Chicken in an Orange and Ginger Sauce

Chicken in an Orange and Ginger Sauce

 

Breasts of chicken are marinated and then baked in a zesty sauce of orange, ginger, garlic, olive oil and honey.

 

Chicken in an Orange and Ginger Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Marinading time: 30 minutes–1 hour
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5cm (2 in) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • salt and pepper

  • To serve
  • Roasted baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables
  • (recipe for the potatoes, below)

  • Equipment
  • A shallow baking dish large enough to take the chicken in one layer


  1. Method
  2. Zest the orange and put it along with the juice in the baking dish. Stir in the garlic, ginger, honey and olive oil until combined. Add the seasoning.

  3. Make three slits in the top of each chicken breast and turn them in the marinade. Cover the dish and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C (425°F) (gas 6).

  5. Baste the chicken with the marinade, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the chicken and bake, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes.

  6. Roasted baby potatoes
  7. Put the potatoes into a roasting tin and drizzle with oil (1 tablespoon olive oil per 450g (1lb) (6–8) potatoes). Season well and toss gently to mix everything together.

  8. Roast for 35 minutes (same temperature as the chicken dish) tossing occasionally, until tender.

Updated: November 9, 2017

Gammon Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes

Gammon Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes

 

For that time when you need something quick and simple to prepare, this British favourite fits the bill. A gammon steak, topped with a soft poached egg, and roasted baby potatoes instead of fries, makes for a very enjoyable meal.

 

Gammon Steak with Roasted Baby Potatoes
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 575g (1 lb 4 oz) baby potatoes (about 13)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 gammon steaks
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  3. Wash the potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic cloves and season. Toss together to coat the potatoes.

  4. Tip into a small roasting tin/pan and roast for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender, turning a couple of times to make sure they cook evenly.

  5. Preheat the grill to high. Remove any rind from the gammon steaks, then brush with the remaining olive oil. Grill/broil for 3 minutes on each side until they are starting to brown and are crisping at the edges.

  6. While cooking the gammon, also cook the eggs. Take a non-stick frying pan/skillet and grease with butter. Bring some water to the boil in the pan. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and add the white vinegar (this helps to keep the whites of the eggs in shape). Break the eggs into the pan and poach for about four minutes until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still soft. (Make sure there is enough water in the pan to cover the eggs)

  7. Serve the gammon topped with a poached egg and accompanied with the roasted baby potatoes.

Updated: September 25, 2017

Shepherd’s Pie Napoletana

Shepherd's Pie Napoletana

 

The traditional shepherd’s pie can be quite bland and my basic Shepherd’s Pie recipe has extra seasonings to liven it up. This one brings a touch of Italian using a Napoletana sauce and with grated Parmesan on the top.

 

Shepherd's Pie Napoletana
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g/1 lb minced lamb/ground lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig (or a large pinch of dried)
  • 225ml/8 fl oz red wine
  • 500g/17 fl oz Napoletana pasta sauce (or similar)
  • 900g/2 lb potatoes (floury)
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated


  1. Method
  2. Brown the lamb in a large pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently to break up any lumps, about 7 minutes. It should be really well browned. Then remove from the pan and set aside.

  3. Add the onion to the pan with the rosemary and cook until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. There should be enough fat left from browning the meat not to require adding any oil.

  4. Return the lamb to the pan and stir in the wine. Loosen any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan, then leave the wine to bubble gently until roughly half of it has evaporated. Stir in the pasta sauce, then simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into large chunks. Put in a pan of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the hot pan to dry off any excess moisture. Mash with the butter and half the Parmesan.

  6. Preheat the grill to high.

  7. Spoon the meat sauce into a medium-sized ovenproof dish. Top with the potatoes, no need to smooth the surface, then sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

  8. Brown under the grill for about 3 minutes.

  9. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

  10. Tip
  11. The dish can be prepared ahead of time up to the grill stage. Cover the dish then refrigerate for up to two days. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and cook the pie for 25–30 minutes until heated through and golden on top.

