Reidbury's Kitchen

Food thoughts, recipes and billowing smoke from a home cook's kitchen in London

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Pan Roast Cod with Chickpeas, Piquillo & Chorizo

Pan Roasted Cod with Chickpeas, Piquillo and Chorizo, Olive Magazine, April 2013

Pan Roasted Cod with Chickpeas, Piquillo and Chorizo, Olive Magazine, April 2013

So with Mother Nature still not making her mind up if it’s actually Spring or Winter my body doesn’t seem to know what type of food it’s after. But having seen this recipe in the the April 2013 edition of Olive Magazine it seemed to tick the right boxes. Add in the fact that Paul is pretty obsessed about anything involving chorizo and chickpeas and I knew I wouldn’t be far from a winner. The dish was really tasty, but I did forget to add the sugar at one point which would really have helped offset the vinegar! Oops. Also, the chickpeas don’t really get time to be cooked, so I’d probably change the recipe around a little to allow the chickpeas time to bathe in the sauce.

And prepare to use every pan you own… there has to be an easier way to cook this without using as much cookery paraphernalia as you’d find in an average John Lewis. I’m yet to find it…but I will!

The final thing I’d say is NO WAY would this serve 4 people. The fish, yes. The stew, hell no. There’s 200g of chickpeas in there. That’s half a tin – between 4 people. Pffff. Double up the sauce stuff if you want happy people around your table. If you want an eighth of a tin of chickpeas each, then go for your life. And never invite me round for dinner! ;o)

PR rating 8.5/10. KB rating 8.5/10

Pan Roast Cod with Chickpeas, Piquillo & Chorizo (Serves 4 allegedly, but it doesn’t. See above)


  • 4 sustainable cod fillets (skin on), approx 150g each
  • Sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 finely sliced and 2 bruised
  • Olive oil
  • 230g jar piquillo peppers, drained and cut into strips
  • Sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 200g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 100g cooking chorizo, diced
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 80g black olives (it said nicoise olives. I didn’t really know what they were so went for bog standard black ones)
  • 2 sprigs lemon thyme
  • Butter
  • Spring onions, finely sliced to finish
  • Sourdough toast, to serve


Sprinkle the cod lightly with sea salt. Cook the sliced garlic gently in olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the piquillo peppers, then season with salt, pepper, a pinch of paprika and the sugar. Sweat gently for a couple of minutes (the pepper mixture, not you), add the vinegar, and boil until reduced by half. Stir in the chickpeas and remove from the heat.

Gently cook the chorizo in a little more olive oil in a separate pan for a few minutes until crisp, then scoop from the pan.

Pat dry the cod with kitchen paper then add to the chorizo pan, skin-side down. Add the sprigs of thyme, bruised garlic cloves and a large knob of butter. Keep cooking, basting the fish every so often with the frothy oil and butter. When the fish is almost done, remove two-thirds of the cooking fat, add back the crisp chorizo and olives, then warm through gently.

Quickly fry the cherry tomatoes in a pan (yes another one), with a drizzle of olive oil until starting to burst. Add to the chickpeas and heat everything through.

Take the cod from the frying pan and tip the chorizo/olive mix and cod resting juice into the chickpeas.

Serve the cod on top of the chickpea stew and serve with toasted sourdough, sprinkled with the sliced spring onions.

Get someone else to wash up.


A Spot of Tea and Cake (or should that be ‘Tea In Cake’?)

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting, Olive Magazine

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting, Olive Magazine

I had a bit of a baking urge over the weekend and, after flicking through the latest Olive Magazine (April 2013), I saw the recipe for Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting. There’s nothing nicer than a mug of tea and a slice of cake, but how about tea in a slice of cake? Well it’s rather nice actually! The overall tea flavouring was actually quite subtle as it’s really more of a ‘tea-infused raisin and sultana’ situation, rather than the whole cake itself tasting tea-y. I’d actually describe this more as a wonderfully moist but rich fruit loaf, but the addition of the orange frosting gives it a nice lightness. I’ll definitely make this again. It’s also worth noting that this is not something you can rustle up to eat within an hour. Whilst it’s not at all labour intensive to make, it is time intensive. The dried fruit has to soak for at least an hour. The baking time is an hour. The time to cool the cake is about an hour. And then once you’ve frosted this bad boy, the recipe suggests you wait for…guess what…an hour for it to set. So it’s a half-day project. Defo worth the wait though!

