Smoked Mackerel Rice Bowl

On 7th April 2015, This was Dinner

Because I had so much to do on Saturday I completely forgot to consider what to have for dinner. This was he only recipe that didn’t involve too much effort and didn’t need defrosting but neither of us were in the mood. Monday came along and it seemed like a bit of a miserable effort (I didn’t get anything out again and the only other option was a soup from scratch) so we ordered Chinese.

It was worth the wait. What an easy and delicious dish.


  • Crush a garlic clove
  • Zest & juice a lemon
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Get smoked mackerel fillets, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sushi rice, frozen soya beans & seasoning ready


Cook the rice according to the instructions.

Cook the beans in boiling salted water.

Mix the hoisin, soy, lemon zest and juice in a bowl.

When the rice is done, mix in the beans and season then pop the lid on to keep warm.

Heat up a pan. Brush some of the sauce on the mackerel and pop in the pan, skin side up. Cook for one to two minutes. Turn over, add the remaining sauce to the pan and cook for another one to two minutes.

Pop the rice in a bowl then skin the mackerel and place on top, add the remaining sauce and sprinkle with spring onions.

TWD_0704_MackerelThe original BBC Good Food recipe uses teriyaki sauce but I had some hoisin I wanted to use up.


Baked Leek & Goats Cheese Risotto

On 9th & 10th March 2015, This was Dinner

Like pasta, I love my risottos baked, they just take on another dimension. This Bill Granger recipe was no exception. I mean – leek and goats cheese? A match made in heaven.


  • Preheat the oven to 190ºc (fan)
  • Chop an onion
  • Finely slice a couple of leeks
  • Bash a couple of garlic cloves
  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Finely chop some rosemary leaves
  • Get arborio rice, butter, oil, goats cheese & seasoning ready


Heat an oven proof dish and add olive oil and butter.

Add the onion, leeks and garlic along with a pinch of salt and cook gently, stirring often, until softened.

Add the rosemary and the rice and stir until the rice is well coated.

Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then add the cheese.

Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.


On Wednesday we ended up with a two meals for £7.95 of burger & chips for Mr S and scampi & chips for me. Cheap and cheerful.

‘Yangzhou’ Fried Rice

On 21st & 22nd January 2015, This was Dinner

We had burgers on Wednesday, purely for budgetary purposes, using up stuff from the freezer.

On Thursday night we made this Ching-He Huang recipe found on the Food Network. Here’s a fact for you, Yangzhou is historically one of China’s wealthiest cities and this rice was said to be invented by a magistrate (source: Wikipedia). There is no cooked shrimp in mine so I guess it’s not exactly authentic.

I* also used brown rice as that’s what we had in and it’s becoming a firm favourite here!


Cook some brown rice. It takes longer to cook so here’s how to do it – cover the rice with about an inch of boiling water, boil with the lid off for about 8 minutes. Pop the lid on, turn down to a simmer and cook for another 8 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the rice with foil and pop the lid back on then leave to steam for about 15 minutes. Remove and spread out on a plate to cool.


  • Finely chop some ginger
  • Dice one carrot and cut another into sticks
  • Chop up some cooked ham
  • Chop up some spring onions
  • Slice some mushroom
  • Slice a couple of shallots
  • Beat a couple of eggs
  • Misx some ketchup with hot chilli sauce
  • Get oil, frozen peas, light soy sauce & seasoning ready


Heat some oil in a pan and cook the shallot for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and leave to cook. Remove from the pan.

Add the carrots and ginger to the pan and cook for a few minutes. When the carrot is almost cooked, add back the mushrooms and shallots then add the rice. Keep stirring until the rice is cooked through then add the egg. Again, stirring until cooked.

Season well and add the soy sauce then just before serving add the ketchup mixture.

Serve with a sprinkle of spring onions.


I would have loved to have added a handful of dried prawns as per the recipe but as I said earlier, I’m trying to budget.  I had no complaints though, it was very good and once again, like the jambalaya last week, seconds and thirds went down!

* I say I but my only contribution to this meal was peeling the ginger and stirring the onions. Well done Mr S – delicious. This might have to be his blog soon, I feel like a fraud 😉

Creole Jambalaya

On 16th January 2015, This was Dinner…

Do you watch the Jamie & Jimmy program on Friday nights? In 21st century Britain I find it amazing (and quite sickening) the amount of food that it thrown away by supermarkets be it ugly veg, too small eggs or, as shown this week, food which is perfectly fine but past it’s sell be date. Well done to these guys in Bristol that gives junk food a completely different meaning.

A jambalaya for dinner tonight, this was a great comfort dish and will stand out as one of the best meals I’ve made recently.


  • Chop an onion
  • Crush some garlic cloves
  • Chop an orange pepper
  • Chop a green pepper
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Chop some parsley
  • Prepare some beef stock
  • Slice a chorizo
  • Get brown rice, pork mince, smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin, bay leaves, white wine, a tin of chopped tomatoes, raw prawns, sour cream, oil & seasoning ready


Season the pork well and form into small balls. Heat some oil in a pan and brown the meatballs all over. Remove from the pan.

