Recipe: Fried Squid with Chorizo, Feta and Chickpea Salad

Squid & feta salad

I love seafood and regularly try to include it in our meal plans, G isn’t so keen, so sometimes, especially when I come across recipes like this, he will say that he doesn’t fancy it. But on this particular day when I showed him the Fried Squid with Chorizo, Feta and Chickpea Salad he said, yeah let’s give it a go.

I got the book Home at 7, dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright for my Christmas from a friend. I love to cook from scratch but all too often I am tired when it comes to dinner time so if the meal takes a lot of time to prep or cook, then I will go for something easier that I can rustle up. This is perfect, from start to finish all of the meal as easy to follow effortless recipes that a packed with flavour.


This recipe is an easy weeknight meal, perfect for 2 as a main course or a starter for 4 people. We love it and thanks to Sophie Wright for letting us post this amazing recipe. To find more recipes from Sophie, please visit her website.

Disclaimer: We were given permission from Sophie Wright to include her recipe. We have not been paid for this post.


Recipe: hake curry


My hake curry has featured on the blog so many times so I thought I’d share the recipe with you as I’ve had so many requests for it.

Serves 2

Curry paste of your choice, we like jalfreizi
A fillet of fish per person. Should be skinless for this dish
1 small onion
1tbsp olive oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
Half a pack of frozen prawns

1. Fry onion til soft in oil in a large frying pan with a lid
2. Mix three tbsp of curry paste in a bowl with the chopped tomatoes until combined well
3. Add curry mixture to onion and mix well. Add in your fillets of fish on top of the sauce then sprinkle over still frozen prawns pop on lid and cook for 30 mins
4. Serve with rice

Billingsgate Seafood Training School

My regular readers will know I am so passionate about seafood I eat it most days and my kids love it too. It's their preferred option. Excellent. I also work for the industry, this is not the reason I love it, but it certainly heightened my passion.A lot of my job involves working in the office but there are occasions that I get out & about and I am really lucky that as part of that I've had the chance to go to Billingsgate Seafood Training School twice to do very different work. The two experiences have been very different, one a food lovers course, learning how to fillet and cook seafood and the other recipe development for the schools outreach programme.

The food lovers course I went to was with the Gorgeous Allan Pickett from The Plateux Restaurant in Canary Wharf, London. I went with English Mum to introduce her to the Fish is the dish campaign. We made plaice in a burre blanc sauce and it was amazing, I make this often just changing the seafood and OMG, it's tremendous.

The courses don't cost that much, the evening ones are good for those who love cooking and there are also early morning ones where the likes of Adam Whittle at the school will take you round the fish market, explaining everything about it. It is so informative. Have a look at the courses and you can find one that whets your appetite. If you can't and there is something you want to do, drop them a line, if there is enough interest in a certain area, perhaps they can look to develop something.

Now onto the recipe development. We had 10 different recipes that we wanted to try, the classroom can hold up to 12 students and every bench had different seafood on it with all of the ingredients prepped with the recipes to hand. We made loads of dishes that day, getting to taste them all. This was my favourite dish of the day:

Mussels steamed in Apple juice Serves 2 -3

1kg fresh mussels
15g butter
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
150mls apple juice
squeeze lemon juice
2 tablespoons half fat crème fraiche
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Rinse the mussels in cold water,discard any that do not close when tapped.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until soft and transparent.
3. Add thyme, apple juice and a squeeze of lemon. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes until the mussels have opened. Shake the pan and/or stir the mussels to ensure even cooking.
4. Using a slotted spoon transfer the mussels to a serving dish. Strain the cooking liquid and bring to the boil and leave it to bubble until reduced by half.
5. Stir in the crème fraiche and parsley and pour over the mussels.

Serve with crusty bread.

For more information about Billingsgate schools outreach project click here or to go on the food lovers course click here.

Disclaimer: the recipe was developed by Billingsgate Seafood Training School.


Slow Cooker Curry


I make a mean chicken curry even if I do say so myself. Until Mediocre Mum started Slow Cooker Sunday, I must admit my slow cooker had been relegated to the shelf in the cupboard forgetting that it really was so versatile and not just about stews, but you really could make ANYTHING in it including cakes.

You may remember I made a chicken curry in the slow cooker a few weeks ago but this one kicks it’s ass (sorry, but it does) so why is that, and what did I do differently? I marinated my meat and cooked this in my griddle pan and added it to the slow cooker around 20 minutes before serving. I must say this was just as good as the takeaway and something I look forward to making again.

