Spicy Red Kidney Bean and Black Bean Soup

Spicy Red Kidney Bean and Black Bean Soup

For the first time in more than two years there was peace and quiet in our home. The boys, Neil and our son, drove up to Grimsby for the weekend to visit Gabriel’s paternal grandparents. I opted to stay at home and finish a few projects that have been nagging at me for ages.

Broccoli, Red Pepper and Asparagus with Hoisin Sauce and Couscous

Broccoli, Red Pepper and Asparagus with Hoisin Sauce and Couscous

Every foodie has got his/her own favourite celebrity chef but not once have I heard the name Nadine Abensur come out of anyone’s lips and I think it is high time to give her some credit. Paging through newly released cookbooks these days I feel as if most of these so-called chefs trod through the […]

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

A while ago I realised it is much cheaper to buy a whole chicken than acquiring just my favourite cuts, like breasts or drumsticks. It took some practice to joint a chicken, and by no means am I going to win a chicken chopping contest any time soon, but when I’m done I’m beaming with […]

Shepherds Pie

mg_6581

Just like Spaghetti Bolognaise/Bolognese there are more variations to Shepherd’s Pie than you can wave a stick at. Everyone’s got their own twist on this classic British dish and each time it tastes a little bit different but we all get the general idea of what it’s (supposed to be) like. Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage […]

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

When I was a typical kid, I was a finicky eater especially when it came to vegetables. As far as I can remember the only veggies I ate were peas, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes. Tiny onion pieces in meat dishes were painstakingly picked out and decorated the side of my plate meal after meal. […]

Cantonese Chicken, Shiitake Mushroom, Leek and Water Chestnut Stew

Cantonese Chicken, Shiitake Mushroom, Leek and Water Chestnut Stew

When I think of Chinese food I tend to think of the greasy food served up by my local take-away or a quick, healthy stir-fry prepared by yours truly at home. The concept of a slow-cooked Chinese meal has never even occurred to me until now. I was in for a surprise.

Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs

Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs

The person who coined the term Blue Monday forgot about Wednesdays. Now I’ll do the job properly and call it Worst Wednesday. It’s a typical gray, windy and wet day here in the UK but still I braved the cold because Gabriel had to go to playgroup this morning.

Warm Butterbean, Red Pepper, Green Bean and Mushroom Salad

Kabocha Squash & Cumin Soup

It was inevitable. Of course the first recipe posted this year will be a healthy one. After scoffing down copious amounts of fatty foods and guzzling booze by the bucket even the most health-conscious individual must be feeling slightly guilty after all the debauchery. If I received a penny from every person who’s going on […]

Creamy Potato, Bacon & Brie Tartiflette

Creamy Potato, Bacon & Brie Tartiflette

You can tell it is winter now. Some mornings the harvested corn fields are as white as snow then the ice melts slowly as the sun lazily makes an appearance on the horizon. Sometimes it’s dry, sometimes it rains, wonderfully turning all grassy areas in a muddy sludge, ideal for taking the dogs out for […]

Spiced Chickpea, Carrot, Raisin & Cashew Rice Pilaf

Spiced Chickpea, Carrot, Raisin & Cashew Rice Pilaf

Sharing an office with a 20-month old is anything but dull. Extreme vigilance is required if you don’t want to trip over a ball (or 5), books, pieces of Lego and wooden bricks, an old telephone, plastic trucks, a tub of Play-Doh and a xylophone. Just when I think he’s busy amusing himself with building […]

Baked Jacket Potatoes topped with Savoury Beef Mince & Cheese

Baked Jacket Potatoes topped with Flavoured Beef Mince & Cheese

Banks being bailed out, stock markets crashing (sort of) and world recession looming, what are we to do? Dear readers, stop stealing glances at that fabulous looking fillet steak at the meat counter. Look for other alternatives. No no, rib-eye steak is out! Try again. You’re getting warmer. Closer. Bingo! Mince is the way to […]

Mongolian Lamb & Onion Stir Fry

Mongolian Lamb & Onion Stir Fry

Are you a chǎo or bào type of person? Only after reading on Wikipedia did I realise there are 2 ways to stir fry food. The bào technique is simply tossing your finely chopped ingredients in a red hot wok, stirring it for a few seconds and then it’s out again. The chǎo technique is […]

Chicken Liver & Roast Butternut Squash Pâté

Chicken Liver & Roast Butternut Squash Pâté

First of all I’d like to thank Margot of Coffee and Vanilla for nominating me in November’s Inspiring Food Photography. Competition is indeed tough, considering I’m up against Suganya of Tasty Palettes and Leemei of My Cooking Hut. Go and take a look, but don’t forget: VOTE FOR ME! Just kidding. Not really. Come on, […]

