dark chocolate pannacotta

This recipe is a dairy free take on Black Forest gateau which is a favourite pudding of mine. It’s really silky smooth, rich and chocolatey and is great on its own or with whipped cream if you are not dairy free or with dairy free vanilla ice cream. The decorations are optional, or you can customise it with whatever you fancy like fresh berries.

Continue reading

vanilla pannacotta

This dairy free recipe for pannacotta is really silky and creamy and it has the delicious flavours of lemon zest and bourbon vanilla. It’s easier to make than you think and you can make it the day before and store it in the fridge till you want to serve it. Perfect as a refreshing light pudding at the end of a heavy meal. You can serve it on its own with my cranberry sauce or with fresh berries or whatever you fancy.

Continue reading

italian mussels steamed in beer with gremolada and breadcrumbs

This recipe is inspired by my father’s range of beers called Paolozzi made by The Edinburgh Beer Factory.

It is really Italian in all its flavours and I’m sure he would have loved it. Beer and mussels go really well together and so does crusty bread so I combined them all together. Mussels are cheap and sustainable, plus they cook in minutes. This recipe is perfect as a starter or light supper. And of course it’s perfect with beer.

If you fancy it with chips there are a couple of recipes on my blog for for easy fries too: healthy matchstick fries and the perfect roasted fries.

Continue reading

nicoise tartines with fried capers

Any one who reads my blog knows I loves salad sandwiches…but not just any old salad sandwich, mine are pimped up sandwiches made with a combination of new recipes and traditional ones like this nicoise tartine recipe. I scorch or roast my bread in a pan with olive oil so it’s extra crispy and tasty… then I layer crunchy capers on top of creamy soft boiled eggs with tuna salad and crunchy scorched bread. It’s colourful and healthy and tastes delish. I have also made them in advance and stored them in the fridge for an hour or so and they were still lovely and crispy.

Continue reading

lentil and feta salad

This salad is just an assembly job and only takes a few minutes to make. It originally comes from a low carb cook book I covet called Easy Low Carb and the recipes are complied by different authors. I think it’s out of print now, but it’s full of recipes to inspire anyone who wants to cook low carb or low G.I. but wants to keep it interesting and delicious. I have tweaked this recipe a bit to suit my tastes. I replaced the vinegar with lemon juice and added a tad of sweetness and lemon zest because lemon zest from organic unwaxed lemons is a really healthy addition to your food as well as super tasty. This salad is perfect with fish or meat or with other salads or just as a snack.

Continue reading

midnight spaghetti

You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella.  Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.

Recipe

Serves 2 but you can double or triple the quantities.

Ingredients:
250g dried spaghetti (half a regular packet)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves garlic cut into slivers
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-2 tablespoons of vermouth (optional)
a large handful of cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

DSCF1569 Continue reading

japanese broccoli

A few weeks ago my godson had his thirteenth birthday dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Mayfair called Roka. We went with his mum and his godfathers, Ralph and Tim (Ralph, who is the genius blog creator on here) The food was amazing, we ate lots of amazing dishes including a Japanese risotto, but weirdly the dish that bowled us over hugely was their stir fried broccoli. It was beyond delicious. It was a  perfect combo of savoury and sweet and the broccoli wasn’t over cooked, but just tender enough. I tried to recreate it from memory for last night’s dinner and we all thought it was as good as Roka’s. I could live on it, and it’s perfect if you want to eat broccoli but you aren’t that keen. Brilliant with just plain basmati rice and my Asian sea bass.

Recipe

Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of tender stem broccoli
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce or vegetarian  oyster sauce (I get this in Asian supermarkets) check for gluten
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (I use black ones)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or a teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ tablespoon Soya sauce or gluten free soya sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger cut into tiny matchstick pieces (optional)

dscf2176 Continue reading

poussin

Poussin (Cornish hens) make a great and very easy alternative to turkey on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a turkey for hours and hours they take about 45 minutes to an hour. The meat is much more delicate and juicy than turkey, which can be dry and tough, and the bay leaves give them an amazing flavour. The ancient Romans always flavoured their meat simply with bay leaves and I can see why, it’s the perfect flavour and the meat will be subtly perfumed by the bay. Also if you are new to cooking, this recipe is far less daunting and more manageable than a turkey which requires a lot more time and attending to. I really love this recipe and it’s great with my cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, maple roasted root vegetables, brussel sprouts, red cabbage and all the trimmings.

Recipe

Ingredients:
Poussin (1 per person)
A glug of olive oil
Fresh bay leaves (a few per bird)

DSCF0303 Continue reading

pumpkin risotto

Perfect for a vegetarian dinner party, this risotto can be made with any squash instead, so if pumpkins are not in season you can use what it’s available. It’s not only perfect for a Halloween dinner, but it’s delicious all year round too. It’s baked, so there is no need to stand over a hot stove stirring for half an hour unless you want to make it the traditional way (which is fine too). The crispy sage leaves and the caramelised pumpkin taste amazing together and I like it with a little dribble of balsamic reduction over the top as well.

Recipe

Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 sage leaves, chopped
12 sage leaves, fried till crispy
400g risotto rice
800g pumpkin peeled, cored and cubed
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
30g butter
40g of finely grated Parmesan
More Parmesan to grate on top

pumpkinsagerisotto_ingredients

Continue reading

crab linguine

This is my 100th recipe on the blog. I’m really proud and grateful, thank you for subscribing, and as Julia Child used to say Bon Appétit!

I have had the crab linguine lots of times at Polpo restaurant in Nottinghill Gate with my friend Emily, we always order it and we are obsessed with it as it’s so good. I really wanted the recipe, however it isn’t in their cookbooks or online, so I have had to guess what it is. It took me six attempts before I got it right, that’s a lot of linguine and I’m now booking in to a health farm so I can do my jeans up again, however it was worth it. I really think Polpo have nailed it, and I hope you think I have too. The beauty of it is it only takes about twelve minutes to make and you can keep the ingredients in the store cupboard. Perfect for a stress free dinner party or just dinner for two. Ralph has just cooked and tasted it and he thinks that it is so easy and beyond amazing and you should definitely try it and everyone that has cooked this recipe has said it’s the best crab linguine they have ever had. Give it a try…

Recipe

Serves 2 (double or triple the quantities for more people).

Ingredients:
200g of linguine or spaghetti
170g tin of crab meat (drained which becomes 100g) or 100g of fresh white and/or brown crab meat
½ teaspoon of finely chopped red chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
8 cherry tomatoes halved
A sprig of parsley finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan
1 small clove of garlic minced
2-3 tablespoons of butter
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

dscf2233 Continue reading