Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Falafel Burger with Hummus

by Paul Rankin
Serves 4

Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour


For the burgers
250g/9oz chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander seed
6 tbsp chopped parsley
½ tsp chilli powder
2 rounded tbsp plain flour
1 tsp salt
Oil for deep fat frying

For the hummus and tahini sauce
125g/4½oz hummus
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
4 large rolls (or hamburger buns)
1 fat tomato, sliced
1 red onion sliced
4 leaves butter lettuce
To accompany
salad or fries, or sautéed potatoes

1. Drain the chickpeas thoroughly and pulse in the food processor until lightly broken up.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until you have the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Gently form into patties approx. 10cm/4in in diameter by 2½cm/1in. thick.
3. Fry in hot oil at 180C/350F for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp or golden.
4. For the hummus and tahini sauce simply whisk together all the ingredients. If you prefer a lighter sauce add a little water until it is the preferred consistency.
5. To serve, split and warm the rolls. Place in the top of each roll a leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and some red onions.
6. Place the falafel burger on the bottom side of the roll, and some of the sauce.
7. Either serve side by side on a plate, or built up as a burger on a plate with your choice of accompaniment.
8. Cook and refrigerate or freeze any left over burgers for a quick and easy snack.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cumberland Sauce

by Lucas Hollweg

Goes well with Ham, Goose and Turkey.

1 Orange
Half a Lemon
2 Shallots, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of Redcurrant Jelly
50ml Port
1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Ground Ginger.

1) Zest the Orange and Lemon.
2) Put the Zest in a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 4 minutes. (this gets rid of the bitterness) Then drain.
3) Juice the Orange and Lemon
4) Place the Shallots in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 1 minute, then drain and squeeze out as much water as possible.
5) Melt the Jelly, then add in the Port, Zest and shallots. Simmer for a minute or 2.
6) Add the fruit juice, Mustard and Ginger, mix well.

Can be used hot or cold.

Braised Red Cabbage

by Lucas Hollweg

As suggested, this is best cooked the day before it is needed.

2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1 Onion, finely sliced
1 Red Cabbage, quartered, core removed, sliced into 5mm strips
1 Clove
5cm strip of Orange Zest
2 medium Apples, peeled, cored, quartered, then cut each quarter into 4 slices
50ml Red Wine Vinegar
125ml Red Wine
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3-4 tablespoons Redcurrant Jelly
2 Juniper Berries, crushed
2 Bay Leaves
Quarter teaspoon ground Cinnimon
Freshly Ground Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 170c.
2) Melt the butter in a large ovenproof casserole (with lid) and sweat the onion until they soften.
3)Add the Cabbage and stir to coat with the onion and butter.
4) Push the Clove into the Zest and add this along with the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Season gently.
5) Cover with tinfoil and the lid.
6) Cook for 2 hours, stiring every 20 minutes. (add some more wine if it starts to dry out)
7) After an hour and a half, taste it to see how the seasoning is. Add more sugar/vinegar etc if needed.
8) When it has finished cooking, remove the Zest and Clove and allow it to cool.
9) Refrigerate if using the next day.
10) Reheat it gently when needed, adding a bit of liquid so it doesn't burn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Spinach, Coconut & Lentil Dahl

200g split red lentils
400ml water
400ml coconut milk
250g finely chopped onions
75g dairy free non-hydrogenated vegan margarine,
5 garlic cloves-thinly sliced
2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon whole vegan mustard seeds
4 cloves
3 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 thick slices fresh unpeeled ginger
450g fresh, peeled & roughly chopped tomatoes
300g spinach
lots of ground black pepper
juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander
2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
1 teaspoon salt
Fry the onion in 50g of the margerine until golden. Add half of the sliced garlic, cumin, mustard seeds & cloves. Cook gently for about 5 mins. Stir in the turmeric and chili powder until well blended.

Add the lentils, water, coconut milk, ginger, tomatoes & spinach (I use the frozen spinach). Bring to a simmer, add pepper and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 - 40 mins or until the lentils are soft and have dissolved into the liquid.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Melt the remaining margerine in a small pan. When it gets frothy, add the rest of the garlic and stir until it starts to colour. Add this to the lentil mix.

Add the lime juice, corriander, mint and salt. Cover with lid and leave to sit for 10 mins. Remove ginger chunks and serve with nann vegan bread or any other type of flat bread.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30-40 mins

Friday, December 16, 2005

Beef rarebit

by Brian Turner
from Ready Steady Cook

Serves 1

For the steak
150g/5½oz beef steak
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
For the rarebit sauce
1 tbsp butter
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
15g/½ oz blue cheese, crumbled
For the turned tomatoes
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
150ml/5fl oz hot oil
1 sliced tomato

1. To prepare the beef, rub the steak with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Place the steak in a hot griddle pan and turn over after two minutes. Cook for a further three minutes.
3. Leave the steak to rest for 2-3 minutes.
4. For the rarebit sauce, in a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat.
5. Add the cream and mustard and reduce for three minutes.
6. Add the cheese and stir until melted (roughly for 1 minute).
7. For the turned tomatoes, in a medium sized bowl mix the flour and the curry powder and the thyme.
8. Slice the tomato and dip into the flour mix.
9. In a medium frying pan or deep fat fryer, heat the oil on a hot heat and shallow-fry.
10. To serve, place the steak in the middle of the plate with the tomatoes on the side, spooning over the sauce.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Roast Butternut Squash "cakes"

1 Whole Butternut Squash
Unsalted Butter or Ghee
Freshly ground Cumin Seeds

1] Preheat oven to 200c.
2] Put the Squash.
3] Baked for about 40 minutes, until the skin starts to feel soft.
4] Remove Squash and let it cool for a few minutes.
5] With a sharp knife slice the squash into 2 cm thick roundals. Carefully remove the skin. (You should be able to pull it off, but use a knife to trim any pithy bits off).
6] Heat the Butter or Ghee and fry the 'cakes' seasoning with the cumin.
7] You should end up with a nice brown crispy crust.

I forgot to take a pic, so this is the sort of slice I mean.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pigeon Breasts with Madeira and Cream sauce.

