If you follow me on Instagram (and if not, why not?!) then you’ll have seen me waxing lyrical over the last few months about my new favourite egg dish. Turkish Eggs.
I’d seen them popping up on a few brunch menus towards the end of last year, but it was only when we popped to The Dynamo for W’s birthday breakfast (see a previous review here) that I plucked up the courage to try something new. And, reader, I loved them. The combination of the thick, tangy, creamy yoghurt against perfectly poached eggs and spicy butter is so much tastier than I’d imagined. It all combines together to be more than the sum of it’s parts, a little bowl of tasty goodness that I’d happily have for breakfast any day of the week.
And I’ve come up with a method which means I can make these every day of the week. A relatively hands off method which means I can eat my favourite breakfast dish before work. Perfect!
Recipe (serves 1, makes enough chilli butter for 2-3 days)
75g salted butter
1 tsp chipotle paste
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
100g natural yoghurt
Toast, to serve
To make the chilli butter, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat with the chipotle paste and chilli flakes, stirring until it is well combined. Pour into some Tupperware and keep in the fridge.
When making your breakfast, heat the oven to around 75C. Add the yoghurt to a small baking dish or ovenproof bowl, and 2-3 tbsp of chilli butter to an ovenproof ramekin. Pop in the oven for 15 or so minutes, or until the butter is melted and the yoghurt is warm. Meanwhile poach the eggs to your liking (I use the clingfilm trick). Serve the eggs in the yoghurt, drizzled with the chilli butter, alongside some toast for dipping.
And that’s it! So easy, so quick and such a tasty breakfast that’s full of protein.
Is it cheating, using a magazine as part of this cookery book series? Probably, but this recipe was too good not to share! We recently switched from subscribing to BBC GoodFood to Delicious magazine, and I have to say I’m really glad we did. We’d been unimpressed with GoodFood for a few months, finding the recipes a bit repetitive and predictable – and the ones we did try often didn’t work out so well. Since switching we’ve constantly found many recipes each month we’d like to make, and all of them have worked. Several of them have even been recooked, which is high, high praise in our house!
This is one such recipe. We’ve been loving Mexican flavours lately, whether it’s complex layers of flavour from authentic Pork Pibil Tacos, to cheats Fish Tacos made with Fish Fingers. These Duck Tacos are equally as good.
The duck legs are slow roasted in a mix of pineapple and chipotle, before being shredded and piled into tacos with a creamy yet spicy dressing. They are then topped with a tangy, fresh salsa of pineapple, red onion and chilli. It’s sweet, it’s hot, there’s crunch, there’s softness. The combination of flavours and textures in this dish is insanely good, and far superior than the effort required to put it together. I can imagine this would make a great informal supper party dish!
We’ve edited the recipe slightly, adding a little onion to the duck to (1) bulk it out a little and (2) had an additional level of flavour. We’ve simplified the creamy dressing, as we don’t tend to have mayonnaise on hand. We’ve added garlic, because why not. Oh, and whilst we usually leave out the avocado from the original I can imagine it would be delicious with it. And finally, we’ve used pre-prepared pineapple. Yes it’s more expensive, but it reduced the risk of me slicing my hand off, and I also tend to get sore hands if I handle the fruit. You can, of course, use a small pineapple here instead!
Recipe (serves 2, easily scaled up)
1 duck leg
1 white onion, sliced
1 medium pack of prepared pineapple, 2/3 for the duck and 1/3 for the salsa
75ml tequila or pisco
75ml chicken stock
2 tsp chipotle paste
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
For the salsa – 1 red onion, 1 red chilli, bunch fresh coriander (all three should be chopped) and 1/2 lime (zest and juice, serve with the remaining half)
For the chipotle sauce – 4 tbsp soured cream and 1 tsp chipotle paste
4 soft tortillas, to serve
Heat a casserole dish over a medium heat, then add the duck legs (skin side down) and fry for 5 minutes until brown. Add the onion slices and fry briefly until softened. Blitz two-thirds of the pineapple in a blender (I used my mini-chopper) with the tequila, stock, chipotle paste, chilli flakes and salt/pepper to make a smooth sauce, then add to the duck. Put in the oven and cook at 160C for around 2 hours. Once done, shred the duck meat and add back to the sauce (discarding any bones and non-crisp skin).
