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Friday night spicy meatballs

Early this week I saw a tweet mabout a Smitten Kitchen post from last year for braised ginger meatballs in coconut broth which looked excellent and I was excited to try it when I got home.

The Perfect Christmas Cake

I love a real Christmas cake, a dark fruit cake, slightly too soft, a little booze, and disproportionatly more mazipan than strictly neccessary. This year I decided to to follow the very excellent Completely Perfect by Felicity Cloake.

Instant Pot beef Curry

The more I use the Instant Pot, the more I appreciate being able to easily use different cooking techniques without doing more washing up. Recently I’ve used it a few times to make curries and uncovered the left-right-left of Instant Pot cookery: saute - pressure cook - saute.

Spicy roast potatoes

I made this as a side dish the other night, but it was the star of the show, hence writing this up, but the lack of photos.

Christmas dried fruit tart tatin

Whilst noodling through John Whaite’s very excellent Comfort I ran across his fig, prune and port tart tatin. I’ve alwaysrather enjoyed tart tatin, with it’s unctuous and gooey fruits and pleasingly crisp base/top, and it’s the time of year when dired fruits are often on offer in the supermarkets.

Herby cheese and onion push together bread

I remember this from growing up, but didn’t know where it came from. A bit of googling suggests it was probably from Nigella Christmas. The original reciepe calls for snipped sage leaves.

Turkey Samosa

You will need For the dough 200g of plain flour 60g fat (I used some lard) About 6 tablespoons of cold water For the filling In total it should add up to a couple of big handfuls

Spicy Sweet Potato InstantPot Soup

Instance I joined the Cult of Instant Pot I’ve become a fulltime convert. The thing I love about it most is having everything in one pot which does everything.

Christmas Loaf

This is an enriched bread dough, with a bunch of seasonal fruit, a dose of spice and some light brown sugar. I threw in a tangarine too, which lead to too much moisture and to load sinking in the middle, but it tasted great.

Tiny meatballs in roast tomato sauce

Roughly this time last year I made 5 ingrediant tomato meatballs for the first time and it is excellent, we’ve had it numerous times. Tonight I decided to enrich it a little with some leftover double cream and tweak the spice mix a bit.

Sausage Roll Tea

Yet more Completely Perfect for a Saturday tea, but this time I went off piste when following the perfect sausage rolls. I love a sausage roll, they’re much better than the sad limp party food they are thought of as.

The perfect chicken tikka masala ans naan

I’m continuing to work my way though Felicity Cloake’s excellent Completely Perfect and for a Saturday night what’s more fitting than the perfect chicken tikka masala with the perfect naan.

Chicken liver pate

I got a copy of Felicity Cloake’s Completely Perfect for my birthday and I’ve been working through it for the last few months. It’s brilliant, you should absolutely buy a copy.

Saag Aloo Paneer

The airfrier came into its own this week when I discovered I could use it to make tiny cubed roast potatoes. Delicious in their own right, but excellent as part of the bulk of a meal.

Fakeaway vindaloo

Another Friday night fake takeaway, though this time probably just as unhealthy as the bought variety. I realised I’d never had a vindaloo before, always writing them off as too hot (and thus generally not very flavoursom), but the combination of pork and mustard always sounded good.

Fakeaway duck pancakes, lemon chicken and salt&chilli prawns

I love Chinese food, especially dim sum and Sichuan hot pot, but when it comes to takeaway, naff English style dishes are my weakness. There’s something about crispy fried things in a slightly gelatinous sauce that really hits the spot.

Quick roast vegetable tea

Tonight was one of those nights where I wanted something quick, tasty and passingly healthy. “Vegetable corner” of the kitchen looked like it needed a clearing out, so it was a good excuse to roast it all.

Beef and mushroom chilli with sweatcorn cornbread muffins

This year I’ve had more success than last year growing chillis, so it was high time I made a chilli with them. I also managed to grow a tonne of herbs, so I thought I’d make use of them too.

Blooming onions and fried chicken

Many years ago, whilst watching Buffy, Spike (the best Buffy character) mentioned Blooming Onions. The idea piqued my interest, and then I forgot about it.

Green beans with pork, peanut and lentils

A quick writ eup for a quick tea. I had a big bag of green beans that I neeed to use up and some diced pork shoulder in th freezer.

Saag Black Pudding

Recently I’ve been cooking a lot of spiced spinach dishes. It’s a tonne of green vegetables, full of spicy goodness and if you squint you can convince yourself it’s healthy.

Day long marinades and lightly smoked wings and ribs

I’ve not had a lot of time for fun cooking recently, but I’ve bene really enjoying simply cooked meat on the BBQ with fresh salad.

BBQ Garlic mint lamb

My garden is producting a tonne of mint and parsely this summer so everything at the moment is being made with as much of both as I can get away with.

