Posts Tagged: quick recipe

Feb 10

A touch of Spanish romance – baked scallops with crispy Serrano ham

scallops_560.jpgLight, fresh and ready in a jiffy, this recipe is ideal for Valentine ‘s Day. Scallops are one of those ingredients that are worth taking the time over to find a good supplier – try your local fishmonger for really fresh, tasty, plump little examples. The addition of a touch of chilli is guaranteed to warm your heart!

This fantastic piece of culinary creation comes from my great friend Jose Pizzaros’ book, Seasonal Spanish Food – a must for any food lover, lover or foodie. 

Baked scallops with crispy Serrano ham

Sep 09

Simple pleasures


Some of my favourite cooking moments involve using very few ingredients to create something delicious. A handful of this or a splash of that – pure flavours, dealt with simply and easily. Fuss free suppers are the way forward.

There are days when I do happily spend several hours preparing a meal – a labour of love – but often I’ll won’t have a lot of advance warning to whip something up when people arrive. This is a perfect meal for those times – an easy-as-pie dinner using just four ingredients.

Caramelised onion and anchovy tart


  • 1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 100g Grana Padano cheese or parmesan, grated
  • 1 tin of anchovies or half a jar
  • 3 onions


Finely slice the onions and cook them in a pan with a splash of oil on a very, very low heat for around an hour until they are a deep golden colour.

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C.

Score a line around the edge of the pastry about one centimetre in. Spread the onions over the centre of the tart evenly, then scatter the cheese over and place the anchovies on top.

Put the tart into the pre-heated oven and cook for around 15-20 mins until puffed up and golden.

Serve with a green or tomato salad.

Mar 09

Time for tea


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Some days the urge to bake is overwhelming. A few spare hours while pottering round the house doing the usual bits of cleaning, sorting and washing can always be made more enjoyable with a quick stop to bake a cake. The smell that wafts through the house is so heavenly and so warming. And it gets even better when the cake comes out of the oven and you cut a great big warm wedge.  

Madeleines are a dainty alternative and the most light, exquisite cakes imaginable. They are also incredibly beautiful to look at. And this recipe is perfumed, light and super easy. They cook in a little over five minutes, too, which makes them perfect for unannounced guests or an impromptu dinner party.


To make these extra special serve with a scattering of dried rose petals and icing sugar, or some Greek yoghurt on the side.


Pistachio and cardamom madeleines


Madeleine tins are available at all good cook shops. If you don’t have one you can always use a mini-muffin tin.


Ingredients (makes 12)


1 large egg

40g caster sugar

30g ground pistachios

1 lemon

1 cardamom pod

20g icing sugar

50g plain flour

75g butter

A little extra butter for greasing




Mix egg and caster sugar until pale and light. Sieve in plain flour and add ground pistachios and icing sugar and fold together. Add zest and juice of half the lemon.


Remove black seeds from cardamom pod and grind seeds to a powder and add to the mixture.


Butter madeleine tin and place roughly a tablespoon into each hole. Pop tray in the fridge to let butter firm up a bit. Don’t smooth them out – they will do this on their own in the oven.


Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Cook madeleines for five to ten minutes, depending on oven. They are done when risen and cracked slightly in the middle while golden brown at the edges.


Remove from oven and leave for a few minutes before placing on a rack to cool.



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