Saturday, 22 October 2016

Fish pie

A change from Friday fish and chips, but not too radical.  Fish pie served with steamed greens - lovely comfort food.

Bay leaf
Soya milk
Smoked haddock
Frozen peas
Cavolo nero

1.  Peel potatoes and boil for the mash.
2.  Poach fish in soya milk flavoured with an onion and a bay leaf.
3.  Mash potato, add butter to taste.
4.  Put fish in an oven dish, thicken the soya milk using cornflour slaked in cold water, kepp on a low heat stirring until thickenned.
5.  Add chopped parsley to the sauce.
6.  Put a handful of frozen peas on top of the fish, pour on sauce and top with mash - add little knobs of butter to the top to help it brown.  Bake for 30 minutes.
7.  Steam veg.
8.  Serve and scoff.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Kale, spinach and feta tumble top pie, with cumin carrots and herby courgettes

Couldn't think what to do for tea today - but knew we had a load of leafy greens in the fridge so I invented this kind of cottage pie with a Greek-ish twist.  I also added some greek meatballs for the carnivore.

Olive oil
mixed herbs
GF flour

1.  Chop onion and soften in olive oil.  Add shredded kale.
2.  Dice potatoes and par boil.
3.  When the kale is a little soft add handfuls of spinach to wilt.
4.  Peel carrots, toss in olive oil and cumin seeds and roast for 30 minutes or so.
5.  Add chopped feta to the wilted greens, grate on a little nutmeg, mix through and put into an oven dish.
6.  Drain the potatoes and tumble onto the spinach mixture.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, until the top goes golden.
7.  Bung meatballs in the oven.
8.  Slice courgettes and toss in seasonned, herby flour.  Grill on both sides for a couple of minutes.
9.  Serve, scoff.

A touch of sunshine on an autumnal evening.

Curried fish and chips

National Curry week:  day 5 - and Friday.  We love our fish and chip treat on a Friday - and Paul the fish has such good fish, that I decided to stick with tradition, but to do a spicy batter.  It tasted a lot better than it looks, but you can see how beautiful the haddock was in this pic.

olive oil
Gluten free flour
Lahore fish spice mix
frozen peas

1.  Cut potatoes into wedges, toss in olive oil, and bake for 45 minutes.
2.  Make batter by mixing flour, spice mix and water - the batter should be about the consistency of double cream.
3.  Dip the fish into GF flour, then the batter and fry (make sure the oil is hot enough - that was my mistake - it wasn't quite, so it stuck to the pan a bit).
3.  Boil peas.
4.  Scoff.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Lamb shish kebab, egg curry, dahl and pilau rice,

National Curry week: Day 4

Nick at Melling's Butchers in Todmorden's indoor market has all sorts of goodies to save you a bit of time, and help spice up your tea - including these great lamb shish kebabs.  You can also pick up most of the other ingredients from The Mediterranean Pantry, and other stalls indoors and veg outside.

There may be a fair old list of ingredients, but it's actually very easy.

Olive oil
Tin tomatoes
Basmati rice
Cardamon pods
Curry leaves
Fennel seeds
Chilli flakes
Mustard seeds

1.  Drizzle the shish kebabs with olive oil and stick them in a medium-hot oven.  They'll be ready in about 30 minutes.
2,  Chop onion and fry in 2 lots of ghee - 1 for the rice, one for the egg curry.
3.  Boil lentils with a crushed clove of garlic.
4.  Add the rice to the onions, add cardamon pods, stir and then add water.  Boil, slam on lid and turn the heat down - let it cook while everything else finishes.
5.  To the other onions add crushed garlic and grated ginger - fennel and cumin seeds, a little chilli and some turmeric.  Stir around - then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a splash of water.  Cook down gently.
6.  Boil the eggs for 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on the sauce, turn off the heat/add water if it gets too thick - if you like it really spicy you may wish to add garam masala.
7.  When the eggs are cooked, peel them - put the sauce on top.
8.  Make the tarka for the dhal - in olive oil quickly fry whole spices (coriander, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds,  slit chilli and curry leaves).  Pour over the cooked lentils.
9.  Serve, scoff.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Chicken tikka masala, paneer tikka masala, potato curry and pilau rice

National curry week:  Day 3:  Chicken tikka time!  However, in order to meet everybody's requirements I also need a veggie option, so extended the tikka treatment to some paneer.  I also was quite short on time, so was quite pleased with myself to produce all this in 40 minutes.

