Lamb tagine

tagine

I was recently in Tunis, where I bought a tagine dish, so last weekend I had the chance to try it out. I love making tagines, such a wonderful mix of flavours. I tend to read recipes for inspiration, but then deviate, adding this and that. First fry the diced lamb, until brown, then remove from the pan. Next fry a chopped onion and some garlic (sometimes I add some fresh red chilli too). Return the meat to the pan and add cumin, turmeric, saffron and a cinnamon stick. I add some tagine mix if I have it. Oh and some honey. Add a jar of passata and some red wine and simmer for a while. Then add some chopped apricots and prunes. Transfer to the tagine dish and pop in the oven. I served this with couscous with roasted pint nuts and fresh chopped coriander. Simply delicious! Oh and I have to say the company was rather good too 😉

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Fish pie

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Perfect for a mid-week winter evening, fish pie… Poach haddock, cod and salmon in milk with a bay leaf. Boil potatoes and mash, with butter and milk. Cook a packet of fresh spinach and boil some eggs.. Sprinkle fish in a dish, add a packet of cooked prawns, and add chopped eggs and spinach. Make a cheese sauce with the milk that was used to cook the fish. Cover the mixture with this, top with mashed potato, and finally grated cheese. Bake in the oven until golden brown. Absolutely delicious!

Chicken provencal

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Perfect for a dark winter mid-week meal. Fry chopped onion and garlic, add chopped chestnut mushrooms and then some flour to thicken. Add 125 ml of chicken stock and about 175 ml of white wine. Bring to the boil until it thickens. Add three chopped tomatoes (with the skins taken off), some oregano and about six chopped anchovy filets. Meanwhile, fry chicken pieces, until brown. Transfer to a casserole dish and cook for about half an hour. Serve with herby buttery new potatoes and broccoli!

Baked chicken pasta with tomato sauce and mozarella

pasta

This is a simple way to use up leftover chicken. Fry an onion and some chopped garlic, and then add shredded chicken. Add some passata and a little red wine, add mixed herbs and fresh basil, a little Worcester sauce, some ketchup and tomato paste. Cook for a while, meanwhile cook the pasta. When read put the sauce and the pasta into a dish and mix well. Shred mozzarella over it and bake in the oven for about half an hour. Simple but delicious!

Spaghetti Bolognese

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Spaghetti Bolognese is perfect comfort food for a dreary wet night. So perfect for this evening! Fry the mince, an onion and some garlic until it is cooked through, add a chopped pepper and some chestnut mushrooms. Some chicken stock, a splash of red wine, some tomato puree, seasoning, mixed herbs and a bay leaf. Then leave to simmer down. Simple but delicious.

Chicken soup again…

I just love making soup with leftovers! It’s amazing to think that a £6 chicken can do for 3 or 4 family meals! I fried bacon, onion and garlic. I added the chicken, roast potatoes, sausages, carrots and peas. Add in a good amount of chicken stock and some mushrooms that were in the cupboard. Season and leave to simmer to let the flavours develop. Simple but perfect!

Travelling, cooking and other stuff

I have been an active blogger now on e4innovation.com since 2007. It’s very much a professional blog, with postings about ideas I am working on, updates on projects, reflections from conferences, notes on interesting papers, etc. I have really enjoyed writing it and find it a valuable archive of things I am interested in. But there is life beyond work! Two of my passions are travelling and cooking. Lots of people have joked and said I should start a blog on these topics. So I decided to start a blog on more personal things. It will be interesting to see whether I keep this up and whether it’s of any interest to people!