Here are a collection of recipes shared on my Blog... in no particular order just yet, but I will try to organise them better once the collection grows!

Mary's Homemade Pizza Dough (makes 5 individual pizzas)

400g Strong White Bread Flour, plus more for kneading
100g Fine Cornmeal
15g sachet Fast Action Yeast
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300ml warm water

410 chopped tomatoes with basil (I use Sainsbury's tetrapak)

Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and yeast in a bowl.  Add the olive oil and most of the water - stir until combined adding more water as needed.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes until the dough is soft and no longer sticky.  I normally wash up the mixing bowl, grease it with a bit more olive oil and then place the pizza dough back in the bowl to let some of the warmth work on rising the dough.

Leave to rise for about 1 hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.  In the meantime you can prepare your toppings!  We are not big on lots of veggies on our pizza - though I regularly add the odd pepper or tomato to the toppings.  Our normal toppings are always lean ham and spicy pepperoni and mushrooms.  I always split a pizza with my father in law, who lives with us, and he doesn't like mozzarella, so the photo above has cheddar on the left (his side!) and mozzarella on the right (my side!).  All total this pizza (with the low fat mozzarella) works out at 675 calories per portion - so can easily be accommodated in a 1200-1500 calories per day diet.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Once the dough has risen, turn out again onto a floured surface and knead briefly before separating into five equal portions.  I then use a combination of my rolling pin and my hands to shape into a sort of pizza shaped base - don't worry about perfection here, because I think the stranger the shape, the more it looks homemade!  Place your bases on baking trays and then spread the chopped tomatoes evenly over the bases.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Take the bases out of the oven and now it's time to put on your toppings. I like to let the kids decorate their own, so I always have a little pizza assembly line going. Once all the toppings are on, pop the pizzas back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. When the pizzas are done, allow to cool for a minute or two before slicing with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

This pizza has cheddar on the left and light mozzarella cheese on the right.

Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake (for the occasional indulgence!)
From Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess


500g rhubarb
300g caster sugar
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
155g fine cornmeal (polenta)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter, soft
250g natural yogurt, preferably bio (I've used low-fat yogurt)

23cm Springform cake tin, buttered and lined


Preheat oven to 180 C / gas mark 4.

Wash and dry the rhubarb if necessary (which I rarely find it to be), and then trim, removing any stringy bits, and cut into 1/2cm slices.  Put into a glass bowl or china bowl and cover with 100g of the sugar, while you get on with the rest of the cake.  Don't let the rhubarb stand for more than half an hour or the sugar will make too much liquid seep out.

Mix the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and cornmeal together.  With a fork, beat the eggs with the vanilla in a measuring jug or small bowl.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and the rest of the sugar, then gradually add the egg and vanilla mixture, beating while you do so.  Then add the flour-cornmeal mixture alternately with the yogurt.  They just need to be combined, don't over mix.

Finally, add the rhubarb together with its sugary, pink juices, folding into the mix, and then pour the speckled batter into the prepared tin.  Put in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until springy to the touch.  You may need to cover it with foil after about 40 minutes so that the top doesn't catch.  let cool in the tin on a wire rack for a while before unmoulding.

Serves 8-10.

Lamb Koftas
From Annabel Karmel

2 onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
500g ground/minced lamb
80g fresh breadcrumbs (breadcrumbs don't weigh much, this was equivalent to about 1 cup)
2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 lightly beaten egg
1 beef stock cube, crumbled
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

vegetable oil for frying

7 pitta bread pockets
salad with tomato, cucumber and lettuce
a pot of greek yogurt


Saute one of the onions in the olive oil until softened.  Mix together the sauteed onion, raw onion, minced lamb and all of the remaining ingredients (aside from the pitta bread, salad and yogurt, of course).  Transfer to a food processor and chop for a few seconds (I didn't do this because I only have a spice-grinder).

Form the mixture into 14 koftas (small burger shapes) and saute until golden and cooked through.  Drain on a bit of paper towel to soak up any excess oil before serving in the split pitta pocket with salad and greek yogurt - enjoy!

Goan Prawn Curry
From Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible

Serves 4

2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
8 whole peppercorns
½ tsp cayenne pepper (recipe calls for 1 tsp, I’ve reduced this because the kids can’t take that much spice!)
1 tbsp bright red paprika
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp peeled and finely grated fresh root ginger
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed to a pulp
1 tbsp oil (I use mild olive oil)
1 medium white onion, very finely chopped
400ml/14fl oz can Light Coconut Milk, well shaken
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp thick tamarind paste, or lemon juice
675g/1.5lbs raw, headless, prawns (recipe calls for shell on prawns, but I use shelled, de-veined prawns)


Put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cayenne pepper, paprika and turmeric into a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder.  Grind as finely as possible, then empty into a bowl.  Add the ginger, garlic and about 4 tablespoons of water, or enough to make a thick paste.  Stir to mix and set aside.

Pour the oil into a large, non-stick, lidded pan and set over a medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onion.  Stir fry until the onion is translucent.  Add the spice paste.  Stir and fry for 2 minutes,  Now add 300ml/10 fl oz water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and summer vigorously for 10 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, salt and tamarind.  (I normally add a cup of frozen garden peas at this stage) Mix well and bring to a simmer again.  Add the prawns and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until they turn opaque.

Serve over a bed of basmati rice – the sauce for this curry is quite thin, so needs a big dollop of rice to soak up the spicy juices!

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