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The Food Fanatic

Having fun with food one spoonful at a time

The head chef’s latest recipes

Easy to follow recipes from around the world with handy hints and tips to enjoy stress free cooking.

Chicken and Chorizo Hash

Smoked Chicken & Chorizo Hash

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 mins and cooks in 1 hour (includes roasting time) The first time I tried this was in a local restaurant I was amazed by the flavours. I asked the owner how they got the smoked flavour and he told me a…

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Padron peppers

Padron peppers

Serves 2 / Difficulty – easy / Prep 5 mins and 10 mins cooking time I first had Padron peppers in a local European restaurant that has regular Mexican nights as one of the owners is from Mexico. These were always the highlight dish and they are actually very very…

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Quesadilla

Easy Quesadilla

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 2 mins and cooks in 5 mins These are so easy, tasty and often impress guests. Serve with my tasty Patatas Bravas recipe Ingredients Manchego cheese Flour tortilla’s Unsalted butter Method Heat a frying pan large enough to take the round tortilla bread…

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Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 10 minutes, cooks in 45 This is one of my go to Spanish dishes when making tapas, very easy and very tasty. The trick with the sauce is to balance the amounts of olive oil and salt which removes the acidity of…

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Braised lamb shanks

Braised Lamb Shanks

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 30 minutes and cooks in 2 hours. This is one of my go-to lamb recipes, it’s easy, tasty and the meat just falls away from the bone. Delicious for an evening meal. Ingredients 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 lamb shanks 1 onion, roughly…

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salmon and broccoli potato bake

Grilled Salmon, Potato and Broccoli

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 20 minutes and cooks in 5 This is a quick, easy to make evening meal which tastes more impressive than the work that goes into it. Ingredients 750g medium waxy potatoes, cut into wedges 1 head broccoli, cut into florets 250ml tub crème fraîche…

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Bacon, egg and cheese ciabatta

The Harley Quinn Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Serves 1 / Difficulty – Easy / Ready in 20 minutes This is the famous sandwich from Birds of Prey. It’s basically a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich but what makes it so special is the ciabatta bread. Ingredients 1 ciabatta roll or half a ciabatta bread Butter (optional -…

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Salmon and Broccoli Pasta Bake

Salmon and Broccoli Pasta Bake

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 20 minutes and cooks in 30 minutes This is a recipe that I have copied from the BBC website, it’s a good twist on Salmon and I really enjoyed it. I removed the 8 sun dried tomatoes which you can add back…

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Beef and Mushroom Pudding

Steak and Mushroom Pudding

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 1 hour & cooked in 1½ hour This is a twist on the British classic steak and kidney pudding. My wife does not like offal so I switched to using mushrooms instead and its a delicious change, I love both versions. Ingredients…

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Homemade Truffle Honey with Manchego Cheese

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Ready in 5 minutes I first tasted truffle honey on cheese while waiting for a restaurant to open in Tuscany. The waiter led us to a shop outside the restaurant and asked us to sit and gave us some complimentary truffle honey on…

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Beef and chickpea curry

Beef and Chickpea Curry

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 mins cooks in 3 hours Cooking this beef curry for 3 hours results in a  very tender meat in a tasty curry sauce. Best served with rice and flatbread of your choice to mop up the sauce. Ingredients 1 large onion,…

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Tomato and garlic bruschetta

Simple tomato and garlic bruschetta

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 5 minutes This is my favourite bruschetta, its so quick and easy and for me just tastes of Italy. It serves as a great starter or an accompaniment to a glass of wine or a cheeky cocktail in the garden. Ingredients Two…

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Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 mins cooks in 30 A classic English dish which is rich and creamy and comforting. Best served with some roast potatoes and broccoli which helps soak up some of the richness. Ingredients Butter for greasing Splash of olive oil 2 chicken…

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Garlic, lemon chicken with moudamas

Garlic and Lemon Chicken with Foul Moudamas

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 5 minutes and ready in 15 minutes I can never find fava beans so I use haricot which soaks up the lemon juice and olive oil just as well and makes a lovely soft to bite foul moudamas. Ingredients For the chicken…

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Garlic and Herb Pasta

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 5 minutes and cooked in 10 minutes This is one of my go-to lunch recipes, quick, easy and very tasty and I’d imagine quite healthy if you are on a diet and choose gluten free pasta and skip the parmesan. Adjust the…

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Spezzatino, Beef Italian Stew

Spezzatino, Italian beef stew

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 30 minutes, cooked in 3-4 hours This is another Italian classic, its easy to make and is one of my favourite stews. Ingredients 400g of diced beef Flour for dusting 1 onion, chopped 1 stick of celery, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and…

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Fluffy American pancakes

Fluffy American pancakes

Makes 6-8 pancakes / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 5 minutes and cooked in 10 These make lovely fluffy pancakes and are best served with grilled, crispy streaky bacon and loads of good quality Maple Syrup. I much prefer them to English pancakes. Ingredients 190g self raising flour 1 ½ teaspoons…

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Chicken Cacciatore - hunters chicken

