Green Garden Veg Pie (V)

Green Garden Veg Pie (V)

50g butter

50g flour

2 tsp mustard powder

600ml full fat milk

200g mature cheddar grated

2 large potatoes, sliced into rounds

1 head broccoli cut into little florets

1 head cauliflower cut into little florets

200g frozen peas

small bunch chives, snipped

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and mustard powder and cook for 1 min. Gradually stir in the milk until smooth with no lumps, then keep stirring until mixture begins to bubble and thickens to a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in all but a handful of the grated cheese. Heat the oven to 180C. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the potato slices for 5 mins, tip in the broccoli and cauliflower for another 3 – 4 mins and then the peas for a another 1 min. Drain all the veg, and pat dry. Reserve enough potato slices to cover the top of the finished dish, then gently stir the rest of the vegetables into the sauce with the chives. Tip into a deep ovenproof dish, arrange over the reserved potatoes slices and then sprinkle over the remaining cheddar, Bake for 20-25 mins until the topping is golden and crisp. Serve straight from the dish

Cod Loin with Bacon Crumble Topping: Spaghetti with Leeks, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Cod Loin with Bacon Crumble Topping

50g butter, room temperature

1 tbsp coarsely chopped tarragon leaves

4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped small

25g fresh white breadcrumbs

4 plump cod loins

1 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and fresh black pepper

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

Fresh tender stem broccoli and green beans to suit [

Mix the butter and tarragon with a grinding of black pepper. Tip the bacon into a hot frying pan and dry fry until starting to go nice and crisp. Stir in the breadcrumbs, a little pepper and fry, stirring, until turning golden Stir in a third of the tarragon butter and, as soon as it has melted remove pan from the heat. Score the fish on the diagonal and coat each loin in the flour, pat off any excess. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan frying pan until very hot. Put in the fish skin side down. Let it cook, don’t move it for about 5-6 mins. Meanwhile cook the green vegetables until just done. Turn the fish over, turn off the heat and let the fish cook for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through. Drain veg and toss in the remainder of the tarragon butter. Divide veg between four plates Lay the fish on the veg skin side down and sprinkle over the bacon crumble topping


Spaghetti with Leeks, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

1tbsp olive oil
500g pack of leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways and finely sliced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
20g walnuts, roughly chopped
300g wholewheat spaghetti
50g broccoli florets, small
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp 50% less fat creme fraiche
120g best Gorgonzola rind removed.

Heat oil in a large, lidded frying pan over a low heat. Add the leaks, season and stir to coat in the oil. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 10 mins or until the leeks start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a further 4 mins until the leeks are completely soft. Toast the walnuts in another frying pan over a medium heat 5 – 6 mins, stirring occasionally. Cook the spaghetti to the pack instructions adding the broccoli for the final 2 mins. Drain and reserve 100ml of the cooking water, crumble the cube into the water then add to the leeks and stir in the creme fraiche. Cook over a low heat for about 1 min. Add the spaghetti, broccoli and Gorgonzola. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce and melt the cheese. Scatter the walnuts and serve


Bonfire Night Nibbles, Parkin, Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

Bonfire Night Nibbles

16 milk chocolate oat biscuits [milk chocolate hobnobs]
8 large marshmallows
8 tsp dulce de leche [ use carnation caramel if you can’t find it ]
1 banana, cut into 16 slices.

Heat the grill to high and line a baking tray with parchment. Put 8 hobnobs on the tray with a marshmallow on top and grill until slightly brown and melting. Put a tsp of dulce de leche on the remaining hobnobs and top with 2 banana slices. Sandwich the biscuits together. Enjoy,



200g butter, plus extra for greasing
1 large egg
4 tbsp milk
200g golden syrup
85g treacle
85g light brown sugar
100g medium oatmeal
250g SRF
1 tbsp ground ginger

Heat the oven to 140C. Butter a deep 22 cm square cake tin and line with baking parchment. In a jug beat the egg and milk together. Gently melt the syrup, treacle, sugar and butter together in a large pan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Mix together the oatmeal, flour and the ginger and stir into the syrup mixture, followed by the egg and milk. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 50min to 1 hour until the cake feels firm and a little crispy on top. Cool in the tin, turn out and cut into cubes.


Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

125g butter
125 dark chocolate [70% cocoa] broken into pieces
2 large eggs
150 granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75 g plain flour
50g mini marshmallows

Heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin, 3-4 cm deep with baking parchment. Melt together the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. With an electric handheld whisk, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until thick and creamy. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Finally stir in the flour and marshmallows. Pour into the baking tin and cook for 20 mins until the centre is just set. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 mins before cutting into squares.


Garlickly Lamb with Peppers and Couscous & Chicken Pesto Crumble

Garlickly Lamb with Peppers and Couscous

  • 2 x 110g packets flavoured couscous [ or plain ]
  • 50g bought or homemade garlic butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 4 lamb leg steaks
  • 250g peppers seeded and cut into strips
  • 20 – 25 Kalamata olives
  • handful of fresh mint or flatleaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, squeezed.
  • 4 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Melt the garlic butter in a large frying pan over a med heat with one tbsp of the oil. Add the lamb steaks and fry for about 4 mins each side. Mean-while tip the couscous into a heat proof bowl and pour in 400ml of boiling water and the remaining oil. Stir, cover, and set aside for the water to absorb. Tip the peppers and olives into the pan with the lamb. Roughly chop the herbs, add to the pan, and continue to cook until the lamb and peppers are cooked. Pour in the lemon juice, season. Toss the toasted almonds into the couscous and stir to mix. Serve the couscous and top with the lamb.


Chicken Pesto Crumble

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic cloves
  • 1 jar of readymade pesto
  • 700g baby new potatoes
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 550g tomatoes chopped
  • 1 – 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 175g mozzarella diced
  • Tabasco, to taste
  • 85g fresh white bread crumbs
  • dressed mixed salad leaves to serve

Cut the potatoes in half if large, boil in salted water for about 10 – 15 mins, drain well and set aside. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch-wide strips. In a large fry-ing pan fry the chicken and onion in 1 tbsp of oil 2 – 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 6 – 7 mins over a med heat, stir in the puree halfway through. Stir the potatoes into the chicken mixture with the mozzarella and the pesto [add to taste]. Season and add a splash of Tabasco. Spoon into a large gratin dish. Crush the garlic and add to the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil. Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and cook in the oven preheated to 170C for about 35 – 40 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve with the salad.


Mushroom & Leek Spaghetti & Vanilla Apple Sponge

Mushroom & Leek Spaghetti

2 tbsp olive oil
350g leeks, sliced
380g mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
50g, crusty white bloomer, blitzed into breadcrumbs
300g spaghetti
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
10g fresh basil roughly chopped

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add leaks and fry for about 5 – 6 minutes until softened. Add mushrooms, increase heat and fry for about 8 mins until golden and tender and any water has evaporated. Stir in the garlic and oregano, season and fry for about 1 min until garlic is fragrant. Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and fry the breadcrumbs over a medium heat for 3-4 mins, stirring frequently until crunchy and golden. Season and set aside on a plate. Cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions. drain well. Stir into the mushroom and leeks and toss to combine well. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, then scatter with the basil leaves and breadcrumbs. Serve with crusty bread if you like.


Vanilla Apple Sponge

250g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing
250g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g SRF
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds removed and reserved
3 small Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 180C. butter a 20cm spring form tin, then line the base with baking paper. Using a mixer beat the caster sugar and butter together until mixture turns pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla seeds then beat together quickly to make a smooth batter. Tip into the prepared tin, then lay the apple wedges on top, poking them halfway into the mix. Don’t worry if the apples look crowded-they will sink as they cook. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and the cinnamon, then bake for about 1 hr 5 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the sponge is risen and golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes, release the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a good dollop of double cream.



