Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December food happenings on the rock

Plenty going on over here for Christmas. Here are details of all the Farmers Markets and other places where you can go to fill yourself with lovely food before easing into elasticated trousers after Christmas :o)

Greetings from the Relish Catering Kitchen. It’s a busy time for us here but I’ve squeezed in the time to let you know about plenty of food related events happening on the rock in the run up to Christmas.

If you’re stuck for that elusive Christmas present remember we do vouchers for our cookery classes. What better present is there than teaching a loved one how to cook (.....better meals for you hehehe)??? For more information go here on our website or just give me a call. They can be emailed out so yes you can ring me on Christmas Eve.

Coming up......

2nd + 3rd December Murder mystery nights at Tanroagan Restaurant. A great fun way to enjoy good food & meet new people with a brilliant excuse to get dressed up in fancy dress! Each murder mystery has its own theme and this Christmas it is 'Hidihi Campers' as they present 'The Strange case of Nobby Knees', where a murder has taken place at the Happy Bottom Holiday Camp in Piddling by the sea. These nights are very popular and with only limited tickets available you need to book fast! Tickets are £30.00 per person and include a glass of punch on arrival, 3 course dinner with homemade bread followed by coffee & homemade chocolates. To Book call: 612355 or email:

3rd December – Farmers Market @ Tynwald Mills, St. Johns in the courtyard area outside the Neb Cafe (11 am - 3pm)

5th December - Douglas Farmers' Market at the Villa Marina colonnades (10am - 2pm)

10th December – Farmers Market @ Tynwald Mills, St. Johns in the courtyard area outside the Neb Cafe (11 am - 3pm)

11th December - I.O.M.Farmers' Markets, Ramsey will be having Christmas Evening Markets at the Corner of East Street, Ramsey to coincide with Ramsey Late Night Shopping (6pm-9pm)

12th Dcember – Christmas Farmers' Market, Ramsey will be on at Albert Road School (10am-1pm)

16th December – Evening Farmers Market @ Tynwald Mills, St. Johns in the courtyard area outside the Neb Cafe to coincide with late night shopping at Tynwald Mills (6 - 8pm)

17th December – Farmers Market @ Tynwald Mills, St. Johns in the courtyard area outside the Neb Cafe (11 am - 3pm)

19th December - Douglas Xmas Farmers' Market at Villa Marina Colonnades, mulled wine mince pies and maybe even hot roasted chestnuts (10am - 2pm)

20th December - Castletown Xmas Farmers' Market will be in the grounds of the S100 club house, just off the bypass (1.30pm - 3.30pm)

18th December - I.O.M.Farmers' Markets, Ramsey will be having Christmas Evening Markets at the Corner of East Street, Ramsey to coincide with Ramsey Late Night Shopping (6pm-9pm)

19th + 22nd December - Paddy`s Market in Port St Mary will be holding their Xmas Continental Market under canvas, there will be plenty of stalls plus music and gluvine :o) 19th (10 - 2) and 22nd (5 - 9)

23rd December – Evening Farmers Market @ Tynwald Mills, St. Johns in the courtyard area outside the Neb Cafe to coincide with late night shopping at the Tynwald Mills (6 - 8pm)

24th December - 'Christmas on the Hill' on Christmas Eve at Tynwald Hill (4.30pm). Not entirely a food/drink thing, although they will be giving away free mulled wine, mince pies, juice and star biscuits.It is an outdoor re-enactment of the Christmas story - lots of animals, angels, carols, newborn baby and band!

I hope you have a great Christmas, it’s back to the kitchen for me!


@ Relish - Cookery School and Outside Catering
T: 07624 453324

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Churros and Hot Chocolate

This is something I have been wanting to make for ages, but hadn't got my butt in gear and got on with it. Then last week I get home and Stokesy has pulled it out of the bag.......Churros and Hot Chocolate on the table................wahoooooooo! And check out the vague heart shape....aaaah....there goes his reputation.....sorry Stokes!
Anyway, I am pleased to report that they were absolutely delicious. Nice light churros (dinky doughnut) and thick, rich hot chocolate with a hint of chilli.
So Men I suppose you'll want to know how to make them for your ladies
Serves 4 - Ready in 20 minutes

For the chocolate
225g plain chocolate, with at least 60% cocoa solids, broken up
800ml full-cream milk
Large pinch chilli powder (optional, but recommended)

