Monday, June 26, 2017


I won't pretend this is in any way authentic, but we like it :)

Fry a chopped onion - you need a pan that you can cover for this dish. When the onion is soft, add a teaspoon of turmeric, then some rice and a teaspoon of salt. Stir it around then add stock or water. As with my usual rice recipe you want about 1 1/2 times as much water by volume as rice.

Bring to the boil. Add some diced white fish (we use cod fillets) and a cup or two of shrimp. Cover the pan and turn the heat down very low to cook for about 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, fry either some diced chicken or sliced Hungarian sausage and set to one side. Fry a sliced red pepper, leaving it with some crunch. Stir these in just before serving.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Another filling British dish for the "meat & two veg" brigade :)

This is something we hadn't done for years, thinking the kids would likely turn their noses up at it, but it turned out to be a hit!

Fry a chopped onion until soft. Add ground beef or turkey and cook until browned. Make up a couple of cups of beef stock, laced with good squirts of tomato ketchup and HP sauce and stir into the meat. Leave to simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick gravy.

Serve with mashed potatoes and assorted veg.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


This recipe follows the general guidelines in my general curry recipe, which you can find here.

In this case, I use onion, garlic, and a generous spoonful of chopped ginger, then my usual range of spices (a small amount of curry paste, dried coriander, curry powder, turmeric, and a generous amount of cumin. Add the meat, either chicken or lamb, then a couple of chopped tomatoes.

The special ingredient is a portion of Balti paste. You can get Balti sauce in jars, but I find it worth looking for the more concentrated paste, which gives a much better flavor. Follow the directions on the jar for quantity.

Stir in the paste, then add a drained can of chick peas, and simmer for about an hour.

Towards the end of cooking, stir in a dash of cream.

Serve with rice and Naan.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seafood oggies

This is a recipe we plagiarized from a pub near Bristol. An oggie is a kind of pasty, but our version uses puff pastry for a lighter finish than the traditional shortcrust pastry. We also cheat, and buy frozen blocks of pastry. A block of approx. 400g makes 4 individual parcels.

Make a thick Roux sauce (melt butter, stir in and cook flour, then whisk in milk until you reach the desired consistency). Add a spoonful of concentrated chicken stock for flavor. While the sauce is cooking, add what you want in the way of fish and seafood. We usually keep it simple, with some diced cod steaks and peeled shrimp, but you can add things like squid and scallops if you want. You should end up with a thick sauce loaded with fish & seafood.

Cut the pastry into blocks - about 4oz/100g per person - and roll out into rectangles. Brush milk onto the edges of each rectangle, spoon the seafood mix onto one half, and fold the other half over. Use a fork to seal the edges, and brush the top with milk.

Pop into the oven on a baking tray and cook at a medium/high heat until puffed and browned - about 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with veg or salad.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Spaghetti & meatballs

This is my wife's special meatball recipe ... listen very carefully, I will say this only once ...

Mix together a finely-chopped onion, ground beef or turkey, a teaspoon each of garlic salt, chili powder, Italian seasoning, steak seasoning, and a good tablespoon of cumin. Add an egg, and enough breadcrumbs to mix to a moist but workable consistency.

Form into balls and fry in a little olive oil. When the meatballs are browned, add some tomato pasta sauce and leave to simmer.

Meanwhile bring a pan of salted water up to the boil and cook the pasta. Drain, and serve with the meatballs.

This same mixture also makes amazing burgers, if we ever get a summer this year :(

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mongolian beef

Another crock pot recipe from this site.

Mix the following ingredients into a slow cooker: 1/2 cup each of brown sugar, water, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce, a finely sliced onion, some green onions chopped, and a few cloves of garlic and a small cube of root ginger finely chopped.

Coat some bite-sized slices of beef in cornstarch, and fry briefly to brown. Add to the pot. Cook on low for about 4 hours.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tagliatelle & tuna

A very quick & easy pasta dish, when you want something a little different.

Get your pasta cooking - fresh or dried tagliatelle in a large pan of salted water.

Meanwhile, make a Roux sauce (melt butter, add flour and fry a little, then slowly stir in milk, whisking to remove lumps). When you have a thick sauce, mix in a couple of cans of drained flaked tuna. You don't want the sauce too thin before mixing in the tuna because there will likely be some liquid with the fish. Once it's mixed in, thin down if necessary, and season with a pinch of garlic salt and black pepper.

Drain the pasta, serve with the sauce.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sausage & chips (or mash)

A simple and filling British staple.

Sausages - either fry or cook in the oven until browned.

Chips - these days we use a fryer that uses only a spoonful of oil. Chipped or diced potatoes come out dry and crispy.

Serve with veg, or baked beans, or salad.

Alternatively do mashed potatoes for that great comfort dish bangers'n'mash. If doing that, it's good to fry the sausages along with a sliced onion, then near the end add stock and gravy mixture to make an onion gravy.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stir fried beansprouts

We often use this as an easy accompaniment to a stir fry.

Fry a sliced onion until it starts to turn golden. Throw in a handful of fresh beansprouts and a dash of soy sauce. Toss briefly until heated through and serve immediately.

If you want a bit of color, you can add some shredded carrot or other vegetables to the mix.

General Tso's Chicken

This recipe came from a collection of crock pot recipes, and I was impressed with how it turned out.

Mix the following into your crock pot: 1/2 cup each of sugar, soy sauce, and pineapple juice, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, a few cloves of minced garlic, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and dried ginger.

Season a generous spoonful of cornstarch with salt and pepper, and coat chopped up pieces of chicken. Fry the chicken over a medium/high heat until browned and add to the crock pot.

Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. When done, the sauce should be thick. If not, thicken with a bit of cornstarch mixed with water.

When I cooked this, I had no dried ginger so I substituted a spoonful of pickled ginger finely chopped. I was also fairly generous with the cayenne. The result had quite a zing to it, OK for me but you may want to take it easy if you're not used to spicy food.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chicken Teryaki pittas

Chop some chicken into small pieces and marinate in a Teryaki sauce. Fry until cooked through. Serve in pitta pockets with mayonnaise and filling of choice such as rice, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Broccoli soup

Chop up a crown of broccoli into fine pieces. Cook until tender but not too soft - either in a pan of salted water, or a few minutes in the microwave.

Meanwhile, make up a Roux sauce (butter, flour, whisk in milk until fairly thin). You need a generous quantity when making soup. When the Roux is cooked, stir in a spoonful of concentrated chicken stock, then add in the cooked broccoli. Heat gently and stir occasionally to let the flavors infuse.

Serve, topped with fried bacon pieces, and garlic toast.


Another entry from our Mexican stable. In whatever form, wraps make a good alternative to the "meat & two veg" routine.

Chop some chicken into bite-sized pieces and fry until cooked.

Place a flour tortilla in a heated frying pan (non stick) and sprinkle on a few spoonfuls of chicken. Load it up with whatever veggies you want to include: finely-diced tomatoes, olives, green onions, diced pepper ... finish off with a generous handful of grated cheese and top with a second tortilla.

Cook on a moderate heat for a few minutes, until the bottom is nicely toasted, then flip the whole lot over. This is where you find out if you gave the cheese enough time to melt and glue everything together :)

When both sides are browned, slide out onto a plate, cut into wedges, and serve with sour cream.

It doesn't look much, but it's surprisingly filling!