All posts by admin

Pretending to be normal

IMG_5119

Pasta with prawns, chorizo and cherry tomatoes

When people ask me what I miss most about my old, carb-tastic life, my answer – and believe me I have really given this matter some thought – is always the same: “Being normal”.

Tragic, isn’t it? It’s TRUE though. For all the Pringles, pizza and pork scratchings that I would consider chopping off a limb, or at least a digit or two, to be able eat again, the thing that I struggle most with is being the Special Needs guest who comes with a list of demands as long as Maria Carey, whether I’m popping over to a friend’s for a quiet supper or having to  interrogate the waiter for hours about whether there is sugar in the salad dressing or flour in the sauce. It really does not come naturally to me all that stuff.

Anyway, I could – and frequently do – go on and on about the frustrations of the carb and sugar free life BUT this is not a rant or a moan. ‘Tis instead a  joyful newsflash about a little bit of normality that can now be mine: pasta. Yup pasta. Made from red lentils.

I know. It sounds gross, doesn’t it? And definitely not pasta. But it is MUCH more pasta-like than, say, courgetti (which as you know I love, and hold dear). And it really, honestly, doesn’t taste of lentils. It does just the job that pasta does; namely to provide a sturdy, slightly tasteless vehicle for a delicious sauce.  Happy days! And to think I might be living my life unaware…so I will pause here, if I may, to solemnly thank the wonderful Afsaneh Knight (author, and tireless Special Needs Products Searcher extraordinaire) for this exciting piece of intel.

It’s made by ‘Tolerant’ (pic below) and they do black bean pasta too but that, in my dogged and very enthusiastic experimentation, I have found to be a bit more inclined to dwindle, with cooking, into mash – as you’d probably expect. The red lentil rotini on the other hand retains structure and body magnificently, I find. And last night, me and Tom whipped some up (normal pasta for him…at a fiver a box, I  don’t feel the need to inflict the Special Needs on him with this particular dish) with prawns* and chorizo* and cherry tomatoes all fried up in garlic and oil with some basil. Nice and normal, like.

IMG_5127

*With prawns I always check packaging to make sure there is no sugar (which, strangely, there often is – I mean, why would you?). And with chorizo I always watch out for dextrose, but there are brands which don’t add it…more on that in another post.

Hangover cakes 

IMG_2251

Although I am about 89.5% there on the journey of complete acceptance of my carb-free life, there are some times when it feels like only carbs will do. Pregnancy and breastfeeding was probably the worst and most extended time of needing pizza, cake and Pringles really, really badly. But being hungover and feeling like only a serious carb injection will improve matters…well that’s another really good time for feeling really cross about it all.

However, I am happy to inform that if you need cake these ones really hit the mark. Although look away if you are also nut-free as they are a total festival of nutty happiness. And also, just to be clear, despite being carb-free, they are neither slimline, virtuous, nor particularly healthy either. But nor should they be: they are CAKES for goodness sake!

Anyway, don’t get too hung up on the hangover thing. They were named this by Lady Maria (who has recently been made to live a gluten-free life) the morning after she stayed here and woke up in a fug of Prosecco fumes when we whipped up a batch of ’em for her to take on her merry way with a view to trying to shut the stable door after the horse had bolted by lining her stomach in preparation for her day ahead. Point being, you can eat them pretty much any time and still feel actively happy that the universe made you carb or gluten free and thus led you to discover them. They are particularly good with a strong cup of black coffee. They are also really robust, so can withstand a day wrapped in foil at the bottom of your bag if you want to take emergency snacks with you (which is, like, always obviously).

 But if you ARE making these because you are hungover, the other really great thing is that the quantities – I have found out over the years – are a totally moveable feast. Many is the time that I have adjusted amounts of one thing and another quite significantly due either to running out of one thing, or just general slapdashery, and they pretty much always turn out really pretty damn fine.

The other thing to mention is that I have made these cakes for people who avoid gluten-free food like the plague thinking it will be inferior – and I have watched with satisfaction as they go back for a second and then a third.

And one day I will tell you the story of the time that I tried to create a gluten free brand, and mass-produce these little beauties to sell at a well known café. But that is a really long story and, so, for another time (I know – you’re on tenterhooks, right?).

