Spicy Spanish Chicken

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative food magazine.

Serves : 4

Cook time : 1 hour approx

Spicy Spanish chickenIngredients :
1 clove garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
150g Low fat soft cheese
1 tblsp mixed fresh herbs – basil, rosemary and thyme. Plus 4 small sprigs of rosemary
1/2 tsp dried chillis
Freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken breasts
4 slices Serrano ham
1 tsp olive oil

Step One : Heat oven to gas mark 4 / 180oC / Fan 160oC.

Step Two : Mix crushed garlic and lemon zest into cheese. Add herbs, chillis and black pepper.

Step Three : Cut a slit into each chicken breast and stuff with the mixture. Take Serrano ham and wrap a slice firmly around each chicken breast. Poke a sprig of rosemary between ham and chicken.

Step Four : Heat oil and gently pan-fry each chicken piece for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add lemon juice and cook for another minute or two.

Step Five : Put chicken into a small roasting pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve with green leaf salad.

Summer Leek and Lemon Pasta

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine.

Serves : 4

Cook time : 30 minutes

leek and lemon pastaIngredients :
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 leeks, chopped
150g broad beans
50ml dry white wine
Juice and zest of 1 to 2 lemons
300ml crème fraiche
50g Parmesan cheese
150g peas
275g linguine
Small bunch of basil
1 dessertspoon mint
75g rocket

Step One : Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Season and fry garlic and leeks over low to medium heat until soft and sweet

Step Two : Stir in beans, wine, lemon juice and zest. Simmer gently for about 3 to 4 minutes and then add crème fraiche, Parmesan and peas.

Step Three : Cook linguine according to packet instructions and then drain and combine with sauce in pan. Add basil, mint and rocket and stir. Season to taste. Serve with extra lemon zest grated over each plate.

Caramelised Onion and Rosemary Tortilla

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine.

Onion and rosemary tortillaServes : 6

Cooking time : 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients :
4 large potatoes, peeled
1 dessertspoon olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
1-2 tblsp fresh rosemary
50g gorgonzola or soft blue cheese
8 large eggs

Step One : Heat oven to gas mark 3 / 170oC / fan 150oC.

Step Two : Parboil the potatoes, cool and then slice fairly thinly.

Step Three : Heat the oil and cook the onions over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes.  Add the sugar and cook for another 15 minutes, until the onions are golden and soft.  Stir in the rosemary and cook for another few minutes.

Step Four : Grease a 20cm cake tin.  Beginning with the potatoes, layer with the onions and crumbled cheese, finally finishing with the potato.

Step Five : Beat the eggs, season and pour over layers.  Cook in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a tuna, red onion, rocket and potato salad.

Beautiful Raw Root Salad

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2016).

‘When we look at beautiful foods, our digestive system starts to wake up, so we might argue that we start eating with our eyes – and this salad is definitely a feast for the eyes.’ Raw chef, Solla Eiriksdottir.

Raw root salad.jpgServes : 4-6

Ingredients :
300g red cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, cut into thin round slices
1 courgette, cut into thin, round slices
1 yellow beetroot, cut into thin, round slices
1 striped or red beetroot, cut into thin, round slices
5 radishes, cut into slices
1 pear, cut in half, cored and cut into thin slices
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
50g pistachios
10 dried Incan golden berries
4 tblsp green herbs, such as coriander, mint, basil and parsley finely chopped

For the dressing :
50ml walnut or olive oil
3 tblsp lemon juice
3 tblsp mandarin or orange juice
1 tblsp rice vinegar (or your favourite vinegar)
1 tsp ras el hanout spice
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Step One : To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a clean jar, put on the lid and shake to mix. Set aside.

Step Two : Put the prepared vegetables into a bowl, and pour over the dressing, then, using your fingers, massage the dressing into the vegetables.

Step Three : Let the vegetables marinate for 15-20 minutes. When ready to eat, put the vegetables into a serving bowl, add the remaining ingredients, toss together, and enjoy.

Mozzarella di Bufala con Radicchio Grigliato

Recipe courtesy of Hello Magazine – many years ago !

Buffalo Mozzarella with grilled radicchio and fresh herb dressing)

Some true Italian flavours – the creamy mozzarella contrasts beautifully with the bitter radicchio leaves, which have been lightly grilled.  Caffe Calesi’s chef, Flavio Tosolini, says the best mozzarella in the world comes from Naples, which just happens to be his home town.

Mozzarella con radicchioServes : 4

Ingredients :
8 slices of mozzarella di bufala cheese
6 tblsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh board leaf parsley
1 head of radicchio, cut into 8 wedges
Parsley sprigs, to garnish



Step One : Divide the mozzarella slices between four serving plates.  Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano and parsley and drizzle over the cheese.

Step Two : Grill the radicchio wedges for 1 minute on each side and arrange on the plates alongside the mozzarella.  Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve at once.







Pollo Ripieno

Recipe courtesy of Hello Magazine – many years ago!

