Showing posts from February, 2012

Monmouth pudding

This  pudding is, as you can tell from the name, from Monmouth, in Wales. It is a cross between an egg custard, bread and butter pudding and a meringue fruit tart. It has a breadcrumb base that is cooked in an egg custard a layer of some kind of fruit and then topped with meringue. Now all depending on what fruit depends on what is in season, apples, plumbs, rhubarb and summer berries as well.  Also the amount of sugar that you use is up to you in the pudding, I have chose rhubarb for the recipes but the principle is the same what ever it is you are making.
You will need 90g/3 oz Caster Sugar 25g/1 oz  Butter The zest of 1 Lemon 450g/17 fl oz Milk 180g/6oz  Breadcrumbs 3 medium Eggs 210g/7 oz cooked sweetened rhubarb
Now for the bread crumbs that you need to use I would use white stale bread no crusts if at all possible to make the best pudding. Also for you cooked fruit do not use to wet a mix as this will just send every thing very sloppy as you serve it .
Start by taking about …

Top 20 place for Welsh gastro pub

29 February 2012
The Felin Fach Griffin near Brecon has been voted no 18 in the top 50 pubs in the UK at the annual Top 50 Gastropub awards, making it a must do stop for something to eat on your UK short break in Wales.
Pubs are voted for by 500 pub food experts including pub owners, chefs, restaurant critics and food writers.
Julie Bell, hostess at the Griffin said: “To be voted by the industry into the top 20 pubs in which to buy food in the whole of the UK is a real boon for our team. They should be very proud of themselves, particularly as it is about the sixth year in a row that they’ve made this list.”
Co-owner Edmund Inkin said: “To have The Griffin’s sister inn, The Gurnard’s Head in Cornwall, only just outside the Top 10 at Number 11 is also good news for this part of the world.
“We very much consider Brecon our hub and success in Cornwall helps secure the employment to run our back office up here in Wales as well as being a brilliant way of advertising this part of the wor…


Cawl is welsh for soup broth, but I think of it more as a stew but that is probably because I am English. It normally contains meat and vegetables in a thin and rich tasting stock .
Now it is said that the son of Llywelyn ap Seisyll , Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was a very lazy young man who was to be king but on the death of his farther he had lost most of his kingdom.  His sister who had had enough of him threw him out of her house and it was while he was leaning on the wall of the house he heard a cook complain about the dish of cawl that she was cooking that one piece of meat kept floating back to the top every time she pushed it down.  He took this to mean him self changed his ways and soon was king of all of Wales. It is also said that the welsh gwneud cawl means to make a mess of things and no doubt I have with some of the welsh spelling so I am sorry if I have. And with that let’s get to the recipe.
You will need 1kg/2lb 3oz neck of lamb  2 litres/3 pints 10½fl oz lamb stock or wa…

Bendigedig! Recipes to celebrate St David’s Day

28 February 2012
March 1st is St David’s Day so why not celebrate by cooking up some new recipes with a Welsh twist using Collier’s Powerful Welsh Cheddar?
Collier’s was inspired by Wales’ proud industrial heritage. Its characteristics reflect those of the coal miner - reliability, power and integrity - while its distinctive black packaging shows a miner’s face.
Collier’s is a cheddar with a unique long, powerful, creamy and slightly sweet taste. And unusually it contains tantalising “crunchy bits” which are actually tiny salt crystals, evidence of the cheese’s high quality.
It is the perfect ingredient in a range of recipes, more of which can be seen at
These recipes all have a Welsh flavour and are bendigedig – wonderful!
Collier’s Cheese Welsh Cakes  
Welsh cakes are a traditional Welsh favourite and it was customary to cook them over a heavy, flat, iron pan called a bakestone.  Traditionally they are sweet, but for a savoury taste sensation, swap the sugar…

Welsh cakes

With St David’s day coming upon Thursday and the English loosing to the Welsh at rugby at on Saturday I have decided that I will do some welsh recipes.  Now I do not know how Welsh this recipe actually is as I know it’s a sort of pancake but not a pancake, its more a griddle cake as I know them but I am assured that these are also called welsh cakes.  Now when making any thing like this I always say use a heavy cast iron pan if you have one put it on a low heat for a long time and it will work really well.
The ingredients you will need are, 225g/8oz self-raising flour, sieved 110g/4oz salted butter 1 egg handful of sultanas 1 to 3tbsp of milk 85g/3oz caster sugar
Now start by sifting your flour in to a bowl then rub the butter in to the flour to make a fine breadcrumb.  Then add the sugar, dried fruit and mix that in to the dry mix.  Mow add your egg and the milk, now you only need the milk that you need you are looking to make a dough but not a batter, so that is why this is not a …

