Bacon and Leek Filo Tart

Last weekend I went to Faversham Night Market held just after the summer solstice and was inspired by all the wonderful tarts and savouries on sale. The following day I set about trying to make a healthier tart so made a few tweaks to cut calories from this googled recipe for Cheesy leek tart. I skipped the cream and used some creme fraiche left over from last weeks almond cake with milk and cut down the cheese quota by a third. 

The resulting tart was delicious even if I do say so myself and went rather well with a few jersey royals and salad. 

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Pork Kebabs

Last week I made these delicious pork kebabs with soy and ginger after stumbling across the recipe on the Asda website as I had some pork fillet to use up. Super easy to make but best marinated overnight if possible to really get the flavour into the meat. I served mine with a green salad and some boiled rice.

I have just got back from an amazing trip to Galicia in north Spain so hope to share some foodie images taken on the trip with you soon.

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Crustless Mini Vegetable Quiches

These mini crustless vegetable quiches came to be after I needed a quick lunch last week. My impending homelessness has made me be a bit more frugal with my food shopping and that means getting inventive with left overs so I set about seeing what else was lurking in the fridge after I finally used up the left over mincemeat and rustled these up. They fit the bill of a healthy lunch that would provide packed lunch left overs for the following day. You could use any leftover bits for these and omit the pesto if you don’t have Mediterranean style veg to hand.

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Cider Baked Pork Chops

I have been making these cider baked pork chops by the king of comfort food – Nigel Slater for a few years now. Very quick to prepare, easy to bung in the oven and just what I needed now that the weather is turning Autumnal. These chops are not at all dry or tough after being roasted in the cider, just make sure you use a good dry cider so that the sauce isn’t too sweet. Having been struggling with the change of light quality these last few weeks but think I have finally cracked the secret…shoot earlier in the day!

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Beef Rendang

I’m not going to lie, this curry takes time but is well worth the investment. This was my second curry from scratch and I am very proud of my first foray into Malaysian curries.

Rendang is a dry curry, the rich spiced coconut sauce caramelising and getting darker as it cooks so be careful to stir it more often towards the end of the cooking time so that the sauce doesn’t burn.

Just don’t think about licking sauce from the lime leaves once you’ve removed them from the pot……after 3 hours of simmering, the sauce is hot and I may now have a scar from the burn on my chin inflicted by lava like sauce dripping from the leaf.

Beef Rendang

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Steak and Ale Pies

I didn’t get chance to enjoy the dish that inspired this steak and ale pie recipe while I was in Edinburgh this summer so upon my return set about making the next best thing. A few years back I ordered a steak and ale pie made with Edinburgh’s Innis and Gunn beer and it was stunning. Luckily London supermarkets sell the stuff so I have never made steak and guinness stew or pie since. You can substitute the Innis and Gunn with another golden beer or Guinness.

steak and ale pies

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Quick & Dirty No Rise Pizza Base

Sometimes you just need pizza. I was craving home made pizza on my return from Cyprus and my housemate has had a few pizza dinners during the World Cup, the smell of which have only stoked that fire. One evening I just couldn’t wait an hour for the dough to prove so googled a no rise base and converted this recipe on The Faux Martha from cups to grams. The base is crispy and you really can have delicious homemade pizza on your plate in around 30 minutes.

There is some wholemeal spelt flour into the dough but use all white plain or spelt flour should you wish. You can use a good quaility pasta sauce, BBQ sauce or pesto, ready grated mozzarella and your choice of toppings. I used Seeds of Change Mediterranean Vegetable pasta sauce, mozzarella, portobello mushrooms and spicy pepperoni.

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Rosemary Spatchcock Chicken

Apologies for my tardiness recently. Since my holiday I have come back to real life with a bump and I’m finding it hard getting back into the groove of things. I seem to be having a crisis of confidence in blogland, my brain doesn’t seem to be able to think ahead or think creatively at the moment. Though I should feel refreshed and renewed after my first holiday in 3 years, I seem to have left my mojo in Cyprus.  I have been preparing posts for blogging but not been happy with the end results so they never made it past draft.

This isn’t much of a recipe if I’m honest but I am loving spatchcocking chickens as it’s so easy and reduces the cooking time. Roast chicken is now on the weekday menu! I found a great video on how to prepare the chicken here

I served this herby chicken with roasted peppers, aubergine, tomato, mushroom and courgette tossed in lemony quinoa which I failed to photograph….. maybe that will become a blog post of its own soon.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Having recently invested in a slow cooker I have been trying out this new way of cooking with various recipes but so far the tastiest and most photogenic thing to come out of it is this amazing slow cooker pulled pork which I found on the Chow website. Its so easy as you just coat you hunk of pork shoulder with the spice rub and sit it on a bed of onion with some stock and wait for the slow cooker to work its magic. I found the pork already tasted so good so I didn’t want to cover it all in BBQ sauce but opted to add some on the side.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can cook it in the oven as follows: preheat the oven to 220c or gas mark 7. Line a roasting tin with sheets of foil big enough to fold over the top of the pork. Put the pork into the hot oven for about 40 minutes until well browned, then take out and turn down the heat to 125c or gas mark ½. Fold the foil over the top to make a sealed parcel of pork. Return to the oven and cook for about 6-7 hours, then turn the heat back up to 220c or gas mark 7 and cook the pork, uncovered, for 10 minutes to crisp up.

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Italian Meatballs in Chunky Tomato Sauce

The Hairy Dieters: How to love food and lose weight is one of my favourite cookbooks and their Italian Meatballs in Chunky Tomato Sauce recipe has become a staple in my kitchen now. I cannot recommend the book enough. The meatballs are easy and delicious, freeze well and make a quick low calorie dinner with a small serving of pasta and a big salad.

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