Thursday, 19 May 2022

CREAMY WHITE ASPARAGUS, LEMON & TARRAGON PASTA WITH PAN FRIED COD


OK, ok I will stop with the white asparagus obsession soon but while its are still in season I simply HAD to share this super delicious, simple and quick to make recipe for a creamy pasta with a twist!

It's truly no gourmet cooking, more the sort of thing you can rustle up after a long day of work when only a bowl of carbs will, but it's still packed full of lovely flavours and textures and the grilled cod makes a fab omega 3 packed finishing touch.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS 

  • 500G WHITE ASPARAGUS
  • BUNCH OF TARRAGON
  • 1X LEMON
  • 2 TBSP BUTTER
  • 2 COD FILETTS
  • SALT
  • 400G SPAGHETTI
  • 250ML DOUBLE CREAM

METHOD
  • Peel the asparagus and snap off  the woody ends.
  • Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside.
  • Cut the remaining asparagus spears into bite sized chunks.
  • Next up, finely chop the tarragon.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp of the butter in a frying pan and add the asparagus tips.
  • Sauté until starting to brown.
  • Wash and pat dry the cod fillets, then season them on both sides.
  • Now time for the spaghetti!
  • Cook them until al dente in salted boiling water, adding the chopped up asparagus spears when there is about 4 minutes of cooking time left so that they get cooked through as well.
  • Drain pasta and asparagus chunks, keeping a little of the cooking water to one side.
  • Return the drained pasta and asparagus to the saucepan.
  • Add the double cream, juice of one lemon, chopped tarragon and salt and mix well over a medium heat, adding some pasta water if needed to make a creamy sauce.
  • Heat up the remaining butter in another frying pan and pan fry the cod fillets for 3 minutes on each side until the fish is cooked through.
  • Serve up the pasta, topping it with the asparagus tips and cod fillet.
  • Serve immediately!

Monday, 16 May 2022

HAWAIIAN BBQ SALMON BURGERS WITH GRILLED PINEAPPLE & SMASHED AVO


I am always on the look out for a non meaty burger that isn't based around a bland bean patty or a dry fish cake and OH MY...this Hawaiian BBQ salmon burger with grilled pineapple and smashed avocado is all kinds of WOW, I would even go as far as that it is rather restaurant worthy!

A shop bought BBQ sauce is pimped up into something quite extraordinary by adding pineapple and lime juice as well as fresh coriander, while the burger patties are a wonderful combo of finely chopped salmon, Parmesan some of that "Hawaiian" bbq sauce and panko breadcrumbs. 

This sort of perfect marriage of sweet and savoury is continued with pineapple rings which are pan fried in coconut oil, to be later layered on top of the salmon patties and some mashed avocado, all topped with more BBQ sauce and some thin cheese slices, because why the hell not!

It's crunchy, juicy, sweet, savoury and packed full of flavours and one of the best burgers I have ever made!

Perfect for BBQ season, perfect for when you are craving a burger and sure to impress guests, these burgers are a new favourite of mine and will be added to the regular rotation!

Best served with fries (I went for the best easy frozen sweet potato ones from Waitrose) and more of that amazing tropical BBQ sauce!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 fillets of fresh raw salmon (skin removed)
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 slices sandwich cheese
  • 4 brioche burger buns
  • 2 avocado sliced or mashed (optional)
  • lettuce
  • 2 large pineapple rings preferably from a fresh pineapple

METHOD
  • In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce, pineapple juice, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
  • Set aside for later.
  • Add salmon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it’s somewhat ground. 
  • You can also chop the salmon very finely with a sharp knife like I did!
  • Remove and add salmon to a bowl with the panko bread crumbs, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the hawaiian BBQ sauce from step 1 (save the rest for serving) and mix with a spoon until just combined.
  • Form into 2 equally sized burger patties.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Cook burger patties on each side until golden, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • During the last minute of cooking add the cheese slices.
  • In a separate frying pan heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and place the pineapple slices in the pan.
  • Cook for about 3-4 mins, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • To assemble place a piece of lettuce on the bottom of a bun, then the burger, mashed or sliced avocado and a ring of pineapple.
  • Drizzle each burger with the remaining Hawaiian BBQ sauce.
  • Serve with fries of your liking!

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

TAGLIARINI WITH RAW COURGETTE, BROWN SHRIMP, CHILLI & LEMON


Fresh, super simple to make but very impressive looking and tasting when plated up - this pasta dish is perfect for showcasing fresh, high quality ingredients to their fullest and for me is basically spring on a plate!! 

