I love harissa, it’s fantastically versatile and can be made for a fraction of the price of the pre made brands. Visit your local Asian supermarket to buy your spices, and this will be even cheaper.
Harissa is great smeared on chicken or lamb before cooking. It’s also delicious mixed with yoghurt and drizzled over roast vegetables, or mixed with mayonnaise to add some zing to toasted sandwiches or burgers. This traditional Moroccan paste makes any tagine come alive.
This recipe will make a large jar of harissa paste that will live quite happily in your fridge for several weeks, or you can share with a friend. It also makes a nice gift for anyone who’s a foodie. This is quite firey, so use with care at first.
120 Grams Chilli flakes
1 Tsp Carraway seeds
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Salt
4 Cloves of garlic
3 Tbsp Olive oil
Cover the chilli flakes with boiling water, and soak for 30 minutes before draining through a sieve.
In a dry frying pan toast the cumin, coriander, and carraway seeds until you smell the spices. You can grind these with a pestle and motar. I don’t have one, so I used the end of a rolling pin which worked well
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and whizz until the paste start to look smooth
Transfer to a clean jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks
This makes a really tasty weekend breakfast dish, when you’re feeling a little hung over and needing something to get you feeling human again. It’s also great for a quick lunch, or if you get in from work and want to make something that will be ready in 5 minutes. This along with some hot buttered toast is my weekend happy place.
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 x Eggs
100 grams Feta Cheese (most supermarkets sell “salad cheese” which is essentially the same thing but cheaper)
Salt and pepper
You can add extras like chopped olives, or spring onions/scallions or chives, but it’s also delicious just as it is.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Cut the Feta in into 1cm chunks
Crack 4 eggs into a bowl and whisk.
Add eggs, and feta, and stir the mixture as the eggs scramble, season with salt and pepper
When the eggs are cooked to your liking serve up with toast, (this is also delicious with crispy bacon if you’re a meat eater)
I know what you’re thinking, big woo chicken pie, but trust me this is delicious. Yes, there is a lot of wine and cream, but it also has a lot of vegetables (in my mind that sort of balances it out).
This is a pie to make when you have plenty of people to feed, and it is really satisfying. Serve it with salad in the Summer, or if you’re making it in colder weather it’s fantastic with buttery mashed potatoes and greens. I used shop bought pastry (there I’ve said it, and I’m not even sorry, sometimes life is just too short)
1 Sheet ready made short crust pastry (you can also use puff pastry if you prefer_
500 Grams Butternut squash
2 Tbsps Vegetable oil
500 Grams Chicken thighs (bones and skins removed)
2 Red peppers
1 Green pepper
2 Sticks of celery
150 Grams Green beans
150 Grams Sweet Corn
Half bottle of white wine ( this was the amount of wine I had hanging around the kitchen, you can reduce this, or remove it and add 250 ml of chicken stock if you would rather not use wine)
2 Tsps Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Chop the butternut squash into 3-4cm chunks add to a baking tray and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil before baking for 20 mins in an oven preheated to 200 degree
While the butternut squash is roasting, chop your chicken, peppers, celery, and onion into 3-4 cm pieces (I like the filing fairly chunky)
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan, and on a high heat cook your chicken until its sealed. Remove the chicken from the pan, reduce the heat and add the onions, peppers and celery and cook for 5 minutes
Add the green beans, corn, butternut squash and chicken to the pan and add the white wine
Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes until the alcohol has burned of the wine (you can tell this by having a could sniff of the pan, and if it doesn’t make your nose tingle the alcohol has burned off)
Now add the cream and mustard and stir well, it will seem like there is a lot of liquid, but trust me if you continue to cook over a medium heat for another 15 minutes it will thicken into a really delicious sauce
Once the sauce has thickened check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Transfer the contents of the pan into a large baking dish, and allow to cool
When the pie filling is cool, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and drape your sheet of pastry over the filling. Brush with a beaten egg to get a nice glaze. I also sprinkled mine with sesame seeds because I love them, but don’t stress if you don’t have them, the pie will still be delicious. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is a deep golden brown
A friend randomly asked me one day if I had ever tried a Ugandan Rolex. I have to say I was a bit taken back. If I’m totally truthful I was afraid it was one of those weird sex things you read about in the urban dictionary. Turns out it was quite innocent, and I apparently have a filthy mind.
