spanish style clams

I have taken the flavours of a classic Spanish clam stew and rejigged it so it tastes great even though there is no meat in it. Normally it would have Chorizo in it, so I used smoked paprika which is the flavor of Chorizo instead and it tastes just as good. It’s a really easy recipe and great for a date night. Also, the frozen Clams were a bargain £3.59 for 500g in the freezer section of Waitrose. I always buy a few boxes and keep them in the freezer just in case.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, finely sliced
Pinch of hot smoked paprika
Pinch of saffron threads
500g of clams (thawed if using frozen)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sherry
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of sourdough bread (optional)

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moroccan carrot salad

I love this recipe so much. I got it from the Moro cookbook and have tweaked it a little to make it easier. Every time I serve it everyone adores it and wants the recipe. The taste is sweetly delicious and very Moroccan because it’s really fresh and fragrant with the perfume of cumin and coriander. It’s great with meat, salads and couscous dishes or with my vegetable tajine. I don’t peel the carrots because I can’t be bothered and I assume most of the goodness and taste is in the skin and no one notices if you do or don’t.

Recipe

Serves 3 but you can double or triple the ingredients

Ingredients:
About 6 medium sized carrots
1 tsp ground cumin
1 minced garlic clove
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Small bunch of coriander

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preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are a key ingredient in Moroccan cooking. The Moroccans put them in tagines and salads. They become sweet and mellow after pickling and are a sort of tangy condiment, pepping up the flavour of anything you stick them in. You only need a small amount finely chopped but according to John Gregory-Smith in his Moroccan cookbook Orange Blossom and Honey, you can also cut a slice and put it in your martini. Lemons are really healthy too, and good for your immune system, liver function, eyes and is the only food in the world that is anionic, which makes them really beneficial to your health.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1 sterilised jar
4 unwaxed lemons
7 tablespoons of salt
Water

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dal

I have cooked this simple recipe for a thousand years…it is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery book. Not only is it the nicest dal recipe I’ve ever tried, it’s my friend Sophie’s fave recipe for dal too. Its thick creamy and tasty, and lentils are fantastic for your digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol amongst many other things.

Serves 2 for a main, 4 for a side.

Ingredients:
7 oz (200g) red split lentils
1 litre of water
2 thin slices of unpeeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
A pinch of ground asafetida (optional)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Finely chopped fresh coriander

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pad thai

This version of Pad Thai is a delicious warm noodley stir fry salad. Perfect on a summer evening. You can add cooked prawns or chicken to this recipe, if you want to, it’s totally versatile, but stands alone as an outstanding vegan recipe. I love that it’s a tangy mixture of flavours and it’s a variety of textures. It was a great hit at dinner with my vegetarian boy pals (it can be made with white noodles too).

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
300g of flat brown rice noodles or brown rice tagliatelle or fettuccini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 minced cloves of garlic
200g of smoked tofu or plain firm tofu cut in to smallish pieces
4 tablespoons of soya sauce (gluten free if appropriate )
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Juice of one lime and another cut into wedges
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Chilli sauce to taste
3 finely chopped salad onions
½ red chilli very finely sliced
Handful of chopped peanuts to garnish
A sprig of chopped coriander

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express salmon kedgeree

Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two.

Recipe

Serves 4 for brunch. 2 for dinner or lunch. You can double or triple the quantities depending on how many people are eating.

Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets
1 bay leaf
a tablespoon of butter or a tablespoon of coconut oil
1 large shallot or a small onion finely sliced
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cumin
1 bag of pre-cooked brown or white basmati rice from the supermarket
3 eggs
2 tablespoons double cream or yoghurt (or cream substitute, or dairy free yoghurt)
chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon

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the perfect vinaigrette

Well I thinks it’s perfect, and I was taught this version by a proper chef when I cooked in a restaurant in the King Road in Chelsea during my art school holidays. I have always made it the same way ever since as I think its bang on and my friend Babs thinks it’s the best vinaigrette she’s ever tasted and wanted the recipe, so here it is Babs….One of the reasons why I think it’s so delicious is because it’s got English mustard in it instead of French, and it’s the right balance of flavours, sweet and piquant. You can’t necessarily identify it, but English mustard gives it the best flavour. Great with sliced tomatoes, lightly steamed broccoli or any of your favourite salad ingredients.

For one medium sized salad, double everything for a large one.

Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon of English mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of water

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