nduja meatballs

Nduja Meatballs

Hi there! & Happy Wednesday…

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

Daniel Diver Recipes

Happy New Year 2022

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.

Turmeric, Ginger & Butternut Squash Soup

Turmeric, Ginger & Butternut Squash Soup

Harissa Prawns, Spinach & Spaghetti

Harissa prawns spaghetti

Tandoori Chicken

 Take care, stay safe & Happy eating in 2022.

Harissa prawns spaghetti

Harissa Prawns with Spinach & Spaghetti

A quick dinner that is big on flavour. I use wholewheat spaghetti it’s nutty depth is perfect with the gutsy harissa prawns. You can of course though use regular spaghetti. By the time the spaghetti is cooked everything else will be ready to go meaning that you can have dinner on the table in 10 minutes. I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great weekend.

Valentines recipe idea

Valentine’s Day Recipe

The origins of Valentine’s Day

 February 14th Valentine’s day; a celebration of love and romance. St. Valentine’s days romantic connection originated from the festival of Luprecalia, held in mid-February. The festivals celebrations included the pairing off of men and women hence it’s romantic connection.  The day got its name from a priest that was martyred by emperor Claudius II Gothicus and his body buried close to the Ponte Milvio, to the north of Rome, on February 14th. The feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelaius Ad 469. It is believed that the colour red became associated with Valentine’s day to represent the blood of the martyred St. Valentine.  

Let talk food and drink  

What makes a recipe romantic? Is it the mood enhancing chocolate, the aphrodisiac qualities of oysters or perhaps some celebratory bubbles? For me someone who is completely food obsessed it’s quite hard to narrow down. I think whatever the dish maybe it must be easy on the washing up and dessert should be a make ahead one. I’m sure a kitchen strewn with dirty pots and pans does not make for a romantic setting. Below I have made a few suggestions as to dishes that I feel may help with the romances.  

Steak tagliata , is a steak that is simply cut into thin strips, in fact it gets its name from the Italian word tagliare meaning to cut. I use a big juicy sirloin steak and can easily feed two of us with the one steak, and we aren’t light eaters. If this sound like the dish for you check out the recipe below.  

thinly sliced underdone steak with rocket salad
Date steak valentines steak

Pasta alla Carbonara  

What’s not to love about this classic Italian dish? It has some of the best flavour combinations eggs, bacon, pasta and cheese. This is another very quick dish, by the time the pasta has cooked everything else will be ready to go and only needs tossing together. Of course should the mood take you, you and your significant other can always have your Lady and the Tramp moment with this dish. 

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara

Sesame Duck & Orange salad  

Again, another quick-fire recipe after all who is going to be in the mood if they have been slaving away in the kitchen all day and what a quacking recipe it is too. By the time the duck breasts have rendered out their fat and become golden brown and crispy skinned and had a few minutes resting everything else should be ready. 

duck salad

Let there be sweet 

My go to dessert for Valentine’s day would without question be my quivering prosecco jellies with strawberries. These grown-up jellies still have a little tongue tingling fizz from the prosecco. It is an absolute requirement for me to have some double cream to pour into the crater left after every spoonful.  

No Churn Nutella Ice Cream  

Would any Valetine’s day be complete without chocolate? This is one of my favourite ice-cream recipes it only requires 3 ingredients and a quick whisk together and then pop it into the freezer until frozen.  

No churn chocolate hazelnut ice cream

Raspberry Ripple & White Chocolate Mousse  

I feel a little ambivalent about white chocolate or at least I used to until I discovered good white chocolate the kind that comes flecked with vanilla seeds. Again, another simple dessert that requires very little cooking a few minutes in fact to make the raspberry sauce and melt the white chocolate.  Then just just pop them into the fridge until ready to eat.

Raspberry ripple white chocolate mousse
Raspberry Ripple & white chocolate mousse

You may also like to check out some of these delicious cocktails here 

Chicken & Chorizo Orzo

Chicken & Chorizo Orzo

Chorizo often creeps its way into my comfort food and go to recipe for a couple of reason one is its long shelf life I always have a couple stashed in the fridge and the other is because I simply adore its flavour and the flavour it imparts on any dish it is cooked with. For example, the flavour it can bring to a simple pan-fried chicken breast is phenomenal. Simply chop the chorizo warm it through in a dry pan until it releases those flavoursome orange tinted oils, remove from the pan then fry a butterflied chicken breast seasoned simply with salt & pepper in the oil until cooked through. Top with cheddar cheese and pop under a hot grill to melt the cheese. Yum!  

