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Sunday, 20 December 2015


Zizzi (Review)

I went here for a meal with my wife and eldest son. Its a good chain restaurant. The vibe is relaxed and its always good value.

I went for a Rustica Sofia (£12.95. The pizza has spicy chicken, pepperoni, spicy sausage,  green chillies, mozzarella and rosemary. I would have preferred a better dispersal of the toppings and a few more chilles on the pizza.

My wife went for the Calzone Pollo Spinaci (£11.75)

Roast chicken, speck, Spinach mushrooms, thyme in a creamy mozzarella and bechamel, topped with coppa ham. This was so much better than my pizza! after having a bite I was struck down with a case of food envy.

My eldest had the  bambinis kids menu (£6.95). He started with carrot, cucumber and dough sticks. He was not overly impressed,  followed by pizza and ice cream and a chocachino.

All in all its a nice place to go. Not had a bad experence there and have just been on a team Chrismas lunch there and we had a great time.

What they say:

Individually Italian.

Website: click here

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Thai Fish Cakes

Thai Fish Cakes


450g Cod, skinned and cut into cubes
4 kaffier lime leaves, stems removed and torn roughly
1 egg white
1 tbsp Green Thai Paste
55g green beans, finely sliced
2 green chilli, finely sliced
1 small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
salt to taste
vegetable oil for shallow frying

1. Add the fish, egg white, lime leaves, pinch of salt, chillies and curry paste to a food processor and whizz until smooth.
2. Take out the mixture and add it to a bowl. Add the green beans and coriander and mix.
3. Add a bit of oil to your hands, it helps prevent the mixture sticking to your hands. Make approximately 13 patties and place them on a lightly oiled plate and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up the fishcakes.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry the fishcakes in batches, place them on a tray and keep them warm in the oven on a low heat (50 degrees) until you cook the remaining batches.
5. Serve with sweet chilli and Siracha dipping sauce.
6. Enjoy

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Chicken Pakoras

 Punjabi fried chicken! Chicken pakoras

Everyone loves fried chicken! This is my take on it. My mum was making vegetable pokoras which were amazing. I will post the recipe at a later date. I adapted her recipe I making these for the first time. They were a hit and I will definatedly be making these again. I will play around with the flavours and add another version. 

2 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped roughly
2 green chillies, chopped
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed)
1 tsp red chilli powder
100g gram flour
Handful of coriander, chopped
Handful of baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Place the garlic, ginger, green chillies, lemon juice, garam masala, cumin seeds, chilli powder, dmini food processor blend to a paste.
  2. Place chicken in a bowl and add the paste, mix in  and let it marinade for 30 minutes (longer if you can).
  3. Heat up the oil in a karahi/wok to a medium heat
  4. Add the freshly chopped coriander, spinach, onion and add the gram flour. 
  5. Mix together using one hand.
  6. Add a water a little at a time as required to ensure the chicken is coated in a thick batter.
  7. Test your oil is hot enough by dropping in a little batter into the oil. If it browns and rises immediately then its goof to go. 
  8. Place the pieces of chicken batter into the oil, one at a time and fry until crisp and golden brown. (If you want make one first to check the flavours and adjust according to your taste)
  9. Move the pakoras around, be careful not to overcrowd the karahi.
  10. Once golden brown and crisp remove from the oil and set on some kitchen paper.
  11. Enjoy

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Red Thai Curry

Easy Red Thai Curry.

I call this my easy Red Thai Curry as I use ready made red Thai curry paste. I have tried various brands but I have found  Mae Ploy to be the best. Ready made paste, its cheating, I know, but you get a great curry in 30 minutes. I also use frozen veg for colour and we always in the fridge. We always have these ingredients in and it makes a great comforting meal.

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  •  2 heaped tbsp Thai red curry paste 
  • ½-1 tbsp fish sauce
  •  1 tsp palm sugar
  •  4-5 kaffir lime leaves 
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 baby aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  •  150g frozen veg, 
  •  Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.

2. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.

3. Add 2 heaped tbsp of curry paste and fry for 1 minute

4. Add ½ tbsp fish sauce, the palm sugar, lime leaves, coconut milk, 150ml water (or stock) and the aubergines. Bring to the boil

5. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.

6. Add the chicken and cook for another 12 minutes.

7. Add the veg and cook for a further 5 minutes or until veg is heated through.

8. Remove from the heat, taste and add more fish sauce if needed, then stir in the coriander and serve with rice and lime wedges to squeeze over.

9. Enjoy

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lamb Curry

Nina's Punjabi Lamb Curry

Thanks to my sister Nina for making this for me and sharing the recipe on the blog. It tasted great and was just what I needed after a night of drinking! I will add my lamb curry at a later date.