One other thing to mention: I favour the silicone cake moulds, and mine are small heart-shaped, but you do need to grease them. If you are using something bigger you might need to cook them for longer – I’ve made them in cup cake cases and regular metal tins and they work well but those buns do need a bit longer in the oven.

Hangover cakes

2 cups almond flour

2-3 eggs (depending on size)

½ cup Honey

50 g butter, melted

1 cup Peanut butter/hazelnut butter/cashew or almond butter (or a blend)

3/4 cup Raisins

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

One of the glories of this recipe is that there isn’t really a ‘method’. You just put the almond flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and make a hole in the middle to crack the eggs into. Add the vanilla essence to the eggs and whisk together within the hole before stirring the almonds in so everything is amalgamated. Then add the nut butter and melted butter and stir again so it’s all mixed in before adding in the honey and raisins. The consistency should be slightly runny, so if it is too stiff, whisk up another egg and integrate it and remember that as you spoon it into your mould, they will rise a bit (so don’t fill it too full). Cook at 170 for 18-15 minutes, depending on the size of your moulds, and try to let them cool for a few minutes before scoffing the lot.

 

 

 

 

 

autumnal meatballs

meatballs and courgetti 2IMG_3703

 

Poor neglected blog. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking and eating, obv – just that a natural break happened (which included six blissful weeks out of The Routine while school holidays occurred) during which time, among other things, I did a week’s course at Leith’s cookery school which was amazing (and which I blogged about here).

And suddenly here we are on the threshold of autumn; still just about warm enough to justify sockless feet and holding out hope for another warm spell before it’s well and truly over. So what to cook? Parmesan meatballs and courgetti, I thought.

Meatballs ARE a bit of a faff compared to Bolognese, it’s true. But if you are in the mood for not minding a bit of faff, the pay off is worth it, at least I think so.

And my new discovery about tomato sauce – am I late coming to this partay? – is to blitz it, post-cooking, with a stick blender, so it’s silky smooth without the rustic onion and chunky tomato factor which one is sometimes, but not always, in the mood for.

Instead of flour, I add almond flour along with parmesan to give the meatballs a bit of body and a bit of stick. And I served these with courgetti instead of spaghetti but you could please both crowds very easily by whipping up some of the real stuff too.

Oh yes and mucho parmesan on top, obviously. In my case so mucho that you can’t quite see the meatballs that lurk beneath, which is why I’ve done a before and after pic.

Serve with a green salad to remind yourself that summer ain’t over quite yet.

Tomato sauce

2 or 3 onions

3 or 4 cans of Napolitana tomatoes (it’s so worth splashing the cash on tinned tomatoes, can I just say?)

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

ground nut oil (which I am currently favouring for cooking due to the higher smoke point although once the sauce is cooked, before serving, I recommend a splash of extra virgin olive oil)

Chop the onions roughly (bearing in mind they will later be blitzed) and fry gently until they soften at which point add the tomatoes. Season, and add the garlic using a presser and cook for about 40 minutes at which point you can blitz straight away or leave to cool, depending on when you want to eat it.

Meatballs

1 medium onion, finely chopped

500g Lean ground beef (I tend to go for the most expensive I can afford, ideally organic)

1 egg, whisked

85g grated parmesan

100g ground almonds

1-2 teaspoons oregano

1 clove garlic crushed

lemon zest

groundnut oil

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, using a knife to break up the beef and your hands to mix it all before form into balls which is the messy* and time consuming part. Size is optional, depending on what you favour but I do prefer smallish ie bite sized, much as I try to avoid that phrase which makes me cringe a bit for some reason.

Heat some groundnut oil and brown the meatballs all over in a pan. Hopefully the egg/almond flour combo will mean they are fairly robust. Once they are browned all over, add the tomato sauce and gently cook for about 45 minutes. Then serve, atop a lovely courgetti mound.

*I just read in ‘Jamie’ magazine that if you dip your hands into cold water between meatballs your hands get less gunky but I have not yet tried this so will report back once I have.

Courgetti

Got a spiraliser? If not then you can try grating them, which does actually work although it creates shorter strands. If you do have a spiraliser, then spiralise about two courgettes per person and either blanche in water or, if like me you favour the oil and garlic option then pan fry them in a wok until they are fairly soft, at which point season, and serve, not even noticing that they are not spaghetti.

