Archive for September, 2013

No domestic goddess…..

I’m no domestic goddess but I think I could be one, in the right circumstances, with the right people. Not all the time, of course. Sometimes we all need to walk around the house with messy hair, stripy pajama bottoms and baggy sweaters and eat nothing but tomato soup and toasted cheese sandwiches.

Being a domestic goddess to me means to spoil the people one cares about, treat them and show them how much you care with food, attention and time. To give, and also to receive, to quote Joey in Friends. showing my age here…. To give and expect something in return isn’t right, but in a loving and equal relationship this shouldn’t be an issue.

OK, so this was never supposed to be a very personal blog. It’s a blog about food, dammit. But I’m nothing but me and sometimes, just sometimes you’ll get a glimpse. Hope you don’t mind ūüėČ Have a great weekend! Oh, and I don’t know what I’ll be eating today. Tomorrows dinner is roast belly pork and this time with a lovely crackling. Non slimming!




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Lamb kofta with cous cous & salad

As I’ve not had lamb for a very long time, what‚Äôs easier to make than koftas? In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or¬†ground meat.


  • 500 g minced lamb
  • ¬Ĺ onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¬Ĺ green chili, finely chopped (seeds removed if you want a milder flavour)
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander (fresh)
  • Salt & pepper


Mix together all the ingredients until well blended. Divide into eight balls, and then roll each ball on a board with a cupped hand to turn them into ovals. To cook on a griddle, heat the pan until you can feel a good heat rising and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Don’t turn until they are well sealed or the meat will stick to the grill or pan.

I put my koftas in a deep dish with passata and cooked for an additional 20 minutes on low heat.

For the cous cous I mixed in char grilled sweet red pepper and pomegranate. Served with a side-salad of tomatoes, cucumber and lemon zest + crumbly goat cheese and a good splash of good olive oil.



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I had a massive piece of fresh salmon in the freezer and after a bit of googling found a recipe for¬†Aromatic salmon cooked in coconut milk and¬†I’d like to share it with you as it deserves a try. I would probably add some lemon grass and extra chilli for that autumnal kick.

Enjoy! I certainly did.





  • 4 thick¬†salmon¬†steaks
  • 2.5cm/1in piece root¬†ginger, peeled and cut into small, very thin slices
  • 2 large cloves¬†garlic, peeled and cut into small, very thin slices
  • 350g/12oz tomatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 fresh red¬†chilli, de-seeded and sliced as finely as possible
  • 1 small yellow¬†pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4-6¬†cardamom¬†pods, roughly crushed (I didn‚Äôt have any)
  • 400ml/14fl oz tinned¬†coconut milk¬†(I used reduced fat coconut milk)
  • sea¬†salt
  • 2¬†limes, juice only
  • handful of fresh¬†mint¬†leaves, chopped

Preparation method

  1. Put the fish steaks in a fairly shallow ovenproof dish with a lid, into which they fit quite closely.
  2. Scatter the ginger, garlic, tomato, chilli and yellow pepper over and around the fish and the cardamom pods in between.
  3. Empty the coconut milk into a separate bowl, add a good sprinkling of sea salt and gradually stir in the lime juice. Pour the mixture gently over and around the fish and cover the dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Put the dish on the centre shelf and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the fish is lightly done. To discover this insert a small, sharp knife into the centre of one of the steaks – if the flesh is slightly darker pink in the centre it will be perfectly cooked. Remove from the oven.
  5. Before serving scatter the mint leaves on top.



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…often occurs in the strangest of places. Today, while waiting to have my nails done, I came across a food magazine. And I will always reach for the food magazine. Forget fashion and celebrity gossip!

Found a recipe for spinach and lentil soup, which a few years ago would have turned my stomach. No way would I want lentils! But we grow up, don’t we, eventually. (Tofu on the other hand…. A lot more growing up to do.)

So here’s a recipe for middle eastern-spiced spinach and lentil soup, pinched from http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk
Serves 6
Preparation time 1 hour


2 tbsp olive oil (I used 1/2)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
2 tsp sweet paprika (unsmoked), plus extra to serve
1 tbsp tomato purée
250g red lentils
1.5 litres vegetable stock
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
400g spinach, washed, dried, large stalks removed
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

For the garlic yogurt:

100g natural or Greek yogurt
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (optional)


1. For the soup, heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion, carrot, garlic, chili flakes and some salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook over a low heat for 7-8 minutes until soft and lightly golden.

2. Uncover the pan, add the ground cumin and paprika and cook for a few seconds, then stir in the puree. Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and then.

3. Meanwhile make the garlic yogurt by mixing all the ingredients with a pinch of salt. Chill until needed.

4. Add the diced tomatoes to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Bunch up the spinach leaves and slice them across into fine shreds. Fill 6 deep soup bowls to the brim with the spinach, then ladle over the boiling hot soup and stir.

As soon as the spinach has wilted, serve topped with a spoonful of the garlic yogurt, sprinkled with a little paprika and with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Tip – add a few slices of chorizo just before serving.

Nutritional info
196kcals, 6.6g fat (1.3g saturated), 11.9g protein, 22.5g carbs (5.9g sugars), 0.3g salt, 5.1g fibre




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Gary Bainbridge

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