Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Blue Cheese and Smash Crockettes with Tomato Sauce


  • 1 tin of tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vingear

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped

  • 1 chili (optional), chopped

  • 1 220g packet of Smash or other instant mashed potato

  • Boiling water

  • 300g block of blue cheese such as Stilton or Danish Blue

  • A little oil or butter for frying


  1. Place the tomatoes, olive oil, the optional chili, vinegar and garlic in a pan and bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

  2. While the tomato mix is cooking make up the smash/instant mashed potato using three quarter of the water specified on the packet (this is to make it thicker and drier than usual)

  3. Slice the blue cheese up into blocks about 1 to 2 cm square.

  4. Using your hands make balls of smash with the blue cheese blocks in the center. About 8 to 10 balls is what you should aim for.

  5. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and then gently fry the potato balls in a little oil. Turn them every couple of minutes to ensure that they are not sticking. After about 10 minutes they should be a nice golden brown colour.

  6. Blend the tomato mix (or mash it with a fork) to make a tomato sauce.

Serves 3 to 4. Nice Served with a green salad.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Roast Vegetables and Brie Burgers

A quick and simple way of making 'healthy' vegetable burgers.


  • 3 aubergines, thickly sliced

  • 6 carrots, sliced vertically and head and tail removed

  • 3 red peppers, sliced

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 wedge of brie, sliced

  • 8 burger buns


  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees.

  2. Place sliced vegetables into a roasting tin and toss in the olive oil, salt and pepper, ensuring the vegetables get evenly coated.

  3. Place in oven for 30 minutes, turning vegetables after 15 minutes.

  4. Toast the sides of the burger buns in a toaster or under the grill.

  5. Serve direct to the table, letting people build their own burgers.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Spaghetti al Aglio

This is a nice and simple pasta dish which tastes delightful.


  • 4 large bulbs of garlic

  • 50g pine nuts

  • some olive oil to drizzle

  • 400g spaghetti

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

  • 2 chillies, finely chopped

  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Chop the tops off of the bulbs of garlic but keep them mostly in-tact.

  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  3. Place the garlic in an oven proof dish and drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic and then place in the oven for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the garlic from the oven and leave to cool.

  5. Cook spaghetti as per instructions on the packet, retaining some of the cooking water.

  6. While the spaghetti is cooking mix squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulbs into a blender and add the olive oil, lemon juice and blend.

  7. Place the pine nuts in a frying pan and fry on a low heat, turning and stirring frequently, until all the nuts are gently toasted.

  8. Mix the chopped chillies and pine nuts into the blended garlic and add 2 or 3 tablespoons of the water the pasta was cooked in.

  9. Stir the garlic mixture into the pasta and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

This is nice to serve with lightly cooked cherry tomatoes. To do this place cherry tomatoes in a frying pan and gently heat for 5 minutes, rolling the tomatoes around every minute to make sure they get heated evenly on all sides.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Depressed Pirate

A simple shooter for a Sunday night.



  1. Put the Curaçao into the bottom of a large shot glass

  2. Carefully pour in the lemon juice over the back of a spoon

  3. Carefully pour in the rum over the back of a clean spoon

  4. Enjoy

Friday, 19 December 2008

Cool Parsley and Cucumber Soup

This recipe can also be made with coriander instead of the parsley. It's amazingly good, especially for something which doesn't have any actual cooking involved.


  • 1 very large cucumber, cubed

  • A large bunch of flat-leaved parsley, coarsely chopped leaves, discard the stalks

  • 500ml vegetable stock (or water and 2 stock cubes)

  • 250ml milk

  • Juice of 3 lemons (about 150ml)

  • Salt


  1. Mix everything together in a blender

  2. Add salt to taste

  3. Leave to chill in the fridge overnight

Serves 4 for a starter or two for a main course.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Brie, Red Onion and Tomato Pie

This recipe is a quick pie that's really easy to make. It doesn't take more than an hour from starting cooking to eating pie, and half of that time is with the pie cooking in the oven.


