friendly Jamie Oliver recipe that ALL the family will love, especially if you serve it with really good ciabatta bread that you can dunk in the gorgeous juices

This takes minutes to put together but then needs looooong, slooooooow gentle cooking. What happens in the pan is well worth the wait as the skin gets super crisp (my favorite part) and the meat gets sticky and tender and falls off the bone. The tomatoes are slow roasted and create a terrific broth.

Serves 4

4 whole chicken legs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a big bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
2 big handfuls of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved and ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic, broken up into cloves
olive oil
*optional  1 x 15 oz tin cannellini beans, drained
*optional  2 handfuls baby potatoes.
*optional 1 good handful of pitted Kalamata olives

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Season the chicken whole legs all over and put them into a snug-fitting pan in one layer.
Throw in all the basil leaves and stalks, then chuck in your tomatoes.
Scatter the garlic cloves into the pan with the chopped chili and drizzle over some olive oil.
Mix around a bit, pushing the  tomatoes underneath.
Place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, turning the tomatoes halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat falls off the bone.
* If you fancy, you can add some drained cannellini beans or some sliced baby potatoes to the pan and cook them with the chicken.
Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving.

Gloria’s Fish Wellington

This is such a lovely recipe and much lighter and less expensive than beef Wellington.
Gloria used to cook for my mother and father after my mother became ill and I remember her making this, but I’ve never seen the recipe in any book.
It’s well worth trying and you can also make a nice cream fish sauce to go with it,  but it’s not necessary.

4 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1lb white fish  fillets, chopped
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cream
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1 packet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Combine the bacon and onion in a small frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft.
Put the fish, breadcrumbs, cream, egg whites and dill in a food processor and process until combined.
Empty into a bowl and stir in the bacon mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Tip into  a 8″ by 5″ greased loaf tin and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.
Roll the pastry to about 10″ by 14″ rectangle and brush the edges with the beaten egg yolks.
Place the fish loaf in the center of the pastry rectangle, roll up, seal and trim any excess pastry around the edges.
Place onto a greased baking tray and brush all over with beaten egg yolk.
Bake until golden, about 30 mins or so, depending on your oven. Check occasionally.

Baked Italian sausages with potatoes and rosemary

Easy, satisfying and warming. You can also add some bite-sized pieces of chicken thigh to this recipe.

Serves 4

6 Italian sausages
1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thick
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 large rosemary stalks
6 unpeeled cloves garlic
sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 thick slices Ciabatta bread
3 fl oz olive oil
1 handful Italian parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 F
Slice the sausages into 1 inch pieces and place in the roasting pan.
Add the potato slices, paprika, rosemary, garlic cloves, sea salt and pepper
Tear the ciabatta into bite sized pieces and add to the roasting tray
Drizzle the oil over everything, season well and gently toss to combine
Place in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are  tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.
Top with the chopped Italian parsley and serve with a green salad


Easy family-friendly Mexican chicken bake

I have made this for the kids since they were 7 and 10 and they are now 22 and 25 and they still love it. It’s great for parties too.

Serves 4

3/4 cup medium or short grain rice
1 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
3 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
12 oz jar spicy taco sauce. (In LA, I buy La Victoria Red Taco Sauce, medium)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Lightly grease a deep, round, 8 1/2 ” ceramic casserole dish. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the rice and cook for 10 to 12 mins, stirring occasionally. Drain.

In the prepared dish, combine the beans and 1 1/2 tbsp of the cilantro, then add the rice and toss together. Lightly press the mixture so that the beans are mixed into the rice and the mixture is flat.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the chicken thighs for 3 minutes, then turn the chicken over. Add the taco sauce and cook for another 3 minutes.

To assemble, spread half the cheese over the rice. Arrange the thighs and sauce on top in a star shape, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tbsp of cilantro, then sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese is melted and slightly browned – remove the foil for the last 5 minutes.
Cut into four servings with a knife and scoop out carefully, keeping the layers intact.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and a dollop of sour cream