Monthly Archives: March 2014

à la greque


I do lots of vegetables like this … artichokes, cauliflower and whole mushrooms are particularly good.

For artichokes, I remove the outer leaves and trim the top and stalk. Then I divide in half and remove any choke. (If the vegetable is fresh, there won’t be any). I bring a small pan to the boil with the juice of half a lemon, a generous glug of olive oil, a splash of water and sea salt. I add the halved artichokes and cover. I cook until just tender, then I remove the lid and reduce any liquid to a spoonful. All over a brisk flame. I serve on a plate with the remaining spoon of oily juice.

I like them at room temperature with bread and cheese or ham. Or I make a big selection of vegetables to serve as an antipasto on grander occasions.

fish in foil


This is good with any fillets of fish you fancy. I got tub gurnard (what?) from the fishmonger. Known  as gallinella or lucerna in Italy, it’s a firm fish of the mullet family and  is quite economical here. 

I place a portion of fillets in the centre of a square of aluminium foil, add  chopped tomato, black olives , capers and parsley and season with salt and pepper and a trickle of olive oil. I close the packages and cook them in the oven at 190°C for 15 minutes.

Couscous is a nice accompaniment (and quick!) but boiled new potato would be nice too.

sautè supper


Vegetables sautè really well in those new ceramic-lined pans. But a standard non-stick pan works too, of course. You do need a generous glug of olive oil, though. If you’re too health conscious, the veg ends up boiled in its own water rather than fried.

The classic combo for me is pepper, courgettes, onion and potato. I cut them quite small and sautè in the ceramic pan until the potato is cooked, about 10 minutes. I stir more or less all the time! I add salt and pepper right from the start. A few fresh herbs towards the end are nice.

This is a supper dish for us… we pile the plates pretty high and eat with bread and cheeses.

fish kebabs


There were differing opinions round the table on the success of this dish! I thought it was fine, but others ( who shall remain nameless!) felt the fish was underdone and the whole was bland. A little curry powder or fresh herbs or even a splash of soy sauce would, admittedly, have added something. Anyway …

I cube a nice piece of monkfish , a courgette , a piece of red pepper and I also prepare some small slivers of onion. These I thread onto skewers and sautè in olive oil in a non-stick pan. I add salt and pepper and cook until done. The vegetables will be crunchy, so if you want them more cooked, I suggest you grill them apart  first.

I serve the kebabs with couscous and a salad.

chocolate roulade


A Swiss roll without flour? Intriguing, but perhaps beyond my technical skills. I haven’t eaten it yet but this is the procedure…

I turn on the oven at 180°C and line a tin with greaseproof paper. I melt 175 gm dark chocolate in the microwave and separate 6 eggs. I whip the whites to a firm peak. Then I whip the yolks with 175 gm sugar in another bowl and fold in the cooled chocolate. I fold in the whites and finally two tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder. I spread this mixture into the tin and cook for 15 minutes. I leave it to cool in the tin.

I whip 200 gm cream. I turn the cake out onto a sheet of paper dusted with icing sugar and remove the paper. I spread the cream onto the cake, leaving a 2 cm border around. I roll up as tightly as possible and transfer to a plate. A final dusting of icing sugar will cover the cracks!

Comment on taste is to follow.