Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Salad of Prawns Chorizo Bacon Cherry Tomatoes and Green Beans with Roast Herby Potato Cubes


200g raw prawns
100g sliced chorizo, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons
Small bowl cherry tomatoes
Shaved Fennel
200g fine beans, cooked in boiling water for 3 minutes then drained
2 large potatoes, cut into cubes and tossed in olive oil
2 tbsp chopped herbs, any will do, I used sage and marjoram

Sprinkle the herbs over the potato cubes and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C / gas 4 until they are tender and golden brown, this should take around 30-35 minutes.

For the dressing

4 tbsp good quality olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp whole grain mustard

Stir the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Heat a large saute pan and add the bacon lardons, cook for a couple of minutes, then put in the chorizo and prawns and stir fry for 2 minutes until the prawns are pink.

Add the cherry tomatoes and shaved fennel and cook for 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the warm green beans and the dressing.  Sprinkle the hot potato cubes over the top and serve with crusty bread.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Apple and Raspberry Crunchy Crumble with Heather Honey

For the fruit

2 kg Cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 punnets fresh raspberries
4 tbsp granulated sugar

For the crunchy crumble

200g plain flour
150g porridge oats (Quaker oats are best)
4 tbsp Demerara sugar
100g unsalted butter, cut to small dice
Heather honey to drizzle (or any clear honey)

Put the apple chunks, raspberries and sugar into a heavy based pan and cook over a low heat until the fruit is tender.  Transfer the fruit to an ovenproof dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4

Seive the flour into a large bowl add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the sugar and oats, mix well.  Sprinkle this over the fruit and drizzle a little honey over the top.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with custard or chilled crème fraiche.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Cullen Skink with Tattie Scones

You may want to start making the Tattie Scones first as they have to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

For the Cullen Skink
Serves 6

50g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
600ml milk
150ml double cream
350g potatoes, peeled and cut into even sized pieces
450g undyed haddock, cut into large pieces
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped chives

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook gently for 8 minutes.  Add the bay leaf, pour in the milk and 300ml water.  Drop in the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the haddock and simmer for 7 minutes until the fish is cooked.Remove the fish from the pan and peel off any skin then flake the fish and set aside.

Remove the bay leaf from the soup and using a potato masher, crush the potatoes.  Stir in the flaked fish and double cream.  Bring back to boiling point and taste before seasoning with pepper and salt if necessary.

Serve hot in warmed bowls and sprinkle chives over the top.

For the Tattie Scones

50g butter
150ml water
100g plain flour
2 eggs
200g freshly mashed potato
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter and water in a small pan.  When the butter has melted remove from the heat and stir in the sieved flour.  When smooth break in the eggs 1 at a time and beat with a hand-held electric mixer.  Beat in the hot mashed potato until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

Turn onto a floured surface and leave to cool then sprinkle with flour, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.

Remove from the fridge and roll out to 1/2" thick.  Cut out rounds or wedges.

Oil a large frying pan or griddle and place over a moderate heat.  Cook the scones until golden brown on both sides and serve immediately.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Blackberry Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 4-6

6 slices good quality white bread
50g butter, unsalted
100g blackberries
40g sugar
3 eggs + 1 yolk
300ml milk
300ml double cream

Spread the slices of bread with the butter and cut each slice into 4 triangles.  Butter an oven-proof dish and lay the bread, butter side up over the base, cover with the blackberries and half the sugar.  lay over the rest of the bread triangles and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Beat the egg yolk and whole eggs together with the milk and cream and pour over the pudding.

Let the pudding stand for 20 minutes before putting it in a pre-heated oven 160C / 325F / gas 3 for 35 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

Serve warm with double cream

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Potato Gratin

Serves 4-6

1kg potatoes, peeled
400ml single cream
150g freshly grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Knob of butter
Freshly grated nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas 4

Grease the inside of an oven-proof dish with butter.

Thinly slice the potatoes and put a layer on the base of the dish.  Season with salt and pepper, pour a little of the cream over and sprinkle with parmesan.

Repeat until you have used up the potatoes, parmesan and cream.  Grate a little nutmeg over the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the top golden.

Great with lamb chops and green vegetables.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1 stick celery, chopped
Olive oil
Knob of butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder (medium strength)
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and freshly milled pepper
2 tbsp double cream
Coriander to garnish

Heat a large heavy based saucepan and add the butter and oil.  Gently fry the squash, onion, celery and carrot for about 10 minutes to soften.

