Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

As you know, I love a quick and easy dinner. When it’s hot outside I want something simple and healthy. This teriyaki marinade works well with beef, chicken or salmon.

I much prefer to make a stir fry with fresh individual ingredients rather than a bag of standard stir fry mix. It just tastes a lot better and full of crunchy loveliness. The lime adds a fresh zing.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 sirloin steaks

2 glugs sesame oil

Stir Fry sauce

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 cloves garlic – minced

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 teaspoon honey

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1 nest of noodles

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

1 cup mange tout

1 cup mini corn – chopped

1/2 red pepper

1 small carrot – thinly sliced

2 cabbage leaves

1/2 tin water chestnuts – drained

Method

Firstly mix up your sauce and set aside.

Add your noodles to a pan of boiling water.

Rub your steaks with a little oil and slice into thin strips about 1cm thick, removing any fat.

Chop all your veg into smallish pieces.

Heat your wok and pan fry your steak over a high heat for a couple of minutes adding a tablespoon of the stir fry sauce.

Add a drizzle more oil and put in your vegetables and pan fry until slightly softened but still crisp to bite. This should take about 5 minutes or so.

Once your noodles are cooked, drain them and add a teaspoon of sesame oil to loosen. Tip them into the mix and then add the stir fry sauce ensuring all the ingredients are fully coated.

Serve immediately.


Berry Cheesecake

Where are my cheesecake lovers? Impossible to resist a slice. Crunchy ginger base with creamy vanilla topping adorned with sweet juicy blueberries and strawberries. I had the compliment of someone saying this was the best cheesecake they ever tasted when I served this. I’d be inclined to agree.

A simple dessert that looks and tastes like you have gone to so much more effort. What’s more it’s no bake!

Make this for the cheesecake lovers in your life.

Ingredients

300g ginger nut biscuits

100g butter

150ml double cream

350g cream cheese

100g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cup of blueberries

Cup of strawberries

Method

Line and grease an 8 inch loose bottomed tin with greaseproof paper

Blitz your biscuits into crumbs however you desire. I wrap in wax wrap and smash with a rolling pin.

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the crumbs. Stir to coat every crumb.

Press the coated crumbs into a loose bottomed cake tin to form the base of the cheesecake. Press down firmly with your fist to ensure a neat base.

Pop in the fridge to chill while you prepare the topping.

In a large mixing bowl tip in your cream cheese, cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar. Whisk together for a couple of minutes so all the ingredients combine beautifully.

Remove base from fridge and spread over the creamy topping.

Arrange your berries on top and pop back in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Serve on a cake stand for added beauty.


Sriracha Lamb Koftas

These sriracha lamb koftas are delicious served in lightly toasted pittas packed full of salad and onion, served with lots more sriracha for dipping. Gently spiced with cumin, sriracha and full of garlic and chives. They’re delicious eaten alfresco or on the BBQ. Make them for a delicious change to burgers.

Serves 4

Makes 8 koftas

Ingredients

400g lamb mince

3 tablespoons sriracha

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3 cloves garlic – minced

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

12 chives – snipped small

Glug of olive oil

Extra sriracha for dipping

Pitta and salad with onion to serve.

Method

Add the lamb mince and all your ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine. I do this wearing disposable gloves!

Form the mince into 8 patties. I do this by dividing the mince into half and making four out of each half of the mince so I get even koftas. If time is on your side pop them in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up. If not pop them straight into a hot pan with a glug or two of olive oil in it.

With a pan slice move the patties about and turn every now and then to cook evenly. You might need to press them down with the pan slice to keep them in a nice shape.

Once they look bronzed and lightly crisp they’re ready to serve.

Lightly toast your pittas and cut in half. Open them with a knife being careful not to let the steam scald you! Now load in your koftas along with all the salad and onion and more sriracha. Enjoy!


Duck Breast with Plum and Red Wine Sauce

A beautiful alternative to a roast dinner that takes under half an hour to put on the table. It really is worth making your own plum and red wine sauce, especially since it’s virtually impossible to find one in the shops. Let the duck rest for five minutes or so before slicing.

We had this with a nice glass of Shiraz. Don’t waste any left over wine if there is any chance of doing so just pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze to use in stocks and sauces at a later date.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 duck breasts

1 shallot

3 plums, stoned and sliced into thin wedges

50ml red wine

300ml stock

Salt and cracked black pepper to season

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c

Score your duck in a criss cross pattern.

Pan fry skin side down in a knob of butter heated in the frying pan on a fairly high heat for 5 minutes. Turn and cook for a further minute.

Place on a foil lined baking tray skin side up and cook for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven.

Meanwhile, make the plum and red wine sauce. Start by pan frying your chopped shallot in a glug of hot olive oil until it is softened. Add red wine and stock. Blitz with a stick blender if you want a smooth sauce which is what I prefer. Simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add your brown sugar and stir.

When the duck is ready simply pour the sauce over the duck and serve with creamy mashed potatoes and veg of choice.


Pineapple Sorbet

This pineapple sorbet brings back great memories of having frozen sorbet in a fruit shell at the Indian restaurant when I was a kid. They are the easiest thing ever to make and kids and adults with love them. Add a sneaky shot of Malibu into the adult ones if you fancy.