Brown shrimp aren't that easy to find but definitely worth a trip to a market or fishmonger! 

Normal spaghetti will also work fine but I love the even thiner and finer tagliarini which I got from an Italian deli near me.

It's the sort of dish that is already a joy to shop for, a little more effort involved than a quick trip to your Sainsbury's local but all the more worth it when you have a Saturday or Sunday to yourself and can have a little potter around your favourite foodie produce spots.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g of tagliarini, or use spaghetti or linguine (fresh or dried)
  • 8 tbsp of courgettes, coarsley grated
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 80g of unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 6 tbsp of brown shrimp, cooked and peeled

METHOD
  • Place the grated courgette in a colander and add ½ teaspoon fine salt. 
  • Place a bowl under the colander and leave for 1 hour. 
  • Squeeze out the courgette to extract as much liquid as possible
  • Put a large pan of water on to boil. 
  • Once the water is boiling, add enough salt to resemble mild sea water. 
  • Add the tagliarini and cook for 2 minutes (if using dried pasta cook until al dente)
  • At the same time, in a saucepan big enough to hold the pasta, heat together the butter, a splash of the pasta cooking water, lemon juice and chilli over a low to medium heat. 
  • When the pasta is cooked, remove it from the water and add it to the pan of butter and lemon to toss. 
  • Keep the pasta cooking water
  • Add the raw courgette and brown shrimp and vigorously toss the pasta in the pan for at least 30 seconds to work the gluten, adding a splash of starchy cooking water if it starts to dry up. 
  • Continue tossing the pasta until the sauce emulsifies and becomes viscous, and season with salt. 
  • Serve immediately.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

WHITE ASPARAGUS WITH CURRY BUTTER, SEA BASS & POTATO PEA MASH


Germans will know white asparagus season means spring is truly here and being a massive fan of this niche vegetable (at least in the UK) I was SOOO excited to cook my first dinner of 2022 including some!

I loved the unusual curry butter topping and the white asparagus paired with some pan fried sea bass, plus the potato and pea mash was a real relevation when it comes to adding a bit of green and freshness to your standard mash.

Expect more white asparagus content in the next few weeks on here because I LOVE IT! And the season is after all only once a year.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

WHITE ASPARAGUS & CURRY BUTTER
  • 120g Butter (room temperature)
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tsp Curry Powder
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 500g white asparagus
POTATO & PEA MASH
  • 800g boiled potatoes
  • Sea Salt
  • 150g Frozen pesa
  • 200ml Milk
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
SEABASS
  • 2 Seabass fillets
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

METHOD
  • Using a handhold mixer, combine the butter and salt until they combine into a creamy texture.
  • Add the curry powder, lemon juice and zest and keep mixing until everything is well combined. 
  • Spread the curry butter in a thin layer on some cling film and wrap up into a log.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Peel the white asparagus, cut off the ends, then boil it in salted, boiling water for 12-15 minutes (check the consistency and cooked through-ness with a knife ever so often).
  • Peel your potatoes and cut them into bite sized pieces.
  • Cook them in boiling, salted water for 20-25 minutes.
  • In the last 5 minutes of boiling time, add the frozen peas.
  • Drain both, add back to the sauce pain and mash until smooth.
  • Add the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well under moderate heat.
  • Keep the mash warm.
  • Now to make the sea bass.
  • Heat up your olive oil in a frying pan to medium / hot.
  • Add the sea bass, skin side down, and let it crisp up nicely for a minute or two, before flipping the fish and searing the other side
  • Now it's time to plate up!
  • Serve up the mash, asparagus and sea bass and top with slices of the curry butter log, ready to melt on top!


Tuesday, 12 April 2022

MANGO AVOCADO SOBA NOODLES WITH SESAME TUNA POKE.

I was after something super fresh, satisfying yet not involving too much faff when it came to my Sunday dinner last weekend and this little Asian fusion number ticks all the boxes. 

Sober noodles, in a tahini, sesame oil and oyster sauce dressing, work a treat when tossed with juicy mango chunks, avocado and sugar snap peas, full of crunch, flavour and the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.