2/3 skinless Pigeon Breasts per person
Plain Flour
Fresh Salt and Pepper
English Mustard powder
Butter (Clarified preferably)
Some rich Stock (Demi-glace) or Duck Stock
Whipping Cream

1] Butterfly the breasts and coat them in the flour, salt, pepper and mustard.
2] Fry the Breasts in the Butter and Oil for a few minutes each side.
3] Keep the cooked Breasts warm, do them in batches so as not to crowd the pan.
4] Deglaze the pan with a good glug of Madeira (warm it before adding it to the pan).
5] Add in your stock, again warmed first.
6] Reduce the mix down by half/third and stir in the Cream off the heat.
7] Further reduce to a texture you are happy with.

Cutting the breasts in two helps them cook evenly, as the breasts tend to take on the shape of rugby balls (if left whole) when you start cooking them.

Expect the sauce to take at least 10 minutes.

Breast of Pigeon with a Balsamic and Red Wine Jus

Breast of Pigeon, Celeriac Rosti, Roasted Garlic Scented Puy Lentils finished with a Balsamic and Red Wine Jus

2 pc pigeon breast
1 cup Puy lentils
2 pc shallot
3 pc garlic cloves
2 cups chicken stock

1 pc celeriac
1 pc egg

100 ml balsamic vinegar
200 ml red wine


Roasted Garlic Scented Puy Lentils:

Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pre-heated oven (180°C) until softened: approximately 8 minutes
Remove, allow to cool and set aside
Sweat the shallots in a little butter or olive oil until softened
Add the puy lentils and cook gently for 2 - 3 minutes
Add enough of the fresh chicken stock to barley cover the lentils, bring to a boil and turn heat down to simmer
Add the garlic cloves and continue simmering until the lentils are cooked; adding more stock as required
Remove and discard the garlic cloves
Keep warm until required
Celeriac Rosti:

Peel the celeriac and grate into a bowl
Season and add a little beaten egg to bind
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan
Add the grated celeriac to form two rosti, gently cook until golden brown
Turn over and cook second side until golden brown and the celeriac is cooked
Remove from pan, drain and keep warm until required
Pigeon Breast and Jus:

Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a pan
Lightly dust the breasts with seasoned flour
Place the breasts in the pan and cook for 2 - 3 minutes each side (the breast must remain pink in the middle)
Remove from pan and set aside
Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and reduce until almost dry
Add the red wine and reduce by half
Taste and sweeten with a little honey if required
Add the pigeon breasts back in to coat and heat through
To serve:

Mound the lentils in the centre of the plate
Place a rosti on top
Place the breast on top of the rosti (may be sliced or cut in half if preferred)
Drizzle some of the jus on top and around the plate
Top with a sprig of rosemary or mint

Warm salad of Pigeon

by Neil Forbes

Serves 4
Preparation time less than 30 mins
Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

4 plump Pigeon breasts, skinned
200g Lardons
2 New Potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
3 handfuls of a selection of Salad Leaves
100ml Walnut Oil
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
50ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a few sprigs of Thyme
a few Garlic Cloves
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Fry the lardons in half the olive oil until crisp and then set aside.
2. In the same pan, add a little more oil and fry the potatoes, set aside with the lardons in a warm place.
3. In a bowl, combine the mustard with the extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil and red wine vinegar.
4. In the frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and cook the pigeon breasts with the garlic and thyme, turning and seasoning as they cook. The breasts don't take long, 2-3 minutes each side maximum. Cover and allow to rest.
5. Combine the salad leaves, ¾ of the dressing, lardons, potatoes and seasoning in a large bowl and serve on four large plates.
6. Cut the pigeon breasts into thin slices and arrange over the salad. Sprinkle over some sea salt and the remainder of the dressing. Serve immediately.

Seared Pigeon Breasts in Sweet Wine

Seared Pigeon Breasts in Sweet Wine, with Rosemary-Infused Chestnuts

Serves 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time: 35 minutes

3 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
12 pigeon breasts
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
½ tbsp chopped rosemary
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
375ml bottle dessert wine

Rosemary-Infused chestnuts
200g vacuum-packed whole chestnuts
150ml olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, bruised

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the carrot and onion until soft and slightly coloured. Leave to cool completely.

Put the pigeon into a bowl or plastic bag with the onion and carrot, the chilli, rosemary, garlic, seasoning, 2 tbsp olive oil and the wine. Cover or seal. Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cook the pigeon breasts, drain from the marinade. Pour the marinade into a pan, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20 minutes or until reduced by half. A foam will develop initially but this will disperse. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the chestnuts in a saucepan, cover with olive oil and add the rosemary. Heat up very gently until the oil is warm but not hot. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 15 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon.

Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat until smoking. In batches, sear the pigeon breasts for 3 minutes each side (they should still be pink). Serve with the sauce and the chestnuts.

Pan-fried Breasts of Wood Pigeon

Pan-fried Breasts of Wood Pigeon, served with Red Wine Sauce and Blueberries
Raymond Blanc


4 wood pigeons, breasts removed
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
15 g (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon groundnut oil

For the Sauce:
chopped pigeon carcasses
4 tablespoons groundnut oil
1/4 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 celery stalk, diced
1 tablespoon plain flour
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) port
300 ml (10 fl oz) full-bodied red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 juniper berry
1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly

For the Garnish:
80 g (3 1/4 oz) blueberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

COOKING TIME: 40 minutes

1) Marinating the pigeon breasts
Mix the ingredients for the marinade together. Turn the breasts of pigeon over in the marinade. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2) Making the sauce
In a large casserole, brown the pigeon carcasses in very hot oil for about 5-6 minutes. Add the diced vegetables and continue to brown for a further 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, spoon out any fat, sprinkle with the flour and stir. Add the port and red wine and top up with water until the pigeon carcasses are completely covered.

Bring to the boil, skim off any impurities, and add the thyme and juniper berry. simmer for half an hour, then strain and boil to reduce down until the sauce has reached the right consistency (about 200 ml/7 fl oz in volume). Taste, season with salt and pepper and add the redcurrant jelly, then reserve.

3) Cooking the blueberry garnish
In a small saucepan mix together the blueberries, sugar and water. Cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes. Reserve and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) Gas 5.

4) Cooking the pigeon breasts
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until very hot. Pat dry, sear and brown the pigeon breasts for 30 seconds on each side. Pat dry, season with salt and pepper and cook in the preheated oven for a further 3 minutes.

Remove the breasts from the oven and rest in a warm place for 2-3 minutes, loosely covered with aluminium foil.

