Category: Stews & Casseroles

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole, photo by JMorton

Courgette, Broccoli with Cannellini Beans Casserole

This is a sumptuous medley of vegetables cooked in lots of sweet plum tomatoes.  Delicious evening meal for any day of the week.


1/2 head of broccoli, separated into individual florets
2 courgette, cut in half lengthwise and sliced diagonally
1 can Cannellini beans, washed and drained
100g green beans, trimmed and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
a can chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth (or 2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot water)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tsp mixed herbs
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method of Preparation:

Heat a large casserole pan, heat the oil.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic until golden and fragrant.

Pour in the chopped plum tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil then stir in the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixed herbs (or use dried basil).  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.  Drop in the courgettes and green beans.  Cover the casserole and leave to simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Finally add the broccoli.  Do not cover the casserole so that the appetising dark green colouring of the broccoli will not fade.  Cook until soften.

Check and adjust the seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper, if required.

Serve hot with some crusty bread or even steamed rice.

Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw (Squash & String Beans in Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw, photo by Rosie Reyes- Barrera

Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw (Squash & String Beans in Coconut Milk)

If there was a comfort food, this was it (for me anyway!)

I love this recipe with such a passion.  This is real Filipino home-cooking at its best, again for me anyway! 🙂

I think squash was made to be cooked in coconut milk.  A marriage made in a hot-wok-heaven!  Before I go on to more and more overblown pontification, here is a basic recipe for this delicious dish.


1 small or 1/2 a squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed

200g string beans (green beans), cut into about 1½ to 2 inches lengths.

1 cup shrimps, shelled and deveined (boil the shells & heads to flavour a cup of water to make a shrimp juice)

1 cup shrimp juice (or just plain water)

2 cups coconut milk

5 cloves garlic, chopped or minced finely

1/4 cup shrimp paste (bagoong na alamang) or 1¼ tbsp fish sauce

1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly

1 cup malunggay leaves of spinach (optional)

1½tbsp vegetable oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Sauté the garlic  and onion.
  • Add the the shrimps.
  • Stir in the shrimp paste, if using.
  • Pour in the shrimp juice or cup of water
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer.
  • Drop in the squash and string beans.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and continue to stir well until it begins to boil.
  • Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and black pepper.
  • Finally add the malunggay or spinach and continue cooking for a couple of minutes more.

Serve hot with lots of freshly boiled rice.


TIP:  Instead of shrimps, you can add sauteed pork instead.

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

The Leek vegetbale an other emblem of Wales

Traditional Welsh Cawl Recipe

Happy St David’s Day!!!

Let us celebrate this day with a traditional Welsh cawl, which is very warming and filling,  appropriate for this still cold and damp weather.

Below is Jamie Oliver’s recipe:



  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 kg lamb neck fillet , bone in, cut into 5cm chunks (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 kg swede
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Maris piper potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 large leaks


  1. This traditional Welsh recipe was given to me by the five-time cawl-making world champion, Sue Jones – I can’t argue with that! This one is left to chill overnight before serving, but if you want to let the flavours develop and mature, leave it in the fridge for up to three days. Now, over to Sue…
  2. Place 2 litres of water and 2 teaspoons of salt into a large pan. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
  3. Peel and add the whole onion and the lamb. Bring to the boil, then use a spoon to skim away the scum from the surface. Simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and leave to cool. Strip the meat from the bone, then return the meat to the pan.
  4. Peel and cut the swede into 1cm chunks. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the swede is tender.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice at a slight angle into 1cm chunks, then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 15 to 20 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into quarters so they’re all roughly the same size. Once the carrot has softened, add the potatoes to the pan and repeat the process until tender.
  6. Peel the parsnips, strip and discard the outer leaves from the leeks, then cut into 1cm slices. Add the parsnips and most of the leeks to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on, or until tender. Taste and season, then add the raw leeks. Place the lid on top, then pop in the fridge to chill overnight (or for up to 3 days for even tastier results).
  7. When you’re ready to serve, gently simmer the cawl until warm. Ladle into serving bowls, then serve with lots of black pepper, a wedge of mature Caerphilly cheese and a slice of bread and butter.

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

Ginisang Mungo, by Mae Mercado Sanguer

Mung Beans Stew with Spinach (Ginisang Mungo)

This is a classic Filipino dish.  A great favourite of many.  Almost a mainstay on a meat-free Friday, where the pork belly is substituted with prawns or dried anchovies instead. (In the UK, perhaps some slivers of smoked haddock!)