Experimental fritters

experimental fritters 2

This is a really good example of something I wouldn’t in a million years have bothered to cook before I started my new life as a grain-free person rendered unable to eat deliciously battered, frittered and fried stuff. But, as I may have mentioned before, necessity is the mother of invention. And where there’s a will to eat fritters, there’s a way to find a way to cook ’em, eat ’em and be thankful  that fritters can once again be part of your life .

I ended up making these twice recently and the first time I – being inclined slightly towards slap-dashery – massively underestimated the importance of extracting as much of the water from the courgettes as possible before assembling the fritter. If you don’t do this you end up losing a lot of the flavour from the added garlic and chilli and lemon zest, as you will end up literally squeezing the excess water from the courgette as you shape your grated, zested and seasoned mixture into a patty. So even if you, too, are a bit slap-dash, I’d say the salting and weighing down of your grated courgettes for a good couple of hours before adding the other stuff is unavoidable. It may sound a faff, but if you get started early enough it’s really the work of an instant, or maybe two, to set the ball in motion and it makes a huge difference. I served these with cucumber and mint yoghurt, and garlic and oregano roasted tomatoes which really was quite fine, as a combo.

Grain-free fritters use almond flour instead of real flour and I guess if you can do this with courgettes, then the frittering possibilities are not exactly endless, but I’m happy to say that another door has definitely opened and I will be reporting back on other experiments in frittering, believe you me.

Courgette fritters (makes 4-6) 

4 medium courgettes

zest of 1 lemon

chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

ground-nut oil for frying

1 or 2 raw eggs, beaten

150 g ground almonds  (you may need more, depending on the size of your fritters)

100 g grated parmesan

Grate the courgettes into a sieve then suspend the sieve over a bowl, lightly salt (not too much as it’s hard to wipe the salt off grated anything) and put a plate on top small enough to directly touch the courgettes. Then weight the plate with something small and heavy (I used an earthenware pot full of utensils). Over the course of two hours you will be AGOG, and strangely satisfied, to see how much water is released.

When you think the courgettes are suitably de-watered, mix the ground almonds and parmesan together and put the combination of the two on a side plate, for dipping purposes.  Then mix the chilli, zest and garlic into 1 beaten egg then season and add that to the courgettes. Use your judgement about whether it needs another egg (you want it to bind things together but not render the mixture too wet) before using your hands to shape into patties the size that you desire. Smallish is good, I think, because they do incline towards cracking and breaking. Then carefully and patiently dip either side of each patty into the almond/parmesan mix. Heat up the ground-nut  oil and fry on either side until they are golden brown. Then put into a roasting tin and, when you are ready, heat the oven to 180 and cook for 20-15 minutes.

 

aubergizza and griddled courgettes

Auberg-izza      griddled courgettes

 

Back in the day when I could eat pizza with abandon, I was blasé and took it for granted. I did eat pizza quite often (mmmm Strada) but I don’t think I realised how lucky I was and how much I would miss it when it was gone.

But whenever I am getting forlorn and sad, and wistfully rueing all the delicacies that I can no longer eat (tempting though that is) what I try to do is to stay in the present. And, now that pizza has been banned, I keep on coming up with new ways to scratch the pizza itch. Cauliflower pizza is pretty darn good, and so are roasted tomatoes with oregano. But here’s the latest experiment: aubergizza! Or maybe it’s pizzagine; I haven’t decided yet. I made these for my vegetarian sister-in-law at the weekend and I was planning to make lots of things to go with them. But we ran out of time so I just served them with these griddled courgettes, and a green salad, and it felt like a pretty substantial supper and really quite pizza-like (bearing in mind that I am coming from a starting point of complete pizza-less-ness, that is).

 

Tomato sauce

I made this a couple of hours in advance as it benefits from a bit of long slow cooking but it’s really an assembly job and then the magic just happens in the pan with zero interference.

2 small onions, diced

2 garlic cloves

2 tins tomatoes (it’s really worth splashing the cash on Napolitana ones which are twice the price but twice as nice as many other brands, I think).

Fry the onions in ground nut or rape seed oil (I know I’m coming late to the party but these oils have a higher burn point than olive oil so don’t turn into horrible transfats) until soft and translucent. When they are cooked, gently smash the garlic with the back of a large knife and put in whole for a minute or two before adding the tomatoes then cooking for at least an hour, with the lid off so it reduces a bit and becomes fairly consolidated. Put aside and move onto the aubergines. If you are making this and really feel passionately that olive oil is essential – as I do, actually – you could always add a glug of extra virgin olive oil at the very end, once cooked, just before serving.