For the pineapple salsa, finely dice the leftover pineapple and put in a bowl with the chopped red onion, lime zest, chillies and coriander. Add the juice of ½ lime, season and set aside. To make the chipotle sauce, mix together the soured cream and chipotle paste.
To serve, warm the tortillas (I use either a microwave or dry frying pan). Serve everything in small bowls, and assemble your tacos with the sauce, duck and salsa. Squeeze over a little extra lime before serving. Yum!
Are you a fan of Mexican food? Have you read Delicious magazine?
When we have people round for supper (which is not as often as we’d like), one of my favourite desserts to make is brownie, ice-cream and some kind of sauce. It might sound kinda boring, but actually we switch up flavourings to go with the rest of our menu, and everything is homemade. We’ve done a Nutella-inspired hazelnut combination, a Snicker’s style dessert. And then there’s this. Slightly Middle-Eastern inspired, this tahini ice-cream is almost savoury with deep notes of sesame. Tempered with the exceedingly sweet and sticky honey caramel, it’s wonderful paired with a dark and gooey brownie.
I’ve already shared my ultimate brownie recipe, but today it’s the turn of one of our favourite ice-creams to date. It’s originally inspired by a Butterlust recipe (and in fact the honey caramel is largely unchanged – also the images on that post are insanely gorgeous!).
Using tahini in an ice-cream might seem a little odd, as it is one of the most savoury things I’ve tasted. However it produces the creamiest ice-cream I’ve ever tried, with a slow melt that coats the mouth. Combined with honey both in the ice-cream base and the caramel, it’s the perfect salty-sweet combination. I personally wouldn’t eat this ice-cream without the caramel (unless you added extra sweetness to the base), but give it a go and see what you think!
Tahini Ice-Cream Recipe (makes around 4 servings)
100ml double cream
1tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks (from medium eggs)
Place the tahini and honey in a large saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the milk and cream gradually.
Beat the egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl and stir in two tablespoons of tahini mixture until well combined. Add this eggy mixture to the saucepan, and return to a very low heat. Gently cook, stirring constantly, for five minutes until thickened. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming, then transfer to an ice-cream machine and churn as per the machine’s instructions before popping in the freezer.
If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, pour the cooled mixture into a freezeable container and freeze, whisking every half an hour, for three hours. As a word of advice, this ice-cream does freeze quite solidly so I’d recommend removing from the freezer a good 10 minutes before scooping.
Combine the honey and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 110C on a sugar thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the butter, then allow to cool before serving. Blast in a microwave if you need to soften it to a pouring consistency.
Serve the tahini ice-cream and honey caramel with gooey chocolate brownie (slightly warm), scattered with chopped pistachios. It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s delicious – and it’s the perfect end to a slightly Middle-Eastern inspired dinner party.
A stir-fry is such a staple for us. We usually have it on a Monday night, using the leftover meat from the Sunday Roast the evening before, but it’s equally good without any meat, or using meat bought especially for a stir-fry (I have a massive soft spot for a prawn stir-fry).
A stir-fry is, for is, the ultimate in fast and healthy cooking. Yes, there’s a fair bit of chopping involved but once that’s all done it can be cooked in five minutes flat. And if we’re really short on time you can buy those bags of pre-prepped veggies, making it even quicker.
This particular stir-fry sauce is my favourite. It’s made using only store cupboard ingredients (although of course you could use fresh ginger and chillies if you had them) and so we can make it pretty much any time we need to. The sauce is also fantastic tossed through plain noodles (no veg) if you’re sick which is a bonus!
