Family Favourites

The Mushroom Burger

the veggie burger by heather

This is my favourite burger.  A simple morning roll, buttered.  Brush a large Portobella mushroom with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.  Add a small amount of blue cheese, I use St Agur, and eat.  Great!


Family Favourites

Scallops Bacon & Blackpudding

This is really just an assembly job and is on my site only as a reminder of how great a dish it is.  Scallops seared, streaky bacon grilled, blackpudding fried, peas purieed and mashed tatties.  This is a great main course.

Starters Vegetarian

Cheats Cheese Souffle

  • Ingredients   for six
  • 100gm parmesan cheese
  • 40gm plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • salt, pepper, grated nutmeg
  • 30gm butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites stiffly beaten
  • 350ml double cream

METHOD  Put the milk, flour,seasoning and butter in a non stick pan and whisk over a medium heat until smooth and thick. Leave to cool for a few minutes stirring then add half the grated cheese the egg yolks .and fold in the stiffly beaten whites. Butter six individual moulds or ramekin dishes and divide the mixture between them. Place in a deep roasting tin and pour boiling water into tin until halfway up moulds. Put in oven preheated to 160 (fan) for 15 minutes until firm and spongy to touch. Butter six individual gratin dishes and scatter with a little of the remaining cheese. Turn out the souffles carefully onto the cheese in the dishes. You can then leave these overnight in fridge loosely covered with clingfilm.       When ready to serve pour 2tbsps of double cream over each and scatter the rest of the cheese. Put in oven at160 (fan) for 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve immediately!!!!!










Chicken Family Favourites

Moroccan Rice Chicken & Chickpea Casserole

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 cup brown rice          
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tin drained chickpeas
  • 1/2 jar Belazu rose harisa
  • 1/2 each red, green pepper
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 2 big breasts chicken
  • Kalamata olives
  • Chopped preserved lemon
  • 1 pack baby spinach
  • Chopped mint
  • 1/2 block chopped feta

Method Fry onions, peppers and chicken in olive oil until softened.  Stir in rice and add chickpeas, harissa, olives, lemon and stock.  Cover and simmer for 40 minutes then add spinach, recover and replace on heat for 6 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.  Stir in spinach then scatter the crumbed feta and chopped mint.  Take off the heat, cover and leave for 10 minutes for the flavour to develop and feta to soften.  Scrummy.

Hot & Spicy Soups Starters

Mexican Tomato Soup

1 jar passata

2 jars chicken stock

1 onion sliced

1 carrot peeled and sliced

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons mild chilli powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup red lentils

Soften onion, garlic and carrot  in a little olive oil. Add all other ingredients and simmer until veg and lentils are tender. Blend in a liquidiser or with a stick blender until smooth-ish. Can add some fresh chopped coriander to serve.

Cakes and Muffins Desserts Family Favourites Vegetarian

Apricot Slice


1cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

6oz butter cold diced

1 cup jumbo rolled oats

1 cup pecans ground in food processor

2 1/2 cups dried apricots chopped

1/3 cup marmalade

extra 1 1/2 oz butter melted

Preheat oven to 170 fan. Put the apricots in a pan with 1/2 cup water and boil gently until water absorbed. Leave to cool.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter and procedd until a sort of crumble forms. Mix in the oats and ground pecans. Reserve a cupful of the crumble and press the rest into a greased ans lined 8x12inch baking tin.Bake for 15mins until golden. Cool for 10 mins or so then spoon apricots evenly over the base. Dot over the marmalade then and sprinkle the reserved crumble over the top. Spoon on the melted butter and bake for 30-35 mins until golden. Allow to cool aompletely in the tray. Serve sliced into squares.

Holidays Vegetarian

Moroccan Mushrooms with Chickpeas

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch flaked red chilli
  • 8oz mushrooms quartered
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1 tsp clear honey

Fry the onion in  the oil until softened. Add the cinnamon chilli and cumin and stir in. Add the mushrooms ,stir then add the tomatoes ,chickpeas ,and honey. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for ten minutes.

