Miso Broth with Udon Noodles and Seafood

An oriental style broth. Flex the quantities as you wish. Add tofu if you want to avoid fish.
Don’t leave the udon noodles hanging around too long once cooked or they will stick together. (You could shake them in a tiny bit of sesame oil if you had to.)


  • Miso paste, to make the broth, add 15ml (a tbsp measure) for each 500ml of water
  • Water, as much as you need, 1 litre does 2 people for a main meal
  • Some fish, monkfish is good because it stays together, sliced into bite-sized chunks that can cook quickly
  • A few prawns or crevettes, remove the shells if raw prawns, and you can make a flavour enhancing small stock with the shells
  • A handful of mussels or cockles or clams
  • A handful of shitake mushrooms
  • 1-2 lemongrass stalks
  • A few slices of ginger from a thumb-sized piece
  • As much red chilli, cut into rings, as you fancy
  • Some bok choi
  • Enough fresh or dried udon as you fancy, I find 130g does 2 people
  • Spring onions, cut into rings
  • Coriander


  1. If using mussels, remove the beards and scrub them clean, let them rest in clean water while you do the rest
  2. If using dried noodles, pre-cook the noodles to be ready about when you are, probably a few minutes before you put the fish in to cook, and rinse them under cold water when done
  3. Add about 1 tbsp of miso paste per 500ml of liquid. Make as much as you need.
  4. Bash the lemongrass and add to the broth with the sliced ginger
  5. If you like chilli you can add some to the hot broth to make it hotter, or leave till the end as a garnish
  6. Add as much shiitake as you fancy
  7. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or so
  8. Taste and season with salt, or some soy if that works for you
  9. Add any shellfish stock if you made some with the prawn shells
  10. Take out the ginger slices (if you can find them) or leave them in if you love ginger
  11. Add the bok choi for a couple of minutes to cook, if small you can probably add with the fish, Cut the larger pieces, or thicker pieces to make them easier to eat
  12. Now add the fish or prawns for a few minutes to cook. Add them in the order they need to cook. Add any shells raw and let them open and cook in the broth
  13. Put in the cold noodles and bring the temperature back up, but don’t re-boil.
  14. Serve in bowls with a garnish of spring onions, more red chilli if you fancy, and coriander. Serve some soy sauce on the side.

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork

The basic core of this dish is twice cooked pork belly. It can be varied any way you fancy. Traditionally it is made with a spicy chilli red bean paste and is quite fiery. But any sort of stir-fry with sauce will work. It’s the core protein, the pork belly, that is at the heart of the dish. You need to start a few hours in advance to cook poach the pork and then chill it.
If I see a cheap piece of pork belly than I often buy it and do the first cook. I then portion it up into chunks (but not small slices) and freeze it. Then it just needs to be defrosted when you feel the need for a tasty stir-fry.
Quantities for two. This is a hoisin variant.


  • A piece of pork belly about 15cm long and 6cm wide
  • 2 Star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 garlic clove finely sliced
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled grated
  • 1–2 chilli chopped, seeds in or out, according to taste
  • 4 spring onions tidied and chopped into 6cm lengths
  • 2-3 bok choi pulled apart, bigger leaves halved (some tender stem broccoli would work fine here), or some cabbage
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 100-150ml chicken stock


  1. Submerge the pork in a pot of cold water with one star anise and cinnamon stick. Bring it to the build and simmer gently for about 40 minutes. This is the first cooking of the pork.
  2. Once cooked remove and allow the pork to cool, then place it into the fridge to chill. (you could freeze it at this stage to have some ready when needed.)
  3. Once chilled remove and cut off the rind carefully with a sharp knife. Then slice the pork belly into 3mm slices.
  4. Heat enough oil to deep fry the pork belly in a wok, about 2-3cm will do. Fry the meat in batches and keep the cooked pieces in a warm bowl with some kitchen roll to absorb excess fat that drains.
  5. When the pork is cooked drain out most of the fat leaving just enough to stir fry the rest of the dish.
  6. Cook the garlic, chill and ginger for up to 1 minute in the hot oil, but don’t burn it.
  7. Add the spring onions and bok choi, frying them for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked noodles soy sauce and hoisin for 30 seconds or so then add enough stock to make a sauce, you may not need too much. It should only need a minute or so to be ready.
  9. At the end add back the pork and serve.
Serve with some steamed or boiled rice. I use Jasmine rice.
Could also be served with some egg noodles.