Recipe (serves 1)
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, spiralized, or peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
1/4 of a small cabbage (I like using either savoy or red), sliced finely
1/2 a pepper, sliced
Other veggies – I like to add mushrooms, kale, beansprouts etc, but it really depends what I have in the fridge
Handful of leftover meat, if using (in the photos I had leftover roast chicken to add)
1 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp sesame oil, if you have it
1/2 tsp runny honey
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice (I usually keep a bottle in the fridge)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch dried chilli flakes, more if you want it hotter
1 nest of egg noodles, or rice, to serve (I’m a noodle girl!)
Stir fry the veggies (and meat) to your liking. I usually like to soften the onions first on a lower heat, before stir-frying the rest on a higher heat (adding the carrots towards the end) as I’m not a fan of crunchy onions. Cook the rice or noodles according to pan instructions.
In a small bowl or mug, combine the peanut butter, sesame oil and runny honey. Gradually add the soy and lime juice, mixing constantly, until you have a smooth sauce. Stir through the ginger and chilli. Once the veg is almost done, add the sauce to the wok and continue to stir-fry until everything is hot and cooked. Serve on a bed of rice or noodles.
And that’s is – super-easy, super-quick and super-tasty!
Last year we saw a dietician and were recommended to try and get more oily fish into our diet. It’s not something we regularly ate, mainly because we’re weren’t huge fans when we were younger, and also for budget reasons. Fish is expensive, and salmon certainly is. If I’m spending that much on dinner, I’d prefer something a bit more exciting…
However we have come round to the idea, I’ve developed a couple of salmon recipes that we really enjoy (I’ll pop some up asap!), and we’ve also been trying other types of oily fish. Mackerel has definitely become a new favourite! Whether it’s grilling it whole (delicious with an orange and watercress salad), or buying it peppered to flake into other dishes, it’s delicious and budget friendly. In fact, the peppered stuff is cheaper than buying chicken and has become a fridge/freezer staple for us.
And this is our absolute favourite recipe for peppered mackerel. The perfect comfort food on a colder day, these peppered mackerel fishcakes are also perfect for using up any excess mashed potato – we usually make extra mashed potato just so we can make these! Making your own fishcakes from scratch seems like a bit of a daunting task at first (shop-bought ones are delicious, it seems a faff to do it at home!) but these are well worth it.
As a handy tip, if you want to up the protein in these you can hardboil an egg and very finely chop it before mixing it into the mixture.
Recipe – Serves 2 (makes 4 fishcakes – they freeze really well, so double up (keep egg/flour/breadcrumbs quantity the same if you want to avoid waste)
200g cold mashed potato
1 tsp English mustard
4 spring onions, outer layer peeled off and the inner finely sliced
200g peppered mackerel
3 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten
1 sliced seeded bread (we used the end piece), whizzed to make breadcrumbs
In a large bowl, mix the potato, spring onions, mustard and mackerel (peel off and discard the skin, and flake the flesh into large chunks, removing any large bones), then shape into 4 evenly sized cakes. Roll the fishcakes in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumb. Pop on a plate and chill until ready to cook. Here they can be frozen (freeze on a tray then gather into a bag once frozen, defrost fully before cooking).
To cook, I like to fry in a little vegetable oil for 5 minutes on one side, flip and continue frying, then pop the frying pan into the oven whilst I cook any veg (these go really well with broccoli and sweetcorn).You can also grill or oven-cook them, but they get the best crunchy coating if you fry!
These peppered mackerel fishcakes are so quick, so tasty, so easy to make – and pretty cheap too!
Are you a fan of oily fish? Any recipes you recommend I try?
Lasagne is quite possibly my ultimate Saturday night food. Cheese, because cheese. Carbs, of course. A super-flavoursome sauce, simmered away until the meat melts in the mouth, doubled with another creamy sauce that delivers ever more cheese. Served with a green salad on the side (balance), it’s quite possibly one of my all-time favourite dinners.