Saag paneer

After a busy week mostly fuelled by snacks and black coffee we needed a dinner full of vegatables than was also satisfying. The combination of a tonne of spinach and cheese fitted the bill.

Lamb kofta with a bitey salsa verde

Another meal wrapped in a flatbread! I think I have an obsession, possibly an addiction. You will need Flatbreads (I used some bought (and discounted!

Soft wraps with oven roast veg and two cheee

Reasonably often we make flat breads, pile them full of tasty things and hot sauce and at them with our faces. It might be a bit formulaic, but it’s always tasty.

Making yoghurt

In a recent tweet my friend Branden mentioned making his own yoghurt to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the house and it reminded me that I’d always meant to have a go.

Friday night tacos with corn & pineapple salsa

All the best food is interactive, and some rare beef tacos with a sweet and spicy salsa are just the ticket on a Friday night after a long week.

Easter Bread & Butter Pudding

I love bread and butter pudding and I love hotcross buns, so when I left a pack of hotcross buns out and they went stale there was only one option - another using up combo recipe.

Rare steak and asian flavours noodle salad

A super quick tea with lots colour, crunch and spice. The rare steak melts in the mouth. You will need A small steak of of high quality as possible (this was a 300g filet between two) A block of noodles A big handful of beansprouts 3 spring onions, green parts finely slices, white parts sliced into battons 1 carrot grated A few inches of cucumber, cut into fine battons 1 red chilli finely sliced 1 teaspoon of runny honey 2 teaspoons of soy 1 teaspoon of fish sauce 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds Half a teaspoon of grazed ginger The juice of half an oranges A hard handful of peanuts, ideally unsalted but salted will be ok.

Super quick squeaky cheese salad

A super quick tea, ten minutes from coming in the door to getting in your face. This is also a super quick write up too, sorry.

Jerk spiced beef stew

For April is still unfeasibly cold and grey, so I fancied some sunny flavours. Nothing tastes more like the sun that jerk with is sweat chilli, bright thyme and fragrent spices.

Spiced pineapple slices

I love fresh pineapple. Recently we’ve been eating it in salsa a lot (grill until blistered, mash with chilli and corriandar), and it made me thing of something I heard years ago but can’t source, that ripe pineapple is great with salt and chilli powder.

Spicy dry fried beef with roast tomato salsa taco-a-likes

Another using up meal which turned out really well. I firmly believe that food you put togehter with your hands at the table is always the most fun, this being no exception.

Rib sticking using up pudding for a cold day

The weather turned cold and miserable today, so I decided to kill four birds with one stone: Steamed suet pudding, to help get though the weather Use up some oranges that were going past their best Answer the question: can you make suet pudding in a slow cooker Answer the question: can you use clingfilm instead of muslin and safe yourself a tonne of time.

Red roast sausages

This was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe that involved a lot of standing at the stove and stirring. Being a lazy and busy man, I shoved it all in the oven and relied on a bit of vigerous stirring at the end.

Airfried Halloumi

After seeing deep fried halloumi on TV this week, I wondered whether it could be airfried. Good news, it can! You will need A block of halloumi cut into chunky chips.

Slow cooking beef with dumplings

Yep, it’s still winter, so it’s still legally required to eat stew once a week. Shin beef always slow cooks brilliantly but the probelm is you can’t do dumplings in the slowcooker (I’ve not tried it yet anyway), thus this was slow cooked for 8 hours, then finished in the oven.

Sprouty sausagey pasta

After Christmas sprouts are still in the shops and excellent. Fine sliced they can be used in loads of places. I’d not thought of having them in pasta but the combinate with sausage is great.

A quick and tasty tart

Starting the year as I mean to go on, this is quick and tasty. Also it uses my awesome non-tick roasting tin for nearly no washing up.

Pan Haggityish

It’s that time of the year (that most wonderful time of the year) where you can completely justify eating comforting food. YES - I said it again - the weather is rubbish, everything seems to be terrible and it’s totally justified to eat pork, carbs and cheese baked in meaty salty delicious stock.

Sausages in a chunky gravy

It’s that time of the year (that most wonderful time of the year) where you can completely justify eating comforting food. You will need 3 decent quality sausages per person (I used the Italian jobs from the most excellent Block’n’Blottle) A medium onion per person (halved and then quartered) A measure of sherry/masala/glass of wine/beer A bay leaf A tablespoon of plain flour A blob of butter (25g maybe) Half a stock cube Do Pop the sausages and butter in an oven suitable pan on a medium heat Cool under the sausages have some colour and then remove, keep them to one side Pop the oven on 180 Stick the kettle on Add the onions and bay leaf to the pan, reducing the heat Cook the onions until browned but still juicy.

