Chocolate & Pecan Shortbread Biscuits

A great combination, using quality chocolate such as Green & Blacks Milk Chocolate.  You can also make this with less flour – around 225g, to get a really rich, buttery shortbread which is very, very short and tastes great, but for everyday eating the extra flour makes  for a more practical eating biscuit, and significantly…

Vertical Potatoes

So I love Boulangere potatoes but unless they’re properly cooked on a low heat over a long period, often struggle to judge the timings and get them properly and evenly cooked through.  This alternative address potato cooking from a different perspective, literally!  By stacking the slices up on their sides, not only do you get…

My Favourite Meatball & Stuffing Recipe

Originally based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, I used a variation of this for Christmas and have never looked back. Why make your own sausage meat?  Well, I think the answer is obvious – who know’s what’s hidden inside the supermarket rubbish these days.  By using good quality ingredients you can create the best flavoured…

Spotted Dick

It’s freezing cold and miserable outside, time for another winter classic – Spotted Dick (I can hear you giggling – stop it!) A really easy dessert to prepare requiring minimal effort but quote a long steaming time. Use a dried fruit mix of your choice – stick with the traditional sultana or be a bit…

My Favourite Chilli Con Carne

My all time favourite comfort food recipe, cooked in advance makes an ideal as a mid-week winter warmer I’m amazed that I’ve yet to write this recipe up.  It’s been a mainstay ever since I went to university many years ago and was really my entry into spicy cooking.  I used to head out to…

Tomato & Red Onion Tart

Another great way to use up all of those seasonal tomatoes.  Here I’ve used my 3 favourite varieties – Floridity, Sugar Gloss and Sungold The slow roasting intensifies the flavours and turns this into a real taste of summer For the cheese I’ve used a mix of Cheddar and Parmesan. Make your own Puff Pastry…

Brown Tom

This is a variation of an old family recipe that makes excellent use of all of those ripe tomatoes at this time of the year. A really simple and frugal dish that makes the most of one of my seasonal favourites. Serves 4 Ingredients 100g Pancetta, chopped 1 Red Onion, diced Pinch of Salt 2…

Lacy Pancakes

Week 4 – Batter  Technical Challenge – 12 Heart Shaped Lacy Pancakes In the immortal words of Mel & Sue – “Are you a flipper or a tosser?” I can honestly say that I can’t imagine a more futile challenge!  Why on earth spend the time making lacy pancakes?  They’re tougher than normal pancakes/crepes, they…

Savoury Dampfnudel with Kartoffelsuppe

Week 3 – Bread.  Technical Challenge – Dampfnudel What?  I hear you cry!  Like all of the #GBBO contestants this week, these are a new one on me and given the generally poor results (Paul Hollywood described the 3rd place contender as ‘edible’!), it’s fair to say that I’m approaching these with a degree of…

Viennese Whirls

Week 2 – Biscuits. Technical Challenge – Viennese Whirls Much less controversy this week, other than the reciprocal challenge of week 1 – is a Viennese Whirl actually a biscuit? Surely its a small cake?  The origins of this traditional British biscuit seems to have nothing to do with Austria at all, but apparently came…

Meringue Kisses #WasteNot

If you’ve been following @HughsWarOnWaste you’re probably as angry and annoyed as I am at the unnecessary amount of food that is just being discarded for no good reason. Clearly there are some serious problems with our retailers and suppliers which need to be be addressed, but there’s plenty we can do ourselves to make better use…

Leek, Mushroom & Pancetta Roly Poly

Not just for jam, suet pastry makes a great savoury roly poly too, and this recipe has a very comforting seasonal filling Pre-cooking the leek, mushroom and pancetta means the filling won’t be too wet and the pastry will stay in one piece once baked.  As the filling is quite dry and the dough quite stretchy,…

Lemon Curd Eclairs

So I find myself with some double cream and a batch of lemon curd to use up – what better way than to make up a batch of decadent eclairs? Mixing the lemon curd into the cream filling cuts through the richness, making these seem light and refreshing by comparison to some chocolate equivalents.  The…

Special Lemon Curd

It’s all very well making meringues and macarons – but you do end up with lots of egg yolks.  Of course these can make a great rich custard or ice cream, but if you want to try something different how about making a fruit curd? I’ve made a great lemon curd before, but by using…

Chicken Balti

Restaurant Curry 1: Chicken Balti. By following the 2 preceding steps you’ve turned making your curry away from being a ‘casserole’ type dish into a ‘stir fry’.  Everything that takes time has already been taken care of and now it’s just a matter of personalising the basics This is a simple Chicken Curry recipe with…

Fruit and Nut Cookies

Although the title may be a little uninspiring, this is the basis for some of my favourite all-butter-shortbread-like cookies which are simplicity themselves to make requiring minutes worth of effort but are just so bad for you and will have friends coming back for more… Over Christmas I baked a really nice batch of Cheese…

Chestnut Falafel

These were just an amazing vegetarian alternative for the festive season.  One batch serve as a veggie main course when the carnivores tucked into their turkey, these went down so well I cooked them again as a mix and match option to serve with a batch of meatballs and a vegetable daal.  This recipe has…

Yorkshire Leek & Onion Soup

This is a simple alternative to that French classic, using fresh leeks and onions harvested from the garden.  This is a soup you just can’t rush – the flavours come from the slow sweating of the onions and leeks, allowing the sweet flavours to develop without overcooking. This is a vegetarian version which gives a…

Pumpkin and Mushroom Lasagne

I’d planned to make up a batch of ‘normal’ lasagne based around a rich beef ragu and béchamel sauce, but also wanted to make a vegetarian alternative.  I love to make my own pasta and knocking up a full 3 egg batch would make enough for both dishes so knocked up the beef version and left…

Courgette & Thyme Lemon Drizzle Cake

How delinquent have I been? Very.  No posts since Christmas – that’s dreadful, especially as I’ve cooked some terrific recipes in that time. There are always excuses, plenty of things to soak up the limited amount of free time I seem to have these days but hopefully I’m going to start to turn this around…