5) Serving
Reheat the sauce. Warm a large serving dish. Remove the skin from the breasts and put aside. Place the breasts on the serving dish, pour over the sauce and scatter the warm blueberries around. Serve to your guests.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Baked Sea Bass in salt

2-pound sea bass, cleaned, leaving head and tail intact2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
3 1/2 cups coarse salt (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water plus additional if necessary

Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Rinse sea bass under cold water and pat dry inside and out. Sprinkle cavity of bass with 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and pepper.

With a sharp knife trim ends of lemon to expose flesh and, standing lemon on one end, cut from top to bottom to remove peel and pith. Cut lemon crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange in cavity.

Preheat oven to 450°F. and lightly oil a baking pan.

In a bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon, coarse salt, and flour. Stir in 1 cup warm water plus additional as necessary to form a slightly stiff paste (paste should resemble wet sand).

Arrange bass in oiled pan. Coat top of bass completely with half of salt mixture, patting it on, and turn bass over. Coat other side in same manner (bass should be completely covered).

Bake bass in middle of oven 30 minutes. Crack salt crust with a sharp knife or hammer and remove top crust, discarding it. To serve,lift bass in pieces off bones and discard bones. Lift out remaining bass. Serve bass with lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

Foil-wrapped Baked Sea Bass with Buerre Blanc

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 x 800g sea bass, scaled, cleaned, heads removed
30g butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Beurre blanc sauce
2 shallots, very finely chopped
100ml dry white wine
50ml fine white wine vinegar
170g unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

Put the shallots, wine and vinegar in a small pan over a low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 tbsp of liquid. Set aside.

Take two large sheets of foil and brush the centre of each with the olive oil. Put one bass on each sheet.

Combine the melted butter and lemon juice. Rub half this mixture over both fish, then spoon the remainder into their cavities. Lightly season. Bring the foil up over the fish and crumple the edges to make baggy but airtight parcels. Put on a baking sheet. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.

When the fish is cooked, open the parcels. Remove the skin by cutting through it above the tail then peeling it off. Turn the fish over and repeat the process. Re-wrap and keep warm while you finish the sauce.

When ready to serve, gently reheat the wine mix until warm, not hot. Over a gentle heat, briskly whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, so it forms an emulsion. Continue until all the butter is used and you have a thinnish sauce. Take off the heat and season.

To serve, lift the first fillet from each fish, pull away the spine and remove the second fillet beneath. Serve with the beurre blanc and new potatoes.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Glazed Carrots

4 carrots
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons sugar

1] Peel carrots and cut them into chunks.
2] Steam the carrots until they soften a little.
3] Put the carrots in an oven proof dish and add the butter and sugar.
4] Bake in the oven until they start to brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Ginger Carrots

6 carrots cut into chunks
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoon salt
Ginger to taste
Fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

1] Butter an oven proof dish.
2] Grate the ginger, and mix it with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3] Coat the carrots in the mixture and dot some butter on top.
4] Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until they are tender.

You can speed this up by steaming the carrots for a while.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Butter and Olive Oil
4/5 Shallots
2 Garlic Gloves
2 Green Chilli
2 Red Chilli
1 inch of Fresh Ginger
Chicken, cooked and broken up
Chicken Stock
Egg Noodles
Juice of 1 Lime
Fresh Coriander

1) Chop the Shallots and slowly fry them in some butter and oil.
2) When the Shallots are starting to get sweet, add the chopped Garlic, Chilli and Ginger.
3) Fry these for a few minutes, but watch that the Garlic doesn't burn and go bitter.
4) Add in the Chicken and fry for a few minutes.
5) Pour in the Stock (it's a good idea to warm thhis in a microwave or in a pan). Top up with boiling water if it needs bulking up.
6) Bubble away for a few minutes so the Chicken warms through, then add the Noodles.
7) Cook at a high simmer for about 5 minutes until the Noodles are cooked.
8) Add in the lime juice and stir it in. Taste for flavour.
9) Serve in warm bowls with Corriander sprinkled on top.
10) Deliver to the table with napkins.

Baked Leeks in mustard sauce

350g Small Leeks, trimmed washed and cut in half
Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper
50g Unsalted Butter
50g Plain Flour
425ml Milk
175g Cheddar Cheese, grated
25g Parmesan Cheese, grated
15g Wholegrain Mustard
15g Dijon mustard
5g English mustard
2 tbsp fresh white breadcurmbs
25g grated Cheddar Cheese

1] Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan oven).
2] Place the leeks in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and put under cold water immediately to refresh and stop them cooking.
3] Place the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan and slowly bring up to the boil and whisk all the time. Once it is up to the boil, reduce the heat and let it just simmer for 2 minutes.
4] Add the grated cheddar and parmesan and then the mustards. Season with Salt and Pepper.
5] Put the Leeks into a shallow buttered serving dish and pour over the sauce.
6] Mix the breadcrumbs and the Cheese together and scatter over the top of the leeks.
7] Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
8] Let them sit for a few minutes.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Grilled Garlic Swordfish Steaks

2 pounds swordfish steaks (about 4 - 1 inch thick steaks)
1 Tbsp. butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup white white
1 lemon, cut in half

Melt butter. Add garlic and cook till garlic starts to change color. Add white wine and pepper. Brush swordfish steaks with marinade, then place on a hot grill. Cook about 4 minutes per side or until the fish flakes, basting frequently.
Place swordfish steaks on a platter. Squeeze lemon juice onto steaks and serve hot.

This recipe also works great with salmon or any larger fish that you can cut into steaks.

Tuna crusted with coriander and peppercorns

Adapted from the Sea Fish Authority
Serves 4

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

4 Tuna or Swordfish steaks
25g Peppercorns (Plain Black, or mixed)
2 Tablespoons of Coriander Seeds
Olive Oil

1] Roughly crush the Peppercorns and Coriander in a pestle and mortar.
2] Brush the tuna with the oil. Spoon the crushed seeds over the tuna steaks and press into the flesh lightly.
3] Heat the griddle pan over a high heat.
4] Griddle the tuna for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Leek Risotto

Serves 4

Time 1 hour

300g Risotto Rice
4 Shallots
3 Leeks
2 Garlic Cloves
120g Parmesan cheese
Glass of White Wine
Chicken or Vegetable stock (400ml approx)

1) Slice the Leeks and slow fry them in butter, as slow and long as you can, until they start to go translucent and caramalised. 20 minutes would be good.
2) Set the Leeks aside, add a little more butter. Cook the diced Chorizo and sliced Shallots until they soften.
3) Turn up the heat and add the Rice, stir around for a few minutes until the rice goes translucent.
4) Add the Wine and stir until the Rice has absorbed the liquid.
5) Gradually add the stock in batches, stirring gently.
6) When the Rice is still al dente, add the cooked Leeks, a little Butter and the Parmesan, mix it in and serve immediately.
7) Serve with some fresh Basil as garnish.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Chicken Liver Pate

We all borrow recipes from great communicators, and I think Nigel Slater is one of the best down-to-earth writers I have ever read. So I am not changing much of his recipe, a bit more brandy, a bit more butter, and I tend to overload the pan with more livers than is probably proper, sorry Nigel.