I like to serve this with couscous soaked along with some chopped dried apricots then roast pinenuts and chopped parsley added before serving

Cakes and Muffins Desserts Family Favourites

Rhubarb & Almond Cake


  • 200gm blanched almonds
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 31/2 oz self raising flour
  • Grated zest of two oranges
  • 14 oz rhubarb sliced into 3/4 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 160 fan. Grease and line a 9in loose bottom cake tin. Blend the almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped, remove 1oz then continue to blend the rest until like bought ground almonds.

Put 6oz of the sugar in a bowl with the butter, eggs,flour, orange zest and ground almonds and beat with an electric whisk until smooth.

Turn the mixture into the tin and level. Scatter with the rhubarb. Sprinkle with the rest of the sugar and chopped almonds.

Bake for about an hour until risen and firm to touch. A skewer inserted into centre should come out clean.

Family Favourites

Summer Salad with Asparagus

Ingredients, amounts depend on number of people to be served

  • Bag of mixed spinach,watercress and rocket salad
  • Cooked peas fresh or frozen
  • Lightly cooked asparagus spears
  • Sliced radishes
  • Diced cooked beetroot(NOT in vinegar)

Dressing made with honey,dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and olive oil

Chicken Family Favourites Holidays Main Courses

Crispy topped Chicken Bake

  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1lb chicken thigh skinless diced
  • 1 large leek sliced
  • 4oz button mushrooms halved
  • 2oz pancetta lardons
  • 300ml carbonara sauce from chill cabinet or in a jar
  • 2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • chopped parsley

Heat half olive oil in a large frypan and fry chicken until browned.Transfer to an ovenproof dish.
Add the leek and mushrooms to the frypan and fry till soft. Add to dish. Fry pancetta in pan till cooked and add to dish.
Spread the sauce over the chicken. Mix breadcrumbs.parsley and the other tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter over chicken
Bake at 170 fan oven till golden and bubbling about 30 mins

Fish Main Courses Starters

Chilli Crab and Prawn tarts

  • For four
  • 375 gm pack ready rolled shortcrust pastry
  • 1 bunch spring onions trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 25gm butter
  • 250gm prawns
  • 170gm tinned white crab meat
  • 200ml single cream
  • 3large egg yolks
  • small bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 160{fan} Use the pastry to line 4x10cm tart tins. Line with foil and baking beans and bake “blind” for 15 mins.
Meanwhile melt the butter and gently cook the spring onions and chilli for 2-3 mins. Remove from the heat and add the crab and prawns. Mix together the cream,eggyolks,coriander and lime zest in a jug.
Remove the foil and beans from the pastry cases. Spoon in the crab mixture then pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 15 mins until set but with a slight wobble. Stand for 10mins before serving.

Main Courses Starters

Tomato red pepper and goats cheese tarts

  • Cheese and Herb Pastry [for 8 tarts]
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 2oz hard margarine
  • 2oz lard
  • 1oz finely grated parmesan
  • 1teasp dried mixed herbs
  • Filling
  • 2 med red peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic crushed
  • 1x15oz 1x8oz tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 2oz tin anchovy fillets in oil
  • 1/2 teasp dried thyme
  • 2 teasp tomato puree
  • 1 egg+1 eggyolk
  • 1 teasp hot paprika
  • 1 small goat cheese log enough for eight slices

Make pastry in the usual way and roll out thinly
Use to line eight 4inch tart cases and bake blind ie lined witn paper and baking beans for 15 or 20 minutes

For filling
Deseed and chop peppers. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and cook peppers until soft about 6 mins.Stir in garlic and cook another 2 mins’ Pour in tomatoes and add chopped anchovies and their oil. Add thyme and tomato puree, season with pepper only as anchovies are salty.Simmer gently without covering until all excess liquid has evaporated to a jam like consistency[20-25 mins] Remve to a bowl and leave to cool.