This brings me to my chicken & chorizo orzo which is the type of bolstering comfort food I love. The orzo gets all sticky and gives the whole dish a velvety texture, the chorizo gives bright bold flavour and the chicken cooks in the steam released from the whole dish and the skin in the final 15 minutes in the oven with the lid off makes the skin really crisp up and bronze. Truely comfort food at its best. It also helps that it is very easy on the washing up. Check out the recipe below. 

oxtail stew recipe

Slow Cook Oxtail stew

If like me you are craving hearty comfort food then have I ever got a recipe for you this slow cook sensation creates a large vat of stew that can make several dinners and only gets better the longer it sits. It also can be frozen making it extremely useful for weeknights. Simply thaw and reheat.

Oxtail is a cheap old fashioned cut, like most cheaper cuts it benefits from a long slow cook to make it tender. My recipe takes 5 hours in the oven so that the meat becomes so tender that it comes away from the bone with the slightest nudge with a wooden spoon. If it makes things easier you can pop it into a slow cooker rather than the oven, especially handy when your working.

I recommend eating with a large bowl of buttery mash or champ potatoes. To change things up for the next meal cook some pappardelle pasta, reheat and stir through the meat sauce, and sprinkle with a generous amount of parmesan for a rich and delicious ragu, or top with puff pastry for a delicious and simple pie to take care of the leftovers.

Rocky Road Ice Cream Cake

Super easy rocky road ice cream cake

I love recipes like this. It is easy on the washing up, quick and easy to make, and really the cake part itself requires no cooking a bit of mixing and chopping that’s it. The texture is that of a creamy delicious vanilla gelato which is great as is, but what really makes this extra special is that it is loaded with delicious rocky bits giving it a nubbly texture. Almost every time I make this I add different bits and pieces. I always use shop-bought meringues and mini marshmallows as these never freeze solid and really give it a magnificent texture. You could add crushed crunchy bars, chocolate-coated peanuts or raisins, finely chopped up a brownie, really almost anything you like, within reason.

So after the quick initial mix together and adding your favourite ingredients it’s just a matter of dumping into a lined loaf tin smoothing the base. Pop it into the freezer for about 4 -6 hours, although I usually get on with this a day ahead, making it a great make-ahead dessert.

rocky road ice cream

The warm chocolate sauce is really only a matter of meting chocolate together, nothing difficult there. The chocolate sauce itself isn’t terribly sweet as the ice cream cake is sweet enough and it brings balance. I have used a combo of milk and dark chocolate so that you don’t need to get out sugar or any other sweeteners at the last minute. Who wants that extra work? If you are making for kids you may want to increase the milk chocolate or entirely milk chocolate or failing that just a couple of squeezes of golden syrup whilst it’s melting.

I hop you enjoy the recipe and for anyone who prefers to watch a recipe check out my You Tube channel where you can view all my recipes. Please leave a comment, give it a thumbs up, subscribe, and switch on the bell notification if you haven’t already.

Lamb ribs

Luscious lamb ribs

I am delighted and excited to share with you my recipe for lamb ribs. I am evangelical about this recipe. My first encounter with lamb ribs was at a young age. A local supermarket sold them and as a rare treat, we would get them occasionally. These ribs were kept in a hot cupboard all day and whilst big on flavour were nothing more than fat and bone, which is really a lot of what a lamb rib is about. These ribs were never very impressive in comparison, in appearance anyways to other ribs with there sticky glazes and sauces, but what they lack in appearance they sure made up for in taste. These ribs are nostalgic for me and evoke memories of childhood. Chewing on the bones until every last ounce of meat and flavour was gone.
I had completely forgotten about them for such a long time until recently seeing them in an utterly alluring episode of Simply Nigella. I tried immediately Nigella’s. Recipe and I did love it, but I had to reinvoke the flavours of my youth, and thus this recipe was born. I also as an adult realizing how expensive lamb can be, am even more entranced by this cut as it is not only one of the tastiest ways of eating lamb but also one of the most inexpensive was too.
I use a shallow roasting pan with a wire rack so that the ribs, which are a fatty cut, as they cook render their fat and let it drip below. I use all my favourite herbs and spices to use with lamb when cooking these; cumin garlic rosemary and of course mint. They take a long time to cook but are a very simplistic recipe. It’s merely a matter of combining the spices with just enough oil to make it into a wet rub to smoosh and coat the ribs in. When they have had their time in the oven the fat will have shrank and crisped, and the meat so tender that it comes away from the bone with ease.