COOK - BAKE - LEARN - SMILE

Herby Chicken Bites


A sure fire week-day favourite. They only take 10 minutes to prepare, and then cook once marinaded.

These herby chicken bites combine a delicious Italian freshness with crispy succulent chicken.

I served these as standalone nibbles, but they would be equally good for a main meal.

Herby Chicken Bites : Close Up

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Spaghetti Bolognese


I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia and China last week for a family wedding - hence the lack of updates. Unfortunately, I do not have much vacation available at work, so in total I was in Oz for 6 nights!

Being very jet lagged last night, all I craved for was a hearty and comforting meal. Spaghetti Bolognese hit the spot!

I am one of those people who never knows what they wish to eat, regardless of jet lag, until that evening! It drives my wife crazy!!!

A quick zombie style trip to the butchers and deli to restock the fridge and I was set to go.

I unfortunately had run out of tomato puree, so substituted with ketchup at the end of the cooking. It worked well, intensifying flavour, but my preference would always be with the concentrate.

I have become extremely fond of
Faella pasta - it has a much better flavour than the supermarket equivalent. Most certainly worth the extra 50 pence.

Everybody has their own version and preferences for there Bolognese. My preference would be without mushrooms, but I must go with the mood of the house! I find the sauté vegetables add flavour and the Pancetta adds a cheeky saltiness.

Bolognese always tastes better the next day, so in order to try to get that depth of flavour, I simmer on a very low heat for a much longer period of time.

Spaghetti Bolognese : mandatory opera house shots

Mandatory opera house shots

Spaghetti Bolognese : Last One“></a></span><span style=

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Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu


Having come home quite late from work, I had to knock up a quick and easy dinner. (Work seriously gets in the way of hanging out in the kitchen!)

You know when you have one of those days, and not just any food will do. It has to be comfort food - is there anything more comforting than Spicy Meatballs?

These meatballs pack a punch of flavour and chilli heat. The herby ragu is the perfect compliment.

I skipped adding tomato puree - as I did not want to wait for it to cook through. By all means add the puree and turbo charge the tomato flavour!

I am very pleased to finally have enough herbs and chillies growing in the new house’s garden.

I had the rest for lunch the next day, and it was totally delicious!

Spicy Meatballs with Herby Ragu : Another shot

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Sizzling Beef Fajitas


I love eating Beef Fajitas. Whats not to love - sizzling beef with a good chilli kick!

They are quick and easy to make, and really show case a good quality, cheap cut of beef.

I like to use the griddle pan for this recipe, as it can get extremely hot, and replicates the chargrill of a barbecue.

I like to eat my fajitas with
Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, homemade flatbread topped with Manchego cheese and a little sour cream.

The marinade works just as well with pork and chicken.

Beef Fajitas : Close Up


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Tangy Fresh Garlic Bread


Garlic bread works well with so many Italian dishes as a great accompaniment.

Penne pasta to Lasagne, it never fails to add a great crunch and zing!

Can also be frozen, uncooked and cooked through from frozen
(takes 45 minutes).

So much better than takeaway or shop bought equivalents. The parsley and lemon are the key!

Originally served with
Breaded Chicken and a Herby Tomato Sauce.

Garlic Bread : As an Accompaniment




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Breaded Chicken with a Herby Tomato Sauce and Garlic Bread


The tomato sauce is extremely versatile. It is the same sauce that I use for my pizzas.

Now that spring is here, my Marjoram and Oregano are growing great guns. You can substitute dried if you wish. The general rule of thumb is 3 : 1 fresh to dry.

If I recall correctly, I saw this recipe, or very similar on ITV by Gina D’Acampo. The mozzarella reinforces the pizza flavours of the dish.

Mid week, this meal can be made from start to finish in 25 minutes. Start with the tomato sauce, and everything will be ready at the same time
(The garlic bread will take 30 minutes).

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7382/13989313139_c91e19dba2_c.jpg


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Tomato and Chorizo Fusilli Pasta


Preparing for a weekend away skydiving.

The one thing that is disappointing about our home dropzone is the outrageous cost of sandwiches, tea and coffee. As such, I decided I would make lunch for the two days.
(I also made a large greek salad - and the two dishes together were very satisfying).

A quick trip along the High Road and I had all I needed. (Chorizo and a can of tomatoes!).

This is an easy recipe, wholesome, warming and tasty - all in all - ideal for standing around a windy airport.

The pasta survived admirably in the tupperware for the two days. In all honesty, it tasted better the second day.

Tomato and Chorizo Pasta : Lunch Ready!


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Herby Butter


Herb butter is a store cupboard essential.

Pull the butter out of the freezer and slice of a little and add to boiled new potatoes or other seasonal vegetables. The herbs and lemon will really lift the vegetables to a whole new dimension.

I use the herb butter for my
garlic bread, as well as my stuffing for chicken Kiev.

It takes minutes to make and stores for months in the freezer.

Try it at home today!

Herb Butter : Pull from the Freezer when Needed


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Pizza Pasta Bake


Sometimes you just want to eat simple comfort food.

It was a Tuesday evening, and I had come in from the gym, and wanted something quick, wholesome and tasty.

The great thing about this dish is that you can cook the pasta, pancetta and tomato sauce all at the same time - meaning that preparation time is vastly reduced. Once it is in the oven you can crack on with your evening.

I based the pasta bake on pizza flavours. So I added mozzarella, smoky pancetta and oregano as my base flavours. The sour bread crumbs on top give a great crunch and textural difference. The mozzarella in the middle remains melted and gooey, whilst that on top goes golden and crispy.
(I was wanting to top this with strips of anchovy - but was told this was a step too far - I might try it one day smiley_wink)

I served this with a simple fresh salad and a quick mustard dressing.

Pizza Pasta Bake : Close Up

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