Recipe: Green Tortilla Pizza

You already know how much I like a tortilla pizza for a speedy weeknight supper, but last weekend I made some green ones (literally and figuratively!) for lunch and they were so good I immediately wanted to share the recipe. And write it down for my own sake too, as it really was a winning combination and such a satisfying lunch!

An added bonus is that I have finally found a good use for green peppers (my least favourite pepper) and they taste great here, so now you know what to do with all those green peppers that come in the mixed packets. For me, they’re always left after I have used the red, yellow and orange ones.

Green tortilla pizzas, serves 2

Two medium flour tortillas

2 tbsp creme fraiche

2 handfuls grated cheddar

1 small courgette, sliced

1 medium green pepper, cut into thin strips

2 spring onions, sliced

2 large handfuls fresh spinach

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

1 batch green tahini yoghurt dressing

Place the two tortillas on a baking tray. Spread the creme fraiche onto the tortilla and scatter with cheddar. Add a little salt and pepper before adding the vegetables with the spinach and spring onions on top. Add more salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in 220C oven for 5-10 minutes. Add a few spoonfuls of green tahini yoghurt dressing to each pizza and serve.

Recipe: Tarragon Chicken

One of my go-to dishes of 2020 was this easy and delicious tarragon chicken. Initially inspired by Nigella’s recipe but I have now made so many changes to her version that I need to write down my own recipe.

The biggest difference between her recipe and mine is the cut of chicken we use. I know chicken breast is the traditional option here, but I prefer chicken thigh fillets and they become so juicy and delicious I wouldn’t make this any other way!

What I love about this dish is that it’s quick to make (like 15-20 minutes with no prep) but still feels elevated. It would be perfect for date night or even a dinner party (remember those?). Or why not a summer’s lunch with cold rosé and a green salad or asparagus instead of the broccoli?!

Tarragon chicken, serves 2

4-5 chicken thigh fillets

2 tbsp mild olive oil

1 tsp dried tarragon

100 ml dry white wine

1/2 tsp salt

120 ml double cream

2 tsp dried tarragon

salt and pepper

Pour the oil into a medium saucepan. Heat to medium temperature and add 1 tsp tarragon. Cook for a minute then add the chicken thigh fillets, smooth side down on top of the tarragon. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the chicken and add the wine and salt. Lower the temperature to a simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes. Check with a knife to see that the thicken is cooked through, then remove to a plate and let rest while you finish the sauce. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the cream and 2 tsp tarragon to the pan. Let it thicken slightly and adjust the seasoning. Serve with buttery rice and broccoli.

Recipe: Rösti with Prawns, Creme Fraiche, Lemon and Dill

Friday night supper.

For me, it’s in a category all of its own. In between weeknight food that I want to be healthy, nutritious, quick(ish) to cook and relatively cheap. And weekend food that I like to be more elaborate and interesting, and a celebration of time off from work.

As Friday night sits between those two categories; after a work day (and week!) but before a long Saturday lie-in, I definitely want something quick and easy, but also something nicer and more exciting than weeknight food. Enter this classic Scandi dish: crispy rösti with prawns, creme fraiche, lemon and dill.

All you need to do is grate potatoes and fry them until crispy in plenty of butter, drain some prawns and assemble with some creme fraiche, lemon and fresh dill on plates. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand already!

Rösti with prawns, creme fraiche, lemon and dill, serves 2

4 medium sized firm potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled

2-4 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

approx 100 ml full fat creme fraiche

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

200 g fresh Atlantic prawns, drained

bunch of dill, chopped

Start by adding some butter and a little oil to a frying pan and heat it to medium-high. Grate two potatoes (using a regular grater, rotary grater or Moulinex or a food processor. Add the grated potatoes to the pan shaping it like a thick pancake. Pat down with a spatula, season generously and wait for it to brown. Fry until golden brown on both sides, adding butter and oil as needed, and the potatoes are cooked through, approx 8-12 minutes. Keep warm on a plate or in the oven while you repeat the process with a second rösti.

Place the röstis on a plate each. Add creme fraiche, and prawns. Season well and and scatter with dill. Place a lemon wedge on each plate and squeeze some lemon over before serving with the remaning wedges.

Recipe: The Famous THE DIP!

We may not be entertaining very much at the moment, but I think we should all practice making this addictive dip until we can, so when the lockdown lifts and we’re free to see a few people again, we know what to make. Because I imagine that first little gathering will be a bit stressful and shaky for many of us, mainly because we will be so happy and eager to see our friends or family again but also because we’ll be out of practice cooking for more than our household.

So start with something simple, yet utterly delicious (i.e. this dip!) and stick to something you’ve made many times for the next dish. Because the last thing we want when we can finally see our friends again is to be stuck in the kitchen.

