Quicky

Anchovy + Tomato Pasta

  • good pasta(not supermarket branded)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 250g creamed tomatoes
  • 4 anchovies
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms
  • around 10 green beans

I remember doing this recipe on the roof of hotel in Goa. We had a bambo shack set up with a few mattresses and a gas stove. It was so hot we could wear just shorts through out the night. I think we were paying around £7 a month to stay there, still can’t believe it.Anyway, I got this recipe down whilst eating in on the the cheap. Haven’t changed it since.

Recipe:

  1. Chop the onion and garlic fine.
  2. Chop the mushrooms into 3rds, (yes that’s right- its the best shape)
  3. Chop the ends of the beans and cut in half
  4. Add the onion to a hot frying pan with oil for a min then add the garlic for another 2min
  5. Stir in the mushrooms for 2min
  6. Add the cream tomato, chilli, beans, salt+pepper
  7. Leave to simmer with lid on for 20min. Stir occasionally, add water/creamed tomato if it gets too thick.
  8. Serve on good pasta
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Once a fortnight regular

Hot Chicken Casserole

  • 2 large potatoes
  • big swish of olive oil
  • big knob of butter
  • 1 pack of chicken leg and thighs
  • 1/2 pack of cherry tomatoes
  • hand full of olives
  • 1 red onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 small hot chillies

I’ve been doing this recipe regularly for about a year now. It’s reliable, its easy, it gets the job done. I reckon it could even impress guests. It will never tire. I walk down the aisle in Sainsbury, see the £3 pack of chicken leg + thigh and I know thats 3-4 meals sorted.Without sounding too big headed, I’ve got a bit picky with my meals since doing the blog, so you take some comfort in the fact thats its on my regular list.

I think I have to admit the original version was stolen from ‘ bit of this bit of that’ Jamie. I can admit it, I put my hands up, I steal and manipulate.

Note:

  • Could use a variety of other hot items instead of chillies, jalapenos go well
  • If using a casserole dish i’d cover with tin foil to keep the moisture in

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c
  2. Chop the potatoes into quarters or sixths and boil for 10min.
  3. Pour some oil into a pan with some salt+pepper. Cook the chicken for a few minutes till its got a nice crispy brown colour on the skin
  4. Add the potato and chicken to a big pan or casserole dish
  5. Ruffly chop the garlic
  6. Cut half the tomatoes in half
  7. Chop the onion up into strips
  8. Finely chop the chilli
  9. Add all to the pan
  10. Add a big knob of butter and a large swish of olive oil
  11. Stir the whole lot with a wooden spoon until well mixed
  12. Put in the oven for 1 hour
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Goldmine of flavour

Red Chicken Pie

Pastry

  • 12oz plain flour
  • 6oz butter
  • salt
  • water

Fillings

  • 1/2 chicken, baked and stripped
  • 5 Sun dried tomatoes
  • 200ml single cream
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 chicken stock cube
  • 5 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli pepper
  • salt + pepper

Its not often I go into the pastry world, it always seems a bit daunting. However we’ve got a huge cherry tree in the back garden; meaning cherry pie is definitely on the horizon. Practice was needed and here it is in full force.This pie wasn’t made amazing by just the chicken and pastry, the key ingredient is the sun dried tomatoes. I recently walked into the local ‘continental delicatessen’ to discover a huge range of foods, unavailable to the average supermarket wanderer. The tomatoes being the best find.

They came in a loose bag, and felt squidgy to the fingers. Not sure if you get the same sweet taste with the olive oil jar type, who knows.

Another dimension of this pie is the hotness. Its not actually hot, you can just taste its there; which for me is the best way. No need for pain. The cayenne pepper adds that hot sharp tingle, while the chilli powder adds that main earthy heated taste.

I say again – this is not a hot pie, dont be scared.I must make a point of this recipe really being great. Don’t skim over this one, thinking ‘one day’. This recipe is really worth trying. I’ll be bold and say it has changed my view on pies.