Can prepare in advance up to this point.

To assemble
Whisk eggs and yolks with paprika and stir into cooled sauce with 1tbsp olive oil. Put into pastry case and top with a slice of goat cheese. Bake at 170{fan] for 25-30 mins.

Chicken Main Courses

Braised Chicken with white beans

For Two People

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 rashers back bacon diced
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 teasp dried thyme
  • 300ml white wine
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 400gm tin cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a wide pan with a lid and brown the chicken all over. Add the onion,carrot, garlic,thyme and bacon and continue to fry for two minutes. Pour in the wine and stock and season with salt and pepper. bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins uncovered. Cover and continue to simmer for a further ten minutes. Stir the beans into the pan and warm through. scatter with the chopped parsley and serve.

I usually serve with a green veg.

Beef Family Favourites Holidays Main Courses

Beef mince and bean hotpot

  • For eight portions
  • 2 onions
  • 10oz carrots
  • 2lb small potatoes
  • 1lb lean minced beef
  • 2 beef stock cubes plus one oxo cube
  • 2 x400gm cans baked beans
  • splash of worcestershire sauce
  • Chopped parsley to garnish

Roughly chop up veg
heat a large non-stick pan(it saves on the washing up)
add the mince and brown.
crumble in the stock cubes and add the veg
Pour in 1 1/4 pints of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 mins until veg are tender.
Add baked beans and worcestershire sauce.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve with a green veg of choice in shallow bowls.
Garnish with chopped parsley if liked

Family Favourites

Katies Stovies

  • 4 Large Potatoes (Tatties)
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • Left over Beef or Lamb from Family Roast (about 6 slices)
  • 1.5 Pints of Beef Stock

This is my first recipe and my daddy told me that this was the way that his great auntie Beatrice cooked it.

Peel Potatoes
Cut them into small/medium chunks
Slice the onions
Chop up the meat
Put all this in to a deep frying pan or pot
add cooking oil or beef fat
put on stove and fry it for 5 minutes
add half the stock
cook for 10 minutes
add the rest of the stock
cook for another 10 minutes
stir occasionally
once it is slightly mashy and slightly chunky it is ready

it also tastes nice with grilled venison sausages from Pitlochry and oat cakes with a glass of milk.

Enjoy – love Katie xx

Desserts Karen's Recipes

Lemon Posset

  • 600ml double cream
  • 150gm caster sugar
  • 240ml lemon juice
  • Serves eight depending on size of ramekins. Freezes well

Put cream in a pan and add sugar.
Slowly bring to boil stirring all the time.
Bubble for 3 mins stirring all time.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice and this will make mixture thicken slightly.
Cool slightly and then pour into small ramekins.
Cover and chill for 2 hours.
Easiest to pour into a jug and then dishes…cleaner!
Serve with cats tongue biscuits and a dust of icing sugar or in a sweet pastry shell as a filling.
Very rich so a small amount is fine!

Chicken Family Favourites Main Courses

Chicken Crisp

  • 1 chicken breast per person
  • butter
  • garlic
  • plain crisps

Crush the crisps as finely a possible-I do it by bashing the packet with a rolling pin! Melt the butter and add the crushed garlic.
Dip the chicken in the garlic butter and then in the crushed crisps.
Put on a baking tray in oven Fan 180 for half an hour.

Quantities are a bit loose but do what seems right to you.

Hot & Spicy Side Dishes Vegetarian

Asher Bootes Lentil Puree

  • For four -easily doubled or more
  • A non-stick pan makes this a lot easier
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 a med onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 200gm red lentils
  • 400ml water
  • leaves from a small sprig of fresh rosemary
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • I like this with any plain cooked meat but especially with baked or grilled gammon

Finely dice all the veg and cook in a little oil until soft. Add lentils water and rosemary. Simmer ver-r-ry gently stirring from time to time until lentils are soft-about 40 minutes.
season with salt and pepper

A little curry powder added as you cook the veg would make this into a great dhal for indian dishes.