For the churros
Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
100g plain flour
150ml full-cream milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
50g caster sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1. In a large, deep pan, heat the oil for deep frying the churros to 190°C or until a piece of bread takes 30 seconds to colour. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2.
2. Bring the milk and 150ml water to the boil in a pan, add the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cool slightly, then gradually beat in enough egg to make a smooth but stiff, glossy mixture.
3. Roll the batter into your desired shapes. Bust out the hearts, you know you want to! Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown. Lift out with a slotted spoon onto a baking tray lined with kitchen paper. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and toss with the churros gently until lightly coated. Pop in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest.
4. Bring the milk to the boil in a small pan. Add the chilli powder, then take the milk off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then add your chocolate, stirring until completely combined. I used my little cappucino frother to get some foam going. Stokes used it to spray the walls with hot chocolate, oops! Pour into hot mugs.
5. Dunk churros into hot chocolate and sink into sugar induced warm snoozy feelings

© delicious. magazine

Philly mush rump rice

Yes, as you can tell from the title this is a dish of my own creation, a taste explosion borne from an exploration of the nether regions of my fridge.
Left over rice was transformed into........Philly Mushroom Rice. We had some lovely short grain brown rice in the fridge from yesterday's curry. Finely slice mushrooms, and fry in garlicky butter until browned, chuck your rice in the pan and heat through very thoroughly (no food poisoining for me thank you), the rice can even brown a little bit too. Then take it off the heat, dot with blobs of cream cheese (must be full fat!) and add a handful of chopped parsley.
We had this with rump steak and stir-fried brussels, but I reckon it would make a nice light meal just on it's own.

BBQ Ribs - Take 2

Having loved the Jamie Oliver ribs soooo much we had another go at them. This time I cooked them under foil and added a big splash of water to the roasting tin, in an attempt to keep them extra juicy. Then I went out and left Stokesy and his ma to do the rest! Hahaha the best type of cooking......when someone else does it for you. When I got home they had added the marinade (honey, beef stock cube, sugar, butter, salt) and the ribs were out to rest. The meat looked even better than last time. I spotted there was loads of sticky beef fat (mmmm sticky beef fat) left in the pan so used it to do these mini roasties.
In a very small nod to the health of our arteries we served up with stir-fried brussels. Dee-licious!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And the winners are.......

The cookery school and Butlers Choice ran a joint competition over the summer to win either a special edition Global knife or a day at Relish Cookery School. The comptition had over 2000 entries from the agricultural shows and Food and Drink Festival. And the lucky winners were.....Kirsty Barber and Paula Elliott

Kirsty Barber, from Ballaugh, won the limited edition Global knife. Paula Elliott, was over from Ireland visiting family in the South of the island, won a day at Relish Cookery School.

Well done Ladies! I hope you enjoy your prizes

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sticky beef ribs *drool*

Reports from London will be heading your way shortly, as soon as I find the right cable to connect phone to PC! In the meantime I've not been slacking........having taken delivery of my Jamie's America book it was time to try out the BBQ beef ribs.
Simply get a huge hunk of meat from your friendly butcher. I used beef short ribs (they are dirt cheap yippee), covered them in a mix of chilli powder/mustard/black pepper/oil/salt then cooked them at 140degrees for about 4 hours. They should fall apart pretty easily after that. Then mix your marinade, into saucepan goes honey/brown sugar/butter/beef stock cube/a splash of water, heat that lot up then pour over the meat. Give it a good massage while you're at it! Jamie's recipe says to return it to the oven for 45min, but I just gave it a short 15 mins.
JO also said to cook it uncovered the whole time, but I think you'd get a better result if you covered your roasting tray in tinfoil. We had it with coleslaw and jacket potatoes. Nice!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bread Making - Bertinet method and Lebanese flatbread

So we're back from London, I'm sad because we had such a great time and really treated ourselves to loads of gorgeous meals. Now it's back to the grindstone!

In her Bread Making class last week Liz recommended Andrew Whitely's 'Bread Matters' as essential reading so I got a copy from the library last week. The combination of better knowledge of what exactly goes into a commercial loaf plus Liz's tuition making it look so easy has made me more motivated to make bread for home.

Luckily for me Stokesy Jnr and Snr got rained off at work so I had an assistant in the shape of Stokesy Snr. First we made a 500g batch of 1:1 white:wholemeal using the Bertinet method. Then we had a go at lamajun, a lebanese flatbread I had seen in the Ballymaloe cookbook awhile ago and had been lingering on my must-do list. I'm sure you all have a must-cook list on your kitchen wall?? Oh just me then. Once I've got my new magazines/books in I run through all the cookery literature I own and pick out loads of new things to make over the month. What a thrilling life I lead!
The flat bread was simple: 275g white flour, 225g natural yoghurt mixed together to form a soft dough. I added a little extra water as ours was too dry. Portion into 50g chunks, then roll each chunk out til about 10cm across, you'll need plenty of flour on your worktop. Then dry fry your flatbreads on both sides in a preheated frying pan.