3 large onions
6 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Olive oil to fry onions
1 handful coriander leaves
4 green chilies
5 coriander stalks
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Half a teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
Half a teaspoon ground cumin
Half a teaspoon curry powder
Half a tin chopped tinned tomatoes
Lamb –  (750g)
1 large stick of cinnamon 
1 to 1.5 teaspoons salt  to your own  taste

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and cumin seeds.
  2. Stir until a pale brown colour, and then add the three chopped onions to the pan.
  3. Stir and heat for five minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the 1 teaspoons of salt.
  4. Leave the onions to brown for around 10 minutes.
  5. Then add the dried fenugreek leaves and the coriander stalks, green chillies, stir for another 4 minutes.
  6. In a bowl add 2 tablespoons of water, into this put the paprika, turmeric, curry powder, fresh ginger and ground cumin. Add this to the onions and stir on a low heat for two minutes.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, lamb and large stick of cinnamon  to the pan and cook for the required time (around an hour on low heat). When lamb in cooked and tender to chew add the coriander leaves and garam masala. Stir for a further minute and then remove from heat.
  8. Sprinkle with a few coriander leaves before serving.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Chinese Style Salmon

Baked Chinese Style Salmon

This is a simple way to make an amazing easy dinner. The marinade takes minutes to put together, using only five ingredients. We had some Yakitori noodles and I thought this would work well with them.

Serves 2


3tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 clove garlic
1 inch ginger
1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 green chilli

2 Salmon Fillets


1. Place the chilli, garlic, ginger and five spice in a mini food process and whizz to a paste.
2. Add the Paste to the soy sauce and mix well to combine
3. Rub the marinade on to the salmon.
4. Pre heat the oven 200 degrees Celsius. I let the salmon marinade for 15 minutes.

5. Bake the salmon for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked.
6. Serve either on a bed of rice or noodles.
7. Enjoy

Monday, 26 October 2015


Recipe - Cookies

I made "split batch cookies" with a little help from the thatlilfoodkid as as we wanted some with chunks of chocolate and raisins and the others with chocolate chips and raisins.

These were big, soft and chewy!

Ingredients (makes approx. 18)

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp  salt
170g unsalted butter, melted
200g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g chocolate chips
100g chocolate chunks
100g raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar until combined well.

3.Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.

4. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.  Split the mixture into two bowls. Stir in the chocolate chips and half the raisins by hand using a wooden spoon in one bowl and the chocolate chunks and the other half of the raisins in the other.

5. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared baking trays, with each cookie around a walnut size of dough. I used an ice cream scoop. Do not flatten the dough. Cookies should be about 8cm apart.

6. Bake for 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking trays for a few minutes.

7. Before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

8. Enjoy!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Chocolate Brownies

Recipe- chocolate brownies (low fat)

My eldest son, thelilfoodkid asked us to make him brownies and cookies this weekend. Hmmm. Our aim as parents is to get out kids to eat well, enjoy food and learn to cook. we did not want to disappoint him so we decided to make lower fat brownies and full fat cookies.

He enjoyed helping measure the ingredients out, shout out the order we put them in, folding in the flour and licking the spoon that contained the melted chocolate.

We enjoyed the brownies and are looking forward to making the cookies.


100g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
75g  golden caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
½tsp coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
1tsp vanilla extract
90g low fat Greek yogurt
90g plain flour
¼tsp baking powder
15g cocoa powder
Icing sugar, for dusting
16 or 17cm square tin, lined with baking or grease proof paper

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
2. Melt chocolate over a pan of hot water. Or alternatively melt in the microwave. To do this set the microwave to low and heat for short 10 second bursts. Remember low and slow.
3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light. 

4. Stir in the chocolate, then the coffee, vanilla and yogurt. Gently fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

5. Smooth the mixture into the tin. 

6. Bake for 25-30 mins. Leave to cool.

7.  Cut into 16 squares. Dust with icing sugar.

8. Enjoy!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Brunswick Inn

The Brunswick Inn (Derby)

I popped in after work with some workmates for a drink and a bite to eat. The Pub is a micro brewery and are finalists for Derby CAMRA pub of the year 2015. I lived in Derby all my life I only have just made my first visit.

I had Maisel's Weisse to start my night off. I do like a good cold wheat beer. Various websites tell me I am supposed to get the aroma of banana and faint spices, with the same taste. I just get a wheat beer...but a good one!

I had heard the chilli was good, so I thought I would give it ago. I had Phil's own spicy chilli (£6.95). It was nice. I like mine a little hotter, but one of the guys had definitely met his chilli match! The chilli had broad beans instead of kidney beans. It was a interesting change. It came with hand cut chips, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.I topped my chips with the cheese and covered it with the hot chilli. The whole group (bar one) went for the chilli. Some went for the large whilst others the small. One had the burger as we ordered all the chilli!

I have included a pictures of the menu. Its good honest locally sourced pub food.

Two of the group went for the sticky toffee pudding. They ate it before I took a picture! They said it was nothing to write home about. I just opted for another beer!

 They also do brewery tours and tasting.

What they say:

If you want a Real BrewPub, Real Ale and Real Food, your welcome at the Brunswick.

The Brunswick Website

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Boot

The Boot (Repton)

I had scoured the internet to find somewhere nice and local, that we had not been to before. It was my wife's birthday and I decided to pick the Boot in Repton because I had heard that the food was good.  I had picked out a dish on the menu I thought she would like for her birthday dinner.

