31 Jan 2020
It’s all in the method...
Perfect crispy salty umptious crackling, a simple method that guarantees that perfect crispy crackling and succulent melt in the mouth belly pork every time you roast your pork. There is no secret just a fool proof method. Dry skin, sea salt and a really hot oven, some would say a rub if vinegar too, that’s all it takes for this Sunday Show Stopper that will have the whole family loving this crispy delight.
Cooking time 1 hour
1kg pork belly skin on scored
1 tbsp Himalayan sea salt
The Secret to Success Everytime!
Pre heat your oven to 220 C / 428 F for at least 20 minutes in advance. Pat your belly pork skin dry with a towel and liberally rub the salt all over the skin, place the pork in a low or flat roasting tin and place in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200 C / 392 F after 30 minutes leave to roast with out opening the door for around 45 minutes overall or until 70 C / 158 F. Seriously that is all it takes to serve this awesome crackling roast pork.
Serve with usual roast accompaniments or use this pork diced to finish a sweet and sour pork stir fry recipe.
27 Jan 2020
Simple quick and easy family dinner, stir fry shaoxing ginger and spring onion chicken with peppers, onions, bean sprouts, kale and fresh jalapeños. Really quick from fridge to table, swap out or add in your favourite vegetables, if you can plan ahead then marinate the chicken in advance for more depth of flavour all the better. Serve with bowls of fragrant rice and a side of sweet chilli dipping sauce.
This recipe is so versatile you can swap out the meat for more vegetables or a different meats or fish. Don’t want rice swap for egg noodles or extra stir fry vegetables.
Prep time 15 minutes / Cooking time 5 minutes
300g chicken thighs skin & bone off finely sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh ginger sliced
1 fresh jalapeño sliced
4 stems of kale shredded
1 carrot julienned
1 leek julienned
1/4 red cabbage finely sliced
1/4 white cabbage finely sliced
100g fresh bean sprouts
1/2 red pepper sliced
1/2 green pepper sliced
1 onion finely sliced
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 spring onions finely sliced
1 small bunch fresh chopped coriander
75ml soy sauce or coconut aminos
50ml shaoxing wine
1 tsp brown rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp wasabi paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil x 2
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp fresh grated turmeric
1 clove garlic grated
3 spring onions bashed to a paste
1 cup uncooked rice or 2 portions noodles
Sweet chilli sauce
In a pester and mortar bash the spring onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and wasabi to a paste, add the rest of the marinade ingredients, mix together and pour over the chicken, leave to marinade in the fridge for half an hour or over night if you want to get ahead. The longer the marinade the deeper the flavours.
Rice or Noodles
15 minutes cooking time
Get this cooking before you start the stir fry.
To cook perfect fluffy rice, take one cup of uncooked rice and two cups of water bring to a gentle simmer, pop the lid on set your timer for 10 minutes then Do Not Lift The Lid at all during the cooking time and resting time. As soon as the timer rings take the saucepan off the head and leave to one side to finish cooking the rice under its own steam for a further 5 minutes, then your rice is ready to serve. If your having noodles then bring a pan of water to a simmer drop the noodles in and cook for around 2 minutes, drain, run under cold water then drizzle over a little sesame oil and reserve to one side.
7 minutes cooking time
Heat your wok on a high heat, add the coconut oil and the marinated chicken with all the marinade, stir fry for a couple of minutes until the chicken is just cooked, remove to a bowl and keep to one side, now add in all the stir fry vegetables except the bean sprouts and stir fry for a couple of minutes, add the bean sprouts, noodles if using and the reserved chicken and resting juices, toss through, stir in the 2nd half teaspoon of sesame oil, sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds, fresh coriander and spring onions and serve. I like to have extra soy, wasabi and sweet chilli sauce on the side.
Simple yet decedent
This I try ! to only allow myself to indulge a couple of times a year but personally I want to fall face first into this decadently sumptuously gorgeous I can’t move for the rest of the day awesome creamy naturally oak smoked haddock corn and potato chowder, my taste buds and heart say it’s worth the next few hours of my groaning belly telling me off for eating a greedy to big a portion followed by a further week of no zip up jeans, this should tell me otherwise but I don’t want to listen as my taste buds rule mind over matter!
