Foccacia

This is one I picked up at a class at Belfast Cookery School on bread making. It’s a simple and highly adaptable recipe for light Italian bread that’s very moreish! You can add a wide range of toppings – olives, roasted peppers, garlic, fennel seeds – but it’s lovely and simple just with rosemary, salt…

Best Ever Banana Bread

This is a family favourite and one of those ‘go to’ recipes I make again and again; especially if there are a few overripe bananas in the fruit bowl. It barely lasts a day in our house and is so so easy to make – I’d encourage even the most hesitant would-be baker to give…

A Green Shakshuka (of Sorts)

This is a great catch-all dish – perfect for using up leftovers or veg that’s on its last legs and just FULL of goodness. Really filling too thanks to the potatoes and eggs – it really does have everything. I was inspired by a recipe  I spotted in the Good Housekeeping magazine I browsed through…

Tabbouleh with Pomegranate, Apricot and Pistachio

This is pretty much stolen directly from James Martin’s Home Comforts book, but I have made one or two tweaks to the original. What I love about tabbouleh is the freshness, variety of textures and the feeling that everything you’re eating is packed with goodness. This couldn’t really be simpler and it goes well with…

Shopska Salad

Such a simple salad this one, but truly delicious and perfect for a hot summer’s day. I tasted it in Skopje, Macedonia on a short work visit in March 2017 and really wasn’t sure it would be for me, but it was delicious and I made and shared it as part of my feast for…

Orzo Salad with Pesto, Tomatoes and Feta

Number one son gets very bored with sandwiches for school lunch and is something of a pasta freak, so I tried this and he happily scoffed it over a couple of days – minus the Feta as he’s not a fan, but I am! You could use other types of pasta here, but I’d suggest…

Spiced Salmon Tacos with Avocado Cream

For my Mexican Bistro Night at the end of June, I wanted a second main course that would be light, tasty, fresh and would appeal to non-meat eaters (who eat fish though). This fits the bill perfectly and I suspect there may be many who wish they’d chosen this option rather than the beef (even…

Slow-Cooker Smoky Chilli Beef

This was my second attempt at a slow-cooked chilli beef to add to my Mexican Bistro Night menu. The first one worked well and you can find in on here, but this is a smokier version, made with brisket that just pulls apart and shreds into sumptious, softly spiced, melt in the mouth meat and…

Slow-Cooker ‘Real’ Beef Chilli

If you have a slow-cooker, it’s perfect for this chilli beef dish made with steak pieces rather than mince. The slow cooking means you can get the most out of an inexpensive cut of meat and enjoy chunks of smokey beef with beans and a chilli-infused rich sauce. If your slow cooker has a delay…

Rustic Hummus

What makes this hummus special is the spicy, toasted topping that adds both texture and another layer of flavour. Plus it looks great! Purists will tell you the chickpeas need to be dried rather than tinned and ideally, I’d agree, but on this occasion, I didn’t have the time to soak them overnight, so a…

Chicken, chorizo and black bean enchiladas

Serves 3-4  |  50 mins including cooking I found a pack of tortillas in the cupboard that needed used up, youngest son wanted enchiladas for his birthday eve dinner and this is what I pulled together with the ingredients in my fridge and storecupboard to keep him happy. We served this with some soured cream,…

Citrus and Za’atar Roast Chicken

From ‘Sirocco’ – Sabrina Ghayour’s second book of mouthwatering middle-eastern recipes. This makes a nice change from the standard herb and lemon chicken I do most Sundays. Serves 6+ depending on appetites and size of bird ǀ approx 2hrs cooking Ingredients One free-range chicken, about 2.5kg or so (calculate cooking time at about 45mins per…