Mar 202013

Pork Chops growing up were part of staple in my life. It would usually be pork chops, apple sauce, some kind of potato, a green, and a salad. The pork here is amazing. So now in March and it is still cold and cloudy sometimes I want what I consider, a proper meal. I find it easy to whip up and totally satisfying. Now Applesauce is hard to find here so I will usually do something with fresh apples instead of finding applesauce or making my own. I had gone to my local Sunday Farmer’s Market in Marylebone and gotten some beautiful braeburn apples so I used one of them

Pork Chops a Classic Quick Meal

Pork Chops a Classic Quick Meal

2 or 4 pork chops depending on how hungry or how many your are feeding- seasoned with salt and pepper

2 medium size yellow onions- cut into 1/8s and then sliced about 1/4 inch

1 Large Apple- Cut into 1/8s and then slices 1/4 inch slices (I kept the skin on)

3 Tablespoons of Apricot Jam

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 gloves of chopped Garlic.

2 tablespoons of Butter

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1/2 Cup of White Wine Optional ( I had some and I thought at then end I would deglaze the pan with it. Made for easy cleaning.)

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

In a large saute pan melt the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the garlic and onions for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the apples and 1 tablespoon of oil and sauté for about 5-8 minutes until apples have softened and cooked through. Add the Jam and Cinnamon and cook for about 1 more minute.  Add the remaining oil and cook the pork chops for about 3 minutes on each side. At the end add the wine and put a lid on and  turn off  the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

As you can see I served this with simple roasted potatoes and steamed green beans, oh and my glass of wine.

Jan 282013

I find that butternut squash is one of those vegetables that you look at and think “what am I going to do with that?”  Of course there are the popular options Butternut Squash Soup or Roasted Butternut Squash. But here is something a little different and absolutely delicious a savory pie. Pies here in the UK are very popular, I have not totally gotten into all of them but they are inspiring to be creative and think outside the box of standard apple pies!

Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut Squash Pie



2 Cups of Flour

4 Tablespoons of Butter

4 Tablespoons of Shortening

1 1/2 Teaspoon of dried Sage

1/2 Teaspoon fo Sugar

1/3 Cup of Cold Water

Mix all of the ingredients together except the water. With fingers bring together until small pieces form the size of oatmeal. Then add the water and quickly blend together. Form dough in ball and wrap in plastic wrap/cling and pat down. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place in between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll dough out into 1/4 inch thickness. Remove top piece of parchment paper and flip the dough into  tart or pie shell. I used a 10 inch tart shell. Using baking weights, bake the shell for 20 minutes at 375.

Butternut Squash Filling

Butternut Squash Filling


1 pound of Butternut squash Cut into matchstick pieces 1/4 of inch by 2 inches

1/2 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Egg

1/3 Cup of Cream

1/3 Cup of Milk

1 Medium onion Chopped  (sauted in 1 tablespoons of butter for 3-4 minutes)

1 Tablespoons of fresh Sage Chopped

3/4 of Cooked Bacon Pieces

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Thyme

Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a bowl beat the egg, milk and cream. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour the ingredients into the baked pie shell and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375.  Serve warm. I served this with a simple green salad




Jan 232013
40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken


40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken

40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken

I love when I can throw a group of ingredients into a pot and walk away for an hour + and return to something amazing! The only difficult part is preparing the the garlic and I shouldn’t say difficult more time consuming. The chicken came out perfectly juicy, this is a fantastic weekday meal.


Preheat Oven 375

40 Cloves of Garlic skinned and crushed

6 Chicken Thighs with skins

4 Stalks of Celery Chopped in 1/4 inch slices

1 Tablespoon of fresh chopped Tarragon

8 sprigs of Flat Leaf Parsley

3 Bay Leaves

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1 Cup of White Wine

5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Dutch Oven- Serve with Long Grain Rice, so it can absorb all the fabulous juices of the chicken from roasting.

Heat oil in a dutch oven and add Chicken thighs, skin side down and lightly sear the chicken flip the chicken over and remove from heat. Add the remain ingredients and cover with tin foil (see picture below) Put the lid of the dutch oven on and place in oven for 75-90 minutes. Remove from oven and ready to serve.


Tin Foil on Chicken

Jan 212013

I am of the mentality Bacon makes everything better. One of the things I love about London are all my choices I have when it comes to bacon. I thought this was also great to give the fish a less fishy flavor. Neil, is just starting to introduce fish into his diet so having it wrapped in bacon was a great way to segue.

