29 Jan 2014


Gorgeous crispy thin crust dough stuffed full of jammon serrano, salami cured meats, fresh onions, peppers, chillies, fresh tomatoes and lots of gooey melting buffalo and mozzarella cheese.  This is more than a pizza, each bite delivers a mouthful of gorgeous creamy buffalo mozzarella cheese with the punch of chilli followed by the richness from the cured meats, the crunch from the peppers and onions finishes the mouthful with freshness from the tomatoes and thyme.

A stromboli is more than a pizza and similar to a calzone, just stuffed with a deeper filling, Stromboli is a small Island off the north coast of Sicily.


500g 00 flour
15g dried yeast
10g salt
50ml oil
320g water
Semolina for dusting

Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the oil and water and bring together to form a ball, knead for 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and springs back.  Cover and leave on the side for one hour to prove or you can prove in the fridge for min six hours or over night, the dough will keep for two days in the fridge, when you are ready to use the dough leave to relax at room temperature for 15 minutes, divide into 4-6 balls, dust with a little flour or semolina.

Jammon Serrano 
Mozzarella grated
fresh buffalo mozzarella
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Pinch of fresh thyme
Sliced onion
Sliced red peppers
Sliced red chillies

Roll out your dough into a thin rectangle, layer all your toppings in the middle of the dough, then fold the left side up and over the filling, repeat with the right side so you have a long sausage shape.  Gently roll the Stromboli over onto a pizza peel if you have one and slide onto your pre-heated pizza stone in the oven or into your pizza oven, cook for a few minutes in a pizza oven or approx 10 minutes on a pizza stone until golden brown all over.

28 Jan 2014


Love love love tacos, these lip smacking face stuffing little wraps are gorgeous, one of my favourite fillings is crispy pan fried garlic potatoes with chorizo, loaded with avocado, sour cream, fresh chillies and salad.


1/2 cup white corn flour (ma se ca) 
1/3 cup water

1 cooking chorizo
2 King Edward potatoes 
6 cloves garlic
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1 avocado
1 lime
mixed salad or iceberg leaves
baby plum tomatoes
1 pepper diced
2 red chillies
100g grated cheddar
knob of butter

Peel the potatoes and dice quite small, pan fry in a dash of ooil and butter for 10 minutes, add the sliced garlic and chorizo, cook for a further 5 minutes until the potatoes are soft, season.  Place in bowls.

Scoop out the avocado and roughly mash, season with a little salt and give a squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkle over some chopped red chillies, place in a bowl.

Chop the plum tomatoes, season with salt and mix with the diced pepper and chilles, shred the iceberg lettuce, grate the cheese and place all the toppings in bowls on your table.  

Fabulous tip I learnt from Jamie Oliver on how to make the quick taco holder show above, take a 1 meter length of tin foil and a tea towel rolled up long ways.  Wrap the tin foil around the tea towel, then concertina the foil so you end up with a zig zag taco holder, perfect, fun and free!

Mix the corn flour with the water and bring to a ball.  Pull off golf ball sizes of the dough and with clingfilm roll out or using a tortilla press make your tacos.  Heat a comel or non stick pan and cook the tacos for approx 60 seconds on each side, keep warm in a tortilla warmer or warm tea towel, serve stuff and serve straight away.

Really quick and easy to make your own corn tacos, homemade tacos have a vibrant fresh corn flavour that you only get with making your own, they only take minutes from start to finish.

A comel is the traditional equipment used to cook tacos, or fajitas, it allows the taco to catch a little adding authentic flavour.

26 Jan 2014


This is a bowl of abundance, hot, sour and full of vitality, with a va va voom from the chilli this bowl of gorgeousness shakes up your mind and soul and restores a glowing sense of well being.  The chicken stock is based on the antibacterial properties of Jewish penicillin soup, which is 25% as affective as taking penicillin, so so good for you.

This is such a quick and easy meal to assemble, if you have all the ingredients ready to go this can be from fridge to table in under 10 minutes.

1 organic free range chicken
1 onion 
4 carrots
1 leek
1 celery stalk
10 whole black pepper corns

Shredded chicken from above
Fresh cold water tiger prawns
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp tom yum paste
2 tsp tamarind
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1/2 lime juiced
Udon noodles
Lemongrass finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
Chilli finely sliced
1" ginger finely chopped
I red pepper finely diced
Spinach raw
Watercress raw
Pinch crushed chillies
Handful coriander

The trick here is to prep all your ingredients ahead of time, this not only saves time cooking the meal but the same ingredients can be thrown into a stir fry or frittata on another day giving you another quick flavour packed dinner in minutes.

