Sunday, 16 December 2012

Jamie's (or Daisy May's!) BBQ Ribs with Cowboy Beans

Oh. My. God! These were amazing! Good old Jamie Oliver (although I was at Gatwick at a ridiculous hour this morning and he has a cake stand in Departures, I think he is slowly taking over the world....). Get beef short ribs from your butcher, you won't regret it.

What you need

5 tbsp American yellow mustard
1 x 4-bone rack of beef


4 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chilli powder
few grinds of pepper
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil


4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp runny honey
a large knob of butter
1 beef stock cube
2 tbsp water

What you need to do

Preheat your oven to 130c. Rub the mustard all over the meat. Then mix the rub ingredients together and massage these into the ribs as well. Make sure you get into all those nooks and crannies! Wack them onto a backing tray, bone side down, and cook for 5 hours.

Just before the time is up put all the marinade ingredients into a pan and cook until combined. Make a tinfoil parcel and pour in most of your marinade. Put the ribs on top, meat side down, then pour the rest of the marinade in. and cook for another hour. Remove from the oven and pour off any marinade.juices. Cook for another 45 minutes to crisp up. When the time is up remove the meat to a board and rest for 10 minutes. Pour over the juices and serve!

Cowboy Beans

What you need

2 red onions
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chipotle chilli BBQ sauce (or just the chilli)
15 g butter
3 x tins of beans ( I used haricot)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
white wine vinegar
1 tbsp black treacle
4 rashers of smoked bacon
1 sprig of rosemary
 handful of Parmesan 
stale bread

What you need to do

Sweat the onions in a little oil with the paprika. Add the butter, chillies, tomatoes bay leaves and beans (along with the can juice). Give it a stir and then simmer for roughly an hour. Season with the vinegar and salt and pepper then stir through the treacle.

In a food processor whizz up the bread, rosemary, cheese and bacon. Sprinkle this over the beans then cook at 180 until crunchy!

I served this with the ribs, homemade slaw and a jacket potato, bloody lovely.

A Little Bit of Nigella

I LOVE Nigella! The Boy loves her too but for very different reasons. I really enjoyed her last series, Nigellissima, and her orzo recipe got my mouth watering. I chucked in some celery and mushrooms and replaced the water with chicken stock. This would feed four hungry people.

What you need

400g Orzo
8 rashers of good quality smoked bacon, diced
splash of vermouth/white wine (optional)
1 celery stick, chopped
1 onion chopped
1 liter of chicken stock (you might not need it all)
1 handful of peas
1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
Parmesan to taste
a knob of butter

What you need to do

Sweat the onions and celery until soft. Add the bacon then after a couple of minutes chuck in the mushrooms and cook till the bacon is crispy. If using add the alcohol and let it bubble then tip in the orzo and cover it with stock. Simmer for the time it says on the orzo packet (if it starts to look a bit dry add a little more stock but the finished result should be risotto consistency). In the last couple of minutes add the peas so they cook through.

Finish with a naughty knob of butter, seasoning and Parmesan to taste (I like loads, but i'm a pig with a future heart problem!)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Spiced Carrot and Butter Bean Soup

I've decided that my blog is going to be like a good old bus; you wait for one post then several come at once. I can't believe that some people blog everyday, maybe I should teach the kids in ICT and get a production line going!
So, winter has really hit. Gone are the mornings that I would spring out of bed as it was light and slightly warm. Common place now is grumbling furiously, sticking my toe out in the cold and then, when finally untangled from the duvet, fumbling around in the dark trying to get dressed whilst not waking The Boy, only then to get into school and have numerous kids tell me I have my clothes back to front and inside out. Winter is all about stodge. And soup. Here is a recipe for the latter.

What you need

5-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, squashed
1 tsp ground coriander
thumb piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp red chilli (fresh or dried)
Juice from 1 orange
1 tsp of sugar
1 litre (roughly) of stock
Juice from one orange
50 g creamed coconut
1 can of butterbeans
Small bunch of coriander, stems chopped, leaves reserved

What you need to do

Sweat the onions, garlic and coriander stalks until soft then add the ground coriander and fry for 1 minute. Next add the carrots, garlic, ginger and chilli, fry for a couple of minutes then add the orange juice, stock, sugar and creamed coconut.

