Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Quick, easy, healthy pie: Pork and potato pie

IMG_5631.JPG

I bet you didn’t think that pies could be either quick, simple or healthy.  This one doesn’t use pastry so that does help on all those fronts.  This one uses cubed pork in a tomatoey sauce topped with sliced potatoes.  Great for dinner during the week.  Just throw together and shove in the oven.

I did have a recipe for this, but I can’t seem to find it now.  I was sure it was a reader recipe on BBC good food, but maybe I was wrong. However, it’s really simple so I should be able to do it from memory.

 

IMG_5632.JPG

Pork and potato pie

Serves 2

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 250g boneless pork, cubed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped into squares, or carrots chopped and/or celery, or mushrooms sliced (whatever you have)
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 200ml beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp worcester sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to about 190 degrees celsius
  2. Boil the potatoes until cooked but still firm in boiling water (about 10 minutes).  Drain and rinse under cold water
  3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Toss the pork in the flour and shake off the excess.
  5. Fry the pork in the oil until browned on all sides.
  6. Add the onion and garlic, turning down the heat and cook until the onion is softented.
  7. Add the rosemary and whatever vege you’re using and cook for a further couple of minutes.
  8. Add in the tomatoes and stock, and bring to the boil.
  9. Then simmer until you have a good saucey consistency.
  10. Add in the worcester sauce and then salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Tip the pork sauce into a baking dish and layer the potatoes on top
  12. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are golden (or you can do under the grill, it’s quicker.  Until they’re browned, but I think the oven makes them taste nicer)
  13. Serve and enjoy 🙂

 

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Salami and pea risotto

IMG_5654.JPG

I’ve blogged before about risotto.  It really isn’t as hard as it seems.  Just add a bit of stock at a time and stir in the same direction until cooked.  That’s pretty much it.  And this is one is super simple because there’s very little prep and so there’s not much to throw you off your rice stirring.   Ready in 25 minutes – that’s a good midweek meal.  It’s also pretty cheap.  You can use any salami, I used a nice one from Lidl but really whatever you want.  Frozen peas too, are a staple so it’s quite easy to do with what you have.  if you don’t have salami you can use ham or chorizo, or anything like that.  Even Mr J thought it was good, which is pretty hard to do as he’s so spoilt by my cooking.

I found the recipe here: http://recipes.coles.com.au/recipes/53/quick-salami-pea-risotto/

Salami and pea risotto

Serves 2

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion,finely chopped
  • 150g risotto rice (I used arborio, also from Lidl, so fancy doesn’t need to be expensive)
  • 750ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • large handful of frozen or fresh peas, defrosted or use mushrooms or other vege
  • 50-60g sliced salami, shredded
  • handful of parmesan cheese
  • small knob of butter or margerine or a spoonful of creme fraiche or cream
  1. Heat the oil in a high sided pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened.
  3. Add the rice, stiring until it turns translucent.
  4. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stiring until evaporated.
  5. Turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  6. Continue adding stock until the rice is cooked and the stock absorbed (you may need slightly less or more stock)
  7. Mid way through, add the peas.
  8. Whilst the rice is cooking, dry fry the salami in a separate pan until crispy, then turn out onto kitchen towel.
  9. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and stir through most of the salami, the parmesan and the butter or margerine or cream.
  10. Leave for 3-4 minutes to ‘rest’.
  11. Serve with the remaining salami sprinkled on top
  12. And enjoy the deliciousness!

 

Leave a comment »

Moussaka

20130420-122411 PM.jpg

As I’m writing this, I’m making a cake for a good friend’s birthday. I’m having problems with the biscuit layers and just hoping that a bit longer in the freezer will sort them out! I’ll be posting that recipe on here too, have no fear – there is so much sugar and chocolate in it, whatever happens it will definitely taste good (I’ve tried the mixture – just to be sure I don’t kill anyone!).

But Moussaka – the reason for this post and not tomorrow’s one. I love this. It’s delicious, healthy, super simple to make, can be made in batches and eaten for the rest of the week or makes a great casual dinner that looks great, tastes great and doesn’t have you tied to the kitchen all night.

