31 Dec 2014


A glorious bowl that hugs and loves you back, this wonderful yet simple dish is loaded with super health giving properties that boost your immune and detox your system, there is nothing you won't love about this dish.  Gorgeous thin ribbons of steak and thai noodles bathed in a seasoned broth with star anise, lemongrass, ginger and a hint of cinnamon.

Generally traditional Pho is made from roasting beef and marrow bones and making a simple yet packed with flavour stock that you then build your dish around, you can also make your Pho broth with left over roast chicken or roast pork bones.  Building your dish traditionally you would add to your bowl thai noodles, beansprouts, thinly sliced rare beef, sliced chillies and a dash of fish sauce and lemon juice finished with a sprinkling of coriander, but this is just one way to enjoy this beautiful meal, I get my inspiration from Japanese ramen's and thai tom yum and laska style thin stock soups

Prep 15 minutes / Un-attended cooking time 3 hours / Assembly time 5 minutes

I make my broth up in advance the reason for this is two fold, firstly I like to store my broth in the fridge so that once it has gone cold and jelly set I can scoop of the fat and discard and secondly it is ready to go for quick and speedy suppers during the week, I can have a gorgeous healthy meal on the table in under five minutes.

(serves 2)

2 beef knuckle/leg bones
1 marrow bone
2 carrots scrubbed
2 sticks celery rough chopped
1 leek rough chopped
3 star anise
1 stick lemongrass bashed
1/2 stick cinnamon
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 onions halved
1 lemon halved
3" piece ginger halved

6oz piece of rib or fillet beef
(allow 20 minutes chill time before use)
1 tsp coconut or ground nut oil
1 handful beansprouts
2 spring onions
1 red chilli
Thai noodles cooked
1 tbsp fresh coriander
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp lemon juice

First pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees to roast your beef bones for approx one hour, no need to do this if you are using leftover roast beef bones.  Place the roasted bones and scrapings from the roasting tin into a deep saucepan, add three litres of water and bring to a simmer, meanwhile in a frying pan on a medium heat and caramelise the onion, ginger and lemon, this releases their natural sugars and adds another depth of flavour to the broth, add these to the saucepan along with the rest of the broth ingredients, carrots, celery, leek, star anise, lemongrass, cinnamon and fish sauce.

Leave to gently simmer for three hours and skim off any scum that collects on the top, the slower you simmer the less scum will be produced and you will make a clearer purer stock.  Once your stock has bubbled away for three hours and reduced by half, increasing the depth of flavour, strain through a fine mesh sieve or muslin.  

Heat a non stick frying pan to medium hot, rub the beef with a dash of oil and sear the fillet on all sides for three to four minutes for rare and five to six for medium, take off the heat, wrap in clingfilm and place in the freezer, for twenty minutes, this will firm up the beef making it much easier to thinly slice, while the beef chills, place 600ml of stock in a saucepan and bring to a rolling simmer, turn down to tick over, take your beef from the freezer and thinly slice into ribbons.

In your bowls place a handful of thai noodles and top with a handful of beansprouts, a sprinkling of spring onions, chillies and coriander, place the ribbons of beef piled high in the centre and then pour over your hot beef stock, adjust the seasoning if needed with a dash of fish sauce and or lemon juice then enjoy your bowl of goodness, health and happiness.

29 Dec 2014


Decadent glorious over indulgent happiness in every spoonful, this is a pudding that will take you several attempts to finish, the gorgeous rich marscapone custard and fragrant amaretto espresso biscotto will bring a cracking smile to your taste buds.

Cook time 7 minutes
This is really an assembly of ingredients very quick and easy to make.

(serves 4)

20 biscotto amaretti almond biscuits
75ml disaronno Italian liqueur
1 espresso coffee
250g marscapone
2 egg yolks
4tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder

First make the espresso, place the biscotti biscutis on a plate pour over the disaronno and espresso and leave for a couple of minutes to soak up all the liquid.  In a large bowl whisk the marscapone, sugar and egg yolks together until smooth, now you are ready to assemble the layers.

In individual or one large serving bowl place six of the soaked biscotto biscuits top with one third of the marscapone custard, dust over a third of the cocoa powder, repeat this twice more and place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours before serving.

28 Dec 2014


My best ever fresh sweet sumptuous classic take out dish that is so easy to make, super fast from wok to table in under 15 minutes and full of fresh clean flavours, you will never order this from a takeaway again!  Why it can not be this good from fast food take outs is a mystery to me, juicy pork belly encased in a light crispy thin batter then tossed in a gorgeous fresh pineapple and orange sweet glaze, this is sumptuously gorgeous.

