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Smoked Salmon Parcels

Serves: 2

Time: 15 mins


  • 6-8 Slices of Smoked Salmon
  • 50g Cooked prawns (not king prawns)
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Lemon (for juicing)
  • 2 Slices of buttered brown bread


  1. Get a mould ready, (examples of moulds are a small ramekin or pastry cutter etc.)
  2. Cling film the inside of the mould leaving enough cling film hanging over the edges to fold over the smoked salmon
  3. Place the prawns into a bowl
  4. Take a tablespoonful of mayonnaise and mix into the prawns
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of one half and add to the prawns
  6. Take your slices of smoked salmon, one at a time and place in the mould to cover the surface, each slice should slightly overlap; it is important that the salmon hangs over the edge of the mould to create the parcel effect later
  7. Take a tablespoonful of the prawn mixture and place into the centre of the smoked salmon mould
  8. Add the prawn mixture until the mould is ¾ full
  9. Fold into the middle the salmon that is over the edges
  10. Turn out the mould onto a plate, garnish with a slice of lemon and add a slice of buttered brown bread
  11. Repeat this process for the second persons parcel
  12. If you have spare prawns you can use them to garnish around the plate.

This  dish gives a nice twist to Smoked Salmon starters at Christmas

Review:Jamie Oliver’s Bruschette

Thumb rating:👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Skill level: Easy

Taste: Two types of Bruschette one aubergine with mint and the other tomato with basil.

Ingredients easy to get?  Yes all ingredients were bought from the local supermarket- ripe tomatoes would have improved the recipe.

Serves: 5-10 (depending on portion sizes).

Costs £4.63 for both Bruschette recipes.







My thoughts on the recipe…

This week’s recipe comes from Jamie’s Italy cook book. All of the ingredients were ordered from a local supermarket with no problems or substitutes.

A 400g French baguette was purchased to use as the base to put the bruschette’s mix on.

I have made bruschette in the past and find it a winner when dinning for others. Apart from a little prep it is a very easy starter to do when entertaining.

The tomatoes used in the tomato and basil bruschetta recipe could have been riper making it easier to cut and get all of those important juices and flavours out. The French stick slices were put in a hot oven with a little olive oil until golden brown, this helps the toppings sit nicely on the bread.

Was the recipe easy to follow?

This was a very straight forward recipe to follow and very quick to do, with little prep needed.

Would you cook it again?

This dish was a winner when I was entertaining guests and could be made in advance as it is suitable hot or cold.

I cut the bread stick slices a bit too thick, so next time I would cut the bread into thinner slices and also add some more mint to the aubergines as I feel there was not quite enough flavour coming through.

What changes did you make?

As the tomatoes were not as ripe as I would have liked, I de-cored and chopped the whole tomatoes and added to the mix, even though I should have de-seeded and squeeze the tomatoes.

I do not own a griddle pan, so fried the aubergines in a normal pan with a little olive oil.

What the wife asked about the recipe…

What does a sprig mean?

A sprig is a noun and means a shoot, twig or small branch of herbs.

What is a griddle pan?

A griddle pan is a pan which is like a frying pan but has groves in it. This can be used to achieve a scorch mark when frying.

Can I use dried herbs instead?

You could but the true herb flavours would be weaker than fresh herbs.


In summary an easy recipe to follow with little effort. Very quick to make and is ideal for when entertaining.

Review: Gordon Ramsey’s Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

Thumb rating:👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Skill level: Medium

Taste: It has an authentic Spanish flavour. It may be too smokey for some.

Ingredients easy to get?  Yes. Just be careful to buy raw chorizo not cooked.

Serves 4-6

Costs £2-£3 per person

My thoughts on the recipe…

This weeks recipe comes from Gordon Ramsey’s World Kitchen cook book. All of the ingredients were ordered from a local supermarket.  Packet size from the supermarket and weight requirements from the recipe did not marry up, so another pack of chorizo was ordered to compensate the problem. This was great as my family love the Spanish sausage!