  • 3 red onions, finely chopped

  • 30g butter

  • 1 ready rolled sheet of pastry

  • 300g cherry tomatoes, whole

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 tablespoon basil

  • 250g (one triangular piece) brie, chopped in to half inch cubes


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees

  2. Use some of the butter to grease a ovenproof pie dish

  3. Put the remaining butter into a pan and melt it

  4. Add the red onions and fry with the lid on the pan for 3 minutes or until soft

  5. Add the flour, cherry tomatoes and basil to the pan, turn the heat down and stir every couple of minutes

  6. Put half the pre-rolled pastry into the pie dish and carefully manipulate it so that if covers the bottom and sides of the dish

  7. Place in oven for 8 minutes to partially cook the pastry

  8. Remove pie dish from oven and mix the brie into the tomato and onion mixture

  9. Put the brie and tomato mixture into the pie dish and cover the top with the remaining pastry

  10. Cut off any pastry hanging over the edge and use to decorate the top of the pie (I did tomatoes, onions and a slice of cheese shapes... yes that is what the pie in the photo is supposed to have on the top of it)

  11. Bake pie in oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown

Serves 3 to 4. More if served with potatoes.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Mum's Brains (Halloumi and Tomato Pasta Bake)

This recipe was made up by my mother many years ago. We could never think of a good name for it so after a while when asked what was going to be for dinner she'd reply 'brains'.


  • 450g Pasta, fusilli works well

  • 2 blocks of halloumi cheese

  • 1 onion, pealed and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 courgette, sliced with both ends removed

  • 250g mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 2 tins of tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 vegetable stock cubes

  • 1 tablespoon of thyme

  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil and add some salt and some oil if desired

  2. Place onion and olive oil in a pan and 'sweat' by heating on a medium heat with the lid on for 5 minutes

  3. Add the mushrooms and courgette to the onion and again cover with the lid for 5 minutes, stir and then cook for another couple of minutes

  4. While this is happening break the halloumi up with your fingers into small chunks, about an inch square or less

  5. Heat a frying pan on a moderate heat and add about half the halloumi chunks

  6. While the halloumi heats, add the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, stock and thyme to the onion and mushroom mix and cover with a lid after stiring

  7. Turn the halloumi around in the pan every few minutes until it is golden brown on one or two of the sides of each piece

  8. Empty the halloumi into a large overproof dish and repeat the same process on the remaining halloumi, if you don't have a large ovenproof dish then two smaller ones works just as well

  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

  10. Stir the tomato and mushroom mixture

  11. The water for the pasta should hopefully be boiling, so add the pasta and start a timer for the time specified on the packet

  12. Check that the halloumi hasn't burnt and transfer it to the overproof dish when it seems done

  13. Stir the tomato and mushroom mixture

  14. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix it with the tomato and mushroom sauce in the overproof dish with the halloumi and stir well

  15. Top with the grated cheese and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the top is melted and nicely browned off.

Serves 4 hungry people.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Beetroot and Chilli Chutney

This is an unusual jam which works well on it's own with bread, in a cheese sandwich or as a dipping sauce for other meals.


  • 4 beetroots, peeled and chopped into thin strips

  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch chunks

  • 4 tablespoons vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 chili finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon corn flour


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pan.

  2. Simmer for 2 hours stirring frequently or use 'Jam' setting on your bread maker. If the bread maker 'Jam' program doesn't last for 2 hours, repeat it once it has run once.

  3. Heat the jam jars in an oven at 120 degrees for 5 minutes to steralise them.

  4. Use oven gloves to remove jam jars from oven and fill with the marmalade.

  5. Leave to cool with the lids just resting on the top. When cool, tighten the lids and you're done.

Makes 500g (just over a jam jar)

Friday, 5 December 2008

Penne Cheese with Tomato Ketchup

This is really a variant on macaroni and cheese or 'mac + cheese', but I never have macaroni pasta in, so I always end up using different pasta types.