Beef Family Favourites Hot & Spicy Lamb Main Courses

Chinese braised lamb or beef

  • For eight portions
  • 4 tbsp tasteless oil- I used rapeseed
  • 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 thumbsized piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced into fine matchsticks
  • 2 red onions halved and sliced
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and sliced fine
  • 1.5kg lamb neck fillets in bite size pieces or ox cheek beef.
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 teasp chinese five spice powder
  • 2 teasp sugar
  • 3 tbsp chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp dark soy
  • 500ml beef stock

Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish. Fry the onions garlic ginger and chilli for a minute or two until softened.Tip onto a plate.
Toss the lamb in the flour and fry in batches until browned using the rest of the oil.Put aside on a plate.
Add five spice and ginger mix to pan and stir then add sugar, lamb and wine ,scraping up any meaty bits.
Pour in soy and stock, bring to a simmer. cover tightly and place in fan oven at 130 for three hours stirring halfway.

Serve with boiled rice and steamed greens. Tenderstem broccoli is real nice with this dish


Key lime pie

  • For six to eight small portions[it is very rich ]
  • For the crust
  • 100gm butter melted
  • 250gm digestive biscuits
  • a little extra butter to grease pie plate-A 21 cm pie plate
  • For the filling
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can [397gm]condensed milk
  • juice and grated zest of 3 limes plus extra lime zest to decorate
  • 250ml double cream

preheat oven to 160[fan] and grease pie plate
crush biscuits in food processor and add melted butter
Press resulting crumbs into pie plate and up the sides
Bake for 20 mins until gold and cool completely.

For the filling put the egg yolks condensed milk lime juice and zest in a bowl and mix well. pour into cold crust and place in fan oven at 130 for 20 mins. Cool completely and chill overnight. When ready to serve whip cream and spread over pie. Grate a little lime zest to decorate

Hot & Spicy Soups Starters

Spicy lentil soup

  • For at least eight
  • 300gm red lentils
  • 2 litres chicken stock[made from cubes is fine]
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 med carrots chopped
  • Thumb size piece of ginger sliced into small matchsticks
  • 2 med tomatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teasp chilli flakes
  • 2 teasp med curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion garlic celery ginger and carrots for about 3 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook for 1 min. Add the stock tomatoes and lentils and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Taste for salt and pepper , liquidise and serve.

Cakes and Muffins Family Favourites

Christmas Morning Muffins

  • Makes about 12 depending on their size. I use a bun tin and cake cases.
  • 200g Plain flour
  • 3 teaspoonfuls of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Sodium Bicarb
  • 75g Demerara sugar. NOT any other, texture is important.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Small Orange or Clementine
  • 50ml Milk (Approx)
  • 60g Unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Large egg
  • 150g Dried cranberries
  • For the topping
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of Demerara sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Heat oven to 200C

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze the orange/clementine and add the juice to a measuring jug. Add milk to the 150ml mark. Add the egg and melted butter to this and beat to combine. Pour this into the dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
Lastly fold in the cranberries and fill the muffin cases. mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the tops.
Put in oven for 20 minutes.

Family Favourites Fish Starters

Mackerel Pate with Fionas Beetroot Chutney

  • For six
  • 200gm skinned boned smoked mackerel fillet
  • 250gm light cream cheese eg philly light
  • 75gm butter-melted gently
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • juice of half a lemon
  • good grind of black pepper

Put all into a food processor and whizz until smoothish
Scrape into a container, cover and place in fridge until firmed up. Serve with thin toast and beetroot chutney if available-see recipe

Will freeze really well just defrost in fridge overnight

Hot & Spicy Lamb Main Courses

Lamb with Harissa and Beans

  • For four
  • 400gm lamb neck fillet or other lamb if not possible
  • 1 large onion-chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic-chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2/3 jar belazu rose harissa
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin red kidney beans drained
  • 1 tin butter beans drained
  • 1 lamb stock cube
  • small handful fresh mint chopped

Put 2 tbsp oil in a lidded pan and saute meat garlic and onion until onion is softened. Stir in harissa and add tomatoes 1/2 can of water and crumbled stock cube. Add beans and mint. Simmer very gently for 2 hours(for neck) or less for other. I serve with couscous mixed with sauteed mushrooms and toasted pinenuts but rice would also work.