Chicken Cacciatore – Hunters Chicken

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 20 minutes and 45 minutes cooking time This is a one pot meal that is good on it’s own or add rice to make more substantial. Ingredients One knob of butter 2 tbsp olive oil 4 chicken thighs or legs, skin removed…

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Salsa dip side dish

Salsa

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 5 minutes The classic side dish for Mexican food and fajitas. Ingredients 2 tomatoes ½ red onion ½ lime, juiced Ground sea salt 1 red chilli pepper (optional) Method Finely chop the tomatoes and remove the white. Finely chop the red onion.…

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Mexican Beef with Guacamole & Beans

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 minutes and cooked in 3 hours You can also swap the beef for chicken (marinade with the rub and some olive oil, then stir fry until cooked). And also make fajita’s with this recipe by simply adding a tortilla, salsa (find…

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Classic Cottage Pie

Classic Cottage Pie

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 30 minutes and 45 minutes cooking time One of the ultimate comfort foods, this is my tasty version of an English classic. Swap beef for lamb and you get a Shepherds pie. Ingredients For the filling 250g of minced beef 1 onion…

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Pasta with Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Pasta with Broccoli

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 10 minutes and cooks in 10 A quick and easy lunch or dinner and is much tastier than you would think. Ingredients 190g of penne pasta Salt 1 head of broccoli, florets, chopped into 2cm pieces Freshly ground black pepper Small handful…

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Smoked mackerel and potato bake

Smoked Mackerel & Potato Bake

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 10 minutes and 25 minutes cooking time. This is a fairly quick inexpensive evening meal with lots of flavour. Make sure the potatoes are waxy and you’ll get much better results. Ingredients 700g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes 1…

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Carrot cake by Food Fanatic

Very Moist Carrot Cake

Serves 8-10 / Difficulty – Easy / Preparation 30 minutes and 45-1 hour baking time Most of the time I hear people saying carrot cake is too dry, well this a proper carrot cake, very moist with a delicious tangy creamy topping. Its one of the best carrot cakes I…

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Prawns alla Busara

Prawns alla Busara

Serves 2-4 / Difficulty – Easy / Preparation and cooking in around 30 minutes This is a Rick Stein recipe that is pretty easy and very delicious. My mother in law makes a pasta all busara and if there is any sauce left over you can keep and use it…

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Cajun fried chicken with truffle and parmesan chips

Cajun Fried Chicken with Truffle and Parmesan Chips

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 minutes and around 10 minutes cooking time For the truffle I find the Truffle Hunter brand quite good and judging by the reviews so do other people. I have tried other brands but they can be almost tasteless – the Truffle…

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Salmon Mornay Recipe

Salmon Mornay

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Preparation 30 minutes and 30 minutes cooking time I developed this recipe after enjoying some scallops recently as a starter – and the taste transported me back 30 years to a lunch I used often have whilst working as a young art director…

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Sartù Timbale

Sartù di Riso

Serves 4-6 / Difficulty – Hard / Prep 1½ hour and 45 minutes cooking time This is a recipe I have taken from the legendary Italian cookbook Silver Spoon which you can buy here. Sartù is not for the faint hearted as you basically prepare a number of little dishes…

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Lobster Thermidor Recipe

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 30-40 minutes and cooks in 5 minutes A classic dish that is really not very difficult if you have the patience to deal with the lobster. I’ll be honest and say that as the picture shows I often don’t bother putting the…

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Nepalese Khutta Curry Recipe

Nepalese Khutta Curry Recipe

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep ½ hr – cooks in 4 Many years ago I lived in Greenwich and there was an amazing Indian restaurant that served a dish called a Nepalese Khutta which I ordered often, it had a gravy-like taste to it which I have…

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Sicilian Arancini

Sicilian Arancini Recipe

Makes 8 medium balls / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 45 mins and fried in 5 minutes I first discovered arancini existed whilst watching an episode of the Sicilian detective series Inspector Montelbano, and the episode was called ‘Gli arancini di Montalbano’, obviously arancini featured heavily and I had to…

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Pork belly baked in milk

Pork Belly and Potatoes Baked in Milk

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 20 mins and 1.5 hours cooking time. I recall Apple notified me of this recipe when I was reading my iPad one evening and I instantly thought that I had to try it. I wasn’t disappointed and I have copied the recipe…

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Home made scotch eggs

Recipe for Runny Yolk Scotch Eggs

Makes 4 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 20 mins and cooks in 10 With the runny yolk these are a crowd pleaser, I’ve literally had people clapping in surprise when serving these up. Great fun and much better than the shop bought eggs. You can use the Paxo golden…

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Food Fanatic New Orleans Gumbo Recipe

New Orleans Style Gumbo Recipe

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Hard / Prep 1 and cooks in 2 1/2 hrs For this recipe to work in the UK you have to make the stewed tomatoes yourself and I swapped gumbo file powder for cornflour and andouille sausage for nduja and kielbasa sausage (nduja has the…

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Bacon and broccoli quiche

Bacon and Broccoli Quiche Recipe

Serves 4-6 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 30 minutes and 30 minutes cooking time. This is often requested dish, and when I make it for guests I often get asked for the recipe. I enjoy it with a side salad of chopped tomatoes and celery, some salad leaves with…