This irresistible mix then gets topped with a super easy to make tuna poke -chunks of raw tuna quickly marinated in rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and honey, some cucumber slices, sprouts and sesame seed and what you end up with is one bowl of absolute goodness! Seriously the perfect sort of supper for a balmy spring or summer eve and I am happy there are quite a few to come!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

TUNA POKE
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 400g of top quality, fresh tuna steak

SOBA NOODLES
  • 340g soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 salad onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tahini
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 200g mango bitesized Mango chunks
  • 1 cup cooked snap peas
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Sprouts and sesame seeds for serving
METHOD
  • In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ginger, and garlic. 
  • Add the tuna and toss to combine. 
  • The tuna can marinate for up to 8 hours in the fridge. 
  • Next cook the soba noodles according to package directions and rinse under cold water.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat and add the sesame oil. 
  • Add the salad onions and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • Remove the frying pan from the heat, add the soba noodles and toss to combine. 
  • Add the tahini, lemon juice, and oyster sauce, gently tossing to combine. 
  • Add the mango, snap peas, and avocado, gently tossing once more. 
  • Divide the noodles among bowls and top with the tuna, cucumbers, sprouts, and sesame seeds AND ENJOY!

Thursday, 7 April 2022

HALLOUMI SOUVLAKI


I absolutely adored this veggie friendly twist on a usually pretty meaty Souvlaki and the complexity of flavours and textures it delivered. 

Flatbreads are topped with a sun-dried tomato and caper sort of tapenade, balsamic glaze roasted aubergine chunks, halloumi and homemade tzatziki plus a few slices of raw red onion, yes a few elements to prep but OH SO WORTH IT! Best served with some fries and an Aperol Spritz on the side to get you in the mood for summer!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Flatbreads (I used these yummy ones from Waitrose)
  • 220g Halloumi cheese, diced 
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 medium-size Aubergine, cut into four and sliced.
  • 1tbsp of balsamic glaze
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4tsp of salt
  • 1/4tsp of black pepper
  • 1tsp of oregano
  • 120g sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil
  • 2tsp of baby capers 
  • Half a red onion sliced into rings
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds to serve

FOR THE TZATZIKI 
400g of cucumber (1 medium-sized)
  • 6tbsp of Greek yoghurt
  • 10g of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Drizzle of lemon juice
  • 1/2tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2tsp of salt
  • 1/4tsp of sugar


METHOD 
  • Begin by soaking diced Halloumi in water with 1/2 lemon juice for a duration of 30 minutes. 
  • Next, prepare Tzatziki. 
  • Grate the cucumber into a bowl then squeeze out the excess juice by using a cloth or sieve.
  • Mix cucumber with 6tbsp of Greek yoghurt, 10g of finely chopped dill, 2 minced garlic cloves. 
  • Drizzle with lemon juice and season with 1/2tsp of black pepper, 1/2tsp of salt and 1/4tsp of sugar. 
  • Rest in the fridge until the serving time.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  • Mix sliced Aubergine with 1tbsp of balsamic glaze, 1tbsp of olive oil, 1/4tsp of salt, 1/4tsp of black pepper, 1tsp of oregano. 
  • Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove Halloumi cheese from the water and place on a separate baking tray, season with olive oil and place in the oven next to the Aubergine for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In the meantime blend 120g of sundried tomato with 2tsp of baby capers and place in a small dish.
  • Heat both sides of flatbread on a frying pan ready to serve. 
  • Spread one side with sun-dried tomato paste. 
  • Add few pieces of roasted Halloumi and aubergine.Add a couple spoons of Tzatziki and garnish with red onion and pomegranate seeds.
  • ENJOY!

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

MUSTARD CRUST ROASTED SEA BASS WITH BRUSSELS SPROUT POTATO HASH


Who knew a bit of wholegrain mustard mixed with olive oil would work SO well on top of some white fish! I was completely wowed by the punchy yet not overpowering mustard crust on top of a piece of roasted sea bass. It was also a total delight served with a delicious roast veg number of thinly sliced brussels sprouts and potatoes, roasted in the oven with some rosemary and cumin seeds. 

