Bean burgers & “falafelesques”

A rustic recipe, but no less tasty for its homeliness I think, the mixture, using butterbeans as the key protein, is great whether shaped as burgers or into balls as a homage to falafels. Continue reading “Bean burgers & “falafelesques””

Crispy left-overs pancake rolls (gluten- & dairy-free)

Crispy, with a hint of spices and bursting with flavour, these pancake rolls/spring rolls are easy to make. Continue reading “Crispy left-overs pancake rolls (gluten- & dairy-free)”

Fresh tomato & basil tartlets (gluten-free, dairy-free)

My bruschetta-inspired tartlets, using wonderful, simple ingredients that are being picked right now in the garden, give a real taste of summer. Continue reading “Fresh tomato & basil tartlets (gluten-free, dairy-free)”

Vegan “sausage” rolls

Forget those indifferent vegan “sausage rolls” that were sold by a certain UK high street chain bakery; these rolls are packed with flavour.

Continue reading “Vegan “sausage” rolls”

Paprika-spiced vegetable peel crisps

I love a dish that uses up whatever there is to hand and this delicious no-waste dish is cooked in the oven with hardly any effort. Continue reading “Paprika-spiced vegetable peel crisps”

Harissa chickpea flour flatbreads

These very simple flatbreads are perfect if there is a shortage of traditional flour (which is certainly hard to come by in some shops currently), but they are also great if you can’t have gluten. And these do not taste at all as if they are limited flavour-wise. In fact, quite the opposite. Continue reading “Harissa chickpea flour flatbreads”

Coriander glass dim sum

The joys of Har Gow: transluscent steamed dumplings, with a pork and prawn filling. Little bites of sheer pleasure. Continue reading “Coriander glass dim sum”

Black truffle arancini

Light, crisp risotto balls bursting with the flavours of black truffle, garlic and Parmesan, with a melting Fontina cheese centre: terrific little bites. Continue reading “Black truffle arancini”

Confit garlic: a must-have ingredient!

Fat cloves of garlic, cooked very slowly in the oven in oil until it softens and slightly caramelises is a foodie treat: perfect mashed into potatoes, mixed with bread dough or eaten just as it is….. Continue reading “Confit garlic: a must-have ingredient!”

Christmas stuffing sausage rolls

Well, a sausage roll is for any time of the year, but I quite like to add a few festive flavours around Christmas: chestnuts, dried apricots, Stilton, perhaps a few cranberries: oh, and just a kick of mustard. Continue reading “Christmas stuffing sausage rolls”

Spiced halloumi & hummus pockets

This modest offering ranks as one of my favourite meat-free dishes: packed with flavour and made in moments, it is very much one of my go-to snacks. Continue reading “Spiced halloumi & hummus pockets”

Tomato & pesto focaccia

Light, crispy and chewy, this focaccia is packed with flavour and is ideal torn apart to dip into oil, balamic vinegar or used as the base for a bruschetta. Continue reading “Tomato & pesto focaccia”

Smoky butternut squash hummus

Roasted squash, smoked chickpeas and gently warming spices give what I think is a lovely autumnal twist on hummus.  Continue reading “Smoky butternut squash hummus”

Smoked hummus

Forget that sludgy beige-grey slop that passes itself off for hummus in the shops. Home-made hummus is infinitely better than any you can buy and it is elevated to spectacular heights when you use smoked chickpeas. Continue reading “Smoked hummus”

Chinese steamed buns and bao

Soft, pillowy and slightly sweet, steamed buns are a joy to eat. Perfect for a burger such as a sticky, spiced burger flavoured with lemongrass, ginger, soy sauce and the like. Continue reading “Chinese steamed buns and bao”

Spiced lamb egg chops

This sublime dish – great as a starter or to serve with drinks – is a joy to behold and I guarantee that once you start eating these chops you will not want to stop!