500g Chicken Livers - Some butchers do them fresh/frozen in big bags, otherwise just use the ones they have frozen in pots. Defrost. Check over the livers and trim off any dark green bits. I have found that the ones in pots give a subtler flavour as apposed to free range ones from the butcher.

150g Unsalted Butter
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Cream - Single or Double or Whipping (each gives a different taste/texture)

1] Put the Livers in a glass/ceramic bowl and cover them in Milk (This removes any bitterness). Leave for 30 minutes.
2] Drain off the milk, let the livers sit in the collander to lose as much milk as possible. (I have not thought up a way of using the bitter milk... let me know if you find a way, seems such a waste).
1] Heat a third of the butter in a big pan and heat until bubbling.
2] Add the livers and fry over a medium heat until they colour up. (the trick here is to not over cook them, you still want pink in the middle to give the Pate that wonderful colour)
3] Tip the Livers into the food processor, add in Salt, Pepper and Butter and give it a blitz.
4] Deglace the pan with the Brandy and add this into the processor, blitz.
5] Pour the lovely warm rich smelling stuff into the sieve and use a wooden spoon/spactuala to mash the warm mix through the sieve. This gives it wonderful velvet texture.
6] Spoon into whatever dishe(s) you want to serve the Pate in. Place in the fridge for no more than 30 minutes (put the kitchen timer on).
7] Melt a little more butter to pour over the Pate to seal it.

Fry the livers in butter, I have propbably overcrowded the pan here.

Put the livers into a amply sized food processer straight from the pan.

Deglaze the pan with some brandy.

Blitz till smooth.

Strain the Pate to get it velvety.

These are the grainy bits you want to lose.

I like to put them in small pots, and freeze the ones not to be used right away.
Unfrozen they will last a couple of days in the fridge.

Roasted Pumpkin with Red Onions

Roasted Pumpkin with Red Onions

600g Whole Pumpkin
2 Red Onions
Fresh Sage
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Maple Syrup (or Brown Sugar)
Sea Salt

1) Preheat oven to 200c.
2) Peel the Squash, deseed and cut into 8 slices.
3) Peel the onions, half them from top to tail, then cut each half into 3, top to tail, chunks.
4) Put the Onions, Pumpkin, sage (a good handful, but depends on how strong it is) into a roasting tray,
5) Mix up the Garlic, Olive Oil, Balsamic and Maple Syrup (I will leave the quantities to your taste, but lets say 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon of Balsamic and 2 teaspoons of Syrup - If you are using sugar instead of Syrup, just sprinkle a good tablespoon over the vegetables in the tray).
6) Massage this mixture all over the vegetables.
7) Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Pumkin and Goats Cheese Gratin

Pumkin and Goats Cheese Gratin

900g Whole Pumpkin
25g Unsalted Butter
Fresh Black Pepper and Sea Salt
250g Goats Cheese log
Parmesan Cheese

1) Preheat oven to 200c
2) Deal with the Pumpkin by peeling, deseeding and chopping it into chunks.
3) Boil the Pumpkin in plenty of water until it is tender.
4) Drain the Pumpkin, throw it back in the pan and mash it with the butter and salt/pepper to taste.
5) Butter an ovenproof dish and put in a layer of half the Pumpkin mix.
6) Slice the Goats Cheese and layer it over the Pumpkin.
7) Cover the Goats cheese with the remaining Squash.
8) Grate a generous amount of Parmesan.
9) Bake in the oven until it gets a lovely golden crust, 20-30 minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Lime

1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger root
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 c. peeled, seeded and thinly sliced butternut squash
2 c. canned chicken broth
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. about 1 1/2 inch long julienne strips peeled fresh ginger root
4 thin decoratively cut lime slices

In a large saucepan, cook the onion and the ginger root in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and add the squash, the broth, 2 cups water, and the garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the mixture covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash is tender. Puree the mixture in batches in a blender or food processor and transfer the puree to the pan.
Stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper to table and reheat the soup over moderately low heat until it is hot. The soup may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
In a small skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it fry the ginger root, stirring for 1 minute or until it is pale golden. Transfer ginger root to paper towels to drain. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, float a lime slice on each serving and top it with some of the fried ginger root. Makes 6 cups, serving 4.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pasta and Blue Cheese

100g Pasta per person
Blue Cheese
White Breadcrumbs
Olive Oil

1) Put the water on to boil.
2) Heat some Olive Oil in a pan.
3) Gently fry the breadcrumbs until golden brown.
4) Cook the pasta till al dente.
5) Drain the Pasta and drop the blue cheese into the hot pasta pan.
6) Mix in the Pasta and coat it in the melting cheese.
7) Sprinkle the Breadcrumbs over the top and serve.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Veal Stock (demi)

Veal bones
Tomato Paste
Plain Flour

1] Wash the bones and pat them dry.
2] Lay them out into an oiled roasting tray.
3] Rub a little bit of Tomato Paste over all the bones.
4] Sprinkle some Flour over the bones.
5] Put the tray in a preheated oven, 180c.

Baked Mushrooms

1 really big Mushroom per person
Onion or Shallots (or Leeks, see below)
White Wine
Parmesan Cheese
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter

1] Take the storks off the Mushroom and chop finely.
2] Finely chop the Onion/Shallots.
3] Heat the butter in a pan and gently fry the chopped Mushroom stalks and Onion/Shallots until they get a good colour (don't let them burn).
3a] You can add in the chopped Garlic here, or with the wine, both taste good to me, it depends how you like your garlic. Frying it a little will temper it, putting it in with the wine will keep its bite.
4] Add some wine and simmer the alchohol off.
5] Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream.
6] Wipe the outsides of the mushroom with Olive Oil and put on an oiled baking tray.
7] Put a slice of butter in the well of the mushroom.
8] Generously fill the mushroom with the mixture from the pan.
9] Top the mushroom with chunks of Parmesan.
10] Bake in the oven until the cheese starts to brown, about 15 minutes.

