As the evenings are getting chillier and darker, I turn to comfort food to keep me sane. This is a perfect winter warmer that’s quick and simple to make after … Continue reading Lamb meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce
Great meals for a Thursday night
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
Marrows are in season at the moment and this is a dish that uses marrow as a kind of alternative to mash. It’s a cosy dish that you can prepare ahead and then pop into the oven to cook whilst you go out for a nice walk and it’ll be ready to enjoy when you get home.
1 large marrow
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g minced beef (or veggie mince if you’d prefer?)
1 large white onion (diced)
150g feta cheese
cupful of frozen broadbeans
150ml passata (or a tin of tomatoes liquidised)
1 large green pepper (diced)
150g button mushrooms (diced)
Seasoning – salt and ground black pepper
– Serves 3 –
1. Heat your oil in the pan and then add in your onion and peppers. Cook until they’ve softened and then add in the mushrooms and mince and cook for a further 3 minutes.
2. Add in the passata and broadbeans and stir well with plenty of seasoning.
3. Take your marrow, slice it in half long ways and then scoop out the seeds – add these in to the pan with the rest of the mixture and stir in.
4. Lay the two pieces of marrow skin side down onto a baking tray so that they’re snug to the edges and supporting each other. The spoon over the mixture from the pan to fill each of the marrows.
5. Roughly chop the feta cheese and then sprinkle it all over the tops of the mixture in the marrows.
6. Pop into the oven for 30 minutes on gasmark 6
7. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and spoon over all of the juices that have escaped into the pan. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes and then you’re ready to slice each marrow into three large pieces and serve two pieces to each person with plenty of the lovely mixture and juices oozing out.
Duck stir fry
2 x duck fillets
1 x red onion (cut in half and cut into thick slices)\
1 x yellow pepper (cut into strips)
2 x medium sized pac-choi cut into strips
4 spring onions roughly chopped
two portions of fat noodles
2 teaspoons of ginger (finely grated)
1 clove of garlic (crushed and finely chopped)
A good splash of light soy sauce – add more or less dependent on flavour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 x lime wedges
Seasoning (sea salt and ground black pepper)
– serves two –
1. Place your wok on the heat until it’s really hot. Add to the vegetable oil to the pan, score the fat of the duck fillets several times and then place them skin side down into the wok. Leave to cook until the duck fillets have begun to cook through (approx 8-10 minutes)
2. Turn the duck fillets and add to the wok your ginger garlic peppers and onions. Keep everything moving in the pan for approx 5 minutes, or until your pepper and onions have started to soften.
3. Add your noodles and pac-choi and cook for a further 3 minutes, constantly tossing the ingredients in the wok.
4. Remove the duck and place to one side for a couple of minutes, allowing the meat to rest. Add the soy sauce to the wok and mix well into the ingredients.
5. Divide the contents of the wok into two bowls and then place on top the sliced duck fillets. Finish off with a nice sprinkling of the spring onions and a squeeze of lime.
Pork pittas with hoisin sauce
A really quick dish to make, great as a last minute dinner or for a lunch time treat.
1 large Pork fillet
1 small onion cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 spring onions (roughly chopped)
large handful of white button mushrooms (chopped into slices)
Large handful of green beans (chopped into approx 2cm pieces)
Mixed salad leaves
4 x pitta breads
Seasoning (ground black pepper and sea salt)
– serves two –
1. Put a wok on to heat with the olive oil, whilst slicing the pork fillet into pieces approx 1cm thick.
2. Add the onion, green beans, mushrooms and pork to the wok and cook through.
3. Once cooked, spoon in the hoisin sauce and cook for a further minute whilst warming your pittas.
4. Add the mixture to your hot pittas along with the chopped spring onions and mixed salad leaves.
Sicilian sausage pasta
A really tasty dish that’s quick to prepare when you come home from work, and suitably impressive to serve to a friend on a Thursday night with a bottle of wine…
6 sicilian pork sausages (use Toulouse if you can’t find sicilian)
2 tablespoons olive oil
tablespoon fennel seeds
A good squirt of tomato puree
150g frozen soya beans or peas
200ml white wine
50g parmesan cheese
Tagliatelle (enough for 4)
Large handful finely chopped basil
– serves 4-
1. pop your pasta on to boil whilst de-skinning your sausages and chopping them into bitesize chunks.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the fennel seeds. Throw in the sausage pieces and fry until nice and golden. Add the tomato puree and half of the wine and simmer until the liquid has almost dissapeared
3. Add in the rest of the wine and soya beans and leave to cook for a few minutes until the soya beans are soft.
4. Drain the pasta and then stir into the sausage mixture, add the basil and parmesan, mix well and then serve.