Anglo-Asian Lamb Salad

This salad is truly a treat and comes together in moments.

2 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil
2 lamb chops, seasoned
1 tbs. fish sauce
2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 tbs. currant  jelly (red or black)
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced
4 cups salad leaves
1 tbs. finely chopped mint (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the lamb for 5 minutes per side, or to your liking. (Or, grill until cooked through.)Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, vinegar, jelly and soy sauce. Tip in the red chili, scallions and salad leaves. Toss well and divide between 2 plates. Top each with a lamb chop and sprinkle with mint, if using.

Serves 2

Pasta Alla Genovese

Simple and so satisfying.

1 lb. large potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 lb. linguine
1 cup trimmed and halved green beans
1/2 cup basil pesto

Heat a large pot of water to a boil and salt well. Tip in the potatoes and cook for 15-20 minute, or until nearly tender. Tip in the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente, 7-8 minutes.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water, then drain. Return to the pot, stir in the pesto and enough pasta water to make a smooth sauce.

Serves 6-8


Chicken Stew with Couscous

Harissa, a mild chili sauce, brings a lovely warmth to this cosy stew.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
sea salt flakes
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
1/2 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
6 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
2 celery stalk, cut into batons
1 can chickpeas
1 heaping tsp. harissa
cooked couscous, to serve
toasted pine nuts, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper for a minute or two. Nestle in the chicken, sprinkle with salt and brown on both sides.

Add the chicken stock, carrots and celery, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Check several times and add more stock if the stew seems dry. Stir in the chickpeas to heat them up, then add the harissa.

Prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Serve the stew over the couscous and sprinkled with pine nuts.

Serves 4

Rice with Meatballs

Everyone loves a good meatball, and these are good meatballs!!

For the meatballs:

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
3 tbs. dried breadcrumbs or semolina
1 tsp. salt
good grinding of black pepper

For the tomato sauce:

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
2 1/2 cups tomato passata
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup whole milk

steamed or boiled white rice


Tip all the meatballs ingredients into a large bowl and gently, yet thoroughly, mix together. Form into small meatballs and set aside in the fridge.

For the sauce, cook the onions in the oil and butter over a low heat until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then add the passata and the sugar. Add a bit of water to the passata jar and swirl it about, then add it to the sauce. Season and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drop the meatballs into the sauce and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the milk.

Prepare the rice according the package directions. Serve the meatball atop the rice with the sauce spooned over.

Salmon with Ginger, Soy and Rice Vinegar

The original recipe poured the marinade over sliver-thin slices of salmon and serve it raw as a starter. The variation below marinates regular-sized salmon fillets, then grills them.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1″ piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbs. toasted sesame oil
3 scallions, sliced
4 salmon fillets, skinned

Tip the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and scallions in a flat dish that will hold the salmon in a single layer. Add the salmon and leave to marinate for 2 hours.

Remove the salmon from the dish, heat the grill and cook for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on how thick the fillets are and how you like your salmon.

Meanwhile, tip the marinade into a small saucepan and bubble gently to reduce. Pour over the salmon to serve.

Serves 4

Crunchy Pork Chops with Garlicky Spinach and Tomato Salad

Here is the perfect speedy supper.

2 bone-in pork chops
1 egg
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs. vegetable oil
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 clove garlic, grated
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. lemon juice
4 cups baby spinach

Trim the pork chops of any excess fat. Place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a rolling pin to thin them by half. Season.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg with the mustard and oregano. In another shallow bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs and cheese.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Dip each chop into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture, patting the breadcrumbs on. Cook the pork chops for 5-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and crunchy on the outside.

Meanwhile, toss together the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and spinach. To serve, put the salad on a plate and top with the pork chop.

Serves 2

Gnocchi Gratin

The ultimate indulgent side dish.

1 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
freshly ground pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp. sea salt
2 x 14 oz. packages gnocchi
2 tbs. breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 400°F. Whisk together the mascarpone and milk, then add most of the Parmesan, pepper, nutmeg and salt.

Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain and tip into a shallow baking dish that will fit everything in one layer. Pour over the mascarpone sauce. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan.

Bake for 15 minutes, then rest for 5- 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Beef Chili with Bourbon, Beer and Black Beans

Here is a great dish for a crowd. Serve with sour cream and Frito corn chips.

2 dried ancho chilis
boiling water
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and chopped
3 fat garlic cloves
2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. red chili flakes
4 lbs. beef sirloin, cut into chunks
2/3 cup bourbon
12 oz. Mexican beer
2 1/2 cups dried black beans
1 qt. cold water
2 tsp. sea salt flakes
2 tbs. maple syrup

Heat the oven to 300°F. Put the ancho chili in a measuring cup and add the boiling water to make 1 cup. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole that can go in the oven. Tip in the onions and cook until softened, 10-12 minutes. Add the jalapeño, garlic, cumin, coriander and chili flakes, then stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef, followed by the bourbon. Let it bubble a bit before adding the beer and beans.

Deseed and chop the ancho chilis and add to the pot along with their soaking liquid. Add the water, salt and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven for 4 hours. By this time the beef should be meltingly tender and the beans cooked through.

Serves 8-10

Yellow Spaghetti

This lovely recipe is similar to carbonara with a dash of Marsala.

1/4 tsp. saffron threads
3 tbs. Marsala
8 oz. spaghetti
2 eggs
`1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs. heavy cream
1 tbs. softened butter

Put a plentiful pot of water on to boil. When boiling, salt liberally and tip in the spaghetti. Cook according to the package directions.

In a tiny saucepan, heat the saffron and Marsala to a bubble, then remove from the heat and set aside to steep.

While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the eggs, cheese and cream, then add a sprinkling of salt and a good grinding of pepper. Set aside.

When the pasta is done, remove a cupful of the cooking water, then drain. Return to the pot and toss with 2 tbs. of the pasta water, the saffron/Marsala mixture and the butter. Tip in the egg mixture and toss gently. Add more pasta water if needed to make a smooth sauce. Check the seasonings and serve.

Serves 2

One-Pan Sage and Onion Chicken and Sausages

Featuring the classic condiments of Britain (English mustard and Worcestershire sauce), this chicken is as easy as it is delicious.

1 large onion, cut into eights
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. English mustard
1 tbs. dried sage
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
4 lbs. chicken pieces (skin on and bone in)
12 pork sausages
2 tbs. chopped fresh sage

In a resealable bag, combine the onion, olive oil, mustard, dried sage, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Season the chicken well and add to the bag. Schwelch everything together well and leave in the fridge for a few hours or up to two days.

Heat the oven to 425°F. Transfer the contents of the bag to a large roasting tin, placing the chicken skin-side up. Nestle in the sausages and sprinkle with the fresh sage. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the sausages over half way through.

Serves 6