26 Feb 2016


Bahjis, Pakoras they are all gorgeous and are not dissimilar to each other the difference is regions, a  slightly different recipe for each region, onion is the most common, but potato is also very popular.  Often a wedding or celebration food and I can see why, these little balls are amazing, full of gorgeous moorish Indian flavours and I find these very difficult to stop eating !!!

Onion Pakoras
1 large Spanish onion
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 fresh chillies chopped
1 hand full fresh coriander chopped
1 cup chic pea flour
100ml water
200ml nut oil to cook with

Makes approx 6

Place all the nut oil in a pan and bring up to a medium hot heat around 180 degrees C, meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the water, squeeze the onion mixture by hand this is to encourage the salt to react with the onions releasing their juices, this is the start to the batter as the juices mix with the chic pea flour they will start to make a thick paste, this will help with ensuring you do not end up with a stodgy centre from even mixing, start to add some of the water and mix to combine until you can easily form a ball of onions that holds together without question but not cemented, there should be loose movement.

Scoop up a large golf ball size in your hands and shape a firm ball, using a spoon gently place the pakora in the oil and fry for around 2 minutes on each side, turning only once.  Remove and place on kitchen paper to drain, repeat with the rest of the mixture, you can cook more than one at at time, just don't overload the pan as it lowers the heat of the oil and then the pakoras will absorb oil rather than cook and seal in the oil, enjoy.


One of my top favourite dinners, packed full of glorious flavour enhanced with the onion gravy and over loaded buttery mash.  Producing our own organic meat just adds to the light flavour of the liver, this is the best I have ever eaten.  You can buy liver direct from your local family abattoir, this I highly recommend as you will be buying meat that has had a high quality of life.

Prep time 10 minutes / Cooking time 30 minutes

(serves 4)

1 kg fresh lambs liver
glug olive oil
Salt and white pepper

Mashed Potatoes
1 kg King Edward potatoes
250g butter YES 250g !
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Sea salt
White pepper

Onion Gravy
2 lrg onions sliced
1 glug olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
600ml boiling water
1 knob butter
2 tbsp cornflour & water mix

For the time line, first peel the potatoes and place in a large pan filled with water and bring to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile place the onions in a pan with the olive oil and gently cook for 20 minutes, add the sugar and water and bring to a simmer, add the cornflour and water mix to thicken, season to taste and finally add the knob of butter, this will give the gravy a rich finish and a lovely sheen, leave on a low heat to tick over, while you make the mash.

Once the potatoes are drained, mashed and seasoned, place back on the cooker on the lowest heat.  Heat a non stick frying pan to a medium high heat, oil and season the livers and place in the pan, sear each side for around one minute, turn the heat down and add a cup of water, pop on a lid, or cover with a plate and leave to cook for another minute or so, depending on the thickness.  Remove the pan from the heat and leave the liver to rest while you serve up the mash, before you serve the gravy add all of the cooking juices from the liver pan to your onion gravy for that extra touch of flavour and enjoy.

17 Feb 2016


Fabulous parcels of happiness, every crispy mouthful is bursting with gorgeous aromatic flavours from the ginger and garlic seasoned pork and fresh crunchy veg from the winter garden, served with a soy, sesame and mirin dipping sauce these are a great lunch treat that I could eat all day!

Prep time 30 minutes / Cooking time 5 minutes per batch

(makes 10)

To Make The Spring Roll Wrappers
(you can buy these made from Asian stores or online)
1 cup plain flour
3 tbsp corn flour
1.5 cups of water
1/4 pinch sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil

Place the flour, corn flour and salt in a bowl and mix, then add half the water and whisk to a smooth lump free paste, then start to add the rest of the water stopping when you have a consistency that covers the back of a spoon and some, dip your spoon and draw your finger through the middle, like parting the red sea!  you want to keep the parting but not with banks!

Ginger Garlic Pork
500g pork mince
2 tbsp grated ginger
8 cloves garlic grated
1 tsp fresh grated turmeric
4 spring onions finely chopped
2 tbsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Winter Garden Veg
(any vegetables will do)
1/4 red cabbage finely sliced
4 carrots julienned
8 spring onions halved and julienned

Dipping Sauce
50ml light soy sauce
20ml rice wine vinegar
10ml mirin
1 tsp wasabi paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 red chilli chopped

Mix all the ingredients together

I like to prepare all the ingredients before I start, so first prep all the vegetables, make the spring roll batter if your making your own wraps, next cook the pork, in a dry non stick frying pan pan fry the pork until half cooked then add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and spring onions, cook for a further two or so minutes until the pork is cook through, add the shaoxing wine and soy sauce, stir through, cook on for one further minute and remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool while you make the spring roll wraps.