 

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken

 

A really tasty dish of chicken and herbs, roasted with red peppers, courgettes, plum tomatoes and baby potatoes, all in one pan.

 

Mediterranean Roasted Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: At least 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12g fresh basil
  • 12g fresh mint
  • 4 lemon thyme sprigs
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken joints*
  • 2 small red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini, sliced
  • 600g/1 lb 4 oz baby potatoes
  • ½ × 400g/¼ × 28 fl oz can plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, juice only

  • *I prefer to use boneless chicken breasts because they are really succulent. But legs or breasts with bone in would work too.

  • Equipment
  • Large roasting tin


  1. Method
  2. Finely chop two thirds of the basil and mint and 2 lemon thyme sprigs, reserve the remaining third. Using a pestle and mortar, pound together the herbs, crushed garlic and two tablespoons of the olive oil until they form a paste. Or use a food processor. Put the chicken in a shallow bowl and cover with the herb mixture. Cover, refrigerate and leave for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  4. Put the peppers, courgettes and potatoes in a bowl. Season and pour over the remaining olive oil. Toss together until all the vegetables are well coated. Carefully add the tomatoes. Spread in the roasting tin and add the chicken and marinade.

  5. Roast for 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

  6. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter over the reserved herbs.

  7. Note
  8. Tinned plum tomatoes can be substituted for the fresh plum tomatoes. Just add them to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

 

 

 

Sweet Mustard Pork

Sweet Mustard Pork

 

Succulent pork tenderloin marinaded in a sweet mustard sauce and then roasted.

 

Sweet Mustard Pork
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Marinading time: At least 30 minutes, overnight if possible
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 500g/1lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup*
  • 4 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper

  • Vegetables to serve
  • Roasted, diced potatoes and carrots
  • Peas

  • *I like to use real maple syrup as I try to avoid the ingredients in synthetic maple syrup. Pure Canadian maple syrup is freely available in the U.K.


  1. Method
  2. For the mustard pork
  3. Mix together in a bowl the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, oil and seasoning.

  4. Coat the tenderloin with the marinade, leave it for at least 30 minutes, overnight if possible.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, gas mark 6.

  6. Put the meat in a small roasting tin and roast for 20–25 minutes until it. browns on the outside and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer. Spoon the sticky pan juices over the pork and then slice.

  7. For the vegetables
  8. Parboil a few potatoes and carrots for 10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Dice and toss in a little extra virgin oil. Roast for about 30 minutes until browning and crisp.

  9. Accompany with peas.

 

Fish Pie Florentine

Fish Pie Florentine

 

A fish pie made with chunks of white fish and salmon in a zesty cream sauce, with baby spinach and egg, topped with mashed potato sprinkled with cheese.

 

Fish Pie Florentine
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Instructions
  • 1kg/2 lb 4 oz potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 75g/2¾ oz butter
  • 50g/1¾ oz flour
  • 450ml/16 fl oz milk, plus extra for creaming the potatoes
  • 60ml/2 fl oz white wine
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 400g/14 oz white fish fillet (e.g. haddock), skinned
  • 400g/14 oz salmon fillet, skinned
  • 50g/1¾ oz baby-leaf spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g/3½ oz Cheddar cheese, grated

  • To serve
  • Petit pois

  • Equipment
  • A large ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  3. Put the potatoes in a large pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, until soft. Add the eggs during the last 8 minutes to soft boil (saves on another pan!). Once the eggs have cooked, remove them and run them under cold water, this will prevent a dark rim forming round the yolk while they are cooling. Drain and mash the potatoes with 25g/1 oz of the butter and a little milk, until creamy. Set aside.