It’s also the time it takes that makes it perfect Saturday night food. One of my favourite ways to spend an evening is stirring something delicious on my stove, glass of wine in hand, talking to my fiancé. Lasagne is a labour of love, that can’t be denied, and it creates a scary amount of washing up – but if you’ve cooked it for someone it’s only fair they wash up!
This version of lasagne is even more special, as I find the pork mince, bacon and fennel combination give an ultra-indulgent flavour. It’s something a little bit different too, and it just feels like so much more of a treat. The best thing? It’s no more difficult or time-intensive to make than your bog standard beef lasagne.
Now, I do like a lasagne with a cheesy sauce, however if you prefer a classic bechamel simply leave out the cheese (you may want to reduce the milk to 275ml as it won’t be quite as thick).
Ingredients (Serves 2)
A couple of ladlefuls of Nomato Sauce (of course you can use a normal tomato-based sauce if you need to!)
250g pork mince
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped into small chunks
Small handful of button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 very small glass of port, or a small glass of red wine
Dried lasagne sheets (we used 5)
Around 300ml milk
A good handful of cheese – we usually do a combination of cheddar and parmesan – plus extra for the top. For an extra special lasagne, topping with mozzarella makes it amazing!
Heat a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, with no oil, and add the pork mince and fennel seeds. Fry whilst breaking the meat up with a spoon, until it is golden brown – then tip into a bowl. Add the bacon to the pan and fry in the pork fat until just starting to crisp. Add to the pork mince, then lower the heat under the pan. Gently fry the onions, celery, carrot and mushrooms until softened, adding a little olive oil if necessary.
Put the pork and bacon mix back into the pan, increase the heat and add the garlic – and fry all together for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine or port, and allow to bubble until it is almost fully reduced. Tip in the nomato sauce (or a tomato-y alternative!), turn the heat to low and simmer for as long as possible or at least 30 minutes.
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan until it’s just starting to bubble, then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, then turn the heat to low and gradually add the milk (I start to use a whisk here). Once all the milk has been added you can increase the heat slightly, continuing to stir, until the sauce has thickened. Season, including plenty of black pepper and a grating of nutmeg, then stir in the cheese. You can infuse the milk with bay leaves, onion and garlic but I find it to be wasted in a lasagne that’s already so full of flavour.
You can then build your lasagne! I go for a layer of meat sauce, then pasta, then cheese sauce, then meat etc… Finish with a good layer of cheese sauce, making sure all the pasta is covered, then sprinkle over some extra cheese. Bake at 180C for 40-50 minutes or until bubbling and golden – cover with foil if it’s browning too quickly. If you’re using fresh pasta sheets, you can get away with just grilling but I find it’s not quite as comforting.
RecipeServe with a green salad, plenty of wine and enjoy! Any leftovers are good reheated gently the next day, though I have to confess I have a taste for cold lasagne too…
An immediate disclaimer here, this recipe is in no way authentic. For one, I don’t even have a tagine (I’ve love one though!) and so it’s made in my Mother-in-Laws trusty Le Creuset. Sidenote: I believe they received it as a wedding present, and kindly lent it to us when we moved in together – I’m hoping we’ll be lucky enough to receive an orange/red on for our wedding so it can finally match the rest of our collection. Regardless of what it’s cooked in, I very much doubt the recipe is authentic either but it tastes delicious, makes a vast amount and doesn’t require every single spice from the supermarket.
This super-easy lamb tagine was borne out of an impulse purchase (when lamb chunks are reduced to less than £1 I can’t say no!) and a desire for something different. I do love a Lancashire hotpot, but this may be my new favourite way to slow-cook lamb.
It’s spicy from the harissa, sweet from the apricots, and the chickpeas add a lovely texture. The combination of spices used add a lovely complex flavour, and It’s full of chopped veggies. I’ve chosen to keep it thinner, more broth/stew like – if you prefer it thicker you could add a tin of chopped tomatoes (I’ve tried with my nomato sauce and it works well). It’s also delicious made without the lamb for a veggie alternative – I quite often make it like that for my work lunches.
