Store cupboard chowder

I picked up this beautiful piece of dyed cod loin at the weekend, half price.  I’m not often in the supermarket at the right time for bargains!

dyed cod loin

I raided the store cupboards and make a this chowder.


Store Cupboard Chowder
(serves 4)

300g  dyed cod loin
300g  sliced new potatoes
1  sliced onion
1  150g can sweetcorn
200ml  milk/evaporated milk
400ml  vegetable  stock
3 slices of Parma ham
1tsp  rapeseed oil


  1. Sauté the onion in the rapeseed oil.
  2. Chop the Parma ham and add to the onions.
  3. Mix in the sliced potato.
  4. Add stock, milk and seasoning.
  5. Bring to the boil, then turn down to low, cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Place cod loin on top of vegetables.
  7. Cover again and continue to simmer  for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and leave for a further  5 minutes.
  9. Check seasoning.





Leftover Salmon risotto

Leftover Salmon Risotto
(makes 2 generous portions)

salmon risotto

1tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
150g  Arborio rice
900ml chicken stock
100ml  vermouth
frozen petit pois
1 cooked salmon fillet
grated parmesan


  1. Gently soften the onion in the olive oil.
  2. Add the risotto rice coat in oil.
  3. Gradually stir in  the stock & vermouth mixture a little at a time – adding more when rice has absorbed all liquid in pan.
  4. After 10 minutes add a handful of petit pois.
  5. After another 5 minutes add the flaked salmon fillet.
  6. The risotto is ready when grains are soft and creamy.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Serve with grated parmesan.


Lemon Rice

Many years ago I learnt how to make rice from an amazing Indian chef.  I’ve used her recipe and variations of it ever since and they have  never failed. This is a delicious variation.

Lemon Rice
(serves 4)

lemon rice

250g Basmati rice
¾ pt chicken stock
1 small onion, sliced
1tsp light olive oil
1 large lemon, zest & juice
¼ tsp turmeric or strands of saffron
(I tend to use turmeric to accompany curries and saffron to accompany lighter dishes.)


  1. Soak the rice in cold water while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Zest & juice the lemon.
  3. Slice the onion.
  4. Brown the onions in the olive oil.
  5. While they are browning make up the stock, including the lemon juice and the saffron if you’re using it.
  6. Rinse and drain the rice.
  7. Add lemon rind to pan.
  8. Add the rice and coat with the oil and onions.
  9. Sprinkle in the turmeric if you are using it.
  10. Stir in the stock.
  11. Bring to the boil.
  12. Put on a well-fitting lid.
  13. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  14. Turn off heat but leave on hob for about 15 minutes.
  15. No matter how much you are tempted to, do not remove the lid.  It won’t work if you do!


Spicy Lamb Kofta Tagine

I’ve been cooking Lamb Koftas for years, usually serving it with tomato and onion salad so we tend to eat it in spring and summer. Recently I’ve seem a lot of recipes for Kofta tagines and thought I’d try one.  When I looked in the cupboard for apricots I only had cherries and cranberries so I used them instead. Not very North African but tasted great in the end. I think we’ll be having Koftas all year round now!


Spicy Lamb Kofta Tagine
(serves 4)



1 tbsp.  olive oil
1 chopped onion
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1/tsp. pepper corns
1 piece cassia bark
1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves
2 tsp. chopped root ginger
1 or 2  chopped fresh chilli
1 tsp.  turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp.  coriander
1 lemon, rind and juice
400g  tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp. runny honey
150g  dried cranberries & cherries


400g lean lamb mince
1 large onion – chopped
1 tbsp mango chutney
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
1 tbsp mint


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the whole spices.
  3. When they begin to crackle ad the garlic and onion.
  4. Reduce heat and cook until onion is soft but not brown.
  5. Add the chilli and the dried spices.
  6. Add tinned tomatoes, lemon and honey.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Add the dried fruit.
  9. Put a lid on the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  10. While the sauce is simmering make the Kofta.
  11. Don’t put the Kofta balls in the oven; put them into the simmering sauce.
  12. Replace the lid and continue to simmer for about ½ an hour.
  13. Don’t forget to check the seasoning!

kofta and rice

Hope you enjoy it too!


