Fabulous leftover frittata

So, when what we have in the fridge is a solitary potato, a box of eggs, half a red and green pepper and a rather sad looking courgette, do we head for the Indian takeaway? We do not! We make fabulous frittata.

It sounds exotically complicated and Italian, doesn’t it. But it’s really just a big veggie omelette that you don’t have to have kittens about trying to flip. What’s not to love.

Great with salad, fresh greens, or if in need of something from your childhood, baked beans….

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Slow roast lamb with mint, garlic and sumac

Lamb shoulder is a relatively cheap but delicious cut, and it benefits from a good long, slow roast to allow the sinews to render down into meaty succulence.

Four hours in a low oven on a bed of rosemary, seasoned with garlic, sumac and fresh mint and you have a kitchen filled with wonderful, savoury smells that are enough to have both the dog and your husband salivating!

Stir a glass of red wine into the cooking juices and bubble on the hob until just thickened in place of a gravy . Serve with a creamy mashed potatoes and fresh greens and a hearty appetite. Perfect Sunday food for a lazy day.

Leek and potato soup

It’s dark, cold and wet out there in London, so I’m breaking out the leek and potato soup with crusty bread for supper.

This was the very first soup that I learned to make, back in my twenties. In those days I’d liquidise and sieve it for perfect creamy smoothness, but now I feel that life is too short, and just leave it chunky.

This soup couldn’t get any simpler – four ingredients, and that’s it – potatoes, leeks, stock and creme fraiche. You could replace the creme fraiche with almond or soya milk to make this totally vegan.

Despite its simplicity, this is delicious, comforting and economical. The pot I made has fed two of us for two meals.

Let the wintery rain fall – as long as I have a bowl of homemade soup, I’m happy.

Chicken rice for the soul

Sharing my life with a man from Istanbul has its unexpected culinary moments of pleasure. Most of these revolve around Hugh cooking up dishes that he remembers from his childhood. Chicken rice is just one of these.

Faced with the remains of the carcass of the roast chicken over the weekend, Hugh quietly took over. It was simmered slowly in a pan of water until every scrap of meat had left the bones, and the resulting stock was rich and flavoursome.

An onion was finely chopped and softened in olive oil. Basmati rice was added. Then a few handfuls of currants, salt, the shredded chicken and ladles of the stock until the rice had slowly absorbed all the liquid and was full and fluffy.

The thing that surprised and delighted me about this dish is that there are no complex or exotic seasonings, garlic or herbs – just very simple ingredients. And yet the taste is absolutely delicious- delicately savoury with the taste of chicken and onions with small pops of intense sweetness from the currants.

Chicken rice for the soul.