So popular have Ian’s dishes been that last month we asked him to share one of his favourite recipes, a lentil stew, with our readers, as well as offering up a set of handy kitchen tips, such as why it’s a good idea to grill your cheese and crackers and peel your ginger with a spoon.
The response was so positive we’ve gone back to him for more – and he was only too happy to oblige. But this time we’ve doubled the helpings, so you definitely won’t go hungry.
Regarding the new selections, Ian explains: “The hummus I picked because it’s simple and it’s cheaper than buying it. The reason I came up with that is to alleviate putting tahini in.
“I love garlic and my own version would have about five cloves in it but that would be too much for most people!
“The courgette dish I chose because it’s easier to do something with vegetables as anyone can eat it, that’s why I did the lentil stew last time too. It’s either a good side or a good veggie dish on its own.
“For such a simple dish you can get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Courgettes are very underrated.
INGREDIENTS (serves 6)
• 1 tin of chickpeas
• 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
• Juice of 2 lemons
• 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
• Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
Warm chickpeas to just above room temperature (this will make your hummus smoother). Blend until smooth.
Add crushed garlic, thyme, lemon juice and oil. Blend again.
Season with salt and serve with a sprinkle of chilli powder.
Courgettes au gratin
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
• 700g courgettes
• Salt and pepper
• 30g butter, cut into small pieces
• 55g parmesan (you can use mozzarella or cheddar as an alternative if you like)
Pre-heat oven to 220C or gas mark 7.
Peel courgettes into strips using a potato peeler and put in a colander.
Lightly sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes.
Dry with kitchen paper and drop into boiling salt water for one minute. Drain well.
Butter a small baking tray.
Layer up adding butter and cheese then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Ian’s quick kitchen tips
• When poaching eggs, if you crack your egg into a tea strainer you will drain off excess egg white and then get a perfect egg with no stringy bits
• If you pre-soak pasta it only takes 60 seconds to cook
• When frying onions, add a pinch of baking powder and they will caramelise quicker
• Microwave lemons or limes for 15 seconds to get more juice
• Place cream in a sealed jar and shake. It’s much easier than whisking