Chicken breast stuffed with Parmesan and speck.  Speck is a cured, air-dried ham similar to parma ham, which could also be used in this dish.

Pollo Ripieno (2)Serves : 4

Ingredients :
4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned
4 slices of speck or Parma ham
100g (4oz) fresh Parmesan, coarsely grated
4 tblsp flour
2 tblsp Italian extra virgin olive oil
50g (2oz) butter
300ml (1/2 pt) chicken stock
150g (5oz) fresh spinach leaves, shredded
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Step One : Cut down the length of the chicken breasts, without cutting completely in half, and open out.  Place them on a chopping board, cover with clingfilm and beat with a rolling pin to flatten.

Step Two : Place a slice of speck or Parma ham on each piece of chicken and top with the Parmesan.  Carefully reshape the breasts and coat in flour.  Chill for 1 hour or until ready to cook.

Step Three : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Four : Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides.  Transfer to a shallow ovenproof dish, pour over the stock and cover with foil.  Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step Five : When the chicken is nearly ready, rinse the spinach and place in a pan with just the rinsing water on the leaves.  Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the spinach wilts.

Step Six : Transfer the spinach and tomatoes to serving plates and top with the chicken spooning over the juices in the dish.













Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Recipes courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2017) and taken from Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea by Sebastian Pole.

Forgive Me for I have Sinned

This is a help-you-feel-good tea to sip slowly after a night of indulgence.  It aids digestion, stimulates sluggish circulation and refreshes your mind.

Makes : 2-3 cups

Ingredients :
1 handful fresh peppermint leaves (or 1 tblsp dry)
3-5 slices fresh ginger root
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dry)
1/4 tsp turmeric root powder (or a sprinkle) per cup
Angostura bitters (a dash per cup)
1 tsp honey per cup

Place the mint, ginger and rosemary in a pot.  Add 500ml freshly boiled, filtered water.  Leave to steep for 10-15 minutes and then strain.  Add the turmeric, bitters and honey.  Breathe in the aromas of the infusion while you drink it, as they will help you feel better.

tea pic 2

Golden Milk of Bliss

A warm, deeply nourishing nectar to replenish your nervous and sexual energies.  This tea is a great relaxant, so drink warm before bedtime.  Calming bliss in a cup.

Makes : 1 cup

Ingredients :
150ml almond, rice or other milk
2 tsp ground almonds
2 cardamom pods (gently crushed or split)
5 saffron strands
Pinch of turmeric root powder
Pinch of nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp ashwagandha root
Honey, to taste

Gently warm the milk in a pan, then add all the other ingredients, except the honey.  Pour into a cup, sweeten to taste with honey and stir before drinking.  (If you don’t like the taste of ashwagandha, take a capsule of it when you drink the milk instead).

tea pic 1

Mint Digestif

There is an Ayurvedic saying: ‘All disease starts with poor digestion.’  This tea will help boost your digestive fire without over-heating it.  It is a pitta-balancing infusion made for sipping after a sumptuous meal.

Makes :  2-3 cups

Ingredients :
4g peppermint leaf
2g licorice rot
2g hibiscus flower
1g fennel seed
1g coriander seed

Put the ingredients in a pot, add 500ml boiled, filtered water.  Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain and drink.

Everything stops for tea – Turkish Delight Profiteroles

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.

These profiteroles are drizzled in a sticky, rose syrup and garnished with vibrant pistachio nuts – all coated in a light dusting of icing sugar.  I like to include small pieces of real Turkish delight, too, for a contrasting texture, but the are not essential.  People often say that they aren’t sure about rose as a flavouring but, when I ask if they like Turkish delight (which is rose-flavoured), the answer is almost always yes.  It doesn’t have a soapy or overwhelming flavour; in fact, it is delicate and floral.

Use your own choux pastry recipe for these profiteroles and follow the recipe below for filling and decoration.

Turkish Delight profiterolesMakes about 30

Ingredients :
Choux pastry recipe

For the Filling :
200ml double cream
1 tsp rose water
2 tblsp icing sugar

For the Topping :
100g caster sugar
1 tsp rose water
75g pistachio nuts, chopped
Icing sugar and Turkish delight cubes, to serve (optional)

Step One : Preheat the oven as per your Choux pastry recipe.  Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

Step Two : Make the pastry and spoon the mixture into a large piping bag.  Snip off the tip and pipe about 30 small balls of the pastry on to the baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread out.  Bake as per your recipe until they are risen and a dark golden brown colour.  If they are too pale, they will become soft before they are filled with cream. Turn off the oven and leave the profiteroles inside to dry out and cool completely.

Step Three : To make the filling, whip the cream with the rose water and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks, then spoon into a piping bag.  Pierce the bottom of each cooled profiterole with a skewer, snip the tip of the piping bag and fill each profiterole with the rose cream.

Step Four : Make the rose syrup by putting the caster sugar and rose water into a saucepan with 75ml of water and heating it gently.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil for around a minute so that the mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Step Five : When you are ready to serve the profiteroles, pile them on to a large plate.  Pour the rose syrup on top, then sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight cubes (if using).   Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Everything stops for tea – Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from
Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.