(Serves 4-6)

1kg of belly pork, skin removed
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp cornflour
200ml water
1 pineapple chunked
1 orange zest and juiced
1 bottle of tomato ketchup
100ml pineapple juice
8 tbsp sugar
2 ltr nut oil for frying

This is great fast food!  First put the oil in a wok and warm up to 190 degrees, while this is coming up to heat make the sweet and sour glaze, place the pineapple juice, orange juice and zest along with the tomato ketchup and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil and reduce to a pulpy sauce, taste and adjust the flavour if needed with sugar and pineapple juice, keep this gorgeous sauce on a low heat ticking over ready for the next stage.

Next make the lovely thin crispy batter by beating the eggs and cornflour together to make a smooth paste, slowly start adding the water until you have the consistency of thick double cream.

Cut the belly pork into small squares approx one inch square, when your oil is up to temperature dip the pork belly in the batter and gently place into your hot oil, these will take approx 4 minutes to cook, remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper, once all your belly pork is cooked, add to your hot sweet and sour sauce gently tossing to coat and serve immediately and enjoy.

18 Dec 2014


I am so pleased with my first batch of canned tomato sauce, the huge amount of joy and satisfaction I feel when I know our own onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, celery and leeks made this sauce, it is another successful step forward in our self sufficient lifestyle, I also love the glut of over a hundred jars in my larder, just from the tomatoes!  I am going to need a bigger larder!  

This paves the way for next year's food growing and preserving list, I am currently working on our self sufficient cook book on all the meals we can provide from our garden to plate throughout each season with only relying on a few larder items that we don't grow.  This lifestyle envokes a truly positive satisfying feeling from producing your own fresh food and lowering the burden on Mother Nature, what's more all the fodder and weeds from the garden supplement the feed for our chickens and pigs

(makes 14 jars)

(14 kilner or glass jars with lids)
8kg tomatoes or 5kg tinned
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 red peppers
4 whole bulbs garlic
Sea salt 
Fresh black pepper
6 onions diced
10 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs oregano
4-6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 lemons juiced

First job is to sterilise all your new kilner or used jam, chutney or pickle jars, all jar lids must have a pvc coating because tomatoes have a high acidic content and this important to the safety of the long term preserve.  Take all,your jars and lids and run them through the dishwasher on a high heat or wash in hot soapy water and rinse and dry well, the jars are now ready to use.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees, take the bulbs of garlic and loosely wrap in tin foil, pop in the oven and roast for an hour or so until the garlic just wants to ooze out when a minimal amount of pressure is applied to the skin, remove from the oven and squeeze out all of the gorgeous roasted sweet garlic purée, keep to one side for later.

In a deep large pan place the coconut oil, on a medium heat add the onions and gently cook, not allowing them to colour for twenty minutes, while the onions are soften turn on your gas ring if you have one, if not crank up your grill to it highest heat and roast your red peppers under the heat until the skin burns turn until all sides are burnt.  Place in a bowl and cover with cling film, this will allow the heat from the skins to creat condensation which will make the next stage of removing the skins and seeds really easy making this a quick process and worth every bit of effort for the final flavour in your sauce.

Next add the tomatoes, garlic puree and the skinned de- seeded roasted red peppers to the onions and heat through, the tomatoes will slowly break down creating a sauce, once all the tomatoes have broken down completely add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, thyme, oregano, sea salt and black pepper, gently simmer for half an hour.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, next you want to remove the tomatoe skins from the sauce, you can stick blend the sauce or as I do pick them out of the sauce one at a time, then stick blend or you can pass the sauce through a fine meshed sieve using the back of a spoon to apply pressure to squeeze all the sauce through.  Return to the heat and keep on a low simmer while you heat the preserving jars.  

Place all the clean dry jars and lids in your pre-heated 200 degree oven for five to seven minutes to sterilize, remove the jars fill each jar with a teaspoon of the lemon juice then the tomatos sauce leaving a inch gap at the top to allow for expansion in the next stage of preserving, screw on all the lids tightly and place in a large pan of boiling water, when the pan comes back up to the boil start timing for 35 minutes, remove from the pan and leave to cool, one of my favourite sounds from my kitchen is hearing the pinging of theses canned jars re-sealing the pressure button on the lids while they cool, the jars are now ready to be stored for use when you need them.

10 Dec 2014


Love love love this time of the year when everyone makes that extra special effort and all the lovely warm aromatic spices come out to play, I love to make my christmas mincemeat a few months before I am going to need it so that the warm brandy and mixed spiced oranges can work their christmas magic in creating the most sumptuous rich decadent boozy brandy orange spiced mince pies.

