Greek Inspired Meatballs

On 17th July 2015, This was Dinner

I finally got around to recipes from my new Donna Hay cook book. My prize from Donna at A Cookbook Collection. This book does not disappoint.

It was poor food planning this week in that I ended up with two different versions of mince in two days but both were gorgeous so I’m not complaining.


  • Prepare some couscous
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Zest a lemon
  • Finely chop some rosemary leaves
  • Break up some feta
  • Halve some cherry tomatoes
  • Get honey, lamb mince, houmous, flatbreads, spinach, mint & seasoning ready


Mix the mince with the couscous, honey, lemon zest, rosemary and seasoning. Shape into patties, pop in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.

Cook in a large frying pan for a few minutes each side.

Warm the flatbreads, spread over some houmous then scatter the spinach, mint and tomatoes. Top with the meatballs then sprinkle with feta.

TWD_1707_Lamb_MeatballsDonna Hay’s recipe actually puts the feta in the meatballs – lovely. I forgot 😩

Pastors Pie

On 31st May 2015, This was Dinner

The power of advertising! Browsing Facebook I came across a sponsored post for something called Gran Luchito. As a massive fan of Mexican/spicy food I took a look at it. Thinking ‘I will never get my hands on this in sunny old Donny’ I was wrong. You can buy it in M & S. Now it is not cheap – it cost me seven quid for the paste and a tiny jar of the mayo but boy this pie was worth it.

Apparently Pastor is what Mexicans call their Shepherds so here is my very slight adaptation of the recipe on their website. Beware! If you download the PDF from the site there is an error. DO NOT use 250ml of the paste :-/


  • Finely chop an onion
  • Peel & chop a couple of carrots
  • Peel & chop a couple of celery sticks
  • Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves
  • Pick some rosemary leaves and chop
  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Peel and chop some potatoes
  • Grate some cheddar
  • Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)
  • Get lamb mince, plain flour, tomato purĂ©e, Gran Luchito smoked chilli paste, Gran Luchito Smoked Chilli Mayo, nachos, oil, butter, tinned chopped tomatoes, single cream & seasoning ready


Heat some oil in a pan and add the carrot, onion, celery and rosemary. Cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the mince to the mixture and cook whilst breaking down the mince and ensuring it is browned. Add a couple of teaspoons of the paste and a squirt of tomato purée. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the tinned chopped tomatoes and the stock and bring to the boil. Season. Pop the lid on and leave it to cook for about an hour. Stir occasionally.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and leave to steam for a couple of minutes. Mash well with butter, cream, some seasoning and a dollop of the mayo.

Transfer the meat mixture to an ovenproof dish. Top with the potato, crush up some nachos and sprinkle on top then sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes,

TWD_3105_Pastor_PieThere was plenty left for dinner on Monday night too. Magificent.

Shepherd’s Pie

On 27th February 2015, This was Dinner

Carrots? They really do go off quickly. This has always been a source of irritation for me so I read up on how to store them a long time ago. There are lots of suggestions but the one that works for me is to top and tail them then store in the fridge. I topped and I tailed the ones I bought last week but forgot to fridge them. Luckily I noticed this on Wednesday and managed to rescue, blanch and freeze them. Can someone create a long life carrot please?

I think we all know the difference between cottage and shepherds pie but here’s 10 facts about shepherd’s pie from Jamie Oliver including my favourite:

The Chilean version of “pastel de papa”, a dish similar to shepherd’s pie eaten in many parts of the world, also contains hard-boiled eggs, raisins and black olives.

I’m definitely trying that. I’d forgot about Jamie’s Comfort Food version, I’ve been making this one for years.

The carrots are my only contribution to this meal as Mr S cooked it whilst I was at work. All I had to do was take it out of the oven and serve it up.


  • Chop a large onion
  • Peel & chop a couple of carrots
  • Peel and cut some potatoes
  • Prepare some beef stock
  • Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)
  • Get minced lamb, tomato purĂ©e, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, dried rosemary, milk, butter, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready


Cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted water. Drain, leave to steam for a few minutes then mash adding milk, butter and seasoning.

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft and starting to brown. Add the lamb and brown. Stir in the flour, Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée and stir well.

Add the carrots, herbs and stock then bring to the boil. Season well. Cover and cook for about half an hour. Add water if it starts to dry out.

Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish and spread the mash over evenly then cook for another half hour.

TWD_2702_Shepherds_Pie TWD_2702_Shepherds_Pie_2

Ir’s National Pie Week next week, we’re a little early.

Lamb Meatball Cups

On 7th December 2014, This was Dinner

I was inspired to make these after watching an episode of You Gotta Eat Here.


  • Preheat the oven to 180Âșc (fan)
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely slice a red onion
  • Melt some butter
  • Get filo pastry, minced lamb, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground allspice, cayenne, oil, rocket, yoghurt & lemon ready


Mix together the lamb and onion with all of the spices, form into small balls and chill for a while.

Finely slice the red onion, squeeze over some lemon juice and season with salt.

Cut up some filo into squares, brush the squares with butter.