Add the stock, chilli powder and cumin and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 20 minutes until the squash is soft.  Remove the pan from the heat and blend until smooth.

Reheat gently, season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cream garnish with coriander and serve with crusty bread.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Roast vegetables with goat's cheese

Great with new potatoes and salad made with sliced radish, cucumber, rocket and a small handful of chopped walnuts.

This is a good dish to use up some of your summer harvest vegetables and really quick to make.  Perfect for a week-day dinner.

Also nice mixed with 200g cooked pasta and a handful of black olives.

2 medium size courgettes, 1cm slices
1 small aubergine, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 small round goat's cheese, sliced
Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil to drizzle

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Lay the sliced vegetables and goat's cheese side on over the base of an oven-proof dish, sprinkle over the herbs and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Poached Salmon Pate

500g fresh salmon fillets, skinless
2 bay leaves
4 sage leaves
2 sheets leaf gelatine
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 shallot, roughly chopped
4 tbsp mayonnaise
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
70ml double cream, lightly whipped
Fresh dill to decorate
Salt and freshly milled pepper

  1. Poach the salmon with the bay leaf, lemon zest, lemon juice, peppercorns, salt, chopped shallot and sage leaves in 200ml water for 4 minutes.  Remove the salmon and set aside.  Keep the stock.
  2. Flake the salmon.
  3. Soak the gelatine in 3 tbsp of the cooled salmon stock.
  4. Heat the remaining stock and stir into the gelatine until dissolved.
  5. Put the stock, the salmon, the mayonnaise, lemon juice and seasonings into a food processor and blend.  If you like a bit more texture mix by hand with a wooden spoon.
    Fold in the whipped cream and chopped chives.
  6. Pour into small ramekins. and chill until set.
    Decorate with dill leaves and serve with toasted brown bread.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Some Like It Hot

Lamb Daal Gosht
with Chapatis


900g lamb, leg or fillet, cubed
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
100g ghee or butter
6 cloves
3 cardamom pods (black)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1" piece of cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
250g chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tsp salt or to taste at the end of cooking
2 tsp chilli powder
2 fresh green chillies, seeded and chopped
250g lentils, or yellow split peas, soaked for 2 hours then drained
1 pint water
1 tbsp garam masala

Melt the ghee over a moderate heat and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 2-3 minutes the add the cloves, cardamom, cumin (seeds and powder), coriander, cinnamon and turmeric.  Fry gently until the onion is browned.

Add the meat, tomatoes salt and chilli powder and continue to cook gently until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.

Add the lentils, green chillies and water.  Stir well, cover and leave to simmer gently for 40 minutes until the lentils have melted into the sauce.  If needed add a little more water.

Sprinkle over the garam masala and leave for 5 minutes before serving.

For the chapatis

280g fine wholemeal flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
220ml warm water
1 tbsp ghee or butter

Sift the salt and flour into a bowl, pour in the water and mix to a soft dough.  Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside for at least 1 hour.

To make the chapatis

Take a piece of dough the size of a golf ball, place on a floured surface and roll out thinly to a large circle.  Heat a heavy based frying pan and cook the chapatis for 1 minute each side, if you press down the edges with a damp cloth bubbles will form.  Continue to cook the remainder of the dough and wrap the chapatis in a tea towel until ready to serve.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Apple Charlotte

Vintage Recipe
As it was written in1950

3lb cooking apples
Melted butter or margarine
Thin slices of stale bread
Lemon juice (optional)
Sugar to sweeten fruit

Time 1 hour Temperature Moderate  Regulo mark 4  Electricity 375F  Solid fuel moderate Oil moderate

Method: Wash, peel, core and slice the apples.  Put the apple peel aside.  Grease a pie dish.  Lay the butter or margarine soaked slices of bread at the bottom of the pie dish, if liked, squeeze a little lemon juice over.  Then put a layer of the sliced apples on top and sprinkle with sugar.  Continue with alternate layers of bread, lemon juice, apples and sugar until the dish is filled.  Cover with the peel of the apples and bake in a moderate oven for an hour.  Remove the peel, dust with sugar and serve hot. (for 4-6 persons.)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Runner Bean Chutney

This is a great way of preserving runner beans, especially if like me, you have an excellent harvest this year.  This chutney is good with cheese, cold cuts of meat and spinach goat's cheese and tomato tart (see my posting Friday 6 August).  It's also particularly good with Pizza.