Continue reading “Spiced lamb egg chops”

Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins

The combined flavour of salty, spiced bacon, creamy goats’ cheese and buttery pastry is hard to beat and these are fast becoming one of my “go to” savoury bites. Continue reading “Bacon and goats’ cheese cruffins”

Thai fish cakes

Very simple and immensely satisfying – both to make and eat – these Thai fish cakes never last long in my house. And nor should they…. Continue reading “Thai fish cakes”

Spiced tandoori chicken wraps

Tender, spiced chicken pieces in soft flat breads, bursting with lettuce, red onion and a tangy yoghurt dressing, these are incredibly easy to make and are so tasty. Continue reading “Spiced tandoori chicken wraps”

Aubergine & onion pakoras with roasted cumin salt

Crisp, spicy and bursting with flavour, pakoras are a joy to eat. They are also very easy and as customisable as you want. Continue reading “Aubergine & onion pakoras with roasted cumin salt”

Pan-fried sweetbreads in a lemon, garlic & caper sauce

Sweetbreads might be one of those “love them or hate them” foods, but pan-fried and finished with a lemony butter sauce, served with caramelised onions, they are a real treat. Continue reading “Pan-fried sweetbreads in a lemon, garlic & caper sauce”

How to make spiced prawn crackers from scratch

A far cry from the white, bland prawn crackers that have hardly any flavour at all, these ones, made entirely from scratch, are more like those lovely crackers you can get in good Thai restaurants.

Continue reading “How to make spiced prawn crackers from scratch”

Spiced crispy chicken skin

Shatteringly crisp, melt-in-the-mouth and with a gentle curry kick, these chicken skin shards – think spiced pork crackling – are so easy to make and are insanely moreish.

Continue reading “Spiced crispy chicken skin”

Pork & prawn jiaozi (spiced steamed dumplings)

Sticky, spicy and packed with flavour, these steamed dumplings are fairly easy to make and always go down a storm. They can be made ahead and frozen, to be steamed straight from the freezer. Continue reading “Pork & prawn jiaozi (spiced steamed dumplings)”

Spiced soy sauce-glazed chicken wings

One of several favourite starters in my local Thai restaurant is melt-in-the-mouth glazed chicken wings: smothered in a sticky and dark spicy soy sauce glaze, it ticks every box for me. Continue reading “Spiced soy sauce-glazed chicken wings”

Smoked mackerel pastry rolls

This is a recipe I am very proud of: I had some smoked mackerel pâté to use up and had that “I wonder if this will work…” moment. Luckily, it does work and it is now one of my go-to dishes for buffets and the like. Continue reading “Smoked mackerel pastry rolls”

Deep-fried spiced courgettes

Shatteringly crisp smoky batter with beautifully soft courgettes within, this is a seriously tasty snack. It only needs to be mounded generously on a plate with a gutsy dip such as an aoili or a chilli relish before getting tucked into with ice cold drinks….. Continue reading “Deep-fried spiced courgettes”

All about scones: sweet and savoury!

Freshly made scones with cream and home-made curd or jam is one of life’s best food pleasures. But savoury scones are also very exciting both to make and to eat. This post gives a selection of my recipes for both sweet and savoury scones. Continue reading “All about scones: sweet and savoury!”

Beetroot, walnut and goats’ cheese arancini

I made wild mushroom arancini during the quarter-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, which got great comments from the judges. While that is my favourite arancini flavour, this beetroot version comes very close.

Continue reading “Beetroot, walnut and goats’ cheese arancini”

Herby sausage rolls

A good sausage roll should bring a smile to one’s face and have a very moreish quality: one should never be enough! A far cry from those mass-produced affairs you can buy from high street chain bakeries that are full of squidgy pink “meat”!  Continue reading “Herby sausage rolls”

Brie scones with bacon jam

Brie and bacon: a marriage made in Heaven. These savoury scones, pairing these two wonderful flavours are so simple, so moreish and are so loudly calling out to be made!

Continue reading “Brie scones with bacon jam”

Quail scotch eggs with black pudding

I love scotch eggs but I don’t make them often enough. A crisp exterior, a well flavoured sausagemeat with an egg in the centre (runny yolk!) add up to give what I think is a lovely few bites. Continue reading “Quail scotch eggs with black pudding”

National Sandwich Week: a few of my favourite sandwiches

Every week can be National Sandwich Week as far as I am concerned! I adore sandwiches and can happily fill up on these any day of the week: for me, the sandwiches are one of the highlights of any Afternoon Tea. Continue reading “National Sandwich Week: a few of my favourite sandwiches”

Stilton, pear & piccalilli pork pies

I loved making my ultimate pie during “pie week” on Britain’s Best Home Cook, and as expected there was much debate among us contestants (as well as among the judges) regarding whether a pie needs a bottom as well as a top…..

