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Jul. 15th, 2011



Sweet potato and coconut risotto

Inspired by http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/sweet-potato-risotto-00000000007666/index.html
but with the addition of coconut milk rather than wine, this lends a rich, creamy taste, and with a handful of pinenuts stirred through, gives a little extra protein.

Serves 4
| Hands-On Time: 40m |
Total Time: 40m



  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed.
  4. Measure 3½ cups of water. Add ¾ cup at a time and cook, stirring occasionally and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. It should take 25 to 30 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.
  5. Stir in the Parmesan and oregano.



Gruyere and chive chicken roulade

Found here http://homecooking.about.com/od/chickenrecipes/r/blpoul110.htm
Gruyere cheese and ham are rolled up into chicken breasts and topped with wine gravy for an elegant presentation.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 65 minutes


  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned
  • 4 lean smoked ham slices
  • 4 Gruyere cheese slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.).

Slice three-quarters of the way horizontally through the chicken breasts, cutting through the rounded edge; open out, cover with plastic wrap and beat with a rolling pin to flatten.

Cover each chicken fillet with a ham slice, then a Gruyere slice. Set aside 1 tablespoon chives. Sprinkle rest over cheese. Roll up chicken like a jellyroll; secure with wooden picks or string.

In an ovenproof pan, heat olive oil and cook chicken rolls gently, turning occasionally or until sealed. Pour off excess oil. Add garlic, wine, and seasoning to pan, cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Place roulades on a dish; remove wooden picks or string and keep warm.

Put pan on high heat and boil rapidly to reduce contents slightly; add cream and reserved chives and heat through.

Cut each chicken roulade into 1/2-inch slices and arrange them overlapping on 4 warmed dinner plates. Top with sauce and serve immediately, with a selection of cooked baby vegetables.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Cheese Book by Carol Timperley & Cecilia Norman (Salamander Books)

I use bacon instead of ham to add an extra dimension of flavour, yoghurt instead of cream for cost and health effectiveness, and maybe a bit extra wine!




Cheese and walnut stuffed Butternut Squash

From http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/stuffed_butternet_squash
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 1.5kg) or 2 small ones
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • About 50g unsalted butter
  • A little rapeseed or olive oil
  • 75g walnuts, lightly toasted and very coarsely chopped
  • 200g blue cheese, such as Dorset Blue Vinny or Harbourne Blue, crumbled into small lumps (or use a crumbly goat’s cheese)
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 scant tbsp runny honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Make sure the outside of the squash is scrubbed clean. Cut the squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and soft fibres. Put in a roasting dish, add the chopped garlic and a nut of butter to each cavity, then brush with a little oil and season well. Place in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and bake for ¾-1 hour, until the flesh feels very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

2. Scoop the soft flesh and all the buttery, garlicky juices out into a bowl, leaving a 1cm thick layer of flesh still attached to the skin, so the squash holds its shape. Roughly mash the flesh. Keep back a few pieces of walnut and a little of the cheese, then fold the remaining walnuts and cheese into the soft squash, along with the thyme and some more salt and pepper.

3. Spoon the filling back into the empty squash halves and scatter on the reserved cheese and walnuts. Finish with the merest trickle of honey, then return the squash to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Variation: Crispy bacon-stuffed squash

Chop 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon and fry for a minute or two until crisp and golden. Stir these into the soft squash flesh, along with about 50g finely grated Gruyère cheese, a tablespoon of chopped chives and plenty of black pepper. Top with a little more grated Gruyère before returning to the oven.

Variation: Crème fraîche and herb-stuffed squash

Add 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped basil, thyme and oregano to the mashed squash, stir in 3-4 tablespoons of crème fraîche and season very well before returning to the oven.