Chicken Parmigiana

I’m not sure how “Italian” this is, but it is a dish we’ve made and enjoyed for over thirty years. I think it started life from a “Food Aid” cookbook. If you like Aubergine then thick slices can be used in place of the chicken breasts to make a veggie alternative.
We use dried herbs in this. The dried oregano is not that unusual but we also use dried basil in place of fresh. It does create a different flavour and I think it’s the familiar comfort of that flavour that I like. Use fresh if you like.
The quantity below is generous for 4 people.


  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes (with nothing added, ie. no herbs, spices, salt)
  • 2 courgettes (zucchini) sliced
  • 75-150g mozzarella (mozzarella in brine, not the hard plastic stuff), sliced
  • 50-75g parmesan grated from a block (not the horrible pre-grated stuff)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • Salt to taste (I find 1 teaspoon per tin of tomatoes a good guide for anything)
  • Ground pepper to taste
To coat chicken breasts:
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 75g wholemeal flour
  • 50-75g finely grated parmesan


  1. Put the onions in some oil and soften them gently till they are translucent and soft. This can take about 20 minutes.
  2. Mix the flour and parmesan in a plate, and whisk the egg in a bowl
  3. Coat the chicken breasts by dipping in the egg and then in the mix of flour and parmesan. Leave to the side while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This lets the coating bind better to the chicken.
  4. Add the garlic once the onions are soft. (Garlic cooks much quicker than the onions and easily burns to the bottom of the frying pan if put in too early.)
  5. Now add the tinned tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper. Keep the heat low allowing everything to simmer and the herbs to flavour the sauce.
  6. Add the courgette to the sauce and warm up. You don’t really need to cook these as the whole dish goes into the oven.
  7. Heat a separate frying pan with olive oil, I often add a knob of butter too. Brown the chicken breasts (or aubergine slices) until golden, but not cooked through.
  8. Take a baking dish and put the chicken breasts on the bottom. Lay slices of mozzarella on top of the breasts. Finally, pour over the tomato sauce mixture to cover the chicken.
  9. Cover with foil or a lid and put in a medium oven (180°C) for about 20-25 minutes. After this take the lid or foil off, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and cook in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes.
I like to serve the Chicken Parmigiana with some plain boiled rice but it works with pretty much anything.

Lamb Shawarma

Lamb Shawarma is a spicy barbequed lamb. It is best eaten cut into slices or small pieces with pitta bread, salads and yoghurt.  Make this with a butterflied leg of lamb. It’s fantastic.
This dish is good because you can prep the lamb in advance and have it marinading for a couple of hours. The lamb cooks on the BBQ with little supervision (as long as you have the temperature right) and delicious smells tempt your guests. While the lamb rests you can roll out your pitta bread dough and cook the fresh pitta breads on the BBQ after the lamb. By the time you sit the salads on the table, it’s time to serve the lamb. It’s a great sharing meal.
After marinating I cook it opened out on the barbecue. It only takes about 20 minutes to cook at a medium heat, depending on your bbq size. I use a temperature probe to ensure it is cooked to my taste, which is caramelised tasty outside with a pink inside on the thicker sections. You must rest it after cooking for about 20 minutes somewhere lukewarm to get the best result.
It’s hard to go wrong with this if you serve it with Lebanese style salads, yoghurt, tahini and some homemade pitta bread.



  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ a cinnamon stick
  • ½ a nutmeg, grated
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • ¾ tbsp Maldon sea salt


  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 40g chopped coriander, stems and leaves
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 120ml groundnut oil
  • 1 leg of lamb butterflied with the bone removed


  1. Grind and mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients together and add to the dry.
  3. Rub over the lamb and leave to marinade for up to 24 hours.
  4. Cook the leg on a hot BBQ at a medium heat for 20-30 minutes.
Once the lamb shawarma is cooked sit it somewhere warm to rest before slicing up thin enough to put in pittas.
Stuff chunks of the lamb shawarma into pitta bread with yoghurt and salads.