Note:

  • shortcrust pastry wasn’t made by myself, honesty is the best policy.
  • I pre-cooked a chicken and stripped half of it down for the pie. And half for sandwiches:)

Pastry:

  1. Mix the flour and pinch of salt in a bowl, add the butter
  2. Rub together with fingers
  3. Add water gradually, mixing with a knife until the pastry is of the right texture.
  4. Leave in the fridge for 10min before using

Pie:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c
  2. Line the bottom of an 8inch baking dish with parchment
  3. Roll out the pastry, guestimating size for bottom and top, and mould into the dish. Cut sides off and re-roll into appropriate shape for the lid
  4. Add stripped chicken to pie
  5. Slice tomatoes lengthways into around 8 slices and add
  6. Quarter mushrooms and add
  7. Chop up the pepper and add
  8. Add a chicken stock cube to 200ml of boiling water in a small sauce pan, on a low heat
  9. When mixed add the cream, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, salt+pepper
  10. Pour into the pie
  11. Place the lid on top and fasten around the edge; by moistening and then being adventurous with the pattern
  12. Place in oven for 45min
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Shrove Tuesday Special, Bling! Bling!

Pancake.. Cake

Pancake Mix

  • 6oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 75ml water
  • 25g butter

Layer Filling

  • 1 packet of mozzarella
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • red onion
  • salt + pepper

Shrove tuesday! Day for eating sugary crepes in the name of using all ingredients to survive. Thought I’d honor my mother with a remake of her delish spinach pancake. I must of spent an hour traveling up and down gloucester road looking for spinach though. I didn’t realise everyone was onto the recipe. Vietnamese superstore came to the rescue.I did of course expand the recipe; well converted it into a bit of the ‘everything I fancy version’. The result was a surprisingly light cake, must be something to do with all the fillings+layers creating air pockets.You’ll notice a lack of ingredient-quantities; in the spirit of shrove tuesday I think this recipe needs to be done with a certain lack of precision. General good practice I believe for any food creation procedures. So yes, add what you feel is the right amount of what you like and dont stick to my ingredient list!

Pancakes:

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, add the eggs and wisk by hand
  2. Measure out the milk and water in the same container, add gradually to the mix.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan, add a couple of tbsp to the mix and whisk
  4. Use some grease proof paper with remaining butter to line the pan between pancakes.
  5. Add just enough mix to cover your hot frying pan, flip after a couple of min. Flip over and over till you got yours flipping skills down, and both sides are browning.
  6. Create all of the pancakes piling them up on a plate.

Pancake.. cake:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160c
  2. Ok so as I said use your own ingredient list. Put some ingredients on each layer.
  3. Pancake – filling – pancake – filling – pancake -…
  4. Some favourites of mine were thinly sliced tomato mozzarellamushroomred onion, pre-cooked spinach.
  5. Finish off with some mozzarellasalt + pepper on top.
  6. Place in oven on plate for 15min, mainly to melt cheese and get everything hot.
  7. Voila!
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Cookies = Happiness

Cookies

Dough Ingredients

  • 8oz plain flour
  • 7oz whole oats
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 240g butter
  • 7oz caster sugar
  • 7oz muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Version 1 – Choc Chunk

  • 175g dark chocolate

Version 2 – Amaretto

  • 7 Amaretto biscuits
  • 1 handfull chopped almonds

Version 3 – Healthy Option

  • 100g Raisins
  • 1 Handfull of sunflour seeds
  • 1 Handfull halved Brazil Nuts

Version 4 – Ginger Dream

  • 4 lumps of preserved ginger in syrup or caramelised ginger
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

If I’m tired, had a long day, ‘one of those days’ or just generally feel shit, the best thing to sort me out is a bottle of red and a large pack of biscuits. And it works. Most people turn to cigs, other people or go out; for me its sugar and wine. Of course the antidote is even more potent with homemade biscuits and these latest ones are pretty good at it.I made a batch of cookies a week or two back with 3 different versions. The best version by far was the batch which turned into one mega cookie (the tray was overloaded). So this time I repeated the process – filled a tray with dough; making thick cookies with a great gooey texture, but also crunchie on the outside.

I had a complaint last time about my cookies not being chocolate enough so this time I made sure to please all. They may seem overloaded when mixing the ingredients but it works.

Note:

  • Use soft butter or electric whisk will break
  • Don’t break amaretto biscuits too small
  • Large chunks of chocolate is a good thing

Dough:

  1. Mix the flour, oatscinnamon, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the butter until creamy
  3. Continue whisking whilst adding the sugars
  4. Then eggs and vanilla essence
  5. Add the mix to the flour mix and stir
  6. At this point I separated a 1/4 back into the previous container to add one of the flavours (depends how many versions you make)
  7. Prepare the baking trays/dishes with baking parchment and pre-heat oven to 180c
  8. Add the ingredients for each version and put into separate baking dishes
  9. Put in oven for 25-30min.
  10. Cut into sections before the mega cookie cools
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