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…

Sloe Gin & Sloe Vodka

At last!  After searching for a couple of years, I have a source of great quality sloes.  Last year I was disappointed because my quest had failed, and I had to resort to producing batches of Plum Gin & Plum Vodka instead.  I shouldn’t have been concerned – this turned out to be a great…

Cheesy Swede & Bacon Bake

I’m so impressed with my crop of swedes this year.  Like the beetroot, they’re enormous!  I’ve stuck with a single variety – ‘Helenor’ for the past 3 years, as, despite poor growth, it has terrific flavour.  This year I’ll have a chance to make the most of it! This is a great dish with complementary…

Barbecue Sauce

Recipes don’t get much easier than this.  A really effective BBQ sauce which you can make in minutes, and easy to scale up as required.  Paul Newman – eat your heart out! Serves: 4 Ingredients 3 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup 1 Tbsp Runny Honey 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce a little Chilli Powder…

Rhubarb & Ginger Cream Meringue

My first Rhubarb of the year, fresh from the garden.  Instead of the usual Rhubarb Crumble (my favourite), I’ve come up with a new rhubarb taste sensation.  Definitely a rhubarb dish for special occasions!  The golden castor sugar gives the meringues a lovely rich colour.  Cooking them slowly like this should ensure that they’re nice…

Quick Chilli Beef Noodle Stir Fry

A wonderful Thai inspired stir fry which makes the most of our lovely locally sourced beef.  Any frying steak will do – I choose a small piece of rump.  I used thick rice ribbon noodles, which I soaked for 8 minutes in boiling water to cook, then drained and refreshed in cold water until they…

Slow Braise Thin Rib of Beef

If you prefer lamb to beef, then this is probably the beef dish you’ve been waiting for.  The lusciously moist, rich meat has much in common with roasted lamb. I came across a cut of beef in the local Farmers Market which was unfamiliar to me – ‘Rising Beef’ it was called.  It looked just…

Beef Chimichangas

  Rumour has it that chimichangas were discovered ‘by accident’ when someone dropped a burrito into a deep fat frier.  Whether this is true or not, it does highlight that these spicy Mexican dishes are not the most healthy.  You can just cook them in the oven, but the effect isn’t the same.  I like…

Smashed Squash & Beans

A nice sweet accompaniment to spicy Mexican dishes.  Maybe add a little chopped red chilli for a warming kick… Serves 3 Ingredients 50g Butter 1/2 Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded & cubed 2 cloves Garlic, chopped 1 tsp Cumin seeds 1 tin Pinto Beans, drained Salt & Pepper Method Melt the butter in a pan on…

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are traditionally Mexican/TexMex dishes of folded tortillas, simply stuffed with cheese.  Other fillings can be added, and this recipe uses a hot chicken sauce.  I use a single hot chilli, Fatalii.  This is like a habenero or scotch bonnet pepper from the perspective of heat, and as such I don’t chop it up –…

Winter Warming Meatballs

We eat loads of meatballs in summer, with pasta and various sauces, but for some reason I’ve never seen these as a ‘winter’ dish.  This recipe adds a seasonal twist and makes for a great alternative winter warming pasta dish! Serves 2-3 Ingredients 1 medium Onion, finely chopped 25g Butter 1 clove Garlic, chopped 1…

Lime Muffins

Still stuck with all of those naked limes from your Limettacello making?  How about an easy muffin recipe?  Another great recipe for the kids!  Top with icing or a lime-drizzle if you wish Makes 12 Ingredients 250g Plain Flour 225g Castor Sugar 3 tsp Baking powder 1/2 tsp Salt 2 Eggs 70ml Milk 70ml Vegetable…

Lime & Chocolate Cheesecake

Very much based on a recipe from my childhood, this is similar to an old Blue Peter No-bake Lemon Cheesecake recipe.  Really simple to make, and great to get the kids involved in the kitchen (especially when it comes to smashing up the biscuits!).  This recipe is easy to tailor to any fruit Serves 6-8…

Yorkshire Pudding

I really don’t know why I’ve never written this one down.  It was a regular when I was young – proper Yorkshire Yorkshire puddings.  Not those dainty little puff-balls you get in restaurants or frozen in the supermarket, but proper dinner-plate size puddings, covered in with the filling of the day. They are really easy…

Spiced Orange & Chocolate Sorbet

So, you’ve made you first batch of Arancello, and are staring at a pile of naked, zestless oranges thinking, ‘What can I do with those?’ Well, for a sophisticated desert, try this refreshing orange sorbet made with chips of the best dark chocolate, subtly enhanced with sweet spices – Delicious! Serves 2 Ingredients juice of…

Limoncello, with a twist! Arancello and Limettacello

I hope you tried my Limoncello recipe over the summer – it’s sooo simple, takes only a few weeks to turn around (unlike the months that many of my liqueur recipes take) and is absolutely wonderful!  What’s more, it’s a digestif, so must be good for you (I know, that’s really hard to believe when…

How to make… Wholegrain Mustard

I love mustard, and get through jars of the stuff as it forms an essential component in my ham sandwiches I take daily to work.  Wholegrain has always been my favourite, for no other reason that it’s really versatile.  Not too hot, not too mild, not too yellow, nice texture, great in sauces.  Although I…

Ciabatta

  As far as bread goes, Ciabatta is very much the new kid on the block having only been around in it’s current form since the middle of the ;last century.  Like many artisan breads, this uses a 2 stage process by first creating a pre-ferment, sponge or ‘Biga‘, which means you need to plan…

How to Make… Black Bean Sauce

Black Bean sauce can be a wonderful rich fullness to an Asian meal, or bring with it an overbearing saltiness which destroys it.  Why not take all of the guesswork out and make your own?  It’s really not that hard, and you know exactly what’s in it.  All you need is a source of tinned…

Lad Nah Moo – Pork in a Black Bean Sauce

Lad Nah Moo is (I believe) a Thai dish of noodles fried in soy sauce, served with pork and a ‘gravy’.  This is my take, and I think it’s a wonderful quick meal, especially if you have fresh rice vermicelli noodles.  If you don’t, you can use dried which have been soaked in hot water….