Serve up with a nice salad. These are really filling and don't need much else.

Variations: Use leeks instead of the Onion. Slow cook them in butter for 20+ minutes so they get nice and sweet before adding in the chopped Mushroom stalks, and gently fry for another 10 minutes.

Finely chop the Mushroom stalks and Onion/Shallots.

Gently fry them in some unsalted butter or Ghee... No burning them remember, makes for a horrid bitter taste.

Take the pan off the heat, wait for 30 seconds, then slowly stir the cream in. Not like I did here and dump it all in at once.

A generous slice of Unsalted Butter, oh look, there is the Garlic I forgot to put in.

I favour really good chunks of Parmesan, none of that grating business.

No pic of the final cooked thing, it got eaten too soon.
I will do an update.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fresh Tuna with Oloroso Sherry

Adapted from the Moro Cookbook

Serves 4
2 hours start to finish

4 Fresh Tuna Steaks (Look for purple/shiny flesh, not grey)
2 Garlic cloves crushed
300ml Oloroso Sherry
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 large Red Onions
Flat leaf Parsley
1 Fresh Lemon
Fresh Black Pepper, Sea Salt

1) Rub the Garlic all over the Tuna and pour over 100ml of the Sherry.
2) Cover and put in the fridge for an hour before cooking.
3) Heat the Olive Oil in a a large pan over a medium heat.
4) Cook slowly for at least 30-40 minutes.
5) Pour off any excess Olive Oil and add the Sherry.
6) Simmer until the whole lot thickens. Take off the heat.
7) Heat a pan on high heat and add a little Olive Oil.
8) Fry both sides until nearly cooked to your taste.
9) Add the marinade and Onions and warm through.
10) Serve up with the Parsley and Lemon chunks.

Marinade the Tuna in Sherry and Garlic.

Slow fry the Onions.

Heat your Griddle pan up, yes upside down, get it really hot.

Drain the marinade into the Onions and give it a good fast boil.

Fry off the Tuna, then let it sit in the Onions, off the heat, for a few minutes before serving.

Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade

8oz Dark Soy Sauce
1 Garlic Clove
1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small Onion finely chopped
Fresh Black Pepper

I have a thing called a Micro Grater which does a lovely job of "juicing" the garlic and ginger for this sauce. Alternatively, you can whiz them in a food processor, or just chop them very finely by hand.

Mix everything up and let it stand for at least an hour.

Works well as a marinade for chicken, beef and meaty fish such as Swordfish.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Kangaroo Steaks with Red Wine Sauce

1 glass of dry red wine
Finely chopped fresh Chives
1 Garlic Glove, crushed
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 Kangaroo fillet steaks
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Some Double Cream for the sauce

Serves 4

1] Mix up the wine, chives, garlic and onion in a glass/ceramic dish.
2] Put in the Kangaroo steaks and rub the marinade all over them.
3] Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, overnight would be fine.
4] Drain the meat and keep the marinade.
5) Heat the oil and cook the steaks, turning occassionally for about 3-4 minutes for medium cooked.
6) Put the meat in a low oven to keep warm.
7) Lower the heat under the pan and add the cream and marinade to the pan juices. Reduce this for a few minutes until it has thickened up.
8) Serve right away.

Important! There is hardley any fat in Kangaroo, so if overcooked it will go dry and leathery, not much fun to eat. The point of putting them in a warn oven while you do the sauce is to let the meat rest, which makes for much more juicier tastier meat.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Steak au Poivre (Peppercorn Steak)

From the marvelous Les Halles Cookbook by Antony Bourdain
Serves 4

4 225g Steaks (Sirloin or Filet Mignon)
50ml Olive Oil
Freshly cracked Peppercorns (enough to totally coat the steaks)
100g Unsalted Butter
30ml Cognac
100ml Strong, Dark Stock (in order of preference, Veal, Beef, Chicken)
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1] Get the oven on at 220c.
2] Crack the Peppercorns in a pestle and mortar, you want big lumps, not finely ground.
3] Dampen the Steaks with a tiny coating of Olive Oil, and coat them in the cracked Peppercorns. Don't hold back, use as much Pepper as you can to cover the meat.
4] Heat the Olive Oil in a heavy bottomed pan, ideally a cast iron skillet. Get the oil hot, then add the butter. (if, like me, you only have a skillet that will take two steaks at a time, split the oil/butter/frying into two batches - Whatever you do, avoid overloading the pan)
5] Brown off the Steaks, say 5 minutes each side

Heat the skillet upside down over the hob for a few minutes, this helps to get the heat going right through the metal, and makes for a more consistent cooking temperature.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


2 tins of Chickpeas (Use 'no salt added' if you can get them - This is based on a tin being 425g)
4 Garlic Cloves
4-6 tablespoons Olive Oil
4-8 tablespoons of Tahini paste (They are all different, so use tongue to test)
Juice of at least 1 fresh Lemon
Fresh ground Pepper

1) Drain the Chickpeas (save the liquid in case you need to loosen the mix) and put them in a food processor.
2) Add the Garlic, black pepper, a little Lemon juice, a little Olive oil and some Tahini.
3) Whiz this for a few moments, until you get a rough, but mixed, texture.
4) Taste it. Usually one of the flavours, Tahini, pepper, Lemon, will stand out too much, so use your judgement when adding the rest of the ingredients.

Many spices can be added for fun.
Smoked Paprika either mixed in or just sprinkled on the top when you serve.
Roasted and ground cumin.
Cayenne Pepper.
Ground Coriander.
Fresh chopped Parsley.

Deluxe version
To get a velvety smooth version, spend some time removing the skins from the Chickpeas. Do this by rubbing them together between your palm in a bowl of water. The skins will rise to the surface. It is a real pain, but it does give an amazingly smooth Hummus, something purists will be dead against.

Rustic version
Instead of using a food processor, use a fork, damn hard work, but you end up with a much more texture version, something the purists will applaud.