Prep time 10 mins / Cooking time 20-30 minutes
(serves 4 or a greedy 2)
1 onion finely diced
1/2 onion peeled whole
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic finely diced
3 King Edward potatoes small diced
1 can sweet corn in water
1 ltr whole milk
5 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 kg naturally oak smoked haddock
1 ltr chicken stock (homemade recipe below)
500ml double cream
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
First in a pan on a medium heat melt the butter and olive oil, add the diced onion and one of the garlic gloves diced, soften without colouring for around five minutes, then add the diced potatoes and sweet corn with juice, leave to gently soften. Meanwhile bring the milk up to almost a simmer, tiny hint of bubbles no more than that. Add the other garlic clove. Whole half of onion, bay leaf and peppercorns, then place the haddock in to gently poach the fish for around five minutes until just cooked and flaking, remove the haddock from the poaching milk.
Sieve the cooking liquor (milk) and reserve to one side. Add the chicken stock to the cooking corn and potatoes, then the double cream, stir in then add the turmeric and some of the reserved cooking milk, this is for extra smoked haddock flavour and for the thickness of your chowder, for a thinner chowder add more milk. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes then season with salt and pepper to taste, flake in the cooked haddock and finish with fresh parsley.
19 Jan 2020
Can I call this cooking? All I did was season and open the oven!
I think this is my new favourite way to eat steak, I don’t know if I will go back, well maybe a butter seared peppered crust might do it! Again it’s all in the method and really a almost no cooking required dinner, just opening the oven door and that’s about it! Oh and a bit of maths! Now I won’t fib I couldn’t help myself and I had to peel or chop something this is not necessary, but it will give the au jus so much more depth of flavour that I can’t get enough of with my prime rib.
I would usually recommend a fore rib centre cut ribeye bone off approx 3kg / 6.61lbs but this time my butcher had a beautiful thick centre cut side of fillet that just screamed prime rib to me when I saw it, as the cooking is based on the weight of your cut of beef you have more flexibility on your choice of cuts. I choose a 2kg/4.41lbs centre cut of fillet this time but I have also cooked a whole sirloin that also resulted in a perfect cooked prime rib and it’s all due to this equation!
Bring your steak out 3 hours before you are going to cook, this is really important for a successful prime rib and not to end up with roast beef or London broil.
Preheat your Oven to the highest 240 C - 250 C / 464 F - 482 F
The Cooking Calculation For My Steak Weight...
4.41lbs x 5 (minutes) per lb = 23 Cooking Minutes + 1 minute = 24 Exact Minutes
( The +1 minute is for oven temperature adjustment from the door being opened...YES it matters that much! )
Prep time 1 minute - 5 minutes / Cooking time 2hrs-24 minutes.
Equipment deep roasting tray with a rack
Prime Rib Fillet
2kg / 4.41 lbs centre cut fillet steak
150g butter room temperature
1 tbsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
4 carrots roughly chopped
1 onion in quarters
1 leek roughly chopped
2 ribs of celery roughly chopped
1 bulb of garlic cut in half
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
10 whole black peppercorns
1 ltr water or red wine
Pre heat your oven to its highest setting, 220, 230, 240 or 250 C / 482 F for at least one hour in advance.
Take your roasting tray and place your steak in the centre, unless like me you feel the need to add extra flavour layers to the au jus then place the au jus stock ingredients in the bottom of the roasting tray, add the water or wine. Season the steak with salt and pepper then generously spread the soft butter all over the steak, place into the centre of the roasting tray.
Place in the oven as fast as possible and from this point forward DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR, if you do you will get roast beef not prime rib. Set the timer for your maths cooking time, when this time is up, TURN THE OVEN OFF ! DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR AT ALL! After two hours your prime rib is ready to serve, it will be warm but not hot. If you want your steak cooked more medium rare then just heat the steak in the au jus to your liking.
That is it, so simple the prime rib cooks itself. You can bake some potatoes or make a gorgeous creamy buttery mashed potatoes, salad or vegetables to serve with your prime rib without the pressure of cooking timings as you know that the perfect prime rib is doing it’s own thing.
The Au Jus
I often blitz the mirepoix vegetables into all the au jus resting juices stock gravy for maximum flavour, this is optional and will give you a slightly thicker gravy or you can simply strain the cooking juices, add a knob of butter and taste for seasoning. Optional I always have a side of horseradish too.