Penne Cheese

  • 400g penne pasta

  • 1 large pot of boiling water

  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder(optional)

  • 25g cheddar cheese, finely grated

  • 40g breadcrumbs

  • 1.5 pints milk

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour

  • 25g butter

  • 200g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Tomato Ketchup

  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon mustard or mustard powder

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon corn flour


Penne Cheese

  1. Put the pasta in the pan of boiling water and start timing it for the length of time written on the packet

  2. Mix the 25g of cheese with one teaspoon of mustard and the breadcrumbs; this will be the topping for the penne cheese

  3. Mix the milk, flour, remaining teaspoon of mustard and butter in a pan

  4. Heat the milk and flour mixture on a moderate heat, stirring every minute

  5. After 7 or 8 minutes the milk and flour mixture should have started to thicken, if it hasn't then wait until it has

  6. Once the mixture has thickened turn the heat right down to the lowest setting under the pan

  7. When the pasta is ready, before draining the pasta place the remaining cheese into the thick flour and milk sauce

  8. Drain the pasta and mix in with the cheese (flour and milk) sauce

  9. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta and sauce

  10. Place under a high grill for 5 minutes or until the top has started to brown off

Tomato Ketchup

  1. Place all the ingredients in a pan and mix well

  2. Either use the 'jam' setting on a bread maker or simmer gently for an hour, stirring every 5 minutes

  3. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably in the fridge

Serves 4.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


This is a recipe for a simple cheese and tomato pizza. Feel free to add other toppings with the cheese. For a more interesting pizza substitute 100g of the strong plain flour for strong brown flour or add some herbs, such as 1 teaspoon of oregano, to the dough.


  • 1 tube of tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 3 cloves chopped garlic or garlic puree

  • 1 teaspoon basil

  • 290ml water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar

  • 500g strong plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons (one packet) quick bake/fast action yeast

  • 100g grated mozzarella

  • 250g grated cheddar

  • olive oil


  1. Mix the tomato puree, oregano, garlic and basil in a small bowl

  2. Make the dough by mixing the water, salt, olive oil, sugar, flour and yeast together. If you have a bread maker, use it's dough setting and skip to step 6.

  3. Place the dough in a warm place for 30 minutes

  4. Kneed the dough for a few minutes

  5. Place the dough in a warm place for another 30 minutes

  6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees

  7. Roll the dough out with plenty of flour to keep it from sticking

  8. Grease up a large baking tray, or two smaller baking trays with olive oil

  9. Place the dough on the baking tray(s)

  10. Spread the tomato puree mixture out over the top of the dough

  11. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over all of the tomato puree on the dough

  12. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown

  13. If you're using two baking trays then swap the two trays over in the oven about 10 minutes into cooking

Serves 4

Friday, 28 November 2008

Bread and Butter Pudding

I love classic English dishes and there isn't much more classic than bread and butter pudding. This recipe has a nice crisp golden top with lovely soggy bread under it. Simply divine.


  • 15 slices of white bread, preferably stale, but not necessarily

  • Butter or margarine to butter the bread

  • 4 eggs

  • 175g caster sugar

  • 400ml milk

  • 250ml double cream

  • 150g sultanas

  • Butter to grease the dish you're making the pudding in

  • 30g caster sugar to sprinkle on the top


  1. Butter the slices of bread and cut them into triangular pieces

  2. Mix the eggs, sugar, milk and cream in a jug

  3. Butter the dish that you'll be placing the pudding in

  4. Cover the bottom of the dish with half the bread

  5. Next place about 100g of the sultanas over the bread in the dish

  6. Then place the remaining bread in the dish, followed by the sultanas

  7. Slowly pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread in the dish, making sure to cover every piece of bread in some of the mixture to stop it from burning in the oven

  8. Finally sprinkle the 30g of caster sugar over the top

  9. Bake in an oven at 170 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown

Serves 6-8 people.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Dumpling Soup

These (English) dumplings, which are basically just boiled bread, are a great way to liven up an soup and provide a great piece of substance to the soup. They also work great by just boiling them in salt water and serving them up with other food.