New book Eat Right for Your Personality Type will show you how to work with your personality to create the perfect diet for you

27 February 2012
For many of us, our relationship with food is complicated, confusing and far from satisfying; just think how often you eat something whilst simultaneously feeling bad about it. We strive to find the right diet and balance for us, hoping to one day establish healthy eating habits that will leave us looking and feeling great. Yet with so much conflicting opinion about what and what not to eat, few of us know how best to approach this, let alone find the ‘magic combination’ for ourselves - that is until now!
In her new book, Eat Right for Your Personality Type, Karen Knowler reveals that there is one dominant factor governing our relationship with food – our personality type. She explains that after a decade of coaching people about their eating habits it became clear to her that there are different types of eater and that each of these types has individual ways of thinking, feeling and acting around food.  The 10 types of eater are:
The Functional Eater The Sensual Eat…

Rhubarb wine.

I have for a long time now wanted to have a go at making my own wine.  I tried once to make my own cider and produced what could be called quite a lot of cider vinegar.  But apart from that I have never tried to make any more . When I had my allotment, I always had plans to make some with all the produce that was never consumed but never did it either.  The closest I have ever come to making my own is reading the recipes in a book called drink your own garden By Judith Glover.  That and consuming other home made wine but never mad any of my own.
So to try and inspire me, and anyone else who might want to do the same, in to action I am posting this recipes from the book to see if it shakes me into action.
You will need
2.3kg/5lbs rhubarb stalks 1.4kg/ 3lbs sugar 453g/ 1ld raisins The juice of 3 lemons 1 Camden tablet ½tspGrape tannin 28g/1oz Precipitated Chalk Water Wine yeast Yeast nutrient
Take your rhubarb stalk and cut them in to length put them in a pan and then crush them wit…

Grilled Sardines

Sardines are one of the fish that you can get; they are cheap and very good for you so most of the time we do not bother with them.  The fact that when you are any where in Europe a round the Med you will find grilled sardines at every street corner, well not every corner but a lot . So why do we not eat them as much as we should, I do not know.  This following dish is a real treat and very easy to make so have a go.
You will need 12 sardines Some plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper 100ml/3fl oz olive oil 85ml/3fl oz red wine vinegar 2 medium onion 1 sprig thyme 1 sprig rosemary 1 bay leaf 4 garlic cloves, crushed 2 red chillies 10 to 20 cherry tomatoes. 1 tsp salt 1 small bunch fresh flat parsley 4 lemons Some good bread
First start by gutting, scale and remove the heads from the sardines.  Now if you do not want to do I am sure you can ask you fishmonger to do so for you.  Then dust them in the second flour and lay on a tray or rack ready to grill.
Now take your onions a s…

Italian style Purple sprouting broccoli.

I always remember a rather big man who uses to sell purple sprouting broccoli to one of the hotel I use to work at.  All the time it was growing, he used to come with a box, get paid cash and go.  No one really knew how it had come to be, this arrangement but that was how it was.  The funny thing was it was rumoured that he had “done time” what for know one knew, but the gossip was for murder.  So even when he came with a box and we did not need it we took it all the same. And for that very same reason I never asked my self.
Purple sprouting broccoli is one of the over look and not so sort after vegetables but I do not know why.  It grows very fast has a good crop and is very flavourful as well, and it is right in season now.  I have done this with a Italian flavour to the recipe but it would work just as well if you used a Asian flavour profile to this dish.  Use soy sauce, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds with noodles on I think it would taste just a…

