Jamie’s Keep Cooking and Carry On – Recipes

Episode 12

Chicken wings Gangnam style

Serves: 4
Total time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Ingredients

12 chicken wings
2 heaped teaspoons Chinese fivespice
200g brown rice
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cloves of garlic
1–2 fresh red chillies
2 pak choi
sesame oil
1 large egg

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Stretch out the chicken wings, cut the bingo wings-type skin in the middle, then pop out any joints, if you can, to make them straight (you can poke wooden skewers through the wings to hold them like this, if you like). Place the wings in a snug-fitting roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), scatter over the five-spice and a good pinch of salt and toss together until evenly coated. Cover with tin foil and cook for around 50 minutes, or until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the rice according to packet instructions, then drain, spread out on a tray and leave to cool. Peel the ginger, finely grate into a small bowl and mix with the ketchup, soy sauce and honey to make a glaze. When the time’s up, remove the foil from the tray, then coat the chicken wings with some of the glaze, and either return them to the oven or pop them under a medium grill (and watch them like a hawk) for a final 30 minutes, or until golden and gnarly, turning and brushing with more glaze every 5 to 10 minutes to use it all up and make them super sticky. Evenly sprinkle over the sesame seeds from a height after adding your last bit of glaze.
  • When the wings are nearly ready, peel and slice the garlic with the chilli and pak choi, then put them into a large frying pan or wok on a medium heat with a lug of oil. Get them lightly golden, keeping themmoving around the pan, then add the rice and let it heat through. Transfer the tray of wings to the hob, remove the wings to one side and pour 200ml of water into the tray. Boil and simmer for 5 minutes, scraping up all the sticky bits from the bottom of the tray, then skim any fat off the surface and mix the sauce into the rice. Push the rice to one side of the pan and crack the egg into the gap. Stir it around so it starts to scramble and cook, then toss through the rice. Season to perfection and serve with the sticky chicken wings, right away.

Petal’s birthday cake

Serves: 20
Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
plus cooling

Ingredients

200g unsalted butter, plus extra for
greasing
200g golden caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa
solids)
200g gluten-free self-raising flour,
plus extra for dusting
6 large free-range eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 orange
optional: fresh fruit, to decorate

BUTTERCREAM
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa
solids)
200g icing sugar
200g soft unsalted butter

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3.
  • Cube up the butter and place in a heatproof bowl with the sugar. Snap up the chocolate and add to the bowl.
  • Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Leave for a few minutes, until melted and combined, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, grease a 28cm loose-bottomed cake tin (you could also use a cheesecake tin, a 20cm square baking tin, or even a 28cm ovenproof frying pan) with butter and line with greaseproof paper. If you don’t have any paper, add a tablespoon of plain flour to the tin and shake it around until you’ve got a nice even layer, then turn the tin upside-down and tap to remove any excess.
  • Pour the melted chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl and leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
  • One at a time, whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla bean paste and a little grating of orange zest, then sift in the flour.
  • Gently fold the flour into the mix, and as soon as it’s just combined, you’re done. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Sometimes it sags in the middle as it cools, but don’t worry – either trim the top, or do what I do and fill it with fruit and extra buttercream!
  • To make the buttercream, snap the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and sit it over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Leave for a few minutes, until melted, stirring occasionally.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate, then scrunch in the soft butter and add a small pinch of sea salt. Use a spatula to mix and beat it all together (or to save yourself some effort, use a free-standing mixer).
  • Place the cake on a cake stand or platter, then spread the buttercream all over, using a knife to spread it out. (Or you could, of course, go super-professional and use a piping bag).
  • Now you can decorate the cake however you wish – we like fresh raspberries, extra chocolate shavings and lots of candles! Big smiles all round.

Squash & spinach pasta rotolo

Serves: 4 to 6
Total time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 butternut squash (roughly 1.2kg)
1 red onion
olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
500g frozen spinach
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
4 cloves of garlic
1 x 700ml jar of passata
6 large fresh pasta sheets (roughly
15cm x 20cm each)
50g feta cheese
20g Parmesan cheese
optional: a few sprigs of fresh sage

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Cook the squash whole on a roasting tray for around 1 hour 30 minutes, then remove from the oven.
  • Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the onion, put it into a medium pan on a medium-low heat with a lug of oil, the thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the frozen spinach, cover with a lid and allow to slowly cook for another 15 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated, then remove from the heat.
  • Cut the squash in half, discard the seeds and skin, then mash up with a fork. Keeping them separate, season both the squash and spinach to perfection with sea salt, black pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
  • Peel and finely slice the garlic, then put it into a shallow 28cm casserole pan on a medium heat with a splash of oil and fry for a couple of minutes, or until lightly golden.
  • Pour in the passata, then add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it around and pour it into the pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for just 3 minutes, then season to perfection.
  • On a lean work surface, lay out the pasta sheets facing lengthways away from you.
  • Working quickly so your pasta doesn’t dry out, brush them with water, then evenly divide and spread the squash over the sheets. Sprinkle over the cooked spinach and crumble over the feta.
  • Roll up the sheets and cut each one into 4 chunks, then place side by side in the tomato sauce. Finely grate over the Parmesan, then pick the sage leaves (if using), toss in a little oil and scatter over the top.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at the bottom of the oven until golden and crisp. Delicious served with a fresh green salad.

Episode 11

Aubergine daal

Serves: 6
Total time: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Ingredients


1 large aubergine
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
10cm piece of ginger
4 tablespoons rogan josh curry paste
groundnut oil
500g yellow split peas
1 vegetable stock cube
250g wholemeal flour, plus extra for
dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 mug (320g) of basmati rice
1 fresh red chilli
1 handful of fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
  • Cut the aubergine into 2cm chunks, peel and slice the onions and garlic, peel and finely grate the ginger.
  • Put all this into a large high-sided roasting tray with the curry paste and a lug of groundnut oil. Toss together until well coated, then roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until sticky and caramelized.
  • Remove half the roasted veg to a large pan to start your daal and return the tray to the oven to keep warm – turn the oven off so that the veg don’t dry out.
  • Place the pan on a low heat on the hob. Stir in the split peas, crumble in the stock cube and add 2 litres of boiling water.
  • Simmer for around 1 hour 20 minutes with the lid on, or until the split peas are tender and the daal has thickened, stirring occasionally, and adding splashes of water to loosen, if needed.
  • Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl with a pinch of sea salt and make a well in the middle. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 150ml of water to the well and mix together with a fork.
  • When it comes together as dough, tip it on to a flour-dusted surface, knead until smooth, then divide into 12 balls. Roll each one into a circle, nice and thin, turning as you go and dusting with a little extra flour, if needed.
  • Put a frying pan on a medium heat and cook the chapatis for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked but not coloured. Stack them in tin foil as you go and keep them warm until needed.
  • Put 1 mug of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into a pan with a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat with the lid on for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, to make the flavoured oil (called a temper), finely slice the chilli and place it in a small frying pan on a medium heat with the curry leaves, mustard seeds and a good lug of groundnut oil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Load up your warm chapatis with rice, daal and a scattering of roasted veggies, drizzle over the temper, roll up and tuck in.