  • 500g self raising flour

  • 250g suet or vegetarian suet

  • 10 tablespoons of water (150ml)

  • 3 sticks of celery, chopped

  • 25g butter

  • 4 carrots, chopped

  • 10 leaves of pak choi, shredded

  • 1 tablespoon coriander

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 2 pints vegetable stock (or 2 pints water + 4 vegetable stock cubes)

  • 2 pints of boiling water


  1. Mix the flour, suet and 150ml of water into a dough and roll into 8 balls

  2. Place the butter and celery in a big soup pan and fry the celery for 5 or 6 minutes

  3. Add the carrots and pak choi and fry for a couple of minutes, stiring well

  4. Add the cumin, coriander, stock and boiling water

  5. Wait for the soup to come back to the boil

  6. Place the dumplings carefully into the soup

  7. After 5 minutes or so, carefully turn each dumpling

  8. Wait another 5 minutes and turn the dumplings again

  9. Finally just wait another 5 minutes and then serve the soup

Serves 5 or 6 people, although that will lead to fights over who has how many dumplings.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bread Rolls


  • 2 tablespoons (1 packet) of easy bake/fast action yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 40ml olive oil

  • 3 teaspoons sugar

  • 250ml water

  • 520g strong white flour

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon of 'bread improver')

  • Milk to brush over the rolls

  • Sesame, sunflower, poppy, pumpkin or other seeds to decorate the tops


  1. Mix everything except the milk and seeds together to form a stiff dough, you can use the dough setting on a bread maker to do this. If you do use a bread maker skip to step 5

  2. Leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes

  3. Take the dough out and kneed it for a couple of minutes until it's shrunk greatly

  4. Leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for 30 minutes

  5. Take the dough and divide it into 12 pieces (I divide it in half, then half again and then thirds)

  6. Roll each piece out and place on a greased baking tray. Look at the picture above for possible shapes

  7. Rub milk on the outside of the rolls and sprinkle seeds on top as desired

  8. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and leave the dough to rise for another 30 minutes

  9. Place the bread rolls in the over for 20-30 minutes, until the crust is the colour you want it to be

Makes 12 rolls which go very well with soup.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Kale Pesto Pasta with Marrow Fried Halloumi


  • 1 block of halloumi, sliced into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 marrow, pealed and sliced into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 teaspoon plain flour

  • 20g butter

  • 1 big bunch of kale (200g or so), washed and shredded/sliced with a knife

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 50g parmessan cheese, finely grated

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 25g pine nuts or peanuts

  • 400g pasta


  1. Start the kale frying with the garlic and olive oil in a pan with the lid on (this is called sweating)

  2. Start a big pot of water boiling for the pasta

  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan

  4. When the butter has melted add the halloumi and marrow and stir it

  5. Stir the kale

  6. Sprinkle the flour over the halloumi and marrow

  7. Continue to stir the halloumi and marrow every couple of minutes to stop it burning

  8. When the kale looks soft remove it from the heat and add the pasta to the boiling water (starting a timer for 12 minutes)

  9. Put the kale, cheese and pine nuts/peanuts into a blender and blend into a smooth paste (or pesto)

  10. When the 12 minutes are up, drain the pasta and stir in the paste/pesto

  11. The halloumi and marrow should be nicely browned by now, so server immediately with the pasta

Serves about 4 people.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Sundried Tomato Ciabatta

The recipe I originally got this dough from said it was a ciabatta recipe, but the bread it produces is wonderfully soft, so I've always thought of it as more of a foccacia type bread.


  • 500g strong plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons (1 packet) quick bake/fast action yeast

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 330ml water

  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped


  1. Mix all the ingredients together and either use the dough setting on a bread maker (in which case skip to step 4) or place in a warm place for 30 minutes

  2. Kneed the dough for a few minutes

  3. Place it back in a warm place for 30 minutes

  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

  5. Grease 4 small ramekins or other oven proof dishes with olive oil

  6. Split the dough into four equal portions and place one in each of the ramekins

  7. Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough and place the ramekins on a baking tray

  8. To keep the bread nice and soft it is important for the air in the oven to be humid, so fill the bottom of the baking tray with water

  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden colour

Serves 4, obviously.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008



  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

  • 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced, discarding the bottom and top

  • 2 courgettes, washed and sliced, discarding the ends

  • 2 spring onions, sliced thinly, but discarding the top inch and the bottom slice with roots on.

