Saturday, 17 September 2016

Hake, on a bed of lentils

Paul the fish had beautiful hake today, so I adapted this from something I saw on the web - it might have been a Hairy Bikers thing.

All ingredients available from inside and outside Todmorden market.

The Mediterranean Pantry

Olive oil
Gluten free flour
Bay leaves

Garry the veg


Lots of places:  eggs

1.  Roast potatoes, in olive oil, in a hot oven for about an hour.
2.  Sautee chopped onion and carrot, with a little crushed garlic, in olive oil.
3.  When the onion is soft, add lentils - beluga in this case - but any small brown would be good.  Add stock made of bouillon, and bay leaves, cook until lentils are done.  Add more stock/water if required.
4.  Make lemon mayonnaise - whisk an egg yolk with 1/2 tsp dijon mustard and the juice of a lemon.  Slowly whisk in about a cup of light olive oil - it will thicken to a glossy mayonnaise.
5.  Dust the fish in flour, then dip into whisked egg.  Fry, in hot oil, for a few minutes...
6.  Serve, scoff ...

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Greek feast

 Unseasonably warm weather, and storms the other night - it felt a bit like Greece, so I thought I would pull together a Greek feast.  Actually, it was a symphony of opening packets and throwing together some salad and tzadziki, but it all tasted quite authentic - right down to the oven chips.

Greek meatballs
Greek gyros
Oven chips
Feta, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano
Houmous, sprinkled with paprika and drizzled with olive oil
Prawns, marinated in olive oil, garlic, chili and lemon juice - griddled
Tomato and onion salad
Green salad - lettuce, cucumber and radish
Tzadziki - greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt
Greek beans

Tah dah - you could be on a Greek island

Friday, 9 September 2016

Budget roast chicken dinner

Sometimes you want something really simple, but really tasty - and this was really cheap too - I think is was under £1 a head, and done in 30 minutes.

Chicken thighs
Olive oil
Green beans

1.  In a roasting dish - put in chicken thighs, season them, add crushed garlic and a sliced lemon.  Splosh on a little olive oil and massage it into the meat for a minute.  Roast - high heat for 30 minutes.
2.  Boil new potatoes, steam the beans and cabbage on top of them.
3.  Fry chopped onions in olive oil until soft, and a little brown.
4.  Serve - with butter for the potatoes, and the pan juices from the chicken as a simple "gravy".

Just another Todmorden tapas

This time it was a sort of american-spanish take ...

Spicy mini potato roasties
Cauliflower with pine nuts and raisins
Pepper filled with stockfish
Corn on the cob
Grilled chilli and garlic prawns

Not bad for a Wednesday night!

Start with the potatoes, and work steadily for about an hour, and it will all get done.


From The Mediterranean Pantry:  Olive oil, cajun spices, chorizo, pine nuts, raisins, garlic, chilli flakes, stuffed peppers
From Garry:  Potatoes, onions, cauliflower, sweetcorn, lemon, carrots, cabbage
From Paul:  Prawns

also ... sherry

1.  Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces, put into a roasting tray with a dusting of cajun seasoning.  Roast in a medium-hot oven (about 180).
2.  Finely slice 2 onions - one for the cauliflower, and one for the coleslaw - actually it's about 1 and a quarter for the cauliflower, and 3/4 for the coleslaw.
3.  Gently sautee the onion for the cauliflower in olive oil, then add cauliflower florets, and a drop of water, put the lid on and "steam" the cauliflower until done.
4.  Finish making the coleslaw by adding julienned carrots and shredded cabbage.  Season, add the juice of half a lemon and a splash of olive oil.
5.  Prep the sweetcorn, and put into a pan of water, ready to boil at 20 minutes to serving.
6.  Take the peppers with fish out of tin, into an oven dish and put into the oven with the potatoes to heat through.
7.  Marinate the prawns in chilli falkes, crushed garlic, lemon juice and a splash of olive oil.
8.  Chop chorizo into bite sized pieces.
9.  Check on the potatoes, I think you should be about 5 minutes from all done.
10.  Splash some sherry into the cauliflower and add a small handful of pinenuts and raisins, cook the alcohol off.
11. Fry the chorizo and the prawns in 2 separate pans - turn the prawns after a couple of minutes, keep the chorizo moving until it's done.
12.  Serve, scoff - some people will mix in mayonnaise to make their coleslaw creamy.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Massaman chickpea and squash curry

One of those open the fridge door - stare aimlessly at piles of veg for a bit, then a rummage in the cupboard and Tah-dah Massaman curry is created within 25 minutes.  Again, all ingredients can be sourced from Todmorden's fabulous market.

Coconut oil, coconut cream, garlic, chickpeas and rice from The Mediterranean Pantry
Massaman curry paste and coconut cream from Oriental Foods
Veg from the traders outside ...

Coconut Oil
Butternut squash
Pattipan squash
Red pepper
Green beans
Massaman curry paste
Coconut cream


1.  Cook rice  - in this case basmati, but I would have used jasmine if I had any.
2.  Sautee onion in coconut oil, add crushed garlic.
3.  Add chopped vegetables, and a couple of teaspoons of curry paste and some water and simmer until veg is almost done.
4.  Drain a tin of chickpeas and bung them in.
5.  Add creamed coconut, and simmer until chickpeas are heated through and veg is cooked.
6.  Serve, scoff ... 