A one pan (+ frying pan if you want to give the sea bass skin a quick crisp up before the oven) sort of dinner that is healthy, wholesome but definitely not lacking in flavour!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 600g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A few fresh rosemary twigs, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200g Brussel Sprouts, thinly sliced
  • Pinch cumin sees
  • 2 sea bass fillets (skin on)
  • 2–4 teaspoons good wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

METHOD
  • Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • Slice potatoes and shallots and toss with oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl. 
  • Place them on a baking paper lined tray ( save the bowl) in a single layer and bake 20-25 minutes.
  • Slice the brussel sprouts and place in the same oily bowl. 
  • Toss, add a pinch of cumin seeds and a little more salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Mix the wholegrain mustard and oil together in a small bowl and season the fish with salt and pepper. Divide the mustard mixture, spooning it over the fish.
  • Sear the sea bass, skin down, on a high temperature for a couple of minutes in a frying pan for a crispy skin.
  • After the potatoes have baked 20 minutes, add the brussel sprouts and give them all a little toss. 
  • Bake for another 10 minutes
  • Make a spot for the fish and bake for a further 10-12 more minutes, until fish is cooked through.
  • Divide the potato brussel sprout hash among two bowls and top with the mustard glazed fish.
  • Serve with optional purple sprouting broccoli.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

BAKED SALMON WITH THE BEST CREAMY LEMON SAUCE


This super tasty dinner essentially is a fishy version of meat and two veg but oh my is it far from average!!!! The baked salmon, roast broccoli and slow roast potatoes are indeed elevated into something rather special when topped with the out of this world herby lemon cream sauce that comes with this dish! A wholesome supper for wish you really only need one big roasting tray and one saucepan but which delivers on all flavour fronts! Absolutely a new regular in the recipe repertoire.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BAKING TRAY

  • For the Sheet Pan:
  • 750g baby new potatoes
  • Olive oil + garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • 250g tenderstem broccoli 
  • 2 salmon fillets
FOR THE LEMON & HERB SAUCE
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. . 
  • Add the potatoes to a large baking tray and toss with a little bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned and delicious.
  • While the potatoes are roasting, make your sauce. 
  • Melt the butter over medium low heat. 
  • Add the garlic, shallot, and thyme sprigs; sauté for 3-5 minutes until soft and fragrant. 
  • Add broth and cream; bring to a low simmer. 
  • Let the sauce hang out over low heat until it starts to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprigs. 
  • Whisk in the lemon juice, stir in the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add the broccoli and the salmon to the potato pan (keeping the potatoes on there). 
  • Toss or brush with a little more oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the salmon is just cooked, I like have it a little on the raw side
  • Serve salmon, potatoes, and broccoli with big spoonfuls of sauce, more herbs, and more lemon wedges AND ENJOY!

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

WHIPPED GOATS CHEESE & YOGURT TOPPED WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, ZHOUG & ROASTED HAZELNUTS


OK, not to overstate things but this dip is pretty much life changing. In fact I would even say it is the best dip I have ever made with my own hands, if not the best dip to ever pass my lips!! 

Why? Well the combo of roasted butternut squash chunks, zhoug (a bold, herbal spice sauce with coriander, cloves, parsley and a kick of green chilli), whipped yogurt and goats cheese with a hint of lemon and roasted hazelnuts, all combined and layered together is simply STUNNING!

Make it as a starter, for a picnic or just about any time of the day -  trust me on this one, make this ASAP and never look back!

I served the dip with a fluffy white Turkish flatbread but it will work equally well with pitta bread, crudités or even slices of baguettes.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Large Butternut Squash
  • 300g Greek Yoghurt
  • 100g Goat's Cheese
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Bunches of Coriander (60g)
  • 2 Tsp Ground Cardamom
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 50g Hazelnuts
  • Bread to serve
METHOD
  • Slice the butternut squash into bite sized chunks. 
  • Toss in a roasting tray with a good drizzle of olive oil and a big pinch of salt and roast for about 40 mins until golden.
  • In a bowl, mix together the greek yogurt and goat's cheese with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. 
  • Set aside. 
  • Grate the garlic into a blender before chopping up your chilli and adding to the blender along with the coriander, cardamom, cumin and chilli flakes.
  • Squeeze in the juice of a lemon and add about 100ml of olive oil. 
  • Whizz until not quite smooth.
  • Once the squash is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. 
  • Spread the yoghurt and goat's cheese mixture across a large plate and then pile up the squash, drizzling each layer with some of the zhoug.
  • Roughly chop and toast the hazelnuts, sprinkle over the top and finish with the rest of the zhoug 

Thursday, 17 March 2022

THE EASIEST PRAWN & CHILLI SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH BASIL


It finally feels like spring is in the air and this prawn pasta is just about the perfect supper for warmer days! 

Easy to make, super tasty and full of fresh flavours, you really cannot go wrong with this pasta!! Plus it's ready to be eaten in less than half an hour!