Cheese, Ham and Mushroom Crêpes

Now you can do any version of savoury pancakes from ones that are toped with hollandaise sauce filled with seafood to very rustic ones that are full of minced beef and very little else.  My personal favourite is this following and it is not for the light hearted ,  or the weak hearted either , god only knows how many calories are in this one .
You will need 125g/4½oz plain flour 2 eggs 300ml/10½fl oz milk Butter 50g/2oz butter 50g/20z plane flour 600ml/1pt full fat milk 100ml/3½floz double cream 100ml/3½floz dry white wine 50g/2oz strong farmhouse cheddar cheese 75g/2½oz mozzarella cheese 75g/2½oz parmesan cheese Salt, fresh ground pepper and pinch of nutmeg to taste 1 leek 12 or more mushrooms 8 rashers of smoked bacon
Once again you have to start by making your  pancakes or crêpes in advance and finish the sauce just before serving.  Just sift the flour into a bowl.  Add the egg and milk and whisk to a smooth batter.
Heat a frying pan but not to hot melt a little butter in the …

Crêpes suzette

All the talk yesterday about pancakes has put me in mind of one of them most popular desserts that you used to have to do in the restaurant.  Back in the day when I was a young waiter I worked in a hotel restaurant and we had a Gueridon trolley. As soon as I saw the flames of the waiter cooking at the table I wanted to have a go. Some thing to do with the flames and the theatre of it all. And this classic French dessert always impressed.
You will need 125g/4½oz plain flour 2 eggs 300ml/10½fl oz milk Butter 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter The zest of one orange The juice from 3 oranges The juice and zest of 1 lemon 3 tbsp caster sugar 2 tbsp orange liqueur 2 tbsp brandy
Now you make your pancakes or crêpes in advance and finish the sauce just before serving.  Just sift the flour into a bowl.  Add the egg and milk and whisk to a smooth batter.
Heat a frying pan but not to hot melt a little butter in the pan and make you pancakes, once cooked place them on a plate with a piece of greaseproof…

Whys is pancake day, pan cake day

This is a good question that I have just been asked and if I think about it is have been asked a number of time before. The truth is a it is a religious one , they are eaten at the start of lent. They can be made from things that you have a round the kitchen to use up before the fasting associated with Lent. It used to be sugar, fat, flour and eggs consumption during this time was traditionally restricted.
Now  Shrove Tuesday is the day preceding Ash Wednesday and in , most English speaking countries, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States it is a tradition.  Also you will find it in other countries as well such as the Philippines and Germany. The reason why it is not on the same day every year is because it is part Easter and for reason that I do not wish to start explaining it changes every year.
Now it used to be know once upon a time as Fat Tuesday because all the consumption of rich foods.  Also called Mardi Gras in French, Máirt Inid…

Holywell Water Company Brings Malvern Water Back to Life

21 February 2012
The original Malvern water will be quenching the thirst once again as The Holywell Water Company Ltd gains the right to use the famous township in its branding.
The Holywell Water Company is now delighted to announce the subtle yet highly signifcant rebranding of its bottled still and sparkling spring water to Holywell Malvern Spring Water!
The Holywell Water Company has produced Holywell Spring Water, which is sold in some of the finest hotels, restaurants and castles in the country, since 2009 from the original spring in the heart of the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, but has been unable to use the word ‘Malvern’ in any branding until now.
Water from the original Holywell spring in Malvern was first commercially bottled by Schweppes in 1843 and continued there for 54 years until the company moved production to a different site in 1897.  Coca-Cola took over Schweppes and continued to produce Malvern Water from this site until the brand was dropped in 2010.
The Holy…

WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN - Ocado discovers the formula behind the perfect pancake toss

21 February 2012
ONLINE SUPERMARKET Ocado has cracked more than eggs ahead of Shrove Tuesday.Teaming up with one of the country’s top physicists, the innovative grocer has mastered the art of perfect pancake tossing.
With more batter expected to hit ceilings than the roofs of our mouths this Pancake Day, Ocado has created the ideal equation for a flippin’ good time. Working with Dr Mark Hadley, researcher at the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, the formula behind the year’s trickiest culinary feat is:
Perfect pancake toss v=√2gh ,  ω=√(2gh/(a+p/2)^2 ),   θ=4h/π(a+p/2)  
Perfect Pancake Altitude h=π/4  (a+p/2)
Where v is the launch velocity; g is the acceleration; h, the height of the toss; a is the length of the forearm; w, the spin; θ is the number of pancake half turns; and p, the pan diameter
Don’t be daunted by the science though. Ocado has simplified things, claiming that the recipe for a splat-free landing rests on one key element - ‘perfect pancake altitude’. W…