Once then are golden on each side you add this lovely topping: 1tsp thyme leaves, 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 1/2tsp sea salt, 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix the topping in a little bowl then use a pastry brush to brush over each flatbread. We dunked ours in hoummous but all agreed that it would be nice Italian style with garlic butter and tomato sauce. YUM!
Stokesy Snr just called back round to shape the loaves with me, I'm just waiting for them to prove for the 2nd time......hang on.....they're in the oven now. Woohooo! Lovely bread in 20-ish minutes :o) There they are up at the top of this post

Sunday brunch @ The Tapa Room

This was meant to be Sunday brunch at Lantana, but when we got there it was shut...boohooo. So we headed over to Marylebone High Street and The Tapa Room which I had seen recommended on the Time Out website. We had to queue for 25 mins just to get a seat. My brother having the perfect timing, arriving as we sat down! Hmmmm.....but would it be worth the wait?

Apologies for the single (and quite frankly rubbish) picture. We were starving and I totally forgot, by which time we had all shared out our dishes. You can even see my brother's fork diving in for more....get back!

A quick look at the menu indicated that this would be a very very very good brunch. Loads of Aussie-style dishes, man those Aussies can dish out a killer brunch! Since my return I have learnt that the head honcho there is a guy called Peter Gordon (he's Kiwi...sorry!) and he had an article in the December 09 issue of delicious magazine. So there you go.

We had......Paprika roast potato, sweet potato, caramelised onion, feta, and edamame tortilla with salsa rossa, Greek yoghurt and greens
Sweetcorn and blueberry fritters with avocado, tomato and rocket salad
Hot-smoked salmon, two poached eggs and spinach on walnut toast with yuzu hollandaise

Accompanied by cake, smoothies, hot chocolate and a very strong Bloody Mary.....YUM!

This place tied with No.10 as our best find of the weekend........a return journey will definitely be scheduled. Their lunch menu looks amazing too :o)

Saturday night @ Mesam

After stuffing ourselves at lunchtime it was time for something a bit lighter Saturday night. Meeting up with my brother and his friend at a little Iranian joint on Warwick Rd, which was handily only 1/2 mile from where we were staying. However......I totally messed up the directions. leading to an unexpected. 45 minute pre-dinner stroll. Stokesy HATES walking so I was in the bad books by the time we got there.

Dinner was flatbread, herbs, yoghurty/shallot stuff, hoummous and kebabs

Friday night @ No. 10

Errm not quite No. 10 Downing Street but a really good Schezuan restaurant called No. 10, down an alley opposite Earls Court tube station. Stokesy and I came straight from the airport to meet Kerry, Brett and my brother, Andrew.
The food was soooo good. We had a load of stuff to share including.....Dim sum - Prawn Ha Kow and Pork Siu Mai.....Steamed sea bass with chrysanthemum.....Green beans with crispy pork (above)......Aubergine something nice (top pic)....Chives with egg.......Crispy duck with veg. It should be noted that all of this came with copious amounts of chilli.....oh and it was a really good value meal. All that food, plus a couple of other dishes and a few beers came to £100 for 5 including service. Bargain!

Great start to the weekend. Oh and it was nice to see Kerry/Brett/Andrew........hahaha

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Off to Da Big Smoke

Yes me and stokesy and heading to the not Douglas.......London! Wahooo!

Food related plans have obviously been made :o)

These include lunch at Moro......I love love love their recipe book......I'm so excited about going....have checked out their menu online. Ooh go on....have a look. I reckon I'll have Grilled aubergine and yoghurt salad with crispy lamb and chilli butter.......followed by.....Wood roasted pork with patatas pobres and churrasco sauce....YUM!

Have booked dinner at Maze......hey did you see it on Masterchef last night?........looking forward to it even more now.....hmmm what do I fancy here?? homage to my Scottish roots......Cornish canon of lamb with confit shoulder, spiced turnip fondant, Granny Smith purée and haggis sauce.....oh and all of the desserts :o)

I want to make to a few other places too.........Ottolenghi for their amazing salads.........Primrose Bakery + Hummingbird Bakery for big cake!!!..........I also hope to find somewhere with nice caiprinhias :o)

2010 timetable and catering menus...wahoooooo!

