Sweet potato, spinach and chorizo hash


Let’s face it- who doesn’t love a good breakfast to start the day?! Well if this sounds familiar then this is the breakfast for you! This hash is absolutely packed with flavour and can easily be made for one, two or even a group; it also makes the most of ingredients that a lot of people will have in their fridge. In my mind, all good breakfasts involve an egg with a golden, runny yolk. Here I have chosen to bake the egg into the hash but feel free to serve it with a poached egg perched atop the hash if you prefer.

Ingredients- serves 2
Olive oil
1 decent sized sweet potato- peeled and cubed
1/2 tbsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander
100g chorizo- chopped
1 red onion- peeled and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves- finely sliced
1 small red pepper- finely sliced
Small bag of baby spinach- washed and shredded
1 red or green chilli
Fresh coriander- roughly chopped
2 eggs

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Start off by deciding if you want to make individual hashes or one larger one and choose smaller pans or one big one. Heat a good glug of oil in the pan and add in the sweet potato chunks. Sprinkle over the ground spices and fry for a few minutes until the potato is softening and starting to turn golden.

2.Add in the chorizo, garlic, onion, red pepper and chilli;  continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the shredded spinach and combine to ensure that it is distributed evenly and starting to wilt.

3. Use the back of a spoon to create a well for each of the eggs to sit in. Carefully crack each egg into a hole and back for around 10 minutes until the egg white has set and the yolk remains runny. Serve immediately with a liberal sprinkling of the chopped coriander.

Sweet potato, spinach and chorizo hash- now this is the way to kick off the day!



Greek style chicken tray bake


If there’s one thing that is always welcome in the kitchen, it’s a one pan, no fuss recipe! Tray bakes come in handy when time is short and lend themselves to midweek meals so you can be sure to have something on the table with minimal washing up. This Greek style chicken tray bake makes the most of simple ingredients and uses a straightforward dressing so you really don’t have to put much thought into cooking so get chopping, set the timer and wait to dive in!

Ingredients- serves 4
8 chicken thighs- skin left on
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
4 large potatoes- peeled and diced
1 large red and 1 large yellow pepper- diced
Handful of baby aubergines- diced
1 large red onion- diced
Handful of Kalamata olives
200g baby plum tomatoes
150g feta
2 tbsp dried oregano
Chilli flakes- to taste
1 lemon- sliced

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan whilst you make sure that all the ingredients are prepped and ready to go as this really is a speedy meal to assemble once you get going. Take the chicken portions and coat in the honey and 1 tbsp of the olive oil.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients other than the feta in a deep baking tray and toss together. Arrange the lemon slices over the top. Pop the coated chicken pieces on top and cook in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender to a knife point. You will know when the chicken is ready when it is golden skinned and the juices are running clear- it will depend on the size of the chicken thighs but around 30 minutes is usual. When the chicken is nearly ready, sprinkle over the feta and put back in the oven for a couple of minutes to soften and warm. Serve immediately with a salad if you like.

Greek style chicken tray bake- if you’re after a speedy but flavoursome dinner then this is for you!


Blue cheese, pancetta and sprout pasta bakes


The festive season may well and truly be over but that doesn’t mean that sprouts need to be forgotten about until December. They are still in season and can continue to be enjoyed (honestly, they are a wonderful vegetable!) and they lend themselves to a range of simple dishes so banish any thoughts of them being boiled beyond recognition and get in the kitchen. This recipe is also perfect for using up any leftover blue cheese from your cheeseboard that may have been relegated to the back of your fridge. I used blacksticks blue cheese but use whatever you fancy as the flavour of sprouts can stand up to a variety of cheeses.

Ingredients- serves 4
250g Brussel sprouts- cleaned and shredded
1 onion- finely chopped
100g cubed smoked pancetta
40g plain flour
40g unsalted butter
250ml double cream
250ml milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
150g blue cheese of your choice
70g parmesan- grated
Panko breadcrumbs
400g pasta of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Take a large frying pan and heat a small glug of oil. Gently fry the shredded sprouts and onion until they start to soften and then add the pancetta cubes so they have time to begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat whilst you make the cheese sauce. Cook your chosen pasta shapes as per the instructions and, when al dente, drain well.

