Smoky Chipotle Tomato Soup

I made some enchiladas a few weeks ago and added one chipotle chilli for four people. You couldn’t taste it at all; there was a little bit of smoky flavour but no chilli heat; it wasn’t the end of the world, they were still very tasty. When I made this Smoky Chipotle Tomato Soup I added one chilli again, this time for two people, and it was probably the hottest thing I have ever eaten. It’s amazing how different two chillies that look just the Read more

Layered Ragu and Aubergine Pasta Bake

I think I’m part Italian. More likely, I like to think I’m part Italian. The reason for this recent realisation is that Italian food is the food I crave the most; when I’m looking for inspiration I invariably turn my attention to that most wonderful of countries. Pasta is the obvious Italian ingredient to inspire meals but the rice dishes, salads, marinades, stews, cheeses, meats and sauces always make me feel like I’m having a little Italian Read more

Slow Cooked Lamb Curry

This slow cooked lamb curry came about because I decided I was the proud owner of far too many spices. I hope it's not just me that has drawers, jars and bags full of various spices. They were of course all originally bought for a specific recipe but some of them get used less often than others; I use a lot of paprika and cumin but not so much caraway or allspice. I've got three different types of dried chilli hanging around (ancho, chipotle, kashmiri) Read more

Fennel and Sausage Ragu

I won't lie to you. This is not a dish that's light on calories. But my word it is worth every one of them. My fennel and sausage ragu is exactly what the doctor ordered for mid-February. It's full of good, hearty ingredients and it can't fail to cheer you up from the inside out on a chilly evening. This dish is all about the sausages; the better the sausages you can get your hands on, the better the finished dish. Head to your local farmers' market, Read more

Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto

I do like a tin of food. There's something very humble about tinned fruit and vegetables particularly; and I am not one to overlook anything that comes in a can. My favourite canned good of all is the artichoke. That's how this recipe for Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto came about. Artichokes are very expensive, covered in oil (normally sunflower rather than nice olive oil) and quite small if you buy them chilled or in a jar; but in Read more

Beef Stew with Horseradish Dumplings

I made this stew on New Year's Day. I can't think of many things as warming and comforting as a big bowl of slow cooked food. My beef stew with horseradish dumplings was made up of almost everything I had leftover in my fridge and cupboards; happily simmered away with some beef shin. A delicious, make-the-most-of-everything, homely stew for four people. Trust me on the ingredients; one or two may sound a little out of place but they really add to Read more

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and Lemon and Black Pepper Cod with Birds Eye

When I'm thinking of ways to treat myself in the middle of the week I like to try and make my life as easy as possible. I prefer to make things where everything is cooked together, or use the same tools. For example I would always try to steam any vegetables over potatoes or pasta that I'm cooking, or if I'm roasting something I try to put everything in the oven. That's what this meal is all about; grabbing a few bits and bobs from around the kitchen Read more

Lentils and Chard

There’s always a pack of lentils in my kitchen cupboards. Sometimes more than one; the quick cooking red variety to throw into soups, the big fat yellow ones for making dahl and the more elegant puy for making a wholesome side dish or salad. The mealy, earthy taste and texture that comes from a lentil is part of its charm; the fact that they are so humble but so versatile and filling is why I always find myself with lentils on my plate at least Read more

Yellow Split Pea Dahl

First impressions are terribly important, but then so is not judging a book by its cover. This may look, on first glance, like a bowl of indistinct yellow mush but trust me, don't judge this bowl of incredible-ness by its 'rustic' appearance. When I have a bowl of dahl it has to be three things: comforting, frugal and full of garlic. My Yellow Split Pea Dahl, which I have been trying and testing for some time now, fulfils all of my dahl needs and Read more

Ultimate Chicken Enchiladas

We were about halfway through this meal when the OH turned to me and said, “This is the best dinner we’ve ever cooked”. High praise indeed. Although I once baked a whole cabbage and anything would be an improvement on that. Chicken enchiladas always remind me of my University days. My friend Kathryn and I would convince ourselves we could definitely eat four people’s worth of enchiladas. We’d cook it all up and be full after just half of Read more