(Makes approx 50 mince pies)


Old fashioned short crust flakey pastry
 450g plain flour
110g cold lard diced
100g cold butter grated
180ml ice cold water
1 lrg pinch of salt
1 beaten egg wash
100g light brown sugar

The Boozy Mincemeat
5 kilner or glass storage jars
1ltr lady or earl grey tea
500g currants
500g raisins
500g sultanas
400g suet
1/2 bottle of good brandy
100ml orange liqueur 
250g citrus peel
2 oranges zest and juice
500g soft dark brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger

In a large bowl add the currants, sultanas, raisins, citrus peel, orange zest, juice, mixed spice, ginger, and the hot tea, mix well, cover and leave over night if you can for the fruit to absorb all the liquid.  Next add the fruit mix to a large saucepan along with any liquid that is left in the bottom of the bowl, add approximately a third of the bottle of brandy, orange liqueur and the sugar, bring to a bubbling simmer and reduce until you have a thick syrupy glaze, when you can drag your wooden spoon through the fruit and you can momentarily see the bottom of the pan it is reduced enough, remove from the heat and add a generous glug of brandy and the orange liqueur, stir in and leave to one side to cool down slightly.

Once your fruit mix is only just warm, add the suet and stir in, then heat your oven to 200 degrees, pop your sterilised (basically super clean and dry) jars and lids into the oven for 5-7 minutes to sterlize, remove your jars from the oven and fill with your gorgeous boozey orange mincemeat pie filling, I like to finish off the filled jar with another wallop of brandy or flavoured liqueur at this point, seal the lids and leave to mature for a couple of weeks or months, these make great christmas gifts and awesome mince pies for friends and family.

To make this great pastry place the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the cold grated butter and cut through with a knife, add the cold cubed lard and roughly rub into the flour, you don't want a breadcrumb texture you want large rough chunks of lard as this will melt during baking creating lovely airy flakey pockets.  Add the water and bring together to loosely form a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour before using.

Roll out the pastry and using a scone cutter cut out all your circles then either place a generous spoonful of your gorgeous mincemeat in the centre of the circle, egg wash the sides and then pop another circle on top and gently push the edges together, these are old fashioned flying saucer mince pies, alternatively you can line a muffin tin and make mini mince pies, why not get creative by cutting out a star or heart from the top of the pastry lid.   

Egg wash the tops, sprinkle with light brown sugar and bake at 200 degrees for around 15 minutes, then share with friends, family and neighbours.


This is really a lovely simple to make recipe that delivers a gorgeous sumptuous rich decadent starter ensuring that one will not be enough, your taste buds will be begging for one more morsal!  This dish is also a great starting point if you want to vamp it up by adding lobster, smoked haddock and/or cold water prawns sending this from a gorgeous starter to love every mouthful main meal.

(Serves 4)

8 scallops
4 scallop dishes
(from a local fishmonger)
1 tbsp butter
1 glug of oil

Court boullion 
1 shallot finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
1 bay leaf
2 peppercorns
125ml white wine
125ml fish stock
125ml water

Mornay sauce
70g butter
70 plain flour
400ml Jersey full cream milk
Sea salt and white pepper 
200g grated Gruyere cheese

First place the court boullion ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for approx ten minutes until reduced by half, strain and reserve for the mornay sauce.

Clean your scallops by removing the roe and foot, gently peeling the foot away from the side of the scallop will also peel away the thin membrane that half covers the scallop.

Next melt the butter, stir in the flour and over a low heat cook out the roux for ten minutes, it is important not to let the roux brown, like you would for a gumbo.  Start to add the court boullion a ladel  at a time and stir in until absorbed and smooth, then slowly add the milk until you have a medium thick sauce.  Cook on a low heat for ten minutes then add the grated cheese and stir in, season with salt and white pepper to taste, leave on a very very low heat while you cook the scallops.

Pre-heat your grill, heat a non stick frying pan medium/high, add the butter and oil and sear the scallops for 60 seconds on each side, this should be enough to just cook them through.  Place two scallops in each dish with any remaining butter from the pan then spoon over a generous amount of your moray sauce, pop the scallop dishes under the grill for a couple of minutes to brown off, serve immediately and enjoy.

25 Nov 2014


Such a great twist on southern fried chicken, succulent juicy outstanding crispy spicy cumin marinated and seasoned fried pork chops, drizzled with sharp vibrant lemon juice and served with a gorgeous homemade buffalo and sweet plum chilli mayo dip.

(Serves 4)

The marinade
4 meaty pork chops or
1 pork tenderloin sliced
5 red chillies (1 for finished dish)
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sea salt
11/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
100ml organic rapeseed oil

Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and pulse to a loose paste, once your meat is sliced pour over the marinade and leave to infuse for a few hours or over night, the longer the better, but even 20 minutes would do.

