Ham, Pea & Mint Casserole, 30p.

Photo by Susan Bell, for A Girl Called Jack.

This delicious ham casserole is adapted from a favourite old recipe of mine – where I would boil the ham joint whole to make a stock, before shredding it into the casserole. This faster version is no compromise, making a delicious hearty dinner in less than half the time. For an extra special twist, serve with crusty bread topped with […]

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Sort-of paella, 67p

Sort-of-Paella, from A Girl Called Jack, photographed by Susan Bell.

The star of the show in this paella is the simple coloured rice, cooked al dente, accentuated with bright red tomatoes and little green peas. This recipe is delicious on its own, or can be used as a base. Feel free to add chopped peppers, seasonal vegetables, any meat or fish of your choice, a glass of white wine, a […]

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Chilli hot chocolate, 16p, and a broken foot, priceless.

This morning I woke up, walked out of the bedroom, skidded down the stairs, and crashed my foot into the wall with the full force of my rapidly-descending body slamming behind it. I spent the rest of the morning in Charing Cross A&E, where despite looking extremely light on staff, I was seen relatively quickly, by a doctor who used to be a psychiatrist and before that lived in the Phillipines (we had a great food chat!) I had my wonky-looking foot X-Rayed by a very kind radiographer, the doctor set it and strapped it up, and I cleared a good deal of my work diary for the immediate future. Walking with a stick on bruises and fractures and sprains is not really conducive to prancing about in a kitchen testing recipes, well, not as early as Monday, anyway. BUT, I made a New Years resolution to cook or make something new every day – so apologies that today’s may be fairly low level, but I can’t stand unaided right now and I’ve sprained my right shoulder, so chopping and slicing and dicing is temporarily beyond me… However, it’s something I’ve been meaning to get to grips with for a while, so simple it may be, but it’s also delicious, and comforting. Ladies, gentlemen and non-binary readers, I bring to you an oh so simple chilli hot chocolate… Serves two (you’ll probably want both!) 500ml milk (can be made with […]

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Leftover-Porridge Pancakes

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I never seem to get the porridge quantities quite right in the mornings, and have recently embarked on a series of experiments with teacups and measuring cups, trying to work out the exact amount of oats and water and milk needed to make two small bowls of porridge for two small children – but no matter how carefully calculated, there’s […]

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This week’s Guardian recipe: Black pudding hangover hash…

There’s a thing that happens when your better half runs a pork restaurant – you start to incorporate all things piggy into all meals of the day in the same way that you used to use onions, or garlic, with gay abandon and without question. It starts with lardo on toast, bacon sandwiches for lunch, porchetta for dinner, bacon in ice cream (you’ll have to pop down to Blackfoot for it if you’re curious), and emergency sausages in the meat drawer for the kids, the pasta, the ribollita, the essential top-up of the ‘Vitamin P’. The meat drawer that might as well be called the pork drawer, because it sees nary a sniff of anything else. And then – once you have a reputation as a pig obsessive – people shower you with porcine presents: where they might have once bought flowers, or a card, you get a packet of sausages or a fennel rub instead. A particularly memorable piggy gift recently was from my German friend Lea, who left London a few weeks ago with a trail of Blutwurst in her wake. Soft, dense, meaty and delicious, Blutwurst is black pudding for black pudding obsessives – and so the morning after her boozy leaving lunch-into-dinner the night before, this happened. Hangover food at its finest, with no more foggy-headed incompetency required than to grate some stuff, blearily mash it together, and dollop it into a frying pan. Bliss. And […]

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White Chocolate Tea Bread

Photography by Susan Bell

This came about because I LOVE chocolate chip brioche – so I decided to try to make some chocolate chip bread as a replacement. Unfortunately, though, the chocolate chips all melted into the dough as I added my usual boiling water and I ended up with this Chocolate Tea Bread instead – but it was still delicious! I eat mine […]

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Penny Pizzas

Photography by Susan Bell.

