Showing posts from July, 2011

Sweet special pastry.

This pastry is very good for sweet tarts and cakes . As a blind baked pastry for some thing like a lemon tar or French fruit flan you could do no better.

300g/10½oz plain flour
125g/4oz cold unsalted butter
30g/1oz caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk or water(optional)

This is a rich pastry so if you are making it by hand make it as follows. Sift the flour in to a bowl, Cut the butter up in to fine cubes so it easy to work in to the flour. Add the sugar in the eggs then beat them together then add that to the flour and butter. Using a fork at first bring the mix together then add a little milk or water, if you need to. Then rest in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes. Or you can make it in a food processor , just do not over mix it.

Now take your pastry, roll it out on a well-floured board, and line the baking tin then put this back in the fridge for another 20 to 30 minutes. Then take it out, line with a baking sheet, fill with baking beans and blind bake for about 15 to 20 minu…

Southern fried chicken

Kids love this and you can do it all quit rapidly once you have had the chicken in a marinade . it is the spiced milk that help the coating stick to the chicken . Not as messy as dipping in flour then egg and then breadcrumbs. So messy on the hands. This way you just dip rest and cook.

You will need to marinade the chicken

4 chicken thighs, skin off
A small bunch of oregano
6 garlic cloves,
2 shallots,
1 chilli
1 tbsp salt

To coat the chicken
6 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika

200ml vegetable oil to deep fry in.

Start by getting the chicken and put it in a bowl along with the other ingredients for the marinade. You do not need to worry to much about chopping them ruff cut and bruise them to get the flavour going .then threw in the chicken and top up with milk . then cover this and place in the fridge , best to do this a good 8 hours before you cook the chicken over night or in the morning before you go …

Crab with mango and avocado salad

This is a light fruity how salad that has a sweet hot kick. Make about an hour before you use it to get the flavours fully developed in the salad and serve with salad leaves or just on its own as a starter.

You will need

1kg/2¼lb cooked crab, white meat only, chopped
1 mango, peeled, stone removed, flesh cut into cubes
2 avocados, stones and skin removed, flesh cut into cubes
1 red onion, peeled, sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced
½ mild red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 lime, juice only
1-2 tbsp olive oil, or to taste
pinch salt

The trick to this salad is not to have the avocados and the mango to soft or to hard . you just ant then to be just ripe , still very firm and able to withstand being tossed about with out breaking up . If they are too hard, you cannot eat them; if they are too soft, you just get a bowl of mush.

Slice the red onions, garlic and chillies as thin as you can. The add the like juice olive oil and salt and give thi…

Green papaya salad

This is a refreshing salad that has all the elements of the far east thrown in . It has heat, sweet and sour and every thing so fresh as well.

For your papaya salad you will need

1 green papaya, peeled, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
Handful green beans, blanched, refreshed in cold water
2 carrots, peeled, julienned
Small bunch fresh basil leaves
Small bunch coriander leaves
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 garlic cloves
2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
2 red birds’-eye chillies, seeds removed
60g/2¼oz palm sugar, crushed
2 limes, juice only
100ml/3½fl oz soy sauce
Dash of roasted sesame oil

Now stat by making you dressing. Get your garlic chillies and ginger and start to pound that all together. Add the palm sugar to help grind and break things up , if you can not get palm sugar use some Demerara sugar. Add the limejuice and the oil and finish with the soy sauce, what you should have is a strong aromatic dressing. Let this stand for a while. If you have ti…

Sticky toffee pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is always a good selling pudding on every restaurant menu I have ever worked with. But for some reason people seem to think that it is so hard to make. Like any thing, as long as you have a good recipe and follow the measurements of the ingredients you should have a good pudding at the end .

For the pudding mix

150g/5oz dates, stones removed, chopped
250ml/9fl oz hot water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g/2¼ oz butter, softened
60g/2¼ oz soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
150g/5oz self-raising flour

For the toffee sauce
200g/7oz butter
400g/14oz muscovado sugar
Vanilla , a few drops
250ml/9fl oz double cream

Preparation method
First thing get the oven turned on and preheat to 180c/370f then get the kettle on and get two blows.