Family Favourites Holidays Soups Starters

Auld Grannies Chicken Soup

  • 3 Medium Carrots Chopped
  • 1 Large Leek Chopped – Include the Green
  • 2 Long Stalks of Celery Chopped
  • 1/2 New Turnip Chopped
  • 2 Medium Potatoes Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 1 Medium Carrot Grated
  • 2 x Chicken Leg Quarters Small or 1 x Large
  • 3 x Chicken Stock Cubes
  • 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Grinds of Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Handful of Chopped Parlsey
  • 1/2 Cup of Rice
  • 2 1/2 Litres of Water

Pour the water into the pan and add the stock cubes and the chicken pieces and start boiling.

Add all the chopped vegetables and the grated and chopped carrots, hold of with the rice just now and also the parsley.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Now add the rice and boil for a further 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces and remove the meat from the bones, chop and put back in the soup.

Add the chopped parsley, adjust seasoning, add more water if it is too thick – remember you want a medium thick texture and the rice will probably puff up more so don’t think it may be too runny.

Hot & Spicy Lamb Main Courses

Lamb and Chickpea tagine

  • For four
  • 300gm lamb-cubed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 jar Belazu Rose Harissa
  • 1 400gm tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100gm dried apricots or sultanas or a combination
  • 1 tin chickpeas drained
  • handful baby spinach

Put the lamb and a little oil in a pan and saute for five minutes. Add the onion and continue for two minutes. Add the harissa, tomatoes, chickpeas and dried fruit. Put in oven at 150 for 1 hour.Check if getting too dry and if so add a little water.
Remove and stir in spinach until wilted.
Serve with rice or couscous

Beef Hot & Spicy Main Courses

Chilli (fast good and will feed a crowd)

  • For 8 portions or more if you are not as greedy as us!
  • 1lb extra lean beef mince(yes it is healthy too!)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 sachet schwartz chilli mix
  • 1 sachet schwartz hot chilli mix
  • 2 400gm tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400gm tins red kidney beans drained
  • 1 oxo cube

Put a little oil in a large non stick pan with a lid and saute mince and onion until mince is brown and broken up. Add both sachets of chilli mix and tins tomatoes. stir and add one canful of waterCrumble in the oxo cube. Bring to a simmer, put on lid and place in fan oven at 150 for 1 hour.
Serve with boiled rice and grated cheddar if liked.

Salads Side Dishes Vegetarian

Black bean salsa

  • for four
  • 1/2 cup black beans soaked overnight and cooked and cooled
  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled and diced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes cut in chunks
  • 6 spring onions sliced
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teasp ground cumin
  • 1 avocado peeled and diced
  • small handful coriander herb chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

Mix all together and add a little salt to taste.

Great served with roast salmon or other oily fish

Fish Main Courses Salads

Salmon lentil and black olive salad

  • For four
  • Dressing
  • 2 oz kalamata olives
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic,crushed
  • 1tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp small capers
  • Salad
  • 200gm fine green beans
  • 4 eggs boiled
  • 500gm cooked puy lentils-I used two packs of Merchant Gourmet ready to use
  • 4 large tomatoes deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 8oz cooked salmon

Chop the olives and put in a bowl with the olive oil,vinegar,garlic,mustard, basil and capers. Add the tomatoes to the bowl. Cut the beans in half and cook for three minutes. Cool and add to bowl. Warm lentils in microwave for 20 seconds and add to bowl. Put this mix on a large flat serving plate and arrange the eggs cut in quarters and the salmon flaked on top.Serve with crusty bread