Ingredients

1 small pineapple

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Method

Simply scoop out your pineapple leaving just the shell with about 1 cm of pineapple around the inside.

Blend your pineapple, lemon juice and honey until smooth and transfer to the inside of the pineapple.

Freeze overnight for best results.


Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

Simple is sometimes best. This three ingredient salad is so beautiful and bursting with flavour. You don’t even need to add a dressing.

An ideal side for a picnic or bbq. The mint brings back all the lovely memories of my nan’s garden as a child.

Ingredients

1 small watermelon chopped into triangle pieces.

1/2 a block of feta cheese

Handful of chopped mint.

Method

Simply chop your watermelon into slices, quarters then into smaller triangles removing the rind.

Arrange in your serving dish, sprinkle over your feta and scatter on the chopped mint.

Perfect Summer food.


Blueberry Ice cream

It’s national ice cream month. To celebrate I’ve made homemade blueberry ice cream with a blueberry coulis. Unbelievably easy to make and perfect to cool you down in the heat.

I served with lots of fresh strawberries.

serves 4

Ingredients

300g double cream

300g frozen blueberries

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

50g light brown sugar

Coulis

100g blueberries

1 dessert spoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon icing sugar

2 tablespoons water

Method

Simply add all your ingredients to the blender and whizz in a food processor.

Transfer to a freezer proof container, a deep cake tin works wonders. Cover and freeze overnight.

Remove from freezer 15 minutes before you need to serve.

For the coulis

Heat all your ingredients for the coulis over a low heat in a pan and simmer gently until the blueberries soften. Whizz the ingredients in a blender or with a stick blender which is easier for smaller quantities and pour over the ice cream.


Mozzarella and Nectarine Salad

Another simple three ingredient Summer salad. Nectarine, mozzarella and lambs leaf. Nectarines are beautiful at this time of year. Try to buy the soft ripe ones as this will really make the salad.

I served with chicken schnitzel and some garlic bread for an impromptu dinner with friends. Beautiful food, beautiful rosé wine and beautiful company.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Bag of lambs leaf salad

2 ripe nectarines

2 balls of mozzarella

Dressing

I made up a dressing of three parts extra virgin olive oil to one part cider vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, salt, cracked black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Method

Simply arrange your lambs leaf lettuce in a bowl. Tear up your balls of mozzarella and dot about in the salad leaves.

Slice up your nectarines into wedges roughly the size of a peach slice from a tin and arrange on top of the salad.

Mix up your dressing and spoon over. Gently massage into the ingredients and serve immediately.


Beef Curry

A beautiful beef curry that falls apart upon biting into it. The sauce is a blend of tomatoes and coconut milk. I used low fat coconut milk as an experiment to keep it lower fat and to be honest I couldn’t tell the difference in this curry. Feel free to add a few vegetables. Courgettes and butternut squash would work well. Always with mango chutney though! Tip: Throw a few cardamom pods or a cinnamon stick in with your rice while it is steaming to add flavour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

350g diced beef

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 can of chickpeas

3 cloves garlic – minced

Thumb sized piece of ginger – grated

1 onion – sliced

400ml can of coconut milk – I used light

500g passata

1 tablespoon mango chutney

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon hot curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

200ml water

Method

Pre heat oven to 160c / 140c fan

In a large pan ( one that has a lid) cook your onions low and slow in the hot vegetable oil until softened.

Add your minced garlic and grated ginger, stirring all the while.

Now add your all the spices and the beef. Stir for a minute or two just to brown the meat.

Pour in the passata and coconut milk and stir to fully combine.

Add your chickpeas and mango chutney, salt and water.

Pop on the lid and place in the oven for 2 and a half hours stirring every hour. The meat should be soft and fall apart upon biting into it.

Serve with rice and a tomato and onion salad for extra deliciousness.


Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I’ve shared brownie recipes before but this one in my opinion will be hard to beat. These brownies are incredible. Dense, gooey, fudgey and everything you want a brownie to be. One bite and they have your eyes rolling back in your head! When you up the quantities of butter and sugar in a brownie recipe this makes for a denser fudgier brownie and that is exactly what I am giving you here. Serve with good vanilla ice cream and strawberries for a heavenly dessert.

Makes 15 brownies

Ingredients

200g butter

300g dark chocolate

300g caster sugar

3 eggs and 1 egg yolk

50g plain flour

60g cocoa powder

Half teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon icing sugar to sift over

Method

Pre heat oven to 180c / 160c fan and grease and line a fairly shallow tin approximately 18cm x 28cm.

Break your chocolate into pieces so it is easier to melt.

Start by melting the butter and sugar over a low heat, stirring all the while. Pour in the sugar and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

In a separate cup beat together the eggs and the egg yolk. Whisk into the pan for 2-3 minutes.

Finally sift over the flour, cocoa and sea salt and fold into the chocolatey mixture. You may need to just sprinkle in the last bit of sea salt that is left in the sieve.

Transfer into the lined tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 30 minutes. I recommend allowing to cool in the tin for an hour or so on the side.

Gently remove from the tin and slice into 15 squares. Sieve over a little icing sugar.