2 lb of runner beans, chopped or sliced
1 lb of chopped onions
1½ pint of vinegar
1½ lb of demerara sugar
½ tablespoon of turmeric
½ tablespoon of dried mustard

Place all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced and thickened.

Pour into warm jars and seal with a lid.

Store in a cool dark place.

Monday, 16 August 2010

After a Sunday roast dinner this dessert with fresh fruit and chilled Chantilly cream was the perfect dessert.  Not too heavy and very refreshing.   Don't you just love summer fruits.

Fresh Fruit Flan 

with Chantilly Cream

For the pastry
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the filling
150g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
100g blueberries
100g green grapes, halved
2 tbsp apricot glaze

Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the icing sugar and the lemon zest, add the egg and mix with a knife to form a dough.  Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Roll the dough to a round to layer a 7" flan dish, prick the base of the flan all over with a fork and bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Heat the apricot glaze and 2 tbsp of water until boiling and set aside.  Arrange the strawberries, grapes and blueberries in the flan case and using a pastry brush paint the glaze all over the fruit.

For Chantilly cream
Mix 300ml lightly whipped double cream with vanilla seeds and 1 tbsp icing sugar.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Something to try at the week-end

  • The perfect accompaniment to home-made soup, this bread is very easy to make.  Also great for cheese on toast and if you are lucky enough to have some left the next day, toasted for breakfast and spread with butter and marmalade.

  • Home-made Seeded bread

  • 400g wholemeal flour
  • 100g rye flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 30g fresh yeast
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 20g caraway seeds
  • 40g poppy seeds
  • 70ml black treacle
  • 330 ml water

  • Place the flours, salt, yeast, sunflower, caraway, and poppy seeds in a large bowl . 

  • Add the black treacle and water and bind together.

  • Place on a flat surface and gently knead the dough for seven minutes before placing it back in the bowl to rest in a warm place for two hours.

  • Place the dough on a floured work surface and shape into a loaf.  Put the dough into a greased 2lb loaf tin to rise for a further hour. 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas 8.  

  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.   Eat warm with soup or cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Chicken Chicken and More Chicken

It occurred to me last night while cooking chicken with lemon and tarragon, that my family eat chicken at least 3 times a week.  Such is it's versatility.  If we are not eating chicken we are enjoying the tasty soups made from chicken stock from the left-over chicken carcasses which seem to be bubbling away on the hob most days of the week.  There is also the lunch time sandwiches made from chicken remnants especially tasty if the chicken has been cooked with lemon, herbs and spices or encased in crispy bacon.  My personal favourite is left-over lemon/tarragon chicken with slices of avocado, cos lettuce and a little mayonnaise.  (today's lunch).

Here are 3 of my favourite chicken recipes.

Chicken with Lemon Tarragon and Garlic

1 chicken, medium-large, washed and patted dry
2 lemons
Large handful tarragon, roughly chopped
1/2 garlic bulb, cut horizontally through the centre
Salt and freshly milled pepper
Olive oil, to drizzle (optional) for crispy skin

Pre-heat the oven to 240C

Cut one of the lemons into slices and place inside the chicken along with the garlic, seasoning and chopped tarragon.  Cut the remaining lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the skin of the chicken. Put the lemon halves inside the chicken.   If using, drizzle a little olive oil over and season with salt and pepper.

Put on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour, rest the chicken for 7 minutes before serving with sweet potato mash and griddled courgettes.

Chicken with Cream and Mustard

4 Chicken legs
150ml double cream
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/ gas 5

Mash together the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to make a thin paste.

Rub the mixture over the chicken, place in a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Reserve the rest of the mixture.

Remove from the oven and add the cream and the last of the mustard mixture. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Until golden brown.

Sprinkle with chopped Parsley.

Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Thai crusted chicken

With salad leaves, fresh coriander and sweet chilli sauce


150g unsalted pistachio nuts
2 tbsp peanut butter
4 large chicken breasts
60g red curry paste
80ml tinned coconut milk
50g fresh coriander leaves, stalks removed

Blend or process pistachio nuts, curry paste, coriander and milk until combined and the nuts are roughly chopped.