Ingredients for coating
100g potato flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Pinch of cayenne chilli pepper
Pinch of sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2ltr ground nut oil for frying
1 lemon juiced
Small bunch coriander chopped

Buffalo & sweet plum Mayo
50ml West Indian buffalo hot sauce
2 plums
200ml sweet chilli sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
200-300ml organic rapeseed oil
Salt and white pepper

Next get the plum sweet chilli sauce under way, place the sweet chilli in a pan, bring up to a gentle simmer, destone the plums and roughly chop, add to the sweet chilli and simmer until pulpy, take off the heat and leave to cool.  

Next make the mayo, place the egg yolks, white wine vinegar and mustard in a deep bowl and whisk together start drizzling in the oil slowly at first whisking all the time, you can speed up the drizzling speed one you have poured approx half in, stop when you have a thick mayo emulsion, season with salt and pepper and then add the buffalo sauce and some of the sweet chilli plum sauce, taste and adjust with more of each to your own recipe.

In a bowl place all the dry coating ingredients and whisk together, place the oil in a deep frying pan and bring up to 180 degrees, drain off the marinated pork and toss into the coating, cover fully then gently tap off any excess flour, you want a light coating only.

Fry in batches for approx 4 minutes and drain on kitchen paper, drizzle with the lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt, chopped red chillies and coriander, serve immediately with the hot sweet buffalo plum mayo dip.


WoW what a gorgeous meatball, the flavours for these were inspired by a Brasilian cook book I am glued to at the moment called Cabana.  These hot sweet spicy punchy little meatballs have a great burst of flavour, the chilli and sweet mango burst into your tastebuds followed with a soft comforting hint of creamy richness from the melted gooey cheese and finish off with a gorgeous caramelised sweet onion sticky glaze that just makes these meatballs sing with flavour.

Prep time 15 minutes / cooking time 15 minutes

(Makes 30 meatballs)

800g chuck steak
400g pork mince
1 small onion finely diced 
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 clove garlic grated
1 red pepper finely diced 
50g Parmesan grated
100g gurere grated
100g cheddar grated
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 ripe mango finely diced
1 small handful chopped coriander 
1 spring onion sliced
8 red chillies finely diced
1 lime juice

In a large bowl place the pork and beef mince, add the garlic, red pepper, 4 diced chillies, all the cheeses and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, mix well by hand, meanwhile heat a non stick pan medium hot, add the coconut oil and onions gently cook keeping the onions translucent for around ten minutes, add a teaspoon of sugar, cook on for five more minutes to caramelise the onions, add to the bowl scraping all the flavour from the pan and mix in well.  

Pop the pan back on the heat, take a teaspoon ball of your meatball mix press flat and pan fry, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  Using a small scoop or spoon form the mince into meatballs, I like to make mine half the size of a golf ball as this is almost big enough and helps keep them gorgeously moist and they cook much quicker.  

Return your pan to the heat and add your meatballs, don't over crowd, you may have to do this in two batches, on a medium high heat brown off all sides of the meatballs adding that gorgeous crust, turn the heat down and cook the meatballs so there is no pink in the middle.  Once cooked leave to rest for five minutes then remove from the pan leaving all the cooking juices in the pan, reduce these juices until they are thick and syrupy, pour over the meatballs.

While the meatballs are cooking make the hot spicy sweet mango salsa, in a bowl add the spring onion, the rest of the diced chillies, diced mango, coriander and lime juice to taste, season with a little salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot with the chilli mango and lime salsa, I eat these on their own or with a side of rice or stuff them in a flat bread like a kebab with salad and mango salsa.


What a super winner dinner my favourite scotch bonnet hot buffalo and buttery wing sauce slowly braising chunks of tender grass feed beef in a rich tomato sauce, with a whole bottle of West Indian hot pepper sauce in this recipe you would think it is going to blow your lips off like that build up from buffalo hot wings, however this is not so, you get a warm hot pepper buzz with an overall heat that is comforting, if you want the explosive hot buzz add fresh diced scotch bonnets when you serve this.

  A favourite in our home, this is a Kristi original there is nothing I know of that comes close to this gorgeous rich sumptuous dish, quick to prep and then a few hours of un-attended slow cooking to bring all the glorious flavours together.

(Serves 4)

800g beef skirt or rump
1tbsp coconut oil
1 lrg onion finely diced
6 cloves garlic finely diced
1 red pepper chopped
1 celery chopped
1 leek chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 scotch bonnet chilli diced or milder chilli
4 tins tomatoes 
3 tbsp tomato purée 
1 tbsp sugar
250g butter
1 bottle West Indian hot pepper sauce
Sea salt
Black pepper
 First place your pan on the cooker, add the coconut oil, the onions, garlic, peppers, celery, leek and carrots and gently soften for around ten minutes keeping the onions translucent, next add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and chillies, scotch bonnets if you want that extra level of gum tingling Ka-Pow! 

