Parmigiana Di Melanzane

I love this recipe, you can always add some chicken if you don’t want it to be meat free. Personally I think it’s amazing on its own.

You will need (this recipe was made with three aubergines and I served an entire aubergine as a portion. You could however serve this as a side dish, just slice across (in discs) and arrange in a dish instead of lengthwise like the above.

Aubergines x3

Large red onion

4 cloves of garlic

Olive oil

X2 tins of tomatoes

250g Mozzarella

150g Parmesan

Handful of Fresh basil

Seasoning

Chili flakes

Firstly slice the aubergines lengthwise fairly thinly and place on the side – sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour.

Then rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Now dry fry the aubergines in a hot pan (no oil in the pan) until browned on both sides – set aside on kitchen towel (this will allow for any moisture to be removed).

Meanwhile. Make the sauce – easy.

Dice the onion, peel the garlic and add a splash of olive oil to a pan.

Now add some chilli flakes – personal taste. Then add the tomatoes, seasoning and a cup of water. Leave to cook down and thicken for approx 45 minutes.

Once cooked and nicely thickened take a hand blender and blend everything together, add another glug of olive oil and stir.

Now take an oven dish and begin by putting a couple of spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom. Now place the aubergine slices in the dish and cover with a layer of sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil

Then repeat until all the slices are arranged and top the final layer with everything apart from fresh basil, as this will burn.

Place in a hot oven (180) and cook for an hour.

Serve on its own, with chicken, salad or green veggies.

Garlic & Saffron Prawns with Asparagus, Cauliflower and Broccoli

Serves 4

Approx 750g Prawns / Clams / Mussels / Calamari (or whatever you love)

Head of broccoli

Small cauliflower

Small aubergine

Clove of garlic- crushed

Tsp paprika

Red onion

Pkt of asparagus tips

Celery stick x2

Olive oil

Rosemary

Bunch of fresh mint

Bunch of fresh parsley

Saffron

Turn the broccoli and cauliflower into rice by cutting away the stalk and blitzing in a food processor for a couple of minutes. Add to a large frying pan with a splash of water and juice of one lemon, cover and cook for approx 5 minutes.

Prepare your prawns if using shell on prawns, or use already prepared uncooked prawns. Place these in a marinade of olive oil, sprig of chopped fresh rosemary, salt and saffron. Leave for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely dice the aubergine, celery, onion and add to another pan with a splash of olive oil, a tsp of paprika and the crushed garlic. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Now add the vegetable mix to the broccoli and cauliflower rice and stir to combine everything. Add the chopped mint and parsley. Bunch of each.

Now take your mix of shellfish (whatever you like) and place in a pan with the asparagus and cook for approx 10 minutes with a little butter and splash of water.

Once cooked, transfer the broccoli and cauliflower mix to a bowl and top with the shellfish and asparagus.

Finally, finish with a large spoonful of full fat Greek yoghurt, fresh chopped mint and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and serve

Beer can chicken

This is so easy I almost feel I shouldn’t post, but tastes so good I feel I should !!!

You need

Chicken

Beer can – half full

Butter or olive oil

Your selection of herbs and spices

Take your chicken and slather it with either butter or olive oil and then completely cover with your choice of herbs, spices and salt and pepper.

Then take your can of half full beer and stand your chicken over the can (bottom end not neck) so it is covers at least half the can.

Now apparently you can purchase a “gadget” for the chicken to sit on but I didn’t have one so I placed my chicken in a deep sided pan and it worked great as the chicken sits snuggly on the can anyway and balanced really well through cooking time.

Place in the oven and roast for an hour and a half (depending on size of chicken). I only basted it once half way through.

At the halfway point, I added some radishes and roasted them – delicious 😜

Lamb stuffed aubergines

Jam packed with flavour.

Mine made enough for four portions

Two aubergines

500g minced lamb

Clove of garlic – sliced thinly

Chopped parsley 2 tablespoons or thereabouts

Red onion diced

Teaspoon Ras el hanout

Teaspoon Turmeric

Teaspoon paprika

Two tablespoons of Pine nuts or low cal seeds

Olive oil

Cheese – your choice

Chopped mint

Firstly heat some oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion.

Meanwhile take the aubergines, cut in half length ways and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot oven for approx 30 minutes.

Back to the pan of onions. Now add the meat and cook until brown. Then add all the spices.

stir to ensure everything is mixed well and cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add nuts and chopped parsley (I used a mix of pine nuts and pumpkin and sunflower seeds but use whichever you enjoy – just check on carb content: see below).

Then stir it all around and mix well.

Meanwhile take the aubergines out of the oven and allow to cook for a few moments.

Then scoop the flesh from the skins and put the flesh in with your meat, putting the skins back on the baking tray. Stir around the flesh until all is combined and well mixed then fill the empty skin with the meat mixture and top with grated cheese – as much as you fancy.

Place in a hot oven for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and brown and then serve with chopped mint over the top.

Escalope with a Lemon cream sauce

You will need (this fed three)

Meat of your choice (We had turkey)

200ml of chicken stock

Half a pot of double cream

Lemon zest from one lemon

Juice from one lemon

Salt

Pepper

Butter

Rosemary sprigs

This can be made with any thin cut of meat. Take your chosen meat (here I used turkey, and bash it between two sheets of silver foil until it is nice and thin.

Now add some butter and rosemary to a pan and melt the butter

Now add the meat to the pan and season, then cook until brown on each side

Once browned on both sides remove the meat from the pan and add the stock, lemon zest and juice and cook until reduced by half. Add the cream to the pan and stir. Now place the meat back in the pan with the reduced sauce.

Cook for a further 5/10 minutes turning the meat over in the sauce and serve. We had it with creamed spinach.

Creamed spinach

Utterly gorgeous

You will need

Large bag of spinach

Parmesan grated – approx 3 tablespoons

Small onion diced

Butter or olive oil

Cayenne pepper

Nutmeg – grated

Double cream (approx a mug full)

Salt

Pepper

Firstly put butter or oil in a pan, place spinach in pan and cover for one minute.

After one minute remove lid and start stirring until all spinach has wilted. Remove spinach from pan and drain well until all the water has been removed.

Then chop finely.

Now go back to the pan and add a little more butter and add the diced onion and cook for approx 3/4 minutes.

When the onion is soft, add a pinch of both nutmeg and cayenne pepper and season with with salt and pepper.

Now add cream and stir around. Cook for approx 5/10 minutes until cream has reduced a little then add the chopped drained spinach and Parmesan and stir to combine fully. Cook for a further 10 minutes and then you’re good to go

Braised celery

So easy and delicious (served 3)

I used 3 sticks of celery cut in half.

One onion

Sprig of thyme

4 rashers of steaky bacon

Butter

Clove of garlic

500ml chicken stock

Dice onion. Cut celery in half.

Place butter (50g) in a pan and add onion, cook until soft.

Then add garlic, thyme and bacon (diced). and cook until bacon is browned. Then add the celery and stock.

Cover and simmer for approx 45 mins (until celery is soft).

after 45 mins the stock should have reduced quite considerably and your celery is soft and ready to be served.

I served the celery with fondant and puréed celeriac with roast chicken, and then used the reduced stock as a gravy for my chicken dish.