My first post of 2023 and it’s a delicious one. My coconut and spinach chicken curry. It’s a golden turmeric creamy curry that is highly adaptable. What I mean by this is it makes an amazing vegan curry if you switch out the chicken for cauliflower or chic peas, or perhaps both.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and I look forward to sharing many recipes with you, foodie discussion and banter to come in 2023.
A classic cottage pie recipe. Minced beef and gravy with a cheesy mashed potato topping that is baked in the oven. The only difference between cottage pie and Shepards pie is the meat. Cottage pie requires minced beef whereas Shepards pie requires minced lamb. You can use whichever meat you prefer.
Don’t be alarmed by the amount of stock required in this recipe. The reason a lot of stock is required is that this recipe is a two in one. In that it also provides a delicious gravy to be served alongside the cottage pie and who doesn’t like gravy.
This recipe also can be made ahead of time and reheated later. After adding the cheesy mash topping allow to cool wrap with cling film and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to three days. Increase cooking time by 10 minutes and ensuring piping hot.
After topping with mash allow to cool. Wrap in cling film and another layer of tin foil. Use within 2 – 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge and increase recipe cooking time by 10 – 15 minutes. Ensure piping hot within.
Now that we are firmly in soup season, I felt it highly appropriate to share with you some of my favourite soups. Soups are versatile, in that they lend themselves well to an array of preparation methods and ingredients meaning that flavour and types of soups are also vast. Most soup keep extremely well, in fact most soups are better made ahead of time as it gives the flavours time to develop and intensify. Most soups are suitable for batch cooking and then freezing in portions making what is already a cost-effective meal even more so. Below I have shared some of my favourite Autumnal soups that will bring reassuring comfort and a general sense of hygge. Which I believe we all need a little of at this time of year when the skies are grey, the evenings are drawing in and the warmth of summer is behind us.
There is something for everyone from a fridge raid chicken noodle soup to bring quick succour in times of need, deep comfort in the form of smoky bacon soup or potato and leek. For those in a more virtuous spirit why not check out my turmeric, ginger, and butternut squash soup it brings a spiced heat and power punch of nutrients. My Thai noodle broth, as in authentic as it may be, provides a light spitfire noodle broth that will instantly add a little zing to your day.
A pavlova is without question one of my favourite desserts. I have quite the variety to choose from a simple straightforward strawberry, passionfruit curd, espresso and my newest pav is a chocolate one. My black forest pavlova consists of a crisp chocolate shell. That has a squidgy chocolate interior that is topped with a simple cherry curd, lashings of luscious softly whipped cream. Top it off with a scattering of finely chopped chocolate.
To maintain maximum crispness of the pavlova I suggest you don’t assemble more than an hour ahead. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare elements ahead of time. The base can be made a day ahead and stored in an air tight container. The curd also can be made the day ahead and stored in the fridge until required.
Nduja is a salami like paste from Calabria in the south of Italy. Made from the same cuts as slicing salami pork belly and shoulder. It contains local chillies and lots of spices making it very hot. The type I get comes in a sausage like log that you can squeeze out into a pan or spread on grilled bread for an almost instant crostini. When you cook with Nduja it’s a bit like anchovies in that it starts off in quite a solid form but as heat is applied it softens into more of a paste.
At Christmas this year I made Nduja sausage rolls and lots of them as I discovered that although delicious hot, they were even more delicious cold. It was a bit like a hot salami sausage roll. I haven’t stopped cooking with it since I made those sausage rolls at Christmas. I’ve been making pasta sauces, pizza toppings and even baking it into bread. One of my favourite uses for it though at the moment is in meatballs it gives them near instant fiery flavour and the sauce there cooked in to. Below is a recipe for Nduja meatballs and they are great for feeding a crowd as this particular recipe yields 40 meatballs.
If like me at this time of year you are craving bolstering, comforting even soul soothing dishes then I’ve got you covered. I joke that you can tell the season by what is on my kitchen counter and the biggest give away is the slow cooker it never see the light of day in the summer but it makes up for it in the colder wintery months. It gets so much use, I use it for casserole and stews all the time like my oxtail stew and my Irish stew but also for puddings like my slow cooker sticky toffee pudding and jam pudding. Although, like with any dish that is cooked in the slow cooker there is a lot of waiting about but it can be extremely useful on days when the oven is in use like Sunday lunch time.
As always Happy Cooking!!
Below is a video of my favourite winter foods and below that even more of my go to winter comforts.
Firstly, Happy New Year! I wish you good health and happiness in 2022. It has been another tough year lockdowns and restrictions and just when you think that it’s over the news breaks that comedy legend Betty White passed away on New Year’s Eve. Rest in Peace Betty.
New Year at least for me always feels like a time of change. I don’t really make resolutions or plans of diets. This year, however, I am going to or at least do my best to approach life more positively. The past couple of years have been trying for lots but as we move into a new year let’s do so with optimism and love.
Here are some recipes I am looking forward to in the coming days and weeks.
Christmas 2021 who could believe it? It has been another tough year of restrictions and lockdowns. I feel dread as I even type the word and want to move on as quickly as possible. As someone that is excited and can’t wait for Christmas from November 1st found myself this year as part of the boring cynical anti Christmas brigade. It wasn’t until a recent trip to London that I got into the festive spirit it really took full immersion in the sparkling lights and festive bustle that London has to offer to get me there. This also inspired my festive recipe video that can be viewed below.
Although parties are not entirely off the menu, they will not be the usual festive affair that doesn’t mean that we cant enjoy a small family gathering and I have many recipes for you. From spiced nuts for snacking on with drinks throughout Christmas as well as my chocolate dipped macaroons that look like snowballs dipped in chocolate, nduja sausage rolls that are fiery and delicious, popcorn chicken with duo of dips which everyone loves and to top it all off I have a couple of festive cocktails my gingerbread apple martini and my cranberry fizz.