To make these cupcakes, use the reverse creaming method, during which the butter is rubbed in to the dry ingredients, followed by milk and eggs.  As well being simpler, this method produces a better-textured, more even sponge.

Lemon cheesecake cupcakesMakes : 12

For the Cupcakes :
175g plain flour
200g caster sugar
75g butter
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
90ml whole milk at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

For the Filling :
12 tsp Lemon Curd

For the Icing :
100g full-fat cream cheese
350g icing sugar
150ml double cream

For the Topping :
50g digestive biscuits
1 tsp butter, melted

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 160oC fan / Gas Mark 4.  Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cases.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder using the paddle attachment.  Mix on a low speed, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs; or; use your fingers to rub the butter in to the flour and sugar.

Step Two : In a small jug, use a fork to blend together the eggs, milk and vanilla bean paste.  Add the lemon zest.  Add the mixture to the bowl, a little at a time, beating until it is all combined.  Keep beating until the mixture is uniform and smooth with no lumps.

Step Three : Divide the mixture evenly between the cases, filling each one no more than two-thirds of the way.  Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the cakes are a pale golden brown.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a rack.

Step Four : To make the icing, put the cream cheese into a large bowl, and use an electric, hand-help whisk to beat it until smooth.  Add the icing sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is all incorporated. Mix in the double cream and whisk until the mixture thickens.  You can whisk it by hand but it will take a few more minutes to thicken.  It won’t hold it’s shape yet, so it is important to chill it in the fridge for at least an hour so that it firms up.  Put the biscuits for the topping in a sealable plastic bag, seal it and then, using a rolling pin, lightly bash the bag to crush the biscuits into small pieces.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and stir until the mixture starts to clump together.

Step Five : To assemble, use a knife or special cupcake corer to make a circular incision in the centre of each cupcake.  Take out the middle and fill each cavity with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd.

Step Six : When the icing has set, put it into a disposable piping bag.  Cut the end of the bag, making a medium-sized, circular hole, then pipe a double ring around the edge of the lemon curd, and fill the gap with the remaining lemon curd.

Step Seven : Sprinkle the topping around the icing ring, avoiding the lemon curd centre.  These cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Everything stops for tea – Blackberry and Honeycomb Ombre Cake

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.  

Ombre cakes are so elegant, and much simpler than people think.  The buttercream gets its pinky hue from blackberry syrup, rather than food colouring, so you get their delicate flavour in each bite.  The honeycomb should be put on top just before serving.  

The recipe below just provides all the information you need for finishing the cake, you will need to make up two batches of your favourite chocolate cake and divide between three tins.

Blackberry and HoneycombServes : 10-12

For the cake :
Butter, for greasing
2 x your favourite Chocolate Cake recipe

For the Jam :
150g blackberries
100g caster sugar

For the Honeycomb :
100g caster sugar
4 tblsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the Buttercream :
250g unsalted butter, softened
600g icing sugar
1 tsp milk

To decorate :
12 blackberries, plus mint leaves (optional)

Step One : Make two batches of your chocolate cake recipe and divide it between three 18cm tins.  Bake in the oven as per the recipe instructions until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave them to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.

Step Two : To make the blackberry jam filling, put the blackberries, the sugar and 50ml of water into a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture often, gently crushing the blackberries so that they release their intense colour.  Drain the purple syrup through a sieve into a small heatproof jug, and reserve the pulp, or jam, to fill the cakes.

Step Three : To make the honeycomb, put the sugar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan.  Boil until it turns a dark golden colour, then remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will froth up while it is extremely hot, so be careful.

Step Four : Pour the honeycomb on to a piece of baking parchment and leave to harden before breaking into shards.

Step Five : To make the buttercream icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and light.  This will take around 10 minutes with an electric, hand-help whisk.  Put a third of the icing into a small bowl and add five teaspoons of the blackberry syrup.  Repeat with another third of the icing in a separate bowl, only using one teaspoon of syrup this time.  If the icing splits, add a few more tablespoons of icing sugar and it should come back together.  Add the milk to the remaining white icing to loosen it slightly.  You should now have three different shades of icing, all the same consistency.

Step Six : Take the cooled sponges and sandwich them together with a little of the white icing and the pulp left over from making the syrup.  Cover the top and sides of the top layer of the cake with the white icing, applying it thickly, as a lot will be scraped off later.

Step Seven : Cover the bottom third of the cake with a thick layer of the darkest icing, then fill in the gap between the two colours with the pale purple icing.  Use a large palette knife, set at a 40o angle to the cake, to scrape off the excess icing and create a smooth finish.  The colours should blend together slightly, creating the ombre effect.

Step Eight : Transfer the leftover icing into a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle.  You can gently mix all the colours together to get a rippled effect.  Pipe a wiggly border around the top of the cake, then decorate with honeycomb, blackberries and a few mint leaves, if you like.