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Tuna and egg sandwich

Tuna, Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

Makes 2 sandwiches / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 10 minutes. This is a lovely soft messy sandwich, add some cheese or a dash of hot pepper sauce to add even more flavour. Ingredients 2 brown baps or 4 slice of bread 200g tin of tuna in olive oil 2…

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Roasted lamb shanks

Lamb Shanks with Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 10 minutes and 3 hours cooking time. This is rich hearty tasty dish, including the potatoes when softened before roasting then cooked in lard and garlic they are very crispy and creamy tasting potatoes… delicious. Ingredients 2 lamb shanks Olive oil Small…

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Mushroom risotto

Vale’s Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4 / Difficulty – Medium / 10 minutes prep & around 30 minutes cooking time. This is the best mushroom risotto I have tasted, which is lucky as it’s made by my wife and she would know if I was lying every time she asks me ‘how was it?’.…

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Chicken, cheese, salad pitta bread

Chicken and Cheese Salad Pitta

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 15 minutes and 10 minutes cooking time. There are a fair few ingredients for this pitta but the end result is worth it. I enjoy as a nice lunch served warm but you could make ahead for a packed lunch. Ingredients 300g…

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Spaghetti bolognese recipe

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Ready in 10 minutes. This is a quick and easy delicious classic pasta which I consider another comfort food. In Italy it’s not eaten as often as you would think and probably more loved here in England. You’ll find my recipe for the…

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Nudja Prawn Spaghetti

Nduja Prawn Spaghetti Recipe

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 15 mins and 20 minutes cooking time. This is one of my favourite pastas and one of my main reasons for stocking nduja which you can buy at Ocado now. For the uninitiated Nduja has a taste similar to chorizo but it…

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Hummus & manchego cheese pitta

Hummus & Manchego Pitta

Serves 1 / Difficulty – Easy / Ready in 10 minutes. A nice alternative to hummus (you can find my recipe here) and pitta bread on its own, you can swap the cheese for your favourite but I think manchego is a perfect companion to hummus. Ingredients 1 pitta bread…

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Paprika roasted salmon recipe

Paprika Roasted Salmon Recipe

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Easy / Prep 10 mins and 20 minutes cooking time. This is a low calorie easy dish that creates a nice sauce for the salmon – as lovely as salmon is cooked plainly it can get a bit boring sometimes. This sauce gives it a…

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Malabar prawn curry

Malabar Prawn Curry Recipe

Serves 2 / Difficulty – Medium / Prep 30 minutes and cooking 20 minutes. This is my wife’s favourite curry. And I must admit as soon as I have the ghee, mustard seeds and curry leaves cooking the smell is heavenly. I buy the biggest tiger prawns I can find…

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Hummus

Recipe for Hummus

Serves 3-4 / Difficulty – Easy / Ready in 10 minutes. I find hummus a lot more versatile than just spreading on pitta (not that there is anything wrong with that of course) but try it on my peppers and eggs sandwich recipe and it takes an already great sandwich…

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peppers-and-eggs-sandwich

Sandwich with Peppers and Eggs

Makes 2 sandwiches / Difficulty – Easy / 10 minutes prep and 50 minutes cooking time. I dreamt up this sandwich after watching an episode of the Sopranos. One of the gang was handing out sandwiches and Uncle Junior looked at one of the other guys sandwiches and said to…

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Peverada sauce

Rita’s Recipe for Peverada Sauce

Serves around 12 / Difficulty – medium / 20 minutes prep – 1 hour cooking time. Peverada sauce is a strong flavoured meaty sauce originating from Venice that is served with game and goes amazingly well with poultry. This particular recipe was passed to me by my mother in law,…

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Duck with peverada and polenta

Recipe for Roast Duck Italian Style

Serves 2  / Difficulty – Medium / 20 minutes prep and 4 hours cooking time. This is a dish that has its origins in the Venice region. We have it every year when in Italy on Christmas day. When I cook this meal my wife often says to me that…

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Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Serves 4 (or 2 very hungry people) / Difficulty – medium / 10 minutes prep and 45 minutes cooking time. I cook these jerk chicken thighs on the BBQ during the summer or in the oven when the weather won’t allow it. Ingredients 800g chicken thighs   For the marinade…

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Caribbean Fried Dumplings

Caribbean Fried Dumplings Recipe

Makes 8 dumplings / Difficulty – easy / 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes cooking time. Ingredients 300g self raising flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 15g of butter 150ml of water About 300ml of oil for frying Method Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the…

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Tasty Tuna Pasta

Recipe for a Tasty Tuna Pasta

Serves 4 / Difficulty – easy / Ready to eat in 15 minutes This recipe came to me after having an amazing tuna pizza in Sardinia. The addition of capers, anchovies and olives makes this a very tasty dish, you can add more (or less) of these 3 ingredients based…

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Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Serves 4 / Difficulty – easy / Prep time 20 minutes and 1 hour cooking time. One of my favourite comfort foods and so easy to make in a big batch for a group of friends. Leaving to cool for a little while after cooking improves the flavour. Like lasagne…

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