In the fist bowl put your dates all chopped and de stoned, sprinkle over them the bicarbonate of soda , then when the kettle boild pour the boiling water over the dates and let it all sit for about 5 to 10 minutes

Now in the other bowl bea…

Toad in the hole

This is the food of my childhood and some thing that you need to make and eat as soon as it comes out of the oven. No toads are actually used in the cooking, just sausages, so why it is called toad in the hole I do not know.

All it is is a batter mix that you bake in the oven with some sausages in it, you will need

115g/4oz plain flour
large pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 large free-range eggs
300ml/½ pint milk
2 tbsp/30g fresh thyme leaves
8 good quality pork sausages
2 tbsp/30g vegetable oil

First make your batter, sift the flour in to a bowl then add the eggs and start to whisk them together with the flour. As you do this add the milk a little at a time till you end up with a smooth batter. If you get a lump batter do not panic blend it together with a hand blender. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle in the thyme leaves. Now set the batter mix to one side and let it rest for 30 minutes or longer.

The turn the oven on and preheat to 200c/400f, quiet a hot…

Bread and butter pudding

This pudding is best to make when you have some old sale bread and only a little time. It is really fast to make and you do not need a lot of skill to make it .

25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
8 slices bread
50g/2oz sultanas
2 pinches cinnamon powder
2 pinches of nutmeg
350ml/12fl oz whole milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
2 free-range eggs
25g/1oz granulated sugar

Cut the crusts of the bread and cut two slices in to triangles. Take tow of the slice of bread and lay them on the bottom of the dish, scatter some of the sultanas over the bread . Then lay another layer of bred and then scatter the fruit and again until you have just the triangles left. Arrange the bread triangles in an attractive pattern on the top.

Now take your butter, milk, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon and slowly heat that in a sauce pan till the butter has melted. While it heat up the cinnamon and nut meg will infuse the milk mix with there flavours.

While that is happening, get your eggs, sugar, and stat t…

Bubble and Squeak

A dish for the left over mash that you can knock up in a few seconds and enjoy at any time of day. Or even as a starter if you so like.

You will need.

1 onions, roughly chopped
Butter and oil, for frying
Two cabbage leaves
500g/1lg leftover mashed potato
12 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
4 eggs.

Dice your onions up and add a little butter and oil to a frying pan. Then cook the onions of so they are soft. Shred the cabbage leaves and add them to the onions and let them wilt a little.

Now take your cold left over mash potato, add that to the frying pan, and let it warm up. As it does work the onions and the cabbage in to the mash, so you get a good mixture. Now some people say you should let it get crispy on the out side and others say you should break that browned potato up and work that in to the mash. I do both, as soon as the mash gets a brown crust on it break it up and work it in to the mash. Do this about twice and then brown on both sides and the bubble and squeak is read…

Fruit scones.

With a cup of tea on a summer’s day with strawberry jam and Clotted cream, that is what summer is all about. The sound of willow on leather and the village green. The only problem with this is that in Briton it will be raining and I do not understand cricket


50g/1¾oz unsalted butter,
225g/8oz self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
25g/1oz sugar
25-50g/1-2oz sultanas
1 free-range egg
150ml/5fl oz milk, plus extra for brushing

Serve with
Strawberry jam
Clotted cream

This doe not take long to make , about 15 ton 20 minutes so set the ground work out first.
Preheat the oven to 220°c/425°f and grease a large baking tray with butter.

Take your bowl and sift the flour and baking powder into it. Cut the butter up in to small cubes to make it easier to work and add to the flour. Now using your fingers, rub the butter in to the flour until you get a breadcrumb texture to the mix. Light and fast and do not over work it or get it to hot in your hands .

Then add a…

Bakewell tart

This is a very British classic almond tart originating from Bakewell in Derbyshire said to have come back from knights who went on the crusades. Now it is one of those things that are hotly contested and talked about but I think I am safe in saying you should only use raspberry jam.