Chinese BBQ Pork Stir-Fry

Chinese BBQ Pork Stir-Fry

Happy Easter, everyone! The weather in UK is especially bad this weekend. At one stage Neil and I were standing at a window, hearing the wind howling from the cold North and analysed what exactly was falling. Was it snow, sleet or hail pattering hard on the windows? We still don’t know, but it melted […]

Sweet Potato Rice

Sweet Potato Rice

I keep a stash of recipes that are ready for publishing in a folder. Ready to do some spring cleaning I paged to the oldest one. Yikes! September was only yesterday, wasn’t it? But…but…but it’s 6 months ago! How could this recipe go unnoticed by me? Okay, let’s admit it; it’s not as fancy as […]

Pork Sausage, Leek, Carrot & Butter Bean Casserole

Pork Sausage, Leek, Carrot & Butter Bean Casserole

Potatoes, or more specifically mash, are almost always on our daily dinner plates, so this dish is a refreshing change. It is so easy to forget about the filling and nutritious qualities of legumes and every time I do come around to eating them I can’t help but ask myself why don’t we eat this […]

Mussels with Leeks, Sherry and Cream

Mussels with Leeks, Sherry and Cream

Once in a while I get a craving for mussels and this is the recipe I usually prepare to satisfy my need. It’s dead easy to follow and very quick to make. What I love especially of this dish is the sauce, so much so that I end up scraping every last drop out of […]

Haricot Bean & Parmesan Soup

Haricot Bean & Parmesan Soup

The reason I love soups is because they are just so versatile. Almost any ingredient can be transformed into a soup and more often that not you hit the jackpot. If not, chances are you can save your creation most of the time, by diluting it, adding salt or cream, you get the idea. Haricot […]

Lamb and Leek Hotpot

Lamb & Leek Hotpot

The first time I came across a hotpot was when Marcus Wareing prepared it in the first Great British Menu series. Even though he took great care to research his subject and prepared it most lovingly I couldn’t help but turn up my nose at it. It’s as if the original cook thought it’s a […]

Tomato, Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup

Tomato, Borlotti Bean and Garlic Soup

Tomato soup is one of those dishes you can’t have as a meal on its own. By the time you get up from the table you have to pee and afterwards you realise it must have been the tomato soup because you’re still damn hungry. To address this problem beans have been added to this […]

Potato, Fennel & Caraway Soup

Potato, Fennel & Caraway Soup

Winter is officially upon us. When I got up this morning and peeked through the window all I could see was white. For a second I thought it snowed, but actually the whole countryside was frosted with ice. Slowly as the sun rose, the ice melted and the once bleak landscape got infused with a […]

Butternut, Green Beans, Red Onions and Tofu with Maple Syrup Glaze

Butternut, Green Beans, Red Onions and Tofu with Maple Syrup Glaze

Who would have thought vegetables can be so seriously moreish? As soon as the veg-filled roasting pan comes out of the oven Neil and guests immediately have to dive in and seize their share. There must be a ravenous fairy living in this house. Or can it be Copper the Fox who lives in our […]

Leek & Mushroom Egg Noodles

Leek & Mushroom Egg Noodles

No doubt it is the butter that makes these noodles taste so good. Folks who are more health conscious feel free to use olive oil (or any oil of your choice) instead of butter. I love having these noodles as an accompaniment to Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns. If you fancy this dish as a […]

Lamb Meatballs with a Creamy Dill Sauce

Lamb Meatballs with a Creamy Dill Sauce

The weather here in the UK has turned for the worse. It’s cold, damp and everything is grey. The sun hangs low in the sky, casting a stark yellow light fooling you into thinking it is 5pm in the afternoon when it is actually only noon. The novelty of shopping while it is dark hasn’t […]

Chicken, Bacon & Pistachio Terrine

Chicken, Bacon & Pistachio Terrine

A savoury terrine is ideal for the summer and makes an ideal light lunch or starter. Elegant or rustic, it suits every type of occasion and can be served at picnics, buffets or anything you can think of! Eat it hot. Eat it cold. Eat it on crusty bread, or like me with a crunchy […]

Simmered Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmered Fresh Tomato Sauce

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how easily tomatoes grow here in the UK. For four years in a row we’ve had bumper crops of tomatoes. With Gabriel’s arrival this year our vegetable plot got grossly neglected and our poor tomatoes missed out on the tender loving care they needed. Yet we […]

Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns

Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns

We live in a tiny, sleepy village called Canewdon. When two cars have driven through the high street it has been a very busy day. The closest city, Southend-on-Sea, is twenty minutes’ drive away. More correctly, it is a seaside town that has been described as “interesting” by a fellow South African. Others, including me, […]

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Mushroom Stew

Sweet Potato, Spinach & Mushroom Stew

Yams, cassava, rice, peanuts, spinach, plantains and peppers are just a few ingredients that are regularly used in the rich West African cuisine. What surprised me most was the peanut butter in this dish. Curry and peanut butter sure sounds like a strange combination, but in reality it works beautifully. The peanut butter adds depth […]