Whiskey & Ginger Ice Cream

I just love my Ice Cream maker.  It’s so easy to make any flavour of ice cream when you want it, and you know exactly what’s gone into it.  I needed something special for Christmas to complement my Marmalade Christmas Pudding, so came up with this Whiskey & Ginger Ice Cream.  Amazing… You can make…

Marmalade Pudding

Fed up of Christmas Pudding?  Want to try something different?  Run out of time to prepare that classy dessert? Try this amazing steamed marmalade pudding for a change.  It takes a fraction of the effort and tastes wonderful.  It also stays moist and keeps for days afterwards, so when you’re full of turkey you can…

Christmas Pudding Chocolate Truffles

A great way to use up left over Christmas pudding, or as I did, a great way to do something different with a Christmas pudding in the first place!  If you use a whole pudding, these will last for days (or longer if you have the will power), but you’ll actually want to eat them!…

Beetroot and Chilli Onion Lasagne

  Looking for an alternative spicy vegetarian main course?  Perhaps just finished experimenting with my Beetroot tortellini recipe and found that you’ve still got 3/4 of the filling left and don’t know what to do with it?   Try this out as an interesting, spicy & colourful lasagne alternative… Serves 4   Ingredients Beetroot stuffing,…

3 Vegetarian Tortellini Stuffings

  As part of my vegetarian Christmas extravaganza, I cooked up 3 types of tortellini in a vegetable broth.  Each recipe here would provide plenty of filling for 300g portion of pasta, which is easily enough for 3-4 people.   You don’t need very much filling at all to make tortellini.  The good news is…

How to make… Tortellini

Apparently inspired by the image of Venus’s navel, Tortellini are  a ring-shaped stuffed pasta. Although they can be a little time consuming to make, they are really not difficult and are well worth the effort, especially for entertaining. Tortellini look great, can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, served in a broth or a…

Make your own… Horseradish Sauce

Fresh horseradish is great – much better than the stuff you get in jars. It has a whole range of uses – not just for roast beef.  Horseradish isn’t often seen in mainstream UK supermarkets, but can be found in farm shops or you can grow your own.  If you don’t know what to look…

Make your own… Vanilla Extract

I seem to have consumed a vast amount of vanilla extract this year, with all of the ice cream, custards and cakes that I’ve been baking.  You can’t really beat proper, good quality vanilla extract – vanilla essence just isn’t the same thing and cheaper extracts have a much lower proportion of actual vanilla seed….

Beetroot, Chocolate & Ginger Cake

Well, if Fruit and Nut Beetroot Cake doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’m certain that this will!   With more of a fudgey consistency, and a colour which remains true to it’s beetroot roots (so to speak), this decadent cake would make a great desert. I like to know what’s in my dishes, so held back…

Fruit & Nut Beetroot Cake

And why not? “But it’s… it’s… it’s BEETROOT!  Aghhhhh!”  I hear you scream.  Yes, I know, you’re recalling those vinegar-ridden salads of the 70’s and haven’t been able to look at beetroot since.  But honestly, this is one of the most underrated vegetables.  With a rich, sweet flavour, it can be used for a whole…

Spicy Glazed Braised Belly Pork

Not a dish you can turn around at short notice – this takes what was until recently a cheap ‘peasant’ cut and turns it into something special for a festive family occasion (quite appropriate with Christmas fast approaching). It took me a long time to try belly pork – i just hate fatty meat and…

Sopa de Lentejas

More of a Mexican take on the Spicy Lentil Soup recipe, this uses 2 relatively mild dried chillies to bring in a breadth of flavour.  Again, the chillies here add interest and not just heat – the Anchos bring a full fruity flavour and an intense dark colour whilst the Meco (pronounced May-Co) chipotle adds…

Chipotle Pork Tostada Stack

A truly wonderful way to use up any left-over or stale corn tortillas, this dish has an amazing intensity and fullness of flavours.  Great ‘TexMex-style’ comfort food for a cold winter evening.  To make serving easier, slice all but the top tortilla in half with a sharp knife after toasting but before you construct the…

Plum Liqueur & Plum Gin

I’ve been looking out for sloes all season with the anticipation of turning out a batch of Sloe Gin, but just haven’t discovered any.  What I do have in bucket loads are plums (- when we moved into the house we must have taken down 2 dozen self-set plum trees and left the 2 most…

Chicken Mole & Achiote Rice

  This recipe uses a portion of the Mole Poblano sauce to create a quick yet impressive dish for that special occasion.   Serve with plain or Achiote Rice   Serves 2 Preparation & cooking time: 30 minutes   Ingredients 2 large Free Range Chicken Breasts, skin on Salt & Pepper to season 1 tbsp…

Mole Poblano

Mole (pronounced mo-lay, Mexican Spanish for ‘concoction’) is the name given to a range of traditional Mexican sauces, of which Mole Poblano is probably the most famous. This sauce has extremely complex and refined flavours, blending the superb combination of chocolate and chilli to produce a rich, dark, thick sauce which particularly complements chicken.  Despite…

Piri Piri Sauce

Well, sort of.  Piri Piri sauce should be made from red Piri Piri peppers (obviously) or Bird’s Eye chillies, but this is made from Cayennes so it isn’t quite as hot.  Piri Piri sauce is a basic hot sauce or Portuguese origin It’s really easy to make as there is not cooking involved – just…

Chipotle Sauce

I first came across Chipotle sauce whilst on holiday in New Orleans.   I was surprised to find that McIlhenny, the manufacturer of the eponymous ‘ Tabasco’ sauce (you know, that small bottle of hot sauce that’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for the last 10 years?)  makes a whole range of…

Creole Style – Chilli & Tomato Sauce

This is great for pasta, and the thyme makes this a good addition for Cajun and creole style dishes where a rich punch is required.  Subtle enough to use with fish or vegetarian dishes, this is also great with chicken or rich stews. Makes approx 750 ml Ingredients 20 Cayenne Chilli Peppers, stalks removed 2…

Sweet Chilli Sauce

This is a ‘Thai style’ sweet chilli dipping sauce – once you’ve made this, you’ll never fork out for a bottle in the supermarket again.  again, another simple sauce which keeps for a very long time.  I enjoy stirring a couple of spoons of this into my Chilli con Carne just before serving… Note: I…