haddock risotto with leeks & peas

I love a good risotto and will pay good money for a well cooked, tasty one although sometimes this seems like a tough request or expectation.
A good risotto is a process and needs a little love for a delicious end result. Take the time, nurture the arborio rice and you will be left with a wonderfully tasty meal, perfect for lunch or dinner.
Arborio rice is a starchy, short-grained rice variety that produces a luxuriously creamy finish and can absorb quite a bit of liquid without becoming mushy.
A little effort for this one but well worth your time and patience.
I used skinless, de-boned haddock that was lightly smoked. It has a flaky texture and a beautifully delicate flavor, perfect for the rich, creamy risotto it is served with
This dish is quite rich so is best served it with a simple rocket & avocado or tomato salad or simple steamed vegetables.

ingredients | serves 4 -6 | a little effort
270g haddock fillet, lightly smoked & de-boned
350ml milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
300g uncooked risotto
600ml fish stock
1C dry white wine
1/3C cream
3T creme fraiche
4 leeks, washed and sliced diagonally
1C frozen peas
3/4C finely grated Parmesan
1t dried dill
1.5t fine salt
1.5t black pepper
zest of half a lemon
bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
fresh dill, garnish (optional)
2T olive oil
80g salted butter

how to do it
In a pot, bring the milk and bay leaf to a gentle boil. Gently submerge the haddock fillet into the milk, bring it down to a simmer and poach for two to three minutes per side.
Remove the haddock using a slotted spoon. Set aside and reserve the milk for later use. Mix the fish stock and white wine together in a large jug. Set aside.
In a large pot, melt 20g butter with the olive oil. Saute the chopped onion until glossy taking care not to burn it. Add the leaks and cook until soft. About three minutes.
Add the uncooked risotto to the pot and stir to coat. Add the garlic and dried dill and cook for one minute while stirring.
Gently pour about one cup of stock & wine mixture into the risotto and stir. Leave to cook on a gentle heat, stirring twice, until almost fully absorbed. Repeat this until you have used all of the liquid. Add the remaining 60g butter and stir through.
Now pour the poaching milk and cream into the risotto and leave to simmer, while stirring for about three minutes.
Add the peas, stir and cook for three minutes. Stir the creme fraiche through the risotto mixture. Add the salt, pepper, zest, parsley and parmesan and stir well.
Flake the poached haddock into the risotto and give it a gentle mix. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with fresh dill if using.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





butter stuffed chicken & veg

This is a flavorful one pan wonder that is packed with goodness and is perfect for a family feast! The butter and herb stuffing makes for beautifully juicy and tender meat and the veggies are roasted to perfection. I served a lemon beurre blanc sauce on the side with couscous but for a healthier alternative, serve the chicken with brown rice and lemon butter or no sauce at all.
Root vegetables are perfect here as everything is ready simultaneously, saving precious time, which, for the everyday parent, is crucial.
As alternatives think of halved beetroot, thick cuts of sweet potato & butternut or whole, peeled baby potatoes and fat cloves of garlic.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy
1 whole chicken, flattened (butterfly / spatchcock)
2 red onions, peeled & roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
4 potatoes, quartered
3 rosemary sprigs
olive oil
for the chicken rub
1T paprika
1t dried oregano
1/2t dried mustard
1/2t cayenne pepper
1/2t fine salt
1/2t black pepper
for the butter compound
80g salted butter, room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
handful parsley, finely chopped
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half lemon
black pepper

how to
Mix all of the rub ingredients together. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and rub the spice into the skin using your hands. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinade in the fridge for a minimum of half hour.
For the butter compound – mix all the ingredients together and mix well using a fork.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Using a spoon, carefully lift the skin of the chicken and stuff the butter between the skin & meat, using your fingers. Continue until you have covered most of the meat and used all of the butter compound.
Place the rosemary sprigs in a large oven proof dish and place the chicken on top.
In a large dish, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt & black pepper. Arrange the veggies around the chicken.
Place the tray into the oven and roast for 50 – 60 minutes.
Carefully remove the tray from the oven and leave to rest for ten minutes before serving.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x




beef & beer casserole

These beautiful winter days make me want to curl up with good red wine and good food.
The secret to any good stew or casserole is patience. But, the ingredients, of course, also play a very important role. Essentially what you want from a stew is big flavor and beautifully tender meat.
Ask your butcher for advice on the best cuts of meat and source the freshest vegetables you can get your hands on.
The quality of our food really lie in the quality of the ingredients.