15 Jan 2020
LOSING WEIGHT WITH GORGEOUS FOOD
How can food that tastes this good and makes you feel like you are being really naughty be diet food? That's because it's NOT, its LIFESTYLE food, food that will see you loose weight without being on a diet, it is really that simple, diets do not work long term, I am proof of that, as a emotional eater I finally got to 315lbs and turned 40yrs old and that was my cut off point! So far I have lost 126lb in 22 months by just removing a few processed foods from my life, I now eat more than I ever have and have a much wider selection of meals that I ever thought I could eat without getting bigger.
If you do try the Paleo Lifestyle you will quickly see a huge difference in how your body loves Paleo and rewards you with good steady weight loss while you get to eat gorgeous beautiful food that you never thought you could if you were on a diet! For more on this type Paleo in my search engine at the top of my blog to see all my recipes and a complete guide to Paleo weight loss for life. Also my inspiration has been from PALEO LEAP, PALEO NOM NOM, PALEO GRUBS & CAVEMAN DIET.
Prep Time 15 minutes / Cooking Time 45 minutes
2 large breasts of lamb
2 tsp five spice
70ml soy sauce
150ml shaoxing wine
1 tsp sea salt
To Serve With
12-20 large lettuce leaves or tortilla wraps or taco shells
2 carrots julienned
200g fresh spinach leaves
10 spring onions julienned
2 red chillies finely sliced
Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
50ml organic soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 tbsp honey
1 fresh chilli diced
1 pinch fresh grated turmeric
1 dash sesame oil
Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees C, 428 degrees F, season the underside of the breasts of lamb with the five spice and sea salt. In a wide shallow roasting tin place the soy, shaoxing and water and then lay the breast of lamb skin side up in the pan, season the skin with more sea salt, pop in the oven for 45 minutes by then you will have juicy succulent lamb with a gorgeous crispy crackling skin. Leave to rest for five minutes in the pan and then finely slice or chop up and place on a family style serving plate.
While the lamb it cooking line each of your serving plates with a few of the lettuce wraps some of the julienned carrots, spinach leaves, spring onions and red chilli and place on the table.
To make the sweet soy dipping sauce place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and place in a small bowl with a teaspoon and place on your table.
I love serving this food family style so everyone can stuff their own wraps to their own liking. Family style where great food creates great family memories.
DINNER IS IN THE BAG!
42 Get Ahead Dinner’s that save time and save money.
I love stocking my freezer with these make ahead sheet pan tray bake dinners, knowing a fabulous family dinner is marinating in the fridge or freezer ready to go at a moments notice with lots of fresh veggies dinner will be on the family table in 20 minutes with minimal effort, dinner is sorted. This also means I can spend more time with my family and the bonus is left overs for next day lunch salads, wraps, quesadillas and tacos this is a winning formula.
What I love about get ahead dinners is the whole family are involved in making the weeks prep ahead dinners list which at some point usually gets a little loud with a hundred or so suggestions a minute being launched at me! This is my family's next choices for this batch of get ahead dinners. All you have to do as add a selection of fresh or frozen vegetables, baked potatoes or a big family salad and dinner rolls while your traybake is cooking.
Prep time 2 hours Made 42 Meals / Cooking time 18-20 minutes
These are some of my families favourite go to dinners, just make a meal plan for what you guys love and stock up your fridge and feeezer for a week or month, this prep ahead really pays off on those busy week nights when time is short.
BACON WRAPPED CHEESE STUFFED MUSTARD CHICKEN THIGHS
Skinless boned out chicken thighs seasoned with salt and pepper, rolled in Dijon mustard, filled with sliced mozzarella forked in half and wrapped with sweetcure bacon, tossed in olive oil. To cook place on sheet pan and roast for 18-20 minutes, turning half way through.
CHILLI CUMIN GARLIC HANGER STEAK FOR TACOS OR SALD BOWLS
Tri tip or skirt steak seasoned with Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, Kashmiri chilli powder and ground cumin, place in bag with good glug of olive oil. To cook sear the steak in a skillet for 2 minutes each side, remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes, slice on the bias and serve with all the usual taco fixings.
FEATHER BLADE OREGANO SALT PEPPER KEBAB STEAK
Tri tip of skirt steak seasoned with Himalayan sea salt, white pepper and dried oregano, toss with olive oil. To cook sear the steak in a hot skillet for a couple of minutes on each side, leave to rest for 5 minutes, very thinly slice on the bias and serve stuffed in to pitta breads topped with ice berg salad, lime slaw, chilli sauce, garlic mayonnaise and green kebab pickled chillies.
