30 Sept 2020


Who knew that hot dogs could be this good!  Organic smokey outdoor reared old spot hot dog sausages in natural casings, cooked in the same pan with butter softened fried onions then loaded in to ice gem, chard and kale leaves drizzled with stripes of American mustard, tomato ketchup and mayonnaise.  Lip smacking gorgeous and the kids loved them too, no one missed the bun!

(serves 3-4)

 6 Helen Brownings Organic hotdogs
2 ice gems
6 chard leaves
6 kale leaves
2 spanish onions sliced
25g butter
1 glug olive oil

American mustard
Tomato ketchup 

Heat the butter and olive oil medium hot in a saucepan, add the hotdogs and cook for 2 minutes before turning, add the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, on your serving plates layer up 2 ice gem leaves, 1 kale and 1 chard leaf per hot dog, fill with the onions and one hotdog then generously drizzle over the stripes.

19 Sept 2020


Our home grown organic sweet corn stuffed with chipotle spiced butter and grilled in their husks on the BBQ until tender.  Then slavered with a zesty lime and chipotle Mexican crema sauce, fresh coriander and generously smattering of cotija cheese.  This is a glorious messy eat and perfectly acceptable in front of friends, family and strangers!

If you can’t get Mexican cotija cheese and Mexican crema (I can’t in the UK) you can use feta cheese instead, it is a little sharper so maybe a dusting of Parmesan too and as for the Mexican crema just use sour cream with a pinch of salt.

Grilling the corn in their husks adds a whole other depth of flavour.

(serves 4 -8)

4 whole corn on the cobs in husks
300g salted butter room temperature 
2 chipotle in adobo sauce chopped
1 clove garlic grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crema or sour cream
1/2 lime zest and juice
1/2 lime in 4 wedges
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
100g crumbled cojita cheese or feta and Parmesan
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Mix half the chipotle pepper in to the butter and divide by 6 in the mixing bowl gently peel the husks back to the stem on the cobs careful not to pull the husks off, season the corn with a little salt and pepper then cover generously with 4 portions of the chipotle butter reserving the last 2 portions (divide in half again so you have 4) for serving.  Wrap the cobs back up in their husks and place on the BBQ grill and cook turning periodically for 10-15 minutes until the corn is tender, peel back the husks and pop the corn back on the grill to char up slightly adding even more smokey BBQ flavour to the corn.

Mix the mayo, crema, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime zest and juice together.

Remove the corn from the grill, season with salt and pepper, toss in the remaining chipotle butter, then generously slaver the crema all over the cobs, sprinkle with the cojita cheese, fresh coriander and just dig in.

16 Sept 2020


One of my family’s most favourite breakfast brunches, crispy roasted goose fat potatoes topped with a poached or fried egg and served on top of some garlic butter sautéed garden greens.  This is a deconstructed take on my childhood bubble and squeek, which I still love, leftover roast potatoes, sometimes mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts pan seared with a crispy crust.

(serves 4)

Bubble n Squeek 
1 kg King Edward potatoes peeled and halved
3 tbsp goose fat or schmaltz 
500g kale or chard
2 cloves garlic sliced
50g butter
Himalayan sea salt 
White pepper

Perfect Poached Eggs
4 eggs cracked into individual ramekins
30ml apple cider vinegar
Himalayan sea salt 

Mustard Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
150 - 200g melted butter
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Himalayan sea salt 
White pepper 

Pre heat your oven to 200 C / 392 F.  Place the peeled potatoes in a pan of simmering water and part boil the potatoes until just fork tender, (10 minutes), drain, season with salt and leave to steam dry for 5 minutes.  Place your roasting tray in the oven with the chicken or goose fat for 3 minutes, then add the potatoes, toss to coat in the hot fat.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes turning once half way through until golden and crispy all over.  

Ten minutes before the potatoes are ready:

 Bring a large deep pan of water to a gentle simmer ready for the poached eggs.

At the same time heat a skillet pan medium add the garlic, butter and kale, sauté for two minutes, meanwhile...