Take your chicken and place in a large lidded saucepan or pressure cooker, throw in the whole onion, carrots, leek, celery and peppercorns.  Cover with water and bring to a slow simmer, cook for 1-2 hrs until the meat is falling off the bones.  Strain the stock and leave to one side, once cooled pop in the fridge to chilli, once chilled remove the fat that has set on top.  Remove all the meat from the chicken and store in the fridge.  This prep will also make more quick speedy dinners, like stir fry with noodles or with rice, frittata, coronation chicken sandwiches, chicken pesto spaghetti to name a few ideas.

TO COOK (assemble) THE RAMEN

Cook the noodles in boiling water for three minutes, drain and run under cold water, place each portion in a deep bowl.  Place 4-5 ladles of stock in a pan and bring up to a simmer, add the tom yum, fish sauce, turmeric, tamarind, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, lemon grass, ginger, sugar, lime juice and garlic.  Simmer for a couple of minutes,  add the prawns and cook for 3 minutes.

On top of the noodles place a little shredded chicken, a small handful of spinach and watercress, ladle over the stock and finish off with a sprinkling of red pepper, chillies and coriander.

25 Jan 2014


Sometimes the old fashioned and simple pies are the best, this pie only has a couple of ingredients yet is packed full of filling, flavour and feeds a large family for pennies per portion.  This pie recipe feeds 6-8 people and costs under £5 without compromising on the quality of ingredients.

(serves 6-8)
500g ground beef mince
3 large potatoes peeled and rough diced
1 onion fine chopped
1 garlic clove grated
1 stick celery fine chopped optional
2 tbsp brown sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper
500ml beef stock

450g plain flour
110g cold lard diced
100g cold stork or butter diced
Pinch of salt
180ml cold water

First make the pastry so that it can relax in the fridge for 30minutes while you make the filling.  Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, roughly rub the fat into the flour, add the water and just bring together to form a ball, wrap in baking paper and pop in the fridge.  Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Heat a non stick pan and soften the onion, garlic and celery in a glug of ooil, add the mince and brown, add the brown sauce, tom puree, salt and pepper and the stock, bring to a gently simmer and add the potatoes, simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft but hold their shape and the sauce has reduced to a gravy consistency.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  Take off the heat and transfer into a cold bowl.

Roll out the pastry and cut out a pie lid and base, place the pastry base in your tin, trim the edge and pour in the slightly cooled pie filling.  Egg wash the rim and pop on the pastry lid, egg wash and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown all over and the pie is smelling delicious.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving, this allows the pastry to relax just a little and makes removing from the tin so much easier.

21 Jan 2014


This pie gives me a warm fuzzy memory of my childhood, I was very lucky to grow up in a local village public house, where most the locals were farmers or game keepers and often bartered with rabbits, pheasants and venison, The public bar had a large open fire with a manual spit roast in-situ and on most Sundays there was often a few rabbits or pheasants turning on the spit, my father would rustle up some diced roasted potatoes and side dishes where upon all the customers would dive in.  

(Serves 6-8)
3 whole rabbits skinned & jointed
3 ltrs chicken stock
1 onion finely diced
2 stalks celery finely diced
3 carrots whole
1 leek sliced
10 black peppercorns 
2 fresh bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
100g butter
100g plain flour
500ml dry white wine
150ml-300ml double cream
Salt and white pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper

220g lard cubed
200g butter cubed
10g salt
360ml ice cold water
900g plain flour
1 beaten egg wash

First make the pastry, put the flour in a large bowl, add the salt, butter and lard, with your fingers give a rough lumpy crumble effect, you want to keep large lumps of fat as this is what will give the puff in your pastry when it cooks, add the water and bring the pastry only just together the lumps of fat is what will give your pastry the puff texture.

Wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins, this stage you can do the day before.

Take your rabbits and place in a large stock pan, add the carrots, leeks, thyme, onion, celery, bay, black peppercorns, salt and stock, bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hrs, until the meat is falling off the bone.  Strain and reserve the stock.  Once the rabbit has cooled remove all the meat from the bone and put to one side.  Reduce the stock by half add the wine and reduce again by one third.  

