Maple roasted fennel with smoked mackerel and apple

Food photography by breakfast by the sea

When I’m working at home it’s all too easy for me to turn into the queen of procrastination. Endless cups of tea, a few loads of washing, a bit of sock pairing and anything else that’s got nothing to do with what I’m actually supposed to be doing! I also usually put my oven to good work, either roasting up some veggies for quick meals, baking or slow cooking a stew.

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli

purple sprouting broccoli

My seasonal favourite this month is Purple Sprouting Broccoli, and I’ve been merrily scoffing it in a wide variety of dishes recently from a cashew nut and sesame soba noodle stir fry to serving it lightly steamed with a grilled salmon and a lime butter dressing. Next on my list is this Chargrilled fillet steak with smoked chilli butter, mushrooms and PSB recipe from Paul Rankin – it sounds totally delicious!

Celebrating the first day of spring

First day of spring 2013

I don’t know about you but it seems as though this winter has gone on forever – I don’t think I’ve been able to feel comfortably warm since about October last year! I’m even past caring whether hot-water bottles are cool or not (mine’s in the shape of a penguin, in case you were wondering!).
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Chicken noodle soup

In my last post, I promised recipe ideas for leftover roast chicken. So, here goes with the first, ideal for this time of year when you want something warm, satisfying and healthy. This recipe serves two people.

You will need:
2 pints of chicken stock (read my last post for a how-to)
1 tsp caster sugar
half a red chilli
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tbps of dry sherry
2 portions of dried egg noodles (thick, thin, or whatever you prefer)
½ small leek, shredded
Leftover roast chicken, cut into small slices or bite-sized pieces
2 tsp sesame oil
A handful of fresh coriander

Add the stock, a mug of cold water, soy sauce, chilli, sugar, star anise, cinnamon and sherry to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat right down and allow to simmer very gently. In a separate pan, cook your noodles, drain and then toss in the sesame oil. Remove your soup mixture from the heat and sieve it over a bowl or pan.

Divide your noodles between two big bowls, ladle the soup over the noodles and then add chicken. To finish, add shredded leeks and coriander and, if you’re feeling adventurous, some thin slices of red chilli too.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days for the final roast chicken recipe.

I almost forgot to mention that I was really chuffed to be featured on Fiona Beckett’s (Guardian food and wine columnist) lovely blog recently. Thanks Fiona!