Chickpea chard pork

Serves: 4
Total time: 29 minutes

Ingredient


400g piece of higher-welfare pork
fillet
1 x 480g jar of roasted peeled
peppers in brine
300g rainbow chard
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
1 x 660g jar of chickpeas

Method

  • Put a large shallow casserole pan on a high heat. Season the pork with sea salt and black pepper, then place in the pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sear for 5 minutes, turning halfway. Meanwhile, drain the peppers and quickly dice into 1cm chunks, then trim and finely slice the chard, stalks and all.
  • Remove the pork to a plate, then add the fennel seeds, peppers and all the chard to the pork fat left behind in the pan. Stir and fry for 2 minutes, then pour in the chickpeas and their juice, stir, and bring to the boil. Sit the pork back in so it’s touching the base of the pan, pour over any resting juices, cover, and simmer gently on a medium heat for 12 minutes, or until the pork is just cooked through and it all smells incredible, turning the pork occasionally.
  • Rest for 2 minutes, slice the pork, season the chickpeas to perfection, adding a splash of red wine vinegar, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and serve.

Jools’ chopped salad

Serves: 4 –6 as a side
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients


6 small carrots, mixed colours if
possible
2 sticks of celery
1 handful of ripe cherry tomatoes,
mixed colours if possible
2 little gem lettuces
optional: 100g feta cheese
a few sprigs of fresh mint
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • On a large board, trim and finely chop the carrots and celery, finely chop the tomatoes, then separate and finely chop the lettuce leaves.
  • Once everything is fairly fine, start mixing it up and chopping some more.
  • Crumble over the feta, if using, then pick and roll the mint leaves like a cigar and chop into the salad.
  • Make a well in the middle, add the mustard, balsamic vinegar, oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and mix together. Then start mixing the salad into the dressing, chopping and mixing as you go. Or, you could make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a jam jar, ready to dress the salad at the table.

Jumbo fish fingers

Makes: 10 portions
Total time: 25 minutes prep, plus cooking

Ingredients


1 x 1.2kg side of salmon, skin off,
pin-boned, from sustainable sources
100g plain flour
2 large free-range eggs
2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
200g wholemeal bread
30g Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Something as humble and everyday as a fish finger can be made more nutritious if you make your own, and even better, you can go jumbo in size. I like to use salmon, but white fish works well, too.
  • Cut the fish into 10 x 120g portions. The nature of the shape of the salmon side means that they won’t be uniform in size, but that’s all part of their charm. I tend to cut the side lengthways about 3cm thick, then into chunks from that.
  • Sprinkle the flour across a plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the paprika and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • Tear the bread into a food processor, grate in the cheese, add 2 tablespoons of oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, and whiz until you have breadcrumbs (see below for some exciting addition ideas), then tip into a baking tray.
  • Turn each fish portion in the flour until evenly coated, dip it in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off, then turn it in the breadcrumbs until well coated all over. Transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, layering them up between sheets of paper until all of the fish is coated.
  • Cook right away or freeze in the tray – once frozen, you can pop them into a tub or sandwich bags for easier storage.
  • To cook, place however many jumbo fish fingers you need on a roasting tray and cook in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for 15 minutes from fresh, or 20 minutes from frozen, or until golden and cooked through.

Episode 10

Harissa chicken traybake

Serves: 4
Total time: 59 minutes
Prep 9 minutes – Cook 50 minutes

Ingredients


4 mixed-colour peppers
2 red onions
1 x 1.2kg whole free-range chicken
4 heaped teaspoons rose harissa
4 sprigs of fresh mint

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Deseed the peppers and tear into big chunks, peel and quarter the onions and break apart into petals, then place it all in a 30cm x 40cm roasting tray.
  • Use a large sharp knife to carefully cut down the back of the chicken, so you can open it out flat, then score the legs. Add to the tray with the harissa, and a little sea salt, black pepper and red wine vinegar. Toss well, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies of the chicken.
  • Sit the chicken flat on top of the veg, skin side up, and roast it all for 50 minutes, or until gnarly and cooked through. Pick over the mint leaves before dishing up.

Hero tomato sauce

Makes: 1 litre
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients


4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2 fresh red chillies
1 big bunch of fresh basil (60g)
4 x 400g tins of quality cherry
tomatoes

Method

  • Peel and finely slice the garlic and place in a large pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Fry until lightly golden, stirring occasionally, while you halve the chillies lengthways (deseed if you like) and stir into the pan. Tear in the basil (stalks and all).
  • Scrunch in the tomatoes through your clean hands, then swirl a little water around each tin and pour into the pan. Bring the whole lot to the boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, and now you’ve got a choice – you can either leave the sauce chunky, or I like to pass it through a coarse sieve, making sure to really push all that goodness through.
  • Taste, season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, and you’re done. You can use the sauce straight away, cover and keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week, or divide between ziplock bags, label and freeze in portions for future meals.

Singapore-style fried rice

Serves: 2
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients


150g brown or basmati rice
320g crunchy veg, such as asparagus,
baby corn, broccoli, leek, Chinese,
red or white cabbage, pak choi,
carrot
1 clove of garlic
2cm piece of ginger
1 large free-range egg
olive oil
1 chipolata
1 rasher of smoked streaky bacon
4 fresh or frozen raw peeled prawns
1 teaspoon tikka paste
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon mixed seeds
1 teaspoon chilli jam
sesame oil

Method

  • Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then drain and leave to cool. If you spread it across a plate, it will cool more quickly.
  • Now prep the veg – chop everything into strips or chunks that are about the same size so it will be a pleasure to eat. Chop asparagus spears into 2cm lengths, halve or quarter baby corn, matchstick the carrot, and shred up cabbage – you get the idea.
  • Peel and finely slice the garlic. Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger.
  • Put a large non-stick frying pan or wok on a medium-high heat.
  • Beat the egg. Put 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the hot pan, then pour in the egg, swirling it around the pan to cover the base, essentially like a thin egg pancake. Let it cook through, then ease out of the pan with a spatula, roll it up and finely slice.
  • Put ½ a tablespoon of olive oil into the hot pan. Finely slice the
    sausage and bacon, then add to the pan. Stir-fry until golden, then go in with the prawns, garlic and ginger.
  • Stir in the curry paste until everything is coated, then start adding your veg, getting stuff that needs a bit longer in there first like carrots and leek. Keep stirring or tossing and adding the veg until it’s all in there.
  • Mix in the cool rice and stir-fry until it’s hot through and the veg are just cooked.
  • Add the soy, then toss in the egg ribbons.
  • Divide between your plates, sprinkle over the seeds, season to perfection with more soy if you like, and finish with a drizzle of chilli jam. Eat right away – heaven!

