Tag Archives: james martin

Spicy Crab Linguini

As our home looks like a warehouse, with all the boxes about the place ready for the big move, I decided I would make something quick for supper so that it didn’t create too much more mess and washing up! And as it was my girlfriends birthday over the weekend, I made sure she chose what she wanted me to cook up. By the time I got home from work, she had chosen this recipe from one of James Martin’s books, as she loves seafood dishes.

As James says in his in book, if you want a quick but impressive-looking pasta dish, this is it. Once the ingredients are prepared and the pasta has been cooked, it takes just 5 minutes to make the crab sauce, but looks and tastes as if you spent hours laboring over a hot stove.

Within a couple of minutes I was already being asked if we can have this again as it tasted so good – perhaps once we have moved?

I think this is my first pasta dish that I have done on my blog and hopefully it will be the first of many.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

7oz/200g Linguini
1oz/25g Butter
2 Shallots, peeled and chopped
1 Garlic Glove, peeled and chopped
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
½ tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
4fl oz/110ml White Wine
7fl oz/200ml Chicken Stock
Good Pinch of Saffron
7fl oz/200ml Double Cream
14oz/400g Mixed Crab Meat, white and dark
½oz/10g Flat-Leaf Parsley
½oz/10g Coriander Leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper

1 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the linguini and cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2 Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over a medium heat and add the shallots and garlic. Fry for about 1 minute, without browning, then add the chillies and curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3 Pour in the wine, bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by half, then add the stock and saffron and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the cream, bring back up to the boil and remove from the heat.

4 Add the crab meat to the sauce and heat gently for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked linguini and warm through, stirring the sauce and pasta together. Remove from the heat, then stir in the parsley, coriander and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.



Classic Chicken Chasseur

I always enjoy cooking recipes that have great preparations to them, like all the wonderful curries I have cooked recently, with their amazing herbs and spices (I love opening the cumin spice pot every single time just for the smell). But what is always one step better, is making a recipe like this Chicken Chasseur, where you even have to prepare fruit/vegetables like the tomatoes used here, in such a precise way, to use them as the Chef, who wrote it, intended!

As with any recipe I try and hopefully enjoy, it’s the smells in the kitchen that first let you know whether you are going to enjoy it or not. As this recipe was cooking, all I can say is that the smells that started coming out, had me salivating until the food hit the plate! It’s hard to describe online how something smells followed by the reaction it causes to the senses but this was something else – whether it was the caramelised shallots, or the tarragon, or the tomato purée with the stock, or simply all the ingredients cooking together, this had my girlfriend and I counting down the minutes till I could plate it up.

All I can say is that it tasted as good as it looked. Nothing was left on either of our plates. I used chicken thighs for my version and all six pieces I used, were eaten up. This will become a personal favourite and one that I hope to make again and again.

As per normal, I was making it for the two of us, so I halved all the ingredients.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 4

4 Plum Tomatoes
50g/2oz Plain Flour
1.5Kg/3lb 4oz Chicken cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp Olive Oil
110g/4oz Butter
175g/6oz Brown Cap Mushrooms
10 Baby Shallots, peeled and halved
20g/¾oz Caster Sugar
175ml/6fl oz White Wine
450ml/16fl oz Chicken Stock
3 tbsp Tomato Purée
15g/½oz Tarragon, chopped
2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper

1 Score a cross on each tomato, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 45 seconds, then drain and peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the seeds and chop the flesh.

2 Place the flour in another bowl and season with salt and pepper. Roll the chicken pieces in the flour, to coat, shaking off the excess.

3 Set a deep frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil and a third of the butter. When the butter foams, add the chicken, skin side down if you have left the skin on, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

4 Heat another third of the butter in a second frying pan, fry the mushrooms until golden brown and then add them to the pan with the chicken.

5 Place the remainder of the butter in the second pan used for the mushrooms, add the shallots and sugar and fry for 3 minutes until the shallots are golden brown and caramelised.

