serves 4


500g Pork mince

2 large leeks chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped finely

1/2 red pepper cut into cubes

dried chilli or fresh  finely chopped or chilli powder


cumin, paprika,

1 oxo cube

1 x 400g tin kidney beans

Fry the leeks, peppers, garlic and chilis  (if using dried or fresh), add salt to taste and fry until soft. I haven’t put a quantity for chili as everyone has different tastes, I used 1/2 of a very large dried chili and it was fairly hot. Once soft add pork mince and brown. Add 1 heaped tsp of cumin and the same of paprika. (I use the sweet kind). Add the powdered chili here if using. Add the passata, I buy mine in a 500g carton and use around 1/2 to 3/4 of it. It’s not an exact science so don’t worry! Crumble in a stock cube, I used beef because that’s what I had in the cupboard, but either chicken or vegetable is fine as well. Finally add the kidney beans, give everything a good stir, put the heat on it’s lowest setting, cover pan and leave simmering gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, while you go off and do whatever you need to do.

This recipe can be adapted to what you have in the cupboard or what you prefer. You can substitute onions for the leeks and you can add more veggies. You can use beef mince or a mixture of pork and beef mince, or you can leave out the meat altogether and put in veggies, such as butternut squash, sweet potato, sweetcorn, even chickpeas or butterbeans along with the kidney beans. If you don’t have kidney beans use a tin of baked beans instead.


Enid’s fried dumplings

To make around 6-8 dumplings

Into a bowl put 3 tbsp. of S/R flour and the same of fine cornmeal (this can be found in any supermarket, but not ALDI!) and a little salt.

Gradually add milk mixed with a little cold water until the mixture is still soft enough to mix but firm enough to need a little help to be pushed off a spoon. Mix for a few minutes and leave until you are ready to fry them.

Heat about 1cm depth of oil in a frying pan over a gentle heat. The oil is ready when a little ball of the mixture bubbles when put into the pan. Spoon rough balls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden on one side, then turn over and fry the other side, they should expand and rise. Don’t fry too quickly or the dumpling will be raw inside. You should end up with golden, risen, crispy balls of deliciousness!




Chicken and rice

(serves 4)


1 onion

1/2 a red pepper

1 carrot

A thick chunk of sweet potato

1 clove garlic

5 chicken thighs (remove skin and bones and cut into 2 or 3 pieces)* season with salt and pepper.

3-4 tbsps. passata

A handful of frozen peas

1 1/2 cups rice


Chop the onion and fry gently in a little oil, while the onion is frying chop the rest of the veggies into similar sized pieces and add to the pan, add a good sprinkle of thyme and salt and pepper. Once everything has softened nicely (around 10 mins) turn up the heat and add the chicken, once the chicken has browned a little, add the passata and peas, give a good stir then add the rice and stir again. Now add 3 cups of boiling water, stir again, turn the heat down to it’s lowest setting and cover the pan. Leave to simmer until the rice has absorbed all the water then turn off the heat and leave for 10-15 minutes before serving.

This recipe can also be adapted. You can add chopped tomatoes along with the veggies, and fresh parsley instead of thyme. You can leave out the chicken and serve it as a vegetarian dish. It’s also really nice with fried eggs! minus the chicken though! Honest! You can add some sliced chorizo (the cooking kind sold in a sausage, not the sliced variety) or you could use pork instead of chicken. If you have a non vegetable eating family, you can leave out the carrots and sweet potato and peas and just use onion or you could use leeks instead of onion, as a hidden veg.

*A word about the chicken! skinned, boned, chicken thighs are expensive and it’s so easy to do it your self. Once you have pulled off the skin, put the thigh on the chopping board with what was the skin side down and the bone side facing you. With the tip of the knife, cut along the length of the bone to separate the meat then gently slide the knife underneath the bone to ease the meat away. You will be left with a bone in one hand and the thigh flapping beside it. Simply cut off the meat where it is attached to what is left of the bone and you should have a thigh fillet and a bone with a little meat on it. (the bones can be put in a pan with an onion and water and simmered slowly during the evening to make a lovely stock).