  • 200g pork belly, sliced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil   
  • 200g Baby spinach or kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup mung beans

Method of Preparation:

  • Rinse the mung beans thorough in running water.  Discard the floaters.
  • Using a large casserole pan,  boil the mung beans in the water.  Lower down the heat and leave to simmer until the mung beans green casings have separated and floated on top.  Get a serrated spoon or ladle to remove the casing and then discard.  This is optional, the casing is safe to eat, I just don’t really like them. 🙂 – a personal choice.
  • In a frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and stir-fry the pork. Cook until golden all over. Remove the pork from pan and set aside. 
  • Using the same pan, saute garlic, onion and tomatoes until completely softened into a gooey mess of total goodness. 🙂
  • Add the pork and fish sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Tip the sautéed pork into the casserole of simmering mung beans. 
  • Add  the kale leaves and cook for 5-8 minutes or spinach and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Quickly adjust the seasoning and it is all done!

Best served with freshly boiled rice and a side of freshly grilled of fried fish.


Spinach Laing Recipe

Spinach Laing, by Mae Mercado-Sanguer

Spinach Laing Recipe

Laing is a particular favourite of mine.  I remember when still a child leaving in Marag, Philippines, we had a lot of gabi (taro plants) growing in our backyard next to our bubon (water well).  As coconut was also always aplenty, I would gathered the gabi leaves, stems and shoots, making sure I did not get the saps in my skin as they can leave you uncomfortably itchy, to make laing.   At 10-11 years of age, I can cook basic footstuff.  My sister and I would usually cook lunch and dinner.  If left to me solely, I would cook laing everyday!!! LOL  I actually did once, much to my mother’s displeasure.  (I think she said once that if we ate anymore laing, we will become another specie of  gabi, LOL).  But I just love the creamy, spicy taste of laing.  It was somehow very warming to the heart.

Unfortunately I had not seen any gabi (taro leaves) here in London, except for taro corms, called yams.  My good friend from Germany, Mae, shared this spinach laing recipe as a good enough substitute for gabi laing if you are craving it.  Thanks, Mae.


  • 500g baby (young) spinach
  • 250g pork belly, sliced thinly
  • 1½  cups of coconut milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • ½ head of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Bagoong (Shrimp Paste)
  • 2 pieces of red chili peppers, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Using a large frying pan or better yet a wok, heat the oil over high heat.
  2. Saute the garlic until brown, not burnt.  Immediately add the onions and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the ginger and stir-fry until warm and fragrant. (Just for a couple of seconds  inhale the glorious aroma of garlic, onion and ginger polygamously intertwining in the hot oil)
  4. Carefully drop the pork belly slices to the wok and cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until they are sizzlingly golden.
  5. Start seasoning with the shrimp paste and chillies.  Stir these thoroughly into the pork. (Tip: as you cook the shrimp paste, ensure that the cooker hood is at work or windows are open for ventilation, to prevent the slight pungent aroma -but delicious tasting- to invade your living quarters.)
  6. Stir in the coconut milk, increase the heat to bring the coconut milk to a boil.  Then decrease to simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach then stir to mix it all together.  Young spinach cooks and wilts quickly so, stir it through for 3-5 minutes.

To serve decorate with little slices of red bell pepper.  Delicious with freshly boiled rice.  Of course leftover is a good breakfast with fried rice.


Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew


Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew, photo by JMorton

Spanish Pork & Mushroom Stew


350g pork belly, sliced into bite-size
2 tsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp paprika
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes, chopped
400g can butter beans, drained
1 cup water
280g mushroom, sliced or quartered
salt & pepper according to taste
a tbsp of chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Method of preparation

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan, add the garlic, fry until just fragrant, golden not burnt.

Tip in the sliced pork belly. Stir-fry until brown all over.

Next Stir in the red onion and red peppers.and until golden brown all over. Cook for a further 5 mins, stirring now and then, until softened.

Mix in the paprika. Stir everything around in the pan for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and the juice that they come with as well as the cup of water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins.

Uncover, stir in the beans.

Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper.

Add the sliced mushroom.

Continue simmering for a further 10 mins.

Serve with a generous sprinkling of parsley if wanted.

Delicious served with freshly boiled rice and a side of green beans. It can of course be eaten with chips (French fries) or with some crusty bread. Whichever, it is delicious.

Pork Congee (Lugaw)

Pork Congee, photo by JMorton

Pork Congee, photo by JMorton

Pork Congee (Lugaw)

This recipe is so easy to make; perfect for lazy days or colder/rainy weather.  Just the thing to tease the appetite when one is under the weather.

Or in my case, rather lethargic and soporific, while parked in our comfortable settee watching endless Korean dramas, 🙂 🙂 🙂 which show plentiful scenes of eating ramen or rather ramyun (Korean ramen).  I did not really fancy ramyun as I have eaten a lot of it lately (poor Peter as well!) So when I thought of making congee instead, Peter was only too happy to go to the local shop to get me some fresh ginger, I think the thought of another ramen lunch was incentive enough to come home with the hugest fingers of ginger I ever saw.

Congee is a rice porridge and is very versatile.  More ingredients can be added for a fuller taste.  It can also be made plain by literally boiling rice in a vat of water with just a dash of salt – which is good for those recuperating from long term illnesses.