Well here's the moment you've all been waiting for....okay maybe not quite on the edge of your seats.......hanky at the ready X Factor Final...but not far off! It's the......da da da da da daaaaaaa......2010 cookery class timetable. Here are the classes timetabled so far: Midweek Meal Masterclass II, Gujurathi Cooking II, Oriental Delight, Vegetarian Cooking, Bread Making. Full class details can be found here. All classes are £75 and gift vouchers are available. Hey what a great Christmas present :o)

Next 'momentous' bit of news is that the Autumn/Winter catering menus are now available. Like the sound of Garlic Butter Popcorn? Fennel Crusted Pork Belly? Apple and Champagne Icecream? Just a few of the delicious new dishes on the menu. Relish specialises is catering for Weddings - Private Parties - Corporate Events. So give us a call and we'll provide delicious food for your event, large or small.

I'll leave you alone now to recover from the excitement,
Kathryn @ Relish

Relish - Cookery School and Outside Catering

W: T: 07624 464271 B:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bread Day @ Relish

A new class at the cookery school......yippee! Sunday was Bread Making Day with Liz from artisan bakery The Good Loaf. Our participants were: Angela and sister Jan, Marie and son Robbie, plus Andrea and Michelle.

The day began with two different methods for making a basic white loaf 1. The traditional British knead and fold 2. The noisy French twist and slap!

Next up: a simple 'no knead' foccacia topped with tomatoes and basil. Perfect for a party buffet!
After coffee break we discussed the essential bits of kit while making scones. Robbie has a dairy allergy so substituted the butter/milk and still got a great result.
Then it was time for my favourite bit. Shaping the dough. Liz showed us a huge variety from 1 simple white bread mix, let's hope I can remember them all: Baguette, Epi (a baguette variation, shown below), Simple Loaf, Twisted Breadsticks, Breadshots, Fougasse and Rolls
If you fancy a go, Liz is booked for a return visit on May 23rd 2010.....give me a call (07624 453324) or email to book a place

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Food & Drink Festival 09

Oooh ooh ooh that's me! Supervising some big Hairy Biker bloke dealing with some squid.

Can I give my excuses for the non-posting now??? Well I was super-busy doing the 1st Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival. I was hosting the Food Live Theatre which saw demos from The Hairy Bikers, the I Love Manxchef finals, plus loads of demos including Tim Croft, Tanraogan, ISle of Man College, Butlers Choice plus booze from Okells, Bushys and The Shore.

The event was a massive success, I think they got 8000 people through the door. The demos were certainly packed hopefully the event will run again next year...wahooo!

France - sugar work

I haven't previously been too keen on sugar work after burning several pans, welding spoons to the worktop and covering the floor with caramel strands. But we conquer our fears and work through our weaknesses etc etc oh and caramel tastes good too so there's some motivation.

Mitler absolutely nailed the caramel she is with her handiwork

We also made a sheet of salted caramel (top pic). Just pour your caramel onto a sheet of silicone paper then sprinkle liberally with Maldon sea salt
and then....and then...and then........later in the week Mitler melted some left over caramel down with mascarpone, salt and water.....then we mixed it with plain ice cream to make...........salted caramel ice cream yuuummmmmmmmmm

Music to cook to......

.......a new feature :o)

I'll be giving you the best music selection to get your cook on to.........this week's top 3. It's best if you assume a cheesy DJ voice for the next bit

In at number 3........oh baby it's....Nasty Girl - Notorious B.I.G.
Here's one for all you lovers out there............ our number 2........You Are - Estelle featuring John Legend
This week's number 1........playing daily in the Relish Kitchen........Feelings Gone - Basement Jaxx featuring Sam Sparro

Big Porkin' baby

Last night in France meant it was time for us to get creative, think up (squabble over!) our own 2 course menu then cook it over the day for service in the evening.

On the menu tonight madame et monsieurs....

Main: Braised pork belly with crunchy crackling with mushroom and walnut duxelle, on potato rosti....and ON THE SIDE roasted carrots and green beans with garlic butter

Dessert: Chocolate souffle, salted caramel icecream with walnut shortbread

I think we did pretty well, worked in perfect synchrony as a team..hahaha not too much squabbling anyway. The pork was absolutely gorgeous, melt-in-the-mouth, we did it in the sous-vide at 80degrees for 18hrs.