One day I will learn to take better pics!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Fish and chips with a calabrian twist

Spice up fish and chips with a little calabrian crust - don't mind if I do.

Fish from Paul, potatoes from Garry, fish crust from The Mediterranean Pantry.  (Peas from the freezer) ... easy peasy Friday night dinner.

Olive oil
Calabrian Fish crust mix
Frozen peas

1.  Cut potatoes into wedges and roast for about an hour in olive oil.
2.  Sit about, chat, drink wine ... whatever ...
3.  40 minutes later, check on the potatoes, put the water on to boil for the peas, and coat the fish with the crust mix.
4.  Fry the fish for a few minutes each side.
5.  Serve, scoff.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Chili garlic prawns with okra gumbo

Caribbean food week:  Day 7

Gumbo is more linked to the Deep South, I believe, but with the chili garlic prawns, I think this should qualify.  Whatever, it was delicious.

Gumbo traditionally is really quite gloopy, with the okra cut to allow the gooey insides to escape.  I don't like the texture of that, so I choose smallish okra and keep them whole.  The flavour is delicious, but the texture much improved (IMHO).

So, start with the potatoes, marinate the prawns, then make the gumbo and finally fry the prawns.

Olive oil
Lemon juice
Chili flakes
Red pepper
Tinned chopped tomatoes

1.  Parboil the potatoes, then roast in olive oil for about 40 minutes.
2.  Marinate the prawns in lemon juice, garlic, chili flakes and olive oil.
3.  Chop onions and crush garlic, saute a little.
4.  Add chopped mushrooms, red pepper, thyme, okra and a tin of chopped tomatoes to the onion, simmer - add water/stock if it's looking dry.  After 15 minutes or so ....
5.  Fry the prawns on each side for a few minutes.
6.  Serve - with a plate for the shells and oodles of kitchen towel.

Jamaican jerk burgers, in pitta with sweetcorn

Caribbean food week: day 6

And it's also national burger day (actually it was National Burger Day on Thursday, but we caught up on Saturday, due to some mis-information).

The main Caribbean bit about this was the spicy burger (or spicy onions on veggie burger for the veggie) - but could have spiced up the sweetcorn and/or added some salsa.

Olive oil

Jerk seasoning
Minced beef



1.  Parboil potatoes, then drain and roast in olive oil.
2.  Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil, add jerk seasoning and cook through.
3.  Reserve some of the spicy onions to serve with the veggie burgers, mix the rest through the mince, and form into burgers.  Chill for about 20 minutes.
4.  Boil sweetcorn - you may wish to serve this with spicy butter.
5.  Fry or grill burgers and veggie burgers.
6.  Toast pitta...
7.  Serve with simple salad of mixed tomatoes.
8.  Scoff

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Sea bass escovitch, with sweet potatoes

 Caribbean food week:  Day 5

Also Friday - so the tradition in our house is fish from Paul the fish.

The idea is that you pour hot, sweet, spicy sauce over simply cooked fish ... it certainly was hot - look at all that steam.

It was the first time I have cooked anything quite like this, but the overwhelming opinion was definitely - put it on the do again list.

Sweet potato
Olive oil

White balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Red pepper
Red chili

Sea bass

Green beans

1.  Peel and chop sweet potato into chunks, roast, in olive oil for about 40 minutes.
2.  Thinly slice onion, julienne carrot and red pepper.  Very thinly slice chili.
3.  In a saucepan mix together half a cup of olive oil, and the same of vinegar.  Squirt in the juice of half a lime.  Chuck in vegetables and all ow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the veg are softish.  A bit of crunch from the carrots and peppers is fine, but you want the onion soft.
4.  Steam the green beans.
5.  Brush olive oil onto the sea bass fillets and fry for a few minutes on each side.
6.  Place fish on a serving plate, and cover with the sauce.
7.  Serve, scoff ....

Friday, 26 August 2016

Baked BBQ ribs - potato wedges and coleslaw

Caribbean food week:  day 4

BBQ ribs which are actually baked in the oven - absolutely gorgeous.  Not really ideal for a mid-week dinner as they take 2 1/2 hours.

It was so worth it though, and the veg dodger had seconds of coleslaw.

Spices are available from The Mediterranean Pantry, and the ribs from Mellings butchers - superb.

Rack of ribs - pork for us
1/2 tsp each of:-

all spice
black pepper
dried thyme

desert spoon of brown sugar

BBQ sauce


olive oil

1.  Heat the oven to 180.
2.  Mix all the dry ingerdients and rub well into the rack of ribs - massage it is as much as you can.
3.  Wrap in foil.  Make sure that it is well sealed to keep in all the juiciness.
4.  Bake for 2 hours - literally - just chuck it in there and do something else, ignore it for 2 full hours - make sure you get the wedges in after about an hour, though, so that it's ready at the same time.
5.  Potatoes, olive oil, oven .... for the wedges.
6.  Make the coleslaw by finely shredding cabbage, carrot and onion.  Add salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then add a glug of olive oil and a blob of mayonnaise - stir, chill until everything else is ready.
7.  After 2 hours, unwrap the pork ... keep it on the foil, as it gets stickier and stickier from now, and foil goes in the bin - sticky trays take ages to clean.  Pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes to dry off the top a little.
8.  Smother the top of the ribs in BBQ sauce, and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes ... to get that gooey glossy coating.  Do this twice for a deepish layer of sticky deliciousness.
9.  Serve, scoff ... remember to have lots of kitchen roll to hand!