Chicken curry


1 large onion

2 large cloves garlic

1 inch piece fresh ginger

1 red chili (or however much you want!)

cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, salt


1 x 400ml can coconut milk

4 chicken breasts cut into large pieces.

1 bunch fresh coriander

Chop the onion and fry gently in a little oil for around 15-20 minutes. This is really important, the onions must be soft, soft, soft, don’t let them burn though!

Add 2 tsp salt, chopped garlic, ginger and chili and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the spices, 2 tsp of each apart from turmeric, which is 1 tsp. Fry for a minute, stirring all the time. Next add some passata, not too much, around 150-200ml. Stir and watch carefully, you need to wait until the oil begins to separate from the tomato and form tiny, clear pools. Once this has happened you can add the coconut milk. Stir well and add the chicken.

Leave the curry to cook at a very gentle simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened nicely. Once cooked, add a good handful of fresh, chopped coriander and stir in.

Now, I haven’t tried this myself, but I’m sure that this curry sauce could be used with robust vegetables such as squash type ones and red peppers, cauliflower. Just cook the sauce on it’s own first for a while to thicken, before you add the veg. One thing I have tried is this sauce minus the chicken and with hard boiled eggs cut in half lengthwise. Surprisingly scrumptious!


Spicy lamb meatballs

serves 4



1 onion

2 cloves garlic

cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt (2 tsp each)

2 slices white bread

1 egg

fresh coriander

Whizz the onion, garlic and fresh coriander in a food processor until the onion is a mush. Chop the garlic roughly beforehand otherwise it won’t get chopped properly and remove the stalks from the coriander and put to one side.

Put the meat in a bowl and add the onion mush and salt and spices, along with the egg. Whizz up the bread in the food processor and add this to the bowl as well. Now, roll up your sleeves and mix the whole lot with your hands until everything is nicely incorporated and of an even browny colour. Shape the mixture into balls by taking a teaspoon of mixture, rolling in a little plain flour and rolling between your fingers. Place on a baking sheet covered in greaseproof paper and bake in the oven until browned, turning over after about 20 minutes.

Whilst the meatballs are in the oven, make the sauce.

1 onion chopped or sliced

1/2 red pepper chopped or sliced

coriander stalks you saved, finely chopped

about 150ml or so of passata

splash of white or red wine if you happen to have some open, otherwise don’t bother. (You can of course, open a bottle and drink what’s left!)

paprika 1 tsp (I use the Spanish sweet pimenton)

pinch of sugar

salt, pepper

boiling water

Fry onions, pepper, garlic and coriander stalks until softened, add salt and pepper then wine if using. Stir in passata and paprika then add sugar.  Top up with boiling water, enough to make a rather watery looking sauce, but not too watery. Leave this simmering gently, uncovered, until the meatballs are ready to add. Plop them into the pan gently and shake to cover each one with sauce. Leave at a gentle simmer, uncovered, until the sauce becomes nice and thick and coats the meatballs. Shake gently from time to time.


Baked eggs with ham and chorizo

Serves 4


2 onions thinly sliced

1 leek finely chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1 red pepper sliced

2 small packs pancetta or Italian ham pieces

1 small chorizo cubed


Splash white wine

1 tsp sweet Spanish pimento (or paprika)

Pinch of sugar

8 eggs

In a frying pan, heat a little oil and gently fry the onions, leek, garlic and red peppers until soft then add the ham and finally the chorizo. Add a splash of white wine and the pimenton or paprika. Pour in the passata, I normally put in 3/4 of a 500g carton, add a pinch of sugar and stir well. Cook for a few minutes then pour into an ovenproof dish that can hold  8 eggs. Make indentations in the sauce and into these crack the eggs. The whites will still  spread but if you make the indents, it will spread less. Put into the oven for around 15 minutes, but check before you remove them that the eggs are cooked.

These are lovely with potatoes cut into cubes and drizzled with olive oil then sprinkled with cayenne pepper,( or just plain oven chips), and crusty ciabatta.