To the simmering water for the poached eggs add the apple cider vinegar and mix to combine.  Gently slip in two of the eggs individually a minute apart folding the egg over as it leaves the ramekin and cook for around three minutes until soft but formed.  Remove from the pan and repeat with the final two eggs.

Now...I make this in a bowl situated on top of the simmering poached egg pan, using this as my Baine Marie or double boiler.  Place the egg yolks in the bowl with the lemon juice, start whisking and do not stop, once the egg yolks are thick and creamy start adding the butter 20-30ml at a time until you have a velvety rich sauce, mix in the mustard, season to taste and serve immediately over the poached eggs, on top of the garlic butter kale and crispy roast potatoes.

The Perfect Poached Egg

The Secret is in the Method
I have tried so many times to make the prefect poached egg, I whisked the vinegar water, cracked in the egg and more than often ended up with an egg white octopus and seperate yolk!  After watching a cooking program I saw that I was not using a bowl to slip the egg in the simmering water, I was cracking the egg in directly, turns out that is the secret! by pouring the egg in to the simmering vortex of water from a bowl your guaranteed a successful beautiful presentable poached egg...so simple when you know how.

Prep Time 5 minutes / Cooking Time 3-5 minutes

(one egg)

1 fresh egg cracked into a bowl
1 deep pan of simmering water
50 ml white wine vinegar

Bring the pan of water to a gentle simmer, add the vinegar and gently whisk to create a vortex in the centre and then pour in the egg from the bowl, the egg will swirl around gently with the vortex allowing the egg white to swirl around the yolk to create a perfect poached egg.  Cook gently for around 3-5 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolk,  

You can check the egg by removing with a slotted spoon and gently prodding to see how wobbly the egg is, the firmer the bounce back the more cooked the egg is.  Remember the poached egg will continue to cook for a minute once it is taken from the water and served.  

Get Ahead Eggs
You can poach your eggs ahead of time, once cooked, plunge the poached eggs in to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process, when your ready to serve gently place the eggs back into a pan of just simmering water for one minute to warm back through.

That's it Perfect...

7 Sept 2020


Simple blue vinny sour cream and buttermilk cheese dip with fresh organic home grown red and yellow beetroot, carrots, celery, fennel, green beans, courgettes and red peppers.  A great feel good snack and very moorish, the whole unexpectedly family devoured the plate.


3 carrots scrubbed and quartered
4 beetroots peeled and quartered
1 red pepper sliced
1 courgette quartered
4 slices of fennel
4 sticks of celery
10 green beans

Blue Cheese Dip
250g blue vinny cheese crumbled
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp double cream

Simply mix the blue cheese dip ingredients together using the back of a spoon to crush and cream the blue vinny in to the cream and milk.  Arrange the vegetables around the dip and enjoy.

4 Sept 2020


Glorious light fluffy melt in your mouth buttery pillows of heaven tossed through a cream and blue vinny wild mushroom cream sauce.
If you’ve never had Dorset Blue Vinny cheese I urge you to either drive to West Dorset or order direct from the farm to be delivered to your door, (Dorset Blue.com).  It is a gorgeous creamy light blue cheese like no others that lends itself to complimenting all dishes without over powering in flavour.  Blue Vinny was once made in every farmhouse in Dorset until the 2nd world war, 40 years ago Woodbridge Farm resurrected a 300 year old recipe. Blue Vinny is traditionally eaten with Moore’s Dorset Knob Biscuits, these again are a old heritage tradition from Morcombelake West Dorset for the last 130 years a small family run business near Bridport makes two million of these three times baked crispy dry bread rolls only in January and February and when their gone their gone until next year!  This is due to the 10 hour process of baking makes these biscuits not financially viable to produce all the time.

