Holiday Week 9-13th September 2013

Back home to a rainy, grey London and A BROKEN BOILER!!!! No hot water, and no heating so the flat feels a bit damp and sad. British Gas were called and took a couple of days to get here and fix it but I can not tell you how many times we said ‘it is much better in Italy!’.

To fill us and warm us on Monday night I made a Thai red curry with salmon. It was nice to have some fish as we didn’t eat alot of fish while we were away. And also something a bit spicy, as again we didn’t have anything like this on our hols.

On Tuesday I made the pork and fennel polpette from Polpo cookbook, with their beautiful tomato sauce recipe. Cooking fresh and tinned tomatoes slowly in olive oil with seasonings makes a truly memorable sauce- the only change to the recipe I made was that I didn’t purée the sauce at the end before serving. This was not for any culinary reason: simply that I didn’t want to make any more washing up while the hot water had gone!

We visited my in-laws for lunch on Wednesday so I got to show off my photos of the hols which made us all smile. Although full from lunch I had decided to make a dish from the new Tom Kerridge cookbook ‘Proper Pub Food’- a baked fish on a spicy sauce.


I had to have a little fiddle with the recipe to fit what I had in the fridge so here’s my version.

Pan Roasted Cod With Chickpeas and Chorizo

1 tin chickpeas

Pinch saffron

2 small fillets of cod

Olive oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 small cooking chorizo, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tin chopped tomatoes

100ml chicken stock

250g fresh spinach, roughly chopped

  • Rub the fish with some salt and saffron and leave aside for half an hour.
  • Heat some olive oil in a Casserole dish. Add the garlic, chilli and onion and soften for 10mins.
  • Add the chorizo for 5mins, then add the bay, cinnamon, cumin and paprika and stir for 5mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°.
  • Add the chickpeas to the pan with the tomatoes and stock. Cook in the oven for 45mins until thick and lovely.
  • Stir the spinach into the sauce and place the fish ontop. Pop back into the oven for 15mins until the fish is cooked through.
  • Serve immediately.

The sauce was delicious, and a perfect accompaniment to the fish. The cinnamon added a real warmth to the sauce, complementing the paprika streaked tomatoey sauce perfectly. We enjoyed it alot and Colin said he’d eat it once a week! Praise indeed!💃💃💃

On Thursday we went out to West London and Le Café Anglais for lunch. I’ll write this up in the restaurant section with some pics. On the way back to Notting Hill station we popped into Tavola, Alastair Little’s Deli, and filled up on delicious delights. Alastair Little’s book Food of the Sun is my favourite cookery book ever, and he is an idol of mine, so being able to stock up on yummy delights made by the man himself is one of the reasons we continue to love in this part of the world.

Inspired by a real foodie day I decided to cook one of my old favourites for dinner: Tomato Curry.


This was originally a Nigel Slater recipe from Kitchen Diaries which I used to make week in week out but, for some reason, it had slipped from the repertoire! You simply make a thick curry sauce with garlic, ginger, onion, mustard seeds and cumin. In this sauce you poach fresh tomatoes- tonight I have used a mixture of heritage tomatoes to add some colours. Once cooked I sometimes add a tablespoon of thick Greek yogurt to the sauce, but tonight I didn’t feel like it and we scoffed the lot down with some olive oil flatbreads.  Delicious!

We ended the week eating the goodies from Tavola- some little tortellini with a romesco sauce for lunch, and a Poule au Pot for dinner.

All this has been eaten in denial- yes, it is true, we do have to go back to work, very soon…….

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