2. In a suitable pan, melt the butter and flour together to form a roux. Slowly add in the milk and cream whilst you stir all the while to avoid any lumps from forming. Simmer until thickened and then add in the mustard and stir well to ensure it is combined. Take the sauce off the heat and add the blue cheese and majority of the parmesan, reserving some for the topping.

3. Tip the sprout mixture into the sauce and make sure it is evenly distributed throughout the sauce. Add in the drained pasta and place in one large ovenproof baking dish or four individual ones. Combine the remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs and top the pasta. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve by itself or with a simple side salad.

Blue cheese, pancetta and sprout bakes- sprouts are for life, not just for Christmas!



Kimchi jigae noodle stew


Jigae may be something that is brand new in your culinary vocabulary or, indeed, you may be well versed with it; regardless it is certainly a meal that you need to become more familiar with as it is simple, fast and a definite winter warmer. Jigae, to all intents and purposes, is a Korean stew that uses kimchi as the base along with pork and/ or tofu typically. To make even heartier I have added some instant ramen noodles but feel free to leave this out if you prefer.

Ingredients- serves 2-3
3 slices of pork belly
1 tbsp rice wine
Pinch of white sugar
200g kimchi
200g firm tofu- patted dry and cut into bite sized pieces
Shiitake mushrooms- cleaned and sliced
500ml vegetable stock
1 tsp gochugaru
1 tbsp. gochujang
1 tbsp dark soy
Baby pak choi- shredded
Spring onions- sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
200g instant ramen noodles

1.Start a little ahead of time in order to prepare the pork. Simple cut the pork belly into bite sized pieces and marinade in the rice wine; season well with pepper and set aside for half an hour.

2. When the pork’s time is up, choose a heavy based, large pan that will be big enough to fit everything in. Add a glug of unflavoured oil and heat to medium; add the pork belly bites and cook until turning golden and starting to caramelise.

3. Add the kimchi and tofu into the pan with the pork and carefully combine; continue to cook for a couple of minutes along with the mushrooms. Up next goes all the remaining ingredients other than the spring onion and pak choi. Bring the stock to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes; taste and adjust the seasoning to taste by adding more gochujang, soy and/ or sesame oil. For the last two minutes of cooking, sprinkle in the onion and pak choi and add the instant ramen noodles; it’s ready when the onion and pak choi is tender. Serve immediately.

Kimchi jigae noodle stew- a new dish to add to your repertoire and perfect after festive excess!


Orange and cinnamon baked mini doughnuts


If you regularly follow this blog then you will have noticed that baking is something of a novelty as my recipes tend to be main meals however, when the festive spirit strikes, sometimes the oven needs to be cranked up and sweet treats are involved. These Christmas orange and cinnamon baked doughnuts are going to win you a lot of fans; family, friends and colleagues will be fighting over them so may I advise that you make more than you think you will need!

The recipe is simple, quick and perfect to involve children with as well. Cast your mind back a few years and, in the UK at least, something called ‘cake pops’ were all the rage; this recipe calls for you to dust down the cake pop mould and get cooking! If you don’t own one of these then you can always make these in mini muffin tins instead; they obviously won’t be the same shape but they will taste just as fabulous. These are best eaten warm from the oven but they also keep for a day or so in a dry, well sealed tin but I doubt they will last long enough for that! Feel free to dip them in melted chocolate to make them extra decadent… it is the festive season after all!

Ingredients- makes 24
For the batter
275g plain flour
40g granulated sugar
2 tsps baking powder
Pinch of salt
180mls milk
60mls vegetable oil
1 large beaten egg
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp orange essence

For the sugar coating
50g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
Ground cinnamon- to taste
Orange zest- optional

1.Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan whilst you prepare the batter. Simply add all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add the wet ingredients together in another bowl; tip one into the other and stir to combine until the batter is smooth.

2. Take the cake pop pan and lightly grease it with oil. Use a tablespoon measure and add a tablespoon to each of the cake pop holes. Try to avoid the batter dripping over the edges and neaten it up as you go if needed to make them easier to remove from the pan later on. Repeat until all the holes are filled; secure the other half of the tray and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove them from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat on the hob and transfer to a small bowl. Add the caster sugar into another bowl and add cinnamon (plus the orange zest if using) to taste. Stir so the cinnamon is evenly distributed through the sugar.

