Bangin Bagels

I’ve always turned to bagels for a tasty treat since I had my first bagel at Murray’s Bagels in New York quite a long time ago. They are the ultimate, healthy fast food on the go and will keep you satisfied until your next pit stop.

You can put almost anything in as a filling and it works, just think big, overloaded and packed and you’re onto a winner. 

I made mine with Grilled Halloumi, Mascarpone, Emmental, Sliced Chicken, Honey Roast Ham, Spicy Chorizo, Baby Spinach leaves, Sliced Plum Tomatoes, Slices of Dill Pickle, all warmed in an oven for around 10 minutes
Mix it up and satisfy your tastebuds.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Healthy Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a very subtle, light lunchtime soup that is so easy to make you can make a batch of it to use through the week, if you want to vary the taste, add prawns, finely chopped lemongrass, soy and chilli at cooking stage to have a great Noodle Ramen

Ingredients: serves 4

25g unsalted butter
2 leeks, very finely sliced
4 carrots, very finely sliced
3 celery sticks very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
15g finely grated ginger
1.5 lt organic chicken stock
3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts
150g med egg noodles
Juice of 2 lemons
Handful of parsley

Method

Melt your butter in a large saucepan on a low heat
Add carrots, celery and leeks and put lid and cook until soft, keep stirring now and again
Add garlic and ginger for a minute
Add stock, bring to boil then simmer for around 10 minutes
Add chicken
Add noodles and cook for another 10 minutes
Check seasoning
Garnish with Parsley

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Happy St Patrick’s Day

La fheile Padraig sona dhuit

Being from Dublin, I have made an Irish coffee to celebrate the great man. I was taught how to make Irish Coffee in the Horseshoe Bar Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin in 1979 by a fantastic bartender named Sean kelly.

This is the ONLY way to make it, you will hear all manner of variations on how to do it, what to put in or on it, but this is the Irish, old fashioned way to make it. As Sean said, it’s like pouring a pint of Guinness, take your time, hum a little Irish song when doing it and, you will have the tastiest, most comforting drink on the planet and as they say in the fair land, “A silent mouth, is sweet to hear”

 

Irish Coffee

Ingredients :serves 1

Very hot, black coffee

2 tsp brown sugar

1 shot (45 ml) Irish whiskey, I use Jameson, but Paddy or Bushmills will work

Chilled double cream, lightly whipped so that it just pours

A stem glass

 

Method:

Heat your glass with hot water, ( frankie tip: always put a metal spoon in glass to stop it cracking as the spoon absorbs the heat) when glass is hot pour out the water

Add your hot coffee and sugar and stir well

Add your whiskey and stir

Very gently pour your cream onto the coffee over the back of a warm spoon, just up to the rim

Pick it up gently by the stem as the glass will be hot!

Sip it through the cool cream, close your eyes, are you in Irish green fields yet with the mist falling gently on your head.
Happy St Patrick’s Day

 

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Sweet Asian meatballs

Asian Meatballs with a sweet sauce

A very simple and quick dish for busy people, you can even assemble it the night before and cook the next day.

Ingredients: serves 4

Meatballs:

Light oil

500g minced, good quality beef

1 tbsp finely chopped, fresh ginger

4 tbsps  very finely chopped coriander

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 red onion, very finely chopped

 

For tamarind glaze:

2 tbsps light oil

2-3 tbsps tamarind paste

250ml runny honey

4 tbsps fresh lime juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

 

Meatballs: method

Get your oven onto 240C

Lightly brush large roasting tin with the oil

Combine all your meatball ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well

Shape into walnut sized meatballs

Drizzle over a little oil

Roast for 12 mins

 

Glaze: method

Place all the ingredients into a small pot and bring to boil

Once boiling, reduce to a gentle simmer for 6 mins

When meatballs cooked, spoon over 2 tbsp of sauce and cook for further 4 mins, then serve with remainder of sauce either poured over or as a dipping sauce

Serve with plain white rice and Asian Greens such as sauteed Pak Choi and  whole Spring Onions

 

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Green Goddess

Get into juicing, it’s a natural way to cleanse and detox your mind and body and a great way to start your day

Lot’s of great recipes coming onto the site starting with this Great Green Thing:

Ingredients:

2 green apples, peeled and cored

1/2 melon peeled and cleaned

20-30 seedless grapes

Handful of spinach leaves

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1/2 cucumber peeled and sliced

100ml coconut water

Cube of ice

 

Throw the lot in a juicer and blitz, feel those vitamins (C B K E ) getting into your body…..