KB rating 9/10. PR rating 8.75/10

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Orange Frosting (serves 8)


  • 4 earl grey teabags
  • 225ml whole milk
  • 150g golden raisins (I couldn’t find just golden raisins, so actually used mixed raisins and it worked fine)
  • 150g sultanas
  • 100g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced

For the frosting

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 275g icing sugar
  • 1 orange, zested (for decoration) and juiced


Put the teabags and milk into a pan and bring to just below boiling point. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Put the raisins and sultanas into a bowl and pour over the tea mixture, squeezing the liquid from the teabags. Cover and leave to infuse for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 180C (fan 160C or Gas mark 4). Butter and line the base of a 900g loaf tin. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then beat in the egg. Fold in the flour and fruit mixture in alternate batches (I wasn’t clear here whether to add just the fruit, or the fruit AND the tea/milk that hadn’t been absorbed. I lobbed the whole lot in and I definitely think the moisture was needed!). Then add the orange juice and zest. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then left out.

To make the frosting,  beat the soft butter with the sugar to a crumbly mixture. Then beat in the orange juice until creamy (I added a bit too much orange, so it took a while for the frosting to firm up. Tasted bloody good though!). Frost the top of the cake (and sides if you like) and leave to set for an hour. Decorate with orange zest.

The crumbly interior

The crumbly interior

Put the kettle on, make a brew and enjoy your tea-in-cake treat. And here’s a pic of how it looks inside – it’s very crumbly which is nice, but makes it look crappy in a photo. Oh well, you get the gist…

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Another Sofa Supper – Italian Meatball Melts

Italian Meatball Melts, Olive Magazine (Olive Magazine, April 2013)

Italian Meatball Melts,  (Olive Magazine, April 2013)

Yesterday Paul and I did our massive monthly food shop and, being a Project Manager, I tend to go about this trip like a military operation! I read through all my magazines and recipe books, coming up with a list of dishes to try that month. I then write out my shopping list. And then I write my list out again so it’s in aisle order…Paul tends to despair. Actually, I’d say that 90% of our arguments (and we don’t have many) take place within the four walls of a supermarket. It just powerfully highlights the differences between us – I turn into some kind of super-organised maniac, Paul runs off and hides by the biscuits.

Anyway, as I was flicking through this month’s Olive Magazine (April 2013) Paul happened to spot a recipe called Italian Meatball Melts and pretty much demanded we have it. Given we were having a relaxed weekend and watching the 6 Nations at home I thought it’d be a good Saturday Night Sofa Supper. It’s not something I would’ve chosen, but sometimes those are the best things to cook. Anyway, it was a great success. My only two complaints with the recipe were:

1. It said it’d take 30 minutes, but it took longer

2. There is no kitchen task more miserable than grating an onion

Having said that though, the recipe was well worth the effort and I served it with homemade potato wedges.

KB rating 8.5/10. PR rating 9/10 (apparently if I’d given him 2 melts then this would’ve been a 10…)

Italian Meatball Melts (serves 2)


  • 300g total of minced beef & minced pork (using the two meats really does make the meatballs juicier)
  • Half a small onion, grated
  • Half a clove of garlic, crushed (the other half gets used in the sauce. See below)
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves to serve
  • 2 ciabatta rolls, halved and toasted
  • 2 handfuls rocket (or similar salad leaves) to serve

For the tomato sauce:

  • Half a clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 200g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar


Put the first five ingredients into a bowl. Season really heavily and mix together with your hands. Form into 8 meatballs. Fry in a large pan until browned all over.

To make the sauce, sizzle the sliced garlic in a little olive oil and then top in the chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and sugar. Simmer until thickened.

Stir the meatballs into the sauce with the chopped basil and simmer for 10 minutes.

To serve, pile rocket and meatballs onto the ciabatta bottoms and top with a layer of grated mozzarella. Flash under a grill to melt the cheese then add a few more basil leaves, put the tops on and serve.