Pan fried meat with rich sauce

There’s nothing cleer here, in fact it’s all a bit 70s French, but it is delicious. If you want a cleaner finish, skip the onions.

Spicy roast chicken

Marinading chicken pieces and baking them in the oven is super simple and delicious. I always seem to have lots of yoghurt marinade left and there’s nothing you can do with it because it’s full of raw chicken.

Meatballs with roasted tomato sauce

Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite is a tremendous read and really quite an inspiring book. This dish was very much inspired by it, with a bit more garlic.

Improvised squash curry

It’s the time of year (the week really) when squashes and pumpkins are super discounted. I’ve generally no idea what to do with them, but I pinched the method that HelloFresh often uses, roasting in the oven and then saucing.

Homemade Bresaola

I’ve been facinated with charcuterie for years (mostly because it’s tasty) and I got given a copy of Curing & Smoking: River Cottage Handbook No.

Honey ginger chicken

To try and break a bt of a food rut we’ve been in were trying out recipes from Perfect Plates in 5 ingrediants, shopping specifically for the ingrediants for chosen dishes, rather than doing a general shop and making stuff.

Irn Fyre Chicken Drizzle

I’ve been experimenting with marinading wings chicken in Irn Bru before frying them to see if the Bru flavours come though. They do, but it’s not as strong as I’d hoped.

Better fried chicken

Fried chicken is something I obsess a bit about. I make it rarely (because it’s deep fried), so I try to make the most of it.

Twice cooked leeky pork

Cooking pork twice, once to help break down the fat/cartalidge and once to crisp up the outside seems to be a winning formula and the combination of “poor man’s sous vide” and the Airfryer works brilliantly.

Sticky soy honey salmon

I have a bit of a thing for sticky sweet meat dishes, and so this mid-week dinner was a bit of a guilty plesure. The poached bak choi is a good foil to the rich fish.

Beef and Aubergine Casserole

Even on the hottest day of the year, casserole with dumplings is still my favorite comfort food. The aubergine ended up in there becaue I was having a use up of veg, but the texture was tremendous.

Reaper Roasted Salsa

I love hot sauses (see picture below of out fridge drawer) so when I saw a limited edition Encona sauce (already someting of a favourite brand) I couldn’t resist it.

A lazy Sunday meze-a-like

I love meals which can be prepared in advance and with a little prep work come together like magic at the end. This is one where everything benefits from a little marinading time.

Mostly spherical casserole

A love a good casserole and there were some excellent meatballs in this months meatballs. Casseroles are also an excuse for dumplings too. Thus, an all spherical dinner!

Crispy twice cooked pork

One of the things that takeaways excel at (and that I assume is dreadfully bad for you) are those dishes where chunks of meat are crisp but coated in a spicy sweet unctuous sauce.

Quickie mackerel pate

I love mackerel pate. It’s super quick to make, deeply savoury and satifying. If the mackrel, lemon and cremefresh are all fridge cold you can serve it straight away.

Air fried pork chop with super green sauce

I bought a Phillips Airfryer when it was on sale in the New Year. We’d talked about them for a while but the prce was crazy.

Twix Sandwich

It all started with Facebook’s vile bonhomie “What’s on your mind?” prompt, leading me to write “What’s on my mind? Whether a Twix sandwich is feasible, and if so, legal?

Thai pork mince

There’s something very satifying about eating spicy food scooped up in a leaf. This is 10 mins from start to face. You will need Pork mince (about 300g in my case) 2 small hot chillis (I used birds eye) 1 lime 1 stem of lemon grass, finely chopped (I cheated and used the pre-packaged puree - abot a teaspoon) 1 fat inch of ginger 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I cheated again!

Lamb chops with moroccan spices and beans

I love a quick super and lamb chops are a great starting point. Having a big jar of olives and sundried tomatoes in the fridge is aso a good starter.

Elotes knockoff

At an amazing hole in the wall place in Key West we ate corn on the cob that came wrapped in foil. I’d no idea what it was called, but a bit of googling uncovered “elotes”.

Double salmon en croute

Years ago, possibly on Junior Masterchef, I remember seeing a lass cook a dish with both smoked salmon and fresh. My mum was horrified (what a waste!

Home made donner kebab

Growing up I held donner kebab is the lowest of regards, writing it off as the worst quality meat and something I’d never eat. Indeed right though university I managed to avoid it, right up until a couple of years ago when I had a bite or two on top of a pizza (there’s another story) in Middlebough.

Char sui style pork with birch syrup

A few months ago my friend Jim sent me a bottle from his latest venture The Birch Syrup Company and other then a quick birch gin martini (excellent) I’d not got round to having a play with it, until I was walking home tonight and had a craving for char sui pork.