Wipe out your non stick frying pan, pre heat to a medium heat then with a pastry brush coat the pan with a hint of the coconut oil, take your rested spring roll batter and pour one ladle into your pan and gently tipping your pan spread the batter to cover the whole base of your frying pan, cook for a couple of minutes, you do not need to turn this wrap, so once you can see it is cooked all the way through, turn out cook side up on to a plate, repeat until all the batter is used.

Now the fun can begin, lay a spring roll wrap on your kitchen surface and one third of the way down the wrap and in the centre of that point lay some of the raw veg and the cooked aromatic pork, fold over the top of the wrap over the filling then fold in the left and right side, now roll the rest of the spring roll up, it is easier if you support the folded sides while you roll, that is it, repeat with the rest of the ingredients.

To cook heat the ground nut oil to 180 degrees C and gently fry the spring rolls for approx one and a half minutes on each side, drain and then enjoy with your dipping sauce.

14 Feb 2016


These are stupidly GORGEOUS, so much so I had to fight the family off as soon as each batch was cooked they all dived in and I was not only the one to make and cook but the last to get a mouthful, note to self, new house rule, cook gets first dibs !  

Gorgeous marinated chicken thighs in soy, sake and mirin with a great aromatic hint of ginger, garlic and turmeric, no wonder these wonderful skewers are a staple Japanese white collar street food, 

Prep time 5 minutes / Marinade time 1hrs min 7hrs is better / Cook time 5-7 minutes

(Makes 10 skewers)

600g organic chicken bone/skinless thighs rough diced
6 spring onions bashed
100ml light soy sauce
50ml sake
75ml Japanese mirin
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic grated
1 tsp grated fresh turmeric
2 tbsp coconut oil

If you can only marinate the meat for at least one hour great, but if you can do several hours it really makes a difference to the depth of flavour that penetrates through the chicken.  First make the marinade, in a pestle and mortar bash the spring onions to a paste, then in a saucepan add the soy, sake, mirin, honey, ginger and turmeric, bring to a simmer and take off the heat stir to combine and leave to one side to cool, once cooled pour over the chicken, add the spring onion paste and mix together well, pop in the fridge to infuse.  

When ready to cook skewer the chicken, you will need to cook in two batches unless you have a large flat plate, melt half the coconut oil in a medium hot frying pan, not to hot as the sugar from the honey will burn before the chicken is cooked, so slower is better, you can always increase the heat at the end of cooking to caramelise the chicken. place the skewers in the frying pan and sear, cook each side for around two minutes and remove leave to rest for a couple of minutes once all skewers are cooked add the rest of glaze to the pan and simmer down on a high heat to make a reduction glaze, paint this over the finished chicken to intensify the flavour and enjoy.


Sundays are always something special in our home, a slow family day where we together go down the farm feed and muck out the animals, then home to start the Sunday Brunch and Sunday Roast, all reared and grown by ourselves, after brunch and a family activity we all bundle on the sofa for a movie while the roast is in the oven, then great family memories are made round the table over our home raised and grown ingredients, a truly soul satisfying family day.

Prep time 15 minutes / Cooking time 60 minutes

(serves 4)

1kg rack of pork french trimmed, chine bone off and tied back on
2 tbsp lard
1 kg potatoes peeled and finely sliced
200ml double cream
4 clove garlic finely chopped
Sea salt
White pepper
100g Gruyere cheese finely grated
1/4 tsp nutmeg grated
4 large carrots peeled and sliced in to fingers
1 swede peeled and sliced in to fingers

Prep all your ingredients while your oven pre heats, as this is a relatively fast cook and the one hour countdown starts from when the pork goes in.

Pre heat your oven to 220 degrees, generously rub the skin of the pork with sea salt and place in your roasting tin along with the lard, pop in the oven for 30 minutes at this high temperature, this is what will set your crackling, after 30 minutes turn the oven down to 180 degrees and leave to cook the last 30 minutes.  Meanwhile make the dauphinoise.

Place the grated potato in a large bowl, pour over the cream and add the garlic, mix well so that every slice of potato is coated with cream.  In a roasting tin place a single layer of the potato over the base of the tin, sprinkle over a little, Gruyere cheese, sea salt and white pepper and nutmeg, repeat this layering until you have used up all the potato, finish off with a final layer of the seasonings, pop in the oven fifteen minutes after the pork goes in, 45 minutes left on the cooking time.