Fish Main Courses

Salmon Pastry Parcel

  • For four
  • 4 narrow strip fillets of skinless boneless salmon-
  • about 1inch wide
  • 4 teaspoons pesto
  • 400gm ready rolled puff pastry
  • 8 asparagus spears blanched for about 1minute
  • 1 beaten egg

Roll out pastry if necessary to make a 12 inch square
Cut into 4 x6in squares
Place a salmon fillet diagonally on each piece of pastry and spread pesto on salmon
Place two asparagus spears on each piece of salmon then use egg to dampen diagonal corners of pastry and fold up over salmon and asparagus. Use rest of egg to paint on pastry and bake at 200 deg for 20 minutes

Lamb Main Courses

Lamb and Butterbean stew

  • For Two to Three
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lamb cubes(I like boneless neck fillet)
  • 12oz onions peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 400gm tin butterbeans drained and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • large sprig of fresh thyme or dried if you must
  • 8fl oz chicken stock
  • salt pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan and fry the meat and onions until srarting to colour then add the garlic to soften a little.
Add the beans ,bayleaf,thyme and stock.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and cook in a preheated oven at 160 for 1-1 1/2 hours. Check seasoning add parsley and serve.
I like this with a mixture of mashed potato and cooked finely chopped cabbage.

Hot & Spicy Main Courses Side Dishes Vegetarian

Chickpeas with Chilli and Tomatoes

  • For Four
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely sliced-or normal if that is what uou have
  • 3 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2x400gm tins chickpeas drained or the equivelant in fresh cooked
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 500gm small tomatoes sliced in half
  • 200gm baby spinach leaves
  • Plain yoghurt (I like Greek) to serve

Heat a large deep pan and add the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and salt. Cook stirring for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the ckickpeas, 80ml water, cumin and pepper andd cook for five more minutes until most of the water evaporates. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes to soften. Taste for seasoning then stir in the spinach so it wilts. Serve with yoghurt and boiled rice or nan

Family Favourites

Lemon Curd

  • Makes one 14oz jar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4oz butter
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • finely grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

Beat the whole eggs and 1 yolk together. Melt the butter in a saucepan on a LOW heat. Add sugar, zest and juice then the beaten eggs. Stir over a gentle heat until the mixture thickens. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. CARE or you will end up with lemony scrambled eggs!
Pour into a jar and seal.
this should keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge-as if!

Hot & Spicy Side Dishes Vegetarian

Aubergine Dhal

  • For two people
  • Splash oil-not olive
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teasp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teasp cumin seeds
  • 1 teasp nigella seeds
  • 1 tablespoon medium curry powder
  • 3oz red split lentils
  • 1 small or half a med aubergine cut in bite size pieces
  • 1 large or several small tomatoes cut in chunks
  • 1 handful fresh coriander-chopped

Heat the oil and saute the onions for a few minutes until soft and lightly brown
Stir in garlic, ginger,seeds and curry powder
Add lentils with tomatoes and 300ml water
Add aubergine and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
Add coriander and serve

Chicken Hot & Spicy Main Courses Starters

Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps

  • For four as a main course or eight as a starter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 teasp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 chillies one finely chopped and one finely sliced
  • 500gm chicken or turkey mince
  • finely grated zest of one lime
  • juice of half a lime
  • 3 tbsp thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp kechap manis
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar (or any sugar)
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 25gm thai basil(v important-not ordinary basil) Chinese supermarcket usually has this,especially at weekends
  • 2tbsps salted peanuts chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced into long strips
  • 2 little gem lettuces, separeted into leaves to serve

Heat the oil in a large deep frrying pan
Stir fry the chopped chilli, garlic and ginger for a minute
Add the mince and continue to cook for five minutes until cooked through. Stir in the lime zest,juice,fish and oyster sauces,ketchap manis,sugar and stock. Simmer for another two to three minutes.
Add the basil and spring onions and give another quick stir.
Spoon the mixture into lettuce leaves and garnish with finely sliced chilli

