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

Spatchcocked Poussin with Harissa

Spatchcocking poultry is one of those things that many cooks avoid because they think it’s difficult, but it’s actually very easy. All you’re doing is removing the backbone so the bird can be flattened out for speedy roasting. It means you can have supper on the table remarkably quickly.

I’ve used poussins here, baby chickens which will cook in about three-quarters of an hour Continue reading

Minute Steaks with Chimichurri

Image of minute steaks with chimichurri

I was once whizzing down from the top of a mountain in Argentina in a rather antiquated cable car when its operator fixed with me an evil grin and said: “Remember the Malvinas!” Fortunately for me he was only joking and in spite of any lingering feelings (on either side) about the Falklands War I met with nothing but warmth and friendship as I travelled around the country.

For a month I lived almost entirely on steak. Continue reading

Spanish-style Rice

According to Catalan cookery expert Rachel McCormack, when a Spanish man cooks rice, it’s called a paella. When a woman does it, it’s called a rice dish. Humph.

This is closer to a Spanish-style stir-fry, a version of what my in-laws call a chuck-in rice. It is nonetheless delicious and it’s very quick to make, assuming that you have some cooked basmati sitting in the fridge. If not, it’s worth cooking some just to make this. Continue reading

Chicken with Butterbeans and Chorizo

Image of kitchen cupboardThere are some things I always try to have in the house: tins of beans and tomatoes, jars of roasted peppers, a spicy chorizo, fresh tomatoes, eggs, cheese, onions and garlic, fresh herbs. That way, I can always knock up something tasty to eat even if I haven’t made the trek to the shops, which for me involves a 20 minute drive in both directions.

Sometimes it means we’ll have a simple omelette for supper. At other times, I crave something fresh and spicy and pungent. This intensely garlicky one-pot tray bake is quick to prepare and cook. Continue reading

Tamarind-glazed Mackerel

Image of raw mackerel fillets

Most of us don’t eat enough fish. The UK government guidelines say (and I know we don’t trust them after they cut our recommended booze allowance, but still) we should eat two helpings a week, one of which should be an oily fish. This is a good place to start.

Mackerel is a fish that can take strong flavours. It benefits from sour notes to combat its richness, which is why it’s traditionally served with a gooseberry sauce. With goosegogs out of season I turned to Asian flavours: tamarind, ginger and chilli. Continue reading