  4. Meanwhile, melt the rest of the butter in a pan and, once foaming, tip the pan and quickly add the flour. Stir to form a smooth paste and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes (making a roux). Warm the milk (a microwave makes this quick) and slowly mix into the roux until smooth. Stir in the wine. Continue cooking over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes until the sauce has thickened, stirring constantly. The sauce needs to be very thick because once the fish is added and cooks in the sauce, its juices will thin it. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg. Set aside.

  5. Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks and mix in the ovenproof dish with the spinach leaves and the sauce. Peel the eggs and carefully cut into quarters and scatter them evenly over the dish. Cover with the mashed potato and top with the grated cheese.

  6. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for a further 10–15 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

  7. Serve with petit pois.

 

Salmon Italian-style

Salmon Italian Style

 

Whole salmon fillets, drizzled with wine, baked with whole tomatoes on a bed of sliced potatoes and cooked in olive oil and garlic.

 

Salmon Italian-style
Prepares: 4 servings (photograph shows a serving for 2)
 
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 55 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 900g/2lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm/¼ in slices
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 6 plum tomatoes, halved, or
  • 12 tinned/canned plum tomatoes
  • 4 x 170g/6 oz salmon fillets, skinned
  • 20 black olives, pitted (optional)
  • 150ml/5 fl oz dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • butter to smear
  • basil leaves to garnish

  • Equipment
  • 2.4 litre/4½ pint ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  3. Put the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes until just tender. Drain.

  4. Brush the dish with 3 tbsp olive oil, add the potatoes and garlic and top with the tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, season and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, slash each salmon fillet three times across the top and season. Heat a non-stick frying pan and smear with a little butter using a wodge of paper towel. Sear the salmon for 2 minutes.

  6. When the vegetables have cooked, lay the salmon fillets on top. Scatter with the olives, pour over the wine and the lemon juice, then return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

  7. Garnish with the basil leaves.

 

Chicken and Bacon Casserole

Chicken and Bacon Casserole

 

Chicken breasts are slowly cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with a baked potato and seasonal vegetables.

 

Chicken and Bacon Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 30ml/2 tbsp flour
  • Black pepper
  • 45ml/3 tbsp oil
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 4 back bacon rashers
  • 50g/2 oz onion, finely chopped
  • 300ml/10 fl oz hot water
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube or 1tsp chicken bouillon
  • 8 whole tinned tomatoes, plus juice

  • To garnish
  • Chunky croutons
  • Chopped parsley

  • To serve
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • Seasonal vegetables

  • Equipment
  • A deep-sided sauté pan with lid


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  3. Put the flour and some pepper into a plastic storage bag, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Reserve the remaining flour in the bag.

  4. Heat the oil and butter in the sauté pan over a moderate heat and brown the chicken pieces, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Cut the bacon rashers into thin strips and fry gently in the pan for 2 minutes, until the fat starts to run. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown, about 3 minutes.

  6. Add the reserved flour into the pan and stir until the mixture has thickened. Mix the stock cube/1tsp bouillon into the water and add slowly to the pan, stirring constantly, until well combined. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and add the tomatoes.

  7. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Place the sauté pan on the hob and over a medium to high heat reduce the sauce to thicken. Put the chicken back in the pan, scatter the croutons over and add some chopped parsley.

  9. Serve with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

  10. For the croutons
  11. These are so easy to make. Remove the crusts from 2 slices of bread (preferably a day old), cut into cubes and put in a bowl. Sprinkle over about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, some dried parsley and black pepper. Toss together.

  12. Layer on a small baking tray covered with baking paper/parchment paper and put in the oven for 12–14 minutes.

 

Simmered Tuscan Chicken

Simmered Tuscan Chicken

 

Chicken is cooked in one pan in a Tuscan sauce with diced potatoes, red peppers, and whole green beans. It is a very tasty dish is quick to prepare.

 

Simmered Tuscan Chicken
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jar Tuscan-style olive and garlic pasta sauce (Classico)
  • 450g/1 lb fresh or frozen French beans or fine beans/whole green beans, cut in half
  • 1 tsp dried basil or fresh basil leaves

  • Equipment
  • A deep sided sauté pan with lid


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the sauté pan over a medium heat and add the chicken and garlic. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the potatoes and pepper and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the pasta sauce, green beans and basil. Bring to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, cover and simmer for 35 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.