  • 10 cherry tomatoes

  • 100ml water or stock

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Fry the celery in the oil for 5 minutes until it starts to soften

  2. Add all the other ingredients

  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so

  4. Taste and add more salt or pepper as required

Serve as a side-dish or vegetable accompaniment to other meals or even as a meal on it's own with some bread.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Aubergine and Goat's Cheese Rolls


  • 3 large aubergines, sliced length wise

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 200g goat's cheese

  • 50g fresh sage, finely chopped

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 to 16 cocktail sticks


  1. Use a brush (or your fingers) to coat the sliced of aubergine with the oil

  2. Grill the aubergine slices under a grill for 5 minutes or so each side, until nicely golden brown

  3. While waiting for the aubergine slices to cool, mix the goat's cheese with the sage and add freshly ground black pepper to taste

  4. Carefully make the rolls by placing a teaspoon of the goat's cheese mixture into the center of an aubergine slice and roll it up, using a cocktail stick to hold it rolled up

  5. Bake in an 180 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes

Serves 4 people. Serve immediately after cooking as they go a bit limp when they cool.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Hommous and Olives


  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained

  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons of tahini or peanut butter

  • Juice of 2 lemons (or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice from a bottle)

  • 2 tablespoons of water

  • Salt to taste (I must use about 1/3 teaspoon)

  • Cayenne pepper to taste (I must use a small tip of a teaspoon)


  1. Blend all the ingredients other than the salt and cayenne pepper together until they become a smooth paste.

  2. Add salt, pepper and possibly more lemon juice to taste, ensuring it's all mixed well between tastings. The saltiness, hotness and sharpness of hommous is the most important part to balance right, which is why these are the last three ingredients you should add.

  3. Pour into a bowl, sprinkle some extra olive oil on the top to stop it drying out and place in the fridge until needed.

Serve chilled with some green olives and warm bread to dip.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Meze Platter

This is a meze platter (or mezze platter) which contained the following:

  • Hommous and Olives

  • Aubergine and Goat's Cheese Rolls

  • Ratitoullie

  • Sundried Tomato Ciabatta

  • Pitta Bread

The next four recipes I post will be for the elements of the meze platter (apart from pitta bread, as that was just got from the supermarket).

Have I built up any tension with people not being able to wait to see the recipes?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Onion Marmalade

This is a nice quick marmalade recipe which goes really well in a bread roll with mature cheddar.


  • 750g red onions, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

  • 1/4 pint water

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon corn flour


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pan.

  2. Simmer for 2 hours stirring frequently or use 'Jam' setting on your bread maker. If the bread maker 'Jam' program doesn't last for 2 hours, repeat it once it has run once.

  3. Heat the jam jars in an oven at 120 degrees for 5 minutes to steralise them.

  4. Use oven gloves to remove jam jars from oven and fill with the marmalade.

  5. Leave to cool with the lids just resting on the top. When cool, tighten the lids and you're done.

Makes 2 jam jars worth of marmalade.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Regular Blogging Time

I've decided to start blogging regularly.

I'm going to blog every Wednesday and Friday at 6pm GMT.

Hopefully it'll last. Well, it'll last at least six and a half weeks as I have 13 posts lined up. Hopefully it'll continue after that.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Spicy Baked Meatballs


  • 400ml left over spicy tomato soup

  • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced (half a cm)

  • 6 small potatoes (or 3 large), thinly sliced (half a cm)

  • 3 red onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1 bag Swedish balls (or about 16 small meatballs)

  • a handful of chopped coriander

  • 20g butter


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

  2. Place the potatoes over the bottom of a large, deep ovenproof dish.

  3. Layer onion on top of the potatoes in the dish.

  4. Place thin slices of the butter all over on top of the onions.

  5. Place the sliced courgettes on top of the butter and sprinkle with salt.

  6. Place meatballs on top of courgettes.

  7. Pour/spread the soup over the meatballs. If it's just come out of the fridge it will be thick so you might need a knife or spoon to be able to spread it so it covers all the meatballs and courgettes underneath.

  8. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

  9. Bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cheese on top is nicely brown and you can see the soup bubbling away.

Serves 2 hungry people or 4 if served with rice or pasta.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Kidney Bean and Sweetcorn Quesadilla with Spicy Tomato Soup



  • 2 small tins sweetcorn, drained

  • 2 tins kidney beans, drained

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp cumin

  • 1 chili, finely chopped

  • handful of coriander


  • 4 small onions, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp. oil

  • 2 chillies, finely sliced

  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin

  • 2 tins of chopped tomato

  • 1 liter of tomato juice

  • 2 stock cubes

  • 4 tbsp. corn flour

  • 450ml water


  • 9 tortillas

  • 400g grated cheese (cheddar or similar)

  • 4 tbsp. oil



Best made the night before to allow the flavors to blend, but it's fine to make it on the day.