Potato gnocchi

Serves: 6 to 8
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients


1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris
Piper, King Edward
100g Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for
dusting
1 whole nutmeg, for grating

Method

  • Use potatoes of a fairly even size, as you’re going to cook them whole. Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
  • Drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins.
  • Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer or masher on to a large clean board.
  • Sprinkle over the flour, finely grate over half the nutmeg, season well with sea salt and black pepper, then scrunch and push the mixture together with clean hands. Depending on the potatoes, you may need to add a little more flour – use your common sense.
  • Knead on a flour-dusted surface for a few minutes until pliable, then divide into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a sausage about 2cm thick.
  • Slice into 3cm lengths – this is your basic gnocchi. Now you can gently roll each piece down a butter pat, the back of a fork or a fine grater to add grooves, which will help your sauce to stick, or simply roll into balls.
  • Nonna Teresa cooked her gnocchi 2 portions at a time, as it’s so quick, and it also means they’re less likely to break up. Cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes – as soon as they come up to the surface they’re ready.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with melted butter and finely grated Parmesan, my Hero tomato sauce (or leftover sauce from a stew, which you can see in the picture), then finely grate over a little Parmesan, to serve. I also like to add a little dollop of pesto – homemade or jarred, it’s up to you.

The best basil pesto

Serves: 6
Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients


1 clove of garlic, peeled
sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper
1 large bunch of fresh basil, leaves
picked
50g pinenuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g Parmesan, finely grated
optional: 1 cooked Jersey Royal or
new potato

Method

  • Peel and bash the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Pick the basil leaves and add with the pine nuts, and pound to a coarse paste.
  • Muddle in the extra virgin olive oil and finely grate and stir in the Parmesan, adding a splash of water if you like it a little runnier, then continue bashing and pounding until smooth.
  • Have a taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed. For a lovely creamy finish, try crumbling in and stirring through a cooked Jersey Royal. Serve with grilled meat or fish, or simply stirred through pasta – delicious!

Episode 9

Buddy’s flapjack biscuits

Makes: 16
Total time: 29 minutes

Ingredients


100g unsalted butter (at room
temperature)
100g mixed dried fruit & nuts
100g porridge oats
100g self-raising flour
100g golden syrup

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Line a deep 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper and rub with olive oil.
  • Pulse the butter, dried fruit and nuts, oats and flour in a food processor until the mix comes together and away from the sides, then pulse in the syrup until fully combined.
  • Transfer to the lined tin, flattening to the edges. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
  • Remove from the oven, slice into 16 squares ready to cut, and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
  • Use the paper to lift out on to a wire rack, and leave to cool completely. Simple, easy, delicious – spread the word!

Cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese

Serves: 6
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients


15g unsalted butter
1 leek
1 stick of celery
optional: ½ a bulb of fennel
1 small head of cauliflower (600g)
450g dried pasta
1 tablespoon plain flour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
1 teaspoon English mustard
100g mixed cheese, such as Cheddar,
Parmesan, feta, halloumi
100g stale bread
2 cloves of garlic
optional: a few sprigs of fresh
herbs, such as thyme or oregano
olive oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Put a large shallow ovenproof casserole pan on a medium heat with the butter.
  • Trim, halve, wash and slice the leek and add to the pan. Stir regularly while you trim, slice and add the celery, then trim, chop and add the fennel, if using.
  • Break the cauliflower into florets, then cut into 2cm-thick slices and finely slice the stalk and any nice leaves. Add the stalk and leaves to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 8 minutes (5 if using macaroni). Reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water, drain the pasta and pour into a 25cm x 35cm baking dish (or divide between smaller ones).
  • Stir the flour into the veg pan for 30 seconds, then gradually pour in the milk, stirring all the time, followed by 500ml of water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the mustard and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to the sauce and let it blip away until thickened while you coarsely grate the cheese.
  • Stir the cheese into the sauce, then blitz until smooth with a hand blender, or in batches in a food processor.
  • Pour over the pasta then, if you need to loosen it, add a little reserved pasta water – the sauce will thicken up as it bakes.
  • Blitz your stale bread into crumbs in the processor (or smash up in a clean tea towel). Peel and grate the garlic. Pick the herb leaves, if using, and mix it all together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Scatter the crumbs over the pasta, grating over more cheese, if you’ve got it, then bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Comforting sausage bake

Makes: 4
Total time: 55 minutes
(10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cook)

Ingredients


600g ripe mixed-colour cherry
tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
200g rosemary focaccia
1 x 660g jar of white beans
12 higher-welfare chipolatas

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Halve the cherry tomatoes, peel and finely slice the garlic, and tear the bread into bite-sized chunks.
  • Place it all in a 30cm x 35cm roasting tray, pour in the beans and their juice, drizzle with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and red wine vinegar, add a splash of water, and mix it all together.
  • Quickly pinch and twist each chipolata in the middle to make it into two mini ones, then randomly dot them around your bake, lightly pressing them into the beans and tomatoes.
  • Roast for 45 minutes, or until everything is golden, bubbling and delicious.

Episode 8

Allotment cottage pie

Serves: 6 to 8
Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients


10g dried porcini mushrooms
2 large leeks
3 carrots
500g swede
500g celeriac
olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2kg potatoes
40g unsalted butter
1 splash of semi-skimmed milk
1 onion
1 teaspoon Marmite
3 tablespoons tomato purée
1 x 400g tin of green lentils

Method

  • In a blender, cover the porcini with 600ml of boiling water. Trim, wash and slice the leeks 2cm thick, then scrub the carrots, swede and celeriac and chop to roughly the same size. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a large casserole pan on a medium heat, strip in the rosemary, fry for 1 minute to crisp up, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the cumin seeds and prepped veg to the flavoured oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the potatoes, cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender, then drain well. Mash with the butter and milk, and season to taste. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Quarter the onion, add to the porcini in the blender along with the Marmite and tomato purée and whiz until smooth. Pour into the veg pan and cook for 20 minutes, or until dark and caramelised, stirring regularly and scraping up any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Tip the lentils (juices and all) into the veg pan, bring to the boil, then season to taste. Spoon over the mash, place on a tray, bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden and bubbling at the edges, then sprinkle over the crispy rosemary.
  • Serve with simple steamed seasonal greens – it’s a winner!