Aubergizza

Just to say that a griddle pan is a pretty essential piece of kit for this!

4 medium aubergines (I allowed one per person in case they were so delicious people couldn’t stop eating them – but we had leftovers which is no bad thing).

Tomato sauce

cheddar cheese, grated

Slice the aubergines lengthways into pretty chunky slices (it depends on size of course but I got four slices out of each one). Ideally, you’d put them into a bowl and salt them then leave them with a heavy weight on for at least half an hour before wiping the salt and water away. But I don’t suppose it’s the end of the world if you don’t have time for this. Then put them into a bowl and use your hands to make sure they are completely covered on both sides with rape seed oil. Heat your griddle pan up so it’s really hot, then place the aubergine slices lengthways (you’ll probably have to do this in batches and the pan should be so hot that the aubergines should sizzle as they meet it). Cook one side and then the other, using a fork to make sure they are properly cooked and beautifully branded with sizzle marks. Then remove to cool and  continue cooking the rest.

Once you’ve cooked them all, put the grill on and arrange the aubergines side by side on the grill pan before covering each one with tomato sauce, then cheddar, and grilling them so the cheese melts.

As the cheese was melting, I gridded my courgettes, which I’d basted in rapeseed oil and lemon. If I’d had more time I might have done something a bit fancier with them (some kind of garlicky dressing and maybe built a salad around them), but they were pretty good on their own.

Suddenly-feels-like-summer supper

chicken kebabs with cucumber yoghurt dressinggriddled halloumi skewers

Suddenly, there’s something different in the air. The proof of the pudding is that yesterday I went out without a scarf for the first time since September which can only mean one thing: summer is a-comin’. Before you know it I’ll be liberating my feet and wearing the Lotta clogs that I bought in March in a fit of very previous over-excitement that it might not be winter forever. The other way I know it’s nearly summer is that we had the, ‘Let’s get a barbecue! Or maybe a chiminea? Or something that does both?’ conversation in anticipation of being at the lovely beginning of the chapter of wanting to sit and cook and eat outside in our (quite teeny; very urban) garden. As usual, we couldn’t decide, or commit, so instead we made kebabs and griddled ’em and ate them with the garden doors opening, listening to all our neighbours living it up al fresco. You can only really griddle food (well at least in our kitchen) when it’s warm enough to cook with both garden doors open to create maximum air circulation. Otherwise, you just get smoked out and the house reeks like a kebab-house for days which, no matter how delicious the food was, only induces regret.

Lemony chicken kebabs with basil and garlic

2 or 3 chicken beasts (depending on how many you want to make

BBQ skewers (which you are supposed to soak for half an hour before using so they don’t burn)

A griddle pan if you have one (which gives those gorgeous char-grilled strips that are probably really bad for you. You could also use a frying pan or grill but this moves it away from scratching the BBQ itch)

For the marinade

These really do taste so much better, and are so much more tender, if you marinade the chicken for as long as you have time to do.

juice and zest of 1 lemon

handful or 2 of basil or tarragon or any herb you like with chicken roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

olive oil and pepper

Put the marinade ingredients into a bowl big enough to hold the chicken as well, then cube the chicken into quite small chunks (I’m paranoid about under-cooking chicken which feels easier to do if you are searing the outside on a very hot griddle, which is why I go quite small, but it is of course up to you). Using your hands or a large spoon, make sure each cube is well coated with marinade then cover and put in the fridge until you are ready to cook, at which point, remove from the fridge then spear the chicken, piece-by-piece on to your wooden skewers. As you are doing this, heat your griddle pan up so it is very, very hot indeed. You don’t need to oil it as long as your chicken is very efficiently coated in the oily marinade. Once your chicken cubes are be-skewered and your griddle is searingly hot, put your kebabs onto the pan, turning when one side is cooked, making sure each side gets seared.

I served these with a dressing made from home-made yoghurt (although you could of course use shop-bought if you are not following the SCD) with some finely chopped cucumber and mint. plus a squeeze of lemon juice and a glug of extra virgin oil.