While you practice making it though, it will brighten your evenings at home. It’s the maximum dividend for a very small investment of labour. I love it with a selection of pitta chips (homemade or store-bought) and crudités.

The original recipe is by Alison Roman (of salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread cookie fame!) and as many of her amazing recipes, it broke the internet (hence the famous in the title of this post). I totally recommend buying her cookbooks for more of her incredible recipes – I just love her style of cooking!

Labneh dip with sizzled spring onions and chilli, aka The dip, serves 6

Adapted from Alison Roman’s recipe.

180 ml olive oil

4 spring onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (leaves and tender stems) or chives, plus more for garnish

sea salt

 freshly ground black pepper

475 ml labneh (or full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat the olive oil, spring onions, chilli flakes and coriander in a small pot over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the scallions and red-pepper flakes start to visually and audibly sizzle and frizzle and turn the oil a bright, fiery orange. Remove from the heat, and let cool enough to taste without burning your mouth, then season with salt and pepper.

Combine the labneh and lemon juice in a medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl and swirl in the sizzled scallion mixture. Top with extra coriander, if you like.

Recipe: Mushroom Carpaccio with Burrata and Crostini

While we’re patiently waiting for spring and tomato season, or as I prefer to call it; TOMATO AND BURRATA season, because there is no better combination of flavours ever, I have another easy burrata recipe to share. One that is as simple as slicing a tomato and tear a burrata into chunks. Well almost.

It’s a completely different flavour profile with earthy but fresh mushrooms, grassy olive oil and some lemon to brighten it all up, paired with that delicious creamy burrata. Serve with or on top of crostini for more texture.

Mushroom carpaccio with burrata and crostini, serves 2 as a starter

Inspiration from Systrarna Eisenman.

For the crostini:

1 small baguette

2 tbsp olive oil

For the carpaccio:

1 small burrata, at room temperature, torn into chunks

100 g button mushrooms, as fresh as possible

small bunch of parsley or chives, finely chopped

a drizzle of grassy olive oil

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Slice the baguette thinly. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Place in a 180C oven until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool.

Wash, pat dry and trim the mushrooms, then slice them as thinly as possible. Arrange on a plate or platter either underneath or on top of the burrata. Scatter with herbs, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Serve the crostini on the side.

Recipe: Green Tahini Yoghurt + Veggie Rice Bowl

As this third UK lockdown coincides with the beginning of a new year, I’ve been trying to cook a bit differently during the weeks. More vegetables (I have subscribed to a vegetable box), less meat and a bit healthier. But also more variety; trying new dishes and recipes.

One of my latest discoveries is this green tahini yoghurt, which goes with absolutely anything! I initially made it for our veggie rice bowls but I’ve also used it with fritters and lots of different leftovers.

It’s the perfect healthy sauce and dressing option to keep in your fridge! It’s fresh and herby, but has depth and a bit of a kick from the garlic. I just love it!

Our veggie bowls were nice too, but really just a clear out of the vegetable drawer so I won’t give you a recipe. But I can give you a formula for what I think a good veggie rice bowl should contain to make it interesting and delicious!

Green tahini yoghurt, one batch

1 150 ml pot Greek yoghurt (not fat free)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1-2 tbsp water

2-3 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp tahini

1 small bunch of coriander, stems included

plenty of salt and a bit of pepper

Mix all the ingredients together using a stick blender or a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Veggie rice bowl formula

1 portion rice per person

at least five types of vegetables, some fresh, some roasted and some pickled (think different textures but flavours that go together)

season well

add some lemon or lime juice

serve with a sauce or dressing

garnish with something interesting like crispy fried onions, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts etc

Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with Spring Onions

There are so many aspects of a roast chicken supper that I like. That the golden roasted bird with herbs, lemon and butter pairs fantastically well with dauphinoise potatoes and is a real joy to eat is of course number one. But it’s also extremely satisfying that I can make stock from the bones to use for soup or stews. And that I can use leftovers for both sandwiches and (at least) another supper! You really can stretch a chicken quite far, especially if you’re frugal with the leftovers and use with pasta, as I explained in this post.

Like that recipe, this one came about in the usual manner; while creating a dish using leftover chicken and what else I had to hand at that time. In this case mushrooms and spring onions. The result, so good I wanted to share it with the world!

Creamy chicken and mushrooms pasta with spring onions, serves 2

250 g spaghetti 

100 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp butter

1 garlic clove, grated or finely chopped

150 ml cream

1 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 tbsp tomato paste

150 g leftover roast chicken, torn into bite size pieces

3 spring onions, sliced  

approx 100 ml pasta water 

salt and pepper

grated parmesan

Cook the spaghetti al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms until golden brown on medium-high heat. Season. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic. After a minute or so add the cream and stir while it thickens. Add lemon juice and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the chicken and half of the spring onions. Add the cooked pasta and some pasta water and using tongs or a wooden fork, move the pasta so the sauce thickens. Once each strand of spaghetti has a nice coating of sauce remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and peppar. Add grated parmesan and the remaining spring onion and serve.

