Tuesday, 26 January 2016


No I haven't made that name up, it's a recipe I found in the January edition of Olive Magazine. It was perfect for using up lots of odds and ends in the fridge. I added some chorizo and used a fresh green pepper (you know, the one you always leave from the pack of mixed peppers), instead of the roasted red peppers from a jar. I served it with some roast new potatoes which were massively out of date and still tasted absolutely fine. 

Serves 4
onion 1 large, chopped
garlic 2 cloves, crushed
olive oil
roasted red peppers 2 from a jar, sliced
sweet smoked paprika 1 tsp
ground cumin 1 tsp
mild chilli powder ½ tsp
plum tomatoes 400g tin
sugar a pinch
eggs 4
flat-leaf parsley a handful, chopped (I used coriander)

Heat a large frying pan with a lid. Cook the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft, then stir in the peppers, spices, tomatoes and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Make 4 dips in the mixture with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each.

Put the lid on and cook gently until the whites are set and the yolks cooked how you like them. Scatter with parsley and serve with bread or toast.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Smoky tomato and black bean soup with loaded nachos

Yes, quite a lot of ingredients, and yes a little time needed to prepare, but a really lovely soup with gorgeous flavours. I wasn't sure how the black beans would go down with James, but he cleared his bowl and asked for seconds, unfortunately there wasn't seconds. The recipe is from the latest Olive Magazine. 

Serves 4 
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
Olive oil
½ tsp Ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
400g chopped tomatoes
400ml chicken stock
400g tin of black beans, drained

Loaded nachos
12 natural tortilla chips
100g grated cheddar
1 diced avocado
4 tbsp soured cream
4 sliced radishes
2 spring onions shredded
Coriander chopped to make 2 tbsp
1 red chilli seeded and finely chopped
Lime wedges for squeezing

Cook the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of oil until softened. Add the spices and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and stock. Cook for 10 minutes then whizz with a stick blender until smooth. Add the beans and simmer for another 10 minutes. 
To make the nachos, spread the tortillas on a baking tray and top each with a little cheese. Grill until the cheese melts and then sit the tortillas on the soup, pile on the rest of the toppings and add a squeeze of lime. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Nigel Slater, a year of good eating

What a lovely start to a cook book, here is a man so passionate about food. I look forward to trying some of the recipes soon. 


We are not here for long. So let's at least make ourselves something good to eat.

A lovingly kneaded loaf; a casserole of beef, garlic, thyme, stock and onions you have left to it's own devices in a slow oven; a salad that crunches and crackles  with young, spring leaves and sprouted seeds. A sandwich maybe, it's hot filling of roast pork and crackling peeking tantalising from between two pieces of bread. A fool. A tart. A sticky rib. The possibilities are infinite. 

Chicken with Nandos peri peri salt

My kids love Nando's, it's their favourite haunt if they're meeting up with friends. Me, I've only been once and I can't say I was that impressed. Seeing the peri peri salt in tesco's, I thought I'd recreate the meal at home for them. I got a huge thumbs up for tea last night and clear plates all around. 

I halved some chicken breasts and sprinkled some of the peri peri salt on them. I fried them in olive oil until they were golden and crispy. I cooked some frozen frites in the oven with a sprinkling of the salt. Serve with a crusty white bun, some little gem lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and a dollop of Mayonaise. Place the chicken in the bun and pile on the fries. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Hairy Dieters Sausage with Rich Onion Gravy

Happy New Year, I hope it's a happy and healthy one for everyone. Here's a recipe that needs no introduction, the ultimate in comfort food, sausages and mash. Perfect winter fuel. This version is from the Hairy Dieters book, "Eat for Life". Like most people I need to cut back a bit in January, so both the Hairy Dieters books will be well used in the forthcoming months. 

Serves 4
½ tsp sunflower oil
8 lean pork sausages
1½ medium onions, thinly sliced
300ml of beef stock
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp cold water
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Brush a non stick frying pan with the sunflower oil and fry the sausages over a medium heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally until they are golden brown all over. Add the onion to the pan, turn down the heat slightly and fry for 8 -10 mins, or until the sausages are cooked and the onions are softened and golden brown, stirring regularly.

Put the stock into the pan, add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 mins, stirring occasionally.

Mix the cornflour with the cold water until smooth. Stir this mixture into the pan with the sausages and return to a simmer, then cook for 1 -2 mins more until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with accompaniment of your choice.