Bring the tomato sauce to a gentle just bubbling simmer and cook for ten minutes, meanwhile take your choice of steak and rough chop into 1" pieces, season with salt and black pepper, at the moment my choice is skirt because it has such depth of flavour and suits well to either flash frying rare or slow braising where all the flavour can melt into your sauce.  Melt some coconut oil in a frying pan and brown off the skirt all over then reserve to one side.

With a soup stick blender blend the tomato sauce until smooth, if you don't have a stick blender use a food processor, and pulse in small batches with a tea towel held over the top of the blender as hot liquids can spirt out when pulsed under pressure!

Bring the blended tomato sauce back up to a gentle almost simmer and add the beef scraping the pan all of the resting juices, add half the bottle of West Indian (not as hot as you think!) and gently cook for approx three hours, stirring occasionally.  When your tomato sauce is thick and the beef wants to fall apart when touched add the pack of butter and stir gently until melted, taste and adjust with adding more Louisiana hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper and maybe a squidge of lemon juice.

If you want more of a burn chilli heat rather than the warm hot pepper buzz this dish gives add fine diced Scotch bonnet chilled to you dish when served for that gum tingling Ka-Pow! 

22 Nov 2014


Gorgeous rich and sumptuous comfort food, this easy cook one pot dish is quick to make and loaded with flavour and goodness.  I make this with three eggs thinking I will never eat all that and I do every time, in fact I know I would eat more!  I love the flavour of the hot salsa as it elevates through the rich creamy smoked ham and egg yolk sauce which oozes over asparagus spinach and watercress making each spoonful sing to my taste buds.

(serves one)

3 eggs
6 spears asparagus
80g smoked ham torn
1 handful watercress
1 handful spinach
100ml single or double cream
Salsa ingredients
1/4 lime
1 tomato de-seeded and chopped
1 spring onion sliced
1/4 red pepper finely diced
1 tbsp coriander chopped
Sea salt
Black pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees, In a bowl add all the salsa ingredients and season with salt and pepper next take a oven proof dish approx 6-8 inches in diameter and layer half the watercress, spinach and ham in the bottom, then crack in the three eggs, add the remaining ham, watercress and spinach, pour over the cream and season with a little salt and pepper and sprinkle on the salsa.

Bake in the oven for approx 18 minutes there should still be a hint of a wobble when cooked and the yolks will be mollet with a slow thick run when broken adding that extra rich depth to your already gorgeous cream sauce.

20 Nov 2014


My first attempt at preserving went a bit wonky, I loosley read a woolly recipe and did not do any further homework.  I also used a malt vinegar which along with the woolly recipe resulted in inedible lip curling acidic beetroot!

I got my hands on a excellent canning book while on holiday in the states and am really pleased to have successfully preserved my home grown bounty of jalapeños, another step forward in my families journey to a self sufficient lifestyle.

(makes 3 jars)

40 large jalapenos
550ml white vinegar 5%
250ml water
200g sugar
3 jars & lids

Place the white vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved, meanwhile slice the jalapenos.  Place your clean dry jars and lids in a hot oven 200 degrees for five minutes to sterlize.

Remove your jars and lids from the oven and fill with the sliced jalapenos, fill to the top with the hot pickling vinegar and pop the lids on.  The hot liquid in hot jars will sterlize and preserve the jalapenos, if you want to be extra sure you can place the sealed jars in a canning boiler or deep saucepan with a trivet and boil for ten minutes.

16 Nov 2014


Succulent juicy spicy moroccan rubbed roasted lamb, butterflied (bone removed) to give more surface for the spices and because this will halve the cooking time, this will only take around 25 minutes to roast making this a sumptious mid week treat speedy supper, served with zesty roasted lemon potatoes the whole dish from prep to plate only takes 55 minutes.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cook time 45 minutes

(serves 4-6)
Roasting tin and tray, tin foil

4 large King Edward potatos
2 cloves garlic grated
2 lemons juiced
100ml olive oil
150ml water
1 leg of lamb

Moroccan Spice
(Ras el hanout, you can buy this already mixed)
Mix together
11/2  tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground mace
2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground all spice
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
11/2 tsp ground cardamon seeds
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
pinch of saffron shreds

Fail proof cooking guides
Blue 6 mins per lb / 40 degrees 
Rare 9 minutes per lb / 50 degrees
Medium 12 mins per lb / 55 degrees
Well done 18 mins per lb / 70 degrees

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees C, rub the lamb with a glug of olive oil and a generous amount of the Moroccan spice mix on all sides making sure you get in to all nooks and crannies, if you can leave this to marinate for a few hours or over night it will intensify the flavour, it is not the end of the world if you can not and even the twenty minutes waiting time while the potatoes are getting a head start in the oven will be beneficial.   