Bring a pan of water to a rolling simmer and part boil the carrots and swede until almost fork tender, drain and toss in the rack of pork's roasting tin, pop back in the oven and cook for the remaining thirty minutes.  When the hour is up, remove the pork to rest for ten minutes, if you want to test the pork is cooked insert a temperature probe you are looking for 65 degrees if you like you pork just cooked with almost a hint of pink, juicy and succulent (not suitable for the young, elderly or pregnant), if you prefer your pork a little more cooked 72-75 degrees will give you  thoroughly cooked pork.

Serve the pork sliced with a wedge of the creamy rich dauphiniose potatoes and your glorious roasted carrots and swede fingers.

11 Feb 2016


How gorgeous is this!  A crispy sweet toffee dough cake crust that gives way to a gorgeous mouthful of old fashioned fruity pudding, a truly outstanding cake, completely outrageous as far as my expert cake eating husband says.  I was so pleased to watch him scoff this down with no dignity, the perfect compliment.  With our nose to tail eating there is plenty of rendered down crackling lard in our house from our Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs and this is a top favourite way to use it.  

Making Your Own Lard
It is easy to make your own lard, ask your local butcher for some back fat and a little bit of skin if available, pop in the oven on a high heat and after 40 minutes remove from the oven and pour off the liquid lard into a loaf tin, return the fat to the oven and repeat until the fat is not rendering any more lard, leave the lard to cool and then turn out of the tin and wrap in parchment paper, store in the fridge and use as needed.

Prep Time 15 minutes / Proving Time 1.30 hours / Cooking Time 30 minutes

(makes 8" cake)

The Dough
250g 00 flour
8g dried yeast
5g sea salt
25ml olive oil
160g water

Lardy Cake Filling
250g caster sugar
200g fresh lard softened
2 tbsp fresh softened lard
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
200g dried fruit
100ml earl grey tea

First to make the dough as this will need to rest and prove for an hour, place all the ingredients together in a bowl, I keep the salt on the opposite side to the yeast until mixing, using your hands or a dough hook bring the mix to form a dough and knead for seven minutes, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for a hour.

Mix the lard and caster sugar together and leave to one side, in a bowl pour the tea over the dried fruit and leave to infuse while the dough proves.  When the hour is up roll out your dough to a thin circle, spread two thirds of your sugar lard all over the dough.

Take one side of the dough and fold half in to the middle so you now have a straight edge on one half of the circle, take the bottom corner and fold up in to the centre of the dough circle, repeat with the top corner which will in turn create another corner and then another, now you will have a circle again, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for twenty minutes.  When time is up gently roll out the dough circle to half the size again, spread the remainder of the sugar lard over, drain the soaked fruit and sprinkle evenly over the dough, now fold up again as before.  

Line and grease your 8" cake tin base with the two tablespoons of lard, sprinkle over the sugar and place the dough circle in your tin, leave to rest again covered for half an hour, meanwhile pre heat your oven to 210 degrees and if you have a baking stone place that in the oven to heat up as this will stop your cake getting a soggy bottom and over browning the top as you are cooking at a high heat.

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, once done, leave to cool in the tin for 15 - 20 minutes, so that the gorgeous toffee bottom can set, otherwise it will just run off if you remove the cake before.  Turn the cake upside down and make sure you get yourself a slice first as this will be gone fast.

7 Feb 2016


Brilliantly moist and succulent roasted pork belly with crispy crackling skin, it is the method that will guarantee crispy crackling every time, its really very simple.  The key is to have a dry skin before you start, a very hot oven 220 degrees C and some sea salt, that's it!  

Prep time 10 minutes / Cook Time 45 minutes / Rest time 5-10 minutes

(serves 4)

Belly Pork
1 kg organic or local farm pork belly
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sea salt

Fabulous Buttery Mashed Potatoes
1 kg King Edward potatoes
250g butter YES 250g!
sea salt and white pepper
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

Pre heat your oven to 220 degrees C, grease a flat baking tray with the coconut oil and place you pork belly on the tray, pat the skin dry with paper roll, sprinkle over the salt and place in the oven at this high temperature for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180 C and cook for a further 15 minutes,  Once cooked take out of the oven and leave to rest for a minim of five minutes to relax the meat and let all the juices settle evenly in the belly pork, thus ensuring a juicy pork belly.

Once the pork belly has been in the oven for 15 minutes peel the potatoes, cut into four and place in a deep saucepan of boiling water, simmer for 30 minutes until fork tender, tip the potatoes out in to a colander and leave to drain for a few minutes, place the saucepan back on the lowest heat, add the butter and allow to just melt, add back the potatoes, sea salt, white pepper and white wine vinegar, mash with a masher keeping some texture.  I personally like to push my potatoes through a ricer so that the mash is silky smooth, but for my husband I use a masher as he likes some small hint of  possible lumps !!!  This I will call texture and apparently some top chefs do this to !

