Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | March 11, 2018

Hil’s crunchy roast potatoes

Hils crunchy roast potatoes

Do you want to know how to make crisp crunchy roasties like these? Recipe coming soon, watch this space….


Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | March 11, 2018

Chicken with pomegranate, walnuts and aubergine

What to cook - chicken with aubergine and bulgar wheat

By Anne Shooter and featuring recipes passed down through her family’s generations (Cherish: Food To Make For The People You Love by Anne Shooter (Headline Home, £28),  this dish is based on the flavours of a fesenjan – a delicious Persian dish that’s flavoured with a pomegranate and walnut sauce .

Serves 4


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 aubergine, cubed
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g (7oz) bulgar wheat
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • A large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 250ml (9fl oz) hot chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • 150g (5½oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3tbsp pomegranate molasses (I didn’t have this, so used a tablespoonful of maple syrup instead mixed with a handful of crushed pomegranate seeds and the juice from the bottom of the container)
  • Pomegranate seeds, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the onion and aubergine in a bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bulgar wheat, orange zest and half the chopped parsley.

Tip the mixture into a roasting dish big enough to hold the chicken thighs in a single layer. Pour the hot stock over the aubergine and bulgar wheat mixture, then lay the chicken thighs on top, skin-side up. Scatter the walnut pieces all over and drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top.

Cover the dish with foil and cook for 30 minutes, then take the foil off and cook for 30 minutes more. The chicken should be cooked through and browned, and the bulgar wheat tender. Garnish with the remaining chopped parsley and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Anne suggests serving with just a simple spinach salad, scattered with slivers of date and orange.  

I loved the crunchiness of the bulgar wheat,walnuts and pomegranates, and the taste had unusual complexity and the wow! factor.  One chicken thigh was actually enough for me, as the rest of the dish was filling and so satisfying. Left-overs heated up beautifully in the microwave later in the week, served with steamed tenderstem brocolli. Try it!


Chicken with pomegranate, aubergine, walnuts and bulgar wheat

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | February 12, 2018

Chicken, chorizo & red pepper bake

Image of chicken chorizo and red pepper bane

This juicy chicken bake is a simple dish that can be served with rice, salad or mashed potato

Serves 4


1tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
8 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
125g (4½oz) cooking chorizo, sliced
1tsp smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, sliced
125ml (4fl oz) white or red wine
2 bay leaves
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 large red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
400g tin of chickpeas
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve

A handful of coriander, chopped
Cooked potatoes or rice


In a large ovenproof pan, heat the oil and add the sliced onions. Cook gently until caramelised, stirring regularly for about 12-15 minutes. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside. Add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down, and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned all over, then reserve for later with the onions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the chorizo, smoked paprika and garlic slices in the pan and brown briefly. Stir in the wine, bay leaves, chopped tomatoes and red pepper.

Bring to the boil then stir in the chickpeas. Return the onions to the pan, stir and arrange the browned chicken thighs on the top, skin side up. Season and cook uncovered in the oven for 50 minutes, until all is meltingly tender and the chicken is cooked through, golden and crispy.

Finally, sprinkle with some chopped coriander and serve with potatoes or rice on the side.

Hil’s comment: This chicken bake was easy to do and very tasty. I used a mix of thighs and drumsticks, white wine, and added more than the recipe stated as I wanted it juicy. You could add halved new potatoes as well, and just serve with a green salad to make a one pot meal. 

Read more Daily Mail 20th January 2018

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | November 18, 2012

Roast butternut squash salad with toasted seeds

Light lunch: roast butternut squash salad with toasted seeds

Monty Don’s lovely combination of sweet, roasted squash and salty feta, mixed with peppery green rocket and toasted seeds to add some crunch. It is a very colourful dish and is substantial enough for a light lunch or supper on its own. A sweet pumpkin would also be delicious in this recipe.

The seed mix can be varied depending on what you have in the cupboard.

Serves: 3 – 4 if the butternut is large


  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm (1in) chunks
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1tbsp linseeds
  • 1 scant tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 x 200g packet Feta cheese
  • A generous handful of rocket


  • 3tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
  2. Put the cubes of squash in a roasting tin, trickle over the oil and toss to coat, then roast them for about 25 minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise slightly around the edges. While the squash is roasting, toast the seeds.
  3. Warm a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat, tip the sunflower, sesame and linseeds into the pan and cook them for a minute, moving them around constantly so they toast evenly and don’t burn. Add the poppy seeds and continue to cook, rattling the pan, for a further minute until the seeds have taken on a little colour.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Arrange the roasted squash on a serving plate with the rocket, then sprinkle the seeds and crumble the feta over the top. Pour over the dressing and serve immediately.