I've since done it for a cookery school using the following method. I overheard 1 woman say it was the best pork she has ever tasted..wahooo!

Method: Pork belly in roasting tin on top of 3 stalks of celery, water up to just below fat/skin line. Cover with greaseproof, then tin foil. Into oven at 170 for 1 hour, then 140 for 1 hr, then 120 for 3 hours, then I had to go to bed so I jut switched the oven off and left it in.In the morning I just took it out, removed the skin and did the crackling thing with it, then removed the bones from the belly before reheating it. It was super-tender and v delicious....oh and I did loads of SALT and fennel seeds on the skin.yum!
Sorry the France posting is 1. late 2. all out of sync......I'll get more pics up over the next couple of weeks........i promise miss!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day One - Lurverly Lamb

So, first day proper at school. Quite a few in our class: The American contingent, the Kiwi family, the lovebirds, Simon on his work experience, the Irish/posh Scousers, globe-trotting Jeff plus the dictators......Mitler and Kitler

Our first challenge was getting the main for the evening meal on the go. Med veg ragout and pommes dauphinoise for sides. yes I know, I'm virtually fluent. Top quality local produce on offer here...yaay!
Here's our finished dish. The lamb was cooked in a scorching hot oven for 23 minutes then left to rest under a mountain of towels for a couple of hours. Yes it does get fully cooked through and turns out as delicious pinky, tender, properly rested meat


So Mitler and I have spent the last week in South West France at the 'Cook in France' cookery school. We didn;t really have any expectations....but were worried that there may be 'weird' people on the course. In the end we needn;t have worried about that.....all very nice, fairly normal people.
Sunday night was our welcome dinner. Up top you can see our main of confit duck, creamy mash and peas with a balsamic reduction. Oh I forgot to take piccies of our drinky nibbles, which included the delicious garlic butter popcorn. Dessert was pannacotta with figs and hazelnut biccies. What a great start to the week. We sat down for dinner with enough wine to sink a ship.....thanks to the fantastic efforts of all involved we had to send for reinforcements in the form of the miniatures from our rooms.....tut tut


Getting ready for our trip also involved some complex non-food weighing and measuring. Getting a week's worth of gear under 10kg was tricky!
So now youw know, a small pair of flip flops = 300g

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vive le croissant!

I head off on holiday tomorrow to.................a cookery school in France.....wahoooo! So expect a plethora of posting. Not taking laptop because being a Scroogey McScrooge I refuse to pay £millions extra for cabin baggage, so the plethora will occur on our return.

Here's where Mitler and I are off to leaving Stokesy and Jake to do whatever it is men do when they are alone *shudder*

Au revoir mes amies! I will try to use all 10 words of French that I know while I'm there :o)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Beet and chocolate cake

Here's a lovely squidgy beet and chocolate cake. I confess that sometimes I just make it without the beetroot because I can be bothered cooking them. Then I just grate some beetroot into the icing sugar to give bright purple (natural coloured) icing.
This recipe will be in the brochure for the Food & Drink Festival over here on 26/27th September.....but here's a sneak preview

For the cake:
230g self-raising flour – from Laxey Glen Four Mills
100g cocoa powder
200g caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
125g butter – courtesy of Isle of Man Creameries
250g cooked beetroot – nurtured by Robin of Purely Plants Produce
3 large eggs – laid at Staarvey Farm

To serve:
350g blackberries – from a hedgerow near you
250ml double cream – courtesy of Isle of Man Creameries


Preheat the oven to 1800C . Butter and flour a 18cm (7in) round cake tin.

Sift together the flour and cocoa, then mix in the sugar. Melt the chocolate and butter together over a very low heat. Puree the beetroot, whish the eggs then stir them into the beetroot. Add the beetroot and chocolate mixtures to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning out of its tin. Serve with a scattering of blackberries and big dollop of double cream.

Choccy love bomb

My Friday night schedule was a private dinner party for a family, the night before their daughter's wedding. With romance in the air I added some luuurve decorations to their dessert of chocolate pots. I didn;t have any mini piping bags so had to make my own, a tip for you...remember to fold over the opening at the top....I didn;t so covered myself in melted chocolate. oops

The breakfast of champions

The heaven sent combination of bacon and fried yolk-still-runny egg mmmmmmmmmm.

Anyone who disagrees with the runny yolk needs their head examined (Mitler!).....why oh why wouldn't you want runny yolk?????!

This tasted even better because it was prepared for me by Stokesy.....cheers fella!

