Category: Fridays

Great meals for a Friday night in

Pan fried Mackerel, Fennel and Green apple salad with lime oil

Turning Leaf have created the ultimate summer recipe, inspired by its Pinot Grigio wine. The crisp and fruity wine goes really well with the pan-fried mackerel and the fennel and green apple salad makes it really fresh and light – the perfect dish for a summers lunch. The recipe was created as a collaboration between Turning Leaf winemaker Stephanie Edge and culinary artist Esther Röling – we gave it a go ourselves (substituting the green apples with Braeburn) and thought it pure genius!

Ingredients & Instructions: 

Lime oil:

2 limes

50 ml lemon oil

Use a peeler to remove the zest of the limes. Only remove the green, avoid peeling the white pith. Cut the peel into small squares.

Bring water to a boil and add the zest and remove after 20 seconds. Repeat once more with fresh water. Add the zest to the oil.

Fennel and green apple salad:

2 bulbs of fennel with tops

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

A pinch of salt

1 green apple, cut into thin sticks

Remove the green tops from the fennel and keep aside. Slice the fennel as thin as possible (if available use a mandolin). Toss the fennel with the lemon juice, fennel tops, olive oil, salt and half the apple. Leave in the fridge to soften for about half an hour. Keep the other half of the apple aside in the fridge.


4 fillets of mackerel

1 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

Warm up a frying pan medium hot. Add the olive oil to the pan. Season the mackerel with salt and pepper. Place the mackerel, skin side down in the pan and carefully push it down to prevent the fish from curling up. Turn the fish after 3 minutes and cook it for another minute flesh side down.


1 tbs poppy seeds

12 dill tops

Place a bit of the fennel in the middle of a plate. Put some apple sticks and dill around the fennel salad and drizzle with a bit of the lime oil. Scatter the poppy seeds over the apple. Place the mackerel on top of the fennel salad.


Chicken & Lemon Tagine with warm humous

This is so tasty, healthy.  easy to make, and you can use up any veg that you might have in the cupboard. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Ingredients for Tagine: 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion cut into chunky wedges

1 large red pepper cut into thick strips

10 chestnut mushrooms

2 large courgettes, cut in half and into chunks

1 preserved lemon finely sliced

10 dried apricots

1 teaspoon tamarin powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon of Barts Spice Baharat

2 large chicken breasts, sliced into chunky strips

4 large fresh tomatoes, diced

150ml chicken stock

Seasalt & freshly ground black pepper to season

Ingredients for warm humous:

800g tinned chick peas

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 fresh lemons

8 tablespoons of juice from the tagine

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Seasalt & freshly ground black pepper to season

– serves 3/4 people –


1. Add the olive oil and onion into the pan of the tagine and heat through on the hob.

2. Once the onions have started to soften, add in the mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, apricots and preserved lemons to the pan and cook until softened.

3. Add in the chicken and all spices, give a good stir and increase the heat in order for the chicken to seal

4. Add in the chopped tomatoes (must be fresh, not tinned!) and chicken stock, give a good stir and then pop on the tagine lid and move to a pre-heated oven on Gasmark 6 for 1 hour, stirring occastionally.

5. 10 minutes before the tagine is ready, add the chickpeas, olive oil and lemon juice to a small saucepan, and using a hand blender, blitz until turned into a smooth paste. It will look very dry at this point.

6. Take some stock from the tagine pan and add to the chickpea mix. Season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper and if needed, a little more lemon juice or stock from the tagine to ensure a nice silky texture.

7. Place the humous onto a low heat on the hob and leave to warm through, stirring occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t dry too much or stick to the base of the pan.

8. Plate up the humous, leaving a little well in the middle, then pour in the tagine juices and lovely chicken and veg for serving.


The Domino’s Pizza Challenge!

So, we thought it would be fun to see whether a home made pizza could be tastier, quicker and cheaper to make than ordering a take-away from Domino’s Pizza, and here’s the result – along with a recipe for the homemade ‘Spanish Sizzler’!


Domino’s – 9 out of 10 / Homemade – 8 out of 10

There’s just something about the take away that’s so moorish and bad. That being said, the homemade was just as delicious, but when it comes to the base of the pizza, takeaway wins hands down every time. There’s also a great selection from Domino’s pizza menu, so everyone can get what they like!


Domino’s – 10 out of 10 (under 30 mins from ordering to delivery) / Homemade – 9 out of 10 (45 mins – including shopping for ingredients, making the dough base and waiting for it to cook)


Domino’s – 8 out of 10 (A medium Spanish Sizzler costs £12.99 inc delivery and feeds 2, leaving you wanting maybe one more slice) / Homemade – 10 out of 10 (Cost around £10 for ingredients, but would have made 4 times as much as the medium Domino’s Pizza).

Domino’s – 27 out of 30

Homemade –  27 out of 30

SO, an Even-Steven! Whilst homemade is more economical – especially if feeding a family of 4! The flavour, experience and speed of a takeaway just can’t be beaten with home cooking… I suppose if it could, then takeaways would never be as successful as they are!

Homemade Pizza – The Spanish Sizzler 

Ingredients (pizza dough) 

500g Strong white bread flour

1 tablespoon golden caster sugar

1 tablespoon finely ground seasalt

1 pack of dried yeast

1/2 pint tepid warm water

Ingredients (topping) 

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

Handful fresh basil

Buffalo mozerella

Green pepper


Cooked chicken

freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl

2. Add the yeast, sugar and water to a jug – stir, then leave to one side for 5 minutes

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour, and mix together.

4. Empty the mixture on to a well floured work surface and knead well with your hands until it’s nice and bouncy.

5. Put to one side, covered in cling film for 5 minutes

6. Add the tomatoes, garlic and basil to a bowl and blitz with a hand blender until smooth

7. Once the base is ready, tear off a piece, roll out and then place on a wire rack.

8. Smear plenty of the tomato base sauce over the dough, and then top with the mozzarella, chicken, peppers and chorizo

9. Place in a pre-heated oven (gas mark 9) for 10 minutes, or until the crust has gone nice and crispy

Enjoy! (sprinkle with a few chilli flakes for a ‘sizzling’ taste!)

Seafood Paella from El Cantara

This recipe has kindly been sent in by El Cantara, a Spanish and Moroccan restaurant based on Frith Street in Soho. El Cantara have some great dishes on their menu with everything from Tapas to Tagines, so if you make a like their Paella dish, then you could give lunch a go from around just £12.95 per head.

1 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 large peppers
Olive oil
900ml fish stock
1 chicken chopped up into small pieces
250g small prawns
250g clams
250g calamares in rings
10-12 fresh mussels
6 large prawns
Saffron strands/powder
Paella rice
250g garden peas
Tin red peppers/pimientos
1 lemon
Paella pan

– serves 6 –


1. In the paella pan heat some olive oil and add the chopped chicken and stir until you hear that the frying has started. Now throw in the chopped onion, pepper and garlic and fry away gently until everything is cooked.

2, De-shell the small prawns and clean the mussels, keeping the shells and heads to add to fish stock

3. Add the rice and stir in with the chicken, add to that the saffron

4. Add 800ml fish stock, peas and rice to the paella pan and allow to simmer on a very low heat for 15-20 min or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid stirring every five min

5. Now mix in all the sea food and the rest of the stock, placing the large prawns, mussels and three pimientos on top for decoration

6. Cook on a low heat for five min without stirring to create the “socorrat” (the crispy bit at the bottom) then to finish off place into a pre-heated oven for the last five min or until all the seafood is cooked.

7. For decoration and garnish chop the lemons into wedges and place them into the paella with some chopped parsley.