Hil’s comment: Tasty and healthy for a light lunch or supper. Delicious with chopped hazelnuts roasted with the seeds, and served with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on top.

Read more:

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | December 5, 2010

Halibut in White Wine Caper Sauce



Halibut steam in white wine sauce

Mouthwatering restaurant style fish dish, and oh-so-easy.

Mouthwatering restaurant style fish dish, and oh-so-easy.

Serves 4


  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 halibut steaks  (or thickish fillets)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (125ml)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter (about 50g)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons capers, with liquid
  • to serve – new potatoes, extra butter and parsley – optional


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the halibut steaks on all sides until nicely browned. Remove from pan, and set aside.
  2. Pour the wine into the pan, and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Let the wine reduce to almost nothing, then stir in the garlic, butter and capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for a minute to blend the flavors.
  3. Return the steaks to the pan, and coat them with sauce. Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve fish immediately with the sauce from the pan poured over it.

Hils Comment: Serving suggestion – lay on a bed of crushed buttery new potatoes before pouring the sauce over, and sprinkle chopped parsley over the top. Alternatively, serve with a simple rice or noodle accompaniment.

 Couldn’t be simpler. Halibut is quite an expensive fish, but cooked this way it makes the most of the firm flesh and delicate taste, and is more than worth the expense.  Mouthwateringly delicious.



Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | September 17, 2010

Marzipan Hazelnut Cookies

These delicious American-style chocolate chip cookies contain small chunks of marzipan that melt to give yummy chewy bits

(Waitrose recipe


175g butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
75g Waitrose Hazelnuts
100g plain flour
100g self raising flour
75g Renshaw Brandy Marzipan, roughly chopped (I could not find Brandy Marzipan at Waitrose, so used Waitrose Golden Marzipan, it was delicious – H)
75g Waitrose Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk together the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.
  3. Place the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan and lightly toast until golden. Allow to cool slightly, then roughly chop.
  4. Sift the flours over the creamed butter then fold in the marzipan, chocolate and nuts.
  5. Shape the mixture into balls and place on two baking sheets, roughly flattening them with the palm of your hand and leaving room for them to spread slightly. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. Cool for a few minutes  then transfer to a wire rack. Eat while still warm or cool completely and store in an airtight jar.

Hils comment: Wonderful! Don’t chop the hazelnuts and marzipan too small, you want to get the crunch and taste of the nuts and marzipan chunks. Throw in a few extra hazelnuts, if you love nuts as  I do, and use a good quality dark chocolate.  These might just be the best chocolate chip cookies ever!

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | September 9, 2010

Spinach, tomato & chick pea curry

Quick and tasty vegetarian low fat supper

(Waitrose Recipe,_tomato_and_chick_pea_curry.aspx)

Serves: 4 


1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Bart Veeraswamy Medium Moglai Curry Paste
400g can Waitrose Organic chopped tomatoes
410g can Waitrose Organic chick peas
250g bag essential Waitrose Spinach, roughly shredded
4 tbsp natural yogurt
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
(Cooked diced butternut squash, if desired)


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the garlic, onion and ginger together for 5 minutes until softened and golden. Stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes to make a thick sauce, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the chick peas with their liquid and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then season and stir in the shredded spinach. Cook gently together for a couple of minutes until the spinach is just cooked. Check seasoning and serve with a spoonful of yogurt, then scatter with chopped coriander. Serve with warm naan bread.

Cook’s tips:   You can follow step 1, then freeze the tomato sauce for future use. Just thaw and continue as above.

Hil’s comment: Truly delicious and filling, and so quick and easy. Perfect for a hearty yet healthy autumn supper. I added some cooked diced butternut squash (left over from Sunday lunch) at the same time as the spinach, which worked very well and made the curry a bit more robust.  Any curry paste would be fine;  I used a mix of garam masala and rogan josh. Taste it before the end and add more curry paste if necesssary.  I didn’t add all the chick pea liquid as it would have been too sloppy – maybe my Waitrose Essential tinned tomatoes had a little more juice than the organic version used by Waitrose. The dish is slightly low on protein although the chick peas do contain some protein. For a totally balanced one dish meal, next time I will add a little diced tofu or sliced chorizo or sausage.

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | August 29, 2010

Best chilli con carne

Spicy warming chilli hits the spot on a cool wintery night. Easy to prepare, and even tastier the day after!