There’s no carbs in this so it’s perfect for those of you on low carb diets or no carbs in the evening diets. It’s low fat and lean proteins too. It has 513 calories per serving in it, so it makes a great dinner meal.

I got this from my Greek recipe book, which you can find here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Padded-Cookbooks-Greek-Love/dp/1445422387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366456152&sr=8-1&keywords=love+food+greek+cookbook

If you’re veggie you can easily substitute the mince for quorn or lentils, or if you’re wanting a more economical moussaka, or a change from the norm, you can do half mince and half lentils.

Moussaka

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400g tin of tomatoes (chopped or plum)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Thinly slice the aubergines and dry fry in a large pan on a high heat until browned on both sides. Spread them out in the pan – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in the frying pan and on a medium heat, fry the onions and garlic together until softened but not browned.
  4. Add in the mince, turning up the heat and browning it, breaking it up with the spatula.
  5. Add in the tomatoes, and season to taste. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and yoghurt, with some seasoning.
  7. When the mince is cooked through stir through the parsley
  8. Place half of aubergine slices in the bottom of a baking dish in a single layer.
  9. Pile the mince mixture on top and then layer the remaining aubergine on top to cover it.
  10. Pour over the egg mixture covering the aubergine and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
  11. Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.
  12. Serve immediately and enjoy memories of your holidays.
1 Comment »

Lamb stew with garlic bread crust

20130416-112957 AM.jpg

I found this in my cook in boots cookbook by Ravinder Bhogal. I had previously ignored it because of the garlic bread crust and I wasn’t eating bread. However, my problems with yeast and bread seemed to have cleared up so I’m eating it again, and so glad to be able to eat anything again.

This was delicious, healthy, hearty and very simple to make. It does need a couple of hours so it’s probably not a midweek thing, although you could make the stew the day before and just finish off in the oven on the day.

It has 560 calories per serving, depending on how much you want. The recipe says 6 servings, however, I don’t know if it was because we were hungry (we hadn’t eaten much all day) or we’re just greedy pigs, but we ate most of it and there’s probably only enough for 1-2 more portions so for 3-4 people. The calories are based on it being for 3 people.

Even so, even if you’re watching the calories, this is a good one. Lots of protein, some comfort carbs, plenty of vege and no extra sneaky things to up the calories for no reason. You could just make the stew and serve with potatoes or have a mashed potato crust instead if you prefer.

It’s also very cheap and the stew itself is freezable, so it’s a great family friendly meal.

Lamb stew with garlic bread crust

Serves 4

  • 500g diced stewing lamb
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 leek, cut into thick rounds
  • 3 celery sticks, cut into chunks
  • 1 turnip, cut into 8ths
  • 1 large chilli, cut into rounds
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 500ml chicken or lamb stock (plus extra water)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic bread baguette (or make your own)
  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a casserole dish (that’s flameproof, or use a saucepan)
  2. Toss the lamb in the flour and discard the excess flour.
  3. Fry the lamb in the oil on a high heat until browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium, add the remaining oil if needed and fry the leek, turnip and celery until softened and starting to brown – about 10 minutes.
  5. Return the lamb to the pan along with the pearl barley, bay leaves, rosemary and chicken stock.
  6. Stir well, bring to the boil and then simmer gently, covered, for about 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender. Check occasionally and top up with water as needed.
  7. About 15 minutes before the stew is cooked, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  8. Prepare the garlic bread baguette.
  9. When the stew is cooked, top with sliced garlic bread baguette to form a crust and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the bread is cooked and crispy.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy 🙂
Leave a comment »

I’m back! And I’m cheating – easy cheats meatball pasta

20120923-035515 PM.jpg

I know, I’ve been away, you’ve been wondering what to eat. I’ve got a new super exciting job at British Cycling (don’t you just love how I manage to jump on every bandwagon going?!) which is very demanding. So I have been cooking – that wouldn’t change…I’ve not had the time for blogging and I keep forgetting to take photos.