Recipe: The ABSOLUTE best chocolate chip cookies!

I made these at the beginning of the first lockdown, and although my largest bowl was barely large enough to hold the full batch, they gave me so much joy those few weeks in solitude.

The recipe calls for a whole 36 hours of rest in the fridge, which was really difficult for this impatient cook to adhere to, so I made sure to bake the dough after a few hours of rest, after 24 hours and finally after 36 hours. All in the name of research, of course. And this highly scientific empirical study showed that the dough that had rested the longest in the fridge indeed made the best cookie. So have patience, my friends!

Typical lockdown activity, attempting a self portrait with the cookies one just baked 🙈

Also in the name of research, I made sure to microwave a few balls of cookie dough until gooey and heavenly and ate with vanilla ice cream. Highly recommend!

Please note that the recipe below has been halved, to easier fit our medium sized mixing bowls. Just double it if you want the full batch. I would recommend making two smaller batches though – easier on the arms (when mixing) and on the tummy, as these are really difficult to resist!

A final tip; instead of baking them all immediately, I froze a few dough balls and kept in my freezer for when I wanted still warm cookies (is there anything better than those bits of melted chocolate?!) straight from the oven, which I have to admit was quite often…

The ABSOLUTE best chocolate chip cookies, makes about 20 cookies

Adapted from David Leite’s (phenomenal) recipe.

410 ml plain flour

3/5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

140 g unsalted butter, softened

145 ml light brown sugar

130 ml caster sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

280 g chocolate, minimum 60% cocoa, chopped

sea salt

Mix flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In another bowl, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients bit by bit while stirring. Add the chocolate and mix well. Press cling film against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.

To bake, pre-heat the oven to 175C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop dough onto the baking sheet, pressing down on chocolate pieces sticking up. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18-20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Recipe: Egg Mayonnaise Sandwiches

Now that we spend so much more time at home than ever before I have started to make more sandwiches, most often for lunch but sometimes for supper too.

And a firm favourite is the egg mayo sarnie. Mainly because I always always have all the ingredients* to hand. So all I need to do is cook the eggs (I like mine runny on the point of jammy which makes the egg mayo so much better!), leave them to cool a little, chop them up and mix with mayo and a few other ingredients.

One ingredient I may not always have at home is chives, but it can be substituted for anything green really; chopped parsley, thinly sliced spring onions, even leeks one of which I tend to always have in the fridge. But if you really can’t find a fitting substitution in your kitchen it’s nice without too.

Egg mayo sandwiches, makes 2

4 slices bread of choice

butter for the bread

3 large eggs

2-3 tbsp good quality mayo (I use Hellmann’s)

1 tsp dijon or English mustard

a generous amount of salt and pepper

a splash of lemon juice

2 tbsp chopped chives

Start by boiling the eggs. Bring water to the boil in a sauce pan and submerge the eggs with a spoon one at a time. Cook for 6 minutes then drain and place the eggs in a bowl of cold water. Refresh with cold water after a minute or so. When the eggs are around room temperature, peel and chop them roughly. Mix mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, lemon juice and chives in a bowl. Add the eggs, including all the runny yolk that’s spilled onto the cutting board. Mix well and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Butter all the bread slices on one side. Add a generous amount of egg mayo on two of the bread slices. Place the other two bread slices buttered side down to create two sandwiches. Cut in half to serve.

Recipe: Raspberry Moscow Mule

It’s not often I make (or drink) cocktails, I must admit. I’m much more of a wine or champagne person. But, I have a few exceptions. My cocktails of choice are always refreshing and never cloyingly sweet. I love the bitterness of a gin and tonic, the tartness of a pisco sour, and since this summer I also love a refreshing raspberry Moscow mule!

I was inspired by Meghan Donovan’s Let’s Make a Drink series on instagram and immediately after seeing her make Moscow Mules tried this raspberry version. It’s SO good! My boyfriend and I enjoyed in in the summer before a barbecue and during my Christmas break I introduced it to mamma and pappa who also loved it as we have similar tastes when it comes to drinks and cocktails.

I can’t wait to start a dinner party with this drink and a few snacks, once the world opens up again, but I will enjoy it before then too! It’s just so fresh!

Raspberry Moscow Mule, serves 2

handful fresh or frozen raspberries

90 ml vodka

60 ml lime juice

30 ml simple syrup

250 ml bottle ginger beer

ice cubes

Add a handful of frozen or fresh raspberries in a small jug. Mush them up a little. Add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup. Mix well. Pour (raspberries and all but strain it if you prefer) into two glasses over ice. Add ginger beer. Decorate with a sprig of mint.