Category: Mondays

Great meals for a Monday night

Rick Stein inspired anchovy salad

I’ve been watching the Rick Stein’s Spain series and feeling all ‘Spanishy’ so thought I’d do my own take on his tasty looking Lettuce, anchovy and egg salad with vinaigrette that he made in last weeks episode. I’ve just used lemon juice instead of vinaigrette as I’m on a pre-wedding diet (yawn!). It really helps to keep the dish light and fresh and compliments the anchovies and egg surprisingly well.


1 large Romain Lettuce

10 baby plum tomatoes

1 x tin of anchovy fillets

Juice of 1 fresh lemon

2 medium eggs

Ground black pepper to taste


1. Boil the eggs for 3 -4 minutes so that the yolks are nice and soft. Once cooked, transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool down

2. Chop the lettuce width ways into three and then scatter the leaves out on a plate

3. Chop the tomatoes and the eggs lengthways into quarters and evenly distribute over the lettuce leaves.

4. Chop the anchovies width ways into three’s and then break them up and scatter over the lettuce leaves

5. Squeeze over the lemon juice so that it covers all leaves and season with the pepper.



Summer chicken stew

This is such a healthy, fresh one-pot dinner that’s packed full of veg – and if you don’t want to use chicken, you could use any other type of meat, or even fish. And feel free to use whichever veg you like too – It’s entirely up to you.


1 large stick of lemon grass (bang with the back of a knife to bruise and release the flavours)

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic (peeled and bashed, then added whole)

2 pints of vegetable or chicken stock

2 carrots, chopped in to chunks (no need to peel)

2 large leeks, chopped in to chunky pieces

3 courgetttes, chopped in to large chunks

A good handful of green beans, cut in half

1 whole medium chicken

2 cups of frozen peas

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

– serves 4 very large portions, or 6 average –


1. Take a very large, deep casserole pot and throw in the ginger, garlic, lemongrass and all of your chopped veg (minus the peas)

2. Skin the chicken and then carve it so that you’re left with 2 breasts, 2 thighs and 2 drum sticks (you could use the carcass and wings to boil with some water and make up your chicken stock – then pick the bits of meat off for adding to a risotto the next day!)

3. Chop the chicken breasts into big chunky pieces and then add all of the chicken pieces to the pot.

4. Pour over the stock (it will speed things up a little if this goes in hot) and add the black pepper

5. Give everything a good stir, then add the lid to the casserole pot and pop it in the oven, gas mark 6 for 2 hours – giving a little stir every so often.

6. Five minutes before serving, remove the pot from the oven. add the peas and return for the final 5 minutes

7. Remove from the oven, ensure all chicken is cooked through and serve in nice soup bowls


Top tip! Serve with some warm crusty bread to soak up all of the lovely broth at the end

Penne a la pescadora

Picture 54

This is a variation on the Italian Spaghetti a la Pescadora, a rich tomatoey fish pasta, the recipe of which was passed on to me by my Dad after it was given to him by a chef in the Alfresco restaurant, Brighton. The original recipe uses parsley as the main herb, however CIRIOs new tomato and basil product inspired me to try it as an alternative. It works really well and is great as a quick mid-week meal, or as a simple but impressive dinner party dish. 



3 cloves garlic (finely chopped) 

1 tetra pack of CIRIO tomato and basil 

1 tin of anchovies (finely chopped) plus oil 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

6 tablespoons white wine

2 large squid tubes 

12 king prawns 

The juice of 1/2 fresh lemon 

Greenlip mussels (optional) 

Freshly ground black pepper 

Penne pasta (enough for two) 

Grated parmesan for serving

– serves two – 



1. Cook the pasta until al-dente 

2. In a deep wide pan, heat the olive oil and then add the garlic and anchovies 

3. Add to the pan the CIRIO basil and tomatoes, the white wine and black pepper and heat through until bubbling. 

4. Add in the squid and prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. 

5. Finish off with the lemon juice and then stir in the pasta, ensuring that it’s coated in the sauce. 

6. Serve with a wedge of lemon and a grating of parmesan. 


Chicken and asparagus pasta bake

This is a great Monday dish to make if you have chicken left over from your Sunday roast.



100ml double cream 

150ml dry white wine

3 large shallots (finely chopped)

3 cupfuls of penne pasta

1 small clove of garlic (crushed)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

8 spears of fresh asparagus (roughly chopped)

1 small tin of crispy sweet-corn 

Shredded cooked chicken (approx 2 breasts/two legs worth) 

Approx 20 button small mushrooms (roughly chopped)

1 chicken stock cube 

Small cup of parmesan, finely grated

Seasoning – ground black pepper and sea salt – 


1. Put the pasta on to boil in a large saucepan with hot water and salt to season

2. Heat the oil in a hot frying pan and add to it the garlic and shallots. Cook until the shallots are soft and then add in the wine. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes 

3. Add the cream, stock cube, mushrooms and seasoning to the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. 

4. Add the asparagus and shredded chicken to the pan and leave to heat through for 5 minutes whilst you drain the pasta (the pasta should be al-dente, not fully cooked through

5. once the past has been drained, pour the sauce and ingredients from the pan into the pasta and give it a good stir so that all of the pasta is coated 

6. Transfer the contents of the pan into a large baking dish and then evenly sprinkle the grated parmesan ontop 

7. Place the baking dish into a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes

8. When the parmesan is nicely golden, serve up large spoonfuls onto a warm plate 


Sweet & sour pork with egg fried rice

The inspiration for this dish came from watching the new TV series ‘Chinese cooking made easy’. I’ve adapted the dish to use a slightly cheaper cut of meat and to include ingredients that you’re likely to have in your cupboard rather than having to take a trip to China town or a specialist store.

A really great, healthy alternative to a take away.


For the pork 
3 table spoons sesame seeds 
1 table spoon crushed dried chillies 
1 large pork fillet
2 table spoons vegetable oil

Seasoning (ground black pepper & sea salt)


For the sweet and sour sauce
125g tinned pineapple chunks, in natural juice (keep the juice!)
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Good splash of light soy sauce (to taste – use as you would salt)
3 table spoons dry sherry
Ground black pepper
To serve
Egg fried rice

(simply boil some rice, then pop into a wok with either frozen peas or soya beans, vegetable oil, 3 eggs and 6 roughly chopped spring onions. Mix together until cooked through and then it’s ready to serve).

1. For the pork, place the sesame seeds onto a baking tray and pop into the oven on a high heat for 3-5 minutes (lightly browned, not burnt!), Take some cling film and pour the toasted sesame seeds out onto it, adding the crushed chilli and pepper and then roll the pork fillet up in the cling film so that it’s completely covered in the sesame seeds.

2. Pop on a wok with the vegetable oil and then sear the pork so that it’s nicely browned all the way around. Remove the pork and then slice it into approx 1cm thick slices. Add the slices back into the wok and keep turning until it’s cooked through. Whilst it’s cooking, you can begin your sauce.  

3. For the sweet and sour sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

4. Remove the pork from the wok and plate this up whilst you pour the sauce into the wok and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thicker sauce. 

5. Pour the sweet and sour sauce al over the pork and then add to the dish your egg fried rice. 

Much better than a take away!