Chicken thighs
Olive oil
Onion - lots
Cinnamon stick
curry leaves
cardamon pods
Basmati rice
Tinned chopped tomatoes
fennel seeds
cumin seeds
mustard seeds
tikka masala sauce
natural yogurt

1.  Put the chicken thighs in an oven dish, drizzle with a little olive oil, season and roast for 30 minutes.
2.  Get 3 pans on the hob - a cast iron one with a lid for the rice, and two deep frying pans for the curries.  Put a blob of ghee in each one, over a low heat.
3.  Chop onions - and fry some in each of the pans.  Crush garlic and add it to the 2 curries, add grated ginger to the masala one.
4.  For the rice now add a cinnamon stick, a few cardamon pods, a teaspoon of turmeric and some curry leaves.  Stir into the onions, add basmati rice, stir to coat all grains, add cold water to about an inch over the rice.
5.  Add a tin of chopped tomatoes to the masala pan, stir in.
6.  Add fennel seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and a pinch of chilli to the potato curry pan.  Chop potatoes and stir them in.  Add a couple of cups of water and simmer until potatoes are nearly done.
7.  Check the rice - as soon as it comes to the boil slam the lid on and turn the heat right down.
8.  Add tikka masala mix to the tomatoes and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then turn the heat off.
9.  Fry pieces of paneer briefly, in another pan, just so that it goes golden brown.
10.  Put the paneer in an oven dish.
11.  Stir yogurt into the slightly cooled tikka mix, pour some over the chicken and some over the paneer - put these back in the oven while the other bits finish.
12.  Add a cup of frozen peas to the potatoes, and a huge handful of spinach.  After a few minutes stir in the wilted spinach and peas.
13.  Serve, scoff.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Mushroom and vegetable curry with basmati rice

An easy quick veggie curry for day 2 of national curry week.  It was tasty and fresh.  We had seconds.

Basmati rice

Urad dahl
Ground spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne)
Red pepper
Garam Masala
Natural yogurt

1.  Cook the rice - I put it in a heavy pot, cover with water - bring to the boil, slap the lid an and leave in a warm oven to absorb - but you could easily microwave it.
2.  Fry chopped onion, urid dhal and spices in ghee, add crushed garlic.
3.  When onion is soft, add the other vegetables, and a little water, simmer until the vegetables are a bit soft - the urid dhal should help thicken the sauce.  Taste and add garam masala.  Simmer for 5 more minutes.  Turn off the heat.
4. Allow to cool for a minute or so, then stir in a couple of spoons of natural yogurt.
5.  Serve, scoff.

Chickpea and red pepper curry, with gluten free chapatis

It's National curry week!  A gentle start today as what I really wanted to do was to try to make gluten free chapatis.  Normal gluten free flour is fine for cakes and pastry, but it doesn't have the elasticity you need for bread type products - so I used some specialist pizza and pasta gluten free flour - which I stock at The Mediterranean Pantry - and they worked a treat.  Really, really good - soft, a bit stretchy and a nice bite.  I wouldn't have known it was GF, if I hadn't known (if you see what I mean).


Olive oil
Mustard seeds
Fennel seeds
Cumin seeds
Urid dhal
Chilli flakes
Ground coriander
Ground turmeric
Red pepper


Gluten free flour
Natural yogurt
Cold water

1.  Make the chapati dough - mix flour with a spoonful of yogurt and enough cold water to form a dough.
2.  Kneed the dough until it is smooth and stretchy.  Wrap in cling film and chill while you make the curry.
3.  Start the curry by frying spices, chopped onion and crushed garlic, in olive oil.
4.  Add vegetables - all cut to approximately the same size as a chick pea,  Add a little water if necessary and simmer for a few minutes.
5.  When the veg are nearly ready add a drained tin of chickpeas, warm through.  Check for seasoning.  If too mild add a smidge of garam masala, if too hot add a little sugar.
6.  Take the dough for the fridge and divide into walnut sized balls, roll out on a dusting of flour.  Fry each one in a frying pan which has the lightest possible brush of oil.  (theoretically you can dry fry them, but I always burn them).  Keep warm under a clean teatowel.
7.  Serve, with natural yogurt (and any chutneys etc you fancy), scoff.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Smoked haddock fishcakes