 

Moussaka

Moussaka

 

My version of a classic Eastern Mediterranean moussaka. This tasty dish has layers of aubergine/eggplant, meat sauce, and potato covered with a cream and cheese topping.

 

Moussaka
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes on hob, 25 minutes in oven

  • Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 700g/1½ lb lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 1 large aubergine/egg plant, sliced
  • 2 × 400g/1 × 28 fl oz cans tomatoes, chopped/diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 Kallo beef organic stock cube/or 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Beef*
  • 900g/2 lb potatoes
  • 200ml/7 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • 115g/4 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Peas (optional)

  • *I choose these options because I don’t like all the additives and sodium found in other brands.

  • Equipment
  • Deep sided frying pan
  • Griddle or heavy-based pan
  • 1.75 litre/3 pint ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan oven/350°F/gas mark 4

  3. Heat the olive oil in the deep-sided frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and oregano and fry for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until the onion is softened but not brown.

  4. Turn up to a moderate heat and add the lamb to the pan. Stir fry for 10 minutes until the meat starts to brown.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the griddle over a medium-high heat (2–3 minutes) then fry the aubergine slices in batches in a single layer for 3–5 minutes, turning them once. Put them to one side.

  6. Drain any fat from the lamb, add the tomatoes, tomato purée and stock cube or teaspoon of bouillon. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes until the liquid has reduced.

  7. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into even sized pieces and simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes. Drain, cool a little, and cut into thin slices.

  8. Make layers with the aubergine, lamb mixture and potatoes in the ovenproof dish, finishing with potatoes. Pour the cream over and sprinkle with grated cheese.

  9. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 20–25 minutes until bubbling and golden.

  10. Can be served with peas.

 

Chunky Home Fries

Chunky Home Fries

 

These home fries are the best! They are easy to make and almost as quick as opening a bag of frozen supermarket ones!

 

Chunky Home Fries
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes for 4 servings
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • Per single serving
  • 1 large potato,* about 225g/8 oz
  • ½ tbsp oil (not olive oil)
  • salt and pepper

  • * The varieties I would suggest: Maris Piper in the U.K. and Yukon Gold in Canada.


  1. Method
  2. Adjust oven rack to lowest level. Preheat to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6

  3. Peel potatoes and slice into ½ inch thick rounds and then into ½ inch thick strips. Pat dry and place in a bowl.

  4. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Stir until evenly coated.

  5. Spread out on a baking sheet, covered with baking parchment, and bake for about 30 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times until browned and tender.

 

Pork in a Tomato Sauce

Pork in Tomato Sauce

 

A blend of sweetness and tartness added to a tomato base makes a very tasty sauce for this pork dish. It is easy to prepare and is cooked in one pan. Just add sautéed courgettes.

 

Pork in a Tomato Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 boneless pork chops or tenderloin cut into four portions
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 600g/l lb 4 oz baby potatoes
  • 2 tbsp muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ pint/300ml tomato passata*
  • sprigs of thyme, optional

  • *As an alternative to passata, chopped/diced tomatoes can be used

  • To serve
  • Accompany with sautéed courgettes/zucchini

  • Equipment
  • A large, deep sided, frying pan with lid.


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Brown the pork for 2–3 minutes on each side and then set aside.

  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the onions to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. They just need to be softened, not browned.

  4. Add the potatoes to the pan and stir to coat them (add more oil if necessary). Turn the heat to a medium-low and cook for 3 minutes.

  5. Stir in the sugar, jelly, vinegar and passata, add the pork and a few sprigs of thyme, if using.

  6. Cover and simmer for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.

  7. For courgettes/zucchini
  8. Cut into rounds and toss in a little virgin oil. Sauté for about 3 minutes turning frequently.