Now make a roux by melting the butter and adding the flour, on a low heat cook out the roux for five minutes, start to add the hot stock one ladle at a time, stirring well to remove any lumps until you have a medium consistency for your gravy, you may not need all the stock, add the cream, the rabbit meat and season with salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper.

Roll out the pastry in two circles, one as the lid and one for the base, line your pie tin with the pastry base and fill with your rabbit mixture, egg wash the top of the pastry and place on your lid and gently seal, egg wash the top of the pie and bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes or until piping hot in the centre.



Wonderfully creamy light egg custard quiche, an old fashioned French recipe my Nan shared with my dad and in time with me, it has for me been a winner every time I bake it.  I am often inspired with whatever is left in my fridge, mainly because there is always lots of cheese and cream in there and along with our gorgeous hens eggs this is a speedy and tasty leftovers dish.

(serves 6-8)
450g plain flour
110 g lard cubed
100g butter cubed
large pinch sea salt
180ml ice cold water

Place the flour and salt in your mixing bowl, add the lard and butter, rub in roughly, add the water and bring the dough ball together, wrap in cling film and leave to relax in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out your pastry and line your quiche tin, place a sheet of baking paper on top and some baking beans or dried beans and bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, lower the heat to 160 degrees.

3 eggs
300ml double cream
salt and pepper
100g cheese, stilton (optional)
1 onion fine diced
1 clove garlic fine chopped
4 rashers streaky bacon diced
8 walnuts
50g Parmesan grated

Gently pan fry the onion, garlic and bacon until softened, add the vegetables and soften, whisk the eggs with the cream, season with salt and pepper.  Layer the cooked ingredients in the pastry case, pour over the custard, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and decorate with the walnuts.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until almost set but still a little hint of a wobble.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

18 Jan 2014


Wonderful little parcels filled with a hint of sweet mango chutney and left over lamb dansak curry encased in a rich butter flakey short crust pastry.  Any left over food can be a filling, from chilli con carne to gooey oozey cheese and ham or chorizo and roast potatoes. 

These make lovely treats to your packed lunches or snacks and as they come from left overs they save you pounds from your food bill, as a little leftovers can comfortably make 20 of these for 10p each.


This costs 50p and makes 30
450g plain flour
110g lard diced
100g butter diced
180ml ice cold water
large pinch of salt
1 egg beaten for wash

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, add the butter and lard and mix together until rough breadcrumbs, add the water and gently bring together to form a ball, wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out fairly thin and cut circles approx 5" in diameter.  Place your filling in the centre, egg wash the edge and fold in half encasing the filling, crimp the edge.  Pre-heat your oven 180 degrees, egg wash the beautiful little pastry's full of promise and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, these are just as good cold as hot.

 Any left overs
left over vegetables with curry powder
chilli con carne and cheese
curry and mango chutney
ham/gammon/bacon joint and cheese
cheese onion and mashed potato
beef stew and horseraddish
roast lamb and mint gravy
chorizo and roast potatoes
creamy cheese and chicken 
mac n cheese
mince and peas
stilton and bacon
spaghetti ragu


This is a biscuit cake that deserves it's name, the buttery rich crumbly shortbread with caramelised banoffi finished off with a thin bark of dark chocolate, watch out one is not enough.

(makes 8)

225g plain flour
175g butter
80g sugar
pinch of salt
1 can condensed milk
300g 70 % - 85% coca dark chocolate

Thank you James Martin's grandmother, as this is the best shortbread recipe and method I have found, and there is no improving on this shortbread.

In a large bowl mix the salt with the flour, rub in the butter with your fingertips really gently, until you have breadcrumbs.  Grease and line the base and sides of a brownie tin, approx 10" x 6", pour in the shortbread and gently level by shaking the tin, then every so gently as light as a butterfly firm down just to level the shortbread.

Bake in a pre-heated oven 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes until very light golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin.

Meanwhile bring a deep sauce pan to a simmer and place the tin of condensed milk in making sure that the water never goes below the top of the tin, simmer for 1.30 hrs.  When I do this in order to be energy efficient I will cook several tins, this makes no difference to the simmering time.  Once cooked, remove from the pan and leave on the side to cool for an hour at least, any extra tins can be stored for years in the cupboard, however there is no way they will last that long !