Bacon Wrapped Monk Fish

Bacon Wrapped Monk Fish


For each individual cut of the monk fish I wrapped two pieces of bacon around. I also had some mini roasted plum tomatoes and placed those on top of the fish before wrapping. Cook the fish in a skillet with a little bit of butter and oil. My Monk fish took about 10 minutes to cook. I served it with Unlce Ben’s Original Recipe and Carrots. This was a very fast meal to put together and would definitely do it again.

Bacon Wrapped Monk Fish  with Uncle Ben's Original

Bacon Wrapped Monk Fish with Uncle Ben’s Original

Jan 102013

For some reason last week it seemed like a good idea to make some Jambalaya. I am not sure what this craving was about, maybe the weather and the darkness here in  London in January  thought it might warm me up. It starts getting dark around 330 and  doesn’t get light unlit 8-830 in the morning. So the yearning for something hearty and warm makes sense.  A problem I have with this darkness is that I feel I should start cooking dinner at around 3 pm. When we usually don’t eat until 830/9. Also, for some reason I had in my head this would take a long time to make. Quite the opposite  it was quick, simple and something that would be great to serve to a group. It is kind of a one dish wonder!



Pre Heat Oven to 350

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

3/4 Cup of Chorizo chopped into pieces

2 medium sized skinless Chicken Breasts Chopped into 1-inch pieces

6 large Prawns chopped into three pieces

1 Medium sized Onion Chopped

1/2 cup of chopped Scallions

1/2 Cup of Okra (or Ladyfingers as they call it here)

1 large Red Bell Pepper chopped into roughly 1/2 inch cubes

3 stalks of Celery chopped

6 Garlic cloves chopped

1 Can of Plum Tomatoes 12.5 ounce can

2 Teaspoon of dried Oregano

2 Teaspoons of chopped Fresh Basil

2 Teaspoons of chopped fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon of fresh Thyme

2 Bay Leaves

1 teaspoon of ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon of Cayenne powder

2 Cups of uncooked Rice- Long Grain

2 Cups of Chicken Broth

Salt and Pepper to taste- I like a little squirt of Lemon juice on top of mine

In a large oven proof sauté pan heat the olive oil and add the chorizo and and chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the onions, scallions, garlic, bell pepper, okra, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and seasonings and cook for another 5 minutes followed by adding in the stock bringing to a boil and stir in rice. Cover the pan and bake for about 15 minutes.

Once removed from the oven stir the shrimp and bake for another 10 minutes. Ready to serve!




Nov 272012
Steamed Sea Bass in Parchment Paper

Neil and I have been trying to introduce more fish into our weekly diet. It also helps that I am currently working on “Project Muffin Top” trying to loose the weight I put on when moving to London- a city that loves its drinks and fried food!
Cooking fish I think of as a new adventure. It is not something I cook often nor serve to guests unless I know their food likes and dislikes. We had this sea bass last night, loved it soo much that I went and bought another piece for dinner tonight which I will try with some different seasonings. Eating solo tonight and this is great to make for one person or a group of people. The presentation is fun for entertaining can be prepared in advance and virtually no clean up!
Sea Bass Preparation

Sea Bass Preparation

Didn't have Kitchen String - Had to make due!
Didn’t have Kitchen String – Had to make do!

Sea Bass - Steamed and Ready to Eat!
Sea Bass – Steamed and Ready to Eat!

Pre Heat Oven 400 degrees
2 Fillets of Sea Bass (about 4-5 oz)
4 Slices of lemon (about a quarter of an inch)
1 Bell Pepper sliced
2 Sprigs of Thyme
3 Garlic cloves chopped
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 Pieces of  Parchment Paper about 14 inches
Kitchen String- did not have and used some other ribbon I had!
Split evenly the peppers and arrange on each piece of Parchment Paper.  Followed by the Lemon, Garlic, Thyme Sprig, and 1 of the tablespoons of Olive Oil the other will be reserved for the fish. Place one Fillet of the Sea Bass on top of the seasoning, salt and pepper the fish and drizzle with remaining Olive Oil. Gather each side of Parchment Paper together and tie with ribbon. Place in oven on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
Fish can be tied in bundles and kept in Refrigerator in advance.
Hope you enjoy this simple dinner main as much as I did!