Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Spaghetti in Garlic Sauce

This has a wonderful garlic sauce surrounding the pasta which gives a nice balance to the sweetness of the carrot. Just don't have it if you're about to go out or are planning on meeting any vampires.


  • 1 pint (500ml) milk

  • 2 heaped tbsp plain flour

  • 1 tsp mustard powder

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 250g spaghetti

  • 3 to 4 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut into 3 cm pieces

  • 50g medium cheddar cheese, thinly sliced



  1. Put on a large pan of water to boil for the pasta.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

  3. Put the milk, flour, mustard powder, garlic cloves and some black pepper in a saucepan.

  4. Put a medium heat under the pan and bring it slowly up to a simmer, stirring frequently to stop lumps forming.

  5. Once the milk and garlic sauce has started to thicken turn the heat right down and add the carrot and spaghetti to the boiling water.

  6. After 10 minutes strain the carrot and spaghetti to remove the water.

  7. Place the carrots, spaghetti and garlic sauce in an ovenproof dish and mix well.

  8. Place the finely sliced cheese over the top and place in the oven.

  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has gone golden brown.

Serves 2.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Feta, Carrot and Potato Rosti

While this isn't much like a traditional swiss rosti (apart from the grated potato) it's still a tasty oven baked dish which doesn't require much effort to prepare.


  • 850g potatoes, washed

  • 750g carrots, washed

  • 100g feta cheese, finely chopped (5mm pieces)

  • 50g butter, melted



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Put on a pan of water to boil for the potatoes.

  3. Boil the potatoes for six to seven minutes.

  4. Cool the potatoes in cold water after they're done.

  5. Use the remaining heat in the (empty!) potato pan to melt the butter.

  6. Grate the carrots into a big bowl.

  7. Grate the now cool potatoes into the same bowl.

  8. Add the cheese and melted butter and mix well.

  9. Press mixture into a large roasting dish. Make sure you press it down well so it sticks together.

  10. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes.

  11. Allow to stand for 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven.

Serves 2 to 3.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Kale and Potato Bake

A nice variation on the standard potato bake, the kale adds a nice variety of flavor and color.


  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 25g ghee or butter

  • 2 tbsp plain flour

  • 1kg potatoes, washed and chopped into 1 cm cubes

  • 200g kale leaves, washed, woody stalks removed and cut into 4 cm lengths

  • 1 pint milk

  • 4 egg yolks (optional, makes the sauce richer and more decadent)

  • 175g Edam cheese, wax removed and thinly sliced



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

  2. Put the ghee/butter and onion in a pan and gently fry for 5 minutes in a saucepan.

  3. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and stir well so that all the flour absorbs the fat.

  4. Fry the flour and onion mix for a further 5 minutes.

  5. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour in the milk (and yolks if using them). Stir well.

  6. Mix the potatoes, kale and milk mixture in a big bowl.

  7. Pour the mixture into an oven proof casserole dish.

  8. Top with slices of the cheese.

  9. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for an hour.

  10. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes.

  11. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Halloumi and Leek Enchiladas

The name enchiladas apparently comes from the verb 'to chilli' so don't be afraid to add more spice to this dish if you want it hotter.


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 250g block of halloumi, cut into 2 cm chunks

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tsp fajita spice mix

  • 4 tortilla wraps

  • 75g grated cheese, cheddar is best



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Fry the leek and halloumi in 2 tbsp of the sunflower oil in a pan on a medium heat.

  3. While frying the halloumi and leeks, put the onion, 2 more tbsp of oil and the chilli powder into a saucepan and fry on a medium heat as well.

  4. Stir both pans frequently to prevent it from sticking and burning.

  5. Once the onion starts to soften add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.

  6. By now the halloumi should be starting to brown on the outside. When it is add the fajita spice mix to the halloumi and a few tbsp of water to help it to mix.

  7. When everything is ready take a tortilla wrap and fill it with a quarter of the halloumi and fajita mix. Wrap the edges around the mixture and place in an oven proof dish.