Spread your banoffi over the top of the shortbread, then melt your chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, once melted pour over the banoffi and leave to set at room temperature for a couple of hours.  Using the sides of the paper liner remove the millionaire's shortbread from the tin and with a sharp warm knife cut into eight squares.

17 Jan 2014


This is up there in my top favourite breakfast's, moist juicy southern fried spicy chicken marinated in Franks hot buffalo sauce and served on top of light airy sweet waffles with lots of maple syrup and a side of crispy salty sweet cure bacon...


1 1/3 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
 2 eggs separated 
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbsp sugar

200g plain flour
1 large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp fresh ground thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 bottle Franks hot sauce or west Indian sauce
100ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp lemon juice
Chicken or turkey breasts one per person
2 ltrs ground nut oil

First make the waffle batter as this is best if left to stand for 30 minutes before use.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Beat the egg yolks into the buttermilk then add the butter, add this to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.

Marinate the chicken breasts in Franks hot sauce.  Mix the first six dry ingredients together and place in a shallow bowl on your work top, whisk the egg, milk and lemon together and place in another shallow bowl next to the flour.   Fill a deep frying pan 3/4 full with the nut oil and bring up to a moderate heat of 180 degrees. 

Take a chicken breast, wipe off any excess marinade, then coat in the seasoned flour, then dip in the milk mixture, then coat again in the flour.  Fry the chicken for 8-10 minutes on each side until juices run clear, drain on paper towel.  Fry the streaky bacon rashers for a minute until crispy, drain on a paper towel.  

To cook the waffles, heat your waffle iron and pour in the batter, cook until lightly browned all over.

Serve with lots of maple syrup and Franks hot sauce on the side and enjoy the gorgeous succulent hot spicy fried comforting chicken with the sweet airy maple waffle and salty bacon, this one causes my lips to smack and hits all the food notes, a fabulously wonderful treat anytime of the day.

9 Jan 2014


This is one of the best left over dishes ever!!!   I just love the thought of all the left over Christmas cheese, heck any cheese anytime of the year, being used for the ultimate Mac n Cheese.  I will admit that I prefer macaroni or linguine above penne pasta when it comes to this kind of oozey cheesy sauce, however penne pasta is what I had in the larder when the craving took hold and that is that!

(Serves 4)

1 ltr Jersey top gold milk
1 small onion whole
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
100g butter
100g plain flour
500g strong cheddar
(Any left over cheese will do)
Salt and white pepper
Fresh ground black pepper 
Freshly grated nutmeg

Peel the onion whole and using the whole cloves as a stud pin the bay leaf to the onion, pop in the milk and bring to almost a simmer, take off the heat and leave to infuse while you make the roux.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, keep stirring over a low heat and cook out the roux for five minuets, start to add the milk, a ladle at a time, stirring all the time until all the milk has been absorbed, now on an almost simmer cook out the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Funny story, years ago when we first started to become more interested in food we had this TRUCKLE for Christmas, we did not really enjoy the cheese, because we did not realise that the outer was a muslin cloth, this we had eaten as a crust on the cheese !!!!  I still do not know how we managed to do that!  We still blame the wine !

Season your white sauce with a hint of salt and white pepper, a touch of nutmeg and some freshly ground black pepper then add your grated cheese, the amount of cheese will depend on your left overs and taste buds.  Gently warm through until the cheese has melted and you have a smooth sauce.  

Cook your pasta and drain, toss in the sauce, now Italian's are more about the pasta and less with the sauce, with this dish I am all about the sauce and less about the pasta!  It is the oozey sumptuous rich creamy moorishness of the cheese, a lip smacking gorgeous dinner.

Pour the pasta into a oven proof dish, sprinkle more cheese over the top and pop in the oven for 20 minutes to brown off then enjoy.

7 Jan 2014



Such a simple dish that delivers a gorgeous warm belly satisfying toe tingle supper with the added bonus of great health benefits from the turmeric and lentils, this is great all year through but especially welcome on cold dark winters night with a warm naan bread to tear off and scoop up.

(Serves 4)

2 cups of Chana dal or red split lentils
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1.5 ltrs stock (chicken optional)
1tsp salt
1 small onion finely diced
1 heaped tsp turmeric
10 cloves of garlic finely sliced
1 small bunch fresh coriander chopped

Pan fry the onion and one clove of the sliced garlic in one tbsp of ghee until softened, add the lentils, turmeric and chicken stock, leave to simmer gently until the lentils have dissolved and you have the desired consistency, some like it thick and some like it looser, approx 30 minutes.  

