Corned Beef Hash

DSC00002This recipe is a classic quick and easy meal that can be prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes, it is based around using sauté potatoes rather than the more traditional mashed potato and this tends to make the meal look less mushy.  The amounts and variety of herbs and spices can be varied to suit your own taste – experimentation is everything!  The recipe below serves two people.

  • 1 340g tin Premium Corned Beef.
  • 1 tin of new potatoes (or freshly boiled new potatoes that have been scrapped and boiled for 15 min).
  • 6 small off the vine tomatoes.
  • Half a fresh onion, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 finely chopped fresh clove of garlic.
  • Freshly ground red and black peppercorns.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Dried rosemary.
  • 1 tablespoonful of vegetable oil.


Chop the onion into small squares.

Slice the potatoes across their width so that the slices are about 4-5mm thick.

Cut the tomatoes into quarters.

Cut the corned beef into cubes about 2cm across.


I tend to use a wok to cook this, but a large frying pan will also work.  Place the oil in the wok and heat until medium-hot, add the chopped onion and garlic, which should sizzle immediately, and fry until lightly browning at the edges.  Add the potatoes and sprinkle them generously with the herbs and pepper (the potatoes should be generously covered with the ground pepper) and sauté until the slices of potato are heated through.  Add the corned beef and stir-fry until the cubes of corned beef soften, add the tomatoes and continue to stir-fry until the tomatoes are heated through.  Serve on a hot plate (with brown sauce if you are not diabetic).

Curried seafood on noodles

I was discussing this recipe at yesterday’s TOFC meeting, so I thought I should post it (a picture will follow when I next cook it).  There are similarities in style to the recipe below and, once again, I tend to use frozen seafood for convenience.  I guess you could serve this with boiled rice instead of noodles, but I like the noodles.  I know this is not Thai curry, but it has that sort of flavour without using coconut, which I am not keen on.

For one serving:
Half a pack of Sainbury’s frozen seafood (I defrost in a microwave using a plastic sieve over a plastic bowl).
Half a portion of Sharwood’s medium noodles.
Two teaspoons of Sharwoods sweet chilli sauce.
Half a teaspoon of ground cumin.
One teaspoon of Garam Masala.
One segment of fresh garlic (crushed).
One teaspoon of ground ginger (you can use fresh stem ginger if you want).
Half a red onion (not too large).
Soy sauce as required.

Cover the base of the wok with a layer of vegetable oil and heat until quite hot.  Add the onion and quickly stir fry until just browning at edges.  Add the drained, thawed seafood and quickly stir, then add all of the ingredients and stir fry for about five minutes.  Put this into a bowl in a microwave until the noodles are ready and while frying the noodles, heat the meal with a burst (<1 min) of microwaves.

Boil the noodles as instructed on packet, drain and wash with hot water.  Heat virgin oil in the wok and add the noodles and quickly toss them in the hot oil with a sprinkle of soy sauce.  Add the seafood and stir for one minute, serve on a hot plate.

Spicy seafood and garlic with soft fried noodles

This is a new recipe for me, which I tried for the first time today.  You can easily vary the amount of chilli, or the way you cook the chilli, to control the spiciness of the meal.  If you want a spicy meal, finely chop the whole chilli and fry with the onions and garlic, for a milder version slice the chilli and cook as above, or for a mild version slice and cook the chilli, but remove before adding the seafood.  The recipe is for one person, but can easily be doubled and the whole preparation and cooking time is only 20 mins.

I use Sharwood’s medium noodles and also their sweet chilli sauce.   for the seafood I use Sainsbury’s frozen mixed seafood, which I thoroughly thaw before use.  You will require the following ingredients:20121003_091

For one person:
1 “folding” of noodles.
Soy sauce.
Toasted sesame oil.
A full teaspoonful of sweet chilli sauce.
Half a pack of mixed seafood.
Half a red onion.
1 clove of garlic.
1 red chilli (preferably a long thin one).
1” of finely chopped stem ginger (or frozen chopped ginger if preferred).
1 Table spoonful of vegetable oil.

Boil the noodles, as described on the package, in salted water with a few drops of sesame oil added.  Drain, wash with boiling water and toss lightly in a drizzle of sesame oil.  Keep ready to fry after the main meal is ready.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and add the red onion and garlic, stir fry until the garlic softens or the onions and garlic brown slightly. Add the chilli (prepared as above to taste) and fry for a few minutes before adding the seafood (which should be drained of any water).  Add the sweet chilli sauce and stir fry until the seafood has softened and is heated through.  Remove from the wok and keep ready to serve (I usually put them in a dish in the microwave and heat them before serving).

Heat the sesame oil in the cleaned wok and stir fry the noodles with soy sauce for a two minutes, or until hot.

Place the noodles on a heated plate and spoon the seafood onto the noodles, serve hot.

Penne Bolognaise

I guess everyone has a recipe for bolognaise sauce, or maybe just buys one of the many bottled versions, but I thought you might want to try mine (as usual it is easy to do).  This cooks enough beef bolognaise for two people.


250g of lean steak mince
Half an onion, finely chopped
Three cloves of garlic finely chopped thinly
A tin of chopped plum tomatoes
Black pepper, onion salt, thyme, oregano, two Oxo cubes and tomato puree.

1 mug of penne (or sufficient for your needs).