But I’ve just got back from Ibiza (totally fab, amazing holiday, what a beautiful mesmerising place…don’t ever go all inclusive there, you miss the point of it) where I ate lots of gorgeous Spanish food and found perhaps the best place I have ever tasted tapas, drank lots of great (and cheap!) wine, danced my socks off (not that I was wearing any) and got a tan. Here are my top 5 things I learnt in Ibiza:

  1. A hot tub is the best after party – EVER! Get one, now – your life isn’t complete without it. Mr J and I are actually going to move so we can have one.
  2. Benirras beach is an amazing sunset party on Sundays. Get there early – they have police just for the parking.
  3. Random nights are the best
  4. There’s nothing funnier than driving around San Ant in your red fiat 500 convertible, roof all the way down, Guetta blaring from the stereo whilst you dance out the roof, and people wonder who you are
  5. Destino in San Jozep (between San ant and ibiza town) does the best tapas in the world.
  6. (I know, it’s 6 not 5) Drunk Connie is so much fun. Just give her 2 jaegerbombs and you’ll laugh all night.

Prior to the holiday me and Mr J thought we’d lose some weight so we went low carb, low fat. And whilst it’s totally unsustainable (and I ended up dreaming about pasta!) I learnt a couple of things – the cut of meat you choose can make all the difference. Always cut the fat off and remove the skin to reduce fat calories, and you don’t need as much oil as you think. So I’m incorporating these things into my cooking from now on. I’m also switching to low fat dairy exclusively. This was mostly the case already, but I’ve taken it further.

Anyway, holiday over. And I have the post-holiday blues, big time. But it got me to thinking about blogging again and I actually remembered to take a few photos. So I’m back for now, and here’s hoping it lasts for a bit in any case. And having the blues means I need comfort food, like now. So here’s a super quick, super easy, totally cheating pasta dish I actually got out of a magazine – More, I think. Ages ago I tore it out the magazine and stuck it in my binder where it was waiting for such a day as this.

I used frozen meatballs from Ikea as that’s what I had, but use ready made meatballs from the supermarket or just take sausages out their skins and roll them into balls. Whatever you have handy. I also used low fat creme fraiche and a bit of cream cheese, but use whatever you have to hand – fromage frais, cream, soured cream…whatever’s there.

I also added mushrooms as I’m really into mushrooms at the mo – they’re full of umami – what’s not to love?! Natural mood and taste boosters. But leave out if you want or add whatever you have in your fridge. Frozen peas would work quite well too I reckon.

So this can be done in about 20 mins – look at me, showing Jamie how it’s done. And kid friendly too.

Creamy meatball pasta

Serves 2

  • 150g pasta shapes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 100g meatballs per person
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 4-5 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 150ml creme fraiche (or whatever)
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper
  1. Boil the pasta according to the packet instructions (reserve some of the water)
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the pan on a medium heat and add the meatballs. As the meatballs release their fat, you can turn it up high until they’re browned on all sides.
  3. Then turn back down and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Fry until the onion and mushrooms are softened and the mushrooms have released their juices.
  4. Then add the creme fraiche and a few tablespoons of the pasta water to make a sauce. Stir well and bubble until slightly thickened.
  5. Then add the parsley, salt & pepper to taste. Stir through the pasta and serve.
  6. Enjoy the creamy comforty-ness
Leave a comment »

Cheap and healthy meals: lentil and mince enchiladas

20120714-081024 PM.jpg

I do like enchiladas and they’re pretty healthy any way you do them, but I also love lentils, so the opportunity to add them to enchiladas couldn’t really be missed (I have made them the standard chicken or beef strips instead in the past). Lentils give you lots of great protein without the calories and make mince beef go further – which is why its cheap, because lentils cost virtually nothing.

I found the original recipe here, but more or less just made this up as I went along. And they were delicious. I think you can add more or less whatever you like to this recipe. Make it with just mince (combine the lentil and mince quantities), add peppers, add tomatoes, add whatever you like, or leave it all out. Use tinned tomatoes instead of passata – but add tomato puree too. Whatever. You can use flour or corn tortillas too. Get creative!