Fantastic fish tikka curry

Serves: 4
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Ingredients


1 lemon
3 tablespoons tikka curry paste
400g frozen white fish fillets, from
sustainable sources
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
5cm piece of ginger
1 fresh red chilli
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
olive oil
300g potatoes
2 ripe tomatoes
300g frozen cauliflower florets
50g red split lentils
1 mug (320g) of basmati rice
10 cloves
4 tablespoons fat-free natural
yoghurt

Method

  • Cut the lemon in half, cut one half into wedges for serving later, then squeeze the juice of the other half on to a large plate and add 1 tablespoon of tikka paste.
  • Mix together, then massage all over the frozen fish and leave aside in a single layer to marinate and defrost.
  • Peel and slice the onion, garlic and ginger with the chilli and coriander stalks, then place it all in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil and the remaining tikka paste.
  • Peel the potatoes, cut them into 2cm chunks, then stir them into the pan and cook everything for 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. This will build up great flavour.
  • Quarter the tomatoes, add to the pan with the cauliflower, lentils and 600ml of boiling water, and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through and the sauce is lovely and thick, adding splashes of water, if needed, then season to perfection.
  • Around 15 minutes before the curry is ready, put 1 mug (320g) of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into a pan with a pinch of sea salt and the cloves. Cook on a medium heat, with the lid on, for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Dry-fry the fish in a large non-stick pan for 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on the thickness), or until charred, gnarly and cooked through – don’t be tempted to move it around, just let it colour and crisp up nicely.
  • Stir half the yoghurt through the curry and dollop the remaining yoghurt on top. Fluff up the rice, flake the fish on top, then sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve alongside the curry, with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

One-pan breakfast

Serves: 3
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients


3 rashers of higher-welfare smoked
streaky bacon
4 higher-welfare chipolatas
olive oil
160g ripe tomatoes
4 large free-range eggs
3 slices of bread

Method

  • Put a large non-stick 25cm frying pan on a medium heat.
  • Lay in the bacon and sausages and add ½ a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry for 10 to 12 minutes, until the bacon is beautifully golden and the sausages are cooked through, turning occasionally.
  • When they’re done, use tongs to move the bacon and sausages out of the pan, leaving the fat behind.
  • Reduce the heat to low, then halve or quarter the tomatoes, depending on their size, adding them to the pan as you go. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Crack the eggs into the pan, using the tongs to move the tomatoes randomly on top of them as you go.
  • As the eggs are frying, slice up your bacon and sausages, and return them to the pan, spacing them about so everyone will get a nice portion.
  • Season with black pepper, then cover with a lid until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Toast the bread.
  • Use a fish slice or spatula to loosen the eggs around the edges, then slide the whole thing onto a board or platter, like a frisbee, ready to serve in the middle of the table. Line up your hot toast, get your condiments out, and tuck in.

Episode 7

Chicken noodle stir-fry

Serves: 2
Total time: 16 minutes

Ingredients


30g unsalted peanuts
2 x 120g free-range skinless chicken
breasts
2 tablespoons black bean sauce
150g medium free-range egg noodles
200g tenderstem broccoli

Method

  • Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and toast the peanuts as it heats up, tossing regularly, then remove and set aside, leaving the pan on the heat.
  • Meanwhile, score the chicken lengthways at 1cm intervals, going about halfway through.
  • In a bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, red wine vinegar and black bean sauce to coat. Cook in the hot pan for 3 minutes on each side, or until dark, gnarly and cooked through.
  • Cook the noodles in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
  • Trim the broccoli (halving any thick stalks lengthways) and add to the water for the last 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken to a board. Use tongs to carefully drag the just cooked noodles and broccoli with a bit of their water straight into the frying pan.
  • Pound half the peanuts in a pestle and mortar until fine, toss into the pan with the remaining black bean sauce until well mixed, then divide between your plates.
  • Slice the chicken and place on top, scatter over the remaining peanuts, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, and dig in.

Pork meatloaf

Serves: 6
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients


3 carrots
olive oil
100g stale bread
500g higher-welfare minced pork
2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
30g feta cheese
1 large free-range egg
3 fresh red chillies
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 700ml jar of passata
30g Cheddar cheese
480g dried spaghetti

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
  • Peel the carrots, quarter lengthways, then place in a roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm), drizzle with oil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then use your hands to mix in a bowl with the pork, half the oregano, the crumbled feta (it’s a small amount, but it makes all the difference!), the egg and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • Shape into a loaf (roughly 20cm long), then, when the time’s up on the carrots, make a space in the middle of the tray and add the meatloaf. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the meatloaf is golden and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, halve the chillies lengthways and deseed, then put them into a medium pan on a low heat with a lug of oil for 2 minutes while you peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Scoop out and reserve the chillies, then put the onion and garlic into the pan with the remaining oregano and fry for about 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
  • Pour in the passata, add a splash of water to the empty jar, swirl it
    around and pour into the pan, season to perfection, then simmer until
    the time’s up on the meatloaf.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and carefully pour the sauce around the meatloaf. Pull the carrots to the top of the sauce and arrange around the meatloaf with the chillies, then grate the Cheddar on top of it (I like to sprinkle over a few fresh woody herb leaves like rosemary at this point, if I’ve got it).
  • Pop the meatloaf back into the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and delicious, and the sauce is bubbling.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain.
  • Serve everything in the middle of the table with a salad, then slice up the meatloaf, mashing the chillies into the sauce for added heat, if you like.

Veggie quesadillas

Serves: 6
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients


3 leeks
3 peppers
1 large carrot
140g Cheddar or Red Leicester cheese
optional: a few sprigs of fresh soft
herbs, such as parsley, mint,
coriander
8 large flour tortillas
200g tub of houmous
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon or lime
optional: 1 fresh chilli
120g natural yoghurt
optional: chipotle chilli sauce

Method

  • Peel off the outer layers of the leeks, leaving the tender inner part (save the outsides for stew or soup, or even stock or gravy), then finely chop.
  • Deseed and finely chop the peppers. Wash and coarsely grate the carrot.
  • Put all the veg in a bowl, coarsely grate in the cheese, adding more if you have it, then mix it all together. If you’ve got fresh herbs, add some roughly chopped leaves.
  • To assemble, scatter the veg and cheese mixture across four tortillas, then top with the remaining tortillas.
  • Put a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.
  • One at a time, dry fry the quesadillas for 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the outside, and the cheese has melted in the middle, turning halfway.
  • Meanwhile, jazz up your houmous. Add half a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to the houmous tub, and mix together. You can add some fresh herbs here if you have any.
  • Let each quesadilla cool for at least a minute before slicing into wedges. Finely slice the chilli, if using. Serve with the jazzed-up houmous and yoghurt for dunking, topped with chilli sauce and the sliced fresh chilli to add a bit of heat, if you like. Great with a fresh, crunchy salad on the side.