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g/7oz raw king prawns, deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree 
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g spaghetti or linguine
  • Large bunch of basil, leaves roughly torn
METHOD
  • Heat half the oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat. 
  • Add the prawns and half the garlic. Fry for 2–3 minutes or until the prawns turn pink. 
  • Tip onto a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. 
  • Add the remaining oil, the rest of the garlic and the chilli. Fry for 2 minutes. 
  • Add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of salted water according to the packet instructions. 
  • Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. 
  • Add the pasta to the sauce with a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and toss together to coat the pasta. Return the prawns to the pan, add the basil and toss everything together.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

LINA STORES KINGS CROSS







O M G! Finally a restaurant review on this blog again!!! I promise these will make a much more regular appearance (alongside travel guides) this year now that I have settled into my new job.

I know there are a lot of awful things going on in the world right now and writing about good food and restaurants feels strange and a little bizarre but I hope this blog will offer you a little light relief once in a while in a world that is dominated by a lot of doom scrolling.

Anyways I will keep this review brief as I am still in the midst of wrapping ups fashion week things but saying that we know I love an essay!

Lina Stores started trading many years ago as a much loved deli in the middle of Soho, famous for its minty interior colour scheme, Wes Anderson-esque aesthetics and fabulous food selection.

They then, thank god for all of us, decided to branch out into not only selling food but also serving and cooking it and opened their first restaurant, also in Soho. 

This restaurant was much hyped and on my list to eat at for ages. I never managed to get a reservation and then the whole Corona thing happened and I thought I was never going to make it there.

Good thing then that their first restaurant proved so popular that they went ahead and opened a second branch in the ever changing and increasingly hip Coal Drops Yard's area of Kings Cross.

I never really venture into this area (apart from when I have a sudden craving for one of Sons & Daughters truffle crisp and miso egg sandwich for which I will literally walk an hour, it is that good), but it's actually turned into such a great little area by the train station. 

It's not too busy for London standards but has a great selection of amazing restaurants and shops and is still under the radar enough that my favourite dining out partner in crime, Henry, and I managed to score a prime time Friday night reservation and we went on to have quite the brilliant dinner!

In fact, I would go as far as saying that they serve the best value and quality pasta in London, in a chic yet fun and very photogenic environment.

The King's Cross location carries on the retro minty tones and aesthetic of the original deli and the spacious dining room has a wonderful buzz about that makes you almost feel like you are in the middle of an Italian city like Milan or Rome.

We perched on one of their bar seats, able to watch the chefs work their magic in an open plan kitchen, which I always adore, though there were also plenty of seats and tables for bigger groups, making it a perfect venue for a group celebration as well.

The star of the show at Lina Stores are most definitely the pasta dishes which take over most of the menu, though we also had bunch of wonderful starters - the tonno tonnato, raw tuna, capers and anchovy mayonnaise standing out especially in its freshness, flavours and generosity of serving size.

This generosity also applies to their pasta servings, no measly 4 spaghetti strands one can get at some hyped but overrated pasta spots (not naming names), at a not so measly price tag, but proper portion at fantastic prices.

We went all in and shared 4 pasta dishes between us as mains which was greedy but definitely worth it, with the plates ranging from £11 for an out of this world amazing truffle pasta, 30-Egg Yolk Tagliolini with black Truffle, butter, Parmigiano Reggiano to be precise, to a mere £8 for a big plate of the most amazingly fluffy pumpkin & ricotta Agnolotti with hazelnuts, butter, sage and Grana Padano.

Our hands down favourite dish however was the Casarecce alla Calabrese, short cut pasta, juicy prawns, Calabrian chilli and tomato, essentially simple in it's ingredients but in its execution simply stunning and of the sort of quality I've only really had in Italy and a dish I won't forget in a hurry. 

We were off out for a few cheeky cocktails at the Standard hotel after so skipped the dessert but I would love to try their take on one of my favourite sweet baked goods, the humble Sicilian cannoli, WHEN I return, NOT IF I return because I truly fell head over heels for Lina stores.

Wine was also great and affordable and my limoncello spritz to start could definitely become a new cocktail favourite for summer.

All in all my trip to Lina Stores was a much needed fantastic meal out that made me realise how magical a great restaurant can be! Get yourself down there, forget the terrible world we live in for an hour or two (because that is allowed) and eat all the pasta. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

SEARED TUNA STEAK WITH CREAMY WASABI POTATO SALAD


I was super impressed with this is little Asian fusion number that was incredibly quick to rustle up and very delicious to eat!