My recipe is 612 calories for 2 tortillas is 612 calories. So it’s still not super low in calories but is fine for dinner if you’ve been good in the day.

http://thirty-quid.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/beef-and-lentil-enchiladas.html

Lentil and mince enchiladas

Serves 2

  • 50g lentils (I used red as these cook fastest)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 150g beef mince (I used lean steak)
  • 1/2 tin sweetcorn
  • 200ml passata
  • 75ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp fajita seasoning (or make your own)
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapenos (or use fresh chillis instead)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 4-5 tortillas (I used corn)
  • 4 tbsp herby soured cream
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Boil the lentils in water until soft and mushy. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat until translucent but not browned.
  4. Add the mince, turning up the heat and frying until browned, breaking lumps up with the spatula.
  5. Add in the jalapenos, sweetcorn, fajita seasoning and tomatoes. Cook out for a couple of minutes.
  6. In a bowl combine the passata and beef stock.
  7. Add 2/3 of the passata mix to the pan, mixing well.
  8. Add in the lentils and 1/3 of the cheese and give it another stir.
  9. Remove from the heat. Take a tortilla and fill the middle with the mix (I find a couple of spoonfuls usually does it).
  10. Roll and place with seam downwards in a rectangular baking tray or dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled.
  11. Pour the rest of the passata mix over the rolled tortillas and then dollop the soured cream over. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  12. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden.
  13. Carefully remove from the pan with a spatula and serve (with a green salad perhaps?)
  14. Enjoy 🙂
Leave a comment »

Lunchbox lunches: bacon and lentil soup

20120424-013712 PM.jpg

My stomach is upset. It’s having an issue (in government speak). Probably from eating too many Easter eggs and drinking too much wine (and cocktails, and g&ts…). So I’m going back to basics and eating simply – nothing too rich, too spicy, too oily or too acidic. And what could be better than a simple healthy lentil soup? Comforting, tasty, easy on the stomach and nothing too exciting to upset it.

And lentils being good sources of both protein and carbs, means I don’t need bread of any kind with it, which may just push my stomach right over the edge. The bacon gives it a nice flavour but it’s not too intrusive. And keeping it chunky means it’s both simple and quick to make (in fact I made it this morning and let it cook whilst eating breakfast and then just dished it into tupperware to take to work.

This recipe is a variation on one I found in my Leith’s Simple Cookery book and my go-to book when I’m not sure about anything.

Bacon & Lentil soup

Serves 3-4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 rashers bacon (your choice), cut into lardons
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 200g red or green lentils (choose red if you’re in a hurry they cook quicker)
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 250ml passatta (seived tomatoes – or use pasta tomato sauce)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (be careful if using smoked bacon)
  1. Heat a large saucepan on a low-med heat. Add the bacon and onion and allow to sweat slowly and the bacon to release it’s fats. There’s no need for oil as the fats will provide it and make the bacon crispy.
  2. Then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Add in the lentils and stir well to coat in the mixture. Then add stock, tomatoes, and passatta. Bring to the boil, stiring well and then reduce to a low simmer and cover.
  4. Simmer until the lentils are cooked – about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve with hunks of farmhouse bread, or just eat on it’s own enjoying it’s pleasing chunkiness.
  6. Enjoy 🙂
Leave a comment »

Chorizo and feta tortilla

20120420-011920 PM.jpg

This one is an entirely made up MrsJacksonCooks recipe! Based on the basic tortilla recipe, with my own things thrown in it. This is great for leftover antipasti and marinaded veges. It’s also very simple to do, and quick so it’s perfect for midweek meals.

My mum brought me back some chorizo from Spain, which was the starting point for this recipe, and also the desire to make something quickly. Uncooked chorizo is best, but cooked chorizo is fine, just cook it for less time.