Altogether this meal cost me £15.54 to buy the ingredients that were not already in my cupboard, this included two large glasses of wine for me and the wife to drink🥂 with the meal.

I was excited to make the paella as it is from a world famous chef  and I love cooking Spanish cuisine, so a good choice to start the review page with.

When it came to creating this dish I thought to make life easier I would weigh all of the ingredients out beforehand and put them into different bowls. This saved time as when following the steps in the recipe, I was able to have the ingredients to hand ready for a particular part of creating the dish.

Was the recipe easy to follow?

All in all this was a reasonably straightforward dish. Just allow some extra time to prepare the ingredients beforehand, trust me this saves time and stops confusion between steps of the recipe. Also go easy on the saffron as this spice has a powerful, smoky flavour.

Would you cook it again?

I love Spanish cuisine and paella is one of my favourite dishes (biased I know), however my wife said she would not have it again in the near future. She was not too keen on the smoky flavours that came out in the dish, which comes from the saffron.  If I was to do this again for the family I would use less or no saffron as this was the flavour that she did not like.

What changes did you make?

I decided to use more chorizo than chicken due to the conflicting package  and weight requirements. I also had the wrong type of tomatoes. Instead of salad tomatoes I had cherry tomatoes, so instead of skinning and deseeding the tomatoes I cut them into quarters and added to the dish.

What the wife asked about the recipe…

What are Saffron Strands?

For those who do not know what saffron is or looks like (e.g. my wife) I shall explain. Saffron comes from a plant called Crocus Sativus also known as the saffron crocus plant. The stigmas from this plant are carefully removed and dried, which is safffron spice used. It originated from Greece however Iran now accounts for the majority of this spice on sale in our shops.

Image: Saffron, courtesy of @milansaffron

Can you even buy uncooked Chorizo? 

To begin with my wife didn’t know that you could buy uncooked chorizo, however after searching for uncooked chorizo Online she realised that you could. But before researching this she thought chorizo was always cooked.

What does Sauté actually mean?

Sauté : Adjective- fried quickly in a little hot fat e.g sautéed potatoes

The word Sauté is a French word which means “to jump” The French use this word because the food in the pan is constiantly jumping as it’s getting cooked in a little oil.


In summary the family enjoyed the meal but probably less Saffron next time! If you want to try it yourself use the link below…



Black pudding and poached egg on a bed of salad leaves

Serves: 2

Time: 15mins


  • 3 slices of Black Pudding
  • 5 Rashers of bacon
  • 2 eggs ( for poaching)
  • 1 pack of mixed salad leaves


  1. On a chopping board dice your rashers of bacon into small bite sized piece
  2. Cut your black pudding into small pieces
  3. Place the diced bacon into a frying pan and cook for a few minutes
  4. Add the black pudding to the bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes. (The bacon should have turned from a red colour to a lighter pink colour and the black pudding goes a darker colour of black)
  5. Whilst the bacon and black pudding are cooking it is time to cook your poached eggs
  6. In a colander wash your salad leaves and drain
  7. Place the salad leaves on to the plates you are going to serve the dish on
  8. Add the bacon and black pudding mixture to the salad leaves
  9. Place a poached egg on top of the bacon and black pudding
  10. Enjoy

You could add some dressing to the salad leaves to enhance all of those lovely flavours

Quick Jacket Potato

Time: 10-15mins

  • All you need is a microwave and 10-15 minutes!


  • Large Baking Potato or large potato
  • Desired filling
  • Margarine/Butter/olive oil/ flaxseed oil


  1. Wash the potato to remove soil
  2. Prick the potato several times (You will find a fork will make this easy)
  3. Place the potato onto an microwaveable dish and place in the microwave
  4. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato (To check if the potato is cooked stab with a knife, if soft in the middle then the potato is ready)
  5. Cut open the potato with a sharp knife taking care not to burn yourself
  6. Place a little butter/margarine/olive oil/flaxseed oil to the insides of the potato
  7. Add your desired filling and enjoy

Always check that the centre has been cooked by stabbing with a knife to make sure that the centre is soft.