Bring to the boil and then simmer until the veg are done. Add half a tin of butter beans and blend. Then add the rest of the tin alongside the coriander. Season to taste!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Foodie Penpal part 2

My foodie pen pal this month was the lovely Emily who runs a great Bristol based blog. I always get really excited when I receive my parcel (I mean, who doesn't love getting stuff in the post that isn't a bill!) and this month didn't disappoint. 

Bloody iphone. CANNOT turn this picture around!
I got some 
  • Halloween cookies (The Boy polished off most of these, grrr)
  • some Bombay mix 
  • a jar of Barts jerk paste, I love anything spicy so can't wait to try this.
  • raw beetroot 'crisps', I will be a glowing after eating these
  • Pukka vanilla chai tea (this is not in the photo as it mysteriously disappeared after my birthday weekend!)
Thanks so much Emily, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoyed mine. xxxx

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Spanish Kitchen

I've been putting off writing this post because it just reminds me of how crap the English weather is and how much I love eating in the sunshine.

The Boy's grandad has a lovely place in Spain and we spent an amazing 2 week there this summer. Me, The Boy and lots of lovely food= perfect.

 Spanish Stew

 What you need

300g Pork belly
Chorizo (I used about half of a sausage!)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
50 g tin of anchovies
1 red pepper
1 jar of haricot beans
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp of sherry vinegar
1 handful of parsley

What you need to do

SO easy! Fry off the chorizo and remove. Fry the pork belly in the oil and remove. Saute the onions until soft. Chuck everything else in (apart from the parsley) with a good grinding of black pepper. Put in the oven (about 175c). Go and drink gin and tonics and play scrabble. Roughly 2 hours later (or indeed however long you want as long as the pork in lovely and tender) remove from oven and check the seasoning. Throw in the parsley
Serve with lots of crusty bread.



This was lush. Really fresh and zingy. Even better the next day.


What you need

2 slices of stale bread
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 kg really ripe tomatoes (skinned)
1 green pepper (deseeded)
1 cucumber
1 onion
300mls of tomato juice
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper

What you need to do


Tear the bread up and mix with the garlic, vinegar and 4 tbsp of water. Leave to soak for roughly half and hour.

Then put the bread mixture, plus everything else into the blender. Blend to desired texture and add water to your preferred consistency. Season with sherry vinegar to taste.

Top with any or all of the following: hard boiled eggs, onion, tomato, croutons, green peppers and cucumber.

Seafood Pasta 


This dish is so quick once you've prepped everything so make sure you start frying the tomatoes and garlic roughly 5 minutes before the pasta is ready.

 What you need


3 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
Couple of handfuls of clams
2 baby squid
Splash of white wine
12 prawns
2 big tbsp of creme fraiche
200g pasta
squeeze of lemon

What you need to do

Put the pasta on to boil.

Steam the clams in the wine until they have opened (throw any unopened ones in the bin). Strain the juice through a fine sieve save for later. 

Fry the garlic and tomato. Add the prawns and squid and cook until the prawns turn pink. Add the clams, their juice, chilli, peas and creme fraiche. 

Quickly drain the pasta (if you drain it quickly the pasta will retain some of the cooking water which adds to the sauce) and add to the fishy pan, give it a good season, sprinkle with parsley and a lovely squeeze of lemon.

As it was just the two of us and we were on holiday we ate it out of the saucepan with lots of wine. You can use a bowl if you want!

Did this a second time, check out the clams!?

Tapas, Duck Style


Tapas is amazing. Whenever The Boy and I go out we share whatever we have so we get to try as many things as possible. My life is one big tapas.

L-R Soda bread, crispy pork in tomato sauce, tomato and onion salad, calamari, fried iberico chorizo, prawns with garlic aioli, tortilla


Crispy Pork in Tomato Sauce


What you need


Pork belly strips (about 4)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Splash of sherry and sherry vinegar
400 mls pasatta
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 anchovy
1 tbsp chopped parsley

 What you need to do

Season the pork belly and cook until crispy.

In a pan saute the garlic then add the sherry and vinegar, reduce. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. 

When the pork belly in ready, cut into pieces. Pour over the sauce.