6 Add the wine, bring to the boil, then pour over the chicken.

7 Return the pan with the chicken to the heat, adding the stock, tomato purée and two-thirds of the tarragon. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.

8 Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley and the rest of the tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve two pieces of chicken on each plate and spoon over all the sauce.


Côte de Boeuf with Watercress and Black Beer Mustard

As I said in my last post, at the weekend I wanted to cook something other than a usual Sunday roast, after seeing James Martin’s recipe. I love spending time preparing all the food for a roast normally but wanted to see if there was something quicker I could try. Having made the Black Beer Mustard, which was the longest part of the whole recipe, I started cooking the beef and preparing the watercress salad and within half an hour the food was ready to serve!

We both loved this dish, down to the flavour and melt in the mouth texture of the beef, also the mustard that cut through the taste perfectly and the simplicity of the rest of the meal too. I didn’t feel too full either after eating, so it made a perfect lightweight Sunday roast substitute. This would be so good to cook up for family or friends after a day out, as there is little to do once you have a pot of mustard already made up.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

2.2lb/1kg Rib of Beef
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
4oz/110g Black Beer Mustard to serve
For Watercress Salad:
1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
1 tsp Black Beer Mustard
4oz/110g Watercress
Salt and Pepper

1 Season the beef with salt and pepper and brush with the olive oil.

2 Set a frying pan over high heat and add the beef when it is hot, cooking for 4-5 minutes on each side.

3 Make sure you turn the beef on its sides to seal the edges and then cook for 4 minutes per side, or 8-10 minutes if you prefer your meat well done.

4 Remove the beef from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving.

5 For the watercress salad, whisk the vinegar, rapeseed oil and mustard together in a bowl and season to taste. Place the watercress in another bowl and drizzle over the dressing, tossing the leaves to coat evenly.

Serve by cutting the beef into fairly thick slices and serve the mustard and watercress on the side.


Black Beer Mustard

I really wanted to make something slightly different than a normal Sunday roast, so decided to have a go at James Martin’s Côte de Boeuf with Watercress and Black Beer Mustard (recipe to come).

Having written down all the ingredients I didn’t have, I went shopping for the rest. I decided to go and see what ingredients I could get in James Martin’s own shop ‘Cadogan & James’, especially as some of them I had never bought before and didn’t know where I could get them.

I did ok, picking up the allspice berries, black mustard seeds and some more ‘posh’ red wine vinegar (as I didnt have enough) from his shop but he didnt have any white mustard seeds. After asking about whether they had any out back or what I could use instead, the very helpful staff, told me that James might be in the shop at closing time, so I could come and ask what to use as an alternative. We came back five minutes before closing but was told he had been held up so wouldnt be there in time. Not letting this deter me, we ventured to Waitrose and eventually found yellow mustard seeds, so I decided to buy them and use them instead.

I have no idea if using the yellow seeds rather than the white ones, made a huge difference but I will say that it made a great accompaniment to go with the beef and I’m going to have lots more with some steak later in the week. It was exactly what I was after, rather than the normal roast beef and gravy!

(Printable Recipe)

Makes approx. 425g/15oz

25g/1oz White/Yellow Mustard Seeds
110g/4oz Black Mustard Seeds
75g/3oz Light Soft Brown Sugar
1 tsp Allspice Berries
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Crushed Black Peppercorns
175ml/6fl oz Red Wine Vinegar
40ml/1½fl oz Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp Runny Honey
110ml/4fl oz Black Sheep Ale

1 Put all the dry ingredients into a processor or blender and blend until the seeds are roughly crushed.

2 Transfer to a bowl and stir in the two vinegars, honey and ale.

3 Cover the mustard with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

If you want to keep the mustard longer, put into sterilised jars and store in a cool, dark place.

The mustard should then keep for 3-6 months.