In a frying pan heat the remaining tbsp of ghee and pan fry the rest of the garlic, you want the garlic to turn a light golden brown and the ghee will develop a nutty butter flavour, pour the garlic and ghee over your Dahl, season with salt and sprinkle over the coriander.



Perfect slow braised melt in your mouth lamb with root vegetables and super light fluffy dumplings, a wonderful comforting winter dinner.

Per portion approx:  547 kcal / Protein 23.9g / Fat 26.9g / Sat fat 13.2g / Carbs 48.4g

(Serves 4)

2 lamb neck fillets trimmed
1/2 a swede rough diced
3 potatoes diced
1 leek finely diced
1 stick celery finely diced
1 onion finely diced
1 clove garlic grated
2 ltrs chicken stock
25ml peanut oil

In a deep saucepan gently pan fry the onion, garlic, leek, celery in the oil until soft but not coloured, dice the lamb in approx 1 inch squares and add the the pan, brown off, add the stock, pearl barley, swede and potatoe and season with salt and white pepper, leave to gently simmer for 2hrs.

150g supreme quality self raising flour
75g atora suet
6-8 tbsp water
Salt and white pepper

30 minutes before you are ready to serve, mix all the dumpling ingredients together really gently so that the dumpling mix is only just holding together, using two spoons drop a large golf ball size dumpling on top of the braised lamb pop on a lid and leave to steam for approx 20 minutes.  Don't be tempted to lift the lid or stir the stew as this will make the dumplings heavy.  Serve with lots of chunks of fresh bread and butter to soak up all the gorgeous juices.

6 Jan 2014



It is that time of the year where two weeks of passionate eating has to come to an end, this is not by choice but by waist expansion!  So to ease myself back onto the pathway my first day of dieting dinner should still be a rich creamy exciting dish that is low in fat but full in flavour.

 Portion appx: 548 Kcal / Protein 28.3g / Carbs 54.8g / Sugar 2.5g / Fat 13g / Sat fat 10.3g

(Serves 2)
300g turkey breast diced
80g green pepper chopped
80g broccoli chopped
80g courgette chopped
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp tom yum paste
1 tsp harissa paste
200g half fat coconut milk
Parsley or coriander
1 tsp dried chillies
Salt and pepper
300g cooked rice

This only takes 15 minutes to cook, so put your rice on to cook and then cook the stir fry.
In a non stick pan dry fry the turkey until half cooked, add the green pepper, broccoli, courgette and stir fry for a few minutes, stir in the turmeric, tom yum, tamarind and harissa paste, then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes, season to taste and sprinkle over the dried chillies and parsley.  Serve with rice.

It is all in the method, take one mug of rice and two mugs of water add to a saucepan with a lid, do not be tempted to stir the rice at any point.  Bring to a rolling simmer and place on the lid and cook for 6 minutes, without removing the lid take the rice off the heat and leave to finish cooking for 10 minutes, this will give you light fluffy perfectly cooked rice.

5 Jan 2014



Among all my loves at Christmas, cooking the ham is the start to all my traditional cooking rituals and the exciting anticipation from cooking new recipes that I will be trying over the two week christmas period.  I have a lot of old fashioned traditional recipes handed down through my family that I will never change and then there are the new trends and fads that sneak their way in for an attempt to be added to the annual must cook list !

5kg leg of pork brined

10 whole peppercorns
5 juniper berries
5 crushed cardamom pods 
1 star anise
1 carrot
1 onion halved
1 leek rough chopped
2 sticks of celery
5ltrs cider

100g soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp marmalade
20 whole cloves

This is a lovely calm simple start to the Christmas cooking frenzy (in my house, too many cooks)!!! I make sure when it comes to cooking my ham it is on a day I am home, this gives me a stress free no timeline.  Nowadays I do not feel the need to soak my brined ham as I have found that there is much less salt used in the brines to date.  
(Update I have had a couple of hams that were salty, so I am now going back to soaking my ham for 24hrs in the fridge, changing the water three or four times)

Fill a deep pan with the cider and bring to a simmer with all the aromatic flavours thrown In, add the ham, top up with water if the ham is not covered, simmer for approx 4-5hrs, if your using a probe your ham is ready when you reach 75 degrees in the deepest centre part.  I like to leave the ham now to cool down in the stock liquor, this makes a huge difference to the moistness and overall flavour of your ham, as your ham cools it soaks back some of the stock.  Leave for a couple of hours if you can.