Excuse me Waiter, I think there's a.....

......mole in my soup! Check out the amazing sweet potato/mole!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Show recipes - Southern and Royal - Part 2

Sticky beef stir-fry with cabbage and cashew nuts - Serves 4

o 2 tbsp vegetable oil
o 2 x 200g Manx sirloin steaks, trimmed of fat + thinly sliced
o 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
o 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, finely sliced into strips
o 50g unsalted cashew nuts, chopped
o 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
o 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
o 3 tbsp light soy sauce
o Pinch of chilli flakes
200g Manx green cabbage

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the beef, in 2 batches, and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.
2. Add the garlic, ginger and cashews and stir-fry for just a minute, then add the sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, chilli flakes and 100ml water.Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage to the sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then return the beef to the wok to heat through

Queenie stir-fry with spring onion - Serves 4

o 1 tbsp Ellerslie Farm rapeseed oil
o 1" root ginger finely sliced
o 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
o 2 bunches Manx spring onions, finely sliced
o 24 Manx Queenies
o 50ml soy sauce
o 50ml water
o 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan, add the garlic, ginger and spring onion and fry for a minute or two until softened.
2. Then add the queenies and cook for a further 2 mins until they have browned slightly, add the soy and water, taste add more water or soy if required then sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Eat immediately!

Ground lamb with Hoummos and pine nuts - Serves 4

o 2 tbsp pinenuts, lightly toasted
o 3 tbsp Manx rapeseed oil
o ½ large Manx onion
o 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
o 170g Manx lamb, minced
o 1 tub of hoummos – ooh a Delia-style cheat!
o Sprinkling of paprika
o A few leaves of Manx flat leaf parsley

1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat and lightly toast the pine nuts.
2. Remove from the pan and set aside
3. Add the olive oil to the pan and gently fry the onion until golden. Add the cinnamon.
4. Now turn the heat up and when the oil is sizzling add the lamb. Use a fork to the break up the lamb. You want it to be nice and crispy/browned.
6. Add the pine nuts and remove from the heat.
7. Put the hoummos into a serving dish and layer the lamb mixture on top. Sprinkle with paprika and the leaves of parsley. Great with pitta bread

Edith’s choc chip cookies - Serves 4

4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
5oz plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder - thoroughly mix with the flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz porridge oats
6oz chocolate, smashed into big pieces, use your preferred ratio of dark:milk:white

1. Put all ingredients except the chocolate into your mixing bowl and mix/Kenwood until combined.
2. Add the chocolate and fold in gently using a large metal spoon. Arguments frequently occur in my house due to over stirring and the breaking up of the chocolate chunks. Hmmmm
3. Put big blobs of the mixture onto your baking sheet (use silicone paper) then bake in the oven at 180 for 12 minutes. Great with cream

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Show recipes - Southern and Royal - Part 1

Kipper and mustard pate - Serves 4

o 1 pair of filleted and deboned kippers
o 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
o 2 tbsp Manx butter, melted

Place all of your ingredients in a medium size bowl.
Simply mash together with a fork. Taste and add more mustard if necessary. Delicious served with crusty bread and green salad

Crab pate - Serves 4

o 100g mixed brown and white cooked crabmeat
o 75g melted butter
o 1 garlic clove, crushed
o Black pepper
o Lemon juice

Place all of your ingredients in a medium size bowl.
Simply mash together with a fork. Taste and add more pepper or lemon juice if necessary. Delicious served with crusty bread and green salad

Mexi-Manx Beef Tacos - Serves 4

o 300g minced beef
o 2 tbsp oil
o 1 large onion, finely chopped
o 2 cloves garlic, crushed
o 1tsp ground cumin
o 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
o Dash of soy sauce
o Salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden. Increase the heat and add the minced beef, frying until brown. Add the cumin, soy sauce and chilli. Taste and add salt, pepper and sugar as required.Serve with salsa, grated cheddar and tortillas

Mayonnaise - Makes 250ml

o 2 Manx egg yolks
o ½ tsp Dijon mustard
o 1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar
o Good pinch salt
o 200ml Ellerslie Farm rapeseed oil

Put the egg yolks into a bowl. Add the salt, vinegar and mustard, and mix. Gradually add the oil, drop by drop, whisking all the time. You should start to see the mixture thickening. Keep adding the oil as you whisk until there is none left. Season to taste.
It should be smooth and creamy in texture, looking absolutely nothing like the mayo you buy in the shops :o)
NOTE: If you add the oil too quickly the mixture will split i.e. it will look thin and the oil will just float on top. If this happens, break another egg yolk into a clean bowl and pour the split mixture into it, drop by drop, whisking all the time until it emulsifies