1 finely sliced onion
1 tbsp ghee
2 tsps curry paste
2 cans tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 chicken stock cubes
50ml hot water from previously boiled kettle
100g lentils
1 chicken breast per person
1 tbsp tandoori powder
3 tbsps natural yoghurt


  1. Saute finely chopped onion in ghee in a large frying pan. When softened add curry paste (you can use any paste for this, ours was very spicy so only needs 2 tsps, but you can change according to your taste) and let the paste release it’s flavour
  2. Add cans of tomatoes, stock cubes & water and add lentils. Once bubbling decant into your slow cooker. We popped this on low for 6 hours.
  3. Add tandoori powder & yoghurt into a large bowl and mix
  4. Cut chicken in to pieces around an inch in size then add into the tandoori sauce & mix until coated then cover & leave in the fridge until you have an hour to go in your slow cooker
  5. heat a griddle pan until very hot, add a glug of olive oil and cook the chicken until cooked through, leave to rest on the side for 10 minutes then add to your chicken to the slow cooker for 20 minutes then you are ready to serve with fluffy rice, raita & naan.

Head over to mediocre mum for more slow cooking ideas

Chicken Pie

Chicken pie has become a staple in this house. I have to say I don't like shop bought ones but Grim loves pie, so I decided to have a go at making one myself. Inspired by other recipes, I have perfected my own. Here is what we do.


  • Finely sliced onion
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Clove of garlic
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • Small pack of pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • Ready rolled if pastry


  1. Pop oven on at 180 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil in frying pan and sauté the sliced onion until soft
  3. Slice chicken into small pieces (bite sized) and add to frying pan until golden brown
  4. Add flour then milk and mix, I add a wee bit more milk depending on how tick it get, just until I get a little sauce then stir until it thickens
  5. Cook & crisp up the pancetta and add to mixture. Decant into a pie dish then cover with ready rolled puff pastry and brush with a little milk
  6. Cook in oven until the pastry has puffed up and gone golden brown


You can add anything you like to the filling, we sometimes. Include frozen sweetcorn or fresh mushrooms too.



Slow cooker – ham in cider


During a netmums Masterclass on slow cooking, I helped lots of people with little tip that I had learned but I was really there to learn for myself. I only ever make ‘safe’ slow cooker staples and I wanted to push myself.

At the Masterclass there were lots if people on there who were making a ham in their slow cooker then using the left overs for lunch. At £3 a ham which will do dinner and at least 3 days sandwiches is a real costing saving idea. But will it work.

Last night we had Ham in cider in the slow cooker & I cut it as thin as I could for lunches. It tasted amazing & Grim said he loves it so yes I’d say we are onto a winner. Here’s what we did

1 ham
1 can of cider
1 bay leaf
6 cloves
Boiling water to cover meat

1. Put ham into slow cooker, pour in cider, add bay leaf & cloves. Fill with boiling water to top of meat
2. Put slow cooker on low for 5 – 6 hrs and viola that’s it!

Aly @plus2point4 said to soak overnight but I had already planned it for last night’s dinner when I asked. I would definitely do this next time as it was slightly too salty.

Fish on Friday

Apologies for this being a late post, I know it’s Saturday and no longer Friday but yesterday was a manic day & I never got time to complete this post.

As many of my readers know we are real Fish Fanatics in this house, we eat seafood more often than any other protein and the great thing is that you can eat it all year and not get bored cause there are so many different species to try. We are part of the Fish is the dish campaign, it’s all about getting families to eat more seafood and even although we eat loads of seafood, we have managed to fit in more & be more adventurous with the species that we try. I have to be honest when I received the halibut steaks I did wonder what I was going to so with them, and Grim said he didn’t like the look of it. Right great start! So I decided to keep it really simple, I wanted to try the fish and see what it tasted of and the texture so I didn’t want to put a sauce with it. This is often how I try new seafood for the first time.

I used a technique I learned at Billingsgate when I went there with English Mum and we were being taught by the now famous, Allan Pickett of the Plateau Restaurant at Canary Wharf. He was on Masterchef recently and we loved it. He is brilliant! Sorry I digress…… I pan fried the halibut in some butter. Here is how I did it, and it really was this easy.

Get the frying pan really hot then add some butter, let it melt. When the butter is bubbling and starts to go brown I added the halibut steaks, I left these for around 5 minutes until it was golden brown and the flesh of the fish had started to go from translucent to opaque on the top side, I turned over and pan fried the other side for 5 mins. I tested it with a fork to make sure the flesh of the fish was flaking away from the bone and then served with steamed veg from the allotment.

You can serve it with any veg really. The fish was lovely, Grim thought it was great despite his unfamiliarity with it and we would have it again. It was a really meaty fish with a subtle fish taste, it wasn’t strong at all.

If you’d like more recipes to help you get more seafood in your diet visit Fish is the dish or follow them on Twitter or Like them on Facebook.