Episode 6

Chicken pot pie

Serves: 4
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients


2 onions
600g free-range chicken thighs, skin
off, bone out
350g mixed mushrooms
1 bunch of fresh thyme (30g)
375g block of all-butter puff pastry
(cold)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Place a 30cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a high heat, with a smaller non-stick pan on a medium heat alongside. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the larger pan. Peel and roughly chop the onions, adding them to the larger pan as you go. Roughly chop two-thirds of the thighs, finely chop the rest, and add to the onion pan. Cook for 6 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in the dry pan, tearing up any larger ones. Let them toast and get nutty for 4 minutes, then tip into the chicken pan and strip in half the thyme leaves.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then stir in 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 150ml of water. Working quickly, roll out the pastry so it’s 2cm bigger than the pan, then place it over the filling, using a wooden spoon to push it into the edges. Very lightly criss-cross the pastry, then brush with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Poke the remaining thyme sprigs into the middle of the pie. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. Easy!

Quick green pasta

Serves: 6
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

6 spring onions
1 leek
1 large handful of Tenderstem
broccoli spears
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
100g frozen spinach
2 large handfuls of frozen peas
450g dried pasta
50g Parmesan cheese, plus extra to
serve
extra virgin olive oil
optional: fresh herbs, to serve

Method

  • Trim and slice the spring onions. Trim the leek, halve it lengthways, wash it, then finely slice. Finely slice the broccoli stalks, reserving the tips.
  • Put a large, non-stick, shallow casserole pan on a medium heat.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan, with the spring onions, leeks and broccoli stalks. Peel and finely chop the garlic and add to the pan.
  • Add the frozen spinach and peas, then add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft but not coloured and the spinach has defrosted, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions, adding the broccoli florets for the last 2 minutes.
  • While everything is ticking away, finely grate the Parmesan.
  • Scoop or pour out about 200ml of cooking water from the pasta into your veg pan. Now, you can either leave your sauce chunky, blitz it until smooth in a blender, or use a hand blender to go somewhere in between – it’s up to you.
  • Drain the pasta and broccoli, and tip it into the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and the grated Parmesan, and toss it all together.
  • I like to finish this with a sprinkling of fresh herbs – parsley, basil, thyme, whatever you’ve got. A little extra grating of Parmesan is always nice, and a big salad on the side.

Giant veg rösti

Serves: 4
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

600g potatoes
3 large carrots
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
olive oil
100g frozen peas
100g baby spinach
4 large free-range eggs
50g feta cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
  • Peel the potatoes and carrots, then coarsely grate them in a food processor or by hand on a box grater. Add a good pinch of sea salt, toss and scrunch it all together, then leave for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the mustard, a good squeeze of lemon juice, and a couple of lugs of extra virgin olive oil with a little pinch of salt and black pepper in a medium bowl and put aside.
  • Drizzle a really good lug of olive oil into a large bowl and add a good pinch of pepper. Handful by handful, squeeze the potato and carrot mixture to get rid of the excess salty liquid, then sprinkle into the bowl.
  • Toss in the oil and pepper until well mixed, then evenly scatter it over a large oiled baking tray (roughly 30cm x 40cm). Roast for around 35 minutes, or until golden on top and super-crispy around the edges.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the peas for a minute in a large pan of boiling salted water, then scoop out, add to the bowl of dressing and pile the spinach on top.
  • Just before your rösti is ready, with the water gently simmering, crack in the eggs, poach to your liking, then carefully remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Serve the rösti with the eggs on top. Quickly toss the salad together to dress it and scatter in piles on the rösti, then crumble over the feta and serve. I like to whack it in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in.

Episode 5

Corner-shop curry sauce

Serves: 4
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients


1 mug of basmati rice (300g)
2 x 200g skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon jalfrezi curry paste
2 little gem lettuces
1 lemon

CURRY SAUCE
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
4cm piece of ginger
olive oil
optional: 2 fresh red chillies
1 heaped tablespoon jalfrezi curry
paste
1 heaped tablespoon mango chutney
1 x 400g tin of quality plum
tomatoes
1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas

Method

  • For the sauce, peel and coarsely grate the onions, then peel and finely grate the garlic and ginger.
  • Put a large non-stick pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the grated onion, garlic and ginger, stirring regularly.
  • If using the chillies, halve and deseed them and add to the pan. After a few minutes, once the veg has softened, stir in the curry paste, followed by the mango chutney. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon and scraping up any sticky bits from the base of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, drain and add the chickpeas, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the consistency of your liking. That’s your corner-shop curry sauce done.
  • Meanwhile, put 1 mug of rice, 2 mugs of boiling kettle water and a pinch of sea salt into a medium pan. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 12 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Rub the chicken breasts with a teaspoon of curry paste until lightly coated, then dry fry for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden and charred, turning halfway.
  • Remove the chicken to a board and thickly slice. If the chicken isn’t cooked through at this point it’s OK, because it will finish cooking in the sauce. Stir the chicken slices into the simmering sauce for the last 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Season the sauce to perfection.
  • Halve and finely slice the little gem, then toss in lemon juice.
  • Serve the curry with the fluffy rice and shredded lettuce. Nice with poppadoms, a dollop of yoghurt, and a few fresh coriander leaves, if you have them.

Minestrone soup

Serves: 8
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients


optional: 4 rashers of higherwelfare smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
1 clove of garlic
2 small onions
2 fresh bay leaves
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 large handfuls of seasonal greens,
such as savoy cabbage, curly kale,
chard
1 vegetable stock cube
1 x 400g tin of quality plum
tomatoes
2 x 400g tins of beans, such as
cannellini, butter, or mixed
100g dried pasta
Parmesan cheese, to serve
extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Put a large shallow casserole pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Finely slice the bacon, if using, and sprinkle into the pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring occasionally while you prep your veg.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion, adding the garlic to the pan with the bay leaves as soon as the bacon turns golden, followed by the onions.
  • Trim and chop the carrots and celery into rough 1cm dice, adding to the pan as you go. Remove and finely chop any tough stalks from your greens and add to the pan. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly, or until softened and caramelised.
  • Crumble in the stock cube, pour in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with your spoon, then add 1 tin’s worth of water.
  • Pour in the beans, juice and all, then add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • Shred your greens and sprinkle into the pan, top up with 600ml of boiling kettle water, then add the pasta. Cover and leave to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pasta is just cooked and the soup has thickened to your liking.
  • Season the soup to perfection, then serve it with a grating of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A sprinkling of fresh baby basil leaves will always be delicious, if you’ve got them, and my kids enjoy it with a dollop of pesto on top, too.