Next peel the potatoes, cut them in half then roughly chop each half into four pieces, place the lemon juice, lemons, olive oil, water and garlic in a roasting tin along with the potatoes and toss, cover the tin with tin foil and place in the oven, these will take approximately forty minutes to cook, after twenty minutes remove the foil to allow the potatoes to crisp up.

At this point put your lamb in the oven, top shelf to roast for the remainder of the potatoes cooking time approx twenty to twenty five minutes for juicy succulent medium rare, (12 minutes per lb/55 degrees).  Rest your lamb under tin foil for five minutes while you warm your plates and dish up the potatoes then enjoy.

10 Nov 2014


These simple but glorious sumptuous little parcels of aromatic flavours are one of my many undoings!  Once I pop the first one in my mouth all sense of decorum leaves my being and I become pot sticker obsessed, I just love love love each parcel of flavour along with the gorgeous soy sauce dip seasoned with sesame oil, wasabi, ginger and chilli.

Prep time 1hr / Cooking time 5 minutes per batch

(Makes 30)

Dim Sum Pastry
300g plain flour
200ml hot water
Pinch of salt

Dim Sum Filling
500g pork mince
300g prawns (not farmed)
2" ginger grated
3 spring onions finely chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1 red chilli finely chopped
 2 x 1 tsp coconut oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Soy Dipping Sauce
Mix all the ingredients together
30ml light soy sauce
20ml dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp mirin
Dash of sesame oil
1 red chilli finely chopped
Pea size of wasabi
Pinch of grated ginger

Large bowl, rolling pin, non stick frying pan with a lid, scone cutter.

First make the dim sum pastry, place the flour in a large bowl with the salt and then add the hot water, mix together to form a dough and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth, wrap in baking paper and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

In your frying pan heat the coconut oil and soften the spring onion, garlic, chilli and ginger then add this to the pork mince along with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and mix in thoroughly.  

Take the dim sum pastry, I like to roll each pastry circle out individual by rolling the dough in to a long sausage approximately 2" in diameter then I cut the sausage into 1" portions, roll these into little balls and roll out each one into a thin circle or you can use the speedy method...

Speedy Method
Roll out as one really thin sheet and using a scone cutter cut out all your circles.

Place a teaspoon of the pork and prawn filling in the centre, don't overfill, wet the edge of one side of the pastry and then fold in half pressing the two edges together you will naturally make a wavy crimp pattern, place on a flour dusted plate until ready to cook.

Heat your large non stick frying pan and add the coconut oil, place the dim sums in the pan and let them brown off on the one side only, then add a 2/3 of a cup of water, place the lid on and steam cook the dim sums for 2-3 minutes serve immediately with the soy dipping sauce.

9 Nov 2014


WoW glorious moorish succulent sweet soy slow braised belly of pork that justs melts in your mouth and makes your taste buds sing then the crispy teryaki crackling is something else, a crispy burst of gorgeous sweet soy flavoured crackling that renders you to that stage of vocal sounds mmmooohhhmmm where words are not needed to express your satisfaction.
Prep time 5 minutes / Cooking time 1hr 30mins

(serves 4)

1kg (ish) side of belly pork
200ml dark soy sauce
100ml light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp mirin
2" piece ginger grated
1 bottle of crabbies ginger beer

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees, in a saucepan add the soy sauce, ginger, sugar and mirin and gently warm through until the sugar has dissolved.  Place the side of belly pork in a deep roasting tin and pour over the teriyaki soy sauce, coat the belly pork completely rubbing the soy sauce in all nooks and crannies, pour the ginger beer in to the base of the tin, cover with foil and pop in the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour crank up the oven temperature to 200 degrees, remove the foil and with a sheet of kitchen paper pat the belly pork skin dry, sprinkle with salt and place back in the oven for half an hour to crisp up the crackling, this is optional, sometimes I leave the foil on and don't worry about a crispy finish as the soft jelly top melts in your mouth is just as wonderful as the crispy crunch.

Pour off all the cooking liquid in to a jug and skim off the fat, place in to a pan and simmer reducing until you have a medium thick sauce, you can add a little more sugar if you want a sweeter sauce, baste the finished belly pork and drizzle over once served.

Serve with roasted vegetables or cut in to one inch cubes and served on top of a bowl of sticky rice and sides of mangetout and broccoli.