Easy variations here http://www.lovemoney.com/blogs/travel-food-and-lifestyle/food/10153/butternut-squash-stuffed-with-mushrooms-stilton-and-thyme-- and here http://eattherightstuff.squarespace.com/blog/2007/12/3/roasted-stuffed-butternut-squash-with-goats-cheese.html


Cheesy stuffed Red Peppers


Preparation Time: 10 mins Cooking Time: 35 minutes
How Difficult Easy Freeze? No




Metric Imperial
2 medium red peppers 2 medium red peppers
50 g long grain rice (see 1st picture description below) 2 oz long grain rice (see 1st picture description below)
125 g Cheddar cheese 4 1/2 oz Cheddar cheese
1 large egg 1 large egg
1 desert spoon olive oil 1 desert spoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon English mustard 3/4 teaspoon English mustard
1/2 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 small onion 1/2 small onion
Salt - couple of pinches Salt - couple of pinches
Pepper Pepper

Put the oven on to preheat at 190°C / 375°F or Gas Mark 5. Study the instructions for cooking the rice. It's likely that it can be started cooking at the same time as the red peppers are put on to cook (next step).

Most types of rice are OK for this recipe, we used a mixed American Long Grain and Wild rice as an experiment. See the picture on the left. It was very tasty and we would recommend this.

Cut the red peppers in half, cut out the central white pith and seeds. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and scatter lightly with salt and pepper.

Place in the preheated oven at 190C / 375F or Gas Mark 5. Cook the red peppers for 15 minutes to soften them up.
When the rice is cooked drain away the water, rinse it in very hot water and place in a mixing bowl. I worked out the rice cooker and left out the rinsing stage.

Grate the cheese, chop the onions, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix the cheese, onions, eggs, rice, Worcestershire Sauce and mustard all up in a bowl.

When the red peppers have cooked for 15 minutes remove them from the oven and drain them of any pepper juices.
I poured these juices into the rice mixture.

Fill each of the pepper halves with the mixture from the bowl and replace in the oven for another 15 minutes. Turn on the grill to a medium heat. When the filled peppers have cooked in the oven, put them under the grill for two minutes to brown the cheese.

Serve two halves with vegetables as a main meal or one half as a starter.

To add extra interest to a relatively bland dish, either add capers, chopped sundried tomatoes, anchovies or olives - something with a clean, sharp or salty flavour, maybe even smoked bacon. Double the W sauce/mustard.



Juicy meatloaf


Original to be found here http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/626/juicy-meatloaf.aspx


Makes: 4 - 6 servings
  • Meatloaf:
  • 450g minced beef
  • 90g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato relish or ketchup
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Filling:
  • 1 egg
  • 30g butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon chicken stock granules
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Topping:
  • 110g breadcrumbs
Prep:15 mins | Cook:1 hour 15 mins
Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together until well combined. Place half of this mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin.
Mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined. Spread evenly over the mince.
Top with the remaining mince and sprinkle over breadcrumbs.
Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 1 1/4 hours or until meatloaf is cooked through and no longer pink. Serve hot or cold.

I modified it with garam masala in the filling, couple of spoonfulls, and it would work well with chopped shitake mushrooms or some kinds of seed or nut (sunflower or pinenut) throughout it. As it is, its a good basic recipe.

Jun. 13th, 2011



Smoked Paprika Honey Roast Chicken



Simply divine. Best way to cook this is with the vegatables underneath the chicken so they get infused with the juices as the bird cooks. Works just as well on thighs/drumsticks, and the juices gelify when cooled which I like to use melted onto toast.

Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken Recipe


  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt (or 1 teaspoon salt plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole 4-5 pound roasting chicken


1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Rinse the chicken off with cold water. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels (otherwise the paste won't stick).

2 Mix together the paprika, honey, lemon juice, butter, garlic salt, and pepper. Spread over the entire surface of the chicken and place on a shallow baking pan.

3 Bake at 325°F for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. You may need to adjust the time depending on how big your chicken is. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 160°F for the breast and 165°F for the thigh.

Yield: Serves 4.