What you need


2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 eggs, beaten and seasoned

What you need to do


In a pan slowly cook the potatoes, garlic and onion until soft. Add the mixture to the eggs, stir, then return to the pan. Don't stir the mixture whilst it cooks, but shake the pan as it helps with the shape of the tortilla.
When the tortilla is beginning to look set on the top, invert a plate over the top and turn the tortilla out. Then carefully slide in back into the pan. Cook for a few more minutes. Turn onto a plate and serve lukewarm.

Went down well!

Arroz con Lagontinos y Almejas 

Known to us mere mortals as rice with prawns and clams!

What you need

350g of paella rice
2 large tomatoes, grated

2 cloves of garlic
1 red pepper
few strands of saffron, steeped in boiling water
6 slices of chorizo
1 small glass of white wine
1 litre of stock
handful of prawns
handful of clams
handful of peas
1 lemon

What you need to do 


Gently fry the tomatoes, pepper, chorizo and garlic. Add the rice and stir so all the grains are covered in the chorizo oil. Add the wine, saffron and stock. Leave simmering for roughly 20 minutes. Try not to stir it! When the rice is nearly done add the clams, peas and prawns. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from heat. Cover with tin foil and leave for 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley and lemon wedges.

A few more foodie photos

Duck Pate

Prawns Pil Pil

Fillet with Prawns and Bearnaise Sauce

Duck with Calvados Sauce

Crispy Minted Lamb Chops

Butterflied Sardines a la Duck

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Pea Risotto with Baby Squid and Chorizo

This really is an 'eat with your eyes' kinda dish. Bright green risotto topped with ruby red risotto and pearly, sweet baby squid. And, if I don't say so myself, it was fricken tasty. Serves 3 giant portions

What you need

Roughly 350 g of risotto
1 onion
(I would have also added celery but I didn't have any!)
splash of white wine
2 litres of vegetable stock (you won't need it all)
4 decent sized handfuls of peas
a sprig of mint
a knob of butter
100 g chorizo, diced
2-3 baby squid

What you need to do

Heat up the stock and keep it on a low simmer. Soften the onions in a little oil then add the rice. Stir to make sure all the grains are coated in oil. Toast the rice for about 1 minute then add the wine. Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Keep adding the stock a ladleful at a time (allow the rice to absorb the stock before adding the next), stirring continuously until the rice is soft but still has a bit of a bite (will probably take around 15-20 minutes) .

When the rice is nearly done, heat the peas through (don't do it for long as they will loose their colour). Add a few peas to the risotto then blend the rest with the mint, a little stock, a knob of butter and salt and pepper. By this time your risotto should be done so add a knob of butter, season and leave to rest.

Whilst the risotto is resting heat up a pan and fry the chorizo till crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen roll then pour nearly all the oil out of the pan, save a litttle as this will make the squid taste blimmin amazing. Quickly flash fry the squid (I do mine for literally 30 seconds!).

Serve the risotto with the chorizo and squid nestled on top. You can add a bit of Parmesan if you want.

Pea risotto with squid and chorizo

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ducks Love Hash

Anyone who has been hungover and lives in Brighton is probably familiar with the hash breakfasts at Billies. Stodgy, tasty, carby, greasy and HUGE; it really is great the morning after. However, on this particular morning I could not be bothered to walk, it is from Kemp Town to Hove (I just googled it, 1.4 miles, too far)!  So, after giving my best puppy dog eyes to The Boy, he headed off to get the ingredients for a homemade hash. I though it was pretty good, and it did the job! This serves 4 generous portions.

What you need

3 large potatoes, cubed
4 rashers of thick cut, smoked bacon
4 sausages cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion sliced
1 tin of beans
1 ball of mozzarella, grated
handful of grated cheddar
4 eggs

What you need to do

Put the potatoes on a baking tray with a bit of oil and cook on 200c for 30 minutes.

Chop the bacon into thin slices. Remove the fat and then render it down in a pan. Gentle fry then onions in the fat until soft. Add the sausages and once cooked add the bacon.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and mash slightly. Add them to the pan with the beans then transfer to a oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the cheese then crack the eggs on top. Bake until the cheese in gooey and the eggs are cooked.

N.B This time I cooked it the yolk was a bit hard. I think I had turned down the oven temperature the yolk and white would have cooked more evenly. Because I wanted a runny egg too I cooked one to go on top at the last minute.

Just out of oven, with my hard egg.

