It’s virgin but not a plane, not a train and definitely not a record shop

Ok, ok. A Virgin Paella is supposed to be a bit more simple than this but over the years we have been adding a bit here and there before settling on this. If you really want to do the virgin version leave out the smoked paprika and sundried tomatoes.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
400 g paella rice
150-200 ml white wine (dependant on how winey you like it!)
just over a litre chicken stock
1 large pinch saffron
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 handful sundried tomatoes, chopped

In a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan or a paella pan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the smoked paprika and add the rice, stir until coated in the red smokey oil. When the rice is coated throw in the vino. Cook for 1-2 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol.

Add the stock, saffron and sundried tomatoes – stirring regularly for the first ten minutes or so. Leave the rice to cook through for a further 5 minutes-ish until just tender. It’s pretty important not to stir it in this last 5 minutes – you WANT the crispy burned bit in the bottom, it’s the best!

If you are anti meat/fish then this is great with some roasted veg stirred through – obviously just replace the chicken stock with veg stock for a herbivore friendly version.


Patatas Bravas: The travelling man’s chips

Mmmmmmm crispy tatties wi’ chilli sauce – AKA Patatas Bravas. A super simple tapas staple given the Stovies twist. Yes, we are aware chipotle chillis are not from spain…


2 or 3 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-2cm cubes (nothing too floury or it wont work)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp flakey sea salt

‘bravas’ sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small dried chipotle chilli, finely chopped
1 jar tomato passata
½ tsp smoked paprika
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp dried sage

For these we start with the sauce, it’s the fault of the dried chipotle but to be honest if you can find a fresh chipotle then you should change your name to Harry Potter…To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chipotle and fry for a minute, or until the garlic is starting to colour. Add the passata, lemon juice, sage and smoked paprika, bring up to the boil then turn right down. Simmer gently for around half an hour.

The tatties are even easier! Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for around ten minutes – you want them just about soft. Drain the potatoes and leave in the colander to remove any excess water.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the potato cubes and fry until golden and crisp – about 10-15 minutes. Pat the potatoes dry on some kitchen towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve with an almighty dollop of the spicy sauce – a far cry from the sad imitations served with a spicy mayo throughout the UK!

Red roasted veg-gies, they’re awfully versatile…..*

Roasted veg. It’s awesome. We make a lot of roasted veg based foods. Mostly because they rock and we like to eat a lot of veggies. Add it to pasta, have it cold with salad, mix in mayo and chuck in a wrap. If we ever had to give up pig-based foods this recipe would probably see us through the dark days!

1 pepper – roughly chopped
1 onion – roughly chopped
handful of vine tomatoes (if they’re big then chop, if not then squash)
1 vine tomato stalk
1 garlic clove – chopped
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1tbsp olive or rape seed oil

This may warrant a special mention for having the shortest instructions ever….

Mix everything together in a nice oven proof dish. Roast at gas 5 for around an hour, it really isn’t exact, stir occasionally and serve when you are happy with them. You want the veggies to caramelise a wee bit but not too much.

*sing to the tune of the potato waffle song!

Kale – it really is braw

Kale grows anywhere, it’s good for you (full of sulforaphane you see) and my granny likes it. This is a great little recipe for serving with meat dishes (both traditional blighty ones or something spicy) but is also great served on it’s own with noodles.

1 bag of fresh kale (right now we are getting the most beautiful kale from Mr Whole Shebag)
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp oil
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a wok (or non stick pan, we aren’t pan-ist here at stovies) over a medium heat. While this is heating, chop the garlic and throw in the wok. Tear the kale into relatively big pieces and add to the garlic. Pour in the lime juice and honey, stir and put a lid on. Steam for about two minutes, season to taste and serve. Brilliant, ultra quick, healthy, light and not bitter like a lot of brassica can be.

A nice pair of birds

This one is quite straight forward but utterly yummy! A light summery take on a roast chicken dinner, great simply served with a light salad but even better cold, ripped up, slathered in mayo and crammed in a baguette! Serves 4 normal or 2 starving folk…

2 poussins, cleaned and without giblets

For the stuffing:
1 tomato
1 pepper
1 clove of garlic
1 handful finely grated parmesan
1/4 stale baguette (or similar)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs mixed fresh herbs (sage, oregano and basil are good)
squeeze lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
seasoning (easy on the salt, if any!)

For the rub:
1 tbsp olive oil
squeeze lemon juice
Half chicken stock cube (we use kallo organic, good value for money and TASTY!)
dash chilli sauce

For the base of the roasting tin:
vine tomato stalks
1 big onion – sliced

Preheat the oven to gas 5 or equivalent. Take the poussins (or teenagers as we like to call them) out of the fridge to get to room temperature. To make the stuffing crush the garlic, roughly chop the tomato, pepper and baguette. Place these in a big bowl and pour on the wet ingredients then mix through to help the bread come back to life. Stir in the rest of the ingredients then stuff into the poussins.

To make the oily rub crush the stock cube and mix with the rest of ingredients together. Once nicely mixed, spread evenly over the poussin skin.

Scatter the onion and tomato vines into the bottom of a roasting tin – these will help add a little extra flavour while helping stop the poussins from sweating away on the bottom of the tin. Place the poussins on top of the sacrificial onions and roast for 35-45 minutes (depending on the amount of stuffing added it may take an extra 10 minutes or so). The poussins are ready when the juices run clear. If you are feeling adventurous try spatchcocking and serve with balls of stuffing (they’ll take a lot less time to cook too). Perfect for barbecue season… remember summer?