Serve a generous dollop of creamy buttery mashed potatoes in the centre of your plate and then top with thin slices of your gorgeous juicy succulent and crispy belly pork, I like to serve with a side of homemade quince and apple sauce.

Homemade Apple & Quince Sauce
2 apples peeled & diced
1 quince peeled & diced
4 tbsp cider
4 tbsp unrefined brown sugar

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, as soon as the apples and quince are squishy soft your apple sauce is ready.

6 Feb 2016


Aromatic sumptuous and fragrant Panang Curry, cold water Atlantic prawns and loin of cod gently poached in a coconut infused lemongrass and ginger aromatic curry sauce.  Simple to make and quite therapeutic with the pounding of the base ingredients in a pestle and mortar, this really does make a difference in the overall flavour and texture, but not essential and a food processor will do.

I like to make my own fish stock, coconut milk and flat breads for this recipe, however if you don't want to then store bought is just fine, so skip some of the instructions and go straight to the cooking method.

Prep Time 30 minutes / Cooking Time 10 minutes / Onion Pakoras 10 minutes

(Serves 4)

The Panang Curry Paste
6 cardamon pods seeds only
2 dried scotch bonnets
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp sea salt
30g ginger finely chopped
1 lemongrass bashed finely chopped
8 garlic cloves chopped
5 shallots diced
2 tsp grated turmeric OR
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp fish sauce

The Curry
1 tbsp coconut oil
16 raw shell on king prawns
12oz cod loin
5 fresh kaffir lime leaves
1 green pepper diced
1 small bunch coriander chopped
1/2 tsp un refined sugar
400ml coconut creamy milk
(to make your own see below)
300ml fish stock made from the prawn shells
(method see below)
1 tbsp ghee or butter or coconut oil

Flat Breads
500g 00 flour
10g sea salt
50g olive oil
320g water

Really simple to make, place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and either by hand or using a dough hook bring the flour together to form a dough and work for seven minutes, leave to rest for around an hour, when ready to cook, cut the dough into eight portions and roll out a thin disk around 8 inch's in diameter, to cook heat a dry frying pan hot and cook each side for around one minute, I like to let the flat bread catch a little adding extra flavour.

Coconut Milk
Take your coconut and locate the 3 eyes on one end, turn the coconut until the 3 eyes form a trinangle and the point is at the top, this is the eye to pierce with a point of a knife, do this over a bowl and drip out all the coconut water.  Crack open the coconut and remove all the flesh, grate or blitz until fine, place all the grated coconut in a glass bowl and pour over 400ml of boiling water, leave to infuse for ten minutes.  Either in a muslin bag or by hand squeeze out all of the water from the coconut, this is your coconut milk, if you every want coconut cream then leave the milk to settle in a fridge and the cream will set on the top of the milk.

The Curry
Firstly make the curry paste, this only takes a few minutes and I find it very therapeutic, heat a non stick pan and toast the cumin, coriander, black peppercorns and dried chillies, take care not to burn, place the rest of the ingredients in the mortar, add the toasted seeds and pound away with the pestle until you have a glorious curry paste.

Fish Stock 
Peel all the prawns and de vein, keep all the shells, in a pan melt some ghee or butter or coconut oil, ghee is my favourite in this case, pan fry the shells for a couple of minutes, add 400ml of water and simmer gently for around five minutes, using the back of a spoon or my favourite the end of a rolling pin to pound the prawn shells helping to release and squeeze out all of their juices and flavour, strain through a sieve and return the stock to the pan, add the coconut milk and bashed curry paste, bring to a gently simmer and reduce by half to thicken the sauce then add the cod loins and prawns, turn the cod loins after 2 minutes and after a further two minutes take off the heat, leave to rest for five minutes while you cook the flat breads and then serve.

Onion Pakoras
1 large Spanish onion
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 fresh chillies chopped
1 hand full fresh coriander chopped
1 cup chic pea flour
100ml water
200ml nut oil to cook with

Makes approx 6

Place all the nut oil in a pan and bring up to a medium hot heat, meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the water and coat the onions with the chic pea flour, add most of the water and stir to combine, you want a thick batter consistency, add a little more water if needed.

Scoop up a large golf ball size in your hands and shape a firm ball, using a spoon gently place the pakora in the oil and fry for around 2 minutes on each side, turning only once.  Remove and place on kitchen paper to drain, repeat with the rest of the mixture, you can cook more than one at at time, just don't overload the pan.