Sliced Duck Breast with Winter Stir-fry

I thought it was about time that I chose a new recipe to do from one of my books and having a couple of duck breasts in the fridge, I found the following winter recipe from James Martin’s book “My Kitchen”, which looked perfect to use with them. The only thing I didnt have at home were the sprouts, as I normally dont eat them but I thought as they were to be thinly sliced that I would give them a go!

It is a very easy recipe to follow and the timings are spot on, so well done to James for coming up with such a tasty and fun recipe to cook. This is what he has to say about it…

This dish is full of strong, wintry flavours. For the best results, buy Brussels sprouts still on the stalk and crisp up the duck before baking to enhance the taste and texture.

(Printable Recipe)

Serves 2-4

3 tbsp Runny Honey
2-4 Duck Breasts
Salt and Black Pepper

For the stir-fry:
2 tbsp Olive oil
5oz/150g Pancetta, diced
4 Shallots, peeled and halved (root left intact)
3oz/75g Butter
11oz/300g Brussels Sprouts, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
8 Brown Cap Mushrooms, sliced
11fl oz/300ml Chicken Stock
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 On the hob, heat a frying pan large enough to fry the duck breasts side by side, add the honey and allow to bubble gently.

2 Season both sides of each duck breast with salt and pepper, place into the frying pan, skin side down and cook gently over a medium heat until the duck is crisp and the the honey has turned brown.

3 Transfer the duck breasts into a baking dish, skin side up. Bake in the oven for 8-10 mins (longer for well done), then remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

4 Meanwhile, add half the olive oil to a non-stick frying pan set over a high heat and fry the pancetta until golden brown. Remove from the pan, dry on kitchen paper and set aside.

5 Drain off the fat from the pan, then set the pan back over the heat, add the rest of the oil and add the shallots to brown them.

6 After they have been cooking for 2-3 minutes, melt half the butter in the pan and tip in the Brusssls sprouts and mushrooms. Sauté for 4-5 minutes to brown a little, adding more butter if necessary, then add the cooked pancetta.

7 Pour in the stock and simmer to reduce for 2 minutes and stir in the rest of the butter. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Place on plates and arrange the sliced duck on top.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Gluten Free)


Soup season is now well and truly upon us and it seems my whole family is making fantastic soups to share with everyone. This roasted butternut squash soup is a new creation by my mum and one that we will be trying shortly!

I had a butternut squash and thought I’d make some soup. I searched on-line for a recipe, looked at James Martin’s recipes on the BBC site, but they all seemed too complicated. So I made this up as I tend to make all my soup recipes up. Usually I just guess at the weights of ingredients, and also the amount of stock I use, but I have weighed everything this time just to make sure it works for this blog. It is a good soup for Hallow’een or Bonfire Night. I like it I hope you do too.

2¼lbs (1kg) Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1oz (25g) Butter
1 Medium onion
1-2 Cloves of garlic – depending on your taste
1½ pints (1ltr) Vegetable stock
A few sprigs of thyme leaves – to taste
Cream or Crème Fraiche
Grated cheese or pesto – optional

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F Gas 6 or 180C Fan Oven

1 Cut the Butternut Squash into chunks, removing all the seeds, rub with the oil, season well and roast in the oven, skin-side down on the tin, for approx 30mins or until tender.

2 Leave to cool and then slice off the skin and cut the flesh into smaller chunks.

3 In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan, chop the onion and cook gently in the butter until soft but not browned, then add the chopped garlic clove and cook for a further 2mins.

4 Add the chopped squash and any juices from the tin, the stock and some of the thyme leaves – check for your liking. Sprigs can be added but make sure they are removed before blending.

5 Cover and simmer for 20/30mins

6 Leave the soup to cool slightly and then, either using a hand-blender or liquidiser, blend until smooth and taste for seasoning.

7 Ladle into warmed bowls and swirl the top with a little cream or crème fraiche, a scattering of thyme leaves, before serving with warm crusty bread.

If the soup is too thick for your liking add some milk to loosen it. Grated cheese is also good scattered on top as is a dollop of green pesto. This soup can also be frozen.





Butternut Squash on Foodista