Tried this yesterday and guests enjoyed it – all in one dish = less washing up!


  • 500g/1lb 2oz new potatoes, such as Charlotte
  • 1-2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (approximately 500g/1lb 2oz)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • handful fresh thyme
  • 115g/4oz piece dried chorizo sausage
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • handful flat leaf parsley

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Halve or quarter the potatoes, depending on their size (to produce evenly sized chunks). Place in a large non-stick roasting tin. Toss with two tablespoons of the oil and season to taste with salt and pepper, then put into the oven for 15 minutes.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs in half, add the smoked paprika and cinnamon, if using. Scatter with half the thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper, stir through and set aside.
  3. Make a nick in the skin of the chorizo then, peel away the papery skin. Cut the sausage into chunks or rounds.
  4. When the potatoes have had 15 minutes roasting, give them a stir, then nestle the chicken and tomatoes into the pan. Scatter with the chorizo, garlic and the remaining thyme leaves, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle the remaining oil all over, and return to the oven to roast for 20 minutes more, stirring half-way, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes and tomatoes are turning golden brown and crisp at the edges
  6. Scatter the dish with a handful roughly chopped parsley, and serve.


  • 6 small Beetroot, raw, unpeeled
  • 6 tbsp Olive Oil, 3 tbsp for the dressing
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Red Onion, very finely sliced
  • 50g Rocket
  • 100g Feta Cheese, cubed
  • 1 handful Mint Leaves, torn, to garnish
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, (for dressing)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard, (for dressing)
  • 1 tsp Honey, clear (for dressing)

Prepare Ahead

You can cook the beetroot and make the dressing up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Place the beetroot in a roasting tin. Pour a little water around them, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, then cover tightly with foil and roast for 1–11/4 hours, or until tender.
  2. Remove the beetroot from the oven and allow to cool. Peel and cut into large cubes.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Put the beetroot and onion in a bowl and toss them in the dressing, then scatter the rocket over them. Top with feta cubes, garnish with mint, and serve.


By Mrs Beeton 

Preparation time: overnight

Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins Makes 1 large jar


•red cabbage



 •1.13 litre/2 pint vinegar – to each quart add 1 tbsp ginger, well bruised

•25g/1oz whole black pepper

 •a little cayene, if liked

Preparation method

1.Take off the outside decayed leaves of a nice red cabbage, cut it into quarters, remove the stalks, and cut it across in very thin slices.

 2.Lay these on a dish, and cover them plentifully with salt, then cover with another dish.

3.Leave for 24 hours; turn into a colander to drain, and if necessary, wipe lightly with a clean, soft cloth.

Put them in a jar; boil up the vinegar with the spices, and when cold, pour it over the cabbage. It will be fit for use in a week or two, but if kept for a very long time, the cabbage is liable to get soft and discoloured. To be really nice and crisp, and of a good red colour, it should be eaten almost immediately after it is made.

A little bruised cochineal boiled with the vinegar adds greatly to the appearance of this pickle. Tie down with bladder, and keep in a dry place.

This is very bad news for me….!!!

People who regularly eat chocolate are more depressive, experts have found.

Research in Archives of Internal Medicine shows those who eat at least a bar every week are more glum than those who only eat chocolate now and again.

Many believe chocolate has the power to lift mood, and the US team say this may be true, although scientific proof for this is lacking.

But they say they cannot rule out that chocolate may be a cause rather than the cure for being depressed.

In the study, which included nearly 1,000 adults, the more chocolate the men and women consumed the lower their mood.

Those who ate the most – more than six regular 28g size bars a month – scored the highest on depression, using a recognised scale.

None of the men and women were on antidepressants or had been diagnosed as clinically depressed by a doctor.

‘Mood food’

Dr Natalie Rose and her colleagues from the University of California, San Diego, say there are many possible explanations for their findings, and that these need to be explored.

It may simply be that people who are depressed crave chocolate as a “self-treatment” to lift mood, or depression may drive the craving without any beneficial effect.

“Alternatively, analogous with alcohol, there could be short-term benefits of chocolate to mood with longer-term untoward effects,” they told the journal.

Chocolate could even be a direct cause of depression, the researchers added.

Bridget O’Connell, of the mental health charity Mind, said: “The way we feel and what we eat can be closely related, and many people will be familiar with craving particular foods or comfort eating when they are stressed, under pressure or depressed.



For the soup
300ml/10½fl oz chicken or vegetable stock
½ butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, flesh chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
50ml/2fl oz double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the herb dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt, to serve


1. For the soup, bring the stock, butternut squash and cumin to the boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
2. Add the cream and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Blend the mixture until smooth using a stick blender.
4. For the herb dressing, blend the oil, herbs and seasoning together in a food processor until smooth.
5. To serve, ladle the soup into a serving bowl and add a spoonful of the Greek-style yoghurt to garnish. Drizzle over the herb dressing.

The way people handle food is a good barometer not only their inner world but also of their generosity to others. Such generous hospitality brings happiness not only to the guest but also to the host. Eating good food is a pleasure, but sharing good food with guests brings delight. Here we see that food used in a way that opens life into virtue, so that happiness is found in the dimension beyond pleasure.


 15g/½oz butter

½ onion, chopped

 ½ potato, peeled, cut into 1cm/½in cubes

1 bulb fennel, finely sliced

150ml/¼ pint hot chicken stock (vegetarians can substitute vegetable stock)

 small handful fresh parsley, chopped

1 free-range egg yolk

4 tbsp double cream

 55g/2oz Lancashire cheese, grated


1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the onion until softened but not coloured.

2. Add the potato, fennel and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the potato and fennel are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

 3. Pour the soup into a blender along with the parsley, egg yolk, cream and cheese and blend until smooth. If necessary, return the soup to the saucepan and gently warm through.

4. To serve, pour the soup into bowls.

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