Chicken and Chickpea stew slow cooker


As part of Mediocre Mum’s Slow cooker Sunday I adapted my previous casserole that I posted and this one is sooooo much better. S please do give it a go. I used hot paprika by accident, I meant to use smoked as I’m breastfeeding Bubbles and he doesn’t like too much spicy foods. Oops, wished I’d bought some creme fraiche as it would have been perfect. Also we only cooked this on high for 3.5 hrs as I had baby brain and forgot to out it on. Mediocre Mum saved me with her advice on timing. Thanks Chrissie :-)

2 large chicken breasts cut up
1 onion
1/2 chorizo sausage
2 tbsp paprika
Salt & pepper
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
olive oil
Can of chickpeas

1. Cut up your chorizo into pound coin sized pieces and fry until it starts to colour and the lovely paprika oil starts to come out of the sausage. Turn on your slow cooker to high and then add the chorizo pieces to your slow cooker, but leave the oil behind.
2. Dice your onion and add to the frying pan, adding a little olive oil if you need it. Fry until softened but not browned. Then drain your chickpeas and add them, add in the chicken stock cude and the chopped tomatoes. heat until bubbling then add to your slow cooker.
3. Cut up your chicken and put into a bag with your paprika and some salt and pepper. Seal the bag and coat the chicken with all of the paprika. Heat some more oil in the frying pan until very hot then add the coated chicken. Fry this until the paprika starts to blacken a little and you can see the chicken underneath starting to cook. Then add to the slow cooker.
4. Cook on high for 3.5 – 4 hours then serve with rice and creme fraiche

Enjoy :-)

Meal Planning Monday 26th March 2012

I’m taking part in Meal Planning Monday hosted by Mrs M. Below is our weekly meal planner.

Meal Planning Monday

Last week I was bad again, I did my meal planning but G Man decided he didn’t fancy what we had one night and then I started to feel ill from Tuesday. Turns out it was a chest infection and after visiting out of hours surgery yesterday, I now have antibiotics and feeling a bit better today. At 38+5wks pregnant, I could do without Buddy & I being ill. Oh and wait for it, G Man now has it, so I’ve man flu to look forward to as well 😉

Monday -Tonight we are using up some pasta things, I have pregnant Jools pasta sauce in the freezer and G Man has got a four cheese sauce that he didn’t realise had blue cheese in it (doh!)

Tuesday – Scallops & Chorizo – This combination is stunning and we are using our scallops from  Delish Fish we’ll serve it with paprika potato wedges.

Wednesday – We are taking part in the Fish is the Dish campaign and last week we received some fish from The Saucy Fish Company (Blog out tomorrow) we had the Cod in piri piri sauce last week so it’s Sea Bass this week. Very much looking forward to this.

Thursday – Smoked mackerel pate on baked potato with an apple & cumin salad

Friday – Kedgeree – The smoked haddock from Delish Fish is a firm favourite with anyone who tries it!

Saturday – Chicken & bacon pie

Sunday – Roast Chicken and the trimmings, we made this a couple of weeks ago and used the recipe from Karen at Lavender & Lovage for our Yorkshire puddings and they were brilliant. Thanks Karen!

I’ll update you with recipes of interest during the week.

And of course I’ll be using all of my fabulous Pampered Chef Products. I have my own website where you can buy what you like visit it here.

Meal Planning Monday 19th March 2012

I’m taking part in Meal Planning Monday hosted by Mrs M. Below is our weekly meal planner.

Meal Planning Monday

I haven’t done my shopping or my list for this week as I’ve not got myself together yet, so I’ve looked in the freezer and the cupboards and this is the plan for meals this week. I still haven’t even thought about my batch cooking for when baby come, so if you have any suggestions then please comment below, I need things that I can either cook or slow cook just now to freeze!

Monday -Pepperoni Pizza – I bought a rectangle stone from Pampered Chef recently and it makes the base so crispy, so we’ll have this tonight with rocket over the top!

Tuesday – fresh pasta (shop bought, do you know I’ve never made my own, I’d love to get a pasta maker, but until I try it at someone else’s abode think it would be something I’d get, try and then leave in the back of my cupboard somewhere) with a nice tomato & chilli sauce – I’ll rustle this up.

Wednesday – Kedgeree – The smoked haddock from Delish Fish is a firm favourite with anyone who tries it!

Thursday – Chicken enchiladas

Friday – Pregnant Jools Pasta – This has to be my favourite dish next to kedgeree right now. Again from Jamie Oliver’s 30 minute meals.

Saturday – Spaghetti bolognese, we will make this in the Pampered Chef deep covered baker which is much like a slow cooker in terms of results but it cooks in half the time. My all time favourite piece of Pampered Chef kit! You just stick in everything raw (frozen if you are like me and forget to take the mince out of the freezer) and it still comes out a scrummy dish.

Sunday – Salmon en croute

I’ll update you with recipes of interest during the week.

And of course I’ll be using all of my fabulous Pampered Chef Products. I have my own website where you can buy what you like visit it here.