(By Jo Pratt)

Preparation time: less than 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours
Serves 5 -6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg/2¼lb lean beef mince
  • 250ml/9fl oz red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced, or 3-4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • good shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • wedges of lime, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes. While waiting, pour a glass for yourself.
  3. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and crumble in the stock cube. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened.
  4. Add the kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary. Serve with rice or crusty bread, sour cream and a big green salad.

Top recipe tip

The chilli is much tastier a day or two after it’s cooked because the flavours develop and the texture becomes richer. Simply leave to cool, stick in the fridge and gently heat before serving. If you’re eating the chilli on the day you prepared it, any leftovers can be frozen in individual portions in well-sealed sandwich bags, then reheated in the microwave or by boiling from frozen in a saucepan of water for about 15-20 minutes until steaming hot.

Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | August 27, 2010

Creamy tomato and prawn curry

Creamy tomato and prawn curry bursting with flavour

Recipe: Creamy tomato and prawn curry
(By Sunil Vijayakar

Rich and spicy: This creamy tomato and prawn curry is bursting with flavour

2tbsp mild curry powder
1tsp turmeric
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2tbsp ground cumin
6tbsp tomato purée
1tsp caster sugar or palm sugar
2tsp tamarind paste
300ml (½pt) coconut cream
15-20 cherry tomatoes
800g (1lb 12oz) raw tiger prawns, cleaned and shelled, with the tails left on
Coriander sprigs to garnish.

Chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion salad to serve with crusty bread, naans, pappadoms or steamed white rice

Place the curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cumin, tomato purée and sugar in a saucepan and mix with 300ml (½pt) water.

Place the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir in the tamarind paste and coconut milk and bring back to the boil. Add the prawns and cherry tomatoes.

Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the prawns turn pink. Serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of chopped coriander.

Hils comment:   Tasty and quick, and uses mainly store cupboard ingredients so a great stand by.  Used a  bag of  frozen raw prawns , more economical than fresh with tails on! Bag of frozen mixed seafood would also work well, and be more economical than prawns.


Posted by: hilsrecipeoftheweek | November 12, 2009

Quick Rice with White Wine & Mussels

Rice with white wine & mussels

Want a fast and yummy supper? You can't go wrong with mussels.

Quick rice with white wine and mussels

In terms of quick and yummy suppers, you can’t really go wrong with mussels: cheap, yummy and they produce their own stock in a matter of minutes. In this recipe, the rice is cooked in said stock, which is the making of this carbed-up version of moules marinère. A very easy throw-together. Takes 30 minutes to make.

Recipe by Allegra McEvedy

Supper for two


500g mussels 

1½ tbsp butter 

2 shallots or 1 small white onion, finely diced 

3 cloves garlic 

1 chilli, sliced 

250ml white wine 

150g quick-cook, long-grain rice  

Big handful of baby spinach or rocket, washed 

Zest of 1 lemon 

Salt and pepper 


First, debeard the mussels: take hold off the matted stringy bit and tug it down firmly towards the pointy end of the shell so that it comes away. As you’re doing this, run the mussels under cold water, discarding any open ones.

Heat the butter over a medium flame in a fairly large pan. Chuck in the onion and garlic and sauté gently, with a lid on, for a few minutes until golden and softened. Then add the chilli and fry for a minute more.

Tip in the mussels, roll them around in the onion, then pour in the wine. Stir, put a lid on, and cook on a high heat for around three to five minutes.

Once the mussels have opened, lift them out with a slotted spoon, on to a tray. Add 200ml water to the pan, and tip in the rice. Stir, put the lid back on, bring to the boil, then simmer on a low to medium heat. It will take about 12 minutes for the rice to cook.

Meanwhile, pick the mussels from the shells. Discard the shells but be sure to save any onion bits and liquid in a bowl, with the mussels themselves. Once the rice is nearly cooked (after about 10 minutes), tip the mussels, plus any onion and liquid, back into the pan.

When the rice is completely cooked, and the mussels have warmed through, turn the heat off and stir in the spinach (or rocket) till just wilted, along with the lemon zest and seasoning.






A delicious, easy and satisfying supper, and mussels are not terribly expensive – under £4 per kg. 1 kg served 3 – it would serve 4 if you were having a starter or pud. For guests, you could do all the preparation beforehand and cook and de-shell the mussels, leaving just the cooking of the rice and adding the spinach/rocket and lemon zest just before serving.

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