Update: I was told by a friend the other day that she adds some carbonated water to the mix, she swears by it...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Crispy Duck

This needs to sit for at least 24 hours, so plan ahead...

1 Fresh Duck
10cm Ginger Root sliced up
A bunch of Spring Onions roughly chopped
Cornflour or Plain Flour
Groundnut Oil for deep frying

2 tablespoons Five Spice Powder
75g Sichuan Peppercorns
30g Black Pepercorns
4 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
200g Sea Salt

1) Put the marinade together, then rub it all over the duck, inside and out.
2) Wrap the duck in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
3) Take the duck out and brush off the marinade.
4) Fill the ducks cavity with the ginger and spring onions.
5) Steam the duck gently for two hours. Use a wok with a lid, they tend to be about the right size and shape for a duck.
6) Drain the duck, remove the ginger and spring onions and let the duck rest for two hours.
(You can put it in the fridge for use later, after it has cooled)
7) Cut the duck into quarters and lightly dust with flour.
8) Heat the oil until nearly smoking.
9) Fry the duck quarters until crisp - Breasts for 8-10 minutes, Thighs for 12-15 minutes.
10) Drain the duck on kitchen towels and when cool enough, shred the meat off.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Mustard Seeded Fish

Serves 4

800g White fish fillets cubed

For the paste
1 tablespoon of grated Ginger
2 Garlic cloves grated or crushed
1 Green Chilli sliced (More if you like)
1 teaspoon of Turmeric
Salt to taste

2 tablespoons of Groundnut Oil
1 tablespoon of Five Spice
1 teaspsoon of Mustard Seeds
2 Tomatoes finely chopped
200ml Stock (Vegatable or Fish)

1 teaspoon of Ground Cumin
Cayenne (to taste)
Half a teaspoon of Sugar

Finely chooped Coriander leaves to garnish

1) Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the Mustard Seeds and Five Spice until the seeds start to "pop".

2) Add the paste and stir gently for 3 minutes.

3) Add the Fish and Tomatoes and coat them in the paste.

4) Add the stock, Cumin, Cayenne and Sugar and simmer for 5 minutes, until the Fish is cooked.

5) Serve with the Coriander sprinkled over.

A good nutty brown rice goes well with this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Herbie Creamed Ricotta, Toasted Pine Nuts and Parmaggio (Ravioli filling)

(Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe)

1 pack of ricotta [typically 450g]
150g of grated parmaggio/parmesan
50-100g of roasted pine nuts [depends on your mood and how strong the ricotta/parmaggio is. Mix in some nuts and taste - its about the balance of nut vs cheese]. Oh, and don't burn those babies, just brown them. Do not take your eyes off them for a moment as you dry fry them. Roasting in the oven works to, but difficult to look at them in there.
Lots of basil [again, do the mix and taste] if you have other fresh herbs, add some to, try flat leaf parsley, sage... Whatever you have fresh to hand.
Crushed peppercorns to taste.
Freshly ground nutmeg [add very carefully. Easy to ruin this with too much]
1 egg yolk

1] Break up the ricotta in a bowl, and fork in the egg, then add the parmaggio. You should have a good texture.

2] Pestle and mortar the pine nuts coursely, you want some crunch from them.

3] Add pine nuts, herbs and nutmeg to the bowl, gentle mix in and taste. [ok, after you have eaten that batch make another load... I have!]

4] Fill your ravioli, making sure you seal them properly. Nothing worse than the salted water getting into the ravioli, or the contents escaping.

5] Drop them in that huge boiling pan of salted water for 3 minutes.

6] Taste one after 3 mins... We are wanting our fresh pasta to be suculent and al dente, not soggie.

7] Drain quickly and carefully, let's not break any of those precious parcels.

Serve right away on those plates you had warming in the oven, with either olive oil, or some garlic butter poured over them. A few basil leaves on top work well to.

Update on that, a little olive drizzled over then, but provide guests with olive oil and melted garlic butter to pour themselves.

I have done this with toasted almonds to... Worked well. Also switched feta chesse fo tthe ricotta with yummy results.

Its about the texture vs cheese vs nuttiness.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Feta Cheese Ravioli filling

(Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe)

1 butternut squash
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 dried red chillis
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
2 cloves of garlic
A good glug of olive oil
1 pack of feta cheese

Pre heat the oven to 200c
1] Cut the squash in half. The skin is very tough so be very careful. Use your biggest bastard knife, push the point in at 90 degees to the beast and halve it. Think like you are doing the steak-into-the-vampires-heart kind of thing. Now cut the halves into quarters. Put the eight pieces into a baking tray while you make the spice rub.

2] Put all the herbs and spices in a pestle and motar, except the garlic, and mash the hell out of them. Now juice the garlic into the mix, or slice the garlic and mash it in, up to you. If you have a big bowl to mash in, mix in the olive oil, otherwise scrape out the spices to larger bowl. You need to get your hand in to mix it around so you can massage the paste all over the squash pieces.

3] After you have coated the squash, put them in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash has started to get a brown crispy look to its edges.

4] The squash should be nice and soft now. Use a big spoon or knife to strip the flesh from the skin. This is bit fiddly, but worth it to get a smoother texture.

5] Pile all the flesh into bowl and let it cool for a while.

6] Cube, or roughly break up the feta cheese and mash it into the squash. You don't want a puree here, leave some texture.

7] Cover and chill it in the fridge. Overnight seems to do it no harm.

Use to fill ravioli, medium size ones are good.

If any mix is left over it is really yummy spread on good rustic wholemeal toast for breakfast.

Broad Beans in Yogurt

Broad Bean (400g in their pods will serve 2)
Greek Yogurt
Mint, or other fresh herbs

1) Remove the beans from the pods.
2) Boil or steam the broad beans for two or three minutes until they are al dente.
3) Drain the beans and remove the thin film from each bean.
4) Mix the beans into the yogurt and add the fresh herbs to taste.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Roasted Tomato Soup

A glug of Olive Oil to roast the tomatoes
1 Kilo Plum Tomatoes, halved (Any tomatoes will do, as long as they are good quality)
1 Onion, thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, halved
Small Handful of Thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
Small handful of Basil sprigs
1 ltr Chicken stock
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 220c, Gas 7.
2) Pour oil into a roasting tin and heat in the oven.
3) Tip tomatoes, onion rings and garlic into the warm tin. Coat in all the oil. Add the Thyme and sprinkle over sugar, salt and pepper.
4) Roast in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes until nicely caramelised. Add the Basil towards the end of cooking.
5) Heat the stock.
6) Add the tomato mixture to the stock, removing the thyme. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7) Blitz with a food processor and sieve it, this gets rid of the bitter tomato pips.
8) Garnish with sour cream/garlic croutons/whatever you fancy.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Beef Bourguignon

Serves 6
Preparation time overnight (or even 48 hours)
Cooking time 1 to 3 hours (longer in a slow cooker)
Cook this the day before and reheat it, the flavours will be even better.

