Weekly Roundup 8th-14th October

This was another week where we got really lucky with the recipes we chose to make. While there were some we wouldn’t necessarily choose to make again, nothing felt like a waste of time or ingredients.

Chilli Con Chicken

Thursday Dinner


This was such a lovely twist on a classic. We love chilli con carne but I’m so attached to the recipe my Mum taught me and that I’ve subsequently developed over the past decade, I’m never likely to try out new ones. This felt different because it was with chicken- particularly as I try to eat red meat only once or twice a week.

Would I recommend it? I would, although with the caveat that it took just under two hours to make rather than the hour and a quarter stated. It’s like a cross between mole and chilli con carne, quite healthy, comforting and will almost certainly be a crowd pleaser. We used one tsp of the one-two tsp of chipotle paste, which my husband thought was the perfect amount- I like things slightly spicier (but not blow your head off spicy) and would have been happy with the second tsp being added.

Verdict- 4/5, but it has gone into our family book. I would have scored it more highly if the timings given were more accurate.

Sticky Lemon Chicken

Friday lunch


A quick, tasty and healthy stir fry that was very enjoyable but not particularly memorable. It took slightly longer to cook than stated and I needed to add more cornflour to thicken the sauce. Still preferable to buying a pre-made stir fry sauce.

Would I recommend it? For a fast meal, yes, especially if you’re trying to eat healthily, but it wasn’t particularly special.

Verdict- 3/5

Slow-cooked shoulder of lamb with Chinese pancakes

Sunday Dinner

From this month’s Olive in a feature on Roasting Pan Suppers which is available here- https://www.waterstones.com/book/roasting-pan-suppers/rosie-sykes//9781911358855

A lovely twist on Chinese pancakes, with slow roasted lamb instead of duck. My Dad actually started this recipe off for me, which is where most of the work is, so I can only comment to say that it tasted amazing and was quite a fun thing to eat as a family on a Sunday evening.

Would I recommend it? For the eating, yes, if you have a day with time to cook the lamb low and slow.

Verdict– 4/5, although again this was largely based on the eating!

Saffron Chicken Burgers

Monday lunch

From Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight & Get Fit available here https://www.waterstones.com/book/lose-weight-and-get-fit/tom-kerridge/9781472962829

Like a lot of people at this stage in 2020, I’m trying to lose some of the weight I gained while comfort eating my way through lockdown. This recipe seemed like something that would feel like a treat while still being healthy. It took longer to make than it ought to have done as I misread some clumsy wording in the recipe (it said to preheat the oven with the grill element on, and I just read ‘oven’- it would have been much better to just say ‘preheat the grill) but it was still ready within half an hour, super tasty, filling and less than 500 calories. I did have to eat it with a knife and fork instead of as a burger though!

Would I recommend it? Yes, the entire family enjoyed these.

Verdict? 4/5

Crab Fried Rice

Monday Dinner

I originally came across the recipe in Good Housekeeping in a feature on the book Take One Tin. The recipe is also online here or the book can be purchased here

This was a recipe that I knew in advance would go down well as it was from our family book. Quick, simple, delicious and ends up being more than the sum of its parts. The green beans I had bought to go in this had gone off when I came to use them, so we subbed in frozen peas and I don’t think the recipe suffered for it. I also used fresh crabmeat rather than tinned, but my husband said his only complaint was that there was a bit too much crab in it, so a drained tin would probably have actually been better, as well as cheaper!

Would I recommend it? Absolutely- a great, quick, tasty base recipe and you can chop and change the veg and protein depending on what you like and what you happen to have.

Verdict? 4.5/5

Puttanesca Pasta

Tuesday Lunch


This was a massive umami injection for the start of the week and it was fantastic. I liked the addition of chicken breast to add some lean protein in the meal and poaching it in the sauce made it really tasty, but it would be very easy to just leave the chicken out if you wanted a meat-free dish. I did have to reduce the sauce for a few more minutes after the dish was otherwise finished as it was very watery.

Would I recommend it? Yes, it was a tasty, satisfying meal and everyone enjoyed it.

Verdict? 4/5

Spicy Prawn Tomato Stew

Wednesday Lunch

This was from October’s delicious. Magazine. The recipe hasn’t been added to the website but if it is I will update this post with the link.

This is a recipe based on a Palestinian dish, Zibdiyit Gambari. I’m a fan of seafood and a fan of Middle Eastern cooking so I was really keen to try this. It was enjoyable to make, very fragrant and you could smell the flavours developing in the dish. The prawns took a little longer to cook than stated, but otherwise the recipe was accurate and easy to follow. It was spiced enough to have a zing and be full of flavour but mild enough that I’d happily serve it to people who don’t like spicy food without worrying it would be too much for them. There was also a really lovely freshness through the dish that complimented the salinity of the prawns really well.

Would I recommend it? Yes, especially if you like Middle Eastern flavours.

Verdict? 4.5/5

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