Custard and Creme Anglaise

Subtly different, Creme Anglaise is both richer and more temperamental than a good pouring custard. The differences in preparation are really quite trivial, and for all but the grandest f entertaining, the custard alternative is probably the best bet.  It will give greater volume and much less chance of splitting I also use an alternative…

Spicy Caribbean Salsa

A spicy fruit based salad to accompany my Caribbean pork dish This salsa needs assembling quite quickly to prevent the fruit from discolouring – getting it mixed with the lime juice will help retain all of the vibrant colour and flavours Ingredients 2 ripe Avocado, stoned & peeled 3 firm Bananas Pineapple chunks, diced 1…

Coconut Rice & Beans

A nice spin on ‘rice and peas’ which accompanies Caribbean dishes very well.  When you get everything into the pan you’ll be wondering what you’ve done wrong – it looks like a rather odd pudding rice dish, but have faith & do not stir!!! Warning!!! Do not stir this dish – it will break up…

Seedy Crackers

Unlike the Cheese Sable, these are specifically aimed at complementing a cheese board. A traditional dry cracker with a ‘snap’, vary the seeds to give different effect.  The dough can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, or roll out, cut and freeze raw until needed. Perfect with a nice glass of…

Cheese Sable

Sable are traditional French butter cookies, originally from Normandy and usually sweet.  This recipe is simplicity itself and the outcome is just wonderful. This cheese version works really well and fresh out of the oven are just wonderful by themselves.  Serve as an appetiser, an interesting accompaniment for soups or with cheese Consider using the…

Broccoli Pugliese – By Special Request!

I wasn’t going to type this one up, but I’ve had a special request from Paula, so here it is.  A really quick and simple way to spice up your broccoli and turn it into an interesting accompaniment.  It can even be prepared in advance, holding on to the cold blanched broccoli until you’re about…

Caponata

A sweet and sour vegetarian dish often served cold as an antipasto makes a great accompaniment to roast meat.  Not exactly seasonal here in the middle of winter, but it brings back those delightful memories of the summer gone.  If you’re not a big fan of aubergine, this may change your mind! Serves 4-6 Ingredients…

Cipolline all’Aceto

Baby onions cooked in a balsamic vinegar caramel sauce.  A superb sweet and sour accompaniment to any meal! TIP: To peel the onions easily, first top and tail them, and blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then rinse n cold water.  The skins should slip off easily Serves 4-8 Ingredients 1kg…

Boulangere Potatoes

Traditionally cooked by the local baker under the bread, Boulangere potatoes are a great ‘no fuss’ potato dish for entertaining.  Prep in advance, throw them in the oven and forget about them. A perfect accompaniment to roast meat In the past I’ve had problems with this type of dish cooking through.  The secret really is…

Green Jalapeno Jelly

What better way to preserve that rich green intensity of my unripe jalapeños than in a fruity jelly?  What’s more, it’s also helping me get through some of my many cooking apples. As this is a pectin free recipe, we need to follow a 2 stage process – the first of which is to make the…

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Chorizo

Fed up with those sprouts already?  Want something a little different?  This has a wonderful sweet, spicy fullness which works so well with the brussels Sprouts.  Even the kids liked them!  Sprout and bacon always work well as a combination, but Chorizo adds a little something extra… Ingredients 750g Brussels Sprouts 250g Chestnuts, roasted, peeled…

Duchess Surprise!

I love my mashed potatoes, but sometimes your celebratory meal just needs a little more pizzaz! A twist on that ’70s favourite, Duchess Potatoes.  This time, in 2 tone and 2 parts – Butternut, sage and chilli matched with Beetroot mash. How festive is that! Guidance – there should be about 2 parts potato for…

Parmesan Grissini

These ‘cheese and onion’ breadsticks are terrific for a party.  Unlike the Olive & Tomato breadsticks, these are baked for longer at a cooler temperature to get them really crisp Makes 40-50 Ingredients 250g Strong White Flour 250g Spelt Flour 10g Fast Action Yeast 6g Salt 1 tbsp Sugar 100g Softened Butter 150ml Full Fat…

Beetroot & Balsamic Relish

The last of 3 Beetroot Relish recipes uses grated beetroot and a drier mixture.  This provides for a more versatile pickle for use in sandwiches and the like.  The Balsamic vinegar adds depth and a sweetness Fills about 3 * 1lb jars Ingredients  1kg Beetroot, cooked 1 large Red Onion 1tbsp Olive Oil 100g Golden…

Beetroot & Ginger Relish

The second of 3 Beetroot Relish recipes uses a much wetter mixture, providing more ‘zing’ from the vinegar, raw beetroot and a higher proportion of apple.  The ginger provides the interest here, and is much more subtle than the chilli version!  This makes for my personal favourite of all 3 recipes. Fills about 6 *…

Beetroot & Chilli Relish

The first of 3 Beetroot Relish recipes, in my quest to make this amazing vegetable last through the winter months and into next season!  My beetroot relish experiment uses different combinations and proportions of ingredients and different cooking methods to try and establish the best relish recipe! This recipe uses an orange beetroot, ‘Burpees Golden’,…

Barbecue Poltena

Polenta can be really boring, but this recipe puts an interesting spin on things.  It’s a great barbecue accompaniment, and can be prepared well in advance and just finished on the BBQ or on a griddle pan Serves: 4-8 Ingredients 350g Polenta or fine/medium ground cornmeal Water 2 dried red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped…

Beetroot Pickle

A wonderful sweet and sour relish for summer salads – make the most of this fantastic vegetable!  Beetroot microwaves really well, and this will cut down on the cooking time, but you’ll loose some of the intensity that the roasting gives. For a spicy kick, how about stirring in a little chopped fresh chill with…

Cornbread

  In need of some bread for your meal?  Run out of time?  Cornbread is a quick and tasty alternative which works particularly well with tomato based dishes.   Use this recipe as a base and enhance it with sundried tomatoes, dfresh herbs, or as in this case, olives Serves 4 Cooking time: 30 minutes…

Colcannon Potato Cakes

  A great way to use some leftover bacon and my end of season kale plants for an interesting alternative to mashed potato   Bacon is best cooked in the oven if possible to ensure that it is evenly crispy.  This can be done in advance. Ideally, you should use a ricer for the potatoes…