You will need,

For the pastry
300g/10½oz plain flour
125g/4oz cold unsalted butter
30g/1oz caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk or water(optional)

For the filling
225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
225g/8oz caster sugar
275g/10oz ground almonds
3 eggs
The juice and the zest of 1 lemon
1 jar raspberry jam
Flaked almonds

This is a rich pastry so if you are making it by hand make it as follows. Sift the flour in to a bowl, Cut the butter up in to fine cubes so it easy to work in to the flour. Add the sugar in the eggs then beat them together then add that to the flour and butter. Using a fork at first bring the mix together then add a little milk or water, if you need to. Then rest in the fridge for a…

Search for best beer writer launched

11 July 2011

Have you got the words to be Beer Writer of the Year 2011 and win £1,000?

The British Guild of Beer Writers today launches its annual competition for
beer writing, giving communicators the chance to enter their work in seven
different categories, with one of the category winners to be named as the
Beer Writer of the Year and receive the coveted Michael Jackson Gold Tankard

The competition is open to writers, broadcasters, photographers, poets,
illustrators, designers, webmasters and bloggers whose work has broadened
the public’s knowledge of beer and pubs.

Guild chairman Tim Hampson said, “We received over 400 entries to the
Awards last year – a record level that reflects the vibrancy of beer
writing in the UK. We look forward to receiving another bumper crop of
articles, books and blogs about beer this year, and to rewarding those whose
work is judged the best.”

Nominations and entries are being sought for seven categories:

Molson Coors’ Award for Best Writi…

Unique Home Stays unveils its new luxury food company

27 July 2011

Luxury holiday accommodation provider Unique Home Stays has launched its new
sister company, Unique Boutique, which specialises in delicious hampers,
foodie accessories and gourmet treats. The company, which is based in
Cornwall, was officially unveiled last month following the success of the
hampers in many of its holiday properties where they are provided as a
welcome treat.

The focus of all of the hampers featured on the mail order site is ‘unique
foodie combinations’, resulting in deliciously eclectic combinations which
blend high-end brands with locally produced treats. Although all of the
products shown on the site can be delivered anywhere in the UK, there is a
predominantly Westcountry flavour to the site as the company is keen to
support local producers.

From Camel Valley wine to homemade chutneys and jams, here at Unique
Boutique we like to think we are doing are bit to help local producers,
while providing our customers with the finest luxury fodder. With cris…

Mashing up some new potato recipes

27 July 2011

27th July 2011. LovetheGarden, your online gardening experts, are delighted
to announce the second of their popular vegetable garden competitions, after
a fantastic response to our launch a few months ago.

In February, we ran an online competition to find your best cabbage recipes
to celebrate this often ignored and much maligned vegetable. The prize was a
£200 meal for two at a restaurant of the winner’s choice, anywhere in the
UK. The response was amazing, with some innovative and delicious recipes for
everything from a modern twist on cabbage soup through to our winning entry,
melt in the mouth cabbage and mushroom pasties. The winning entry was by
Karolina, posted on the Senses in the Kitchen blog. The recipe is now a firm
favourite with us at LovetheGarden, and you can find details of how to make
Karolina’s pasties at

A chip off the old spud…

This month’s competition features a vegetable we all take for granted –
the pot…

Garlic mayonnaise.

It is looked down on now as not being the right thing to make with raw eggs and all that fat so risky and unhealthy. However, real mayonnaise is one of the nicest things that you can make as a dip. It literally just takes a few seconds and is in now way difficult. So if you like to live with danger and are prepared to take the risk them this is how you make it.

For the mayo
2 egg yolks
2 garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and c fresh ground black pepper
125ml/4fl oz olive oil
125ml/4fl oz vegetable oil

Take your garlic with some salt and crush the garlic together in to a nice paste then add the lemon juice and black pepper. Now you can do one of two thing now. Add the egg yolks to the garlic of in another bowl keep them separate.

Now if I am making it I always add the garlic latter , I do not know why and I just do.

So in a separate bowl place it in a damp cloth to hold it still and add your egg yolks. Start to whisk your egg yolks then slowly a little at a time diesel i…

Crab fishcakes

As a light starter or as a main meal this fish cake is very good and just goes so well with salad, of just chips and peas. Or just with a mayonnaise dip and some crusty bread.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp diced red pepper
4 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped leek
200g/7oz fresh white fish boned and skinned
450g/16oz fresh or frozen crabmeat
1 egg
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped basil
Fresh chopped chives
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
200g/7oz fresh breadcrumbs
Salt freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Preparation method

Dice your vegetables as fine as you can then melt the butter and cook them till soft. You only need to cook them for a few minutes you do not want them cooked completely just to soften them slightly. Then pop that to one side and let it all cool down.

