Theo’s Family Kitchen

Theo’s Family Kitchen

Theo’s Family Kitchen – Popular chef, columnist, former Masterchef contestant, TV chef and father of three, Theo Michaels, is resident chef on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch and has already published seven cookbooks.  His latest holds the answer to the challenges of feeding a family with easy, yet exciting, recipes and dishes that children can be involved in preparing.  There are tray-bakes, one-pots, fake-away ideas, and special occasion treats. In Theo’s Family Kitchen, you’ll find ideas to suit the fussiest of eaters, veggies, and carnivores alike.  There are also things to satisfy a sweet tooth and make the most of forgotten foods lurking in the freezer or store-cupboard. It’s harback, and published by Ryland, Peters & Small at £20. Photography by Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small

To give you an idea of the book, here are a couple of recipes (and such an easy way to prepare burgers!):   

Tray-Baked Burgers in Buns.   Serves 4

Tray-Baked Burgers in Buns

“I love game-changing recipes like this one. We love burgers in our house and my tray-baked version, where everything is cooked from scratch, makes pulling together an affordable burger dinner for the whole family a cinch! “

 400 g minced beef

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 white onion, grated.

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika.

1 teaspoon salt

4 brioche burger buns, split.

4 slices of Cheddar cheese (not processed burger cheese slices, they will turn into a melted mess!)

4 slices of firm mozzarella cheese

a sticky condiment of your choice (caramelized onions, BBQ sauce or tomato ketchup)

20 g butter, melted.

a high-sided baking pan

Take the minced meat out of the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to start cooking. Preheat the oven to 200∞C fan/220∞C/425∞F/gas 7.

Put the meat in a bowl with the oregano, onion, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Use your hands to bring it all together but don’t overwork it – you want a loose mixture. Divide the mixture into 4 portions of equal size and form into patties just under 1 cm/½ in. thick and the same diameter as your burger buns.

Place the bottom half of the buns into a tight-fitting baking pan, top with a slice of Cheddar cheese, then add the meat patty followed by a slice of mozzarella, then spread your sticky condiment on the top half of the bun and place on top of the burger. Brush the top of the bun with a little melted butter and add a sprinkle of salt.

Tightly cover the baking pan with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the burgers rest for 5 minutes with the foil on. Remove the foil, check the meat is cooked and serve!

NOTE Depending on your oven, how cold the ground meat is and how thick your patties are, cooking times may vary slightly. Always check the burgers are cooked through before serving.

Oven-Baked Broccoli & Blue Cheese Gnocchi. Serves 4

Theo’s Family Kitchen

I love superfast mid-week meals like this one. Gnocchi makes a nice change from pasta, and I have found a way to turn them into a delicious ovenbake here. My cheat’s recipe uses a can of broccoli and Stilton soup to make the sauce, making it really quick to prepare. Serve with a tomato and red onion salad.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced.

1 garlic clove, chopped.

1 small head broccoli, chopped.

800 g ready-made gnocchi

400-g can broccoli and Stilton soup

50 g cream cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season.

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic, and broccoli for a few minutes. Add 250 ml water, cover, and leave to simmer for 6 minutes until the broccoli is cooked and tender.

Remove the lid and add the gnocchi. Pour in the soup, season generously and stir to mix everything together. Bring to a simmer and once simmering, remove from the heat, stir in the cream cheese, and place the pan in the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until the gnocchi is soft and cooked.

Serve with a tomato and red onion salad on the side (if liked) and some crusty bread for mopping up the cheesy sauce.

NOTE If you’ve got any small bits of leftover blue cheese like Stilton lurking in the fridge you can crumble that in instead of adding the cream cheese, it will just give it a stronger flavour.

Gingered Treacle Tart.  Serves 4

Theo’s Family Kitchen

“My gingery treacle tart is a combination of spicy fresh ginger and sweet golden syrup. It’s utterly delicious and best served with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream on the side. This is a take on one of the recipes I cooked during my time taking part in the MasterChef competition.”

1 x Shortcrust Pastry Tart Case/Pie Shell or use a store-bought one if you are short on time.

A pinch of sea salt flakes, to garnish

Vanilla ice cream, to serve.


90 g butter

450 g golden/light corn syrup

90 g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs

2 eggs

1½ tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger.

½ teaspoon lemon juice

25-cm/10-in. tart tin

* You can make the Shortcrust Pastry Case/Pie Shell up to 3 days in advance

Make the pastry case/pie shell.

After baking the pastry, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas 4.

To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over a low heat. Whisk in the golden/corn syrup (keeping the filling slightly warm helps to incorporate the ingredients better). Once combined, remove the pan from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, followed by the beaten eggs and finally, the grated ginger and lemon juice. Mix until combined.

Pour the filling into the pastry case to fill it to the top and bake it in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, there should still be a slight wobble in the middle (but don’t overcook it). Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin/pan for about 1 hour.

Sprinkle a small pinch of sea salt flakes over the top just before serving and serve sliced with scoops of vanilla ice cream on the side.

The Seasoned Gastronome

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