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

  2. Refrigerated. Yes, it's that simple.


  1. Add the oil, chillies, garlic and onion to a pan and sweat on a low heat with a lid on the pan.

  2. After 5 minutes (or the onions have gone soft) add all the other ingredients.

  3. Stir well and wait for it to start to simmer (will take 10 minutes or so).

  4. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't stick..


  1. If you don't have 4 frying pans (and who does?) pre-heat the oven to 120 degrees to keep the quesadilla warm while cooking the other ones.

  2. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add a fifth of the oil.

  3. Place a tortilla face down and fry, turning every few minutes until it's brown on both sides.

  4. Slice this tortilla into thin strips to use as croutons on the soup.

  5. Now to make the quesadillas. Place a tortilla in the pan and spread 3 to 4 tablespoons of the salsa on it.

  6. Sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the top and place another tortilla on top of the cheese.

  7. Fry the first side of the quesadilla for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom side.

  8. Turn the quesadilla by placing a plate over the frying pan, turning both together so the quesadilla ends up on the plate and then slide it back into the frying pan (possibly with the help of a fish slice).

  9. Fry for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom again.

  10. Place in oven on a heat proof dish and repeat the above steps until you have 4 quesadilla.

  11. Slice the quesadilla into quarters, serve on a plate with a bowl of the soup with the 'croutons' placed on top of the soup.

Serves 4 people with some soup left over (see here for what to do with it).

Friday, 22 August 2008

Kale Burgers


  • 4 or 5 large potatoes or 10 small potatoes, washed and then coarsely grated

  • 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced

  • 18 kale leaves, thinly sliced perpendicular to stalk

  • 1 tbsp. thyme (fresh or dried)

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 120g grated strong cheddar

  • 3 eggs

  • 6 tbsp. plain flour

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place grated potato, celery, kale, thyme, garlic and cheese in a large bowl and mix well.

  2. Stir in half the flour and mix well.

  3. Stir in the 3 eggs and again mix well.

  4. Stir in the remaining flour and salt and pepper.

  5. Heat frying pan with olive oil in to a high heat.

  6. Shape mixture into burgers by pressing together in a circular pastry cutter or in your hands. You should make between 6 and 8 burgers, depending on how large you want them.

  7. Place burgers in frying pan and reduce head to medium.

  8. Turn every 4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.

  9. Check burgers are cooked all the way through by pressing down hard on the back of them with a fish slice. No runny egg mixture should ooze out; if it does then cook burgers more.

  10. Serve inside a bap with relish, mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, sliced tomato, sliced onion, gerkins or anything else that you think makes a burger.

Serves 6-8 people. Preparation time about 20 minutes, cooking time about 20 minutes.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Spicy Butternut Squash Pie


  • 2 Butternut Squash

  • 2 Rolls of pre-rolled puff-pastry

  • 2 Onions

  • 3 Sticks of celery

  • 1 Packet of Cajun spices (or a mix of a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika and 2 cloves ground)

  • 5g of Butter

  • 2 tablespoons corn flour.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius (200 for fan oven).

  2. Cut onion finely and fry in a large frying pan with the butter.

  3. Finely slice the celery and add it to the onion and fry together for 5 minutes or until soft.

  4. Cut up the butternut squash into cubes of half an inch, scooping out and throwing away the seeds and peeling the outer skin off with a knife.

  5. Add butternut squash and cajun spice mix to the frying pan.

  6. Fry for 10 minutes, stiring every few minutes.

  7. Add 200ml of boiling water.

  8. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  9. While this is simmering grease a pie tin and line it with one of the sheets of pastry.

  10. Place pie tin in oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

  11. Remove pie tin from oven.

  12. Stir corn flour into butternut squash mix.

  13. Pour butternut squash mix into pie dish.

  14. Cover pie dish with remaining sheet of pastry, sealing edges by pressing down.

  15. Paint top of pie with milk and make two knife holes to let steam out.

  16. Place pie in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until top is golden brown.

Serve with a leafy side salad.

Serves 4.