Jan. 7th, 2011



Nona's curried chicken legs

8 Chicken drumsticks
Half a block (approximately 200 -250 grams) of mild cheddar cheese (no point using strong as the curry masks it anyway)
2 desertspoons plain white flour
1-2 desertspoons of Korma curry powder

Heat oil in overproof dish, grate cheese and mix with flour and curry powder to a fine crumbly consistency, coat the chicken legs in the oil, lay in the overproof dish and sprinkle with half the curry/cheese mixture, cook for 20-30 minutes (approximately halfway cooked), turn them over, sprinkle with the rest of the curry/cheese mixture, then cook until done (golden brown and clear juices)
Cook in top over (approx gas mark 6/200-260 C)

Jul. 12th, 2010



Turkey, Prune and Aubergine pie

Serves 4 to 6

8 oz/250 g shortcrust pastry
egg of milk for the glaze

12oz/350g chicken meat, cut into small pieces (or turkey)
12 prunes, stoned, soaked in tea and chopped
1 large aubergine
8oz/250 g onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tbs soya sauce
1 tbs oil
black pepper

Halve the aubergine, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for half an hour. Rinse and pat dry. Grill on both sides until soft and chop into cubes. If the aubergines are young they can be chopped and put straight into fry with the onions.
Chop the onions and fry in the oil with chicken (or turkey) pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and stir over a low heat for about 5 minutes.
Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and line a 10 inch/25cm pie dish. Pour in the filling and cover with the remaining pastry, leaving a hole in the centre to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the oven at gas mark 5, (375F, 190C) for 40 - 45 minutes. The pastry can be glazed before baking with beaten egg or milk. 

Jul. 10th, 2010



Lime and Cinnamon Chicken Fajitas

Fairly quick and easy and definitely something to make again
Found on the UKTV food website

The only modifications I made were adding an extra chicken breast and not having the time to make my own tortilla wraps

Prep time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook time:
30 min

Gino D`Acampo combines a sizzling pepper stir-fry, marinated chicken and warm tortillas in these moreish Mexican fajitas


For the chicken

For the vegetables

  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the tortillas

To serve


1. Slice the chicken breasts into strips, about 2cm wide, and place in a large bowl.

2. Add the lime rind and juice, the caster sugar, oregano, cayenne and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes - longer if you have the time.

3. Meanwhile, make the tortillas. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

4. Rub in the lard, and pour in the water in a steady stream, until the mixture becomes a firm but pliable dough.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic.

6. Divide the dough into 6 equal sized pieces and roll each piece out to make a 30cm circle. Cover with cling film to prevent them drying out.

7. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over a medium heat. Cook each tortilla for about 1 minute on each side, or until the surface begins to blister and turn golden. Keep the cooked tortillas warm and pliable by wrapping in a clean, dry tea towel.

8. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender.

9. Stir in the peppers and onions and cook for a further 3 - 4 minutes, until the chicken strips are cooked through and the vegetables are soft and tender.

10. Spoon the chicken mixture into a serving dish and bring to the table with the cooked tortillas, guacamole, salsa and soured cream. Keep the tortillas wrapped.

12. To serve, spread a little salsa over a warm tortilla and top with a spoonful of guacamole. Heap a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the centre and finish with a dollop of soured cream. Fold the tortilla over the filling and serve straight away.

Cook's Tips
To make rolling out tortilla dough easier and quicker - place each dough ball between two sheets of baking parchment or cling film before rolling.

Kids love these too - but if they're not keen on the heat, omit the cayenne pepper.


Jul. 1st, 2010



Savoury Beef and Bean Crumble

The original recipe is here.
My personal alterations are to add mushrooms and double the crumble topping


serves 4
500 g (1 lb) lean minced beef
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, coarsely grated
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
150 ml (1/4 pint) beef stock
150 g (5 oz) can tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
425 g (15 oz) can baked beans in tomato sauce

crumble topping

75 g (3 oz) porridge oats
25 g (1 oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
50 g (2 oz) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
40 g (1 1/2 oz) margarine, melted


1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Melt the margarine in a large saucepan, add the onion, carrot and celery and fry gently for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly coloured. Add the minced beef and fry over moderate heat for 3-4 minutes until browned.

2. Add the stock to the pan with the tomato puree, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring.

3. Meanwhile, make the crumble topping: mix the oats in a small bowl with the flour, oregano and grated cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, then season well with black pepper. Stir in the melted margarine.

4. Stir the baked beans into beef mixture and heat through, then transfer the mixture to a 1.75 L/3 pint ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Serve hot, straight from the dish.

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