ingredients | serves 6 | patience
1.2kg stewing beef, bone in, cut into smaller cubes
1/4C flour
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped
4 large carrots, cut in similar sizes as the meat
300g small (baby) onions
500ml beer or ale
2.5C beef stock
2T tomato paste
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves only
4 thyme sprigs, leaves only
4 bay leaves
1T brown sugar
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper
fresh parsley, garnish

how to
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
Dredge the meat with the flour. Heat olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and brown the meat on all sides. Set aside.
Without wiping the skillet, heat a little more olive oil and saute the chopped onions until translucent. Add the tomato paste to the skillet and cook for about one minute.
Add the carrots, baby onions and garlic and cook for about two minutes. Pour the beer into the skillet and deglaze the pot while scraping the bits from the bottom. Leave to simmer for about three minutes.
Add the herbs, sugar, salt & pepper to the skillet and stir through. Add the meat to the pot and slowly pour the beef stock around it.
Bring everything to a gentle boil. Cover the skillet with a lid, leaving it slightly tilted to allow more steam to evaporate while cooking.
Carefully place the skillet into the preheated oven and cook for 2.5 – 3 hours, stirring halfway through cooking.

If you would like a thicker sauce, mix two teaspoons corn flour with two teaspoons water. Add it to the pot and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with mash or basmati rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


easy roast chicken & rice one pot meal

Very similar to my chicken & orzo dish, this meal is a great, easy go-to that can be enjoyed any night of the week. In my home, it was the perfect end to all of the Easter celebrations.
I love one pot meals for its simplicity and no mess, no fuss kind of attitude really. And honestly, after cooking up another wonderful meal, i don’t want to spend hours doing a clean up.
I roasted a whole chicken and portioned it while the rice was cooking in al of its delectable juices. You can, however, use chicken pieces if you prefer, which will reduce the cooking time.
Basmati is my preferred grain and adds beautiful aromatic flavour here. And since it cooks so quickly i can have my meal on the table sooner rather than later.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 whole chicken
3T olive oil
2T butter + 3T extra
3 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
3 carrots, peeled & sliced diagonally
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
zest of 1 lemon & lemon quartered
1.5C dry white wine
1.5C chicken stock
bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
1tsp fine salt
1tsp black pepper
bunch parsley, chopped
bunch chives, chopped
1C basmati rice

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius. 145 degrees with a fan.
Heat the oil & 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet with tight fitting lid.
Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the carrots & celery and cook for five minutes. Place the chicken in the skillet, breast side down, and brown for five minutes. Remove the chicken and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook the wine until reduced by half. Add the garlic, lemon zest & thyme and stir through. Put the quartered lemon into the cavity of the chicken and place the chicken back into the skillet, breast side up (browned side facing upwards). Pour the stock into the skillet and bring it to the boil.
Turn the heat down and place the skillet into the oven, without the lid. Cook the chicken for two hours.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
Pour the rice into the vegetable mixture, add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 12 minutes until the rice is just cooked.
The rice will soak up most of the juices.
While the rice cooks, portion the chicken.
Place the chicken pieces on top of the cooked rice, cover with a lid and gently cook for four more minutes, so as to heat the chicken and finish cooking the rice.
Garnish with the chopped parsley & chives and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x






pork, chorizo & orzo

The perfect TV meal! Quick and easy and perfect for a bowl and fork.
The orzo pasta can easily be replaced with rice or any other pasta like penne or farfalle. The choizo sausage adds a beautiful smoky flavour to this dish as well as depth so I will not recommend leaving it out of the recipe. You can however use pancetta or bacon instead.
I used pork sizzler sausages and removed the skin so that all the beautiful meaty flavour is easily released into my dish. Do not hesitate to replace the sizzlers with a different alternative such as a spicy sausage, or any other sausage of your preference. In turn, really making this dish your own.
Serve this dish with a simple side salad.
A great family meal, on the table in no time. My idea of food heaven!

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
3T olive oil
2T butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into blocks
5 pork sizzlers or any other pork sausage of choice
2 chorizo sausages (160g), sliced and halved
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 large or 2 medium sized tomato/s, roughly chopped
1.5C orzo / rosmarino pasta
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1tsp paprika
1C white wine
2.5C chicken stock
chives, for garnish
2T butter
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

how to do it
Using a sharp knife, cut down the sizzlers, opening up the sausage to reveal the meat. Gently fold out the inside and discard the skins. Break into even sized pieces, to get about 5 pieces from one sausage.
Set aside.
In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil &. butter. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until glossy, about two minutes. Add the pork sizzlers pieces and fry until browned on all sides.
Add the red pepper and toss for about two minutes. Add the chorizo & garlic and toss for a minute. Add the paprika and stir through.
Pour the wine into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until reduced. Add the orzo / rosmarino pasta and stir to coat. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Place a tight fitting lid on top and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked al dente. (The occasional stir will prevent the pasta from burning on the bottom).
Once the pasta is cooked and the broth reduced, add the chopped tomato, one sliced spring onion, thyme, salt & pepper.
Stir though and cook for a further four minutes, while stirring. Stir the remaining two tablespoons butter through the mixture.
Remove from the heat and garnish with the chives and remaining spring onion.

*You can also add parmesan shavings to this dish.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x