Episode 4

Beef & ale stew

Serves: 6
Total time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Ingredients


olive oil
3 sticks of celery
3 carrots
3 onions
½ a bunch of fresh rosemary (15g) or
3 bay leaves
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
500ml ale, Guinness or stout
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
750g quality diced stewing beef

Method

  • If using the oven to cook the stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Put a large shallow ovenproof casserole pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Trim the celery, wash the carrots, peel the onions, then roughly chop it all about the same size as your beef chunks, adding the veg to the pan as you go.
  • Season the veg with sea salt and black pepper, and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelise, stirring occasionally.
  • Strip in the rosemary leaves, stir in the flour for 2 minutes, then pour in the booze and let it cook away.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of the spoon. Fill the tin with water, swirl around, and pour into the pan.
  • Bring just to the boil, then stir in the meat, season, and cover. Either simmer slowly on the hob or place in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat falls apart easily.
  • Taste the stew and tweak the seasoning, if needed, then serve with rice or mashed potato, and some lovely veggies, or check out the topping ideas below.

Cheat’s deep-pan pizza

Serves: 4
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 Cumberland sausages
olive oil
1 pinch of dried oregano
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 red onions
8 sliced jalapeños in brine
500g self-raising flour, plus extra
for dusting
50g Cheddar cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9 (full whack). Put a large nonstick, ovenproof frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins directly into the frying pan, with ½ a tablespoon of olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to roughly break up the meat.
  • Add the oregano and fennel seeds, and stir-fry until the sausage meat is lightly golden.
  • Peel and finely slice the onions then add to the pan with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Add the jalapeños and a splash of their vinegar. Cook on a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and caramelised, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, for the dough, pile the flour into a bowl with a good pinch of sea salt. Add up to 250ml of water, mixing until it comes together as a smooth, elastic dough. You want it to be pliable.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, then form into a rough round.
  • Now, tip your topping out of the pan for a moment, returning the pan to a medium heat. Place the dough in the pan and – being careful not to touch the hot pan – use your fingertips to stretch out the dough to cover the base.
  • Spoon the topping back over the pizza, spreading it out and pushing the sausage into the dough, then grate over the cheese.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium-high and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the base has started to crisp up. Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden, puffed up and sizzling. Serve with a nice salad, if you like.

  • FRENCH DRESSING
    Peel and finely chop ¼ of a clove of garlic. Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • YOGHURT DRESSING
    Put cup of natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • LEMON DRESSING
    Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • BALSAMIC DRESSING
    Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Sweet pea fish pie

Serves: 8
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredient


1kg potatoes
400g frozen peas
1 lemon
40g unsalted butter
2 carrots
2 onions
olive oil
500ml semi-skimmed milk
2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets
2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets
65g plain flour
100g frozen spinach
125g frozen cooked peeled prawns
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
40g Cheddar cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then cook them in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until soft, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and mash well with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Set aside.
  • Peel and chop the carrots and onions, then fry them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add all the frozen fish fillets and cook for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.
  • Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the warm milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the spinach until thawed and incorporated, then season to perfection.
  • Flake in the cooked fish fillets (carefully remove and discard any skin or bones), add the prawns and mustard, along with the juice of half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar, and stir gently to combine.
  • Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it texture that will crisp up. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like). Delicious!

Episode 3

7-veg tomato sauce

Makes: 2 – 3 litres
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients


2 small onions
2 small leeks
2 sticks of celery
2 carrots
2 courgettes
2 red peppers
½ a butternut squash (600g)
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes

Method

  • Start with your veg prep – you can either do this by hand (which is a great way to practise your knife skills) or, in batches, rattle it all through a food processor.
  • Peel the onions, wash and trim the leeks, celery, carrots and courgettes, deseed the peppers and squash (there’s no need to peel it), then finely chop it all. Peel the garlic and finely chop by hand.
  • Put a super-large pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and oregano, fry for 1 minute, then add all the prepped veg.
  • Cook with the lid on for 25 minutes, or until the veg are soft but not coloured, stirring regularly.
  • Pour in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then just under half-fill each tin with water, swirl around and pour into the pan.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Leave to cool a little, then blitz until smooth, taste, and season to perfection.

Eggless chocolate cake

Serves: 12
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients


200g soft unsalted butter, plus
extra for greasing
200g hazelnuts
200g quality dark chocolate
200g self-raising flour
200ml semi-skimmed milk
200g golden caster sugar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line a deep non-stick 25cm x 25cm tray with greaseproof paper. If you don’t have a non-stick tray, simply grease what you’ve got and dust it lightly with flour before lining with the paper.
  • Blitz the nuts in a food processor until fine.
  • With the processor still running, snap in the chocolate, then add the butter, followed by the flour and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Pour in the milk, then add the sugar, letting the processor do all the work bringing it together.
  • Once smooth and combined, use a spatula to help you tip the mixture into your lined tray, spreading it out evenly.
  • Bake for 18 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until crispy and spongy at the edges, but still a bit gooey and wobbly in the middle.
  • Now, you can either serve it warm with an extra grating of chocolate, some fresh fruit and a dollop of yoghurt, a scoop of ice cream or even custard, and enjoy it like a pudding. Or, let it cool into more of a gooey brownie.

Freezer-raid springtime risotto

Serves: 6
Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients


1 litre vegetable stock (a stock
cube is fine)
1 onion
1 stick of celery
olive oil
2 knobs of unsalted butter
300g risotto rice
optional: 125ml white wine
300g mixed frozen green veg, such as
spinach, green beans and peas
60g freshly grated Parmesan cheese,
plus extra for sprinkling
extra virgin olive oil
optional: 1 lemon

Method

  • Bring the stock to a simmer in a pan on a low heat. Peel the onion, trim the celery, then finely chop or coarsely grate them. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 knob of butter, plus the onion and celery into a high-sided pan on a low heat. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veg is soft but not coloured.
  • Turn up the heat to medium, add the rice and stir for 2 minutes, so it sucks up all the lovely flavour. If using, pour in the wine and stir until absorbed.
  • Add a ladleful of hot stock, stir, and wait until it’s been fully absorbed before adding more. Cook for 16 to 18 minutes, adding more stock every minute or so and stirring regularly, until the rice is al dente. This means it should be soft and a pleasure to eat, but still holding its shape.
  • About 5 minutes before your rice is ready, stir in the frozen veg to cook through.
  • Now, your risotto needs to be slightly looser than you want it to be, as it will thicken as it sits, so add an extra ladleful of stock. Turn off the heat, stir or beat in the remaining butter and the Parmesan, then season to perfection.
  • Pop the lid on and let it sit for 2 minutes before serving. The most important thing is that the risotto is always oozy.
  • Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, an extra grating of cheese and, if you’ve got it, a tiny squeeze of lemon juice per portion.