I have cooked these in the past with  vegetables on the skewers too, which can be delicious, but which can also result in everything cooking at different rates so at least one of the components are not that nice. I remedied this by roasting some courgettes and aubergines with whole garlic cloves in the oven (but I then almost forgot about them,  rescuing them when they were just – just! – on the right side of burnt, as you can see below).

almost burnt roast aubergine and courgette

Lemony halloumi skewers 

I also made some satisfyingly chunky cubes of halloumi, which I cut up then marinaded in the same combo of basil, lemon, garlic and olive oil (not very original on the one hand but, on the other, if it ain’t broke why fix it?), skewered, then griddled.

election night supper

mini burgers and oregano tomatoes

 

What to make when you are having old friends over to watch the election (and catch up on all the goss)? Tiny little burgers of course! So, so, so easy and very relaxed. I just used two 450g packs of organic ground beef mixed with a couple of whisked eggs then used my hands to shape them into tiny little patties. I experimented with embedding cubes of cheddar inside some of them,  which went down really well with  my four year old son, then fried each side for about three minutes each. For the adults, a bit later, I just put slices of cheese on top as soon as I’d flipped, and it melted perfectly. Carb-eaters can have buns (of course! never deprive the carb eaters if you don’t have to, is my rule of thumb.) I just ate ’em neat.

The asparagus is roasted for about 12 minutes, with olive oil salt and pepper. No par-boiling, even.

I just want to tell you about the roasted tomatoes that are centre stage of this picture. I started making them a few years ago when I was hankering after pizza and realised that a lot of that unique pizza deliciousness comes down to the oregano and tomatoes. These tomatoes are just cut in half, salted and peppered then sprinkled – quite generously – with dried oregano and a few slices of garlic, then olive oiled and cooked for about half an hour at 180 degrees. So simple and yet more delicious than seems viable for such a tiny amount of interference. Try it! They go amazingly well with white fish and on the side of halloumi and keep in the fridge for a few days at least. We all enjoyed them so much we almost forgot about the election. Almost.

simple lemon basil and garlic chicken supper

IMG_3535

The main appeal about this meal, when it was in the planning stages, was how super simple it is, because after a long weekend of doing not very much at all I was in a ‘can’t-really-be-fagged-to-cook’ mood. So I just put chopped chicken beasts into a roasting tray and applied a hastily conceived (based on what was in the fridge) marinade then left it in the fridge for a couple of hours while I went to Pilates. The plan was to griddle the chicken on the stove top, which would have been delicious, but as an experiment – borne mainly from laziness – I just shoved the whole tin of chicken, marinade and all, into the oven. And happily, despite the lazy roots, the results were really delicious and the chicken was noticeably tender (left to their own devices, chicken beasts can suffer from being dry, tough and boring but marinading really, really helps).

While it was in the oven and we were drinking Prosecco to say farewell to another Bank Holiday weekend nearly ended (sob!), I fried up some mushrooms in butter, then added spinach and also roasted some asparagus in oil salt and pepper for about 12 minutes on 180 degrees. Roasted asparagus, by the way, are this week’s big discovery: no par-boiling needed; uncommonly delicious. We ate it all with a dollop of my trusty home made mayo, and suddenly it didn’t seem like the end of the world any more that Bank Holiday was nearly over and real life, it was returnin’.

Lemon, basil and garlic chicken beasts

4 chicken beasts

olive oil

4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed

fresh basil, loosely chopped

juice of 1 large lemon (sieved)

Chop the beasts into chunks. Place the garlic, some liberal splashes of olive oil and the lemon juice  into the tin then arrange the chicken on top of it and stir. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for as long as you can but at least three hours. Take it out of the fridge half an hour before you cook it, to bring it up to room temperature. Then cook at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks (I’m sure there’s no need to suggest this, but if in doubt, cut one in half before you eat to make sure there is no pinkness to be seen).

Suffolk seabass and Norfolk asparagus

Suffolk seabass Norfolk asparagus

I didn’t actually cook this meal but I ate it, and it was so glorious I just felt the need to share the glory. And the reason for the glory – although it was of course masterfully cooked (by Lady Nick, in Southwold, which is where we were) – is the simplicity of the ingredients, plus that they were all local: wild sea bass, caught on Saturday morning, eaten that night with a lemon, butter and caper sauce and Norfolk asparagus, first crop; plus delicious purple sprouting broccoli and a giant mushroom baked with garlic.