The parking is limited, with the carpark reserved for those staying in the hotel rooms, however there is adequate on street parking.

We went on a Thursday evening and the restaurant was very busy. I don't think there was an empty table. A vast majority ordered food so we knew there would be a bit of a wait.

I ordered the Boot burger, bbq pulled pork, bacon, mature cheddar, served with poppyseed slaw and fries (£10.95)

The pulled pork burger is formed rather than just piled on like my recipe here.

The burger was big and juicy. It was also nice to find "chunks" of pork in there. We ended up cutting the burger in half and sharing both our dishes as we both had food envy looking at each others meals.

My wife had the Scallop, king prawn, tempura cod skewer, Thai broth and basmati rice (£13.95). this dish was amazing and although I am a burger man this was definitely the better of the two dishes. I will definitely go back for this... and next time I wont share. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the cod came in a light and crispy tempura batter. The Thai broth was very good and had a perfect balance of Thai flavours, I could have easily had more.

We were so full from eating and having cake at home with the kids, but had to try the dessert on the specials that night. 

The dessert was average. It's not served with the same panache they serve the desserts with at the Boot's sister venue the Dragon. 

What they say:

The Boot, is a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in the historic village of Repton, Derbyshire.

The Boot, has just been renovated and refurbished, to a very high standard, and now offers luxurious accommodation, award winning classic and contemporary dishes and real ales including Boot Beer – which is brewed in The Boot’s own micro-brewery.

The Boot Website

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Bacoa Burger Barcelona 

WOW! this place simply does amazing burgers. I was in Barcelona for two days and I ate here twice! I could have easily eaten here over and over again. 

I loved the way that you could "design" your own burger. The concept was great. As you enter the restaurant there is a stand with menus and pencils. The menu has a number of options that allow you to customize the burger.

The burgers are chargrilled and the beef burgers are served medium, just as they should be.

You start from choosing the bap, or not... one of the options includes no bap!

Then you have a choice of beef. You can choose between organic or northern beef. 

There is a selection of beef and "other" burgers including chicken, lamb and vegetarian. 

Then you can add a variety of other toppings or even "double" up on the burger.

When you order you are given a burger holder, and an electronic number. You find a table and when the burger is made the server brings it too you. The Burger holder is great! It helps 1. hold the BIG burger and 2. catches the juices of the juicy burger! I have heard about "clean" eating and people must have been talking about this holder!

The Beer on draft is local, and a perfect partner to the burger, cold and crisp. 

All burgers come topped with tomato, cos lettuce, Spanish onion, and homemade mayo as standard.

On my first visit I opted for La Bocoa Burger - It is topped with smoked bacon, Irish Cheddar, Manchego semi-cured cheese, pickles and artisan spicy mustard.

I ordered the Patatas Bravas to accompany the burger. They come with spicy tomato chutney and roasted garlic alioli. I am craving this burger as I write up this post. It was perfect, chargrilled, juicy, and melted in the mouth. The burger was a taste explosion in my mouth. 

There is a great selection of sauces to compliment the burger and bravas. The Picante has a lovely heat, the ketchup and la Brava are also good. There is also a herby salt that was great on the fries (I tried some a friend had).

One of the eight had the pollo burger and added smoked bacon. I gave up taking pictures of everyone's food as mine looked too good to leave waiting. 

 I loved the deco of the place! you can see much more on the website, link below. It is modern and contemporary. The ethos of recycling is echoed in the interior where they used recycled plastic bottles to decorate the stairs.

On my second visit I opted for the Suiza Burger - topped with the standard toppings and potato rosti, Swiss Gruyere cheese. The burger was also great but I craved the La Bocoa again.

The Burger holder... now that is what I call "clean eating".

 The view  from my "usual" table!

What they say:

It’s a Hamburgueseria. Since 2010 we’ve been bringing high quality, freshly cooked burgers and hand-cut chips to our loyal fans. We believe fast food can also be good food with the right approach. The “hamburguesa” has been a staple on Spanish menus for decades. So with this as our inspiration – along with the rich variety of Spanish cheeses, hams and other quality products – we have given this old classic a new look and taste.

There are various locations in Barcelona. I have included the address of the one I visited... twice!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Jerk Pork

Jerk Pork Recipe


1 tbsp whole pimento (allspice berries), ground
1 tbsp black peppercorns, ground
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp dark drown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cloves garlic
3 inch thumb ginger
4 spring onions, whites and most of the green part
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
8 pork steaks


1. Add all of the dry spices together and mix well

2. In a food processor, whizz the garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet peppers and spring onions to a puree.
3. Add all of the dry ingredients to the  food processor, along with the thyme leaves, honey, soy sauce and lime juice and whizz to combine.

4. Pour the marinade into a big bowl then add the pork and massage into the meat. I recommend wearing gloves when handling scotch bonnet peppers. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge. 
5. An hour before baking, take the pork out of the fridge.
6. Pre-heat the grill to high. grill the pork for 16 minutes, turning every 4 minutes or until cooked.

7. Enjoy.

I served the pork steaks with home made oven chips.