Episode 2

Easy homemade bread

Makes: 2 large loaves
Total time: 45 minutes plus proving time

Ingredients


1 x 7g sachet of dried yeast
1kg strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting

Method

  • Pour 650ml of tepid water into a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix with a fork for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour in most of the flour and half a teaspoon of sea salt, then use a fork to mix together until you can’t move it anymore.
  • Now get your clean hands in there and bring it together as a ball of dough, adding more flour as you need to stop your hands and the dough sticking.
  • Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted surface and keep it moving, kneading, pushing and stretching it for 5 minutes, or until you have a silky and elastic dough.
  • Use your floured hands to shape the dough into a rough ball, put it in a bowl, flour the top and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Allow it to prove for about an hour or an hour and 30 minutes, or until doubled in size – ideally in a warm, draught-free place.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out by punching it with your fist, then kneading for 30 seconds.
  • You can now shape it or flavour it as required – folded, filled, tray baked, whatever – and leave it to prove for a second time, for 30 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size once more.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Carefully transfer your bread dough to the oven and gently close the door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden. You can tell if it’s cooked by tapping its bottom – if it sounds hollow it’s done; if it doesn’t then pop it back in for a little longer.
  • Once cooked, place your loaf on a cooling rack and allow to cool.

Jam jar dressings

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients


FRENCH DRESSING
¼ of a clove of garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

YOGHURT DRESSING
cup natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons white or red wine
vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

LEMON DRESSING
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon

BALSAMIC DRESSING

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

  • FRENCH DRESSING
    Peel and finely chop ¼ of a clove of garlic. Put the garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • YOGHURT DRESSING
    Put cup of natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • LEMON DRESSING
    Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
  • BALSAMIC DRESSING
    Put 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.

Sweet pea fish pie

Serves: 8
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredient


1kg potatoes
400g frozen peas
1 lemon
40g unsalted butter
2 carrots
2 onions
olive oil
500ml semi-skimmed milk
2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets
2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets
65g plain flour
100g frozen spinach
125g frozen cooked peeled prawns
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
40g Cheddar cheese

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then cook them in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until soft, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and mash well with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Set aside.
  • Peel and chop the carrots and onions, then fry them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with 1 tablespoon of oil over a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add all the frozen fish fillets and cook for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.
  • Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the warm milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the spinach until thawed and incorporated, then season to perfection.
  • Flake in the cooked fish fillets (carefully remove and discard any skin or bones), add the prawns and mustard, along with the juice of half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar, and stir gently to combine.
  • Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it texture that will crisp up. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like). Delicious!

Episode 1

Easy Carbonara
Serves: 2
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients


2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked
streaky bacon
olive oil
2 free-range eggs
30g Parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating

Method

  • Slice the bacon and place in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with half a tablespoon of olive oil and a really good pinch of black pepper. Leave it to get super-golden and crispy, tossing occasionally, then turn off the heat.
  • Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl, then finely grate in the Parmesan and mix well.
  • Use tongs to transfer your pasta straight into the pan and toss with the bacon.
  • Pour the Parmesan eggs into the pan, and keep everything moving, loosening with splashes of the pasta cooking water until you have a silky sauce. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot otherwise the eggs will scramble.
  • Plate up the pasta, and finish with an extra grating of Parmesan.


Easy Tomato Sauce

Serves: 2
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients


2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
1 x 400g tin of good quality plum
tomatoes
optional: extra virgin olive oil

Method

  • Peel and finely slice the garlic, then place in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir regularly until lightly golden.
  • Pour in the tomatoes, either scrunching them through your hands, or breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Let it simmer on a low heat until your pasta is cooked.
  • Use tongs to drag the pasta straight into the sauce, letting a little starchy cooking water go with it.
  • Toss well over the heat, then serve. I like to finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Super Quick Fresh Pasta

Serves: 2
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:


2 large handfuls of plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Method

  • Put the flour in a bowl, then gradually mix in just enough water to bring it together into a ball of dough (if it’s sticky, add a little extra flour).
  • Knead for just a couple of minutes, or until smooth and shiny.
  • On a flour-dusted surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pasta to about 2mm thick.
  • Dust it well with flour, then loosely roll it up. Use a sharp knife to slice it ½cm thick, then toss it with your hands to separate the strands.
  • Cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and toss with your chosen sauce.

Versatile veggie chilli

Serves 4
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients


500g sweet potatoes
1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
olive oil
1 onion
2 mixed-colour peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh coriander (30g)
2 fresh mixed-colour chillies
2 x 400g tins of beans, such as kidney, chickpea, pinto, cannellini
2 x 400g tins of quality plum tomatoes
lime or lemon juice, or vinegar, to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.
  • Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks, then place onto a baking tray.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with oil then toss to coat. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until golden and tender.
  • Peel and roughly chop the onion. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers, then peel and finely slice the garlic.
  • Pick the coriander leaves, finely chopping the stalks. Deseed and finely chop the chillies.
  • Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat, then add the onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the coriander stalks, chillies and spices, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelise, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans, juice and all. Tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, then stir well.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to tick away for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced – keep an eye on it, and add a splash of water to loosen, if needed.
  • Stir the roasted sweet potato through the chilli with most of the coriander leaves, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lime or lemon juice or a swig of vinegar, to taste, then scatter over the remaining coriander. Delicious served with yoghurt or soured cream, guacamole and rice, or tortilla chips.

Episode 13

Botham Burgers

Serves: 10
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
plus cooling

Ingredients

2 leeks
olive oil
1 carrot
1kg minced beef
100g fresh or stale breadcrumbs
optional: 1 x 250g packet of cooked
lentils
2 teaspoons Dijon or wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon baby gherkins
½ a bunch of fresh herbs (15g), such as
parsley, mint
100g Cheddar cheese

SALSA
2 corn on the cobs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 lime
½ a bunch of fresh soft herbs (15g),
such as parsley, mint, chives, basil
1 fresh chilli
1-2 mixed-colour peppers
¼ of a ripe pineapple
200g ripe tomatoes, on the vine
30g feta cheese

Method

  • Put a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.
  • For the burgers, trim, halve, wash and finely chop the leeks, then place in the frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Peel and finely chop or coarsely grate the carrot and add it to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured, stirring regularly. Tip onto a tray and spread it out to help it cool quickly. Put the minced beef, breadcrumbs, lentils (if using, see swaps below) and mustard in a large tray or bowl. Finely chop and add the gherkins and herb leaves.
  • Once the veg is completely cool, add to the tray and use clean hands to mix and scrunch it all together well.
  • Now, with wet hands, divide into 10 and shape into balls, patting them together well, but not packing them too tightly – there’s nothing worse than dense balls. Line them up on an oiled roasting tray as you go.
  • Place the tray in the fridge for 1 hour, or until you’re ready to cook.
  • Preheat the oven to 180CºC/350ºF/gas 4. Roast the burgers for 40 minutes, then pull out the tray and coarsely grate over the cheese. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
  • Meanwhile, for the salsa, run a sharp knife down the shaft of the corn cobs to remove the kernels. Sprinkle them into a dry non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat and let them char and catch for a few minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Put the oil and vinegar into a large bowl, squeeze in the lime juice and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Finely chop and add the herb leaves and chilli, to your taste.
  • Deseed the peppers, peel and core the pineapple, then finely chop with the tomatoes, adding them to the dressing as you go. Tip the hot, charred corn straight into the salsa mix and toss well. Crumble in the feta, then taste and check the seasoning, tweaking with more vinegar, if needed – you want it to be slightly more acidic than you think it should be.
  • Serve the cheesy Botham burgers and tangy salsa with a simple green salad and some good spuds, whether jacket, wedged or roasted new potatoes, it’s all good.