Chorizo and feta tortilla

Serves 3-4

  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 70g chorizo, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large red chillis, sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced, or 4-5 marinaded pepper pieces sliced
  • handful of olives, drained and halved
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley or basil
  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside til needed.
  2. Meanwhile preheat the grill on high.
  3. Then heat a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until it starts to release it’s juices. Then add the onion and fry until softened and starting to brown.
  4. Then add the garlic and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.
  5. Next add the peppers and olives, stirring them through well.
  6. Beat the eggs together with some salt, pepper and the feta cheese. Then stir in the parsley
  7. Add the potatoes stirring well to coat in the chorizo juices.
  8. Spread it all out so it’s evenly spaced around the pan, then pour over the egg mix, ensuring even distribution. Tip the pan to allow it to move around the pan to even it out.
  9. Cook on a medium heat until it’s done underneath. Then pop under the grilled until cooked and golden on top.
  10. Serve immediately with a green salad
  11. Enjoy 🙂
Leave a comment »

Stuffed roasted peppers

20120416-121756 PM.jpg

This is a super easy midweek recipe. And healthy too. It’s a bit like keema dhal in a pepper. I found the original recipe on BBC good food but because I didn’t have much mince (just some left over in the fridge) I added the lentils as well.

You can easily do with it beef or turkey mince instead, or quorn. It’s very versatile and really great for something different.

Here’s the original recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/13311/peppers-baked-with-lamb-and-rice

And here’s mine!

Keema dhal stuffed peppers

Serves 2

  • 150g minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 80g red or green lentils
  • 50g raw rice (or 100g cooked)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • a pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley , chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped flaked almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut the peppers in half, leaving the stalk on, but removing the pith and seeds. Place on a baking tray and drizzle over a little oil and some salt. Put in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes. Drain off any water that collects in the peppers.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice as per your usual method, and boil the lentils in salted water until soft. Drain both and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat until translucent but not coloured. Add the spices and stir for another minute. Then add the mince and fry until browned, breaking it up with the spatula.
  4. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, almonds and parsley. Stir well to combine, then reduce the heat to low and allow to bubble off some of the liquid.
  5. Stir the rice and lentils into the mince mixture and remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the mixture into each until its over full.
  7. Return to the oven and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until crispy on top and the peppers chargrilled.
  8. Serve and eat immediately! 🙂
Leave a comment »

An Easter extravaganza: chargrilled squid, slow roasted lamb and st. clements pie

I’ve been debating whether to do this as separate posts or all in one, and I’m going with all in one – hope it’s not too full on!  Although having said that, it felt full on to cook it for 7 people – bit like Christmas all over again, but without the hangover….got something right at least!

But the whole thing was delicious and I did enjoy making it.  If you’re thinking of doing a dinner party there’s some great ideas here.  Not really suitable for veges though – and I was a bit relieved not to have any coming as I’d have to do something completely separate for them.  What I loved about this was all the flavours and spices in it – both the squid and lamb used quite a lot of different spices so we had quite a mix of flavours.  And the tangy lemon tart to finish was perfect after all the richness of the lamb.

The lamb, incidentally came from a farm near Hebden Bridge.  I happen to know the lady that owns the farm and she sold me a load of lamb cuts, as well as regular egg deliveries.  And I do notice the difference in the meat.  I don’t really notice it with organic meat from the supermarket or butchers but definitely with it coming fresh from this farm – and the eggs are so yellow and tasty too.  I think the lamb had a lot more flavour and was a lot more tender than supermarket versions.  But you can do it with any lamb – not only if you happen to know someone with a farm!

The squid recipe is an Ottolenghi recipe and so it’s a bit bitty and fiddly but it’s not complicated.  There’s just lots of steps – I think you could combine some of them quite easily but it’s up to you – I followed it more or less – with the exception of replacing sumac with lemon juice and zest because I didn’t have it and had no idea where to get it!  By comparison, the lamb is ridiculously simple!  And great for dinner parties because you can shove it in the oven and forget about it.  And the pudding can be made the day before if you want.