Basque Fish Paella
450g white fish [cod or haddock]
140g chargrilled calamari rings [ready to eat] M&S
2 x 100g cooked mussels [M&S]
1 x 165g raw Honduran king prawns [M&S]
1 large onion
120g large tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic
1 med green and red peppers
2 sprigs of fresh parsley
Pinch of saffron or 1/2 tsp turmeric
120ml good quality olive oil
473ml water
275g paella rice
100g frozen peas
2 tsp salt
lemon wedges to serve
Cut the fish into bite sized pieces. Finely chop the
onions, core and finely chop the tomatoes. Peel and
roughly chop the garlic. De-seed the peppers and
finely chop the flesh. Pound the garlic, parsley and
saffron or turmeric together in a mortar.
Heat the oil in a Paella pan or a large deep-frying
pan and sauté the onion and sweet peppers until
lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and sauté for
about 2 minutes. Add the fish and simmer for about
5 minutes. Add the prawns, calamari rings and cockles
and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic
mix and the water and bring to the boil. Add the rice,
peas and salt, mix well to combine. Cook for 5
minutes on a higher heat. Lower the heat, cover
loosely with foil and simmer for about 10 – 15
minutes until the rice is just cooked, stirring every
now and again making sure it doesn’t catch. Remove
off the heat and set aside for about 5 minutes before
serving. Serve with lemon wedges and a glass or two
of chilled wine.



Rosemary Chicken with Tomato Sauce & Cheese, Ham & Olive Loaf

Rosemary Chicken with Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped

1 red onion, finely sliced

3 large cloves of garlic, sliced

3 anchovy fillets, chopped

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp capers, drained

75ml red wine

Heat half the oil in a large pan, then brown the chicken all over. Add half the chopped rosemary, stir to coat, then set aside on a plate. In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil and gently cook the onions for about 5 mins until soft. Add the garlic, anchovies, and remaining rosemary, then fry for a few mins more until fragrant. Pour in the tomatoes and capers with the wine. Bring to the boil and add the chicken pieces to the pan. Season with S & P. Cover, then cook for about 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through. Season again if needed. Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.


Cheese, Ham & Olive Loaf

150 ml dry white wine

4 large eggs

150ml olive oil

250g self-raising flour

140g Gruyere cheese grated.

200g thick sliced ham, cubed.

140g good quality pitted green olives, halved if required.

140g good quality pitted black olives, halved if required.

Heat oven to 170C fan. Butter a 900g loaf tin and line with baking parchment. In a bowl beat the wine with the eggs until frothy. Add the oil and sift in the

flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients to combine. Season with S & P. Pour into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 50 – 60 mins until golden brown and firm to touch. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into chunky slices. Serve with a good spoonful of onion chutney or a bowl of homemade soup.

Blue Cheese Pasta (V) & Fruit & Nut Squares

Blue Cheese Pasta (V)

400g penne pasta

25g butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp fresh chopped sage, or 1 tsp dried

100g stilton cubed

handful of walnuts, chopped

Boil the pasta according to pack instructions. In a saucepan, melt the butter, then gently fry the onion until golden. Add the garlic and sage, fry for a further 2 mins, then remove the pan from the heat. Drain the pasta and reserve some cooking water. Stir through the onion, garlic, stilton and 2 tbsp cooking water, then sprinkle with toasted walnuts and serve.



Fruit & Nut Squares with Chocolate Dip

200g porridge oats

25g desiccated coconut

140g butter

50g light muscovado sugar

5 tbsp golden syrup

175g mixed nuts, pistachio, unsalted cashews, chunkily chopped

50g dried cranberries or cherries

100g bar milk or dark chocolate

Heat the oven to 180C fan. Butter an 18 x 28 cm cake tin and line base with baking parchment. Mix the oats and coconut together in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a pan over a med heat with the sugar and syrup. Give it an occasional stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Take the

pan off the heat and stir in the oat mix, nuts and dried fruit. Leave to get cold. Cut or break two thirds of the chocolate into chunks and stir into the oat mix. Tip and spread the mixture into the tin. Bake for 25 – 30 mins until pale and golden. When completely cold, melt the remaining chocolate, drizzle over the top and cut into bars


Ham Mac & Cheese / Spiced Turkey Noodles

Ham Mac & Cheese

300g dried macaroni

40g butter

40g plain flour

500ml whole milk

2 med leeks thinly sliced

1/2 tsp mustard powder

250g mixed cheeses [blue cheese, good cheddar, Caerphilly]

