Tuesday, 3 October 2017

bucatini with vegetables, pancetta, pesto and mozzarella

Ingredients 100ml olive oil 1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm cubes 1 large courgette, cut into 1cm cubes 2 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced 150g diced pancetta 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes 2 tbsp fresh or shop-bought basil pesto 500g dried bucatini 2 x 125g balls of mozzarella, drained and cut into small cubes Salt and freshly ground black pepper Method Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine and courgette and some salt and fry for 7 – 8 minutes. Add the onions and pancetta and fry for 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and pesto. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta thoroughly and tip it into the sauce. Stir to combine. Return the pan to a low heat. Add the mozzarella and stir until it starts to melt and go stringy. Serve immediately.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Fresh Mussel vinaigrette with onions and tomatoes


1kg fresh mussels, cleaned of barnacles and de bearded
200mls fish stock
100mls dry white wine
6 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onions, very finely sliced
1small red pepper, diced, small cubes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 large fresh, ripe plum tomatoes, chopped, 1cm
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Ground white pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar


First open the mussels. Bring the stock and white wine to the boil, add the cleaned mussels and cover.

Occasionally stir the mussels to ensure all are opened, do not overcook, or the mussels or they will become tough.

Place into a strainer, and carefully remove all the flesh, checking there are no bits of gristle or sand particles. Discard any unopened ones.

Heat the oil and add the onions, peppers and garlic cover and soften slightly, about 15 minutes.

Place into a bowl; add the mussels, tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and vinegar. Mix well, but carefully.

Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve when ready, either straight away or well chilled.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Aubergine Lasagne


3 aubergines
3 cloves of garlic
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 dried red chilli
2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bunch of fresh basil
150 g Cheddar cheese
70 g Parmesan cheese
250 g fresh lasagne sheets
extra virgin olive oil

w sprigs of fresh thyme6 tablespoons olive oil1 dried red chilli2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar1 bunch of fresh basil150 g Cheddar cheese70 g Parmesan cheese250 g fresh lasagne sheetsextra virgin olive oil





Preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/gas 6.Steam the whole aubergines in a colander over a pan of simmering water for 30 minutes, then halve, scoop out and roughly chop the flesh.

Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and pick the thyme leaves.Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic, thyme and aubergine, then crumble over the chilli and cook for 10 minutes.

Tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, then add the balsamic vinegar.Pick in most of the basil leaves, then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced, then taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.

Grate the Parmesan and half the Cheddar, roughly slicing the remaining Cheddar.

To layer up, spread a layer of tomato sauce across the base of an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle lightly with grated cheese, cover with a layer of lasagne sheets, then repeat the layers twice more. Finish with a layer of sauce, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and dot over the slices of Cheddar.Bake at the bottom of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Pick over the remaining basil, drizzle lightly with extra virgin, then serve

Thursday, 27 April 2017



55g butter

140g plain flour

140g polenta (cornmeal)
2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

284ml pot of buttermilk
100ml milk


Heat your oven to 200c /180fan/gas mark 6

Put the butter into a small saucepan over a low heat to melt

When it has melted, pour the butter into a mixing bowl with the flour, polenta, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt and stir everything together

Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, then add the buttermilk and milk and whisk until well mixed. Remember to wash your hands if you get any raw egg on your fingers.
5. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the flour and polenta and mix everything together well.

Pour the cornbread mixture into a baking dish, about 20cm square and at least 5cm deep, and put it into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked in the middle. Poke the centre with a skewer to check
– if it comes out clean, the cornbread is cooked; if not, return to the oven for a few more minutes.

Cut the cornbread into squares and serve with the chilli opposite while it is still warm

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sausage and Tomato Casserole


8 sausages cut onto 5 pieces making 32 pieces
2 onions, very finely chopped
1 x 400g can chickpeas
2 cans chopped tomatoes
200mls water
1 x 10g chicken or pork stock cube
pinch sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
200g frozen peas
salt and pepper


Heat a thick-bottomed shallow saucepan.

Add the sausages and gently saute for 2-3 minutes to take a bit of colour.