4. Gently remove the doughnuts from the cake pop pan and take one at a time and dunk it in the melted butter before rolling in the cinnamon sugar. When each has been evenly coated, place on a wire rack and allow to cool slightly (if you can! They are delicious straight from the oven!). Repeat until all the doughnuts are sugared. You will now have enough doughnut batter left now to make another dozen in the tray; I  suggest rinsing the pan before re-greasing it to make sure they come out cleanly.

Christmas orange and cinnamon baked mini doughnuts- irresistibly light bites of festive heaven!



Spiced delicata squash salad


At this time of year I become borderline obsessive about squashes in all their beautiful guises and tend to become overexcited when new varieties come into the shops. Through the season I tend to use as many types as I can and come up with new ways to enjoy them and this recipe is no exception. The sweetness of delicate squash lends itself to being paired with the heady aromatic spices of the Middle East and all it needs is a drizzle of a simple dressing to bring it to life. Here is the recipe for the warm squash salad and it can be served either as the main meal or an accompaniment. It is delicious with pan friend lamb cutlets if you fancy.

Ingredients- serves 2-3
For the salad

1 delicate squash
1 large red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Handful of pine nuts
100g feta
Fresh coriander

For the za’atar mix- makes plenty to use and to keep
5 tsp sesame seeds
5 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
5 tsp dried marjoram
5 tsp ground sumac
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
5 tsp ground cumin

1.Firstly I would make the za’atar mix so then it is ready and on standby for later. Simply take a small dry frying pan and toast the sesame seeds until golden and realising their flavour. Allow to cool and combine with the other ingredients; use a pestle and mortar or food processor to whizz them up and that’s all there is to it!

2. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. Prepare the squash by peeling the skin using a speed peeler, cutting it in half lengthways and scooping out the seeds. Cut the squash into crescents and place in a deep baking tray. Peel the red onion and cut into wedges and add to the tray along with the garlic cloves (still in their papery skins).

3. Season the vegetables well. Combine the pomegranate molasses, oil and honey and drizzle over the vegetables; toss well to combine. Roast in the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until tender. While it roasts use a dry frying pan and toast the pine nuts.

4. Remove the squash from the oven and toss through the pine nuts and crumble in the feta. Sprinkle around a tablespoon of the za’atar spice mix and finish off with some freshly chopped coriander if you like. Serve immediately.

Spiced delicate squash salad- bring the soft glow of autumn to the dinner table!


Korean chicken wings with slaw


Spicy Korean chicken really is a thing of beauty and indulgence but it can often be heavy as, more often than not, it’s deep-fried which does nothing for the waistline so this version is still just as moreish but a little better on the health front! Gochujang and gochugaru are Korean ingredients are becoming more accessible in the UK so it’s time to raid your local Asian supermarket to source the best ingredients that you can. The chilli paste, gochujang, and the chilli powder, gochugaru, are spicy but full of flavour. I have paired the chicken with a simple, light slaw. This really is the perfect meal to share with friends or to make for a lazy weekend dinner. On the off chance that there are any leftovers the chicken wings are also delicious cold the next day for a quick snack.

Ingredients- serves 4
For the chicken
Approx. 700g chicken wings
3 tbsps gochujang
1 tsp gochugaru
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsps soy
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsps water
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Spring onion

For the slaw
1/2 head each of red and white cabbage
1 large carrot
3 spring onions
2 tbsps gochugaru
2 tbsps fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
Juice from 1/2 a lime
2 garlic cloves- grated
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp sesame oil

1. Get going with the chicken marinade in advance of when you want to cook them so the chicken takes on as much flavour from the marinade as possible. Simply combine all the ingredients apart from the toasted sesame seeds and spring onion. Place in a large bowl with the chicken wings, cover, pop in the fridge and set aside- ideally overnight but for at least an hour.

2. In the meantime the slaw can be made. Use a mandolin or sharp knife and finely shred the red and white cabbage. Grate the carrot and finely slice the spring onion. Add all the other ingredients together in a bowl and stir well to combine before pouring over the vegetable mix; toss well so it all gets an even coating.

3. When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 200c/ 180 fan. Place the marinated chicken in a large baking tray and cook for around 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

4. To assemble, take a large serving platter and arrange the slaw. Top with the cooked wings, sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds and spring onion and let everyone dig in! An extra squeeze of lime juice is also a welcome addition to give an added layer of zing.

Spicy Korean chicken wings and slaw- a large stack of napkins is a must!