My Week On A Plate: Mimi McMullen

Private chef Mimi McMullen is a name to know on the London catering scene. Having trained at both Leith’s and Ballymaloe, she caters for everything from country weekends to dinner parties, and during the recent lockdowns, took to delivering brownies and cakes across the country. Known for her use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, delicious marinades, sauces, salads and more, here’s what she typically eats in a week…

MONDAY

Breakfast: My go-to breakfast on a Monday morning is always a big bowl of Fruit’n Fibre topped with blueberries, banana and a dollop of Manilife peanut butter. This sets me up for the day and means I can have a much later lunch if needs be. I’ve always been obsessed with peanut butter and am always on the hunt for creative ways to use it. For example, I love making an Asian dressing towards the beginning of the week – think sesame oil, miso, peanut butter, lime juice, ginger and garlic – which I then dip into throughout the week. It’s great with salads as well as raw veg and crackers.

Lunch: When I’m cooking for myself, the less washing up the better. Today, I had a couple of slices of seeded sourdough topped with some leftover pea and mint puree from the weekend. I topped this with bacon, asparagus and blistered cherry tomatoes – it was all made in the same pan. I love my Nutribullet for making smoothies, but people tend to forget you can use it for savoury things, too, be it a quick gazpacho or vegetable dip. 

Supper: I tend to be flat out with catering work from Wednesday through to Sunday evening, so Monday evenings tend to be my night off. My favourite treat is ordering sushi or a poké bowl on Deliveroo – Island Poké is the best. However, I was in the mood to cook today, so had some tuna sashimi with a sesame dressing. I always buy tubs of crispy onions from the supermarket – they are a game-changer when it comes to topping salads and sushi.

Tomato Bruschetta
Sourdough With Pea Puree, Green Beans And Bacon
Tuna Sashimi

TUESDAY

Breakfast: If it’s not my usual bowl of cereal, it’s boiled eggs. Today, I soft boiled some eggs (always Clarence Court Burford Browns) and serve them with homemade guacamole sprinkled with lots of ‘everything but the bagel’ seasoning and rice cakes. I like my boiled eggs cooked for five minutes and 50 seconds, at which point I peel them under cold water and either eat like that or dipped in Maldon salt. It can also help to use a teaspoon to peel your eggs – sliding it under the membrane of the shell calls for a quick and speedy peel.

Lunch: I love a quick lunch that requires minimal cooking as my ovens and pans are usually full or soaking at this stage in the week (any pan you have that’s tough to clean, pour in boiled water with a dishwasher tablet and leave for 15 minutes – it’s a game changer). Today, I made a quick green bean salad with a poached salmon fillet and cherry tomatoes, which I topped with some basil olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. I love this combination and often have it with a couple of Kallo Corn cakes and some cream cheese.

Supper: I had a couple of friends over for an early supper in the garden this evening. I made a delicious open sandwich using a whole loaf of sourdough – I cut it in half, rubbed in lots of crushed garlic and a drizzle of basil oil before baking in the oven. I then topped this with creamy burrata and sliced sirloin steak. I am fussy about my meat and only eat it around three times a week. I love the guys at the Parson’s Nose Butcher in Fulham – Tony and his team ensure all their meat is sustainable and of the highest quality. It’s always a taste sensation.

Burrata And Sirloin Steak Open Sandwich
Poached Salmon With Cherry Tomatoes

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: I started today with a bowl of quinoa porridge with orange zest, grated dark chocolate (70% Lindt is my go-to) and lots of chopped pistachios. I love using coconut milk to make this recipe for the flavour. Don’t be afraid to use alternative grains for porridge – the likes of bulgur wheat and pearl barley also make great substitutes for risotto rice if you’re making a risotto.

Lunch: When tomatoes are in season, there’s nothing better than a plate of homemade bruschetta for lunch. All you need is some great olive oil, salt and pepper. If you have a glut of tomatoes, you can also try cutting big ones, like San Marzano tomatoes, in half, sprinkle with dried mixed herbs, chopped garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil, and cook in a very low oven (ideally around 120°C) for four to six hours.

Supper: I always keep a batch of Thai green curry in the freezer – it freezes beautifully and as long as you reheat it slowly, so the coconut milk doesn’t split, it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I love having it with gem lettuce or sautéed pak choi, but if I fancy some carbs, I’ll make some of my ginger basmati rice, which is so simple and adds a bit more flavour to the meal. Simply add large slices of ginger to the rice while it’s boiling and let the flavours infuse until it’s ready to serve. Another great freezer recipe I often make in batches is Anna Jones’ crispy sweet potato dhal, which I serve with a coconut chutney.

Quinoa Porridge With Orange Zest And Dark Chocolate
Thai Green Chicken Curry

THURSDAY

Breakfast: I woke up early this morning so made a loaf of oat bread using jumbo oats, yoghurt, one egg and a little treacle, and had a couple of slices with butter and Bovril for breakfast. It’s such a great recipe and is so versatile – you can also slice it thinly and bake it low and slow to make cheese biscuits, or try adding your favourite seeds, nuts and dried fruit. During the first lockdown, I sent hundreds of these loaves all over the UK, alongside brownies, flapjacks and chocolate chip cookies, which helped me raise some money for the NHS.

Lunch: I’m in the office today and there are lots of salads to be used up, so I put together a bowl of several of these. My favourite is roasted aubergines with a chilli and garlic pickle topped with crumbly feta. Nothing beats a summer lunch with lots of different things to choose from.

Supper: I love cooking Mexican food for clients during the summer months, and my chimichurri is no exception. Tonight, I served my chimichurri with maple-glazed sweet potatoes, roast lamb and guacamole. Chimichurri is such a great sauce to keep in the fridge – I make mine with half a cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, half a cup of finely chopped parsley, a quarter of a cup of chopped coriander, four minced cloves of garlic, finely chopped chillies, a teaspoon of dried oregano and salt and pepper to taste. 

Aubergines With Chilli And Garlic Pickle
Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes And Roast Lamb
Oat Loaf

FRIDAY

Breakfast: I haven’t eaten as much fruit as I’d have liked to this week, so I made a fruit-laden smoothie to tick all the nutritional boxes. I put banana, spirulina, spinach and peanut butter in a blender and add some berries for a touch of sweetness. I am also a big fan of making my own kombucha and water kefir – my little fermentation station in my kitchen makes me so happy. I try to start each morning with a glass of my home brew, which is great for gut health.

Lunch: I am catering for a 60th birthday lunch today, so manage to get some leftovers of the main course – grilled pork chops with griddled courgettes, cabbage and tenderstem broccoli drizzled in a green goddess dressing. Pudding was mini almond-based berry tartlets, and I managed to sneak one of these, too.

Supper: It wasjust me and my housemate at home this evening and we both fancied something simple. Ottolenghi has long been an inspiration for me, and he is one of my all-time favourite chefs. This evening, I make his blistered tomatoes on yoghurt, which I serve with a bake-at-home French baguette – these are great to keep in the cupboard. 

Almond Berry Tartlets
Blistered Tomatoes On Yoghurt
Pork Chops With Green Goddess Dressing

SATURDAY

Brunch: A slower morning for me today, so I took the time to enjoy a leisurely brunch, which is often made using leftovers from the week. Today, I had scrambled eggs, leftover leek and spinach fritters, halloumi, bacon and asparagus. I try hard to avoid food waste – my housemate and I often challenge each other to use every last bit of the food we buy, which can lead to some interesting creations.

Supper: Saturday evenings call for a bowl of carbonara. Despite the misconception, you don’t always need to use cream – simply use the pasta water to emulsify the sauce of parmesan and eggs. 

Carbonara
Scrambled Eggs With Leeks And Spinach Fritters


SUNDAY

Breakfast: Sunday mornings are all about pancakes. I made some banana and oat pancakes today – using my Nutribullet to make the batter – and served them with coconut yoghurt, blueberries and a drizzle of honey made from my sister-in-law’s bees. Pancakes may sound complicated but are actually so simple if you have the right equipment. I also put a teaspoon of the honey in my coffee.

Lunch: I slow cooked a shoulder of lamb marinated with capers, garlic and rosemary, and served this with slow-cooked tomatoes, and a green bean and asparagus salad with orange zest and fennel. I love lamb as an option for a roast, especially when it’s slow cooked so that it pulls tenderly apart. Lamb holds flavour particularly well and is a good option in the spring and summer months.

Supper: I made a salad bowl featuring the leftover green salad from lunch as well as some chopped toasted hazelnuts. I love this salad and make it often – you can play around with the greens and if you’re in a rush, use peas straight from the freezer. It also makes a great picnic salad with added pine nuts, flaked almonds and dried cranberries.

For more information visit MissMimisKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram @MissMimisKitchen

Banana And Oat Pancakes
Slow Roasted Lamb
Green Bean And Asparagus Salad

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