The original recipes are here – I have adapted all slightly, to reflect what I had available to me.  The shoulder of lamb served 7 very well – there wasn’t much at all left over, but if you did have fewer guests the leftovers would make very nice sandwiches for lunches in the following week.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/30/squid-salad-braised-chicory-recipes

http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/slow-roast-shoulder-of-lamb-with-merguez-spices-recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2063673/st-clements-pie

Tangy squid and pitta salad

Serves 7

  • 700g cleaned and prepared baby or adult squid (adult squid cut into thin rings)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced and zested
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 large pitta (white or wholemeal) sliced into thin strips
  • 60g capers
  • 4 celery stalks cut thinly on the diagonal
  • large handful of celery leaves chopped or rocket (if leaves unavailable) – I used a combination as I had some leaves but not enough
  • 1 tsp all spice berries (or ground all spice), ground
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp pink or green peppercorns, crushed and ground
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  1. Put the squid rings in a bowl with the oil, lemon juice and zest, salt & pepper.  cover and place in the fridge until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the remaining lemon and chop the segments up into small bits and place in a large serving bowl.
  3. Add the celery leaves or rocket to the lemon and the spices and parsley – mix well and set aside.
  4. Toast the pitta in some olive oil in a pan for a few minutes until crispy and starting to char in spots, remove these onto a plate to keep warm.
  5. Follow the pitta with the capers – fry until crispy and turn onto the pitta slices.
  6. Follow the capers with the celery and fry for a few minutes until softened slightly and tip onto the pitta and capers.
  7. Finally flash fry the squid with the marinade juices and zest for a minute until just cooked through.  Tip the pitta, capers and celery into the serving bowl with the lemon and leaves and stir well.  Then tip in the squid and give it another stir before serving immediately with a nice dry white wine.
  8. Enjoy all the spicy zingy flavours!

Slow roast spiced lamb shoulder

Serves 6-8 (or 4-5 with leftovers)

  • 1 shoulder of lamb
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ cinnamon stick, broken up
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 2 large rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Roast potatoes and veges to serve
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 22o degrees celsius.  
  2. Score the shoulder joint all over with a knife to just under the skin.  
  3. Put all the whole spices in a pan and lightly toast still the start popping.  Tip into a pestle and mortar and roughly grind.  Add the ground spices, garlic, salt and olive oil to mortar and stir well to combine to a thick paste.
  4. Using your fingers spread half the spices all over the lamb-  including sides and underneath and especially in the cuts that you’ve made.  
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 120 degrees celsius
  7. spread the remaining spices over the lamb using the back of a spoon, pour a glass of water in the bottom of the roasting pan the lamb is sat in (not over it) and cover in foil.  
  8. Return to the oven for 6 hours.
  9. Remove, allow to rest for a bit and then using a carving fork, tear the lamb off the bones (it should fall off easily) and serve with the roasted vege and potatoes and the juices from the pan poured over it.  
  10. Enjoy (perhaps with some red wine this time?!).  

St. Clements Pie (orange and lemon pie)

Serves 10 ish

  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 85g butter (unsalted)
  • 3 lemons zested and juiced
  • 2 oranges zested and juiced
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 1 large egg plus 4 large egg yolks
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g greek yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • more lemon zest
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Lightly grease an ovenproof flan dish or removable bottom cake tin
  3. Put the digestives in double bagged food bags tied tightly and bash with a rolling pin or spoon until they form crumbs.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan and remove from the heat.
  5. Add the digestive crumbs to the butter and mix well.  
  6. Tip the crumbs into the dish and spread out and pat down to form a crust along the bottom and up the sides.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye on this – mine did quite quickly and the first one burnt).  
  8. Remove from the oven, turning it down to 160 degrees celsius and allowing the crust to cool slightly.
  9. Meanwhile whisk the egg and yolks with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the condensed milk and orange & lemon zests and juices and whisk again until well combined.
  10. Pour the topping over the crust and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until set (not going brown though).  Again keep an eye on this so it doesn’t over cook.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Then refrigerate for about 3-4 hours or overnight.  
  12. Just before serving, whip together the cream, yoghurt and icing sugar and dollop over the pie.  Sprinkle over the remaining zest and serve with some coffee
  13. Enjoy!  
Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: