Easy low fat lunch.

Watch me make them on You Tube and you can find the recipe here.

Just a posh version of chicken nuggets and chips.

Oven-cooking is much safer than frying – and keeps the amount of oil to a minimum.

Make your own breadcrumbs from dry stale bread and store in the freezer.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


Posh chicken nuggets and chips

Posh chicken nuggets and chips


Pot up hot marmalade with your eyes closed!

Watch me do this on YouTube

The finished article

The finished article

Seville oranges may only be available in January.

A talking thermometer, preserving funnel and jug the same capacity as the jars make this possible.

I always simmer the fruit the night before so that they are cool enough to handle.  The fruit has to be fully cooked and softened before adding the sugar.

By keeping the amount of water to a minimum, you don’t have to boil the marmalade so long to achieve the setting temperature.

I test for the set on the stainless steel sink as it cools the marmalade quickly and is easy to clean.  The marmalade will set well when the surface of the test blob wrinkles when pushed by your finger.

You can add some liqueur or whisky to the pan before it goes in to the jars.

I get jars from the Jam Jar Shop (http://jamjarshop.com/): a quick wash and then place in a roasting tray in a very low oven – this dries, sterilises and warms the jars so that they are less likely to crack when hot marmalade is poured in.

Stock up early with these fabulous oranges – you can freeze them whole.


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000



You can find my recipe here (https://www.dropbox.com/s/dbvockd6glue2fs/170126%20BB%20recipe%20%20marmalade..docx?dl=0)

Don’t forget to remove the shell!

A comforting hearty soup for cold winter days – you can watch me make this on You Tube

Put the crab shell in to this chowder after adding all the flesh to get maximum flavour.

I get bacon from Greenfield pork (www.greenfieldpork.co.uk) – they also did a fabulous hog roast for a big party I gave.

I didn’t have any milk so added 2 heaped tablespoons of skimmed milk powder.

If you prefer a chunkier soup, put aside some drained spoonfuls of the cooked mix while liquidising and then return and stir through.

A dash of cream can make this soup even more luxurious – but certainly isn’t essential.

These quantities made over 3 pints/nearly 2 litres of soup

You can find the bread recipe at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jryv9ozhile7lsg/170119%20BB%20recipe%20basic%20bread.doc?dl=0

And the Chowder recipe is at:



Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


Chowder and mini loaves for 2

Chowder and mini loaves for 2


Fancy fish eggs on toast?

Delicious Mediterranean savoury dip – watch me make it on You Tube

In Athens years ago, they mixed taramasalata with mashed potato to make it go further.

If you can’t see, weighing on talking scales can be easiest and cuts down on washing up and other equipment: half a pint of oil weighs 8 ounces

To prevent the taste of the oil being too strong, I used half sunflower and half olive oil.

Smoked cod’s roe can be difficult to find depending on the season.  I ordered from my local fishmonger (http://www.leefishdeli.co.uk/contact) and it arrived within a couple of days.

Cod’s roe come in pairs – each is about 8 ounces weight so you could use one  with half the ingredients and freeze the rest for another day.

Smoked cod’s roe is not cheap but this mix made nearly 3 lbs weight at a cost very close to the supermarket version and, hopefully, better in terms of taste, texture and no other added ingredients.  If you would like to see my recipe, please follow this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jb45c53fs64qmhm/170112%20BB%20recipe%20Taramasalata.doc?dl=0

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000



This is just a posh way of using up potatoes.

Watch me make them on You Tube

Imperial Metric Ingredient
1 dessert spoon   Olive oil
1   Onion and/or
3   Rashers smoked bacon
2 handfuls   Cooked potatoes (roast, boiled, chips)
3   Eggs (beaten)
1 heaped teaspoon   Chopped soft herb leaves (thyme, parsley etc)
    Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in an oven-proof frying pan.

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (350 Fahrenheit; 180 Celsius)

Finely chop the peeled onion and sweat in the oil over a medium heat.

If using bacon, remove the rind and slice in to small pieces and add to the pan to lightly cook.

Chop potatoes to pieces and add to pan.

Beat eggs, herbs and salt and pepper.

Turn over the onions/bacon and potatoes in the pan.

Pour the egg mixture around the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until frittata feels firm but not solid.

Remove pan from oven and ease around edges to loosen.

Place plate over pan and turn upside down so that, with luck, frittata drops out on to plate for sharing between two.

My tips:

The potatoes could have been plain boiled, cooked new potatoes, roast or even chips from yesterday’s take-away.  They just need to be cut in to pieces about 1 cm thick so that they cook quickly in the pan.

You can vary the other ingredients with anything that is handy – as long as it will go well with the eggs and potatoes.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Chicken and mushroom Pie with Rough Puff pastry.

Watch my videos on You Tube

A large pie of succulent chicken and mushrooms in a creamy, lightly thickened sauce.


Imperial Metric Ingredient
    Rough Puff pastry (see mince pies)
10-12   Chicken thighs
1 dessert spoon   Torn lemon thyme leaves
1   Knorr chicken Stock Pot
2 ounces 50 grams Butter
    Salt and pepper
16 ounces 450 grams Mushrooms
3 tablespoons   Double cream
1 heaped teaspoon   Arrowroot
1   Egg (beaten)

table decoration

Skin the chicken thighs and place in a bag with the thyme, stock, butter and pepper.

Vacuum pack and submerge in waterbath at 70 degrees Centigrade for at least two hours.

Remove bag from waterbath and plunge in to cold water.

Slice mushrooms and cook on plate or shallow bowl in microwave on half power for about 5 minutes until hot and soft, allow to cool.

Pour liquid and any jelly from chicken bag in to bowl with mushrooms, cream and arrowroot.

Remove meat from bones and add to bowl, discarding the bones.

Stir mixture and place in fridge.

Remove pastry from fridge and roll out to just larger than oven-proof pie dish.

Cut thin strips from pastry and press on to dampened rim of dish – to give firm base for lid.

Fill pie dish with chicken and mushroom mixture.

Place pie funnel in middle of dish to support the pastry lid and let steam escape.

Dampen pastry strips on rim and lay pastry lid over dish then press down all around rim.

Where lid sits on the funnel, push a finger through centre to create a hole for steam.

Pie can then be chilled in fridge for cooking the next day.

Heat oven to Gas Mark 7 (425 Fahrenheit; 220 Celsius)

Brush pie with beaten egg.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to Gas Mark 5 (375 Fahrenheit; 190 Celsius) for a further 5-10 minutes by when pastry should be golden and crisp with hot filling.

My tips:

Thyme will do just as well but without the subtle citrus tang.

Turkey thigh and drumstick could replace the chicken but will need longer cooking in either a waterbath or oven.

I forgot the chicken which was in the waterbath for 6 hours and still tasted good and very succulent.

Instead of the waterbath, the skinned chicken and thyme can be slowly cooked in hot chicken stock in the oven at a medium temperature for an hour or so until tender.

For my holiday entertaining, I added some minced truffle to the turkey legs before they went in to the water bath and then added more plus additional fresh lemon thyme before the mix went in to the pie dish.

If I was making individual pies, I would line the bottom of foil cases with shortcrust pastry, fill with the chicken mixture and top with the rough puff pastry before chilling for 20 minutes.  Heat a baking tray in the oven at maximum heat.  Make holes in the pastry lids and then cook on the hot tray for 15 minutes at Gas Mark 7 and then 10-15 minutes at Gas Mark 5.  You could also freeze the pies before cooking and then cook from frozen for 45 minutes at Gas Mark 7.

These pies could also be made with the left-over meat and gravy from a roast dinner – perhaps with some peas, sweetcorn or other cooked vegetables.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


Cottage Pie.

Watch me make them on You Tube


Shepherd’s pie is usually made with the left-overs from roast lamb and gravy while Cottage pie is made with beef – but here I’m using minced beef in case all the roast got eaten. I also make “Gobble pie” with left-over cooked turkey and Stag pie with cooked venison – the principles are much the same.



Imperial Metric Ingredient
2   Onions
1 dessert spoon   Olive oil
2   Carrots
16 ounces 450 grams Minced beef
Half pint 2.8 Millilitres’ Strong beef stock
2   Star anise (optional)
    Salt and pepper
16 ounces 450 grams Potatoes
2 ounces 50 grams Butter
Splash   Milk
    Salt and pepper
Ready for my Christmas buffet

Ready for my Christmas buffet

Start with the filling as it will cook for a few hours.

Peel and dice the onions and sweat over a medium heat in the oil until softened.

Peel the carrots and cut in to small cubes then add to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.


Heat oven to Gas Mark 5 (375 Fahrenheit; 190 Celsius).

Remove the onions and carrots.

Increase heat and crumble in the minced beef in a very thin layer over the base of the pan.

Cook on one side until brown and then turn over.  You might need to do this in two batches.

Put the onions, carrots, minced beef, star anise, salt, pepper and hot beef stock in an oven-proof container.

Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit over the mixture.    Cover the mixture with the paper and then put on a lid or a tight double layer of cooking foil.

Place dish in the oven.

After 10 minutes, reduce heat to Gas Mark 3 (325 Fahrenheit; 170 Celsius) and cook for a couple of hours.

Peel the potatoes and cut in to even-sized pieces.  Place in a pan with enough cold salted water to just cover and bring to the boil.

Simmer the potatoes for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked – a knife will go through one easily.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan with the butter.

Mash the potatoes adding salt and white pepper to taste – and a splash of milk to give a softer texture.

Heat oven to Gas Mark 4 (350 Fahrenheit; 180 Celsius)

Place filling in oven-proof dish and fork over the mashed potato – little ridges will cook faster and give more taste and texture.  Top with some tiny cubes of butter.

Cook in oven for about 30 minutes until the filling is hot and potato topping is browning on the ridges.

My tips:

The filling can be cooked the day before and stored in the fridge until needed.

The star anise increases the savoury flavour of the beef – but try to remove them before adding the potato layer.

You can just add hot water to some commercial stock – but then may not need to add any salt.

Use just enough stock to barely cover the meat and vegetables – they shouldn’t be swimming in it.  The paper layer should make sure that any steam falls back in to the filling.  If the mixture looks too dry during cooking, just add a little more stock.

The aim is to avoid the filling boiling in the oven but just to braise it over a low heat until it is soft and unxious.  If you have a slow cooker, this is ideal for long, slow cooking.

Some people like lots more butter and cream instead of milk in their mashed potatoes.  Black pepper would work just as well but gives the mash dark freckles!

I put the sweated onions, part-cooked carrots, browned mince, star anise, pepper and 2 Knorr beef “Stock Pots” in a plastic bag and vacuum-packed before submerging in the sousvide waterbath at 70 degrees Centigrade for about 12 hours.  After removing the bag from the waterbath, it was plunged in cold water to chill before storing overnight in the fridge. Next day, I made the mashed potato, put the beef in ramekins and topped with the potato before the final oven-cooking.

When multiplying this recipe by 5 and braising in a slow oven for hours, I reduced a whole bottle of red wine and added to the mix to give extra liquid and flavour.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000