It’s also great for using up leftover lamb – perfect for the week after Easter! Simply make the tagine, then once it’s all assembled add the lamb and allow to simmer until hot or you’re ready to eat.
Recipe – makes 4-5 generous portions (it freezes well)
500g chopped lamb chunks
3 onions, sliced
3 sticks of celery, halved and chopped
3 carrots, quartered and chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
Small pinch of cinnamon
2 tsp of harissa
2 tins of chickpeas
100g ready-to-eat dried apricot, halved.
Vegetable stock, around 1 litre
Heat a little oil in a casserole dish, and fry the lamb over a high heat until sealed and slightly golden – you’ll probably have to do this in batches. Transfer the browned lamb to a bowl, and lower the heat. Fry the onions, carrot and celery, adding a little extra oil if necessary, for around 5 minutes until softed. Add the garlic and the spices, and continue frying for a few minutes.
Stir in the harissa, drained chickpeas, apricots and stock, then re-add the lamb. Cover and simmer on the hob for 1-2 hours, or pop in the over at around 140C. Once done, you can thicken with cornflour if you like, or just serve as it is (seasoned to taste). We love this with couscous, and perhaps some homemade flatbreads. Delicious!
I love the flavours in this, and would love to cook something more authentic someday – any recommendations for Moroccan recipes?
This is the perfect dish for Easter Weekend. We don’t eat lamb overly often (because pricey, and we have a wedding to pay for), but this is the one weekend where we will definitely be indulging. And because we only enjoy lamb on occasion, we need a recipe that will work. A recipe that will enhance the meats natural flavours and sweetness, keep it moist, render the fat and deliver a yummy meal. And this recipe is a good’un.
Roasting a leg (or half a leg) in hay gives meat a delightful smokiness. Using a casserole dish keeps it tender, and the whole thing is just really rather yummy. In actual fact, cooking in hay is a method that was used throughout history to keep the intense heat of the fire/oven away from the meat (I imagine chicken would be amazing cooked in hay!), so it cooked slowly and evenly. Not only does this ensure super-tender meat that can be carved easily, it also adds a wonderful flavour.
Recipe – for 1/2 Leg of Lamb, can be easily scaled up or down with adjustment to the cooking time
1/2 leg of lamb
A few handfuls of hay – available from pet shops – ask for ‘eating’ hay
100g butter, softened
6 springs of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Soak the hay in water for about 15 minutes, then drain and use to line a casserole dish large enough to fit your lamb (if you need to, use a roasting tin and seal tightly with foil before cooking).
In a bowl mix the butter, chopped rosemary and garlic, then smear the mix all over the lamb. Season well with plenty of salt and pepper, then place the lamb on the hay. Cover with the rest of the hay, the cover the dish with it’s lid. Make sure there are no loose bits of hay hanging out as these can smoulder or catch light when in the oven. Cook at 180C for 2.5 hours, for tender meat (less if you prefer your lamb roast to be pink). Allow to rest (covered in foil) for around 15 minutes before serving – we like to to serve with boulangerie potatoes, mint sauce and plenty of veg.
And this, my friends, is my all-time favourite way to eat eggs at home. I mean, I LOVE boiled eggs with soliders, I love scrambled eggs (especially with pesto and parmesan) but these are whole-new-level yummy. It’s got the gooey running yolk of the boiled egg, combined with the comforting creaminess that reminds me of a pile of scrambled eggs. Best of both worlds and I could quite literally eat them every day of the week.
It took me quite a while to get the timings down for these – I’d been sticking to the “safer” method of cooking the ramekins inside of a roasting tin of boiling water but actually I find it works better just popping the ramekins directly in the oven. Whatever method you choose, once you get your cooking times right (ovens can be funny creatures, the one in this flat DEFINITELY takes longer to cook things that our previous one) I am pretty sure you’ll fall in love with these eggs too. Creamy, peppery, a little bit cheesy. They can be jazzed up and cooked on top of things (mushrooms and leeks both work really well). But whatever you do, serve with a giant pile of buttered toast.
Recipe – to make 1 pot (I like to serve one egg per pot, you could probably add two but I find the cooking times even more difficult to master)
A small amount of butter, to grease
3 tablespoons creme fraiche seasoned with a little salt and plenty of black pepper
1 medium egg
A small handful of grated parmesan
Heat the oven to 160C, and lightly grease a ramekin with butter. Add in one tablespoon of the seasoned creme fraiche, and sprinkle over a third of the grated cheese. Crack in the egg, spoon over the remaining creme fraiche (try to cover the yolk, but be careful not to burst it!), then cover with the remaining cheese. If you’re adding any veggies, saute them in butter and add in between this layer of creme fraiche and cheese. Pop onto the middle shelf of the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked to you liking.
I like quite runny eggs, with the white not-quite-set and mine take 10 minutes in my oven. I reckon you’d need 12 minutes for fully-set white, 15 minutes for set but still soft yolks, and 20 for a fully set egg.
And now I’m craving these eggs. It’s currently coming up to half past five on a Sunday evening, we have a roast chicken in the oven – is it appropriate to have a dish of these a snack?!
Despite my extensive collection of cookbooks, I’m all too guilty of Googling for a recipe or some dinner inspiration. It’s something I’m trying to change, and one of the ways I’m combating this is that when I do Google, I try to use a blogger’s recipe rather than from a standard recipe site.
This has two benefits – one in that I’n boosting their views (always good to give something back to the community I guess, especially as I *try* to go for smaller bloggers), and two in that it’s giving me some (much needed) photography inspiration. And I’ve found some damn good dishes too…
These are just the ones I have personally tried and loved. Some of them I might have edited slightly, then posted the results on my own blog, some of them I love just how much they are.
Now this is super-yum. I generally leave out the feta unless we have it for other recipes (mainly because having it unaccounted for in the fridge leads to me baking it with honey and slathering it on bread), but the combo of spicier sausages and squash is a winner. So, so tasty!
Half Baked Harvest’s Chicken & Orzo One-Pan – link
This is one we made only the other week. Super simple and, although it can take a while, it doesn’t take a huge amount of chopping and hands-on time. The next time we made this we’ll probably leave out the lemon slices as they were a tad bitter for our tastes – and I’ll be trying other versions too. I’m thinking a combo of mushrooms and parmesan would work so nicely with the chicken and orzo! The best thing about this recipe? It uses a small amount of wine, so the rest of the bottle needs drinking…
Rhyme & Ribbons Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese – link
You know me, I loveeee a Bolognese. Amanda was the person who first inspired me to make a vegan mix out of mushrooms and lentils and I love her for it. This is the perfect dish to have in the freezer as it defrosts easily in the pan with a bit of water, and it’s also great to take to work and heat in the microwave.
Okay, so this recipe is super dangerous – because you’ll never be able to throw potato peelings away again. We don’t tend to make the dip, just adding plenty of spice to the potato and devouring whilst still hot enough to burn our fingers. It’s a Sunday afternoon staple for us as we prepare our roast.
Fesenjan was the favourite thing that I cooked in 2017, and having already made my first batch a few weeks ago it’s safe to say it’s still a dish I love. Amy Liz’s was the first recipe that I tried and, whilst I’ve edited it since (my version is here) it’s still a classic. It’s slightly safer in it’s spicing so would be the way to go if you hadn’t eaten any of the flavours before.
This is one of my go-to lunches – it makes a *tonne* of the stuff, it lasts really well in the fridge and it’s just so damn tasty. I have edited the recipe slightly (mine is here), but the original is still super tasty. The dressing is one you really have to make to your own tastes – I like a zingy kick from the lime personally.
Okay, so I don’t get the chance to do her level of toppings on the regular morning (read: ever, because I’m always far too hangry to go that far) but I’ve taken her method of cooking my oats to heart. A long soak (I do tend to do around 20 minutes in boiling water), a slow simmer. My porridge is 100x better!