Roast Spatchcock Chicken & Chickpeas

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A Moroccan inspired Sunday Roast

The roast dinner is of course a British Institution, who doesn’t love a traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings? The French call us Les Rosbifs with good reason.

Whilst I will readily admit to enjoying a classic roast – especially Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Roast Forerib of Beef, there is no denying it can be time consuming and a bit of a faff, the washing up alone is enough to put me off – who wants to spend their final precious hours of weekend freedom doing the dishes?  Continue reading

Polpette al sugo di pomodoro

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A good, basic meatball recipe

Meatballs are a ubiquitous staple of the global menu, be it Turkish Koftas or Spanish Albóndigas they feature in some guise in the cuisine of practically every country, even a trip to Ikea can’t be considered a success without having tasted some Swedish Köttbullar!

The universal popularity of the meatball is easy to understand, they are economical, versatile, incredibly easy to make and yes, delicious!
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Fish Pie Marinière

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Making the most of Moules

A great fish pie is a thing of beauty, and I humbly submit this to be a great fish pie, a perfect blend of hearty British comfort food and Gallic flair. This is the kind of dish where you need to make double quantities as you know people will keep going back for “just one more spoon”.

To my mind any fish pie worthy of the name must contain, at a bare minimum, three varieties of fish – white, smoked and oily. Prawns are another non-negotiable addition in this household for their flavour, colour and textural contrast. It is a sad fish pie indeed that denies the diner the quiet joy of unearthing a plump prawn or two. Continue reading

Chilli Oil

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Some like it hot

At this time of year I like to make some store cupboard and freezer staples that will pep up our cooking over the coming months. Things like flavoured oils and pickles, even sauces like Pesto, Picada, Chimichuri and Romesco which, whilst always best freshly prepared, freeze perfectly well.

I covered pesto in my last post, now on to Chilli Oil. Over Easter I found myself down in Kent visiting my Mother and her partner and as mentioned we visited the Broadstairs Spring Food Festival. It wasn’t the biggest food festival I’ve attended, but they did have a nice selection of local produce. Continue reading

Wild Garlic Pesto

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A walk on the wild side

I like to take make the most of seasonal gluts when they become available, Wild Garlic (Ransoms) are a case in point. The season only runs from March through to May so I try to take advantage whilst I can and make some Wild Garlic Pesto for the freezer to see us through the summer months.

I’ll make a couple of batches of this over the next month or so and freeze individual portions in small freezer bags or disposable plastic cups. Just label and date them clearly – they should be good for 6 months.  Continue reading

Agnello con Patate

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A Hotpot from Puglia for Easter

If you fancy a change from the traditional Roast Lamb this Easter this recipe makes a wonderful alternative. Incredibly simple to prepare, easy on the wallet and quite delicious – what more could you ask for?

This is essentially an Italian take on a Hotpot originating from Puglia. A traditional Lancashire Hotpot, whilst a firm favourite, is an autumnal dish for me and by the time Easter rolls around I want something lighter, fresher and more in keeping with the season. Continue reading

Chicken Kiev, Pea and Spring Onion Risotto, Tzatziki

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New ways with familiar friends

Who doesn’t love a Chicken Kiev? Well vegetarians obviously, but other than that, come on, it’s a bona fide classic – the Ivan Drago to Southern Fried Chicken’s Rocky Balboa! It also has the dubious honour of being Britain’s first ever ready meal – introduced by M&S to a rapturous public back in 1979.

Did I make this Chicken Kiev? No, I’m afraid not. I maintained that proud ready meal tradition by getting these from our local butcher, Chadwick’s in Balham*. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog Chadwick’s have a daily deal – Wednesday is two Kievs for £5, which makes the total cost of this meal about £4 a portion which is pretty good going.  Continue reading