  8. Repeat for the 3 remaining wraps.

  9. Pour the tomato mixture over the top of the wraps.

  10. Cover with the cheese.

  11. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Chilli Baked Eggs

When I first suggested cooking this dish when on a canal boat with friends they seemed horrified. However once they'd tried it they were convinced that it was a good idea. Be brave and give it a go, it's really just oven poached eggs in a sauce.


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 125g mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes

  • 1 chilli pepper, finely chopped

  • 4 eggs

  • 125g grated cheese



  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees

  2. Fry the onion and mushrooms in a saucepan with the oil until the onion starts to soften.

  3. Add the tinned tomatoes and chilli pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish.

  5. Break the 4 eggs onto the mixture, spacing them out evenly in the pan.

  6. Cover with grated cheese.

  7. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

  8. Serve with crusty bread or baked potatoes.


Friday, 12 March 2010

Scored Roast Potatoes

This is a really simple way to make baked potatoes a bit more interesting. Looks great at dinner parties.


  • 1 large potato per person, washed

  • 1 tsp sunflower oil per potato

  • 1 tsp dried thyme per potato



  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees

  2. Carefully cut down across the potato, but leave half a cm of flesh connected at the bottom. Repeat these cuts along the length of the potato.

  3. Place the potato in a roasting dish.

  4. Drizzle the oil over the potato.

  5. Sprinkle the thyme over the top of the potato.

  6. Bake for about an hour.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Quorn Nachos



  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 300g quorn pieces

  • 1 onion finely chopped

  • 2 sweet peppers, sliced into strips

  • 1 tsp fajita spice mix

  • 200g plain/salted tortilla chips

  • 125g grated cheese (cheddar is best)

  • 125g salsa



  1. Fry the onion and quorn in the oil over a medium heat until the onion starts to soften.

  2. Add the peppers and spicemix (possibly with a couple of tbsp of water to get the spice mix to dissolve)

  3. Fry everything together for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. While this is frying, mix the tortilla chips with the grated cheese in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for 40 seconds to a minute to melt the cheese.

  5. Pour the quorn mixture over the tortilla and then add the salsa on one side.

  6. Garnish with pickled chillis if desired and serve.

Serves 2.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Oat and Nut Roast

The addition of oats to this nut roast keeps the end result moist. This was originally inspired by a vegetarian haggis, so you can think of this as a fusion of nut roast and haggis.


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 leek, finely sliced

  • 1 tsp paprika (I use smoked paprika, but normal paprika works as well)

  • 300g mixed nuts, finely chopped

  • 200g porridge oats

  • 650ml vegetable stock (or hot water with stock powder dissolved in it)



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  2. Fry the onion and leek in the oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan.

  3. When the onion has started to soften, add the paprika and mixed nuts. Stir well.

  4. Add the oats and make sure everything is well mixed again.

  5. Pour in the water and once again stir well.

  6. Keep stirring the mixture to ensure it doesn't stick on the bottom until it starts to thicken up. This should take about five minutes.

  7. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof bowl and press down.

  8. At this point you can leave it to cool and store it overnight in the fridge.

  9. When it comes to cook it you can either keep it in the bowl, or if you've left it to cool then you can turn it out onto a baking tray.

  10. Either way, bake for 40 minutes in the oven and serve with roast potatoes and gravy.

Serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tofu Tagine

This recipe is best with proper harissa paste if you can find it. If you can't then some chopped chillies will make do as a substitute.


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 4 small onions, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, pealed and chopped

  • 6 small carrots, washed and sliced into 2 cm pieces

  • 2 courgettes, washed and sliced into 2 cm pieces

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp harissa paste

  • 250g firm tofu, chopped in 2 cm pieces



  1. Fry the onions and garlic in a large pan (a wok or tagine is best) until soft.

  2. Add the carrots, courgettes and all the spices and harissa paste.

  3. Add 250ml of water and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Carefully stir in the tofu pieces and then simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat with the lid on.

  5. Serve with freshly made cous-cous.

Serves 2 to 3.