Stuffed Romano Peppers

Life is getting back to normal this week after spending all of June so far writing reports and having my Knight in Shining Armour at home  sick.   I’ve been enjoying pottering in the kitchen again not just heating ready meals.   This is one of my favourite quick supper recipes – the peppers just melt in your mouth – and as an added bonus it’s gluten free.

Stuffed  Romano Peppers

Stuffed peppers

Romano pepper

1 portion Bolognese sauce (my recipe is below)

Grated cheese

Olive oil

  1. Cut the pepper in half and de-seed.
  2. Lightly coat with olive oil
  3. Put in a hot oven 190o for about 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon the Bolognese sauce  into the pepper.
  5. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Return to the oven to melt the cheese.

Delicious on their own or with salad and pasta.

This is my cheat’s recipe for healthy, thrifty Bolognese sauce.

Quick Bolognese  Saucebolognese

400 g      lean minced beef

1 jar        Dolmino Light Bolognese sauce

100 g      dried red lentils

½ jar      water

  1. Brown the mince  – no need to add extra  oil.
  2. Stir in the Bolognese sauce.
  3. ½ fill the jar with water and add to pan.
  4. Stir in the lentils.
  5. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add extra water if required.

When cool, I usually divide the sauce into 4 portions for freezing.


Gluten Free Pizza Experiment

Gluten free pizza

(Makes 4 x 8″pizza)

I’ve always made home-made pizza and until she developed a severe gluten allergy, pizza was one of my DD’s favourites. Even now as a special treat she will indulge herself and plan for the consequences the next day 😦  As you can imagine I’ve been looking for a gluten free alternative.  I’ve combed recipe books, the web, and learned about a variety of alternative flours and xanthum gum.  This is my first experiment:


90 g    tapioca flour

230 g   brown  rice flour

1 tbsp  golden cater sugar

1 tsp    xanthan gum

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground sea salt

2½ tsp quick  yeast

2 large organic eggs

2 tbsp  olive oil

100ml very warm water

Tomato sauce

1 small onion

1 clove garlic (I used the last of my foodie penpal smoked garlic)

1 tsp    olive oil

250ml tomato passata


1         portabellini mushroom (or 2 small)

6         baby plum tomatoes, halved

½        large mozzarella  ball – I used Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself

             Herbs/black pepper to taste.

1.  Mix together the tapioca flour, rice flour, caster sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder,  ground sea    salt and quick  yeast.

2. Whisk the eggs, water and olive oil, pour into the dry ingredients and mix together.

3. Kneed on floured board until smooth.

4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise at room temperature for an hour.

5. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and garlic.

6. Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil, over a low heat.

7. Add the passata and slowly reduce .

8. Kneed the dough and roll out on a floured board.

9. Cut out 4 x 8″ circles.

10. Brush with olive oil.

11. Bake in oven at 220oC for about 15 minutes.

12. Cover with reduced tomato sauce.

13. Add your toppings and cheese.

14. Return to the oven for 5/10 minutes depending on topping.

I can’t pretend the base was light and fluffy but it was crisp, gluten-free and definitely tasted like pizza which is a big plus.  Hope you enjoy them.


Foodie Penpals

foodie penpals

This month my delicious parcel came from Jules in Lancashire.  I was thrilled to see so many goodies coming out of one box. A great mix of treats and ingredients.  Everything is gluten free which is great.  The Dolly Mixtures and Kendal Mint Cake will bring back lots of childhood memories for my Knight (ISA) as he enjoys a sugar fix. I’ve been enjoying the Lemon Cheese for breakfast since the parcel arrived. Delicious!  I used the smoked garlic straight away for a slow cooked leg of lamb with garlic. It was very tasty even the children  cleaned their plates.   Many thanks, Jules, for a great parcel.

If you want to find out more about Foodie Pen Pals click on this link



You can see the round up of Pen Pal parcels at The Lean Green Bean from Monday.


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Foodie Penpals

foodie penpal feb

This month my parcel came from Caitlin,  down in Cornwall. As you can see, she sent a delicious selection of gluten free products.  This is what was left of it once my DD, with severe gluten intolerance, had ransacked it!  The tea and lemon biscuits have been giving  me a boost when I get in from work. The banana chips are soft and chewy and are great in lunch boxes along with the Frutina bars and the Oaty Bakes. I’ve been saving the  the noodles and chocolate this weekend.  A great box.  Thank you Caitlin.