All posts tagged: easy dinner recipe

Pearled spelt risotto with butternut squash and spinach

December is a very decadent month for me. First of all, it’s my birthday, followed closely by various Christmas drinks, dinners and parties. And if that’s not enough, then there’s Christmas itself. Not to mention a boozy New Year. Throughout the month, all I kept thinking to myself was that come January I would be better to my body. So here comes the healthier eating. The thing is, I do love healthy foods. A quinoa salad is one of my favourite lunch dishes and I adore pulses, brown rice and wholewheat pasta. I’m also a fan of pearled spelt, commonly known as faro. So one of my first healthy New Year recipes comes after I swapped the usual white risotto rice for Sharpham Park pearled spelt. The pearled spelt gave the dish a crunchy texture and nutty flavour, which I prefer. I also much prefer the fact that pearled spelt is more easily digestable than wheat and higher in nutrients. Try it, not only will you taste buds love it, your body will too. Pearled …

Home made spaghetti recipe

I love my KitchenAid. Not only does it whip up the best tasting cakes, it also helps me in my quest to making the best fresh spaghetti, thanks to the pasta attachment. Last night I decided, for the second time, to try my hand at making fresh pasta. The first time hadn’t quite gone to plan and I ended up with slightly thicker tagliatelle than I wanted. Combined with too short a cooking time, it was a bit claggy and not overly pleasant. The inspiration for this dish came from one of my favourite food magazines, Donna Hay. I first discovered the magazine on my travels around Australia and was disgruntled when I came home, thinking that I wouldn’t be able to find it over here. I was wrong. Selfridges sells it, albeit at a premium price. But it is imported from Australia and it’s totally worth every penny. I love fresh, simple pasta so decided only to use my handy little tins of Nudo Extra Virgin basil oil, Nudo Extra Virgin Sicilian lemon oil, …

Pearl barley, cavolo nero, beetroot and Goats cheese risotto recipe

I love pearl barley. LOVE it. And if I didn’t love it enough because of how tasty and versatile it is, I love it even more because it is so cheap. It costs roughly 50p for a 500g bag. I have had pearl barley dishes at some of my favourite London restaurants / cafes – Petersham Nurseries, Polpo and Meatballs to name a few, each dish different. Salads, stews, risottos, you name it. I have cooked it a fair few times myself too, most recently with lamb. A few weeks ago I was staying with a friend in Stoke Newington and she introduced me to the best green grocers I have ever come across. Situated on Newington Green, the appropriately and simply titled Newington Green Fruit and Vegetetables sells a wide (and when I say wide, I mean wide) range of vegetables, exitoc fruits, herbs and condiments. And the best thing is the prices. I bought a huge bag of veg for a mere £8, something that would have cost double the price in my …

Pan fried duck with damson sauce, bok choi and shiitake mushrooms

This dish was inspired by my recent London treasure hunt, where I was given an insight into the fascinating culture of Hong Kong. Read more about my experiences here. Ingredients 2 duck breasts 1 star anise 3 sprigs of rosemary 25 butter 10 shiitake mushrooms 1/2 red chilli, cut into rings (keep seeds in) 200g bok choi A few drops of fish sauce 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp groundnut oil 3 cloves garlic 120g white rice Sea salt and pepper to season For the damson sauce 3 cm ginger, grated 1 red chilli, seeds removed and diced 225g damsons, stoned and halved 75g light muscovado sugar 15ml balsamic vinegar Method For the damson sauce 1. Stone the damsons and place into a pan, along with the balsamic vinegar, chilli and ginger. Cover with the sugar and plase on a medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and leave to bubble for 5 minutes or until the damsons are soft 2. Blend the damson mixture until smooth and the pass through a …

Small plates – lamb and pearl barley, tomato salad and roasties

Small plates are all the rage at the moment. Some of my favourite London restaurants are serving them and those restaurants have become extremely popular over the last year. Take Polpo as an example. The small Beak Street Venetian restaurant did so well that owner Russell Norman quickly opened a sister restaurant, Polpetto on Dean Street above the infamous a French House watering hole. This was followed by Spuntino, a scarily cool American diner set in downtown New York in the prohibition era. This week he is also due to open his fourth, no doubt fabulous restaurant in Covent Garden, Da Polpo. I can’t wait. So my Sunday dinner this week was mostly inspired by a few dishes that I have recently had at Polpo. Roast shoulder of Lamb with pearl barley and pan fried mushrooms, vine ripened and Golden Beauty plum tomatoes with marinated red onion, basil and radish and a simple plate of rosemary roast potatoes. For some reason, food seems more satisfying when sharing with your fellow diners and I much prefer …