Personally, I am in the “I really don’t mind as long as it tastes good” camp!  Continue reading “Stilton, pear & piccalilli pork pies”

Croissant-wrapped sausage rolls (croissage rolls!)

For me, a sausage roll is truly one of life’s simple culinary pleasures. As long as it has a generous, well-flavoured filling and a crisp, buttery pastry, I can eat one (well, several!) at any time of the day or night. Continue reading “Croissant-wrapped sausage rolls (croissage rolls!)”

The easiest chicken liver pâté

I absolutely adore pâtés, whether coarse or smooth, layered or the same all the way through, and a rich chicken liver pâté, with all its flirtations with retro food, is up there as one of my favourite starters.

This is my easy version that is packed full of flavour and always goes down a storm when I make it. Continue reading “The easiest chicken liver pâté”

Focaccia bicolore

This two-coloured flavoured focaccia is the result of an idea that came to me after making the bicoloured croissants a while ago. The result is a plain focaccia dough mixed with a tomato and red onion focaccia dough. After all, why not have focaccia with different and clearly defined flavours within? Continue reading “Focaccia bicolore”

Spiced crunchy chickpeas

This is a seriously great snack and is particularly ideal to eat on its own, with drinks or to add to salads in place of croutons. These chickpeas are ridiculously moreish: I can eat a whole batch of these quite happily! Continue reading “Spiced crunchy chickpeas”

Tomato and basil English muffins

This my savoury twist on classic English breakfast muffins: these are wonderful toasted and liberally buttered: the butter has to be liberal, and low-fat spreads and the like do not do justice to these muffins! Continue reading “Tomato and basil English muffins”

Pea and ham filo bites

This is a such a simple bake, and is ideal using left-over ham at Christmas and bits and bobs lurking around: frozen peas, a dollop of chutney and mustard…… Continue reading “Pea and ham filo bites”

Simple fennel breadsticks – focaccia-style

These are very easy breadsticks to make. They taste wonderful and a large batch can be made at a fraction of the cost of shop-bought breadsticks! Perfect with any dip, although I have photographed these breadsticks with baba ghanoush, that wonderfully smokey aubergine dip (recipe here). Continue reading “Simple fennel breadsticks – focaccia-style”

Spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry

I am such a fan of sausage rolls; with a well-flavoured filling and light, melt-in-the-mouth pastry, they never fail to give me a feeling of total satisfaction when eating them! Continue reading “Spiced lamb & pistachio rolls with spiced pastry”

Easy seeded flatbreads with sun-dried tomato hummus

Two incredibly simple things to make that go so well together: a really perfect dip to share as a snack, a starter, part of a picnic…….. Continue reading “Easy seeded flatbreads with sun-dried tomato hummus”

Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!

Bruschetta is one of those things that cannot fail to put a smile on my face when I eat it. Perfect as a starter, served with barbeque food or just as a light bite at any time of the day, one slice is never enough. Continue reading “Bruschetta: when simplicity reigns!”

Spiced prawn and crab spring rolls

This is my version of spring rolls, using some left-over filo pastry I had made for another dish and ingredients that I adore to eat. The rolls are very easy to make and a large batch can be made up and frozen until you want to cook them. Continue reading “Spiced prawn and crab spring rolls”

Easy ham, cheese & mustard croissant whirls

Although an unembellished home-made croissant is a truly wonderful thing to eat, savoury variations excite me hugely! Continue reading “Easy ham, cheese & mustard croissant whirls”

Simple spiced cauliflower fritters

This is my take on cauliflower bhajis: they are great served with cold drinks or just placed on the table with a cool minty dip for people to just tuck into. I made these during the semi-final of Britain’s Best Home Cook, and while they needed more heat, they went down very well. Continue reading “Simple spiced cauliflower fritters”

Warm crab choux bites

This is my version of a canapé I had in a restaurant ages ago. These are simple, but highly effective little savoury bites: light choux pastry, flavoured subtly with cheese and mustard, and filled with a simple fresh white crab meat sauce. Continue reading “Warm crab choux bites”

1-minute smoked mackerel pâté

This is an insanely simple and almost instant smoked mackerel pâté that is seriously big on flavour – perfect spread liberally on hot toast or eaten with a baguette as part of a light snack. Continue reading “1-minute smoked mackerel pâté”