A Ugandan Rolex is a super quick and tasty vegetarian street food from Uganda, and Rolex bits comes from rolled eggs. Fresh vegetables cooked in a thin omelette and wrapped in chapati, it’s that simple. The ingredients are mixed up in a cup before frying (street vendors don’t have the time or work space for multiple bowls and utensils). This really is fuel for the whole day.
So you now you know, if someone offers you a Ugandan Rolex you don’t need to looked shocked or possibly disappointed!
1 Tbsp Cabbage (finely chopped)
1 Tbsp Grated carrot
1 Tbsp Tomato (finely chopped, I had cherry tomatoes in the fridge, but regular tomatoes work just as well)
1 Tbsp Onion (finely chopped, I used scallions/spring onions, but either works well as long as they’re finely sliced)
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Large eggs
Heat the oil in a large frying pan
Add the vegetables to a large mug, and crack in 2 eggs and stir
Pour the eggs and vegetables into the pan, and cook until set on one side
Carefully turn the egg mixture and cook for a minute on the other side (if it breaks don’t worry, it’s getting wrapped up anyway)
Top with a chapati, and turn out on to a plate before wrapping it up tightly and scoffing
If you like quick easy mid week dinners then check this out. An easy delicious dish that’s is good enough to crack out for company.
This can be made in advance and reheated if you fancy some weekend cooking. I usually serve with rice or crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices this cooks in. It’s colourful, tasty and smells fantastic,
4 Large chicken thighs ( I used ones that still had the bone in, and left the skin on. But you can use the boneless skinless ones if you prefer)
100 Grams Green beans (I use frozen ones that I have defrosted)
100 Grams button mushrooms (halved)
1 Red pepper (Cut into chunks)
1 Yellow pepper (Cut into chunks)
1 Red onion (cut into quarters)
12 Black olives, (optional)
8 Cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tsp Smoked paprika
1 Tbsp White wine vinegar
2 Cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
In a baking dish, mix the olive oil and smoked paprika and put into an oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees, for 5 minutes
Add the vegetables and garlic to the dish and coat with the oil and paprika mix, and bake for 10 minutes
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
Remove the vegetables from the oven add the white wine vinegar and stir, set the chicken thighs on top and bake for a further 25 minutes
Remove from the oven and check that chicken is fully cooked, serve when ready.
I love Summer, and get a bit carried away buying soft fruits when they’re in season.
To use up the mountain of fruit I bought I decided to come up with this take on a recipe that featured in the Great British Bake Off. This pie usually doesn’t hang around long after it comes out of the oven because it smells so good, but it’s best eaten the day it’s made. It’s also handy that you don’t have to faff around with flan tins.
200 Grams Plain flour
100 Grams Butter
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp Caster Sugar
3 Tbsp Cold water
150 Grams Blueberries
59 Grams Caster
1 1/2 Tbsp Cornflour
29 Grams Melted butter for brushing
Sift the flour and salt together, and along with sugar and the butter (cut into cubes) add to a food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs
Add the cold water gradually, until the mixture starts to form ball
Form into a ball and wrap in cling, put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes
While the pastry is chilling, slice the peaches into quarters and put in a bowl with the blueberries. Sprinkle the cornflour and sugar over the fruit making sure the fruit is well coated
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, and roll out your pastry into a thin flat disc. My kitchen was really hot the day I made this, so I found it easier to roll the pastry out between two sheets of grease proof paper, before transferring to a baking sheet
Pile the fruit into the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4 or 5cm gap around the edge of the pastry
Start folding in the edges of the pastry in pleats, and then brush with the melted butter
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. You can dust the pie with some icing sugar if you want to be fancy, this is delicious with vanilla ice cream