The wasabi works a treat when combined with the mayo, lime juice and olive dressing and gives a standard potato salad a very zingy and punchy twist!

Make sure you season your tuna with plenty of salt and pepper and give it a super fast sear on both sides to keep the tuna nice and raw in the middle, only way to eat tuna imo. 

This is quite literally the perfect early spring supper we can all do with at the moment (and even better when plated up on my brand new HAY scandi cool plate).

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 750g baby potatoes, quartered if on the bigger side but skin on 
  • 150g green beans, trimmed
  • Bunch of rocket
  • 2 fresh tuna steaks
  • Salt & Pepper

FOR THE DRESSING
  • 4-5 tbsp light mayo
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp wasabi paste

METHOD
  • Make your dressing by whisking together all ingredients until emulsified and set aside.
  • Add your potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook for 8-10mins, then add the green beans and cook for another 3-4 mins.
  • Drain both under running cold water so that the beans retain their colour.
  • Add potatoes and green beans to a large mixing bowl, then add the dressing and rocket and mix well.
  • Make sure to season your tuna steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat some olive oil in a non stick frying until hot, add the tuna steaks and fry about a minute (or less keep your eye on the steak) until just seared on both side and still raw in the middle.
  • Remove steaks from the pan and onto a chopping board.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the steak into medium slices, ready to be plated up with the potato salad on the side!
  • Enjoy!!

Thursday, 3 March 2022

GRILLED SEA BASS WITH CRAB BUTTER, CRISP POTATO SKINS & CHARRED TOMATO SALAD


This little sea bass number is the sort of dish that is totally restaurant worthy in appearance, relatively healthy (the crab butter doesn't count because a bit of butter never does harm) and packed full of wonderful, fresh flavours that convey a sense of spring on the horizon! I adored the combo of the sea bass and crab and the potato skins were a total revelation, a much faster way to get crispy potatoes by just focusing on the skins in the roasting process, while the charred tomato and spring onion salad added a wonderful zing to the dish when all plated up.

One of the best fish suppers I have made in a while and definitely added to the recipe rotation!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRISP POTATO SKINS
  • 750g Maris Piper potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Handful thyme sprigs , plus a few leaves to serve
  • Good sprinkle of flaky sea salt

FOR THE SEA BASS
  • 1 salad onion , white part finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 sea bass fillets (or another fish from the counter that can be eaten with its skin on), descaled
  • 50g butter , softened
  • 100g pot prepared white and brown crabmeat (I used this Fifty Fifty mix from Waitrose)
  • olive oil

FOR THE CHARRED TOMATO & ONION SALAD
  • 2 bunches salad onions , trimmed
  • 270g pack mixed small tomatoes , halved
  • Freshly torn basil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
  • good pinch of golden caster sugar
METHOD
  • Heat your oven to 180C. 
  • Cut the ends from the potatoes and keep. 
  • Cut the peel and 1cm flesh from the potatoes, leaving blocky barrels of potato behind. 
  • On a shallow baking tray, massage the skins and potato ends with the oil, salt and thyme sprigs. 
  • Roast for 30 mins, turning halfway through, until tender and starting to crisp. 
  • Set aside until later.
  • Next up the charred tomato salad.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan until very hot. 
  • Cut the salad onions in half lengthways and cook for about 2½ mins each side, cut-side first, until charred and tender. 
  • Transfer to a plate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Cook the tomatoes, cut-side down, for 30 secs-1 min until just softened and caramelised, then set aside with the onions.
  • To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a jar with some seasoning and shake well. 
  • When ready to serve toss the basil, dressing, onions and tomatoes until well combined.
  • Next up simmer the salad onion with the vinegar until reduced to 1 tsp or so. 
  • Strain the vinegar into the butter (keep the onion), add the crab and some seasoning, and mash well. 
  • Chill until needed.
  • Heat grill to high – make sure it’s really hot before you cook the fish. Slash the skin of each fillet three times and season. 
  • Put the potatoes under the grill for 2 mins or until hot and starting to crisp again, then lay the fish fillets on top. (If your grill doesn’t go very high, fry your fillets, skin-side down, in a non-stick frying pan to crisp it up before putting them on top of your potatoes.) 
  • Pour olive oil over the fish, and grill for 4 mins or until opaque with the skin crisping.
  • Dollop ¼ of the crab butter onto each fillet, then grill for 1 min until the butter begins to melt. 
  • Plate up the fish with the potato skins, a few thyme leaves and the charred onion & tomato salad.