Classics with a twist

We’ve given five of your all-time favourites a bit of a modern makeover. Read on for a fresh take on food made for enjoying with friends

Chicken Kiev tray bake

If you love the flavour and texture of chicken Kiev but don’t fancy the faff, this is just the thing for you

Ready in 30 minutes


50g butter, softened

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbsp finely chopped parsley

zest 1 lemon

100g coarse fresh breadcrumbs

4 skinless chicken breasts


1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/R6. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Season with plenty of black pepper, then dot half the butter mix in the bottom of a shallow roasting tin that will happily hold four chicken breasts.

2 Place each chicken breast in a sturdy food bag and batten out until about 3cm thick. Place each in the roasting tin. Roughly mix the remaining butter mix with the breadcrumbs and scatter over the chicken. Bake for 20 minutes until golden, bubbling and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges and plenty of salad and chips!

Moules marinière – Candis style!

We’ve given the classic mussel dish an aniseed pep with the addition of fresh fennel and a sprinkling of chopped dill

Ready in 15 minutes


3 shallots, finely chopped

1 head fennel, trimmed and finely shredded

300ml dry white wine

2kg mussels

50g butter

4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill


1 Place the shallots, fennel and wine in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until tender.

2 Turn the heat up to high. Once boiling, tip the mussels into the pan and immediately cover. Cook for 3 minutes shaking the pan occasionally until all the mussels have opened.

3 Add the butter to the pan, cover again and simmer for 1 minute more. Shake the pan and scatter with the fresh herbs. Serve straight away with fries, crusty bread and a pot of mayo.

Try this…

Fancy pepping up your oven-baked French fries? Sprinkle with hot smoked paprika five minutes before the end of cooking.

To learn how to prepare mussels, see

Creamy squash carbonara

Simply delicious and so much healthier than the traditional creamy carbonara

Ready in 50 minutes


2 tbsp olive oil

160g pack chopped pancetta or smoked bacon lardons

8 sage leaves, shredded

700g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

300ml light chicken stock

350g spaghetti

100g pecorino, finely grated


1 Heat the oil in a large pan, add the pancetta and cook for 4 minutes until beginning to crisp. Add the sage and cook for 2 minutes until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side. Add the squash, onion and garlic to the pan and gently cook for 15 minutes until the onion is nicely softened.

2 Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before whizzing to a puree with a stick blender. Season well.

3 Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until just tender. Drain and reserve about 100ml of the cooking water. Add the cooked pasta to the pureed squash and combine well, adding a splash of the reserved water if needed. Add three quarters of the pecorino, scatter with the pancetta and sage and stir. Serve in warmed bowls and serve scattered with the remaining cheese.

Make it veggie…

Simply omit the pancetta, use a light vegetable stock and veggie Parmesan or hard cheese instead.

Chilli Scotch eggs

Homemade Scotch eggs are a hundred times better than shop bought. Prepare to fall in love with the real thing!

Ready in 30 minutes


7 eggs

250g really good quality sausages

200g pork mince

3 tbsp oregano, finely chopped

3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

50g plain flour

100g panko breadcrumbs

rapeseed oil for deep frying


1 Place 6 of the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a big bowl of cold water to cool down. Peel and set to one side.

2 Squeeze the sausage meat out of their casings and into a large bowl. Add the mince, herbs, chilli flakes and paprika. Season well. Using your scales, divide the mixture into six equal size balls. Pop the plain flour in one dish, a beaten egg in another and the breadcrumbs in a third dish.

3 Shape the ball of meat into a large flat patty on your hand. Lightly flour the egg and place on top and then carefully work the meat around the egg until completely encased. Repeat with remaining eggs.

4 Roll the meat-covered eggs in the flour, dip in the beaten egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Heat a pan of oil to 150ºC – if you don’t have a thermometer, a cube of bread should take one minute to crisp and turn golden. Add the eggs in batches and cook for around 4 minutes – 5 minutes if you like the yolks fully set – turning occasionally until golden and the meat is cooked through. Drain on kitchen roll.


Gently crack the shell of your eggs while they’re still warm as they’ll be much easier to peel once cooled.

Mini profiterole dips

We’ve teamed cream filled mini profiteroles with warm salted caramel sauce and warm chocolate sauce. Perfect for sharing fondue style

Ready in 1 hour plus cooling


85g butter, cubed

220ml water

105g plain flour

a pinch of salt

3 eggs, beaten

For the filling:

300ml double cream, lightly whipped

For dipping:

200g dark chocolate

250ml double cream

200g jar salted caramel sauce, warmed


1 Place the butter and water in a saucepan over a low heat and simmer until the butter has melted. Meanwhile, sift flour and salt over a bowl – repeat three times to really aerate it.

2 Once the butter has melted, turn the heat up and bring the mixture to the boil. Once boiling rapidly, turn off the heat and immediately add the flour.

3 Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it comes away from the pan and forms a ball. Don’t beat any longer. Tip the mixture on to a clean plate, flatten out and allow it to cool for 10 minutes, or until just warm to the touch.

4 Return mixture to the pan and beat in the eggs a tablespoonful at a time. Continue to add the egg until the mixture almost (but not quite) drops off the spoon.

5 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/R6 and lightly grease some baking sheets. Spoon teaspoon-sized rounds of mix on to baking the sheets. Use wet fingers to shape them into rounds if needed.

6 Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffed up. Make a little hole in the bases with the tip of a knife. Return to the baking sheets, hole side up, and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up. Once completely cool, open each ‘roll’ up a little and spoon the whipped cream inside. Place on a platter.

7 To make the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan and gently heat. Once melted, beat well and pour into a warmed jug. Pour the warmed caramel sauce into a dipping bowl. Serve with the filled profiteroles – and plenty of napkins!

All recipes Catherine Hill   Photography Adrian Lawrence   Prop styling Luis Peral

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