This congee is of pork, but of course you can use any type of meat or suitable seafood such as dried shrimps.


1 lb pork belly

10 cups water (or more if a thinner, runny consistency is preferred)

1½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup long-grain rice (1 cup for a thicker version), washed and drained

1 head of garlic, peeled and cut finely

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 stalk of spring onion, chopped (optional but really recommended)

Method of preparation

Using a large pan, add the pork belly strips and 5 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, lower down the heat and leave the meat to simmer for at least an hour ( perfect to go back to watching another episode of a korean Drama (KDrama) series 🙂

After an hour the meat should be so tender that they are falling apart.  Add the rice, ginger and the rest of the water and boil for 20-30 minutes. Add more water if the porridge is too thick.

Season with salt and pepper.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until golden brown.  Burning the garlic will make it bitter.

Ladle a good portion of the congee in a bowl,  Top it with the fried garlic and some chopped spring onions, if available. And a dusting of more black pepper will be good.

Enjoy.  (Happy to report that we enjoyed it.  Peter is still talking about it.  Poor love, I think I did feed him lots of ramen! LOL

Kimchi Stew Recipe

Kimchi, Photo by JMorton

Kimchi, Photo by JMorton

Kimchi Stew Recipe


  • 1 pound fresh pork belly, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups kimchi, aged if possible, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 8 cups water (for a richer soup, use chicken, pork or beef broth)
  • 8 ounces soft or silken tofu, cut in large cubes
  • 8 scallions (spring onions) or Korean chives, chopped, for garnish


  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or large wok over medium heat.
  2. Add the sesame and vegetable oil and fry the garlic and ginger, then add the pork belly; and let it cook gently for 5 minutes or until golden.
  3. Add onions, stirring, until softened, which should take about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add kimchi and gochugaru. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add water (or broth, if using) and bring to a boil. Season with soy sauce and fish sauce. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Taste broth and adjust seasoning.
  6. Just before serving, add tofu (it is also delicious to gently fry the tofu before adding to the stew) and stir gently to combine. When tofu is heated through, ladle into bowls and garnish with scallions (spring onion).

Serve with freshly boiled rice and since this is rather a special recipe, a few small shots of Soju would be most appreciated.

Kampai 🙂

Hearty Beans Casserole

Bean Stew, photo by JMorton

Bean Stew, photo by JMorton

Hearty Beans Casserole

This recipe is for the vegetarian version, which is so delicious and filling but if you are really partial to meaty recipes then this could be adapted easily by adding meat of your choice like beef, pork, chicken, and ham during cooking time.  Either way, this recipe is a one-dish-meal and full of goodness. 🙂

This can be cooked on top of the stove or can be put in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30-45 minutes.



  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced (more if you love garlic as I do!)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt (more or less according to your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can cannellini, drained
  • 1  can butter beans (also known as lima beans), drained
  • 2 vegetable cubes dissolved in 3 cups of hot/warm water
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups of roughly chopped kale


  1. Using a large casserole pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, tomatoes  and garlic and stir for a minute, add the carrots and celery. If making a meaty version, add the meat at this point. Saute for 5-6 minutes of  until softened,
  3. Add the thyme and season with salt, and ground black pepper.
  4. Stir in the beans, broth, rosemary, and bay leaf.
  5. Increase the heat to high to bring the bean casserole to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for half and hour.
  7. Add the kale and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Check the seasoning, add more salt and black pepper if required.
  9. Remove the sprig or rosemary and bay leaves.

Serve immediately with some crusty bread and salad.


Spanish Chicken Recipe

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on
  • 750 grams chorizo (whole if baby ones or cut into 4cm / 1½ inch chunks if regular sized)
  • 1 kilogram new potatoes (halved)
  • 2 red onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup water


I cook my Spanish chicken on the stove.

  • Added the olive oil in a fair good size pan.
  • Fried the chicken thighs until golden brown.  Put aside.
  • With the same pan I added the garlic and onion.
  • I then added the chorizo and stir.  The smell and look of the orangey juice coming from the chorizo is divine.
  • Now added the potatoes and the red bell peppers.
  • Stir and incorporate the lovely juice onto the vegetables.
  • Add the chicken thighs
  • Add the cup of water.
  • Season with the oregano, salt and black pepper.
  • Cover the pan, turn down the heat and let it simmer until the water has gone down.
  • Check and stir to ensure that it does not burn.

Yummy with boiled rice or even oven chips!

And with a glass of Merlot!

This can be done using the oven method, ala Nigella “Domestic Goddess” Lawson as follows below:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7/425ºF. Put the oil in the bottom of 2 shallow roasting tins, 1 tablespoon in each. Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin-side up, 6 pieces in each tin.
  2. Divide the chorizo sausages and the new potatoes between the 2 tins. Sprinkle the onion and the oregano over.
  3. Cook for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes, swap the top tray with the bottom tray in the oven and baste the contents with the orange-coloured juices.