I have always been a bit spooked by the idea of cooking whole fish, partly because I’m wimpily freaked out by the head and tail, but Lady Nick de-mystified the process mainly by leading by example, but also informing me that it’s good to keep the head on because when the eyes go white it means it’s cooked (bit gross, but helpful). Also, I think it does taste better cooked whole than in fillets.

Now that asparagus is in season I strongly feel that we are all morally obliged to eat it every single night for the next six weeks, ideally with dollops of freshly made mustardy mayonnaise. But that is another story and another blog post. So, stand by for that. (I know: hold on to your hats!).

Oh yes and the other thing to mention is I just wrote  this guest mumsnet post  about the worry that people think you are making it all up when you have to declare that you are on a restricted diet. (I used to the the person doing the eye-rolling, which is how I know that this sometimes occurs). Does that resonate with you?

Whole roasted seabass

One whole sea bass, gutted cleaned and de-scaled

3 lemons

2 tablespoons capers

50-100 g of butter (depending on how many are eating)

Preheat oven to 180 fan/200 non-fan. Wash the sea bass inside and out, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Score across the fish and through the skin 4-5 times on each side, then put it on a large piece of oiled foil, big enough to wrap it up loosely. Season inside and out then stuff the inside with slices of 1 lemon, a tablespoon of capers and some chunks of butter. Rub the skin with a bit of olive oil and loosely wrap the parcel. Then bake for about 25 minutes depending on size (remembering the eyes-going-white rule). Let it rest for 5 or 10 minutes before opening the parcel.

While it is resting, make the sauce by putting the butter in a pan with the zest of one lemon and the juice of 2, a table spoon of capers and salt and pepper. Melt and drizzle onto the fish, which you have cut off the bone into squares then serve with your veg of choice (as long as that includes asparagus).

Stuffed chicken breasts wrapped in proscuitto

chicken stuffed with artichoke basil and garlicchicken stuffed with artichoke basil and garlic 2

 

I have come to accept that I really really don’t like saying the word breast and, perhaps for that reason, chicken breasts are always known as ‘beasts’ in our house. But  beasts on their own can be a bit dull, dry and almost like a job-of-work to get through, I find. Stuffed beasts, however, open a doorway to an exciting new world of gorgeous beastliness. But I had forgotten the joy they can bring until the other night, when our supermarket delivery turned up without the legs’n’thighs I had ordered and chicken fillets instead. Since we were marooned in the middle of Suffolk, we had to make do.

As luck would have it, we also had some parma ham to wrap them in which is quite crucial to this concept, if you want to stuff each beast so full that the filling is bursting out and needs containing (just to clarify, that is exactly what you want to do).

And the good thing about these is that the filling can consist, pretty much, of whatever blitz-able stuff you happen to have in your fridge or cupboard. With this in mind I try always to have a jar of M&S artichokes, which have no added sugar, and which are good for this (as well as antipasti and salads). I have gone down the sun-dried tomatoes. basil and cheese route which works very well too.  I’m sure there are as-yet-undiscovered options and I will of course keep you posted.

You can serve these with whatever you like but a dollop of home-made mayo and a green salad with a really mustardy dressing is a pretty good bet.

Stuffed beasts (serves 2-4 depending on greed levels)

4 chicken breast fillets

parma ham (allow 2 pieces per fillet)

1/2 to 3/4 jar artichokes

large chunk cheddar or smoked cheddar or gruyere (to taste)

handful of mushrooms

2 spring onions

3 cloves garlic

Sorry to say that this really is so much easier If you have a food processor BUT I have done it by hand in the absence of one – it is just a bit more laborious.

Put the oven on to 200 and then put all the ingredients (bar the chicken and parma ham) into your food processor and blitz into a very fine paste.

Use a very sharp knife to cut a slit lengthways across each chicken fillet then scoop a couple of spoons of the filling inside. It will try to fall out but don’t let it! Then firmly bind  each stuffed fillet with two slices of parma ham wrapped side-by-side. It’s easiest to complete the whole process one-by-one.

Put a liberal splash of oil into a roasting pan then baste either side of each wrapped chicken in the oil and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your beasts.

Serve with whatever veg/salad/mayo combo floats your boat.