Category Archives: Holidays

Creamy Garlic Chicken

Serves 4


300g skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

400 ml chicken stock

2 medium onions, sliced.

250g button mushrooms, sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed.

1 tsp dijon mustard

180g low fat cream cheese

Method. Season the chicken slices with a little salt and pepper. Put 2 tsps olive oil in a large fry pan on a medium heat. Add chicken and quickly seal, then remove from the pan. Add onion, mushroom and garlic to the pan and fry for 5 minutes until they start to brown. Then add the stock, worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard and simmer until reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cream cheese. Return chicken to the pan, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.




  • 2 salmon fillet steaks
  • Handful of fine green beans, cut in half
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • Small tin anchovie fillets
  • 6-8 baby potatoes, cut in half
  • Some torn basil
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice
  • Method

Use large oven tray. Sprinkle salmon fillets with lemon juice, salt and pepper and place at one end of the tray. Boil the green beans and potatoes for 6 minutes. Drain the beans and potatoes and add to a bowl with olives, tomatoes and basil. Toss the mixture with one tablespoonful of olive and place at other end of the tray. Place the anchovies over the vegetables. Roast in preheated oven at 190 fan for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, dish up salmon and stir vegetable and anchovy mix together and serve. I don’t always put in the potatoes unless I want a more substantial meal. And of course anchovies to taste, I use half a small tin, Karen uses the whole tin.





Monchique Chicken

IMG_0834Monchique Chicken recipe is named from an old, ancient hotel in the spa valley of Monchique in the Portugese Algarve. It is one of these really simple recipes that all the family love. The main herb used is Rosemary which grows in abundance in Monchique. It is best served in a bowl with fork and spoon.

Ingredients for 4
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 medium onion cut into wedges
4 medium carrots cut in chunks
Handful of flat green beans in short lengths
4 apple size potatoes chopped in chunks and tossed in oliveoil
Chicken stock
Lots of fresh Rosemary to taste

Put everything except for stock and potatoes into a shallow ovenproof dish, pour over enough stock to come half way up the chicken. Put the olive oil covered potatoes as a layer on top and place in fan oven at 180 for 1 hour.

John’s White Beans & Clams


This is a take on a number of very typical Portuguese dishes, such as Octopus Rice, White Beans and Shellfish, and Rice and Shellfish.

500 gm White Beans
1kg of Fresh Clams in Shells
600 gm Tinned Tomatoes
1 Onion Chopped
1 Pint of Chicken Stock
2 Cloves of Garlic Chopped
1 x Small Chorizo – Cubed
3 x Sprigs of Rosemary
1 x Handful of Coriander
1 x Teaspoon of Oregano Flowers


Fry off the garlic and onions and chorizo for a few minutes, add the tomatoes, and the herbs into the pot, add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper.  Add the beans either rinsed from a jar or can or drained from soaking overnight. Stew for about 1.5 hours, then take out some beans and mash them up with a fork and add back to the pot.  This will help to thicken the sauce.  Also add a touch of Tomato puree/polpa if you think it necessary . Add clams when ready to serve and simmer gently for 10mins or until all shells appear to be open.

Katie’s Focaccia

500g strong white flour
7g sachet fast action dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
300mls warm water
2 tablespoonfuls olive oil
Another 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil

1. Put flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a big bowl. Mix up the olive oil and water and por onto flour mixture. Stir to mix and bring together with your hands into a rough ball.
2. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes to a smooth fairly soft dough. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with cling-film and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour until it has doubled in size.
3. Lightly oil a large baking tray 15″x10″.
4. Put the dough on to a floured surface and flatten out with your knuckles into a rectangle shape the same size as your baking tray and press out to the edges of the tray.
5. Again cover with loose cling-film and leave in a warm place for another half hour.
6. Preheat oven at 220C.
7. Now the focaccia should look puffed up and spongy. Poke the dough into dimples all over.
8. Drizzle the focaccia with 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil and sprinkle with chopped up rosemary leaf and sea salt. A few sprigs of rosemary will make it look nice.
9. Bake in middle of oven for 15-20 minutes or until risen and a golden brown.

Serving suggestions
Serve up when still warm with even more intense olive oil and salt, or as per photo, let it cool a bit and serve up full of good Italian ingredients like mortadella, rugala (rocket), roasted peppers, sundried tomato, mozzaralla and more.