Glazed lamb and a Greek-like-salad

I love a bit of quick grilled lamb and a marinade and glaze never goes too far wrong. Despite lamb being sweet I think it benefits from a slightly sweetened glazed, however if you grill lamb hot and fast (as it benefits from) sugars in the glaze burn, so I decided to try adding it at the very end of cooking.

Spatchcock chicken with a reduced stock

I love a good roast chicken and we very often spatchcock them for speed and even cooking. Excellent, but lacks the gravy which is so easily made from a roasting tin.

Deviled kidneys and chips

Every so often my G&S Organics meatbox comes with a secret message on the top - CC. It’s my twitter handle, but it’s also a goodd sign that Lee has popped me something exta in, knowing we’re not a household which only eats steak.

Aubergines with szechuan spice and pork

I was looking for a way to use up a ripe aubergine and some excellent pork mince when I ran across this rather excellent looking roast aubergines with Szechuan fragrant pork made by Thomasina Miers.

Pork Scratchings

I love pork scratchings. Often too thick, too salty and too always greasy, they’ve got a back name, but it’s easy enough to make good por scratchings.

Warm and sharp potato salad

One of the fringe benefits of eating a lot of BBQ in the States was eating a ot of BBQ side dishes. It was facinating how many variations on potato salad there were, from the mayo coated gloop at one end to the warm, sharp, vinegar laden jobs at the other.

Gin cured bacon

I love making bacon. It’s not hard, but it takes time, and probably costs way more than buying the best bacon, but I love it all the same.

Filthy pie and super green salad

I’ve been working up in Scotland quite a lot over the last few months and whilst there came across two excellent local treats: macaroni pies (maracroni cheese, in a pie) and chicken tikka pie (you can figure it out).

Lamb stew

In this week’s rather excellent Our Man Inside our man Documentally mentioned hit last meal would include Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant Stew which sounded like a great use for some lamb neck steaks that were in our meatbox this month.

Pulled lamb

I stumbled across an excellent slow cooker pulled brisket this week and had cravings. I also had a small leg of lamb in the freezer which needed using.

Slow cooked beef shin chilli

I do love a good chilli. Actualy, I’ll happily eat bad chilli if somebody else is cooking, but life’s too short to make bad chilli.

Crispy chicken wings

I love chicken wings and until recently I thought deep frying was the only way to get really crispy results. I was wrong. The combination of baking at two temperatures and a little baking powder makes all the difference.

Spicy pulses

I love Graze boxes and I especially love their spicy crunchy snak thing. I started to try and bulk buy such things online but it was pointed out they could probably be replicated easily enough.

Moroccany Lamb Chops

Nothing complicated here, just some lamb chops grilled fast are hard, grazed and served with a flavoured couscous. I thought I had a pot of ras el hanout around somewhere but when I couldn’t find it I improvised and loved the result

The most savoury thing in the world

There are times when I crave savoury so bad it is unreal. I’ve found myself eating chilli flakes in oil from the jar not five minutes after making peanut butter and lime pickle sandwiches.

Simple pasta bake

I wasn’t going to blog about this but the photos attracted some attention on twitter, so I’m knocking it out quickly. The trick here is using a metal oven tray, promoting stuck on savoury bits.

Baked chicken with Spanish flavours

An easy supper to feed lots of folks. I got the idea from this Thomasina Miers’ post. The Belazu tagine paste (bought from Sainsburys) adds a good base and body of flavours.

Deep frying a turkey in Celsius

Ever since I ran across it somewhere on the Internet I’ve wanted to deep fry a turkey. At first it looks like the most redneck and crass thing, but… it’s the best turkey I’ve ever eaten.

Curry goat

After getting a chance to buy some goat on the bone from The Lakewood Goat Company whilst they were at Jesmond Food Market there was only one thing on the cards, curry goat.

Rare roast beef faster than takeaway

I love roast beef, and the more I cook it the faster it is to cook. I had a chunk of excllent looking silverside from our meatbox so I decided to go for a super fast and hot roast leaving it rare in the middle.

Slow cooker carrot soup

I love carrot soup, and it’s super easy to make. This was an experiment in cooking out the veg for an hour, almost roasting them, so that there were carmelised bits and a deep, rich flavour.

Pepsi brined smoked turkey with Southern trimmings

One of the things we ate in Texas which was so much better than expected was smoked turkkey at Kreuzs in Lockhart (after a morning of blasting away with all the firearms banned in the UK).

WeightWatcher Friendly Lemon Peel and Pork Meatball Pasta

Pork mince isn’t very diet friendly, but it is delicious and a little goes a long way. I have a lot of dried lemon peel left from an experiment (to be blogged) so I thought I’d combine the two.

WeightWatcher Friendly Salmon En Croute

After an epic roadtrip round the States (more on this another day) I’m back on Weightwatchers and tryng to keep my daily calorie intake down.