Milk Braised Ragu With Peas and Beans

One of those dishes that doesn’t sound so appealing, but, it is simple and delicious, and completely unexpected. A great ragu for any “tomato haters”. Or just if you fancy something new and different.
I use a good sized deep saute pan or frying pan to make this ragu.
Serves 3-4


  • Olive oil
  • 50-70g of diced pancetta
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 400-500g minced beef/pork/veal (any one will do, and the beef, surprisingly, really does work well)
  • 2-3 tsp fennel seeds lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 rosemary sprigs, needles removed and chopped
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 small lemon, zest pared with a vegetable peeler, and juice. If it’s a larger lemon just use half. It depends how lemony you like it.
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 200g peas (frozen are great)
  • 200g small broad beans (frozen, or fresh if you are lucky enough to have them)
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 400-500g rigatoni or similar pasta shape, shells would work


  1. Heat some olive oil in the pan and add the pancetta till it begins to gently brown and renders its fat.
  2. Add the onion and cook it gently till it goes soft
  3. Add the garlic for a couple of minutes to cook it off
  4. Now add the minced meat and cook it a slightly higher heat until the meat is beginning to colour
  5. At the same time add the fennel seeds, rosemary, and bay leaves
  6. Once the meat is really cooking, a couple of minutes, add the wine and let it simmer down to about half
  7. Add the lemon zest and juice, and the milk, don’t worry about it curdling, it will be fine once cooked
  8. Add a little salt and pepper
  9. Simmer gently with a lid for about 30 minutes to gently cook the dish
  10. You can either blanch the peas and beans in a pot of boiling water or just cook them in the ragu, whatever you prefer.
  11. Boil a pot of water and cook your rigatoni
  12. Stir in the grated parmesan to the ragu and let it melt and incorporate
Serve the rigatoni in bowls with the ragu spooned over. Some extra parmesan on the side is useful. A nice olive oil for drizzling might be to some people’s taste. A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley wouldn’t go amiss….

Lemon Tart

A simple delicious lemon tart. A classic recipe that’s pretty easy to make. You could buy pastry but you will benefit from making your own sweet shortcrust pastry. And, you can feel a bit sanctimonious when your guests ask….
The pastry uses egg rather than water. This means the pastry shrinks less when baked blind.
You will need a tart dish, with a removable base, and about 22-24cm in diameter.



  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to sweeten the pastry
  • 100g chilled butter in cubes
  • 1 beaten egg

Lemon Tart Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, which you can later juice below
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 3 medium lemons, juice only
  • 1 medium orange, juice only, For juicy larger oranges just add half the orange juice.

Pastry Method

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. Cube the butter into 1cm cubes and add to the flour
  3. Either use a food processor or a Kitchenaid, or your fingers, to rub the butter into the flour till it is like sand.
  4. Gradually add the beaten egg till the pastry just begins to come together, you don’t want to make it too wet.
  5. Work it briefly with your hands into a ball, wrap it in cling film, squash it flat, and then refrigerate to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to about 170C fan.
  7. Remove from the fridge and roll to a thin sheet between two pieces of cling film. When it is big enough to cover the tart dish use the cling film to guide the pastry into the dish.
  8. Ease the pastry into the corners by lifting the edges and feeding down into the dish, Don’t stretch the base as it will tear or later shrink. Trim around the top of the tart dish. Keep the trimmings in the fridge in case you need to patch holes later.
  9. Put some baking paper in the dish and fill with baking beans or rice to keep the base flat.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes before removing the baking paper and beans. Leave it cooking for another 5 minutes to cook the base properly. Watch it’s not getting too dark, and turn down or remove if it is.
  11. While the case is cooking make the filling.

Filling Method

  1. Adjust your oven to 150C fan
  2. Add the eggs, sugar and lemon zest to a bowl. Whisk them for a minute till well mixed.
  3. Add the cream and juice and stir to mix
  4. If the mix is frothy you can skim off the bubbles to make it look cleaner.
  5. Place the cooked case in the oven (still in its dish), pulling the tray forward so you can fill it.
  6. Pour the filling into the case taking care not to spill over.
  7. Bake until the filling just has a gentle wobble, which should take about 20-30 minutes. Check it from 20 minutes. It continues “cooking” when you take it out, so a soft wobble will firm up.
  8. Take it out to cool.
You can dust lemon tart with icing sugar when cooled. I think it’s best served at room temperature. Serve with whatever you fancy like vanilla ice cream, lightly whipped cream, or some creme fraiche.