5 Nov 2014


Gorgeous juicy crispy aromatic spiced duck pancakes with five spiced plum sauce, spring onions and cool cuecumber batons, every mouthful a moorish joy.

A really simple dish to prepare for friends and family that is loved by everyone, from fridge to table in one and half hours this is a dish that cooks itself so you can enjoy time with your friends.

(serves 6)

1 whole duck
2 tbsp five spice powder
Salt and pepper
1 tsp coconut oil
1 cuecumber
6 spring onions
24 pre-made pancakes

Plum Sauce
6 ripe plums
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp grated ginger
1 orange zest and juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 star anise

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees, cut the duck completley in half (spatchcock), pat the skin dry then rub the whole duck with the five spice powder getting in all the nooks and crannies and season well with salt and pepper.  Place the duck on a rack placed on top of a roasting tin, skin side up, pour a cup of water into the tin and cook for 30 minutes, then crank up the heat to 200 degrees for the last 15-25 minutes to finish crisping up the skin.  Remove from the oven and cover loosely with tin foil to help keep the heat in while the duck rests for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile while the duck is roasting de-stone the plums, roughly chop, place in a saucepan along with the orange juice, zest, grated ginger, sugar, star anise and five spice, simmer for approx 30 minutes until thick and pulpy, when you can draw a spoon through the sauce and see the bottom of the pan your plum sauce is ready. 

To serve warm the pancakes in a bamboo steamer and serve wrapped in a tea towel or tortilla warmer to keep warm along with the whole duck on a tear and share board with forks to shred along with the cucumber and spring onion batons and the gorgeous plum sauce.  Enjoy...

4 Nov 2014


A serendipity cooking moment that I am still not sure if it needs to be repeated or not!  However the children do want a repeat!  This was one of those cooking moments when you reach for an ingredient and add it to your cooking without really looking at what you have actually picked up, this I can assure you means your taste buds are going to be in for a shock!  

This reminds me of the time I decided to have a little nostalgia and brought myself some cherryade, something I never do, after several sips I declared that the cherryade tasted funny only to be informed that I was actually drinking strawberryade!!!  The point here is I did not listen to my taste buds as I believed I was drinking cherry flavour.  

In this case I thought I had used Jersey full cream milk to make the roux white sauce, however after serving this to my family our taste buds soon realised I had used the cookies and cream flavoured Jersey milk, the kids loved it, insisted on Oreo cookies as a side order and it brought a whole new flavour level to Mac n cheese!

(Serves 4)

1ltr cookies and cream Jersey milk
1 clove
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
50g butter
50g plain flour or rice flour (gluten free)
400g medium strong cheddar grated
200g Parmesan grated
White pepper
1kg macaroni pasta or brown rice pasta (gluten free)
1 pack Oreo cookies

Place the milk in a saucepan and warm, don't let the milk simmer, take the onion and using the clove as a pin fix the bay leaf to the onion, add to the milk along with the black peppercorns and leave to infuse for 10-20 minutes, meanwhile...

Bring a pan of water with a pinch of salt to a rolling boil, add the macaroni pasta and cook until just tender (al-dente), this will take approx 10 minutes, meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees and then make the cheese sauce, the cheese sauce can be made a day or two in advance.

Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and stir in well, cook the roux on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Strain the milk and start to add approx 100ml at a time to the roux and stir in until all lumps become smooth, don't worry the lumps will work out as you stir.  There is a school of though that you should use warm milk as this will absorb into the fat and flour quicker and more evenly, this I find is true but it also works the same for cold milk you just have to stir a little longer as the milk comes up to temperature.

Once all the milk is incorporated, gently simmer the white sauce for around 10 minutes then add all the cheddar and half the parmesan, stir until incorporated, taste and season with salt and white pepper, sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top and bake in a pre-heated oven 190 degrees for around 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling hot. 

2 Nov 2014


WoW love this simple and speedy cook sweet sticky sumptuous soy glazed chicken, with spring onions, ginger, chillies and honey, this is a little bit too moorish and I find myself wanting more which is why I only make a healthy portion so that I can really enjoy every mouthful without the temptation of leftovers!  Boy I would really love some left overs!  

(Serves 2) 
Wok, lid or foil, spoon, saucepan and lid

4-6 bone/skinless chicken thighs sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 red chillies deseeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
2 spring onions diagonally sliced
1" ginger peeled and grated
100ml water
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
60ml light soy sauce
20ml dark soy sauce
1 handful cashews 
200g basmati rice
600g water

Wok on!  Heat the coconut oil hot in your wok, add the chicken and brown all over, this will take approximately 3-4 minutes, set aside then lowering the heat of your wok to medium add your spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilies, wok fry for a couple of minutes until soft, add back the chicken, red chillies, water, soy, honey, sweet chilli crank up the heat medium hot and place a lid on the wok, reduce the liquid to a sticky glaze and toss in the cashews.