With a lovely fried egg

Chicken Broth with Tarragon Gnocci

When I'm feeling rubbish there is nothing better then a bowl of chicken soup, a cliché I know but true. However, being a bit of a fat cow I want some good old carbs with my soup and get tired of the generic bread or noodles. So when I was in the supermarket my eyes fell on  gnocchi and I though I'd give it a go. I did make then gnocchi though! I was pleased with the results; it was surprising light but filling.

What you need

Tarragon Gnocchi

900g floury potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
250g plain flour
1 tsp of dried tarragon

Chicken Broth 

1 whole chicken (preferable free range)
stock vegetables finely diced (I used carrot, leek, onions, celery and mushrooms)
a few pepper corns
whatever herbs you have (I used rosemary, thyme, bay and parsley)

What you need to do


To make the gnocchi, boil the potatoes in as little water as possible until tender. Put them in the oven on a low heat to dry them out. Mash the potatoes while they are still warm. Season and add the tarragon, then slowly add the flour, kneading gently by folding the edges of the dough into the centre and pressing down lightly before sprinkling in each further addition of flour, until it is soft. 

Take bits of the mixture and roll it into a sausage. Cut it into pieces about 2.5 cm long. Press down lightly using a fork so they are a bit curved. 

Add to salted boiling water. They are ready when they raise to the surface.

Chicken Broth

Soften the vegetables in a little oil then add the peppercorns, herbs and the chicken. Cover with water and simmer for roughly an hour and 20 minutes. By this time the chicken will be lovely and soft. Leave this to cool.

When cooled remove the chicken and shred. I then sautéed the gnocchi to served with the chicken, broth and some cabbage.

Hangover Pasta

There is nothing like a bowl of creamy pasta when your hungover. This is one of my favourites. You may not want to include quite as much garlic as I do; my love of the stuff looses me friends the morning after.

What you need

400g of Pasta (I like linguini)
250g of bacon       
4(!) cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 shallot finely sliced
handful of mushrooms (doesn't matter what you use, I like chestnut)
handful of peas
150 mls of cream
3 egg yolks
150g Parmesan

What you need to do

Put a pan of water on to boil. Add pasta with a bit of salt when the water has reached the boil

In a bit of oil (or even better, rendered down bacon fat!) gentle sweat the shallots until soft. Whilst they are happily sweating away crack on with the creamy sauce.

Grate the Parmesan and mix with the egg yolks, cream and plenty of black pepper.

By this time the onions should be nice and soft so time to crack up the heat and add the bacon (don't forget to keep an eye on your pasta!). Fry the bacon till your preferred 'doneness'. Throw in the mushrooms and when nearly done add the peas.

When the pasta is ready drain but save a little of the water. Add the pasta to the creamy sauce and then stir though the bacon mix. If it's not saucy enough for you, add a little of the pasta water.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

BBQ Seabass with Carrot Top Sauce

One thing I love about farmers market is how different the vegetables are to those boring, drab ones in the supermarket; candy striped beets, tiger tomatoes and purple carrots to name a few. I also love it when carrots come with their green tops. Don't ask me why I just do! When I was making the fish stock for my soup I asked mum if I could put in the carrot tops, to which she replied probably not because they would be bitter. So I didn't. However, me being me was bothered about this and googled it. Shock horror my mother was wrong! Found a few recipes and adapted one to go with the seabass that we had bought earlier. The seabass was simple; stuffed full of herbs (rosemary, oregano, fennel, parsley and thyme), lemon slices and seasoning and then was brushed with garlic oil. This was then barbecued over charcoal (the only way to get that amazing taste in my opinion) and was served with runner beans from the garden, anya potatoes and the carrot top sauce

Carrot Top Sauce

What you need

A handful of carrot tops (discard any thick stalky bits)
1 garlic clove
trickle of oil (I used Norfolk rapeseed)
handful of toasted almonds
half a small bunch of parsley
2 tbsp of creme fraiche 
juice from half a lemon

What you need to do 

Blend the first 5 ingredients to a paste consistency. Stir in creme fraiche and lemon juice and season to taste.

BBQ Seabass with Carrot Top Sauce

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Fish Soup

Today I had the long car journey home back to my gorgeous mum in Norfolk. I love Norfolk. My mum lives in a lovely house in a beautiful village near the coast. So lovely and friendly is the village that we have a cake stand, a fruit and veg stand, a lobster and crab stand and an egg stand, all accompanied by honesty boxes so you can pay for the produce without anyone having to man the stands.