Take the white fish and plus a couple of time in the food processor so you have a rough paste. Add the crabmeat, herbs, mustard, eggs, and half of the brad crumbs. Plus this a few more times till it al…


25 July 2011

There is Welsh food and drink on the menu at not one but two palaces when
the True Taste Kitchen Award Winners Roadshow attends two of the UK’s top
summer events – the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and the Country
Landowners Association Game Fair.

The Roadshow is a joint promotion between Wales the TrueTaste Food and Drink
Award winners and the Welsh Government, which manages the annual awards.

Probably the most famous palace built by Henry VIII, Hampton Court in Surrey
opens its gates today (Tuesday) for the annual Royal Horticultural Society
flower show, which runs until this Sunday and last year attracted 160,000
Tastings, tips, demonstrations and recipes are on offer as the Roadshow
showcases some of the best food and drink in Wales with True Taste winners
past and present taking part.

Featured too are Welsh chefs: The Falcondale Hotel’s Andy Beaumont, Wesley
Harris of the Chart House in Abergavenny, and James Sommerin and Matt Smith
from the True Taste…


25 July 2011

The International Craft Cider Festival 2011, 12 – 14 August in Llancaiach
Fawr, is the first of its kind, and is set to become a highlight of any real
cider-lovers calendar.

We are bringing together craft cider and perry makers from around the world;
with the first year focussing on producers from France, Germany, Spain,
England and Wales.

Celebrating the artisan craft cider and perry industry, the festival brings
international cider producers, food and music cultures together to create a
three day festival in the beautiful rural valleys of South East Wales. A
must for anyone on their UK family holiday.

Organised and run by the Welsh Perry and Cider Society, the International
Craft Cider Festival is an opportunity for international cider makers to
promote their regions and cidermaking culture. Having run a successful Welsh
Perry and Cider Festival and championships for the past 9 years, the Welsh
Perry and Cider Society are taking this success to create a much larger…


26 July 2011

Despite the current climate of doom and gloom, the people of the Midlands -
and further afield, have shown that they are determined to get their just

The Birmingham Pudding and Dessert Club launched by locally-based event and
banqueting caterer Redcliffe has a waiting list for each of its events –
held in the Victorian splendour of the City’s renowned Botanical Gardens.

Redcliffe Director Colin Cook said,

“The Birmingham Pudding and Dessert Club has been an amazing success. Some
might find this enthusiastic reaction surprising – after all we keep being
told that we are all cutting back on eating out.

This is not our experience however. In times of recession, people need an
affordable treat to cheer themselves up – and when things are going well,
they want to celebrate. We provide a dazzling array of pure indulgence in
the form of our delicious desserts matched by a suitable dessert wine to
accompany the dish – and preceded by a tantalising main course.

The des…


26 July 2011

Ben Shaws, the soft drinks manufacturer who brought the distinctive taste of
Dandelion and Burdock – amongst others - to the people of the UK, is 140
years old this year.

The company was founded in 1871 by Ben Shaw, in the same year that Queen
Victoria opened the Royal Albert Hall and Stanley uttered the immortal
words, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” when he found him on the shores
of Lake Tanganyika.

By the time Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper debuted (1886 and 1885, respectively),
Ben Shaws was already a teenager, and when Pepsi (1898) was introduced, Ben
Shaws four flavours – Dandelion and Burdock, Cloudy Lemonade, Cream Soda
and Bitter Shandy – were already well established favourites with the
British public.

It was Ben Shaw himself who used the family shire horses Bonny, Blossom,
Cherry and Dick to deliver his soft drinks via horse and cart. In later
years the firm used what became known as the Ben Shaws “pop van” and the
drinks came in glass bottles that when returned…

Lamb Rogan Josh

This Indian dish has a lot of depth and spice but not too much heat. Also this recipe is fairly authentic as well as far as I am aware. That and the fact that Rogan Josh is one that I will chose if I am eating out .


