Summer Spanish Tart


Even though I cook for a living, I rarely have all the correct ingredients in the fridge to make what I want. Last Sunday I had it in my head to bake a savoury tart for the week, so I pulled everything out of the fridge including a wrinkly old courgette, peppers that needed trimming and eating up quick and a small pot of creme fraiche approaching its sale by date.For this recipe I haven’t given exact quantities for some of the filling because this is freestyle cooking, it doesn’t need to be precise 😉 The result of using up all these leftovers was something pretty spectacular. Everyone that tasted the tart loved it , its packed to the hilt with veg but has a lovely light texture. It works just as well warm or cold and is a great way to make your lunch box more exciting.

What you will need

Line a 10″ metal flan tin (tin is always best for pastry) with shortcrust pastry ( making sure it’s not too thick)

olive oil or rapeseed oil for frying

1 onion chopped

Chorizo chopped into small chunks

1 red pepper deseeded and chopped

1 yellow pepper deseeded and chopped

Handful of mushrooms chopped

1 courgette chopped

2 cloves of garlic crushed

4 eggs beaten

small pot of creme fraiche of cream

grated cheese

fajita seasoning


How to make your Tart

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf/Gas 4

2. Place the lined tart tin on a baking sheet.Using a fork prick the base of your lined flan tin all over then place in the oven for 15 mins, remove from the oven and brush the inside of it all over with some of the beaten egg and pop back in the oven to set for a further 5 mins. This will stop the pastry going soggy once you have added the filling.

3. Start by frying the onion in some oil until it starts to soften, then add all the other vegetable ingredients including the garlic. Fry for approx 10 mins, so that the chorizo oils cover the vegetables and impart its flavour.

4. In a bowl whisk the egg and creme fraiche or cream together.

5.Sprinkle a little of the grated cheese on the bottom of the tart case and then cover with the vegetable mix, season with salt and pepper. Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle grated cheese over the top and finally a light sprinkling of fajita mix. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Crushed New Potatoes


This is a recipe that Jill and I with our hats on, have been cooking alot of lately. It’s a great way to turn New (or old) potatoes into something a little different. Great to eat with BBQ food or to go with fish or a summer roast. If you decide to give these a go make sure you make double because they will be devoured !

What you will need (serves 6)

1 kg (2lb) New potatoes

3 tablespoons of olive oil

good knob of butter

1tsp fennel seeds

handful fresh rosemary

1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and bruised

How to make Crushed New Potatoes

1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°c, fan 180°f. Bring the potatoes to the boil an a pan of salted water. Simmer for 10 minutes until just tender, then drain.

2. Add the oil and butter to a roasting tin and heat in the oven until the butter has melted. Add the potatoes and toss in the fat to coat, then gently squash eah potato witha fork. Sprinkle with sea salt, black peper, fennel seeds and rosemary and roast for 30 mins.

3. Turn the potatoes over using a spatula or spoon, then add the garlic and roast for a further 20-30minutes, until the potatoes are golden and crispy, and the garlic ha softened.

Beefy Beer and Bread


Its the second of July, its raining, misty and cold. I’m in the laundry room staring into the freezer seeing what I can cook for dinner. I spot a price reduced pack of stewing beef £1.42 for 1½lbs of westcountry beef (I love a bargain) I’m thinking casserole, maybe a bit boring and then inspiration comes to me in the form of a lonely can of fosters sitting amongst the paint brushes. I go into the kitchen, defrost the meat and start the dinner with enthusiasm, I know just what is needed.

What you will need

1½ good stewing beef cut into chunks

2 tablespoons of plain flour seasoned with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

olive or rapeseed oil

1 large onion sliced

1 can of lager, beer or ale

4 carrots cut into bite sized chunks

1 beef stock cube

2 bay leaves

I added some mushrooms. I would have also added celery if it was in the fridge!

some white bread thickly sliced

knobs of butter

How to make your Beefy Beer and Bread

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan

2. Toss the cubed beef into the seasoned flour. Once the oil is hot brown the pieces of meat, when nicely browned on all sides pour in just over 3/4 of the can of beer, this will deglaze the pan. Pour meat and beer into a casserole dish or a slow cooker.

3. Add a little more oil to your now empty frying pan and gently fry the onioins till they start to go soft and colour a little. Turn off the heat and tip the onions into the casserole dish.

4. Next add the carrots, mushrooms bay leaf and any other veg you would like into the casserole. Crumble in the stock cube. Stir well and place the lid on and cook for 2½ hours at 150ºc/300ºf/ gas mark 2 or alternatively place in the slow cooker, which is what I did and left it on all day on low till ready to do the topping.

5. When the meat is cooked and tender,cut the crusts off the bread and lay on top of the casserole slightly over lapping them. Pour the rest of the beer over the bread and then dot the bread with plenty of butter. Put into a hot oven with the lid off and crisp the bread for about 20 mins.

Serve with freshly steamed green veg and maybe a pint of beer?!

This also re-heats really well. I think you’re going to love this recipe, I can’t wait to make it again, even Maisie my 12 yr old appreciated its flavour!