21 February 2012
Start-up cocktail website Make me a Cocktail is relaunching this Wed, 22 Feb with tons of new features including the ability to tell you what ingredient you’re missing from your favorite drink.
After computer programmer Nick Wilkins created the site in May 2011 as a way to impress his cocktail-loving girlfriend Hannah, response to this lively cocktail resource has been phenomenal. Thousands have visited the site and hundreds more have submitted their own recipes to the growing pool of delicious cocktails.
Now, nine months later, Make me a Cocktail  can unveil a raft of new functionality that will cement it’s place as the community site for cocktail enthusiasts across the world. New features on the site include:
What are you missing? Got some ingredients knocking around but not sure what to make with them? Just add them to My Bar, hit ‘Tell me’ and you’ll be given a list of ingredients to buy next!
Earn badges and gain reputation Challenge yourself to get all 29 Make…

Rhubarb crumble

Now every one has heard of the Bermuda Triangle , but not every one has herd of the Rhubarb Triangle. I kid you not but the Rhubarb Triangle does exist and I live just next to it.  Or not as the case might be all depending on your point of view. The  Rhubarb Triangle is a 9-square-mile triangle in West Yorkshire, England. It is between Wakefield, Morley, and Rothwell.  However, you could say that it was even bigger from Leeds, Bradford, and Wakefield as the area of production was a lot bigger back in the 1930s.
This area in West Yorkshire produces 90% of the worlds forced rhubarb. It is grown in forcing sheds all over the area and you can actually hear it grow. Well it does creak very slightly in the sheds. Also in February 2010 it was awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Commission’s Protected Food Name.  Therefore, in honour of such a magical and majestic vegetable I will now explain how I would make the best dish for Rhubarb with this recipe to it,…

Pork in smoked cheese sauce.

This is a simple recipes that works well with any strong flavoured cheese. You could use Blue stilton just as well and it would still have a good all-round flavour that would work well.  Also it is up to you what meat you use I have chose pork fillet for this recipe you could use veal turkey or chicken if you like, almost any white meat.
You will need 25g/ 1oz butter 15ml/ 1tbsp olive oil Pork fillet for 4 people 2 cloves of garlic 250g/9oz button mushrooms 150g/ 5oz diced leeks 60ml/4tbsp brandy 120ml/4floz dry white wine 250ml/8floz whipping cream 150g/ 5oz smoked cheese Slat and pepper to taste
As I am so often found of saying this is a really easy thing to make so lets start with the meat.  Cut the pork across the grain of the meat to make a coin shape then cover with a plastic bag and beat flat. You are just going to flash fry this so it is quick to cook. Then season with salt and pepper
Add a half of the butter to a hot frying pan and a little of the oil, pop the pork in to…

Alexis Benoist Soyer (4 February 1810 – 5 August 1858)

Now it does not matter what you want to say about the chef of to day probably will not archive what this man archived in his lifetime. But having said that if he lived today he would have lived a lot longer than he actually did , just think what he could have achieved .
The strange thing is that I did not get to here about him until I saw a television detective show called “Pie In The Sky”. It was a show about a detective who wanted to retire but could not and he wanted to open a restaurant . Who you would thing retirement would be a relaxing thing and work full time in a restaurant kitchen I do not know but that is the wonder of T.V.  However, he had a hero chef who he quoted in the first couple of episodes, Alexis Soyer.  In some of the cuff monologue, his career was delivered and then never referred to again.  So out of curiosity I started to see if I could find out more.
Alexis Benoist Soyer was born in france in a place called  Meaux-en-Brie . His father was amongst other thin…


17 February 2012
When it comes to eating meat, most of us opt for a steak, breast or chop but the trend for nose to tail eating encourages us all to be a little more adventurous with our choices. The Chinese embraced the concept of nose to tail eating long before it was given its identity by Fergus Henderson with the launch of his world-renowned recipe book, The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating. It is not just about a fashionable way of cooking, the origins stem back to the belief that animals are sacred and so killing them to eat should be a respectful process, involving no wastage.
Offal, marrow and tripe were all much more commonplace in the UK many years ago but with a switch to convenience eating in the home, these are now considered unusual and restricted to upmarket restaurant menus.
The Chinese way of cooking still advocates the principles of nose to tail cooking and Wing Yip, the UK’s leading Oriental grocer says it doesn’t all have to be left to the experts.
Nose to tail…

