Escabeche Sea Bream with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Escabeche Sea Bream with Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I made this two weeks ago but forgot to post about it.  Escabeche is a great sweet and sour type sauce to serve with and cook fish in.  To be honest I can’t remember the quantities I used so I’ll just be crap and say it involved white wine vinegar, sugar, water, celery, onion and carrots and the fish.  I sliced the veg very thinly and cooked them in the vinegar and sugar mixture then poached/steamed the fish  on top of it.  The end result should be light and fresh with the veg still crunchy and the fish delicate and soft.  I believe I scattered this with some basil at the end to lift it slightly.  And that’s about that folks, less a recipe more of a vague memory but give it a go, it’s good to experiment now and again!

Oh, yeah, the smashed potatoes, these are gorgeous and make a brilliant accompaniment to many a dish, boil your new potatoes until just cooked through.  Pre heat the oven then plop the potatoes into a baking a tray, break or smash with a fork, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper (or you could add spices or herbs) and whack in the oven at 220 degrees until golden and crispy. Bang! Spud heaven!

Puy Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Salad

I knocked this up for dinner last night and packed some into a lunch box for work today.  It is delicious, full of flavour and pretty darn healthy.  If you want a veggie option then forget the chorizo but I’m a bit of a chorizo fiend at the moment.  Puy lentils are a recent addition to my cupboard, I wasn’t sure what to do with them before but now I have worked them out they are in more and more of my concoctions.  They are a nice, firm lentil with a good bite that absorb dressings and flavour yet still hold their shape.  Anyways, enough guff onto the recipe!

Serves 2 


  • 2 big handfuls of puy lentils
  • Half a large courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • Half a large sweet potato
  • 2 inches of chorizo, chopped into rough cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1/3 block of feta
  • A handful of basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


Heat the oven to about 220 degrees.  Chop the veg into 1/2cm cubes (ish).  Chuck veg in a big baking tray with the chorizo, drizzle with oil, season and toss together.  Put into hot oven for 20/25 min. 

Rinse the puy lentils and boil for about 20/25 min.  

Mix the dressing together then once the lentils are cooked mix in the dressing.  Add the roasted veg and chorizo to the lentil mix and throw in your basil.  Toss together and plate up.  Top with crumbled feta and serve. 

This works great as a warm salad or cold the next day for lunch.

Weekend Shenanagans and Easy Peasy Sweet Jacket Potato

Good afternoon! I am still recovering from one of my oldest and dearest friend’s 30th birthday party at the weekend.  I would love to show you pictures of my rather inebriated attempt at barbecuing late on Saturday night but unfortunately (not) I have no evidence of said activity.  So luckily I can now spread the word of my rather inspired veggie burger creation.  Ok, ok, here’s the truth, I burnt quite a lot of halloumi that night and in an attempt to reconcile with the veggie quota of the party I had to fish around in the kitchen (with some help from some ace sous chefs, might I add) and rustle up a concoction off the top my head.  The results were some very delectable Halloumi and Carrot Burgers consisting of grated carrot, grated halloumi, bread crumbs (I improvised with the grater and a bit of rustic tearing), paprika, basil and egg. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and form into patties then transfer to the BBQ for a quick grilling, and da da! A little cautious turning and transferring later,  sit back and wait for your praise.

Anyways in terms of a proper recipe for today, one involving a picture, I had a little scan through my hard drive and found this simple jacket potato filling idea and thought I would share.  I know this is not fine dining, but it is tasty and it’s the best I can come up with whilst still feeling the effects of too many Jagermeisters, eurrgghh, never again!


Sweet potatoes

For the filling:

An onion, sliced

Some chorizo, chopped into little chunks

A red pepper, sliced

A blob of creme fraiche

Butter and salt


Bake your sweet potatoes in a hot oven.  Whilst the potatoes are cooking fry the onion, pepper and chorizo until soft and lightly browned.  When the potatoes are cooked, split, fill with salt and butter, the onion, pepper and chorizo and top with a blob of creme fraiche.  What more could you want? Simple, no hassle supper served with a salad.

Sweet Potato Jackets with Chorizo, Pepper and Onion Filling

P.S.  The Roasted Red Pepper Burgers had an outing at this BBQ and were a big success, if you a fancy a meaty addition to your BBQ/grill then look here.

Garlic and Herb Chicken Kebabs with a Courgette and Carrot Slaw

I buy chicken thighs all the time, they are cheap and succulent and can be made into a million different dishes.  This is a simple kebab recipe which works great with this slaw.  If you fancy something more substantial then add a couple of pitta or flat breads.