900g chuck or braising steak, cut into 5cm pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks celery, rough chopped
1 bottle red burgundy wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally (more if you fancy, I do)
4 bay leaves
50g unsalted butter
250g of smoked bacon or pancetta
450g shallots, peeled
2 tbsp plain flour
400g chestnut mushrooms
300ml beef stock (if you've got it, otherwise use a stock cube)
A good glug of brandy (not essential, but helps)
freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

1] Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, garlic and 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

2] Place the cubed beef in a large bowl and pour over the wine marinade. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. This is known as a cook marinade.

3] Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Drain the beef from the marinade into a colander over a glass bowl. Reserve the marinade and set aside.

4] Heat 25g butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the bacon and cook until golden and brown. Add the shallots and transfer to a large casserole dish.

5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Pat dry the cubes of beef from the marinade mixture using absorbent kitchen paper. Add half of the beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides (don't crowd the beef in the pan ortherwise it will stream and not fry). Remove the beef and transfer to the casserole dish with the bacon and shallots. Repeat with the remaining beef and add to the casserole dish.

6. Stir in the plain flour and stir quickly. Glug in some of the reserved marinade mixture to deglaze and remove any sediment from the pan. Pour into the casserole dish.

7. Add the remaining marinade mixture and beef stock into the casserole dish.

8. Bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for 3 hours or so, until the beef is very tender.

9. Halfway through cooking, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the mushrooms until brown. Add the brandy and cook for a few minutes.

10. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish, stir and return to the oven the remaining cooking time.

11. Serve with new potatoes, sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley and purple sprouting broccoli if you can get some.

Notes: Obviously this is great with creamey made mash potato (or Dauphinois)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Broccoli Stir-fried with ginger and garlic

1-2 large heads ordinary broccoli 675g
2.5 tablespoons of veg oil
2 thin slices of ginger
1.5 teaspoons salt
3 garlic cloves crushed
3 tablespoons veg stock
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1) Cut the broccoli into slim 4cm lengths. Peel the larger stalks and cut them across into 3mm slices.if using ordinary broccoli all the stalks need to be peeled and sliced and the head cut into delecate florets.
2)Heat the oil in the wok.
3)when hot put in the ginger. Stir once, add the broccoli, salt and garlic.stir vigorously for a minute, or until the broccoli turns bright green.
4)add the stock. cover and cook on high heat for about 1.5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5)add the sesame oil and mix. serve immediatly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Chicken Tikka Masala

for 4 - 35 mins + 2+ Hours to marinade

450g Boneless Chicken Meat
150g Natural Yoghurt
2tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
2tsp Garam masala
Half tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Cayenne Powder
1tsp Salt
2tbsp Vegetable Oil

2tbsp Butter
2tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Onion, Finely Chopped
1tbsp Finely Grated Ginger
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1tbsp Cayenne Powder
2tsp Garam masala
1tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Salt
800g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
150ml Single Cream
Fresh Corriander

1) Cut the meat into big cubes, about 5cm square.
2) Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, spices, salt and veg oil in a non-reactive bowl and mix well.
3) Add in the chicken, mix, and marinade for 2 hours or more.
4) Preheat oven to 230c/450f/gas 8.
5) Arrange on a lightly oiled rack over a tray and bake for 12 mins or until charred.

1) Heat the butter and soften the onions.
2) Add the Ginger and Garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
3) Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
4) Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, untill the oil comes to the surface.
5) Gradually add the cream. stirring constantly, without boiling.
6) Add the chicken to the sauce and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
7) Serve with fresh corriander.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Chilli Steak

Fillet steak

Soy sauce

Mash, chop, mix. Pour over the just cooked steaks.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Honey and Mustard Chicken with Corn Pancakes

Serves 1-2
Preparation time less than 30 mins (Better if you canmarinade the chicken for and hour or so)
Cooking time 10 to 30 min

This also works well on a low heat barbeque.

For the chicken:
1 chicken breast, skin removed and cut into strips
30g grainy mustard
30g honey
1 tbsp olive oil

For the corn pancakes:
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cornflour
55ml milk
85g sweetcorn kernels (canned)
30g butter

1) Place the chicken, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Mix well. Levae to sit for an hour.
2) Preheat a wok and a medium non-stick frying pan.
3) Heat the olive oil in the wok. Add the chicken and its mustard and honey marinade. Fry for 3 minutes before transferring the chicken to the oven to cook for a further 8 minutes.
4) While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the pancakes.
5) Place the egg, flour, baking and corn powder and milk in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
6) Add the corn. Stir well.
7) Heat the butter in the frying pan.
8) Pour a small amount of the pancake batter into the frying pan. Fry for 2 minutes, either side.
9) Repeat until the batter is finished. Add more butter if the pan gets dry.
10) Serve the chicken with the corn pancakes and maybe a crunchy salad.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lamb Tagine

Prep Time: 15 Minutes.
Cook Time: 2 Hours .
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced into rings
2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pears - peeled, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds

1 Heat the oil in your Tagine (or just use a large pot with a tight fitting lid) over medium heat. Fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the lamb meat to the pan, and fry until just browned on the outside. Season with cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the meat. Cover, and simmer over low heat (VERY low - Try Oven next time) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is tender and the mixture is stew-like. Displace lid a little after an hour if there appears to be too much liquid.
2 Add the pears, golden raisins and almonds to the stew, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the pears are soft. Serve with rice.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Macaroni Cheese

250g Macaroni
50g Butter
3 Tablespoon of Flour (Preferably Italian 00)
Half tea-spoon English Mustard
600ml full-fat milk
200g Cheddar, grated

1) Butter a casserole dish.
2) Boil the water, salt and throw in the Macaroni
3) Add the butter to the pan, melt it and add the flour, cook for a few minutes.
4) Warm the milk and off the heat, beat into the pan. Add the mustard.
5) Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
6) Just before the macoroni is cooked, add in the cheese to the pan and stir.
7) Drain the macoroni thoroughly and add to the sauce.
8) Taste for seasoning.
9) Pour into the casserole dish.
10) Grill until browned.
11) Let to sit for 5 mins to cool.

