Sausage & Mushroom Squeaky Pie

This could also be classified as ‘Christmas Leftover Pie’, and be made entirely from left-overs.  Instead, I cooked the lot from scratch.  Mix and match… All of my cookery books from the US seem to rely on the use of tinned soups to make the sauces.  I’m really not sure why this is, and isn’t…

Hot & Sticky Chicken

A great use for some left over cooked chicken with a great spicy kick.  A pleasant change from the usual Christmas fare!   Serves 2 Cook & Prep time – 35 minutes   Ingredients 2 cooked Chicken breasts, chopped into chunks 2 cloves Garlic, chopped 2 tbsp Runny Honey 2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce 1…

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…

Blackberry Gin

The experiment to produce a range of fresh fruit liqueurs continues with this hedgerow extravaganza! Following the same principles as the Raspberry Gin recipe, this uses blackberries picked straight from the hedgerow (or failing that, straight from the supermarket) in September, giving a great tipple ready for drinking just in time for Christmas! The full…

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…

Red Currant Vodka – Revisited

The original Redcurrant liqueur was disappointing – it was sickly sweet and the flavour of the currants just didn’t come through.  However, it was a great colour and as I have a surplus of red currants every year, I wanted to give it another go. This time I wanted to concentrate up the flavour, and…