SESAME SOY GARLIC GINGER CHICKEN STIR FRY
Chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Himalayan sea salt, white pepper, grated ginger, fresh garlic, spring onions and olive oil. To cook empty the chicken in to a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, serve with shredded stir fry veggies of broccoli, asparagus, red and white cabbage wok seared with sesame oil, soy sauce and a dash of shaoxing wine.
CHICKEN THIGH OREGANO KEBAB
Diced boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, black pepper and dried oregano. To cook place in a roasting tin and bake for 10-12 minutes until just cooked, serve with kebab flat breads stuffed with salad, slaw, chilli sauce, garlic mayonnaise and kebab pickled chillies.
Chicken, olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, dried oregano, ground cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and ancho chipotle chilli powder. To cook place in a roasting tray with sliced red and green peppers and sliced onions, bake for 18 minutes, serve with soft flour tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, iceberg salad and grated cheese.
BUFFALO CHICKEN WITH BLUE CHEESE
Chicken, olive oil, whole bottle West Indian hot sauce, Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, blue cheese reserved for later. Place in a roasting tin with sliced peppers and onions and bake for 18 minutes, 3 minutes before cooking time is up crumble the blue cheese over the chicken to melt. Serve with broccoli and home fries, or stuffed in to tortilla wraps or tacos with iceberg salad and fixings.
Chicken, olive oil, diced red and green peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, tin of chopped tomatoes, sea salt, black pepper, dried Italian herbs, tsp tomato puree and of sugar, dash of red wine optional, olives optional. To cook empty the bag in to your roasting tin and cook in the oven for 20-24 minutes, serve over pasta or with rice and veggies.
CHICKEN PIRI PIRI
Chicken, olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, oregano, ground ginger, ground cardamom, garlic and onion powder, piri piri chilli powder, cayenne pepper, sliced peppers, onions and butter. To cook place in a roasting tin and bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked serve over pasta or with home fries and veggies or stuffed in to flatbreads with salad.
PARMESAN MEATBALLS MARINARA
Ground beef, sea salt, black pepper, grated Parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, chilli powder, oregano, mix and shape in to balls. Marinara
Sauce onions, garlic, olive oil, chilli powder, pinch sugar, oregano, tomatoes, leave to cook for at least one hour then chill and cover meatballs. To cook place in a roasting tin and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes serve with spaghetti or stuffed in to subs loaded with melted cheese.
GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOM CHICKEN
Chicken, butter, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, sea salt and white pepper. To cook place in a roasting tin and bake for 18 minutes, serve with fries, veggies or add a glug of cream and white wine and serve over pasta with Parmesan.
12 PORTIONS TEXAS RED CHILLI BEEF
All in one pan at the same time, onions, garlic, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, mexine powder, cayenne, ground cumin, oregano, ground beef, tins tomato, tomato purée. To cook leave to gently simmer away for a couple of hours finish off with a few knobs of butter. This is a recipe that the flavours are better the day after.
To cook pre heat your oven to 200 C / 392 F, place your marinated meats on a sheet pan, toss your veggies, broccoli, red onion, garlic, red and green bell peppers, squash and courgettes in olive oil and maybe some fresh lemon juic, sea salt and ground black pepper and arrange on the sheet pan, pop in the oven and bake for around 18 minutes for chicken and 12 minutes for fish, check that your protein is cooked through and serve with a side of house salad.
13 Jan 2020
Wonderful hearty Asian inspired bowl of sunshine, this is a dish that will require less table etiquette and more of a lip smacking gorgeousness, best eaten in private! Full of good for you nutrition this is a great all rounder.
My geeky science bit....
Chicken Bone Broth Nutrients
Chicken bone stock is so good for you, the broth water has calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, trace minerals, chodroitin sulphates and glucosamine, these latter two ingredients are expensive to buy as supplements, but they are found naturally in bone broths. You need magnesium so your body and convert vitamin D into it's active form so that it can be used to absorb calcium. We only need around 400mg of calcium a day, but the RDA says 1200mg, the reason for this is that we do not absorb all the calcium we eat, but if you have a balanced diet the extra calcium you absorb can lead to kidney stones and calcium in the blood stream and heart disease, chicken stock is anti viral, anti bacterial and scientifically proven to be 25% as effective as penicillin.
