Where I’m eating today: Borough Market

#hollyheartsfood out and about at Borough Market

Amazing looking bread at Borough Market #hollyheartsfood

“Amazing looking bread at Borough Market”


Fresh and spicy homemade slaw

This homemade coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to burgers and bbq food, I served mine with some delicious Jamie Oliver-inspired fried chicken and chips.

Balance your flavours – I designed the slaw as a foil to the rich and savoury chicken, and the sour notes stand up well against the sweet tomato chutney (my latest obsession) which I served with the steak-cut chips.

This slaw is very easy to make, and super quick if you have a food processor – not so fast if you don’t, but well worth it!

Homemade fresh and spicy coleslaw with fried chicken and steak-cut chips. HollyHeartsFood recipe


1/2 red pepper, finely sliced

1/2 green pepper, finely sliced

About a 5th of a white cabbage, halved and sliced

1/2 a small red onion, finely sliced

1/2 a red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced length-wise

Five slices of green jalapenos (I used Old El Paso’s jarred variety), centres removed

Handful of frozen green beans

1tbsp salad cream

1/2tbsp chimichurri sauce

1/2 cap of white wine vinegar

1/2 cap of lemon juice

2tbsp maple syrup


Pop the green beans in a bowl and microwave for 3 1/2 mins, then cool them immediately in cold water, drain and set aside in the fridge.

Pile up the sliced red onion on your chopping board, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice, and mix. This breaks down some of the enzymes in the onion and softens it, as well as making the flavour less harsh.

Once the beans are cool, mix in the other veg and the onions, combine with two forks.

Then pour in the wet ingredients one at a time and mix well at each stage. Add the maple syrup last, and add as much as you like depending on your taste. I wanted to keep my slaw sharp and tangy, with just a hint of mild sweetness, so I didn’t add too much.

Combine with the forks one last time, and serve. This slaw packs a punch, and goes perfectly with an ice cold beer. I can’t wait to make this in the Summer! 

Pan-fried salmon with arrabiata linguine

Looking for a satisfying, healthy and quick mid-week meal that’s also fit for a Saturday night dinner party? Try this delicious spicy pan-fried salmon pasta dish…


1 finely sliced garlic clove

3 sliced vine-ripened tomatoes (de-seeded)

A spoonful each of freshly chopped basil and oregano

Splash of olive oil

Splash of chilli oil

1 finely chopped chilli, inc. seeds

1tsp brown sugar

Splash balsamic vinegar

1/3 green bell pepper

1/2 can chopped tomatoes


100g linguine

2 salmon fillets


Glug the oils into a large pan and turn onto a medium heat.

Add garlic and a pinch of salt (this draws moisture from the garlic and stops it burning) to the pan, after 30secs add sliced tomatoes and leave to cook through for 5mins.

Add the sliced green peppers and chopped chilli and cook for a further 5mins.

Then splash in the balsamic and sugar, allow to caramelise, then add chopped tomatoes, a pinch of pepper and the herbs, and leave to simmer for 10mins and turn down to the lowest heat.

Add handful of linguine to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for around 8mins.

Put a new frying pan onto the highest heat, spray some low-cal oil, and once scorching hot add the salmon fillets skin-side down, drizzle a little chilli oil on top and sprinkle over with a little salt & pepper. When half cooked through and the skin is nice and crisp, flip over to cook the top. It should take just 8mins to cook fillets all the way through.

Drain the linguine, preserving a cupful of the pasta water, and tip it into the pan with the sauce. Add a splash of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce and make the linguine nice and silky.

Serve with a whole fillet on top of the pasta with a drizzle of chilli oil.

The Dorchester, Park Lane

This year’s annual SCEPTRE Awards, held at the fabulous Dorchester in London, received the brightest and best guests from the shopping centre industry to celebrate the achievements of retail management teams in 2014. As the official photographer for the night I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps of the food from this gala dinner…


Starter: Haloumi tikka kebab with kachumber salad and tamarind chutney


Main meal: Black bream with potato and mussel stew, seasonal vegetables


Dessert: Baked cheese cake and sour cherry sorbet

I haven’t had haloumi much before, but I can safely say that this starter was the best I’ve tried. The texture of this cheese really held up against the strong flavours of the curry marinade, it was almost like a chicken dish rather than a veggie option. I will definitely try this at home as I can imagine it working really well chargrilled on the BBQ with a fresh salad.

As for the main, I’m quite new to eating fish (I’ll be writing a blog post about my experiences soon) and had never had black bream before, but this was just delicious. The stew was so moreish and the mussels helped make it even more unctuous. There were a couple of mystery vegetables on the plate which looked like quarters of lemon and lime – any foodies know what they are? Leave a comment below!

The cheesecake I was less impressed with as it turned out to have a sponge cake consistency – I like my cheesecakes thick and creamy. But the cherry sorbet did a great job of cutting through the evening’s richness with a much needed cooling sour note.

