Category: Guest Bloggers

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.


Creamy tomato and sweetcorn soup – Guest blogger

Picture 260

Thanks to Maria for sending in this lovely tomato and sweetcorn soup…

Fancy a simple healthy homemade soup but don’t have much in the cupboard? Here’s what I blitzed up last night: Creamy tomato & sweetcorn soup (cooking time – 10 minutes!)


1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

1 Small tin of sweetcorn

Ground Black Pepper

Chilly pepper (optional)

One vegetable stock cube

Dash of soy sauce/worcester sauce

Quarter cup of milk
Rustic Crusty bread (I used a delicious Turkish flatbread)

– serves 3-4 –


1. Gently soften the chopped onions and garlic in a little olive oil.

2. Add the tin of tomatoes and half of a small tin of sweetcorn and the stock cube (previously dissolved in a little boiling water).

3. Blitz the lot together in the saucepan with a hand blender, once you’ve got it to a smooth consistency add the milk and blitz again.

4. Put your rustic bread in the oven to warm.

5. Put the soup back on to gently simmer, add the remaining sweetcorn, pepper, chilli, soy/worcester sauce and salt (if you use it).

6. Dish up and serve with lovely warm crusty bread.

Best BBQ Sauce – Guest blogger


Thanks to our guest blogger – ‘Vickys Mum’ for sharing her deeeelicious BBQ sauce recipe. I’ve tried this on chicken and pork ribs and it works just as well on both.


3 tablespoons cider or dry white wine (you can use water if you prefer)

6 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 clove crushed garlic

1 rounded tablespoon of tomato puree

1 teaspoon English Mustard powder

1 level tablespoon of soft brown sugar

Few drops tobasco sauce 

Freshly milled black pepper 



1. Crush the garlic into a bowl and add the cider (or wine/water), soy sauce, tomato puree, mustard and sugar.

2. Add to the mix the tobasco and give a good stir, seasoning with pepper as you go (no need for salt as the soy is salty enough) 

3. Add to the bowl your meat and ensure that it’s thoroughly coated. You can leave to marinate in the fridge over night if you have the time, but if not then pop straight into the oven (gas-mark 5), or onto the BBQ for approximately 15 minutes, or until the meat is completely cooked through and there is no blood


Munchy Meringues



Thanks to this months guest blogger, Emma Harvey who baked these Munchy Meringues in aid of ‘Wear It Red’ for The British Heart Foundation charity day. The meringues are crunchy on the outside with light fluffy marshmallow filling – perfect either on their own, or served with a good helping of strawberries and cream. Thanks Emma!

3 egg whites
160g of sugar
∏ teaspoon of corn flower
Dash of vanilla essence
Dash of vinegar



1. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks, then add sugar slowly (one large spoon at a time) continually beating and with the last spoon add the corn flower.

2. Add in the vanilla essence and vinegar (still beating) – your end consistency should be like thick cream and quite glossy.

3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, pop them in and then reduced the heat straight away to 120 degrees and cook them slowly for around an hour (make sure you make a few extra’s so you can test them along the way – part of the fun 😉

Top tip: 

My mum always made them over night and left them in the oven whilst it was cooling down, which we did last night – so don’t know if this is the secret!


Sticky mussels

A video first for What I ate last night, with guest blogger and film director, Bill Maloney cooking sticky mussels. To hear more from Bill, see the ‘foodie inspiration’ section and see a video interview with him. 

Enjoy, they’re deeeeelicious and make a perfect starter, or as Bill tells us, a late night snack after a hard day on set.


8 large greenlip (New Zealand) mussels 

4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

tablespoon olive oil

Good long squeeze of tomato ketchup

teaspoon english mustard 

Soy sauce 

2 teaspoons dark sugar (muscavado or demerera)

egg cup of milk 



1. Clean the mussels and remove from their shell 

2. Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil and garlic 

3. Add the tomato ketchup, mustard and a good glug of soy sauce to the pan and keep stirring whilst it hears through 

4. Add the sugar to the pan and then add in the mussels over a high heat and coat in the sauce, stirring constantly for approx 4 minutes, or until the mussels are completely cooked 

5. Spoon the mussles out onto a plate, leaving the juices and sauce in the pan. 

6. Return the pan to the heat and add in the milk. Stir in the milk and heat through. 

7. Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve 


Melanzane alla parmigiana (Aubergine, tomato and parmesan bake)



Kindly sent in by this months guest Blogger, Jessica Morgan from London. Thanks Jess, this is a really great veggie addition to What I Ate Last Night. I’ve tried it and it went down VERY well, even for the meat eaters! 



4 aubergines – cut into 5mm slices

1 jar of passata

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2x 15ml spoons olive oil

100g parmesan cheese – freshly grated

20g pack basil leaves torn

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 egg beaten (you don’t have to use this if you don’t want to)

– serves 6-



1 Preheat oven to 200oC/ 400F/ gas mark 6

2. Chop aubergines up.

3. Lightly oil a griddle or frying pan with 2 spoons of oil. Cook aubergine slices over a high heat, in batches if necessary, until well browned and cooked (about 5-7 mins). Drain on kitchen paper.

4. Lay a few of the aubergine slices on the bottom of an ovenproof dish and spoon over some passata and garlic.

5. Sprinkle with basil and parmesan. Add seasoning, then repeat with remaining ingredients.

6. Finally pour egg over the top, sprinkle over a little more parmesan and bake for 30 mins or until the topping is golden.