Archives for category: Meals

This is one of my absolute favourite recipes. I love that it is different every time, depending on the proportions and variety of fish etc used, but every time it is so delicious. It is seriously good, although I should warn you that it creates a lot of washing up, and the kitchen will look like a bomb site. Bizarrely, the recipe was a promotional ad for Sensodyne toothpaste in the December 2008 edition of Observer Food Monthly – no, I don’t understand either.

900ml full fat milk
1 small onion, peeled and quartered but with the root intact
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1kg fresh fish and seafood – eg 250g salmon; 350g cod; 150g smoked haddock; 150g prawns; 100g scallops
50g plain flour
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp double cream
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and quartered lengthways
1.5kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
5 tbsp double cream
150g grated cheddar

Pour the milk into a large pan and add the onion, bay leaves and thyme. Place the fish into the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook over a low heat for 10 mins, the set aside for a further 10 mins. Drain the fish through a colander, discard the onion, thyme and reserve the infused milk.

Boil the potatoes for 15-18 mins until soft. Drain well then mash with the butter until smooth. Season to taste. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for about 30 seconds, the gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook for about five minutes until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Season well and stir in the parsley and cream.

Remove any skin from the fish and discard (NB put in the outside bin straight away to stop the house smelling of fish). Flake into large pieces. Add the fish, prawns and scallops to the sauce and fold in gently. Put the egg in then bottom of a two litre ovenproof dish then spoon over the fish mixture. Top with the mashed potato and use the back of a fork to ensure that it goes right to the edge and to make a ridged pattern. Sprinkle over the grated cheese. Place on a baking tray and bake for 30 mins until piping hot (add a further ten minutes if made in advance). Serve with peas.





A brilliant supper. Easy, nutritious, can be made in advance, and my daughter can feed it to herself. What’s not to like? The grated courgette is a good way to sneak some extra veg into the meal and also makes the meat go further. I like to serve this with peas on the side, for some contrast and some colour on the plate, but they could be added into the mix too. In fact, the recipe can be varied to accommodate whatever is in the fridge (eg no onions, as we have run out; splash of passata as we had some to use up; Parmesan instead of cheddar, to give a crisper topping). A perfect end of the week meal.


500g lean beef mince
1 stock cube
1 dssp Worcester sauce
Salt & pepper
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 courgette, coarsely grated
75g passata
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
Butter and milk
50g cheddar, grated


Brown the meat in a large pan on a low heat. Crumble in the stock cube and add the Worcester sauce. Add a splash of water and / or olive oil if it starts to stick. Season well. Stir in the carrots then the courgette and leave to cook for about five minutes. Stir in the passata and taste – adjust seasoning as required. When the carrots are starting to soften, turn off the heat and spoon into an oven proof dish. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes and potatoes in a large pan until really soft. Take off the heat, add a splash of milk and a knob of butter and seasoning to taste, then mash until smooth and mixed together. Spoon over the meat and use the back of a fork to spread the mash so that it completely covers it. Go right to the edges to prevent the meat bubbling up and out during cooking. Make ridges across the top with the fork then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Cook at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the top is brown andbthe meat piping hot. Serve immediately on its own or with additional veg.



Near tragedy yesterday when my iPad died on me mid-post. Magically overnight it has fixed itself…phew!

Yesterday’s dinner was a pasta bake to use up some odds and ends – particularly some tomatoes from the garden that haven’t had enough sun to be sweet enough to eat on their own. Roasted, however, they were delicious. The ingredients below could be amended to incorporate whatever is lurking in the fridge, and it can be served on its own as a light supper – perhaps with a garden salad on the side- or as a side to something eg we had it with roast chicken. It’s really simple to make, it just takes a bit of time (and creates a fair amount of washing up). It could be made in advance and popped in the oven nearer the time.

300g large pasta shapes eg rigatoni
1kg tomatoes (any shape or size, but include at least a few big ones)
2 medium aubergines
2 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls of fresh basil
350g mozzarella
150g gruyere
100g Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Halve the tomatoes through their middles (ie not through their cores) and place cut side up in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season well and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes at 160 degrees. Meanwhile slice the aubergine into rounds, place in a colander, salt well and leave over a sink or bowl to draw any bitter juices. Rinse well and pat dry, then lay in a single layer on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper, drizzle with oil and roast with the tomatoes for a further 45 minutes. Cook the pasta until it is al dente (do not overcook, as it will cook more in the oven). Drain well and stir through a couple of good glugs of olive oil to stop it all sticking together plus the garlic cloves, chopped or pressed. Slice the mozzarella thinly and grate the other cheese.

Turn the oven up to 180 degrees and assemble the bake by layering in the following order:

seasoning well as you go.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top is brown and crisp.