Quesadillas - Makes 1 quesadilla

o 2 tortillas
o 1 large handful of grated Manx cheddar
o Salad – tomatoes and lettuce make a good combo

Place your frying pan over a medium heat and wait for it to heat through. Add one tortilla, then your fillings, the other tortilla on top. Wait for the bottom tortilla to brown, flip it over, brown the other side. Voila! Remove from the pan, cut into triangles and eat.
TIP: Try the different flavoured cheddars i.e. black peppercorn or sweet chilli

Super Berry Smoothie - Serves 1

o 300ml Manx milk
o Large handful of Manx berries – Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant all work well
o 1 Banana
o Frozen Ushtey

Put all ingredients into a blender. Hit the button! Drink!

Thai Pork Noodle Salad - Serves 2-3

o 350g minced Manx pork - fried until crispy
o 20 pods of Manx peas
o 1 handful of Manx green beans, boiled for 4 minutes (blanched being the fancy chef term)
o 1 bunch Manx spring onions - finely sliced
o a big handful of peanuts
o 2 tbsp fresh Manx coriander, roughly chopped
o 2 portions of egg noodles - cooked according to packet instructions

o 2 tbsp Manx rapeseed oil
o 1" ginger grated
o 1 clove garlic grated
o 1/2 red chilli
o juice of 1 lime

Combine main salad ingredients in a big bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a jam jar and shake well. Add the dressing to the main salad, give it a good stir and leave for 5-10 minutes so that the flavours from the dressing can be absorbed by the rest of the salad.
Tip: For extra flavour pour over the pan juices from cooking the pork over the noodles.

Royal Show 2009

The biggest show of the summer is the Royal Agricultural Show in Sulby so we hit the show with loads of demos, again trying to raise awareness of the quality and variety of local produce on offer.

Particular thanks go to:
Butlers Choice for providing the equipment for the kitchen. Go down to their shop on Castle Street in Douglas if you're after some kitchen kit
Isle of Man Meats for providing the delicious beef, lamb and pork
Staarvery Farn for proving the herbs for the competition ingredients test
All the demo-ers.......some who looked very scared!

Dishes included:

Mexi-Manx beef tacos (Ray Craine - beef farmer)
Queenie stir-fry (Bry Radcliffe - the veg man),
Kipper and crab pates (Paul Desmond - fishmonger and kipper smokehouse)
Choc chunk cookies (Steve Martin - cereal grower)
Mayonnaise (Pentti Christian - rapeseed oil producer)
Berry smoothie and quesadillas (Dougie Coole - dairy farmer)
Queenie Pie with Samphire (Joan from Tanroagan Seafood Restaurant)
The perfect steak (Phil Teare from Isle of Man Meats)
Mushroom and Ale soup (Kathy from Greeba Mushrooms)
Secret ingredients queenies (Richard from The Shore Hotel, Gansey)

I'll put all of the recipes in a separate post here and here

It was great to get the farmers involved, talking about how they rear the animals and grow the produce for our tables. Bry Radcliffe made an entertaining appearance, although I'm not sure where his line of questioning on my fitness regime was going!

We also had the northern heats of the I Love ManxChef contest.......Claire (below with her stir-fried lambs liver, Jessica (above with her blackcurrent sorbet), Lizia and Chris (queenie stir fry) battled it out. Lizia was crowned the winner making Brazilian croquetas, a little taste of home for her, using Manx ingredients. She sells them at the Ramsey Farmers Market on Saturday mornings so you can go down and sample them. Full write-up at ilovemanx

Weather was perfect, attendance was high, all in all a good day out :o)

Homemade Crunchie

Mmmm. A nice little pressie brought round to my house by my demo assistant Lucy which naturally got demolished in very little time by me, Stokesy, Wee Jan and my brother (home from Italy....hmmmm without food presents I now realise!)

Thanks Lucy!