A packet of chicken thighs, skinned and boned

4 big cloves of garlic

A handful of oregano

A handful of parsley

A handful of basil

A tablespoon of olive oil

The zest and juice of half a lemon

Salt and pepper

For the slaw:

1/2 a large courgette

A carrot

2 Spring onions, finely chopped

A dessertspoonful of sherry vinegar

A teaspoon of agave syrup or sugar

A dessertspoonful of olive oil

Salt and pepper


Soak your skewers in water for as long as you can (this helps prevent them from burning).  Cut the chicken into cubes, you should be able to get about 8 pieces from each thigh.  Put chicken into a bowl and add lemon zest, juice, oil, the herbs (finely chopped) and the garlic, crushed or grated.  Mix together and marinate for about half  an hour. 

Thread your chicken onto skewers and grill (or barbecue, the sun’s come out again!) for about 8/10  min a side on high, or until golden and cooked through.  Try to space the chicken out a little to aid the cooking process.

The kebabs ready for the grill...

Mix the sherry vinegar, oil, syrup and salt and pepper until you get a sweet and sour dressing.  Grate the courgette and carrot into a bowl with some finely chopped spring onion and toss in the dressing.

Serve the kebabs with the slaw and perhaps some flat breads.


Gnocchi with a Tomato and Basil Sauce

I think it was Annie from Annies Supper Club who was tweeting about her gnocchi the other day and I was like, yeah that sounds good I must have a go.  So I roughly followed a recipe from Practical Cookery.  This book is great, it’s one of the books catering students are advised to buy when doing their NVQs and it’s perfect for looking up classic recipe formats and ratios.  I halved the recipe and exchanged the plain flour for gluten free plain flour to suit me. 

Serves 2

for the gnocchi:

50g flour (gf for me)

150g of mashed potato

1 egg (well actually about 2/3s of an egg, I just scooped out a bit of the white before mixing

salt and pepper

a small handful of parsley, chopped


First cook your potato, I nuked mine in the microwave, wasn’t sure how much would be 150g cooked so I cooked a large jacket, you could bake or boil it, and then weighed it afterwards.  Microwaving or baking is best because it dries out the potato but you can boil or steam if you wish. 

Mix the mash with the flour, seasoning and herbs.  Mix the egg and stir into the mixture, you might want to get your hand in and combine until in a soft dough.  Break off small pieces and roll into walnut sized balls. Gently flatten balls with a fork. 

Then poach gently in boiling water until they rise to the surface.  Drain and set aside until you’ve made your sauce.

I then made a simple tomato sauce the recipe is the same as the one I used for meatballs in an earlier post so go check it out if you want to.  Once the sauce was ready I put in my gnocchi and warmed through.  Then chucked in a handful of chopped basil, stirred through and served with some grated parmesan. 

Ha ha, I made pasta!!

Tuna Fish Cakes and Basil Mayonnaise

I made this for lunch today.  It’s my first attempt at home made mayonnaise and I’m rather proud of the results and it wasn’t half as hard as I thought it might be (ok ok i did have a semi disaster as had hoped to make a lemony mayo but my first attempt was rather sour so I binned it and started again with a very nice sherry vinegar and it worked out!).


As usual I’m not going to be precise, it depends how many you are making for so just add appropriate amounts and give it a go.

For the fishcakes…

Mashed potato

Spring onions, chopped

Tinned tuna, drained (dolphin friendly please!!)

Salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients together, form in to patties and fry off in a little hot oil.  Pop the oven on and put in there to ensure heated through. 

For the Basil Mayo…

1 egg yolk

Olive oil

a tablespoon or two of sherry vinegar

salt and pepper

About a tablespoon of shredded fresh basil

Whisk the egg yolk, vinegar and seasoning.  Slowly trickle in the oil whisking quickly, my dad always said figure of eight, but just keep whisking and slowly adding oil until thick and glossy. 

Add basil, stir, serve with your fish cakes.  We ate ours with a little tomato and basil salad dressed with some more of that delicious sherry vinegar.

Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Halloumi

Very quick post tonight as I’m cream crackered. 


Quinoa (cooked)

2 peppers, 1 courgette, 1 aubergine, 2 red onions , chopped up in to 1 cm cubes and roasted for a bout half an hour with 4 cloves of garlic (skin on), salt, pepper and olive oil. Squirt out garlic once roasted and mix into veg.

Big bunch of basil whizzed up with glug or two of olive oil, balsamic, and some salt and pepper

Slices of halloumi (mmm halloumi…..)

Mix roasted veg with a spoon ful or two of quinoa, mix in dressing.  Serve in bowl or on a plate and top with griddled halloumi.  I actually added more halloumi after this picture as it is sooo yummy.