I make penny pizzas as way of using up leftovers such as Mamma Jack’s Best Ever Chilli or Lentil Bolognese – but they are just as good topped with a dollop of tomato purée and some grated cheese. Or they are a good way to use up sliced mushy tomatoes that have passed their best and the dry ends of […]

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Courgette, Sultana & Lemon Bread

Photography by Susan Bell

Courgettes give off quite a bit of liquid when you grate them but don’t worry about draining it off in this recipe because the courgettey water will help to flavour the bread and add moisture. when you will be adding water to a recipe later anyway, it doesn’t make sense to fanny about taking liquid out only to put it […]

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MIXED BEAN GOULASH

Photography by Susan Bell: www.susanbellphotography.co.uk

  I never tire of this quick, simple meal. Originally adapted from a beef goulash recipe, but tweaked and tampered with in the way that all recipes are, it has become a sweet and spicy staple in my household and doesn’t disappoint. I use cheap baked beans in place of haricot beans, as they are simply haricot or borlotti beans […]

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DAGAA

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On a recent trip to Tanzania, I came across dagaa in almost every household I visited. We’d often eat tiny fish with stewed greens, home-ground peanut butter and ugali (soft maize), served in small bowls, with our fingers. Here is my British take on it… (Serves 2) 48p a portion 150g rice, 6p 2 tbsp oil, 6p 200g sprats, 40p […]

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BOLOGNON

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Faced with a leftover hunk of beef last night to stretch between two grown women with fairly healthy appetites, I started making bolognese, changed my mind and wanted bourgignon, and changed it back again halfway through. This is my first dinner cooked for Someone Very Special (who doesn’t like white chocolate, so Headrush Spaghetti was out, and who cooked for […]

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CHOCOLATE, CHILLI & BLACK BEAN SOUP

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It’s just a matter of days until my book launch on the 27th, so I’ve decided to blog one of my favourites from the book, featured in last weekend’s edition of the Observer Food Monthly magazine… First up, Chocolate, Chilli And Black Bean Soup. Photography by Susan Bell. I knocked up this soup last winter. It combines onions and garlic for detoxifying goodness […]

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BRAMLEY APPLE SODA BREAD.

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Bramley apple soda bread (makes four generous portions): 200g flour (any will do – plain, self raising, rye, whole meal…) 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 tsp lemon juice 200ml milk 1 large Bramley apple (or other variety, but they do work incredibly well here!) First, measure out the milk and add the lemon juice, and leave to stand […]

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CURRIED EGGS.

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I’ve had a hankering for Curried eggs for the past couple of days, I’m not sure why… So tonight, I knocked this one together. Rich and simple, cheap and easy, this is set to become a Major favourite in my household… Ingredients: (Serves 2) 4 free range eggs 1 onion 1 tbsp oil 1 fresh red chilli or pinch of […]

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TOASTED PITTA AND SARDINE BRUNCH.

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This speedy little breakfast was utterly delectable this morning – eliciting appreciative ‘mmm’ noises to myself and raising a eyebrow at the cat, who was very interested in my sardines. Sorry moggy, but these were mine all mine. Try at your peril – I fear breakfast will never be the same again. Ingredients (serves 1, adjust as required). 1 pitta […]

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SMOKED MACKEREL KEDGEREE

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This kedgeree was another recipe idea suggested by my readers based in my food shop – and it was an absolute hit – Thankyou everyone who suggested it! The mackerel can be replaced with any smoked or strong fish, and the spices can be swapped out for garam masala or curry powder, whatever you have to hand. The onions lend […]

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MANDARIN BREAKFAST BIRCHER

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Ingredients: (makes one portion) 40g rolled oats 100g natural yoghurt 100ml milk (10g milk powder and 100ml water) 100g broken mandarin segments Mix the oats, yoghurt and milk together in a small bowl, and chill in the fridge overnight to soften the oats. In the morning, serve with the mandarins on top, and enjoy! A drizzle of honey, if you […]

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SPICED SPLIT PEA PASTA BAKE

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This was my lunch for today – so simple that it’s barely a recipe but here we go! Basically, I cooked 100g of pasta, mixed it with half a portion of spiced split pea and lentil soup (http://agirlcalledjack.com/2014/01/28/spiced-split-pea-and-yoghurt-soup/) left over from Tuesdays lunch, grated a smudge of cheese over the top and shoved it under the grill for five minutes […]

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BANANA PANCAKES

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What do you make for breakfast when you have bananas, eggs, milk and flour? Banana pancakes of course! Ingredients (made 6 good sized pancakes. 100g flour 100ml milk 1 egg 1 banana, or 2 if you want to go wild 2 tbsp oil Handful of sultanas – I’d normally add these but I don’t have any 😦 Finely slice the […]

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