Xquisite, Caribbean restaurant, Tulse Hill

We visited this new Caribbean restaurant just after Christmas when we had no money and the January blues were in full swing, but the warming food (and welcome) at Xquisite was just the ray of sunshine we needed!

Xquisite Oxtail Meat, marinated and cooked with butter beans until tender falling off the bone, served with plantains and basmati rice

Xquisite Oxtail Meat, marinated and cooked with butter beans until tender falling off the bone

Xquisite Golden Fried Chicken seasoned with Caribbean herbs and spices, tossed in batter, then deep fried till golden. Served with plantains and brown rice and peas.

Xquisite Golden Fried Chicken chicken seasoned with Caribbean herbs and spices, tossed in batter, then deep fried till golden


Do it yourself KFC

I like to think I’m something of a fried chicken expert, with a boyfriend who loves junk food as much as Andrew it would be impossible not to, so when I decided to make my own version (to save money and calories), whose would be better? Mine… or Jamie Oliver’s?

Holly’s lightly-fried jerk chicken

Tasked with feeding my picky-eater younger sister who was back from uni, I chose to make her favourite thing: fried chicken. This version is very simple to make and cheap too – perfect for poor students!

Feeds 3-4 people


Six skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (these will cook faster)

Plain flour

Vegetable oil

Jerk seasoning

Salt & pepper


Take all the chicken out of the pack and pat down with kitchen roll to dry the skin, so that it crisps up nicely, set aside. In a separate bowl pour in a mug full of flour, 3 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper, and 3 big spoons of your jerk seasoning. Mix together. Coat each thigh/drumstick in the flour mix, keep repeating ’til the chicken has absorbed as much flour as possible and is coated all over.

Get a deep frying pan and pour in about 1cm of oil in the bottom of your pan, turn the hob to the highest setting, let the oil get hot (but not boiling). Then VERY carefully add your chicken pieces skin-side down in the pan with your tongs, leaving a gap between each bit (if there isn’t enough room, then do two batches).

Let the chicken cook with the skin getting crispy for about five mins. Then turn the chicken over to cook the other side for 5 mins. Then use your tongs to pick up each bit of chicken and rotate it in the oil so that all the sides are evenly cooked.

Take the biggest piece of chicken out of the pan and cut it open in the middle and check that it’s cooked all the way through. If not, put in back in with the rest of the chicken for another 5 mins, then check again.

Take each bit of chicken out of the pan and put on a plate covered with kitchen roll to soak up excess oil. Let it rest for five mins.

Serve with mashed potato blended with Philadelphia herb and chive cheese and chicken gravy!

Andrew’s take on Jamie Oliver’s JFC with sweet potato wedges

This is a recipe from Jamie’s Money Saving Meals, and is technically baked chicken with just the texture of fried. We like to mix things up in our house, and never follow a recipe word for word, so Andrew has included a secret ingredient…

Should feed 4, but 2 when hungry!



3 large sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp polenta


1 whole chicken

Salt & pepper

1 heaped tsp paprika

Olive oil

4 garlic cloves

The secret ingredient: Quaker Oat So Simple Golden Syrup Porridge 36G sachet (to replace the stale bread for breadcrumbs, it provides a thicker texture and the sweetness of the syrup is gorgeous)

2 heaped tsp plain flour

4 tbsp water


Cut the sweet potatoes (skins on) into wedges and toss in a tray with olive oil, salt & pepper and polenta, coat well and set aside. Andrew jointed the chicken using Jamie’s method. But Gordon Ramsay’s video tutorial is really easy to follow:

Take the skin off the chicken and cut the breasts into strips. Coat the chicken selection with polenta, a dash of olive oil, salt & pepper, and paprika and massage in. Pop in a pre-heated oven at 190c for 20mins with the wedges.

Make the ‘breadcrumb’ coating, blend the garlic, a glug of olive oil, and porridge oats (instead of breadcrumbs) in a food processor.

Mix the flour and water in a bowl to make a paste.

After 20mins take the chicken out of the oven and coat each piece in the flour paste, then in the crumb mix. Turn the wedges over, and put everything back in the oven for 40mins.

Serve with coleslaw and buttery corn on the cob – enjoy!


Easy-peasy banana cake

This started as a very simple and tasty way of using up old bananas, but is fast becoming my ‘signature bake’, with each incarnation getting better and better. This recipe is incredibly easy, and cheap to make too.


3 over-ripe bananas

170g caster sugar

170g self-raising flour

170g soft margarine

3 eggs

Splash of vanilla extract

2 hand-fulls of mixed dried fruit and nuts

1 hand-full of chocolate chips


Put all the ingredients into one large bowl and mix together with an electric hand mixer ’til smooth.

Grease one large or two small loaf tins and line with baking paper.

Cook on 170C for an hour, or longer if needed.

I only have a small loaf tin at home, so I like to pour the excess mix into two small round pie tins to create a delicious thin version of this cake – it makes it an incredibly light and fluffy sponge.