4 Feb 2016


Oh my days, this is comfort food for the soul, mind and not so for the body!  Just gotta be eaten with a spoon so you can get most, the maximum in your mouth every time, but eat it slow and savour every mouthful as this is a rich and decadent treat and not a large portion as you just won't be able to manage it all!

Prep Time 5-20 minutes / Cooking Time 20 minutes
(20 minutes if you a removing meat from a whole fresh crab)

(serves 2-4)

135g Gruyere grated
20g Parmesan finely grated
pinch sea salt
100g white crab meat room temperature
50g brown crab meat optional room temperature 

The Roux Mornay
25g butter
25g flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
200-300ml rich full fat creamy milk
1 shallot diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 clove

First to make the mornay, bring the milk up to almost a simmer, add the shallot, bay, white pepper and clove, take off the heat and leave to infuse for ten minutes or so, meanwhile melt the butter over a medium heat and stir in the flour, keep stirring and cook out the roux on a low heat for around five minutes.  Strain the milk infusion into a jug and start to pour into the roux around 50ml at a time whisking thoroughly to remove any lumps, don't panic if you have lumps, these will whisk out as the roux incorporates the milk, stop adding milk once you have a thick sauce that slowly runs off the spoon, a bit like honey.  On a really low heat cook the mornay sauce for around 20 minutes, this is to further cook out the flour flavour, then add the all the cheese but hold back a couple of table spoons for dusting the tops of the mornay with.  Once all the cheese has been stirred in and incorporated into a smooth velvety sauce leave on a really low heat to keep the sauce soft while you assemble the next stage.

Take your serving dishes, I used a le creuset ramekin which was small but deep, this made this dish more deeply decadent, you could also use slightly shallower dishes which would then make this a very gorgeous starter and would serve four instead of two.  I am too greedy and wanted the volume overload where I struggle to finish the last two spoonfuls...A little naughty release from my paleo lifestyle...

Place a layer of the mornay in your serving ramekin, then a layer of crab meat, repeat two or three times, then finish off the top layer of mornay with a sprinkling of the reserved cheese, pop under the grill for around five minutes to brown off the top and keep the heat in the ramekin.  Serve immediately and enjoy with a spoon!  This would also go really well dolloped on the edge of a lovely slice of fresh sour dough, enhancing that mouthful of gorgeousness, this I don't do anymore but boy oh boy it does look good and in my distant memory it was good !!!

2 Feb 2016


Fabulous steak sandwich this turned out better than expected and I had to share it with the family, which was not intended!  Using the steaks as the bread, the only difference in eating this sandwich is that you need a knife and fork, well you don't but it may be a little bit more messy and all the more fun!!!

Gorgeous al dente pan seared peppers and onions tossed through a thick creamy sour cream cheese, seasoned and stuffed between two thin fillet steaks grilled to your liken and seasoned with four ground peppers, sea salt and chilli flakes.

Prep Time 5 minutes / Cooking Time 7-10 minutes

(serves 2)

2 x 8-10 oz fillet steaks
300g Philadelphia cream cheese
1 red pepper sliced
1 green pepper sliced
1 onion sliced
2 handfuls watercress 
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp mixed peppers seasoning
1 tbsp coconut oil

To Make Your Own Pepper Seasoning
1 tsp pink peppercorns
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp green peppercorns
2 tsp sea salt
Grind all ingredients together

Take the steaks and cut in half, start half way down the side and cut left to right so that you now have two steaks the same size, place a sheet of cling film on your work top, place one of the steaks on the cling film and then cover with another sheet of cling film, take a rolling pin and gently bash out the steak so that it is almost twice the size and even thickness all over, repeat with the other steaks.

Melt half of the coconut oil in a frying pan and toss in the peppers and onions, pan sear for a couple of minutes, enough to soften slightly but keep the crisp in the peppers.  Add the Philly cheese and on a low heat stir in until warmed through, leave on a lower heat to tick over while you sear the steaks.

Rub the steaks with some of the coconut oil and then season the steaks on both sides with the seven pepper spice and chilli flakes, heat a griddle or skillet hot and sear the steaks on each side for almost one minute for medium rare, adjust this cooking time up or down by a 15 seconds for rarer or more well done.  Leave on a plate to rest for a couple of minutes, this is important as it allows all the juices to flood back into the steak, keeping all the flavour and juices in the steaks.  Pour these resting juices in to your peppers and onions and mix through.

To assemble, place one steak on your plate, generously top this with some of your peppers and onion mix and then top with another steak, serve and enjoy with some watercress salad on the side.