Cook the chorizo in the pan until releasing it’s oil then remove from the pan.

Cook the onion, garlic and peppers until the onion is softened. Add the turmeric, paprika & cumin and stir through for about a minute. Add the bay leaves and then add a glass of wine and let it bubble for a couple of minutes.

Add the rice and then the stock, stir well, bring to the boil then cover and cook for about 15 minutes on a low heat.

Add the chorizo and pork balls back to the pan then cover again and cook for another 15 minutes.

Always keep checking that there is enough stock.

Add the prawns and cook through.

Just before serving, stir in the spring onions and parsley. Serve with a good dollop of sour cream.


The brown rice gave this an amazing texture and the whole thing was so full of flavour. There should have been leftovers but we both went back for seconds and thirds!

The original recipe is from an old BBC Good Food one I have in a file, I can’t find the original one online to link to.

On 17th January 2015 we walked into town to do a market shopping and ended up with a hot dog each. Chilli for me, chip shop curry for Mr S. It wasn’t the best day to pop to the pub as Donny Rovers were playing Barnsley :-/


On 26th December 2014, This was Dinner

It’s a tradition in our house to have a kedgeree on Boxing Day, it’s the perfect meal for the day after stuffing your face. I would feel smug that I ate something so good but I have to admit that we had this at lunch time and ordered pizzas in the evening to stuff ourselves full up again!


  • Trim some spring onions, separating the green from the white
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • ‘Hard’ boil a couple of eggs
  • Get butter, curry powder, rice, hot smoked salmon, sour cream and seasoning ready


Melt the butter in a pan and add the white onions and curry powder. Cook for a few minutes, stirring well. Once the onions start to soften, add the rice and stir to coat.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil then simmer until the rice is cooked.

Flake the salmon and stir through the rice along with the green parts of the onion to warm through and season well.

Serve with the eggs on top and a dollop of sour cream.


Butternut Squash, Mushroom & Gorgonzola Pilaf

On 19th October 2014, This was dinner

Butternut squash is one of my favourites at the moment and anything with mushrooms is always a winner. I thought I’d really got in to my blue cheese but if I was making this again I’d use a blue but something a bit lighter. Thank goodness I didn’t stick the lot in or it would have been beans and sausages on toast for me.

Once I actually got out of bed I had a really productive day or-goon-ising my recipes from countless magazines. It’s a very intense affair deciding which to keep and what section of the file they go in. 😉 I know I can find them online but I like that I have my favourites to flick through.


  • slice an onion
  • peel & bash a few garlic cloves
  • peel and dice a small butternut squash
  • quarter some mushrooms
  • chop some dried mushrooms
  • chop some sage leaves
  • crumble some gorgonzola
  • prepare some vegetable stock
  • get oil, (basmati & wild) rice & seasoning ready


Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic, Fry for about five minutes.

Add the squash and fresh mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the rice and give it all a good stir to coat.

Pour over the stock and add the dried mushrooms and sage.

Bring to the boil then cover and good for about 30-40 minutes, keeping an eye on it. Add more stock if required.

Season and add the cheese. Pop the lid back on and leave for five minutes then stir the melted cheese through and serve.


It’s only my own personal tastes and it can’t be that bad as I’ve got leftovers for lunch on Monday.

Here’s the original BBC Good Food recipe.

Sausage & Pea Risotto

On 10th October 2014, This was dinner…

Inspiration comes from Ainsley Harriot (Oh remember him? I hear you shout). Anyone who pulled a sofa sickie* or was a student* or had a school holiday* from the mid nineties onwards will do. I am surprised that it was on until 2010 though (source: Wikipedia).

Anyway, I will have mentioned before that having had a magazine recipe addiction as a child and losing a few unused cookbooks along the way (Thanks Mum), Ainsley’s were some of the first Mr S & I owned as a couple. It’s him I have to thank for finally liking Spaghetti Bolognese (not Dolmio) and my introduction to Quark.

This is a simple risotto made with the humble sausage and the even more humble pea. Hence the title, apologies, it’s Thursday evening and I’m in a sarcastic mood.


  • finely chop an onion
  • crush a couple of garlic cloves
  • grate some Parmesan
  • chop some parsley
  • get some sausages, butter, risotto rice, chicken stock, frozen peas and seasoning ready


Griddle the sausages until cooked through and pop to one side.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion and garlic, cook gently until softened.

Add the rice and stir well, coating in the butter.

Add a ladleful of the warm stock and stir, when the liquid has gone, add the next ladleful. Repeat this with your stock* until the rice is completely cooked.

Add the peas and chop the sausages and add these too. Season and add the Parmesan and parsley.


*delete as appropriate