Simple scones are a delight fresh from the oven. I like to use buttermilk but ordinary milk will work fine.
You don’t want to work the dough too much as this develops the gluten and slows the rise. Also, don’t take too long before getting them in the oven as this also affects the rise.
When you cut the scones with a circular cutter, choose a size you prefer. The bigger it is then it can make it slower to fully cook the scone. I find about 4-5cm diameter is about right.
When cutting try not to twist the cutter. When you twist it the side of the scone gets twisted and sealed and this can hold back the rise too. This is why some scones cook leaning to one side, because that side won’t rise.


  • 450g plain flour (don’t use bread flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g chilled butter cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • Up to 200ml buttermilk (or plain milk)
  • Sultanas, if you like them and want fruit scones


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C fan
  2. Grease a baking sheet to place the scones on
  3. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl of a food processor
  4. Add the butter and mix, rub or whizz till the mix looks a bit like sand (or use your Kitchenaid or do it by hand)
  5. Crack the eggs into a jug and add buttermilk to bring the liquid and egg total to 300ml
  6. Gradually add the liquid to the bowl and mix till you have a sticky dough, stop adding if it gets too wet (Keep any extra liquid for glazing later.)
  7. Flour a surface and tip the dough out
  8. If using sultanas fold them into the mix at this stage
  9. Now roll or spread the dough gently till it’s about 2-2.5cm thick. I actually find it easier to use a flat hand to push the dough down till it’s the right thickness.
  10. Cut out as many scones as you can and place them on the baking sheet.
  11. Consolidate the remaining dough and re-roll and cut out the last of the scones (this second rolled set sometimes rises a little less than the first roll.)
  12. Glaze by brushing the dregs of the liquid on the top (only) of the scone
  13. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, more or less, depending on the size of your scone.
Eat warm. If they’ve sat for a few hours or overnight a few seconds in the microwave can revitalise them.

Rhubarb Crumble

It’s peak rhubarb season and this one’s a simple classic, rhubarb crumble. Rhubarb varies a lot, by type and season. Some is thin, sweet, and pink (early Timperley, which I grow, for example). Others thick green and tart. I like the large greener stalks for crumble as the tart contrast with the sweet topping works best.
For the thinner rhubarb cut it into 3cm lengths. For the thicker rhubarb, I cut into 1.5cm chunks.
Getting the sugar in the rhubarb right is one of those wonderful guesses. I think the cooked rhubarb needs to be sweet enough but still have a background tartness. This gives a lovely contrast to the crumble topping.
Using the ground almond really helps the topping in my view. Also, chilling it for a bit helps it to form crunchy, crumbly, clumps. When cooked the clumps have an almost biscuity crumble to them. This topping gives the right balance of soggy under-bottom to crispy top.
I use a dish that is 23cm square, and about 6cm deep. The topping quantity just covers the dish but is thick enough.


  • 600g rhubarb sticks
  • 40-60g demerara sugar, more or less spending on your rhubarb


  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 170g chilled butter, in 1cm cubes
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • A pinch of salt (only needed if you’ve used unsalted butter)


  1. Chop the rhubarb and put it in the bottom of your dish
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over and distribute it around the rhubarb
  3. To make the topping add all the topping ingredients to a mixing bowl
  4. Either blend with your fingers, or a food processor, or a KitchenAid until you have integrated the butter
  5. The topping will form clumps, or even consolidate to almost one lump (because of the butter content) and this is a good thing
  6. Chill the topping in the fridge for 30 minutes or about 15 minutes in the freezer
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C fan
  8. Add the chilled topping to the top of the crumble, breaking up any bigger clumps till it just covers the crumble. Clumps of 2-3cm are not a problem. Don’t worry about bits of rhubarb peeking through. Some bubbling up is welcome.
  9. Cook the crumble in the oven until the rhubarb and topping are cooked, this will be 30-40 minutes depending on the depth of the dish. The topping needs to be golden but not too dark.
Once the rhubarb crumble is ready take it out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes so it is warm but not too hot. Serve with your preferred accompaniment – custard (hot or cold), creme fraiche, cream.

Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal

Eggs Kejriwal is a simple and delicious Indian spicy cheese on toast with eggs. What’s not to like. Great for finally making up some of that little yellow carton of English Mustard you’ve got lurking in the cupboard.

It’s a little bit Raj. Served in the clubs of Mumbai. Good for a weekend brunch.
Quantities for one. You know what to do if you need more…


  • 2 slices of decent bread (I use our homemade crusty loaf) cut about 1-1.5cm thick
  • Colman’s mustard, enough to spread a thin layer on your toasted bread (make up the mustard from the powder per the instructions, best if done 10 minutes in advance to let the flavour develop.)
  • Chillies, thinly sliced. Your preferred type. As many as you like. Hot is good but remember the mustard is fiery too.
  • 1 Spring onion, thinly sliced, leave this out if you like it simpler
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • 25g butter
  • 1 fresh egg
  • Pepper and coriander for garnish


  1. Make up your mustard
  2. Warm a plate, preheat the grill, and melt the butter gently in a small frying pan
  3. Grate the cheese into a bowl and mix with the chillies and spring onion
  4. Toast the bread lightly on both sides
  5. Spread a thin layer of mustard over your toast
  6. Top the that with the cheese and put under the grill till bubbling
  7. Meanwhile, crack the egg into the frying pan. Aim for a crisp-edged white and golden soft yolk
  8. Place the cooked egg on top of the toast, sprinkling it with coriander and grated pepper.
Serve the Eggs Kejriwal on your warmed plate.

Chicken Korma

The basis of this tasty Chicken Korma is Felicity Cloake’s recipe. It is rich, indulgent and fragrant. The korma has no chilli, and no turmeric, so it can be a good option for the people who can’t take the heat of Indian food.
The sauce is a based on a combination of yoghurt, double cream and blended cashew nuts. The sultanas are a bit of a throwback to 70’s curries of my childhood. If you hate them, leave them out.
The rose water and addition of crushed black cardamom seeds at the end really lift the fragrance of the dish. Rose water strength varies a lot so you must taste and adjust the quantities to your preference and taking into account the strength of your rose water.
I serve the korma with plain basmati rice. Plain rice is a good contrast to the fragrant dish.
If when cooking the sauce it gets too thick/dry or gets too hot, just add a splash of water to keep the consistency right and avoid burning.
I’d say this quantity would do two people.


  • 250ml plain, full-fat yoghurt, not the “Greek Style”, it’s too creamy
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or a couple of chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 50g cashew nuts
  • 70g of butter, clarified
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (5cm long)
  • 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 25g sultanas
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Seeds of 1 black cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar and pestle


  1. Cut up the chicken to medium pieces and put it in the yoghurt to marinade for a few hours in the fridge.
  2. Put the cashew nuts in a jug and add 75ml of warm water to soak
  3. Warm the cream gently, but don’t boil
  4. When warm add the saffron threads (which I break lightly) and the rosewater and leave to the side to infuse the flavours
  5. Using a medium pot heat the oil add the cinnamon sticks and green cardamoms and fry for a minute or so
  6. Pick the chicken pieces out of the marinade and fry gently for a couple of minutes until they slightly brown. You don’t need to fully cook the chicken at this stage as you will finish it in the sauce. Keep the yoghurt marinade.
  7. Take the chicken out to a side plate while you prepare the sauce.
  8. Add the onion and fry off gently for 10 minutes or so till it is soft
  9. While the onions cook, blend the cashew nuts and water to a paste in a blender, or mortar and pestle. I usually use my stick blender in a jug and it works fine.
  10. Add the garlic, ginger, sultanas and nutmeg to the onions and cook off for a minute or so
  11. Now add the cashew paste, the remaining yoghurt marinade, salt and sugar.
  12. Add the chicken back to the pot and bring to the gentlest simmer. Simmer for as long as you need to cook the chicken, probably 10-15 minutes. Don’t cook too long or the chicken will dry out.
  13. When ready add the infused cream and gently reheat to simmering point.
  14. Taste for seasoning. If necessary add salt, and if it’s needed add a teaspoon of rosewater for extra fragrance.
  15. Stir in the crushed black cardamom seeds and serve the korma with plain rice.