COOK - BAKE - LEARN - SMILE

7 Pot Keema


I was looking for a way to use one of my rather ferocious
7 Pot Doughla chillies (2nd hottest in the world). After my last attempt with the Naga Chili Chicken, I was quite nervous!. These bright red devils are a delicious fruity chilli and really add a fanatic flavour to the finished dish. However, they are outrageously hot, punching in at 1.2 million scoville. This recipe will be equally good with Scotch Bonnets instead.

The recipe was also an attempt to clear out some of my old spices and the plethora of tomatoes from the garden.

It is a very simple recipe, making a tasty curry sauce base and then adding caramelised lamb mince in to enfuse with the spices and chilli flavours.

The finished dish was lip smackingly delicious, definitely on the hot side although a builder as opposed to a full front assault, but the petit poit and fragrant spice background keep everything under control and very moreish!

I served the dish with sticky Basmati rice, some naan bread and Greek yoghurt. It really is a great mouthful!

7 Pot Keema : Close up

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Rib of Beef


Whilst digging through my photos, I found this delicious Rib of Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Roast Potatoes.

I made this the weekend before my Australia and China trip. Unfortunately I do not have every photo, but it is a fantastically simple dish to make. Again, I use a meat thermometer to ensure that I get the perfect medium rare temperature.

The rib was delicious, with a crusty salty outside with melt in the mouth medium rare inside. Accompanied with buttered seasonal vegetables, crunchy roast potatoes and light and fluffy puds, there is no better Sunday dinner.

Normally, I would make gravy, but in this instance I settled with horseradish sauce.

Rib of Beef : Serve with horseradish

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Chicken Broccoli and Cashew Nut Stir Fry


This is a great Monday night meal, 15 minutes of prep and 10 minutes cooking.

By the time that the Thai Jasmine rice is ready, the chicken and cashew nut stir fry is practically ready to be served.

I like my stir fries chilli hot so added some Numex Twilight and Little Elf chilli varieties from the garden. These chillies have a bit more heat and flavour compared to your supermarket bought Birdseye chillies.

I bought the chicken breasts on the bone, which is significantly cheaper than buying prepared breasts. It only takes a moment to cut the breast bone off and to remove the skin!

Dry roasting the cashew nuts really brings out their flavour and helps to release their natural oils.

The sauce is simple, again using the Sweet soy sauce that I am ever so fond of.

I would have preferred to have used Thai Basil instead of normal basil, but with the onset of autumn, I no longer have a ready supply from the garden.

Chicken Cashew Nut and broccoli Stir Fry : Last shot

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Sizzling Beef Teriyaki


Now this dish is a household favourite both with the diners and with the cook. It takes minutes to make, and served with sticky basmati rice makes a very pleasing and tasty dinner.

I had the leftover rib of beef from Sunday (oh my I sound like Nigel Slater!), so I used that in substitute for a raw meat cut. Frankly, I am glad I did, the flavour from the beef was divine.

The vegetables were what I had left in the fridge, and can be easily substituted for other variants.

I like my Teriyaki quite hot, and with not cooking the chillies off in the oil at the beginning, you will need quite a few to make a punch.

I do not like MSG in my Chinese meals as a rule, so there is no cornflour used here.

The Soy Sauce I use in dishes like these is a sweet soy from Healthy Boy Brand - and is just right to complement the tang from the Teriyaki.

Sizzling Beef Teriyaki : Close Up Two

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Chicken Provencale


Following on with my autumnal and comforting meal theme, I decided it was time to cook Chicken Provençal.

I have very fond memories of this dish, with my mother making this for myself and my three brothers.

The roasted peppers, capers and black olives give a distinct Mediterranean vibe.

This meal really does not take long to prepare - and once done can be left in the oven on a low heat should you wish to serve this after a nice long walk!

Roasting the peppers really helps to intensify their flavour, as well as remove the skin from the final dish. The same can be done with the tomatoes - but frankly life is too short on a week night.

Chicken Provencale : Last one

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Chicken and Mushroom Pie


Chicken and Mushroom Pie has to be one of the all time great comfort foods.

Here in London, it is cold damp and windy. Not pleasant at all - especially with it being dark going and returning from work.

This is where comfort food excels and one reason why I love the Autumn/Winter seasons. Out with the salads and in with the hearty stews, pies and puss! The kitchen comes alive with mouth watering smells.

My Chicken Pie, is a little bit of a faff, what with cooking the ingredients separately, however, it is well worth the effort. I like my pie to come complete with the vegetables, so I parboil the broccoli, add sweetcorn and delicious butter fried golden chestnut mushrooms. The leeks, shallot and garlic add a lovely depth. The tarragon and white wine give subtle complexity to the filling.

I reckon this pie takes a good 60 minutes of preparation, so generally better for a weekend.

Saying that, I made this on a Tuesday night for my sister-in-law. I confess I was sweating by the end of it, but got it in the oven in under half an hour! Happy

This tastes even better for left overs. I personally like to serve this with homemade piccalilli.

Chicken and Mushroom Pie : And another

Chicken and Mushroom Pie : Delicious chicken mushroom pie

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Herb Crust Rack of Lamb


It may be miserable and autumnal outside, but there is something comforting about having a spring dish for dinner.

The combination of the cheesy aubergine and delicious crusty lamb followed by a blast of mouth watering and delicious salsa verde is amazing.

I like my lamb a nice medium rare, but adjust the cooking times accordingly.

I served this dish to guests, half a rack per person.

I also served a bowl of steamed new potatoes, sprinkled with mint, along with the remaining salsa verde and a quick mint sauce.

Herb crusted rack of lamb : Close up


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Salsa Verde with Tomato


Salsa Verde as the name suggests stands for green sauce. The Italian version is traditionally served cold and includes parsley, vinegar, capers and garlic.

I always chop this sauce by hand as I like the rustic coarseness that is achieved, as opposed to blitzing it in a food processor.

The sauce is so versatile, being suitable for fish and meat.

It is zesty and zingy and works fantastically well with the
Herb Crust Lamb.

Salsa Verde : Stir well

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Smoked Mackerel Salad with Horseradish Yoghurt Dressing


I was going through my phone when I came across this recipe from the summer.

If I recall correctly, I served the smoked mackerel salad during my house move - as it required little preparation.

The fishmonger recommended the hot smoked mackerel, saying it would make a great change - he sure was right!

The mustardy radishes compliment the smoked fish and hot horseradish giving a big mouthful of flavour!!

I whole heartedly recommend trying this recipe.

Smoked Mackerel Salad with Horseradish Yoghurt : Finished

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Red Thai Prawn Curry


This is my version of this classic dish.

Hot, sour, sweet and citrus - a totally delicious flavour combination.

The sweet coconut Jasmine rice works brilliantly with the zingy spicy prawns.

I like to scatter over some spicy peanuts to add texture and an additional kick of heat.

A delicious week night or weekend meal, that tastes delicious and can be cooked in no time.

Red Thai Prawn Curry : Another Close Up

Red Thai Prawn Curry : Another Close Up

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