5 tbsp vegetable oil
7 black peppercorns, left whole
6 green cardamom pods, left whole
4 cloves, left whole
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece of mace
6 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
2cm/¾in piece ginger, peeled and cut in half
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
½ tsp red chilli powder
1½ tsp garam masala
1 onion, finely chopped
750g/1½lb leg of lamb or mutton, diced
750ml/ 1½pt water or lamb stock
Salt, to taste
6 over ripe tomatoes, chopped, or one tin.
2 tsp tomato puree.
3 tbsp plain yoghurt, stirred
Handful chopped fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

First take the peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and mace and place them in a mortar and pestle or some kind of bowl and a rolling pin. You do not want then to be comple…

Melon cucumber mango and tomato salad

Simple summery and very, very refreshing. If a salad say summer this says it , no this salad shouts it .

You will need

6 tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 medium ripe melon
1 ripe but not soft mango
50ml/ 2fl oz virgin olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
A squeeze of limejuice
Fresh mint

Blanch your tomatoes remove there skins and remove the seeds. The peal you cucumber and deseed that. Now peal and deseed your melon and finally peal and destine your mango.

Dice all the components of the salad in to same sized pieces and then toss them in a bowl. Add the oil, the lemon, limejuice, and finally some chopped mint.

Place it all in the fridge and serve well chilled.

A refreshing salad that kids love.

Celeriac Rémoulade.

A fine salad that is just a little better than a coleslaw or any thing like that. Rémoulade is a mayonnaise that is flavoured with mustard and other things and it has a real kick with the celeriac .

You will need,
1 whole celeriac (about 500g or 1 lb in weight.)
3 to 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
1tsp of a good Dijon mustard .
Two gherkins
12 cappers
2 anchovy fillets
A good bunch of tarragon or parsley.
Some lemon juice.

Now you have to be fairly quick in mixing this salad or the celeriac will oxidise and go brown, it does not effect the taste but it does not look nice.

First make the sauce, take your gherkins, cappers and anchovies and chop them all finely together and put them in a bowl. Then add the mayonnaise and the mustard and mix so every thing is fully bound together.

Now get your Celeriac and peal it then slice it as thin as you can then cut it in to thin match stick lengths. If you have a mandolin this is the prefect tool to be using for this job. Once you have them cut put t…

Roast beetroot, carrot and butternut squash salad

This vegetable salad is one more for late summer or autumn. It is sweet and tasty and you can get a real flavour from the vegetables. It can look a little messy if you just mix it all together but if you layer it in a glass bowl, it looks great.

You will need
225g/ 80oz beetroot pealed
225g/ 80oz carrots pealed
225g/ 80oz butternut squash pealed
100g/ 2oz Olive oil
100g/ 2oz runny honey
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and cracked black pepper
140g/5oz goat’s cheese
Some rocket leaves for garnish

Take your raw vegetables and peal them then dice them in to similar sized pieces. Then take the beetroot and the carrots and separately place them in to a pan of water and just bring them up to the boil. Then straight under cold water, to stop the cooking process.

Now take your oil, honey and lemon juice and make a dressing season with salt and pepper. Take each of the vegetables individually and toss them in the dressing and then on to a roasting try. Do the beetroot last. Cover the veget…

Fish pie.

A good fish pie is the sort of thing that you want on a day when you need some kind of comfort food. The good thing about it was well is that you can use almost any kind of fish for it, so not only can it be tasty but relatively cheap as well.


For the potato topping
1.5kg/3lb 5oz potatoes, use King Edwards or Maris Piper
100ml/ 3floz signal cream.
Salt and white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg and butter, to taste

For the filling.
½ lt /1 pt fish stock
4 tbsp dry white wine
1 onion, small diced
1 small carrot, small diced
1 leek small diced
750g/1lb 10oz white fish
250g/9oz smoked haddock
200g/7oz salmon
120g/4oz raw prawns
75g/2½oz unsalted butter
75g/2½oz plain flour
150ml/5fl oz full-fat milk
Large pinch parsley, finely chopped
Large pinch tarragon, finely chopped
Large pinch dill, finely chopped
150ml/5fl oz double cream
Salt and white pepper

To top pie.