1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

150g ham, cut into smallish pieces

100g mozzarella, chopped

75g breadcrumbs

25g grated Parmesan

Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan according to packet instructions. Cook the leeks in a frying pan in a little butter until softened set aside. In a separate saucepan, heat the butter until melted, then whisk in the flour until smooth and cook for about 2 mins, or until pale golden brown. Whisk in the milk a little at a time, waiting until the mixture has thickened after each addition before adding any more and whisking continually. After all the milk has been added to the mixture you should have a smooth sauce. Add all the cheeses to the sauce and heat gently until it has all melted. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper, mustard powder and nutmeg. Drain the cooked pasta and tip back into the pan and tip the sauce mixture in with the pasta. Add the leeks and ham and stir into the pasta to combine. Transfer to a large oven proof dish and top with the chopped mozzarella, breadcrumbs and the Parmesan. Place under a hot grill until the topping is golden brown and bubbling



Spiced Turkey Noodles

250g medium egg noodles

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 limes juiced

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves thinly sliced

1 red chilli thinly sliced

500g cooked turkey, sliced

2 spring onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal

100g beansprouts

30g salted peanuts [or any other nuts you have left over]

chopped coriander and lime wedges to serve

Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, then rinse in cold water, set aside. Mix the soy, lime juice and sugar together.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and add the garlic, chilli, turkey and spring onions. Fry for about 2 mins, then tip in the noodles and the beansprouts and fry for about 1 – 2 mins more. Pour the sauce into the pan and toss everything together well, working quickly to coat all the vegetables and noodles. Once everything is heated through well, season, and sprinkle with the coriander and the nuts, serve with lime wedges.


Food For Fireworks

Sticky Sausage Baps with Beer Braised Onions

12 pork sausages

3 tbsp runny honey

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp soy sauce

6 white floury baps, lightly toasted

Onions: – 25g butter

1tbsp olive oil

3 large onions, halved and finely slice

200 ml dark ale [ not bitter ]

1tbsp soft dark brown sugar

To serve – American mustard, ketchup, chilli sauce and brown sauce

To make the onions, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Fry the onions for about 20 mins until soft. Stir in the ale and sugar, then cook for another 25 – 30 mins until it has evaporated and the onions have turned golden and caramelised. Fry the sausages in a large frying pan until golden all over and cooked through. In a bowl, mix the honey, mustard and soy, and drizzle over the sausages. Pile the sausages into the baps with some of the onions and your favourite sauce. These are ‘ YUMMY ‘ I don’t think you will have made enough !!!



Spiced Toffee Apple Traybake

250g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

200g golden caster sugar

75g soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

150ml vegetable oil

350g Bramley apple sauce

toffee sauce to serve

Apple topping

25g butter, plus extra for the tin

2 tbsp soft light brown sugar

2 eating apples, peeled and cut into thin wedges

To make the apple topping, heat the butter in a pan and stir in the brown sugar until melted, then add the apples and toss until coated. Set aside and leave to cool. Heat the oven to 180C. Butter and line the base of a deep 22-23cm square cake tin. Mix the flour

bicarb, ginger and mixed spice in a bowl. Put the sugars, eggs, oil and apple sauce in a separate bowl, and whisk until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Arrange the apple pieces on the top and drizzle over the sauce from the pan. Bake for 40 – 45 mins. Keeping an eye on it and cover the cake with foil for the last 5 – 10 minutes if it’s browning too much. Cool the cake for about 10 mins then turn out. Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle with toffee sauce.



Bonfire Banoffee Pie with Sparklers

300g ginger nut biscuits

100g butter, melted

5 ripe bananas, peeled, slice lengthways, then in half

1 x 397g tin caramel, such as Carnation

3 x 200g bags of marshmallows

Cake sparklers, optional

Line the base of a 21cm loose bottomed tart tin [31/2 cm deep] with non stick baking paper. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they reach a fine crumb, mix with the butter and spoon into the tin. Use a spoon and a flat bottomed glass and press the crumbs onto the base and around the sides of the tin. Chill in the fridge for about 30 mins. Lay the bananas on the base in an even layer, cut them to fit evenly. Spoon the caramel into a bowl, scrape it out, don’t waste any. stir well until smooth, then pour evenly over the bananas, use it all up, the higher the better. Chill for 30 mins. Preheat the grill. Arrange the marshmallows on top, starting with an even layer all over, then pile 2 – 3 high in the centre, [ check how much room you have under your grill first ] Grill for about 15 sec, or until gooey and brown on top. Decorate with cake sparklers, if you like *

* Follow the safety instructions on the packet. and keep away from any part of the body children and flammable materials

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