Heat some oil in a wok or deep frying pan and add the chopped onion and chopped garlic.  Fry the onion, with frequent turning, until lightly browned.  Add the minced steak and toss quickly with the onion then crumble one Oxo cube over the meat and stir quickly.  Repeat this for the other Oxo cube.  Then add a sprinkling of the onion salt, pepper, thyme, oregano while stirring the meat until it is cooked brown.

Add the tinned tomatoes (I actually use whole tinned tomatoes and I chop them myself, but that is my choice), stir thoroughly and then add a generous squeeze of tomato puree.  Leave on a low heat for about 30-60 minutes, cover when the liquid has boiled down so that the meat does not burn (slow cooking the mince releases a lot of the flavours).

Boil the penne as recommended, drain, rinse with boiling water and toss in light virgin olive oil (not too much oil).  Add the penne to the cooking bolognaise and toss gently until coated.  Serve in a warmed bowl or plate.

Chicken in Hoi Sin sauce with fried noodles and bean-sprouts.

20120927_090As with all recipes of mine, there is a quick way – buy the sauce from Sharwoods as a paste, but that not as much fun! And (especially if you can’t get fresh), use a tin of beansprouts in water, but drain thoroughly!
Requires: Two uncooked, skinless chicken breasts (frozen), noodles and bean-sprouts as desired.

Beware it takes quite a time to mix the ingredients for the Hoi Sin Sauce together, they separate, so keep going until they don’t!
Vary the Jalapeño sauce or hot chilli sauce as required.

Prepare the sauce in advance – I freeze it:
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon runny honey or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic granules (not garlic salt)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
20 drops Chinese hot sauce, habenero, hot chilli sauce or jalapeño sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix thoroughly until a paste.

You will need about 50-100ml of the above for this meal for 2:

Part-thaw two skinless chicken breasts and thinly slice for stir-frying. While cooking the chicken also prepare the noodles – Boil a pint of water and add noodles as required (I use one fold of Sharwoods medium noodles), cook until soft. Rinse in hot water, drain and then toss in a teaspoon of sesame oil.
When the chicken is thawed completely toss into hot oil in a wok and stir until fully white. Add the sauce until the meat is just covered and stir fry to a thick mass – not too much sauce or it will be runny. Add two chopped/sliced peppers (adds colour if red and yellow) stir until softened. Empty contents of wok into a microwaveable vessel.
Heat two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil in the cleaned wok and stir fry the cooked noodles with a good sprinkling of dark soy sauce, until brown in colour – make sure you stir continuously as they may stick. Add the bean-sprouts, sprinkle again in dark soy sauce and stir fry until the bean-sprouts are hot.
Heat the chicken in Hoi Sin in microwave until hot.
Ladle noodles/bean-sprouts mixture onto a hot plate and add the chicken in Hoi Sin over the layer of noodles.

Chicken Tikka (the easy way).

This is my simple recipe for chicken tikka, which isn’t too spicy and the spiciness can be controlled. I don’t measure properly, so I have tried to guess amounts based on teaspoons:

Cut two chicken breasts (skinless) into good sized pieces – big enough to fit on skewers.
Sprinkle generously with lemon juice and salt (this pre-cooks the meat to make it tender). Do both sides and leave for 10 min per side.
After 20 min, pour off the salt/lemon solution.
Mix half a teaspoon of cochineal (red) vegetable dye with two teaspoons of egg yellow vegetable dye and coat each piece of chicken to colour the meat red (serves no purpose taste wise but makes the tikka look “right”.

Pour 1 normal sized (150g) yogurt into a 1l jug or vessel and add:
1 teaspoon (heaped) of ground cumin
1 teaspoon (level) of Garam Masala
1 teaspoon (level) of garlic granules or two finely chopped cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon (heaped) of ground ginger.
Add cayenne pepper to taste (this is the spicy bit).
Stir thoroughly.
Add the chicken and mix sauce around chicken to marinade it.
Leave to marinade in the fridge at least overnight – the longer the better (best to cover the vessel with something to keep the smell in or the fridge will smell of curry!).

Heat the oven to 220degC.
Line a shallow vessel with foil (make sure your skewers fit across the vessel).
Put the chicken pieces onto the skewers, separating each piece by a few mm.
Coat with melted butter.
Cook for 30 min or until the edges just blacken.

Serve with salad, mango chutney and mint Raita.

Spicy chicken with fried rice.

This is one of my really fast meals, it takes about 10 minutes to cook (recipe for two people):
1. I always use frozen, skinless chicken breasts (2) and allow them to part thaw before slicing into this slices that will cook quickly.
2. Measure a mug full of Basamti rice (or less if you prefer). Wash thoroughly in water to remove all starch.
3. Put about a pint of water on to boil the rice – add salt and bring to the boil. Add the rice and boil until rice has doubled in size and is soft to squeeze.
4. At the same time, heat some oil in the Wok and stir fry the chicken slices until white. Add a covering of ground ginger, black pepper, garlic granules and chopped fresh Basil. Continue to stir fry.
5. Add about two dessert spoonfuls of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more or less to taste). Quickly stir fry the meat until it develops an even red colour from the chilli sauce.
6. Sprinkle Dark Soy Sauce lightly to just start to create a paste of the spices. Remove the cooked meat from the Wok and keep on a warm plate. wash the Wok…..
7. Drain the cooked rice, wash with cold water, drain and then wash with boiling water. Thoroughly drain.
8. Heat oil in Wok until very hot. Throw in rice and QUICKLY stir fry with Soy Sauce to colour rice light brown. Add the cooked chicken, stir for 3 minutes and serve.