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?