B6, C, B1, manganese, copper, phosphorus, calcium, allicin, selenium.
King do healing foods, cleans liver, fights food poisoning bacteria, stomach bug bacteria, anti viral, anti fungal, natural compounds that aid liver to remove MERCURY, food additives and the hormone oestrogen from your body. Helps iron metabolism, cardo protective, helps keep blood pressure in check, may regulate number of fat cells, antioxidant, lowers risk of oxidative stress.
Turmeric is super good for you, but more important is the need to eat turmeric with black pepper, why? The curcuma longs L in turmeric is not utilised in our body due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall, combining consumption of piperine a know inhibitor of intestinal absorption found in black pepper significantly increased the concentration of curcumin up to 2000% in turn extending the absorption time.
Turmeric 1500mg RDA
Turmeric is one of those little spices you should try and eat every day, helps control high blood sugar, great if you have or are pre disposed to diabetes, anti inflammatory, anti oxidant helps protect against ageing, anti atherosclerotic, heart protecting and weight reducing actions, another great benefit for diabetes and reducing complications from associated diseases. Important role of curcumin a key component in turmeric in the the prevention and treatment again of diabetes and associated disorders, neuroprotective and anti infections actions. Helps protect against Alzheimer's.
Vitamin B6, manganese, iron, fibre, copper, potassium.
Livers favourite spice, boosts liver detox by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens, curcumin compounds heal your liver aiding detoxification and strengthening your whole body. Antioxidant, controls blood cholesterol levels, anti carcogenic, powerful medicine in anti inflammatory, supports flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest, pain and colic.
Vitamin C, B6, B1, folic acid, phenolics, flavonoids, manganese, copper.
Anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, cardio benefits, protects heart and blood vessels, anti clotting capacity helps prevent unwanted clumping together of the blood platelet cells, lowers blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides, improves cell membrane function in red blood cells, can increase bone density and connective tissue.
Coconuts are rich in fibre, Vitamin C, E,, B1, B5, B6,, iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous. Extremely healthy MFCA and lauric acid easily digested and almost immediately broken down in your saliva and gastric juices. This means pancreatic fat digesting enzymes are not essential which puts less strain on your liver allowing it to work more efficiently. Anti viral, anti bacterial, protects body form infections and viruses. Regulates thyroid function and is highly nutritious.
Homemade Chicken Stock
1 whole chicken quartered
1 bay leaf
1 carrot rough chopped
1 leek rough chopped
2 sticks celery rough chopped
2 cloves garlic bashed
1 sprig of thyme
1/4 tsp turmeric
Sea salt and pepper
1 star anise
6 sichuan peppercorns crushed
1 lemongrass bashed
2" ginger grated
2" turmeric grated (1tsp ground)
2 green chillies finely sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 lime juiced
1 tsp harrisa paste
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1 tsp tamarind pulp
200ml coconut milk
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
2 ptn rice noodles
2 handfuls greens
1 carrot juillenned
1 leek finely sliced
1 handful watercress
1 boiled egg just set yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
2 glorious free range eggs
Homemade chicken stock
Place all the ingredients for the chicken stock in a deep pan and bring to a almost simmer for a couple of hours, strain, remove the chicken from the bones and reserve some of the chicken for this meal, rest for leftovers, season the stock to taste.
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes or according to cooking instructions on the packet, drain and run under cold water then toss in a dash of sesame oil, place in your serving bowls.
Bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer, add the lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, chillies, star anise, sichuan peppercorns, palm sugar, lemon juice, coconut milk, shrimp paste, tom yum, harissa, tamarind pulp, soy, shaoxing and fish sauce. Adjust the taste using the lime juice and palm sugar.
In your serving bowls with the noodles place the carrots, greens, watercress, leek and some of the chicken then ladle over the broth and you are good to go, enjoy. If you want to garnish with mollet eggs as is traditional in Japan instructions below, traditionally you would soak the eggs in soy sauce before serving.
The Perfect Mollet Egg
Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, add your room temperature eggs and set the timer for 6 minutes, 6.20 minutes for large eggs, this is important do not guess the time. As soon as the time is up drain the hot water away and fill the pan with cold water, drain again and re-fill with cold water again, leave for a minute then remove from the pan and leave on the side until needed, any extra cooked eggs can be stored in the fridge. These are great just set boiled eggs and can be used just the same as hard boiled eggs.