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees, take your ham and gently remove the skin keeping the fat intact on the ham.  Gently score the fat, not to deep so that you can see the meat.  Now take your glaze ingredients and mix well together, paste over the scored ham and with the cloves gently push the studs randomly into some of the criss cross sections of the fat.

Place in your roasting tin with another litre of cider or water creating a water bath to help retain moisture and cover well with foil, cook at 170 degrees for 25 minutes, remove the foil and brown off the caramelised crust for a further 20mins, then bring out, cover and leave resting for at least one hour if you can!  In my home I. Have to fight my family off from attacking the ham at this point!

4 Jan 2014



Melt in the mouth tender venison served with creamy mashed potatoes and watercress, finished with a drizzle of home made port and elderberry jelly from the summer's harvest.

( serves 2-3)
Four bone rack of venison
2 fistfuls of watercress
1 kg King Edward potatoes
100g butter
100ml full cream milk
Dash of white onion vinegar (optional)
Salt and white pepper

500ml port
300g jam sugar
100 ml elderberry cordial ( optional) 

First make the jelly, in a thick bottomed saucepan mix the sugar, port and elderberry cordial until dissolved, turn on the heat and bring to a rolling boil for four minutes.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.  If you want to check that your jelly is going to be set once cooled, take a teaspoon of the jelly and pour onto a saucer, leave to cool for a few minutes, tip the saucer to check the consistency of your jelly.  The jelly will still be warm when it comes time to serve your meal.

Peel your potatoes and put them on to boil while you cook the venison.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.  Sear the rack of venison in a non stick pan, place the pan in your oven and cook for around 18-22 minutes until the centre temprature is 55 degrees or to your choice.

50 degrees RARE
55 degrees RARE-MEDIUM
60 degrees MEDIUM
70 degrees WELL DONE

Once your venison is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, remembering that the pan handle will be hot!  Cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile mash your potatoes add the butter, milk, seasoning and a hint of vinegar if wanted, this is something my nan always did.  

To serve place your mashed potatoes in the centre of your plate, pile the watercress high in top, place your venison cutlets around the potato and drizzle over some of the warm port and elderberry jelly.


I just had a craving for this hot sweet spicy mackerel wrap with a fresh rich creamy avocado guacamole, lime, coriander and a generous glug of my hot habanero sweet chilli jam...

(makes 2)
2 fresh mackerel fillets
Dash of ooil
2 tbsp black and white peppercorns crushed
1 lime juiced
2 small flour tortillas
1ripe avocado
1 clove of garlic grated
Small handful of coriander
Small handful of watercress
Few shavings of courgette
3 cherry tomatoes halved
1 red chilli de- seeded and sliced
Hot sweet chilli jam

Place a non-stick pan on a medium high heat, rub the mackerel fillets with the oil and season with salt and the crushed peppercorns.  Place skin down in the hot pan, don't be tempted to turn the fillets for a minute or so, as you want the skin to become crispy and full of that gorgeous flavour.  When you turn the fillets after 30 seconds turn off the heat and leave to finish cooking.

Scoop out all the avocado in to a bowl, mash with a fork and add some lime juice, a good pinch of salt and the grated garlic.  Take your flour tortilla and spoon on some of the avocado, top with a little of the chilli jam and watercress, place a mackerel fillet on top and then load the courgette shavings, sliced chillies, coriander and cherry tomatoes, finish off with an extra drizzle of your hot sweet chilli jam and an extra squeeze of lime juice.  Roll up your tortillas, tucking in the bottom end to keep all the juices from dripping out and enjoy.

3 Jan 2014


Brandy Christmas Pudding Ice Cream, decadant, indulgent and perfect on it's own or with your Christmas pudding or mince pies...

(Serves 6)
500ml double cream
250ml jersey gold top milk
100g un-refined sugar
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
Christmas pudding

Place the cream, milk and sugar in a pan and scald, (this means bring up to heat but do not boil).  Take off the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.  Whisk the egg yolks with the salt.  Pour the slightly cooled milk on to the eggs whisking all the time, return the custard back to the pan and on a low heat cook until the mixture thickens slightly and covers the back of a spoon, don't be tempted to rush this stage, it will take approx 4 minutes, and if you turn your heat up to high you risk turing the custard into scrrambled eggs.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for approx 1 hour.

