COOK - BAKE - LEARN - SMILE

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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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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Clam Linguine


Phew! It is great to be back and to be able to update the website again. Alas, my web solution could not handle the photo content adequately, so I have had to upload and rewrite the entire recipe blog to Flickr. I hope moving forward this a robust and scalable solution - as it has taken me 8 days to relink 1300 photos!

So, I am going in time order, catching up with recipes. To kick off the new and improved blog, a delicious Clam Linguine.

This is one of the ultimate quick and easy meals. The entire dish is cooked in less time that it takes for the Linguine to be ready.

The delicious ozone sea smells and taste combined with a subtle chilli kick, make this one of my all time favourite dished.

Although it should not be necessary to de-grit the clams - the bag that I purchased had obviously not been properly cleaned, as the water went cloudy within 10 minutes of the clams being added. If this happens, keep replacing the salted water with a fresh batch.

Clam Vongole : Close Up


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Homemade Burger and Chips


You cannot beat homemade burgers and chips. After a very heavy weekend in the Lake District for my brother’s stag do, I was not feeling particularly energetic today.

I love these burgers as they are moist and tasty, quick and cheap to make.

Burger and Chips : Let's Eat


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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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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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Sole Meuniere


There is a rule in skydiving, that whenever you experience a first or even mutter the word; whether a new canopy, new aeroplane, new discipline of jump - then you must buy a case of beer at the end of the day.

I really like this rule, as it brings people of different levels and groups together at the end of a fun packed day to chat and relax over a drink or two. It also marks a stepping stone in your skydiving career.

You may wonder what relevance this has to Sole Meuniere. Well, all I can says is parallel’s exist - let me explain. My “first” experience of this dish was as a young teenager on holiday in France with my family. As I have mentioned previously, every summer we would go away for 2-3 weeks doing the Eurocamp thing - OK, I am probably showing my age!

Anyway, I digress. Like the first time I ordered Trout Almodine (Trout with Almonds) or Les Ailes de Raie (Skate Wings), I can still recall with vivid recollection the first mouthful of each dish and exact ambience and setting within the restaurant. It is like being back in the old ramparts of Marseilles, Leon, Reimes experiencing the dish for the first time. (Eating out was a rare and memorable occasion). What is similar between the two events is the way it sticks in the mind, the passing of an event - first time eating a flat fish, first wing suit jump etc. All shine as moments in life that we never forget. To this day, I remember my Mother explaining how there were four fillets, and to work from the centre out. (Needless to say, I still recall a mouth full of bones as I scavenged every last morsel of fish from the slightly mangled remains!).

I love the lemon zingy, salty, nutty buerre noisette sauce that harmonises so well with the delicate flavours of the lemon sole.

I served this with some simple wilted spinach and some lightly crushed new potatoes. A wonderful spring/summer evening dish.

Being a gym freak, the quantity of butter in this dish is quite breathtaking. However, once in a while, a few extra hours in the gym are totally worthwhile! It would be criminal to not pamper such a delicious fish!

Those who are observant will see *blush* I slightly burned the shallot - watch out for the residual heat of the pan when you add them!

Sole Meuniere : Close Up

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Roasted Romana Pepper Salad


The sweet roast pepper flavour coupled with a delicate hint of fresh herbs and olive oil never fails to impress guests, whenever I serve this as an accompaniment. It particularly works well with Lamb Koftas, as well the Pork Souvlaki.

I prefer to blacken the pepper in the oven as opposed to using the direct flame from the hob. This is mainly because, the last time I used the hob, the pepper got super hot and exploded! It literally splattered every wall in the kitchen!! As such, I prefer to use the oven!!

Roasted Romano Pepper Salad : Mix Well

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