Add the onions, chickpeas, tomatoes, water, stock cube, sugar and vinegar.

Bring to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until reduced slightly.

Add the peas and warm through for 5 minutes.

Finally season with a little salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Whole roast duck with braised lettuce and potato pancakes


1 whole English free range duck, trimmed, wings removed
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
300ml/10fl oz chicken or duck stock (preferably made with the giblets)
6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
100g/3½ oz butter
1 lemon, peel only
4 Little Gem lettuces, cut in half lengthways and washed
150g/5½oz clear honey
75g/2½oz soy sauce
250g/9oz cold baked potato, flesh only, mashed
75g/2½ oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 free-range eggs
125ml/4fl oz milk
salt and pepper to taste
oil, for cooking


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Using a small sharp knife, pierce the skin of the duck all over, but be careful not to tear holes in the skin. Season the duck with salt and the ground Sichuan pepper and place on a wire rack sat in a roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
Pour any excess fat into a jug. Reduce the oven temperature to 120C/250F/Gas ½. When at 120C/250F/Gas ½, return the duck to the oven and cook for a further 1¼ hours - basting with the reserved fat every 20 minutes.
While the duck is roasting, bring the duck or chicken stock up to the boil with the thyme, butter and peeled rind from one lemon. Place the lettuce into the stock and cover with a lid or tin foil. Turn the heat down and braise on the hob for 8-10 minutes, or until the lettuce starts to wilt. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
Remove ninety percent of the duck fat from the roasting tin and pour the honey over the duck. Turn the oven up to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and put the duck back into the oven for a further 15-20 minutes, basting every five minutes and making sure the honey doesn’t burn. On the final baste, drizzle the soy sauce over the duck. When cooked, remove the duck from the oven and set aside to rest.
While the duck is resting make the potato pancakes. Mix the cold mash, flour and baking powder together. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk the eggs and milk together. Pour into the mash and flour mixture and gently stir to make a batter (don't worry about a few lumps). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fry spoonfuls of the batter mix in a non-stick frying pan with a little oil until golden-brown on each side. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Carve the duck and serve with the braised lettuce and the potato pancakes. Spoon a little of the cooking liquor from the lettuce over the top and tuck in

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Peri peri chicken

1 large fresh chicken, about 2kg
fresh watercress, to garnish
lemon wedges, to serve
Piri Piri marinade

4 plump red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 red bird’s-eye chillies, stalks removed, sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
20g bunch of flatleaf parsley (with stalks)
juice of 2 lemons, about 65ml
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika, sweet or hot
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp flaked sea salt
To make the marinade, put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until everything is well mixed and chopped up small. Now you need to spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone but leaving it whole. Turn the bird on to its breast and carefully cut either side of the backbone with good scissors or poultry shears. Discard the bone. Cut off the foot joints and wing tips.

Strip off all the skin from the bird apart from the ends of the wings, which are easier to remove after cooking. You’ll find it simpler to do this if you snip the membrane between the skin and the chicken flesh as you go. Snip off any obvious fat with scissors – it will be a creamy white colour.

Open the chicken out and place it on the board so the breast side is facing upwards. Press down heavily with the palms of your hands to break the breastbone and flatten the chicken as evenly as possible. This will help it cook more quickly. Don’t worry if you can’t press hard enough to break the breastbone – as long as the chicken looks flat, it will cook evenly. Using a sharp knife, slash through the thickest parts of the legs and breasts. Place the chicken in a shallow nonmetallic dish – a lasagne dish is ideal – and tuck in the legs and wings.

Spoon over all the marinade and really massage it into both sides of the chicken, ensuring that every bit of it is well coated. Cover the dish with cling film and leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

Preheat the oven to 210°C/Fan 190°C/Gas 6½. Take the chicken out of the dish and place it on a rack inside a large baking tray, breast-side up. Roast for 50–60 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. The juices should run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced with a skewer. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Add a garnish of watercress and some lemon wedges for squeezing.

Read more at http://www.hairybikers.com/recipes/view/piri-piri-chicken#9VsBIgILMFhk7U8b.99