Pour your custard into your ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until soft firm peaks.  Crumble in your Christmas pudding and mix well, pour into a tub and place in the freezer to finish setting, this will take a couple of hours.  Enjoy with a warm christmas pudding, mince pies or on it's own.


Rich and sumptuous luxury on a plate, for me this is the ragu of ragu`s, the deep body of the claret adds a richer depth of flavour along with the quality of the Angus steak beef mince with an added bonus of fresh jelly from my dripping.

(Serves 4)
2 carrots finely diced
2 celery finely diced
1 onion finely diced
1 knob of butter
Sprig of fresh thyme
1kg angus minced beef or chuck steak
250g minced pork (optional)
1 bottle of Claret or Burgundy
500ml beef stock or jelly from your dripping bowl
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree

Heat the butter and ooil in a deep pan, soften the onion, carrot and celery for five minutes, add the beef and pork mince and brown off, sometimes I like to catch the mince a little to give a nuttier flavour. Add the thyme, red wine and reduce by on third, add the beef stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and leave to gently simmer for 1-2  hours, taste and season with salt, white and black pepper and maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper.

  This is one of those dishes that will improve with resting so this can be made earlier in the day and left to mature once cooked.


Making your own pasta not only gives you higher quality produces but is quick, easy and cheaper than buying dried manufactured pasta.  Making pasta is just the same as making pastry and once you look at the method like this it really is very simple.  No fancy equipment is needed, in Italy all the Nona's use is a rolling pin and the biceps!  

(Serves 4)
500g 00 flour
2 eggs beaten
3 egg yolks whisked
Good pinch of salt

Add the salt to your flour and mix in, place your flour in a mound on your work top, make a well in the centre, add the eggs and egg yolk.  Now you want to slowly incorporate the flour into the egg little by little.  I find the easiest way is to make my hand like a birds beak and using a pecking action bring in the flour into the egg and peck together.

Once you have used all the flour bring together and gently knead for five minutes until your dough becomes smooth and springy.  Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once you have rested your dough, cut into four, dust with semolina, and roll out as thin as you can with your rolling pin, don't let the pasta dry out, so if your taking your time have a damp tea towel and cover the rolled out pasta.

Now your pasta is ready to cut into sheets or tagliatelle, just roll up the sheets and slice thin, remember that the pasta will expand a little during cooking.


1 Jan 2014


This is the Queen of breakfasts and perfect for New Years Day, I admit to scoffing these down and loved every sweet, salty and sharp mouthful, I had way to much maple syrup, but hey it's a New Year! 

I made these pancakes with buttermilk which gives the pancake a lighter texture with a much more enriched flavour.

(Serves 2-4)
1 cup of self raising flour
1cup of buttermilk
50 ml full cream milk
1 large organic egg
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
300ml maple syrup 
250g blueberries
1 vanilla pod seeds scraped out
16 rashers sweet cure bacon
100g butter

I say this serves 2-4 because it depends on how many pancakes you like in a portion, this batter makes 8 pancakes.

Place the egg, buttermilk, milk, vanilla pod, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together, add the flour and whisk well until smooth, fold in the blueberries, if you can leave the batter to rest for half an hour on the side this will improve the texture, but is not essential.

Heat a flat griddle to medium hot, add a knob of butter and then a ladle of your batter, don't be tempted to turn the pancake until you have lots of air bubbles on the un-cooked side, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Grill the bacon and serve on top of the warm pancakes with lots and lots of glorious maple syrup, each mouthful will deliver paradise.


This year's table theme was chosen by my son Oscar, as he was going to Lapland to find Santa Claus he wanted to carry on the magic with a fun christmas table.  Oscar made the crackers for the table and helped with lots of home made decorations, this is truly a magical time for making memories with your most cherished family.

Fun Santa plates and name place baubles create a fun magical table setting.

Every detail helps, the salt and pepper pot and gravy or custard jugs add the finishing touches.

Oscar loves to leave home grown carrots, one for each of Santas reindeers and a mince pie and whiskey, even though Mrs Claus would not agree!

Oscar found Santa Claus deep in the woods of Lapland

Christmas a magical time.