Today we didn't visit any of said stands but instead mum went to the farmers market where she picked up some smoked haddock, salmon and cod and promptly handed it over to me. Seeing as it was still pretty warm I didn't want anything heavy so I decided on fish soup. I based this recipe on this one from the excellent Good Food website. I got the bones for the stock from the local fishmonger, within the bones was a John Dory; great for stock! The fantastic thing about this recipe is that you can add any fish/shellfish you want. Personally I don't think it would work with oily fish such as sardines but hey, that's the beauty of it, it's up to you!

Warning the below recipe is VERY garlicky, so don't expect anyone to willingly go anywhere near you the next day.

Fish stock

What you need

finely Diced carrot, onion, fennel and celery
a whole load of fish carcasses including heads
a few pepper corns
400g ripe tomatoes
a squeeze of tomato puree
pinch of saffron
strip of orange peel
3 cloves of garlic
1 small glass of wine
1 1/2 litres water

What you need to do

Because fish stock does not need long simmering (do not leave it longer then 40 minutes as the bones will start to dissolve it it will taste chalky and off boney calcium, not good!) the vegetables need to cut finely to really get all the flavour out. Once you've diced your vegetables add them to a large pan and soften.

Next add the tomatoes and garlic and cook till soft. Add the wine and let it reduce.Then add the other ingredients and cover with the water. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Stain through a fine sieve.

Fish Soup

What you need


roughly 1-1 1/2 litres of fish stock
400 g white fish
1 bag of baby spinach
roughly 600g of other fish (I used salmon and smoked haddock)
handful of prawns


3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 egg yolks
½ tsp cayenne pepper
150ml olive oil
4 tsp tomato purée
lemon juice
Gruyère , grated to serve
baguette slices, toasted to serve
What you need to do

For the soup, poach the white fish in the stock and then blend. Add whatever other fish/shell fish you want and the spinach and it's a simple as that! Serve with the rouille, Gruyère cheese and baguette
For the rouille put the garlic into a pestle and mortar with some seasoning and grind to a purée. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in the yolks then start adding the oil, drop by drop beating all the time. The mixture should thicken as you add the oil. Add the tomato purée, then lemon juice to taste, then adjust the seasoning.

The floating baguette and rouille make it look unappetising but it was delicious!


Team Miss Nunn!

Whoops! Today was first blog post in ages. This is due to having a crazy last few weeks of school but hey, 6 weeks off now and look what one parent made me....

Team Miss Nunn Cupcakes!

Yum Yum Ninja

I am a huge fan of Riddle and Finns and so when I saw they were opening an Asian sister restaurant I was very excited. Then I saw they were offering 50% off on their first 2 opening days; I nearly wet myself with excitement!

So last Friday I dragged The Boy to sample the Asian delights. The place looks cool. The outside is all black with obligatory lanterns which look lovely at night. Inside is pretty chic, with wooden tables and walls, and birdcages. We were immediately met by a very lovely waitress and within minutes had our drinks and complimentary bits (a fermented, spicy cabbage, pickled cucumber and something else which I've forgotten). The menu was exciting and fitted all price ranges. After much deliberation we settled on Singapore chilli crab, lobster dim sum and barbeque crispy pork. When the food arrived my tongue did its little excited dance, it looked amazing. We lucked into the lobster dim sum first. The sweet meat was complimented by a dipping sauce (soy and vinegar I think?), it was fantastic.
lobster Dim Sum

We then tucked into the crab. At first we didn't have any tools but these were soon provided by our lovely waitress. The crab was very fresh and tasty lovely. However, personally I would have liked a bit of ginger and lime to cut through the sweetness as it did become sickly after a while. I also think that maybe they should ask customers if they know how to 'do' a crab as a novice may not realise how much white meat is in the main body.