25g/1oz grated mature cheddar cheese

First to make your potato topping, you do not have to use King Edwards o…

A to Z 0f beer.

Beer is now no longer a low drink that is just attributed to the working classes but it is some thing of a premium drink. No longer just some thing that you swill down but it can be a designer accessory that is a must see label.

But to me beer is as important as wine. You had in food culture the hot wine producing, and the cooler beer producing countries. So how many beers are there in the world . well I have started to make a list of the different styles of beer but not all the different brands. For every style there must be hundreds if not thousands of brands so I will just stick with the styles and try to get most of them . So here we go.

Abby Beers , strong fruity ales from Belgium often associated with a church or monastery.

Barley wine, that is what we Brits call a very strong golden brew that is also some times called Stingo.

Berliner Weisse , a light acid sharp German wheat beer, not so strong and has a slightly cloudy look to it.

Bière de Grade, From north west France it’…

How to pour and taste a beer.

Beer should always have some kind of a head on it, by that, I mean the frothy top. If it does not hen it is not the way it is supposed to be served.

To pour a beer correctly from a bottle or a pump you want to start with the glass at a tilt. When the glass it’s about two thirds full start to right the galls slowly so that you get a head on the beer. Do this slowly or you will get nothing but all frothy head, ideally, you want about 3cm to ½ an inch head to your beer. Do not drink straight away; let it settle a little so that you can see it is starting to clear. Then drink it threw the head at first to get the full effect of the beer.

Now if you have the sort of beer that keeps its head till you have finished the drink then you might want a clean glass but a clean glass every time is not necessary. You can drink beer from the bottle and now with some beer, it is the fashion to do so but to get the full effect and prefect the colour you need it in a clear glass.

As to the taste, a …

The basics about Beer.

Beer is pretty much produced all a round the worlds in one form or another from massif multinational companies down to small-scale local brewers. But they are all the same thing really all depending on the recipes and the ingredients.

To make beer you need water, a starch such as malted barley, hops, yeast and a clarifying agent or finings. You add them all together one at a time using varying vessel, heating to set temperatures and you end up with beer. Now that is the every simplistic way of saying how you make beer but that is the very basic process. But what makes a beer a larger or a ale.

This is a easy thing to answer it either has a bottom or top fermenting yeast , if it is a bottom fermenting yeast then it is a larger , if not it is a ale . But what does that mean, lets go in to that a little more starting with Ales

Ales have been brewed for thousands of years and go right back to the ancient Egyptians. An ale is a top fermenting warm made yeast beer. The yeast rises to the …

Char grilled vegetable salad

Get you vegetables and just grill them on the barbeque or on a char grill or griddle pan then dress them and let the cool. All the juices form the vegetables marinate with the dressing to create a perfect vegetable salad.

For the dressing
200ml Extra virgin olive oil
Half a lemons juice
1 garlic clove finely slices
Two sprigs of Thyme
Two sprigs of Oregano
Two sprigs of Rosemary
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Vegetables to grill.
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 red onion
1 white onion
1 courgette
1 aubergine or egg plant
Fennel bulb.
A little olive oil.

Some black or green olives to garnish and fresh basil leaves.

First, make your dressing in a large bowl. The reason for making a little dressing in a big blow is that you will be adding the vegetables to the blow and then covering it. Now every thing wants to be very rustic so do not worry too much about chopping the herbs just tare the leaves from the stalk and add to the mix. The only thing I would say i…

Caesar Salad.

This is one of my most favourite salads and what I like most about it is the story that goes with it. It is named after Caesar Cardini who owned Caesar’s Palace in Los Angeles. Now the story I was told was he was on holiday in Mexico when some famous film types paid him a visit. So he grabbed what he had and made them a salad. If this is true then it truly shows that necessity is the mother of invention.

For the dressing
15g / ½ oz of anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 tsp cappers finely chopped.
2tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 very soft boiled egg.
The juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove crushed
2 large tdsp fine grated parmesan
150 to 300ml 1 to 10 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

For the salad
4 slices of bread
A little olive oil
75g 3oz parmesan shavings.