Fish in white wine

Serves 4


Firm white fish such as tilapia or cod

6-8 large potatoes peeled and sliced into rounds no thicker than 1cm

1 large onion thinly sliced

White wine

Stock or water


Place the potatoes and onion into a pyrex or other ovenproof dish and season well with salt and pepper. Pour over 1 large glass of white wine and top up with water or stock. The potatoes should be just covered. Cook in the oven until the potatoes are soft, around 40-50 minutes approximately. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the dish from the oven and place the fish on top, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Put back in the oven until the fish is cooked through, around 15-20 minutes, but check.

This is lovely with red peppers roasted whole, which can be put in the oven at the same time as the potatoes, and crusty bread, or just peas.


Chicken stock


Chicken carcass raw or cooked or any bones from chicken portions, raw.

1 onion

1 carrot

Bayleaf (1-2 depending on the amount of chicken)

Put the chicken in a pan appropriate to the amount of chicken you are using. Cover the chicken with water and then top up by a few inches. Add the rest of the ingredients and throw in a few whole peppercorns if you have them. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat as low as it will go. Skim off any scum and cover. Simmer very gently for 3-4 hours. Leave overnight in the saucepan then strain into plastic containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze. The smell of this stock as it permeates throughout the house is heavenly!


Chicken satay skewers


3 tbsp  peanut butter

2 tbsp. soy sauce

3 tbsp lime juice

3 chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp runny honey

11/2 tbsp mild curry powder

6tbsp coconut milk

Cut the chicken into strips, combine the lime, crushed garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, curry powder and honey in a bowl, add the chicken and marinade for a good 3 hours.

Thread the chicken onto skewers, scraping off any thick globules of sauce. (If you are using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for about 15 minutes beforehand). Grill the skewers, turning from time to time, until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, add the coconut milk to the remaining marinade in the bowl, mix well, and pour it into a small saucepan, simmer gently until well heated.

Serve with plain boiled basmati rice, the sauce in a bowl, with a salad of shaved cucumber and carrot, with lime juice and salt by way of dressing. Luvverley!


Salmon kedgeree


1 onion chopped

1 large garlic clove finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger finely chopped

2 cups basmati rice

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 salmon fillets

4 hard boiled eggs

Small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

Fish sauce

First, put the salmon fillets into a small ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake for around 20 minutes, until cooked through. meanwhile fry the onion, garlic and ginger on a low heat until soft, add the turmeric, cumin and coriander, cook for about 30 seconds then add the rice, stir well again. Cover the rice with boiling water until it reaches a couple of centimetres above the rice. Give everything a good stir, cover and cook over the lowest heat until the rice is cooked.  You may need to add a little more boiling water if the rice hasn’t completely cooked.

Now, at this stage it won’t have a lot of flavour as no salt has been added, this is where the fish sauce comes in. You could use salt, but the fish sauce really does add an extra dimension and you can buy it in all supermarkets. Pour in a little and taste, keep on adding the fish sauce until the taste is to your liking. Squeeze over the lime juice, flake the salmon and add with the coriander (save a little coriander). Stir very gently and empty into a dish, place the hard boiled eggs, halved, around the edge of the dish and sprinkle with a little more coriander.


Stir fry pork


2 pork chops (or any other pork cut such as fillet, loin, shoulder)

Whatever veg you have, I used 1 red onion, 1 yellow pepper, a handful of green beans,1 small bunch of asparagus and 3 carrots. (My asparagus cost me 79p from Aldi!!!)

Soy sauce

2 inch piece fresh ginger grated

2 cloves garlic grated



Give the pork a good bash by placing between 2 pieces of cling film and hitting with a rolling pin. Cut into small strips and place in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, a couple of tbsp of soy sauce and 2 tsp of honey. Mix well and leave to marinade until you are ready.

Chop all your veg into similar sizes and fry in about 2 tbsp of oil. Once the veg is cooked enough, add the meat, making sure that you pick it out of the bowl, leaving behind the marinade. Fry the pork until cooked. Whilst it is cooking, add a little water to the bowl with the marinade and add about 1 dessertspoon of cornflour and mix well. Add this mixture to the pan. You may need to add a little more water, the objective being to make a sauce that is thick enough to coat everything. Cover the pan and cook gently for a couple more minutes. Serve with rice or noodles.

This fed 3 of us, if you are 4 or 5 I would simply add 1 more pork chop and a little more of everything else. You could also do this with chicken.












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