Singapore Chilli Crab

 Lastly we moved onto the pork. Jesus this tasted goooood! Sticky, sweet and sightly smokey. Again, on a personal preference I would have liked it crispy, but that's just me. And for a grand total of £35 for the both of us with the 50% off (including wine) it was all a bloody bargin.

hmmmmmm bbq pork

For a second day I really take my hat off to Yum Yum Ninja and I urge people to go. I really hope they get the traffic as so many restaurants seem to have failed in that location. However, with Riddle and Finns being just next door and with the food being so tasty I'm sure they'll be just fine, I'll definitely be going again soon

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Friday Fried Rice

My mum always told me to have a good meal before I go out. Since The Boy had text me at lunch time to say he'd bought a bottle of vodka and whiskey I though I'd better pay heed to mummy's wise words. I had some left over rice and vegetables in the fridge so I decided on fried rice. The beef was a bargain. In this recipe I used fillet; it's tail end and so was really reasonable.

What you need

250 g fillet steak
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
100g rice noodles
splash soy sauce
splash rice wine
splash fish sauce
2 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
vegetables of your choice
400 g cooked rice
2 eggs
soy sauce to serve

What you need to do

Slice the meat and mix with the 5 spice and cornflour.

Heat up some oil in  wok until smoking. Then throw in the beef and cook for roughly 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Then add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the wok, cook until the garlic just starts to turn golden and then add the vegetables. Stir fry for 1 minute then push the contents of the pan over to one slide and add the eggs. Scramble them until firm and then stir through the vegetables. Add the rice, rice wine, fish sauce, soy and a splash of water. Mix everything together and fry off the rice for a couple of minutes. Finely stir through the beef and serve with some sliced spring onion and soy sauce.

Friday fried goodness

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Get on the Beef

I have not met many people who don't like burgers. I can't remember meeting anyone who doesn't like a great burger. Gone are the days when you would struggle to find one as well. In Brighton we are lucky enough to have the fantastic Trolls Pantry. If you haven't tried one of The Troll's gastronomic delights then get yourself down to the Wood Store where he is now trading and check him out, you won;t be disappointed.

Well on this sunny Thursday I rustled up my own and it was pretty tasty. I got the meat from Bramptons in Kemp Town. If your going to cook a burger, you have to get your mince from the butchers, this is a burger law.

What you need

Minced beef ( I used minced chuck steak)
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of marmite

Then whatever toppings you like. My preference is gherkins, red onion, cheese, salad and tomato

A lovely treat. Served with wedges

A Little Bit of Something Nice

 When I'm in the mood for a salad my mind often wanders to the Pret Italian Chicken. Packed full of  ceasar chicken, pistachios, olives and roasted peppers amounst other things, this salad really does fill a hole. However, I obviously can't head down to Pret whenever my mind wanders so I decided to have a bash at my own. It's not quite there yet but its pretty damn tasty.

What you need

Cooked chicken breast mixed with ceasar dressing (bought or home made)
Bag of salad leaves
3 roasted peppers
small handful of pistachio nuts
few slices of cucumber and tomatoes
a few olives


1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice , plus extra for squeezing
good pinch chilli flakes
4 anchovies fillets, finely chopped
3 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
4 tbsp fat-free yogurt

Blend all but the last 2 ingredients for the dressing then stir through the mayo and yogurt then season to taste. Chuck all your salady bits on a plate and dress, it's that simple.

Tasty and pretty healthy

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


The first time my friend Stacey came to visit me in Brighton I took her to Ottomans. The night entailed eating (a lot), drinking ( a lot) and dancing around the restaurant with all the other diners and the owner, Yousef. It was bloody brilliant.

You start with bread....

Ottomans is on Lewes Road. Now anyone who lives in Brighton knows this is not the most glamorous of locations but please do not be put off. The food really is lovely. I am a creature of habit at Ottomans and always order the lamb beyati (spelling!?). It is HUGE and very tasty. It comes with a simple salad and 'Ottomans' rice. The lamb is incredible and is bursting with flavour. You're also, as by Turkish tradition, served fantastic bread with a naughty spiced butter. Continuing with tradition is the obligatory shot at the end of the meal.
The best thing about this place (apart from the food) is the atmosphere which is why I urge you to a) try and speak to Yousef, the owner, at some point and b) Go on a Friday or Saturday night. You won't be disappointed. 

Beautiful lamb

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sardine and Anchovy Pasta

Cooking is normally the way I relax. Some days, after a long day at work, all I want to do is get into the kitchen and unwind. Call it weird, that's just me. Not always. After a particular stressful drama rehearsal (1 week to go and not one rehearsal with whole cast), all I wanted was something quick, easy and in the cupboard. However, like Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboards were bare. This is what I found so this is what I cooked, classic combination that works, god bless Italy. This was for 2 with plenty left over for the next day.