This tasted MUCH better than it looks - lovely fresh naturally smoked haddock from Paul the fish, and loads of vegetables - jobs a good 'un.  Leek and spinach in the fishcake and even the veg dodger gets 4 of the 5 a day in 1 meal!  Result!

Olive oil
Soya milk
Bay leaves
Bread crumbs (polenta to be GF)
Green beans

1.  Put potatoes on for mash.
2.  Chop leeks and put into a deep frying pan with soya milk. Add a couple of bay leaves and the smoked haddock.  Poach the fish for a few minutes - about 5-7ish depending on the thickness of the pieces.
3.  Turn the heat off under the fish and add handfuls of baby spinach.
4.  Mash the potatoes - don't add any fat as the soya milk will add enough liquid.
5.  Remove the bay leaves from the fish, and then mix into the potato - try to mix gently enough to keep some identifiable fish pieces, but well enough to distribute ingredients through the mixture.  Season.  If the mixture is too sloppy add some breadcrumbs/polenta to soak up the liquid.
6.  Shape into cakes, coat in breadcrumbs and fry for a couple of minutes on each side.
7.  Steam beans, cook peas.
8.  Serve, scoff ...

These were big fishcakes - but we're very greedy so we polished off 10 between 3 of us.

Shepherd's pie, and sheperdless pie, made easy

I have mentioned it before - but was reminded again tonight of the number of different requirements at Kitchenfairies HQ at the moment.  Tonight we have i) veg dodger, who doesn't like cooked tomatoes, ii) lactose intolerant and iii) gluten free vegetarian.  In order to satisfy all 3 of us, without making 3 separate meals I took the option of making one veg pie filling, adding fried mince to half of it - and topping with mash made with soya spread.  Everybody was happy.  We even got the veg dodger to eat some broccoli (nobody tell them about the veg in the pie).

Olive oil
Chilli flakes
Mixed herbs
Bay leaves
Baked beans
Soya milk
Dijon mustard
Minced beef

Soya spread

1.  Sautee chopped leeks and celery in olive oil.  Add crushed garlic.
2.  Boil potatoes for the mash.
3.  Add chopped mushrooms to the leek mixture, stock made from bouillon, a small sprinkle of chilli flakes, a couple of bay leaves and a good pinch of mixed herbs.  Season.
4.  When the veg are cooked add a tin of beans, a spoonful of dijon mustard and a small cup of soya milk, just to give it a bit of sauce.
5.  Fry off the mince.
6.  Mash the potatoes, adding soya spread/butter.
7.  Divide the veg mixture between 2 oven dishes, add mice to one.  Top both with mash and bake for 20-30 minutes.
8.  Serve, with steamed veg ... scoff.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Hake, on a bed of lentils

Paul the fish had beautiful hake today, so I adapted this from something I saw on the web - it might have been a Hairy Bikers thing.

All ingredients available from inside and outside Todmorden market.

The Mediterranean Pantry

Olive oil
Gluten free flour
Bay leaves

Garry the veg


Lots of places:  eggs

1.  Roast potatoes, in olive oil, in a hot oven for about an hour.
2.  Sautee chopped onion and carrot, with a little crushed garlic, in olive oil.
3.  When the onion is soft, add lentils - beluga in this case - but any small brown would be good.  Add stock made of bouillon, and bay leaves, cook until lentils are done.  Add more stock/water if required.
4.  Make lemon mayonnaise - whisk an egg yolk with 1/2 tsp dijon mustard and the juice of a lemon.  Slowly whisk in about a cup of light olive oil - it will thicken to a glossy mayonnaise.
5.  Dust the fish in flour, then dip into whisked egg.  Fry, in hot oil, for a few minutes...
6.  Serve, scoff ...