Meanwhile make the perfect rice, place the rice and water in a pan, do not stir, this is so you don't stimulate the gluten and have stodgy rice, place your lid on the saucepan and bring to a boil, cook for six minutes exactly, without lifting the lid then take off the heat and leave the pan on the side for 10 minutes, this will then give you perfect fluffy cooked rice.  

Serve the rice in individual bowls and top with the sumptuous sweet soy sticky chicken and enjoy.


Gorgeous thin shards of crispy sirloin steak tossed in a fresh orange and ginger sweet chilli sauce, a wonderful fresh and healthy way to have your Chinese food with fresh honest flavours, they way most Chinese eat, without any of the fast food additives that are often found in takeaway foods.  Super quick and easy to make.

(serves 2-4)

8oz sirloin steak fat 
4 tbsp cornflour
1 pinch of salt and pepper
1ltr ground nut oil for frying

Sweet Chilli and Orange Ginger Sauce
2 tbsp sugar
100ml water
2 red chillies and seeds finely chopped
1" ginger grated
1 orange zest and juice

Place the oil in a deep pan and bring up to 180 degrees, meanwhile trim any fat off the sirloin, cut the steak in half length ways and then slice from the short end in to very thin shards. 

In a large bowl mix the cornflour with the salt and pepper then toss in the steak and coat evenly, dust off and leave to one side.

In a saucepan add all the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer, reduce until you have a medium thick sweet chilli sauce.  Turn off the heat.

Deep fry your floured beef for approx 2 minutes and drain off on kitchen paper, toss the beef in the sweet chilli orange and ginger sauce and serve immediately, If I am having this as a side dish I serve as is otherwise I like to serve the beef on a crispy raw pepper and beanspout salad.

8 Oct 2014


I have never been good at meringue's firstly because I don't eat them so I do not have the greatest passion to cook them, but with all the paleo mayonnaise I am making I am gaining a good stock of egg whites building up in the freezer, so I thought I would give this a go, I cleared my afternoon so it would be just me and the meringue... 

I married up two different recipes from ottolenghi the king makers of meringue's and an old fashioned recipe from someones nan who uses the Italian method which has you heating your sugar in the oven or in a pan and making a soft sugar syrup that you add to your whisked egg whites, I also learnt about the Swiss method where you heat the egg whites with the sugar until to hot to touch and then whisk it, there are a few other methods but the Italian method served me proud.  So here we go...

This was a lot easier than I expected, the reason for this is that I actually read the recipe and followed the instructions, something I don't often do! mmm explains a lot !!!

300g caster sugar
4 lrg egg whites
pinch of salt
4 tsp rosewater
handful chopped pistachios

Pre heat your oven to 115 degrees C/(225F).  Separate your egg whites from your egg yolks and reserve the yolks for making mayonnaise (recipe below), place your egg whites in a clean dry whisking bowl.  

Place a pan on the stove and add the sugar on a medium heat gently start to warm the sugar slowly so that you can just see the edges melting, you don't want a syrup (you can) but I wanted hot sugar just melting at the edges take off the heat while you whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt on high speed until they double in volume and become stiff.  

With the mixer on medium speed slowly add the hot sugar and once incorporated add one tsp of rosewater now turn up to a high speed and mix for approx seven minutes, a good indication of this is when the mixing bowl is warm to touch.

Line your baking sheet with parchment and using two of your largest spoons make large grapefruit size dollops, don't be a perfectionist, character adds charm and flavour, place on your baking sheet and sprinkle over some of your chopped pistachios.

Place in the pre heated oven for 1.30 mins/2hrs I like to turn the baking tray every half hour as I am a novice and still need to practise, also my oven does not give an even cook!

Once cooked you will have a perfect crispy dry outside with a gorgeous gooey marshmallow soft centre, now I would drizzle in the cracks some of the left over rose water to enhance that gorgeous burst of flavour, this is what makes these meringue's outstanding gorgeous and even I could not stop eating them, I suppose serving them with a generous dollop of clotted cream fresh blueberries and raspberries did not help!

These do not really need a shelf life as they will not last long enough in any home to go out of date.

Mayonaise Ingredients
3 egg yolks
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of white pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cap full white wine vinegar
300ml ish cold pressed raspeseed oil

You can make your own mayonaise in 3 minutes, place the egg yolks, salt, pepper, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar in a deep whisking bowl with a dash of rapeseed oil and whisk together, then keep whisking with a constant drizzle of oil until you have a thick mayo emmulsion, you can season this further with fresh grated garlic or some lemon juice and zest.