Place the chicken breasts into an oiled baking dish and spread the peanut butter over each one, spoon  a quarter of the mixture on top of each breast. Bake, uncovered, in a moderate oven for 20 minutes until the topping is browned and the chicken cooked through.

Stand the chicken for 5 minutes then slice thickly.

Serve with salad leaves and fresh coriander and drizzle with sweet chilli sauce.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Seasonal Recipe

Cherry Cheesecake

This is a recipe I use every year when my cherry tree has an abundance of the shiny, dark red jewels. I have no idea who gave me this recipe, which is written on what is now a pale brown, sticky, sugar encrusted, piece of note paper. I should really rewrite it but I feel this would somehow impair the end result.
(Originally posted 2009)


For the base

200g digestive biscuits
60g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp Cinnamon

For the filling

500g full fat cream cheese
2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
200ml creme fraiche
50g caster sugar
1tbsp cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp cream of tartar

For the topping

3tbsp redcurrant jelly
500g cherries, stones removed
1tbsp granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas 4

To make the base: break the biscuits and place in a food bag, bash with a rolling pin to make crumbs, in a bowl, mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and Cinnamon.

Press the mixture over the base of a 9in springform tin, lined bottom and sides, with greaseproof paper. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

Mix all the ingredients (except the egg whites and cream of tartar) in a large bowl, until smooth. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk until stiff, then fold into the cheese mixture. 

Pour over the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until pale brown and no longer liquid. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool completely, then remove from the oven and chill.

Warm the redcurrant jelly in a pan. Sieve to remove any lumps. Stir in the sugar and cherries and leave to cool.

To serve: remove from the tin and remove the greaseproof paper. Place on a plate and pile the cherries on top. Serve with creme fraiche.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Tea-time Treat

Ginger Biscuits

200g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g light brown sugar
50g black treacle
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g butter
Pre-heat your oven to 160C / 315F / gas mark 3
Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar.
Put the butter and treacle into a saucepan and heat until melted, then add the bicarbonate of soda to the saucepan and stir gently.
Pour the treacle mixture into the flour and spices and mix to a stiff dough. 
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 
Roll dough into small walnut-sized balls, and squash slightly to make individual biscuits.
Bake for  15 minutes, until golden-brown.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Thai Green Curry with Prawns and Squid

For the paste

4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
5 medium hot green chillies, seeded
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
5cm piece of ginger, or galangal if you can get it, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp grated lime zest
1tbsp Thai fish sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the curry

300g raw tiger prawns
1 large squid tube
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
200ml fish stock
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
Shredded basil leaves
Small handful coriander leaves with stalks, chopped

To make the paste

Put all the paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a thick paste.  Spoon into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

To make the curry

Pour the coconut milk and stock into a saucepan then add 4 tbsp of the curry paste, fish sauce, pepper and half the chopped herbs.  Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the prawns and a further tbsp of the paste cook gently for 5 minutes until the prawns are just pink.  Add the squid rings to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining herbs and serve with basmati rice.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Spinach Goat's Cheese and Tomato Tart

A quick and easy to make tart which, with a salad, is great for lunch or dinner.  It's also good cold as part of a picnic.


1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
4 large tomatoes, sliced or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
25g fresh spinach leaves
2 small round soft goat's cheese, cut into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 375F / gas5

Place the pastry on a baking tray and score a line all the way round 1cm from the edge but try not to cut through the pastry.

Put the thin slices from1 of the cheeses over the base of the pastry and sprinkle on the thyme leaves.

Layer the spinach leaves over the cheese, drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Next put the sliced or halved tomatoes over the spinach and top with the rest of the goat's cheese slices.  Drizzle some olive oil over the top and place on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through in the middle (test with a knife)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Chocolate Mousse 
with Coconut Macaroons

This is a great 'make ahead' dessert for a dinner party.  The mousse can be made the day before and the macaroons will keep fresh in an airtight container for a couple of days.

For the chocolate mousse

170g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
7 egg whites , from free range eggs
1/2 tsp lemon juice
40g caster sugar

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form, be careful not to over whisk.

When the chocolate has melted remove it from the heat and quickly whisk in 1/3 of the egg whites.

Slowly fold in the remainder of the egg whites using a spatula being careful not to knock out the air from the mixture.

Pour the mixture into 4 glasses or coffee cups.  Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours until set.