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Sweet Potato Cakes etc….

The only thing I would say about making these cakes (from Books for Cooks) is when forming them, give them a nice, tight squeeze between your hands and leave them in the fridge to firm up for around two hours, otherwise they might not keep their shape and fall apart.

Make your sauce first

Ingredients: serves 4

150ml thick, plain yoghurt

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

Zest one orange

Handful of coriander, finely chopped

 

Mix all of the above really well and place in fridge

 

Sweet Potato Cakes

Ingredients: serves 4

700g sweet potatoes, peeled and grated

3 tbsp flour

60g parmesan

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp sour cream

2 tsp ground coriander

salt and pepper, a big pinch of each

sunflower oil

 

Mix all of the above very well and tightly form them with your hands  into around 10 flat cakes

Get your pan hot on a low to medium flame/heat and very lightly oil the pan

Cook in batches of three for around  mins on each side until slightly charred and crispy

Serve with a dollop of the sauce, goes well with this Minty Spinach Salad:

Ingredients: serves 4

190g spinach leaves

1 red onion, chopped finely

Dressing:

1 tbsp mint, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp runny honey

½ tsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

6 tbsp olive oil

Mix all of the dressing ingredients really well in a bottle with lid and pour over spinach and onions.

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Perfect Hot Chocolate

What more could you want than the perfect hot choc, it so easy, just use a coffee foamer or frantic whacking with a whisk for the milk and chocolate powder

Good quality chocolate powder, I use Spanish at least two tablespoons, as usual with all recipes, taste as you go to get the balance that’s right for you

1/2 tsp sugar

Full fat milk, just below the boil

Sprinkle of nutmeg and or cinnamon to your liking

To finish, sprinkle of crushed chocolate flake and a shaving of orange rind, if you want it with more of a hit,  try chilli chocolate shavings!

Serve with a nice bar of chocolate, mmmIMG_7755

 

 

Jambalaya

Jambalaya, a quick easy lunch that is made in a hot flash, with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of tabasco it’s ready to enjoy

 

Ingredients: Serves 4

A glug of rapeseed oil

100g of good quality, smoky chorizo, chopped

1 onion, chopped small

3 breasts of chicken, chopped small

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

1tbsp-2tbsp of cajun seasoning

20 cooked peeled prawns

350g organic chicken stock

1tsp fresh, chopped oregano

1 bay leaf

250g long grain rice

3 plum tomatoes, chopped small

 

Method

Put your chorizo onto a hot pan and cook for around 3 mins each side and remove to one side

Add your oil to pan and cook off chicken until nicely browned all over, around 8 mins and remove.

Add onions and fry until soft, then add peppers, garlic, seasoning, oregano, bay, and tomatoes and cook for around 5 mins releasing all those wonderful aromas into the kitchen.

Add chicken, chorizo, rice and stock, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, around 20mins, test for bite on the rice then add prawns to warm through for last 2 mins.

Serve with lemon wedges, tabasco  and a hunk of crusty bread, how good is that?

Frankie tip: Add diced cooked pork as well for extra meatiness.

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Bread Ahead Bakery School

Borough Market one of my favourite places in London, has been around since the 13th century so it’s not surprising that it’s seen some changes during that time. It’s a great place to wander around for a couple of hours and I normally go on a thursday when it’s a bit quieter. It gives me time to actually look at the products on offer and talk to the stall holders to really understand what drives their passion so much, that they want to stand in the freezing cold in order to sell you a tasty plate of paella or an amazing cheese.

The only advice I can give you is to go hungry,  get there around 11am and don’t be tempted to eat the first tasty thing you see,  as there is sure to something better around the corner, so have a walk around first, note what you like and leave the burger till last!

Going to do a course with Bread Ahead a great bakery school in the heart of the market, who not only teach you how to bake bread but also show you the art of the doughnut!

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