Doesn't look much; tasted great

What you need:

Roughly 400g linguini
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 can sardines (boneless preferably)
1 can anchovies
2 tbsp capers
1 tin of tomatoes
small handful of pitted and chopped olives
handful of chopped parsley

What you need to do:

  • Cook pasta
  • Whilst cooking chop garlic add to a pan with a slug of olive oil. Fry for a minute.
  • Chuck in the chilli flakes, sardines and anchovies.
  • Add tomatoes, capers and olives
  • Simmer for a couple of minutes then stir through pasta

Simple and incredibly cheap.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Giggling Squid

Ask anyone who knows me what my favourite food is both for cooking and eating and they will tell you Thai. I just love the flavours and how they transport me back to many a happy times in and around Thailand.

There are many good Thai restaurants around Brighton and Giggling Squid is a great one. I have to say the service is not always great though but the food is always a winner.

Here The Boy and I had sizzling beef and chicken and cashew nuts. Not very ambitious but cleans out a cold! It was well balanced and for The Boys taste just the right amount of spice. I am a chilli nut so always pile on more!

Apologies for the photos. Once again I remembered half way through the meal to take a photo!

The Last Few Weeks

Found some foodie photos on my phone that I thought I may as well share. Really need to get into the habit of blogging as I go but the last few weeks have been taken up with writing 32 reports; very time consuming! Anyway, with just a play between me and the end of term I thought I should have a catch up!

 Beach Time Feasts

You gotta love eating al fresco. So when we had what was probably our total summer I made the most of it! The tuna nicoise had all the trimmings; anchovies, tuna, capers, red onion, green beans and boiled eggs. It was very tasty washed down with a glass of cold and dry white wine.

Tuna Nicoise

Piri Piri Chicken

The piri piri chicken was taken from BBC good and was lovely after being barbequed.


  • 1 whole chicken , spatchcocked
  • salt and pepper

For the piri-piri sauce
  • 6-12 fresh red chillies, depending on how hot you want it
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • To make the piri-piri sauce, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the chillies on a roasting tray and roast them for 10 minutes.
  • Cool and roughly chop the chillies. Place the chillies, garlic, salt, oregano, paprika, olive oil and vinegar in a saucepan, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, then blend it to a purée in a jug blender or food processor. 
  • Marinate the chicken preferably over night. 
  • If your barbequing par cook the chicken (roughly an hour) and finish off on the grill

BBQ chicken Piri and corn-lush!

 Trout Baked with Almonds

This was really disappointing. I am very lucky to have some fantastic fish mongers around me and because we're on the coast, its always very fresh. I bought this trout from Marks and Spencer so I thought it would be really tasty. How wrong I was. It tasted of nothing. The buttery almonds that I added were great but the flesh of the fish had no taste, even after heavy seasoning and lots of lemon it still tasted boring!
The broccoli was nice though! Oh and sorry for the awful photo!

This is not any fish....Its boring fish

Chicken Gyoza with Spicy Noodle Broth

Don't you love British weather?! June, and because the weather is so crap, I don't know what I want to eat half the time; stews and soups just seem wrong but then so does salad! I love Asian food and on my travels partook in a few cookery courses. So on a cloudy and blustery Friday I decided a bowl of noodle soup what what I needed. Noodle soup is great. It's healthy, spicy and comforting. However I wanted to do something different then the obligatory poached meat/fish so I had a nosy round the Chinese supermarket. Spotting some gyoza wrappers I decided to have a go and I have to say, they were pretty tasty!

What you need:

Gyozas (this left loads of left over mixture which I just froze)

2 chicken breasts
1 can of bamboo shoots
thumb size piece of garlic
1 clove of garlic
handful of coriander stalks
1 chilli
splash of fish and soy sauce
1 pack of gyozawrappers


1 litre of chicken stock
piece of ginger peeled and cut into strips
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 lime
A pinch of sugar
1 finely sliced garlic clove
1 handful of stir fry veg
1 pack of Udon noodles


  • Firstly make the filling for the gyoza. Mince the chicken in a food processor (or by hand). Don't do it too finely as the texture will be like mush when cooked, not nice!
  • Next blend the rest of the ingredients and then mix them with the chicken.
  • Make the gyozas by placing a spoonful of the filling in a gyoza wrapper and put water along the edge of the wrapper by fingers. Make a semicircle, gathering the front side of the wrapper and sealing the top. (I watched a video on Youtube to help with the technique, there are loads so just choose the one you like!)
Check out the crimping!

