Easy jam tarts

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
125g butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for the tin
1 medium egg
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
125g  jam, fruit curd or marmalade of your choice

 1.Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips (or you can pulse these ingredients together in a food processor if you have one). 
2.When the mixture looks and feels like fresh breadcrumbs, Stir in the sugar.
3.Beat the egg with the vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of cold water. Pour the mixture into the bowl. 
4.Stir it through with a cutlery knife, then bring the dough together with your hands – be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 mins.
5.Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter a 12-hole tart tin, then dust your work surface with flour. 
6.Unwrap and roll out the chilled pastry so it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin, then use a straight or fluted round cutter to cut out 12 circles, big enough to line the holes in the tin. 
Dollop 1-2 tsp of your chosen filling into each one.
7.Bake for 15-18 mins until the pastry is golden and the jam bubbling. Allow to cool for a few mins before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Onion bhaji

2 onions, finely sliced
100g gram flour
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cold water
vegetable oil for frying

1. Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander, curry powder and a good sprinkling of salt, ground black pepper.
2. Mix in about 100 - 120 ml of cold water to make a thick batter.
3. Add the onion into the batter. Heat the oil in a wok . (Do not fill the pan more than a third full).
4. The oil is hot enough for frying. Lower heaped tbsps of the bhaji mixture into the wok,  and cook for a few mins, until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Leek and potato soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
200g  potatoes, cubed
2 medium leeks, sliced
2 pints vegetable stock
120ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pan
2. Add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer until the vegetables are tender and cooked.
4.Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Reheat, Stir in the cream , heat through and serve.

Roast Mediterranean Vegetables

8-10 Cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 large red pepper
1 large green pepper
2 medium Courgettes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt,  Ground black pepper
Mixed herbs

1.Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Cut all the vegetables into chunky pieces and put in a large roasting tin.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt,  ground black pepper and mix herbs.  and roast for 20-25 minutes.The veggies should be soft and cooked.
3.Cool on a rack, then divide them into servings to keep in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for about 3 months.
4.Serve hot or cool  at room temperature or toss with pasta, top a pizza, stir into soup, stuff a sandwich or wrap, or toss with vinaigrette for a salad.

Pork Lasagne

2 tbsp olive oil
500g  pork mince
300g passata
1 Pork stock cube dissolved in 100 ml of hot water
12  lasagne sheets
450 ml  ready-made white sauce
125g  Cheddar cheese, grated

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the pork for about 15 mins until browned.
2. Add passata and stock, Bring up to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins to thicken the sauce.
3. Heat oven to 180C. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish . Spoon one third of the meat sauce into the dish, then cover with lasagne sheets. Drizzle over about one quarter of  ready made white sauce.
4. Repeat until you have 3 layers of pasta. Cover with the remaining white sauce, making sure you can’t see any pasta poking through.
5. Sprinkle over the cheddar cheese. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes- or until golden brown on top and the pasta is soft.
6. Remove the lasagne from the oven and leave to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Delicious served with a fresh salad or sweet potato chips.

Pork fillets stuffed with apricots, apples and ginger

For the stuffing
1 tbsp. sunflower oil
50 g butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 eating apple, finely chopped
100g fresh seeded bread  breadcrumbs
100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
80g sultanas
3 balls stem ginger in syrup, drained, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. stem ginger syrup (from the jar)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander
salt, ground black pepper  to season

For the pork
2 x 0.5kg pork fillets
18-20 rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers

1.To make the stuffing, melt the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently fry the shallot and garlic until softened.
2. Add  the apple, apricots, sultanas, stem ginger, breadcrumbs, ground ginger, lemon zest and juice and the herbs. Season with salt and ground black pepper and mix well together.
3. Add the measured stem ginger syrup and mix again until the stuffing comes together. Leave to cool.
4. Put the pork fillets on a board and, using a sharp knife, carefully trim off as much excess fat and sinew as possible.
5. Place one of the fillet between two sheets of cling film and bash with a rolling pin until around 1cm or 1/2 in thick. Put to one side and repeat the same process with the other tenderloin.
6. Place a large clean sheet of cling film on the board and arrange the bacon in slightly overlapping lengths on top. (A little longer and just over three times as wide as the flattened pork.)
7. Place one of the pork fillets in the centre of the bacon and spread the stuffing on top. Cover with the other pork fillet to sandwich the stuffing. Bring the bacon up over the top of the pork to enclose it completely.
8. Wrap tightly in more cling film to help hold the shape. Place the pork parcel on its side on a small tray and chill in the fridge for two hours or  overnight in the fridge if preparing ahead.
9. Preheat the oven to 150C.  Unwrap the pork and place on a lightly greased baking tray, with the ends of the bacon underneath. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the bacon is crisp and the pork is piping hot throughout.
10. Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the pork to a board or warmed serving platter. Cover with foil and leave to rest. (If serving the meat cold, simply allow to cool and then wrap in foil and keep in the fridge.)
11. Carve the pork into slices and serve with gravy roast potatoes and some cooked seasonal vegetables.

Spiced Pork Chops

1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon  dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 pork chops
1 tablespoons olive oil
 lemon,chopped chilli and chopped coriander for garnish

1.Mix paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, onion powder and garlic powder on a plate.
2. Rub the mixture evenly over the pork chops.  Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Heat the oven to 180-200 C. Rub pork chops with olive oil and bake the pork chops, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes  or until pork juices run clear. served with chips and coleslaw or rice.