To make the dressing just get every thing in a bowl all finely chopped and crushed together then drizzle in the oil and whisk it all together . The egg needs on…

Stake and kidney pudding.

Another classic British dish that is a real winter warmer and knowing the British summertime an all round dish.

You will need.

For the filling.
675g/1½lb chuck steak, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
225g/8oz ox kidney, cut into 2.5cm1in cubes
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick of celery
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Some fresh thyme leaves
A bay leaf
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter
150ml/¼pt fresh beef stock
100ml/4 floz ale.

For the Suet pastry
400g/14oz self-raising flour
200g/7oz beef or vegetarian suet
Salt freshly ground black pepper to taste.
290ml/½ pint cold water

Now to start with if you are going to make a steak and kidney pudding you should cook the meat in the pastry for about five hours. But I do not do it like that.

First, take your beef and brown that of in a saucepan, then add of your onions and celery add them to the pot. Make sure that you get a good dark brown colure on the meat and onions as this will give the colure to the gravy. Add the bay…

Fish and chips.

If you go to the seaside or to any town, come to think of it, in great Briton, you will come across a fish and chip shop. It is next to the full English breakfast a true British classic. Now all depending from what part of the country you are in it will be with Cod , or Haddock, just peas or mushy peas and the range of batters recipes go on and on. However, it is basically the same and this is my versions of the dish, I hope that you enjoy it.

For the fish
250g/9oz strong plain flour
500ml/17½fl oz milk and water, half and half.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A dash of malt vinegar
4 x 150g/5oz fish fillets.

For the mushy peas
500g/1lb 2oz dried marrowfat peas
Sugar to taste
Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Green food colouring, optional.

For the chips
900g/2lb potatoes
Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

First, you have to make the mushy peas. Now to make them from scratch you need to soak the peas for 12 hours or so, over night. Then drain them and place them in a pan …

To caramelise Onions

To caramelise any thing is a relatively easy afar to do, all you need is to be a little patient and not hurry things to much. Now that sound very simple and after all what is caramelising some thing if not burning it a little, well yes. That is in effect what you are doing but on the other hand, the fact that you are just burning some thing a little is an easy step to be one fraction of a second away from burning it a lot and ruining it all together.

So before you do this please do not think I will just go of and watch the television or go to the door and see who is there for you turn your back on this and you will have nothing to show for it apart from a black stick and rather unpleasant mess.

So first, you will need your onions. Now you can use sliced diced or whole onions the thing to remember is that the bigger the onion the longer that it will take to cook.
So if you are going to use whole French opinions then you will need to finish them in the oven for about one hour to coo…

Growing your own.

Growing your own vegetables is a fantastic thing; you will be having what I call the four Fs. That is fulfilment, food, fit and frustration, and that will make you want to do better next year. The thing you do not want to do is take on any thing to big to soon.
The fulfilment of just growing some thing is a good feeling. You nurture them from tiny seeds in to full grown plants. The grate thing about almost all vegetables is that they are annuals. So in just a few months you have a thriving plant. So you get to see the results very quickly and do not have to wait for things to get established.

The food is an obvious thing that you will get from growing vegetables. But the thing is you always get a lot more than you can eat. So you give them to friends and family as well as learn new skills like pickling and jam making.

Fit comes from all the exorcise that you get. Out in the fresh air digging and hoeing. You do not have to go crazy and dig the plot in one day but you can take your ti…


Herbs are grate to use in cooking and they give a good flavour to any thing that you use them in and are very easy to grow as well. So even if you do not have a garden you can grow them in a plant pot on your windowsill and use them like that.

I am lucky as I do have a good-sized garden and just out side the back door, my kitchen door I can walk on to the patio and get some kind of herb all year round. It is a luxury that I do appreciate and would miss if I had to move. Not that I would miss it for long for the good thing about herbs are you can get them to grow very easily and rather quickly in a short space of time.

So what do you start with? Well let me see.

Chives are easy to look after and just keep on growing and growing. You cut them back and they grow some more. They have a delightful onion taste and are good with salads or on hot food. Also, you plant them and next year they come back again and again year after year.

Rosemary is excellent this is a hard wood herb so y…