  • Place the gyozas on a baking tray and place in the freezer for up to an hour.
  • Then start on the broth. Simply heat up the stock with the ginger, garlic, lime leaf and chilli. Season it with soy and fish sauce, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of sugar; the longer you simmer the stock the nicer it will be!
  • When your broth tastes gooood and smells great chuck in the veg and noodles. 
  • As I have a steamer that fits over my wok steamed my gyoza over the broth at this point. A few minutes later and dinner was ready! 
Ready to be steamed

Noodley goodness!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

De boning a chicken, bum style!

Check me out, proudest moment! De boning a chicken out of its bum and then stuffing it! Can't actually explain how I did it since a surgeon (human surgeon!) lead me through it but it was stuffed with good quality sausage meat and long veg such as carrot which meant when you carved it it has a mosaic effect, thanks Maurice!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Spider Crab

There is something beautiful about a summers day; children laughing, loved up couples, the haze of smoke from BBQ s fill the air. Accompanied by the enticing smells of barbequed chicken and a light breeze, it really couldn't be a more perfect day. That is until I heard the crunch of pebbles and looked up to see a couple of fisherman pulling up their boat next to me.
Ever since I moved to Brighton I had this romanticised idea of walking down to the beach, wicker basket in hand, and choosing glorious fresh fish straight off the boat. This had never happened. So when it did my perfect day became a little more perfect. After asking if he had anything for sale her beckoned me over to a huge black tub and showed me 3 HUGE spider crabs and told me they were mine for a fiver. Bargain! I dived in, grabbing the crabs (did this very quickly in order show Mr Fisherman that I, of course, I was a dab hand at grabbing massive, untamed crabs and not crapping myself!). I then shoved them in my bag (sadly a Tesco bag for life and not the wicker basket).

I trudged my to my flat and spent the next half hour unashamedly squealing whilst trying to wrestle 'the boys' into the bottom of my fridge. Lets just say it was not a nice experience for any of us. A few hours later, and a large glass of wine for dutch courage, I peered into the fridge. With The Boy giving encouraging comments from behind I tentatively grabbed the first, and much smaller crab, and gave it a nice bath. After 15 minutes cooking and half an hour meat picking (almost to an OCD obsession) the crab was ready. Some grilled asparagus, french bread and lots of black pepper and bobs your uncle, tasty spider crab!
Grrr really annoys me that I can't rotate this!

 I might add at this point that the other two crabs were to big to fit in any of my pans so I had to get an industrial size pan from school! These were turned into a very tasty linguini that I forgot to take a photo of!

Mr Crab chillin in his industrial sized pot

Trying to escape?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Squiddy Monday

Ahhh sun! How much nicer is Brighton when the sun is shining!? When the sun is shining it's time to let go of the winter stews (this makes me very sad). As a poor teacher I always find summer harder and more expensive than winter. Winter brings the comfort of root veg and slow cooked 'cheap' meats, and summer brings lovely fish, spring lamb and the good ol' BBQ ( all this meat definitely ups the weekly food bill).
On this particular sunny day I came back from work in a summery mood. Looking in my fridge and freezer I found baby squid and chorizo. A bag of salad later and my mind was made up..

Squid with Chorizo Salad.

You will need:

roughly 100g of chorizo
3 baby squid
1 tbsp of capers (roughly chopped)
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped red chilli
enough new potatoes per person ( I used jersey royals)
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 bag/pack of salad
Chorizo and Squid salad

  • Cook the new potatoes
  • When it's a couple of mins till potatoes are done start to fry the chorizo till crispy.
  •  When crispy remove the chorizo and immediately add the squid to the chorizo oil, then capers,, chilli and then vinegar (do not cook squid for for then a minute!).
  • Just before you take then pan off the heat chuck in the mint.
  • Put your chosen salad on a plate, chuck over the potatoes, chorizo and squid then drizzle over the pan goodness. Enjoy!