West Dorset’s Treasure

(serves 4)

500g King Edward floury potatoes
240g 00 gnocchi Italian flour (caputo)
More flour for dusting 
1 egg beaten 
200g blue vinny cheese crumbled
Himalayan sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper 

Wild Mushroom Sauce 
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 small shallot finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped 
100g wild ceps sliced
50g wild chanterelles sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
100g oyster mushrooms torn
1 lemon zest and juice
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
250ml white wine
600ml double cream
200g blue vinny cheese crumbled
Himalayan sea salt 
Fresh ground black pepper

Boil your potatoes with the skin on, drain and leave to steam dry in a colander, once cool enough to handle peel the skins off by hand, mash the potatoes then gently fold in the beaten egg, blue vinny cheese chunks, flour, salt and pepper until just combined.  Divide the slightly crumbled mixture into four on a lightly floured work top and mould, shape and roll each quarter of the mixture into a long sausage around the thickness of a ten pence coin.

Cut one inch sections off the gnocchi sausage, these then will need to be gently rolled on a gnocchi board or a butter pat or just a fork to create grooves in the gnocchi that will hold extra sauce.

Wild Mushroom Sauce 

Before you cook the gnocchi make the sauce, heat the olive oil and butter and lightly sear the sliced ceps, chanterelles and oyster mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, remove from the pan and reserve to one side.  Add the shallot and garlic to the pan, soften for five minutes, add the diced chestnut  mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, add the wine, deglaze the pan and reduce the wine by half, the add the cream, lemon zest and nutmeg.  Simmer until slightly thickened, add back the seared mushrooms and season with salt and pepper I like to add some lemon juice at this point to taste and that’s the sauce done!  Keep warm while you cook the gnocchi.

To cook the Gnocchi bring a pan of sea salted water to a gentle rolling simmer, drop in the gnocchi and cook for around two minutes, the gnocchi will float as soon as it’s cooked, remove from the pan with a sieve and add to your warm sauce, toss and serve immediately, finish the dish with a smattering of Parmesan shavings and sprinkling or rocket.

2 Sept 2020


I think I like mackerel, I certainly love the idea of seared mackerel, but when I eat it I remember I don’t really like it, but what I do love is eating fresh local seasonal sustainable food.

This is a once a year dish that my husband and I have on our wedding anniversary, we first had this dish at River Cottage Canteen in Axminister West Dorset, the canteen is a five hour drive from where we live, we leave at five in the morning to ensure we will arrive in time for early lunch and always have some of the best local, fresh, seasonal and sustainable food, we then have a wander round the 14th century Cobb Harbour and the Jurassic coast, then head home with a six hour journey due to the rush hour traffic, but every mouthful is a joy and worth it.  Due to the 2020 pandemic this year we have recreated our anniversary meal with all the ingredients sent up from Dorset and Devon at home.

(serves two)

The Mackerel 
2 fresh mackerel fillets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 pinch sea salt 
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper 
1 fresh bay leaf
1 bunch watercress

Braised Fennel
2 medium thick whole slices of fennel bulb

Cooking the Puy Lentils
200g dried puy lentils 
1 ltr vegetable stock
1 onion halved
1 carrot cut lengthwise in half
1 rib celery sliced lengthwise in half
1 leek sliced lengthwise in half 
1 clove crushed
6 fresh parsley stalks
1 bay leaf

Puy Lentil Dressing
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
A squeeze of lemon juice
25ml olive oil

First place the Puy lentils in a pan, cover with water bring to a simmer for one minute only, drain and return to the pan along with all the other ingredients and just cover with the vegetable stock at this point add the whole fennel slices, gently simmer for around half an hour until soft and tender but not mushy.

Once cooked drain, remove the carrot, leek, garlic, onion, celery, parsley stalks, bay leaf and reserve the braised fennel to one side.  Warm the olive oil just a bit, toss the cooked lentils in the warm olive oil, drizzle in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the lentils are draining heat a skillet medium hot, sear the fennel for a few minutes and then reserve to one side, next season the mackerel with salt and pepper, add the olive oil and bay leaf to the hot skillet the the mackerel fillets skin side down, sear with out turning for 2 minutes, the gently turn and take the pan off the heat, the residue heat of the pan will finish cooking the mackerel.  Add the butter and as soon as the butter is melted spoon over the mackerel, turn the fillets skin side up and spoon over the butter.

To serve, place the lentils on your plate along with the braised fennel and a bunch of watercress just to the side then pop the mackerel fillet on top, spoon some of the butter juices over the mackerel fillet and enjoy.