Roast Chicken Thighs with a Spicy Rub




2½ tbsp of sweet paprika
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 tbsp of olive oil and a little more for the potatoes
1 tbsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of chilli flakes
1 tbsp ground black pepper
½ tbsp of lemon juice
8 chicken thighs on the bone
Potatoes for 4, cut into thick chips
2 sprigs of thyme
Green leaves for 4
½ tbsp of salad dressing

To make the rub blitz together the paprika, garlic, olive oil, thyme, chilli flakes, black pepper and lemon juice until smooth. Keep the skins from the lemon to add flavour to the chicken when you are roasting.

Place the chicken thighs into a bowl and rub them all over with the spicy rub. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Toss the potatoes and lemon rinds in the olive oil and season well. Place them into an oven proof dish and place the chicken thighs on top. Put the whole lot into an oven heated to 190 degrees.

Cook for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Turn the thighs and toss the potatoes. Add a few sprigs of thyme and a sprinkling of sea salt and place back into the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Toss the leaves in the dressing and serve with the chicken and potatoes.

Creamy Mushrooms on Brown Rice

Brown rice for 4
A dash of olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
450g of mushrooms, chanterelles are particularly nice but any that you can get your hands on
A bunch of thyme, pulled off the stalk
A bunch of parsley, chopped
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
200 mls of cream

Put the rice on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked. Keep in mind that brown rice takes longer to cook than white.

Heat a dash of oil and saute the onion slowly on a low heat with the lid on. It should end up very soft and translucent. Turn the heat up a little and add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan. Continue frying until the mushrooms have browned and softened.

Add the herbs and lemon zest and then stir in the cream. Allow it to come to the boil then to simmer gently for about two minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste. Serve with the rice.

Pasta Swirls with Tuna Tomato Sauce

Fusilli pasta for 4
A dash of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A handful of capers
½ tsp of chilli flakes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
200g of tuna, drained and flaked

Put the pasta swirls on to boil in lightly salted water and drain when cooked.

Heat the oil and saute the onions on a low heat until translucent. Add the garlic, capers and chilli flakes and stir until the garlic is about to change colour.

Add the tomato, tined tomato and leave to bubble away for about five minutes. Season to taste. Stir the sauce and the tuna through the pasta and serve.

Huevos Rancheros

2 tomatoes, finely diced
A bunch of coriander, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 red chilli, seeds discarded and very finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
8 flour tortillias
8 eggs
1 avocado, stone removed and sliced
4 spoons of sour cream

I generally make this for brunch but every now and then I get a craving for the lovely spice and egg combination after a long day at work. I like to keep my egg yolks runny so the yolk acts as extra sauce. You can add a little more or less chilli to the salsa, depending on how spicy you like it.

Mix together the chopped tomatoes, most of the coriander, the onion and the chilli. Stir them together well and season. Add the lime juice and taste as you are adding it to make sure you get the right amount of acidic taste. Set the salsa aside.

Heat one large frying pan without any oil. This is for the tortillias. Heat another pan with oil to fry the eggs. Place each tortillia into the dry pan until they are heated through. Fry the eggs to your liking in the other pan. Place two tortillias on each plate and top with a generous scoop of the salsa. Place two of the fried eggs onto the salsa and top with a blob of sour cream, slices of avocado and sprinkling of coriander.

Couscous with Prawns and Courgette Slivers

Couscous for 4
Good quality stock, heated
A dash of oil
6 cloves of garlic
400g of raw prawns
A generous bunch of parsley, chopped
2 courgettes, thinly sliced into circles
4 wedges of lemon

Place the couscous in a bowl and cover completely in the hot stock so that the stock is about a centimetre above the couscous. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Rub the courgette slices with a little oil and sprinkle them with some paprika and black pepper and place under a grill until golden on one side. Turn and grill the second side until that too is golden.

Check that all the stock has soaked into the couscous and fluff it up with a fork. If there is stock left drain it off.

Heat the oil and fry the garlic on a low heat until it has started to change colour. Remove the garlic from the pan and add the prawns. Fry until they have changed colour to a lovely pink. Add the garlic back to the pan with the courgette slices. Toss them all together and season.

Serve on a bed of the couscous with lemon slices on the side.

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