One-pan fabulous fish

Serves: 4
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

300g white basmati rice
6 heaped teaspoons green olive
tapenade
350g ripe mixed-colour cherry
tomatoes
½ a bunch of fresh basil (15g)
500g white fish fillets, such as
haddock, skin off, pin-boned, from
sustainable sources

Method

  • In a large shallow casserole pan on a high heat, mix the rice with 2 heaped teaspoons of tapenade, then pour over 600ml of water. Put the lid on and let it come to the boil while you halve the tomatoes and, in a bowl, mix them with 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Taste, season to perfection
    with sea salt and black pepper, and tear in most of the basil leaves.
  • Cut the fish into four equal-sized pieces and place in the pan, pushing them into the rice. Scatter over the dressed tomatoes. Put the lid back on and boil for 10 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through, then remove the lid and cook for a further 2 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Spoon the remaining tapenade over the fish, pick over the remaining basil leaves, drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and dish up.

Super spinach pancakes

Serves: 6
Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
350g ripe mixed-colour cherry
tomatoes
100g baby spinach
3 spring onions
½ a bunch of fresh coriander (15g)
1 lime
extra virgin olive oil
1 large free-range egg
1 mug of self-raising flour
1 mug of semi-skimmed milk
olive oil
300g cottage cheese
hot chilli sauce

Method

  • Halve, destone, peel and finely slice the avocado and quarter the tomatoes, then place in a salad bowl with a quarter of the spinach. Trim, finely slice and add the spring onions and pick in the coriander leaves, then squeeze over the lime juice. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper, toss to coat and put aside.
  • Crack the egg into a blender, add the flour, milk, remaining spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper, then blitz until smooth. Place a large non stick frying pan on a medium heat, rub the pan with a little olive oil, then pour in a thin layer of batter, swirling it up and around the edges. Cook on one side only for 2 minutes, or until lightly golden, then stack up on a serving plate and repeat.
  • Top each pancake with dollops of cottage cheese, the avocado salad, and a few good shakes of chilli sauce. Really nice served with extra lime wedges for squeezing over, and a fried egg on top, if you fancy.

Episode 14

Chicken Fajitas

Serves: 4
Total time: 40 minutes
plus marinating

Ingredients

olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic
1 large red onion
2 x 200g skinless free-range chicken
breasts
3 mixed-colour peppers
1 large aubergine
2 limes
1 bunch of fresh coriander (30g)
1 ripe avocado
4 large seeded wholemeal tortillas
50g feta cheese

Method

  • Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a bowl with the vinegar, chilli sauce, oregano, paprika and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Crush in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and mix together.
  • Peel and halve the onion, slice into 1cm-thick wedges, then slice the chicken lengthways 1cm thick and toss both in the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
  • Blacken the whole peppers and aubergine over a direct flame on the hob, or in a griddle pan on a high heat, until charred and blistered all over.
  • Pop the peppers into a bowl and cover with clingfilm for 10 minutes, then scrape off most of the black skin, discarding the stalks and seeds.
  • Pinch the skin off the aubergine and trim off the ends. Nicely slice it all 2cm thick, dress on a platter with the juice of 1 lime and a few
    picked coriander leaves, then taste and season to perfection.
  • Cook the chicken and onions in all that lovely marinade in a large nonstick frying pan on a medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through, turning halfway.
  • Peel, destone and finely slice the avocado, and squeeze over the juice of half a lime.
  • Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan for 30 seconds, then keep warm in a clean tea towel. Take it all to the table, with the feta and the remaining coriander leaves, and let everyone build their own.

Corteccia

Serves: 4
Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ingredients

400g durum wheat flour or fine
semolina flour, plus extra for
dusting
400g sprouting broccoli or cime di
rapa
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
4 anchovy fillets in oil, from
sustainable sources
1 pinch of dried red chilli flakes
40g pecorino or Parmesan cheese,
plus extra to serve
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon

Method

  • Pile the flour onto a clean surface and make a well in the middle.
  • Gradually add 200ml of warm water, using a fork to bring the flour in from the outside until it forms a dough.
  • Knead on a flour-dusted surface, switching between fast and slow kneading, for 10 minutes, or until smooth and pliable. Wrap in a piece of greaseproof paper, then a clean damp tea towel and leave to relax for 30 minutes.
  • To shape the corteccia, break marble-sized pieces off the dough and roll them into small, thin sausage shapes.
  • One at a time, lay your fingers on top, then press down and drag the pasta back towards you to curl and create your shape, gently flicking the pasta pieces off your fingers so you don’t squash them.
  • Trim the broccoli, halving any larger stalks lengthways so they cook evenly.
  • Put a pan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then peel, slice and add the garlic, followed by the anchovies and chilli flakes.
  • A couple of minutes later, add the broccoli and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then a splash of water to break the frying.
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid for another couple of minutes. Tip the broccoli mixture onto a large board and finely chop it.
  • Finely grate over the cheese, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, then mix, taste and tweak to your liking.
  • Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for 4 minutes, or until al dente.
  • Retaining a little cooking water to emulsify the sauce, drain the pasta, return to the pan, toss in the broccoli pesto, then taste again for balance.
  • Finish with extra virgin olive oil and an extra grating of cheese.

Sausage and apple bake

Serves: 4
Total time: 45 minutes
10 minutes prep, 35 minutes cook

Ingredients

2 large red onions
2 eating apples
4 parsnips
12 higher-welfare chipolatas
1 tablespoon runny honey

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Place a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Peel the onions, cut into quarters and quickly break apart into petals directly into the pan, tossing regularly, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Quarter and core the apples, then toss into the pan.
  • Use a speed-peeler to peel the parsnips into long strips.
  • Stir 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar into the frying pan, then pile the parsnip strips on top of the apples and onions.
  • Lay the sausages on top, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add a pinch of black pepper from a height.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then drizzle over the honey and return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden and delicious.