Freeze without cheese ontop.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Mushroom And Mozzarella Calzone

Variations: Try adding sliced green olives or sauteed bacon, or instead of the mushrooms use roasted peppers, or seeded and diced tomatoes with basil.

225g Plain Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp easy blend yeast
85 ml Milk
1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for the bowl

3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
3 Shallots, finely sliced
Large pinch red chili flakes
250g mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tbsp each of finely chopped parsley and chives
1 tsp lemon thyme, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 mozzarella, finely diced
30g finely grated parmesan

1) Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl. Stir in yeast, milk and 50ml tepid water.
2) Mix together until smooth, turn out and knead thouroughly until silky smooth. Roughly flatten, make a few indentations , pour over 1 tsp olive oil and fold the dough over, until oil is absorbed.
3)shape into a ball, oil lightly and put in a large bowl cover with clingfilm. Set aside for 2hours.
4)Heat the oil in the frying pan gently fry garlic, shallots and chillies for 5 minutes.Then add the mushrooms and fry to get rid of the moisture
5)Tip mixture into bowl and add the herbs let it cool then add the cheese.
6)Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat.
7)Divide the dough into 4 roll each into a ball and then roll each into a pancake 17cm wide place a quarter of the stuffing on one half of the pancake leave a 2 1/2 cm margin brush the edge of the little water fold over the dough and pinch the edges together place on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins brush with some olive oil after cooking.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Onion Pie with Jarlsberg and Thyme

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4/5 red onions, cut into 0.5in slices
4 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 Bay leaf
5 Black peppercorns
2/3 whole cloves
Sea Salt
1 Sheet puff pastry
110g grated jarlsberg, gouda, parmesan or gruyere cheese

1) Heat the butter in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and cloves and lower heat to medium-low.
2) Cook for 20 mins, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Season with salt.
3) Preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Line a medium sized, oven-proof dish with the puff pastry.
4) Remove and discard the cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf.
5) Place the onions in the dish and add the grated cheese and 1 tsp of the thyme.
6) Bake on the lowest rack for 15 mins or until golden brown.
7) Sprinkle on the rest of the thyme and serve.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Onion, Prosciutto and Taleggio Tart

375g Puff Pastry
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Medium Onions, finely Sliced
1 Tsp Fresh Lemon Thyme Leaves
Salt and Pepper
85g Finely Sliced Prosciutto
150g Taleggio Cheese

1) Preheat oven to 220c/400f/Gas Mark 7.
2) Roll out pastry to 35cm 8 25cm rectangle, to about the thickness of a 50p coin. Slip onto a backing tray and trim and score a border 2cm inside the edge. Prick the inner rectangle with a fork. Chill for 30 mins.
3) Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the onions. As soon as they collapse, reduce the heat and fry for about 15 minutes or until soft. Add the thyme and season to taste.
4) Once cool, spread the mixture over the base, taking care not to spread it into the border. Roughly cut the Prosciutto into 5cm squares and scatter over the onions. Remove the rind and slice the taleggio into similar sized squares. Sprinkle over the onions.
5) Bake the tart in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200/400/Gas 6 and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the chesse golden and bubbling.

Asparagus, Onion and Taleggio -Steam the asparagus for 3-5 minutes until al dente and use instead of (or with) the prosciutto.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Potato And Leek Soup

30g unsalted butter
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
Some fresh thyme leaves
350ml vegetable stock
A dollup of double cream

To serve
olive oil, to drizzle
spoonful of Greek yoghurt

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the potato for 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in the leek, garlic, bay leaf and thyme leaves and heat for a further 1-2 minutes.
3. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
4. Stir in the cream and heat for a minute.
5. Transfer to a food blender and blitz.
6. Return to the pan and warm through.
7. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
8. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Quick Coconut Curry

30 mins - 2 Hours (After the initial cooking, you can let it sit to reheat later. A good one to do before you go out for an evening)

2 Shallots, peeled
2 Lime Leaves
1 Stalk of Lemon Grass
1 Clove of Garlic, peeled
1 Red Chilli, deseeded
1 tsp turmeric
2.5 cm of peeled ginger

500g/1 lb 2oz chicken thighs, boned and chopped (Leave the thighs whole if you like, it falls off the bone if you cook it slower)
3 tbsp oil for frying
2 pieces of cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
330ml coconut milk

150-200g Basmati rice
1 Onion/Shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 Cinnamon stick
Finely chopped fresh coriander and Spring onions to garnish.

1) Blitz the sauce ingredients till smooth.
2) Fry the chicken in a little oil (get some nice browned bits going on), then add the sauce. Fry for a few minutes then add the cinnamon and salt and pepper to season.
3) Add the coconut milk, cover and simmer for 30 mins
4) Slow fry the onions (in Ghee is good if you have some)
4) Cook the rice, put the cinnamon stick in the boiling pan to.
5) Garnish with coriander, and spring onions.

Notes: This works in the oven on a low heat for a long time, 3 hours on a low heat, good if you are going out and need food when you get back.

I double the sauce for greedy people who like lots of juice.

Use the juice of a lime instead of the Lemon Grass (Difficult to find sometimes)

You can use breast for this, whole or chopped as in the pics below, but I think the leg meat with bone adds to the flavour.

This also works well with Korn for the Veggie crowd.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pork, Rice, Chorizo and Spinach

7 Tablespoons Olice Oil
350g Pork Fillet in strips
120g Chorizo
2 Large Onions
1 Green pepper
4 Garlic Cloves
250g Calasparra (paella) rice
1 Teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 Noras Peppers
900ml Chicken Stock
500g Spinach
1 Lemon

1) Stir Fry Pork for a few minutes until cooked. Set aside.
2) Lower heat, Fry Chorizo for a minute, Add Onion and green pepper, Cook for 20 min
3) Add Gralic and Onion, cook for 5-10 min until Caramalised
4) Add Rice, Paprika, Noras Peppers, Add stock, Simmer for 15 mins
5) Wilt spinach with salt
6) Lay Spinach/Pork on rice, cover tightly for 5 minutes, serve with lemon and salad.