Sweeten Your Mum Up This Mothering Sunday With A Chocolate Delight Workshop - Or A Night Of Sweet Dreams At The Chocolate Boutique Hotel

17 February 2012
Sweeten your mum up this Mothering Sunday by treating her to a delicious chocolate making experience with a master chocolatier. Or go one step further and whisk her away to the pretty Chocolate Boutique Hotel for a night of sweet dreams instead!
Perfect for mother/daughter bonding, Chocolate Delight Belgian chocolate truffle making workshops take place most weekends in fifteen towns and cities nationwide. 
They’re a wonderful way of finding out all about the fascinating history of chocolate before getting down to the serious business of chocolate tasting, learning how to make delicious Belgian chocolates by hand and then gift-wrapping them.  A great gift for Mother’s Day, a voucher costs just £49 per person.
For a night of sweet dreams instead, whisk your mum away to the pretty Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth – a chocoholic’s paradise!  Here you can stay together in chocolate themed rooms, drink chocolate cocktails in the Chocolate Bar and even opt for choc…

Alcohol-Free Week 2012 - Will you take on the Alcohol-Free Challenge?

17 February 2012
Will you take on the Alcohol-Free Challenge?
Alcohol-Free Week 22 February – 28 February 2012 -
Alcohol-Free Week 2012 runs from 22 February to 28 February. During this week it is hoped people will be persuaded to abstain from alcohol for all or part of the week.
The aim is to make people more conscious of their drinking habits and help them see how big a role alcohol plays in their lives and how easy, or difficult, it is to do without.
A website has been set up at to help those taking up the Alcohol-Free Week challenge. The website offers tips on drinking wisely, suggestions on alternatives to drinking alcohol and a chance to win alcohol-free drinks every day during Alcohol-Free Week.
Alcohol-Free Week has been running since 2007. Each year businesses, local authorities, health trusts, health promotion agencies and educational institutions have held their own events to mark Alcohol-Free Week.
Organisations getting …

Corporate Christmas Party Business Launches Summer Events Arm

16 February 2012
Eventa, the corporate Christmas party agency based in Brighton, today announced details of a new business arm that will focus on summer events.
The new section of the website is due to be made live in early March and will be promoting a series of themed summer balls, soirées and team building days in and around fourteen cities across the UK, including London. Amongst the themes available are a classic masquerade ball, British-oriented garden party and school sports day event. All packages include a barbecue or buffet meal.
The organisation will be creating a whole section dedicated to Olympics-themed summer parties and team building activities to tie in with the London games and Managing Director Rob Hill, recently featured in the Sunday Times' 'How I Made It Column', sees the new venture as an obvious one.
"It was the next logical step really. We were receiving enquiries for summer parties without even mentioning them on the site, so decided to cha…

Wine regions of the world 5 Bordeaux.

Now while doing this blog I have limited any f the article that I have done to just a few hundred to say a thousand words , the same that you would get in a news appear or magazine article .  And each time I start to write about a wine region I know that I will not do it justice.  A brief glossary of the history and a nod to the viticulture a little about geography and climate, grape varieties, history and the odd personal reference as to what I might think about the wine of the region.  How can this ever do justice to any wine region, the truth is it cannot.
Bordeaux could be argued to be one of the most important wine regions of the world , the names of the Château  and regions are instantly recognisable all over the world to people who say the know nothing about wine . Château  and regions like Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour,  St-Julien,  Margaux, Graves,  Sauternes and Barsac, Pomerol, Saint-Émilion names and places they you see on almost every wine l…

What is all the fuss about food?

The other day I sat and looked at the screen and just wonder what I could write.  It was a moment of writer block I suppose as nothing came to me. And then I began to question what it was that I was doing.  If the truth were told, I am a frustrated writer who would like to be a novelist or poet. And if that is the case then why not write that book that you have inside, it could be the next Ulusses and me the next James Joyce .  That is what great literature is all about and food is well, its just food, it goes in one end and out of the other, fuel to keep you going.  But to think like that is that not to bite the hands that feeds you, but why keep a blog.
Why would I, or any one for that matter, find the time to sit down and just do a thing like this.  A blog about food, what is all the fuss about.  Is there a need for yet another person who will bang on about the perfect soup , roast chicken ,  grilled turbot or salad.  Is there a need for this I have been asking myself.  The answe…