There is something wonderful about Chinese chicken curry with rice. I suppose it takes me back to my childhood. Of course I suppose there is nothing authentic about it, but that yellowish creamy sauce, with onions and mushrooms makes it my favourite. You can add what you want to make it vegetarian and substitute the stock for water, personally if I want it veggie I just leave out the chicken. This really is made quicker than waiting for the order to arrive, and it is so simple it can be done after the pub! Feeds two.
Happily locked away in Cornwall, it’s a wine and ‘pick and lick’ menu at lunchtime. For my contribution at the table it needs something easily made (I am on holiday), and great for dipping or holding food that someone else expertly prepares: in this case spicy chicken, dips, sausages and a varied amount of food that tastes great and makes the lunch. So here was my contribution, a classic Middle Eastern flatbread, with a dough spread with homemade za’atar – herbs and sesame seeds. It really is quick to make with a crusty top with soft dough inside. This makes three breads, or break into smaller amounts if you want more individual sizes.
Trust me, I’m not searching the world for recipes that are a heart attack on a plate, but sometimes things are just too good not to try. Brownies (more about their history below) are one of those wonderful food creations that can be eaten at almost anytime. Great for tea-time, on picnics and even as a dessert after good meal (just add a spoon of ice cream). This one has extra chocolate chunks running through it – I used mostly dark chocolate but the choice is yours. I have a recipe for a brownie cake, squidgy on top with wonderful chocolate goo on the base. When I’ve tried it I will share it. Well, maybe.
Cuts into 16 squares or 32 triangles. Ready in 1 hour (inc cooling)
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Time to have a fish dish. Mackerel is probably my favourite fish, it is full of flavour and being an oily fish is very good for you. We are also heading into summer, so the meal needs a bit of that Mediterranean feel about it. I have taken this recipe and changed it out a little. While the original is nice, the peppers and potatoes can feel a little bland, so it has been perked up a little with pinch of chili flakes and I have exchanged the white wine for vermouth.
This serves two as a big meal or four as a regular one.
What is it at the moment, that makes me want to recreate recipes that remind me of living in America? Yes, I know this is more a Greek dish, but I lived in Texas where the weather is hotter all the year round, and this pie was always welcome. Here, I make it with fresh spinach, you can use frozen if you wish, but I think fresh is easier. I tend to pack the pie with more cheese and pine nuts. It is a more-ish and tasty lunch, or summer supper.
I have a harvest of walnuts and pecans in the cupboard. Don’t ask me why, I suppose I just kept buying them for some reason. Some I have used some to make granola, and now I decided to bake a loaf cake. I just wanted something to remind me of walking to work when I lived in the US: a lovely, sweet, cinnamon fragrance I recall wafting around (along with the smell of fresh coffee) and this cake does exactly that. It has a sweetness to it, holds its place but retains a moisture. It tastes even better on day two and will keep fresh in a cake tin for some time – if it lasts that long. I bake it in a loaf tin (hence the name) but it is really a cake – and a lovely cake at that.
So, I remember first eating these in Hugo’s restaurant in Houston. Take the flowers of a courgette stuff with cream and herbs then deep fry in batter – who thought that one up? I’m glad that they did, and it really is an easy dish to make.
Better still, they are only around in the early part of the year and look as spectacular as they taste.
An autumnal or winter warmer if ever there was one. This celeriac and apple soup is made in minutes, provides a wonderful starter (you can add scallops for extra refinement) or just a nice Saturday afternoon dish. Continue reading