Turn a muffin tin upside and drape the squares over the bottom of every other muffin section. Then drape another until there are three per ‘cup’. Bake in the oven until golden then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the meatballs, turning occasionally. Once cooked, pop some rocket in the bottom of the filo cups and add a couple of meatballs, top with the sliced red onion and a dollop of yoghurt.


Look at my festive candle holders- Ho Ho & Ho!

Mr S wasn’t down with my cups so he went with meatball sarnies.

Asian Spiced Kedgeree

The first comment I got when I said we were having a kedgeree was ‘Is it Christmas?’, a well worn joke in this house as it’s boxing day fodder. Obviously we don’t need that excuse for a meal like this but let me just take a moment to point something out – Christmas is only four months away – FOUR!!!

Nigella’s recipe serves 6 but as there is only two of us, one decent sized piece of salmon was fine.

Heat the oven to 190Âșc (fan).

Boil some eggs until hard but with that lovely claggy-looking yolk.

Pop some cold water in a roasting dish and add salmon and lime leaves. Cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Pop the fish in foil and keep the water.

Melt some butter in a pan with a little oil. Cook chopped onion until softened then add the spices and stir for a couple more minutes. Add basmati rice and stir well, pour in the reserved salmon liquid, bring to the boil, turn down low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, adding a little more water if required.

Flake the salmon and add to the dish with lime juice and fish sauce.


The recipe can be found here on Nigella’s website.


This was dinner…13th August 2014.

We ended up having dinner quite late last night, with full stomachs, that also meant we were in bed quite late so tonight we took the easy way out and went with a Chinese takeaway. I used ‘Just Eat’ for the first time ever, purely from an ’emergency’ perspective as we didn’t have cash in the house.

The e-mail I received when signing up thanked me for being ‘part of the no-cook revolution’ ERM NO! Rather presumptuous of you Just Eat.

Starting with my favourite delicious crispy squid we had pancake rolls, pork curry, chilli chicken and chips. Yum.

This was dinner…14th August 2014.

On Friday night we just used up some lamb burgers we had in the freezer, shop bought they were nothing to write home about.

This was dinner…15th August 2014


I’ve been toying with the idea of a gözleme for a good while now and if Wikipedia’s description is anything to go by I still haven’t had one!

“Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs, filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a griddle

So here’s my homage to one as I neither brushed it with butter and eggs, or griddled it!

The recipe I used is here but I couldn’t be bothered with the sauce.

I was being lazy and picked up a dough mix from our Tesco Express but it was a pizza mix for one and was no where near enough. As luck would have it I had some fast action dried yeast in and just enough plain flour to make the dough.

I’ll not bore you with dough instructions, its on the link, so here’s the rest…

Toast some pine nuts.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry some lamb mince until browned. Stir in the garlic, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chilli powder. Add the raisins and fry for a little longer. When the meat is cooked turn off the heat and stir in lemon zest, spring onions, pine nuts and seasoning.

Leave to cool.

Roll out the dough then spread the lamb mixture over half, sprinkle with feta then fold over and roll and pinch together. Brush it with oil (as you can see I forgot).

Cook in a 190Âșc (fan) preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.



This was dinner…28th June 2014

Lamb Biryani

Hmmm. So far behind on the blog again and it is so easy to do. Here’s my catch up.

Jamie Oliver made this on his current TV series ‘last week’. As I have had some lamb (cut unknown but pretty sure it’s neck) languishing in my freezer for quite a while now, I decided that this would be perfect, Jamie calls it incredible lamb biryani and I’m inclined to agree.

I cooked the lamb long and slow with a bit of seasoning early in the morning so I could use it as my ‘leftover lamb’. When it’s cool, shred it up. As luck would have it, I also had some lamb stock in the freezer from when I last made a lamb dish too.

Cook some rice, rinse under cold water then spread out, cover loosely and leave to cool.

Peel and finely chop some ginger, garlic and red onion. Pop some oil in a pan and throw these in to cook gently.

Cook until nice and soft and golden then add frozen spinach with a little water. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Season and remove from the pan.

Finely slice a chilli and pop it in the pan you just used with some hot curry powder (or mild if you must), flour, mango chutney and a splash of red wine vinegar.  Add the shredded lamb. Stir well then pour in the lamb stock. Simmer until nice and thick. Season well then pop through a sieve. Saving the gravy.

Preheat the oven to 190Âșc (fan)

Season the rice then spread half of it over the bottom of your oven proof pan and up the sides if you have enough. Add the spinach mixture then add the meat. Top with another layer of rice. Sprinkle with flaked almonds, cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes.

If your saved gravy is too thick, boil it rapidly for a little while. Pour this over your serving and top with a dollop of natural yoghurt.



I have to admit that I’ve never had a biryani before, not that I didn’t like the sound of it but I would always tend to go for something more saucy. I shall be having this again. It was extremely tasty, spicy, lamb-y and, quite clearly because Jamie says so – incredible. Check out Save with Jamie for the full recipe.

I took leftovers for work on Monday. We made up the Tapas we bought from Morrison’s to have whilst watching the football on Saturday for Monday’s dinner as the lunch servings were quite large.



This was dinner…15th & 16th June 2014.