For the coconut macaroons

2 egg whites
100g caster sugar
160g dessicated coconut

Whisk the egg whites, sugar and coconut in a bowl until blended.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C / gas 4

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and using a teaspoon spoon on 12 small balls of the mixture and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on a wire tray and store in an airtight tin.

Serve with the chocolate mousse.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Italian Courgette Soup
with Home-made Rosemary Focaccia 

I have tried many recipes for courgette soup, all of them tasty but this is my favourite, very quick and easy to make and with home made Rosemary Focaccia.  Bellisimo!


2 tbsp olive oil
1kg courgettes, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
Small handful basil leaves, torn
Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
750mls chicken or vegetable stock
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp double cream

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the courgettes, garlic and a just little salt.  Cook for 6 minutes until the courgettes are softened.

Add the stock and cook gently, uncovered for 10 minutes, add the torn basil and cook for 1 more minute.  Remove from the heat.

Blend until smooth.  Place the pan back on a very low heat and stir in the cream, Parmesan and parsley.  Season with pepper, taste and add salt if necessary.  (you may not need more salt if you have used stock cubes).

Reheat very gently before serving.

For the Rosemary Focaccia 

1 tsp sugar
1 (0.2oz ) packet dried yeast
5 tbsp warm water
450g self-raising flour
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (leaves only)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, place the flour and yeast mixture, stir well to combine.  Add more warm water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough comes together and all the flour has been absorbed
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to cover it in oil.  Leave covered with a damp tea towel for 30 minutes until doubled in size

Pre-heat the oven to 240C / 475F / gas 9

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface, knead for 1 minute and shape into an oblong.  Place on an oiled baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt flakes and chopped rosemary, bake for 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Herb and Vegetable Tortilla
with Oregano and Sun-dried Tomato Flat bread 

Spanish Tortilla is a thick Spanish omelette traditionally made with potatoes, sometimes onion is added.

My version doesn't contain potatoes but herbs and vegetables from my garden.  I have also added thin slices of Mozzarella cheese to the top and melted it under the grill ,(so it's Spanish with a wee bit of Italian)    It tasted great and went perfectly with the Oregano and sun-dried tomato flat bread.

For the tortilla

Serves 2

4 large eggs
Small handful spinach leaves, torn
8 cherry tomatoes
3 spring onions, chopped
Small handful coriander and flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
6 runner beans, shredded
1 small courgette, diced
6 thin slices Mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the courgettes, spring onions, runner beans and tomatoes.  cook for 1 minute.

Whisk the eggs, season with salt and pepper and add the spinach and herbs.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook, over a low-med heat for 3-4 minutes.  Place the Mozzarella slices over the top and put under a hot grill until the cheese bubbles.

For the flatbread

100g plain flour or wholemeal if you prefer
4 pieces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
Small handful Oregano leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
A little cold water to mix

Add the Oregano and tomatoes to the flour, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Add the olive oil and enough water to make a firm dough.  Knead lightly and cut into 2.

Roll each piece into a round and cook over a high heat in a pre-heated griddle or frying pan for 2 minutes each side.

Serve warm with the tortilla.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Pork Bangers in Red Wine
with Herbs and Broad  Beans

8 good quality pork sausages
280ml red wine
1 tbsp olive oil
250g streaky bacon, chopped
1 clove garlic
200g shallots
2 tsp juniper berries
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
200g mushrooms
1 tsp plain flour
1 tsp mustard powder
25g softened butter
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Salt and pepper
150g broad beans, shelled and blanched

Heat a casserole, add 1tbsp oil and brown the sausages.  Remove the sausages from the pan and add the bacon, garlic and shallots and brown them.

 Gently crush the juniper berries.  Return the sausages to the casserole and add the wine, berries, thyme and bay leaves, season and bring up to a simmer, simmer gently, replace the lid and turn the heat as low as possible, let it cook for 30 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 20 minutes.  Remove the sausages and vegetables and keep warm.

Mix the flour and mustard powder with the softened butter and whisk a little at a time into the casserole.  Cook for 3 minutes and add the sausages and vegetables into the casserole whisk in the redcurrant jelly and serve with creamed potatoes and steamed broad beans.

Seafood Paella

Paella is the taste of Summer for me.  As soon as the sun is out so is the paella pan. I cooked this one on the hob, using two burners but i...