Harira with Root Vegetables

Harira is an earthy, spicy, hearty Moroccan soup, often eaten to break the Ramadan fast. I like to close my eyes and imagine myself sitting round a camp fire under the stars somewhere near the Atlas Mountains. This is a high-risk strategy as eating soup with your eyes shut is generally not to be recommended unless you’re drinking it out of a mug. Continue reading

Truffles: The Cheapskate’s Fix

Image of black truffle

Black Périgord truffle, image courtesy moi-même

Truffles are divisive … you either love them or hate them, so if you’re looking ahead for a Valentine’s Day recipe for your beloved, it’s as well to check with them first. My husband once watched, with bemusement and possibly just a tinge of horror, as I troughed through an entire truffle-based menu at a French restaurant, from starter through to dessert. Continue reading

Scotch Broth

Image of frosted hydrangeaIn cold and icy weather there are few things more cheering than a big bowl of soup, thick with vegetables and pulses and preferably underpinned by something meaty.

There are probably as many versions of Scotch Broth – known in Glasgow as Your Granny’s Soup – as there are Scottish households. With not a drop of Scots blood in my veins, it is (unusually for a Sassenach) with some humility that I offer my version.  Continue reading

Hot and Spicy Steak Salad

Image of hot and spicy steak salad

Not so much a recipe, this, more a series of suggestions. At its simplest a steak salad is just that, strips of juicy rare steak, hot from the pan, piled on top of a green salad. How you marinade the steak (if you do) and what you put in the salad is up to you. It makes a fast and healthy supper, if you politely ignore the fries Him Outdoors had on the side. Continue reading

Mushroom Goulash

I keep reading articles exhorting me to move meat to the status of a relish and to make vegetables the star of my meals. That’s not a bad solution for people who don’t want to give up meat altogether but are cognisant of the arguments against its production and consumption. While it’s unlikely I’ll ever become a vegetarian (bacon!), let alone a vegan (cheese!), I do try to keep a healthy balance. Continue reading

Portuguese Pork and Clams

Image of Portuguese red pepper pasteThis is my version of the classic Portuguese dish, Porco Alentejana, a succulent mix of pork with clams cooked in a red pepper sauce. It’s a totally different take on surf ‘n’ turf and much more harmonious and subtle than most. It’s a fabulous weekend supper dish. Continue reading

Turkey, Ham and Cranberry Raised Pies

Image of turkey, ham and cranberry raised pies

Personally, I’m very partial to cold cuts in the aftermath of the Big Christmas Day Blow-out and it’s rather nice to have a breather from all the cooking. But if you still have ham and turkey sitting in the fridge after that, these little pies are a real treat and the cranberry sauce gives them a lovely flavour lift. Continue reading

Bubble and Squeak Cake

bs-1-copyI don’t know about you, but we always err on the side of generosity when it comes to the veg we serve on Christmas Day, or just at Sunday lunch. Often we have leftovers and the traditional solution in our house is to make them all into bubble and squeak.

Usually that just means chucking the mixture into a pan and frying it slowly, a bit like a corned beef hash. But if you’d like to make it a bit more presentable, you might want to try making it into a sliceable cake. Continue reading