Hot & Spicy Main Courses Salads

Tropical Salad with Chilli Dressing

  • For four servings
  • 1 bag ready prepared salad leaves of your choice
  • 1 med avocado peeled and chopped
  • 1 mango peeled and chopped
  • 4 spring onions sliced finely
  • small handful walnuts or pecans chopped coarsly
  • 6 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cucumber peeled deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • Poached salmon enough for four-depends how hungry you are. Can also use cooked chicken
  • Dressing
  • 2 tbsps sweet chilli sauce
  • 2tbsp mayo
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teasp of toasted sesame oil

Arrange the ingredients in the order given on a large flat platter.
Place dressing ingredients in a blender and blitz for a few seconds.
Drizzle over salad and serve at once with crusty bread if wanted

Chicken Main Courses

Elizabeth’s Italian chicken

  • For four
  • 125g Mozzarella Ball cut into 8 thin slices
  • 4 Chicken Breasts flattened with rolling pin between cling film
  • Handful Shredded fresh Basil leaves
  • 500g Fresh Pasta Sauce
  • 4 Slices Parma Ham

Pour Pasta Sauce in 8 x 12″ ovenware dish and add Basil leaves on top of sauce.
Season (salt and pepper) each Chicken Breast and fry in Virgin Oil until golden brown on both sides 3-4 mins. Add the chicken on top of Basil leaves and cover each escalope with a slice of Parma Ham then 2 slices of Cheese and 2 Basil leaves .
Assemble and cook in oven 180C for 30 mins.
Serve with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and green vegetables.
Tip. Brush the Basil leaves with a little oil, helps them not to dry while cooking.



Very Berry Lemon Tart

  • 1 8inch sweet pastry case(I buy mine from waitrose due to a total failure to handle sweet pastry)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 85gm caster sugar
  • 65ml single cream
  • 40ml lemon juice
  • 40ml lime juice
  • 1 punnet of blackberries or any other fruit you fancy to decorate.
  • For Raspberry sauce to serve
  • 1 punnet rasps
  • sugar to taste
  • I sometimes grate the lime rind and add to filling

Preheat the oven to 160c. Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat to mix. Add the cream and juices and beat to combine. Pour into pastry shell and bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool and decorate with the blackberries

To make the raspberry sauce just liquidise the rasps with some sugar and rub the puree through a seive to remove seeds. Now would be a good time to add a little liqueur if you fancy, perhaps framboise or cointreau.

Holidays Salads Starters

Fusion Starter Salad

  • For two people
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2-4 tasty tomatoes depending on size
  • half a small red onion finely sliced
  • 4 slices of parma or serrano ham
  • 1 lime
  • parmesan shaved from a piece
  • salt pepper
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Peel the avocado and remove the stone.
Cut the avocado and the tomato into chunks and arrange on two plates. Scatter over the red onion and ham torn into smaller pieces. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little olive oil and juice from the lime.Scatter with the parmesan shavings and chopped coriander.

A strange combination I know but it really works!!


Taleggio Tart

  • Serves four
  • 25 gm butter
  • a little olive oil
  • 240gm muchrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • 375 gm chilled puff pastry
  • 300gm sliced taleggio cheese
  • 1 egg beaten

Heat half the butter and a little oil and add the sliced mushrooms. cook until softened.Set aside
Heat the rest of the butter and oil and fry the onion gently until meltingly soft then add the fresh thyme to taste.Season with freshly ground pepper. Cool.
Unroll pastry onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Cover one half with the onion ,mushrooms then sliced cheese.Brush the pastry edge with beaten egg and fold pastry over and seal.
Chill for 30 minutes in fridge.
Preheat oven to fan 200c.
Brush the pastry with the rest of the egg and lightly score the surface in a lattice pattern-take care not to cut right through. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden
I serve with a green salad