To make it at home:

25g unsalted Butter
200g caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp Bicarbonate of soda
200g good quality milk chocolate
1-2 tsp vegetable oil


1. Grease a 20cm square tin with the butter.
2. Melt the sugar and golden syrup together in a heavy based pan over a low heat.
3. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and a dark caramel colour.
4. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the bicarbonate of soda so that the mixture froths up.
5. Pour into the tin and leave to set at room temperature for about 2-3 hours.
6. Grease a large sheet of foil with the vegetable oil.
7. Once set, bash the honeycomb into large shards/splinters.
8. Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or in a bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water.
9. Dip the shards of honeycomb into the melted chocolate and place them on a lightly oiled foil sheet.
10. Leave to set in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Cupcake test day @ The Good Loaf

A catering client wanted some cupcakes for her party. I'm not bad at baking but I thought I'd call in the experts so I headed down to The Good Loaf bakery to get Liz and Sarah's help.

Before I arrived Liz had made two varieties of sponge base. Then Sarah got cracking on the icing and decorations. Yum!

Man Flu Medication

Yes we had a spate of man-flu in our household last week. Stokesy had to have to day off from work and so I got to be Florence for the day (woohoo). Florence dispensed some hot and sour soup to blast through those blocked sinuses. It makes a great breakfast. To make Florence's man-flu-fighting soup:

Put 500ml water, 1 chicken stock cube, 1 tsp tom yam paste, 4 slices of ginger into a saucepan and heat for 5 minutes to get the flavours going. Now add 3 tbso coconut milk, shredded cabbage and sweetcorn. Heat for another 3 minutes and taste (sometimes it needs more tom yam paste ot coconut milk or stock). Eat with a wedge of lime for extra vitamin C boost.

On Day 2 of his near-death experience he needed more cheering up.....bring out the smiley faces in porridge!

Lunch for Wee Jan

Not wanting to enjoy a weekend off without doing just a little bit of cooking I got roped into doing a lunch party for my ma. She helps me out loads for work so it's a fair exchange.

On the menu was: a side of hot smoked salmon from hot Tim at Island Seafare in Port St Mary, a boned out leg of lamb with garlic from Mark at Teares in Ramsey, a basil and tomato frittata made by me. For side dishes we had some nice, simple summery options of roasted new potatoes, gujurathi green beans, green salad and loads of different bread s from Liz @ The Good Loaf.
For puds: White chocolate and raspberry tart (another special commision from Liz), meringues and loads of summer fruit

I have one bit of advice from that day.......don't put a glass plate in the oven for more than 5 minutes. Due to my tireless experimenting I have discovered that it will explode quite soon after that.....oops

Southern Show 2009

Well it's been a very busy few weeks. Starting with the Southern Show at the end of July. I got to host the demo kitchen for DAFF and the I Love Manx people. This involved getting loads of different food-related people, some more willing than others, up to bring local food to the attention of the masses. We also ran the first year of the I Love ManxChef contest.

Dishes included: Ground lamb with hoummous (with Graham Crowe), Sticky beef and cashew stir-fry (Ray Craine), Thai pork noodle salad (Sean Dean in the piccie above) plus loads more. All the recipes can be found here and here

The lovely Samantha Honey-Pollock won the southern heats of the competition so she goes through to the final at the Food & Drink Festival in September at the Villa Marina. For all of the recipes and a full write-up of the competition go to the ilovemanx website

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bread Day in the Relish Test Kitchen

I watched an old Jamie Oliver tv show whilst spending some quality time bonding with my sofa at the weekend. He made gorgeous twister bread with chargrilled veg looked so good that I had to make it. Stokesy will happily eat bread all day every day so I knew I had a willing test audience.

I had a second batch of dough left over so did foccacia with rapeseed oil and dried herbs. It came out a bit too doughy for my liking, so it looks like I'll have to retest......oh well!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sweetcorn Fritters

Hmmmm second sweetcorn blog recipe in not very long. I ate loads of these fritters 2 summers ago when me and the Stokes spent the summer MX-ing in Canada. The corn there is sooooo good.

Now I am going to treat you with a proper recipe for this....hold on....I have used all gluten-free ingredients because I used this recipe on a gluten-free coking class I did last year. You can substitute plain flour if you want.

 325g can of corn kernels, drained
 4 spring onions, finely chopped
 2 tbsp fresh coriander
 2 tbsp rice flour
 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
 1 egg
 oil for frying

Combine all of the ingredients except the oil. Stir well.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Drop 4 tbsp of the corn mixture into the pan – avoid overcrowding. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, on each side, or until golden brown – turn carefully to prevent the pancakes breaking. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Delicious with sweet chilli sauce

Summery Fish Pie

Facing a weekend of no cooking work I fancied having friends round for dinner. I took charge of dessert (egg custard tart) whilst my guests got on the case with the main. Step up Heidi and Michelle! Oh and Coffee Bean helped out too.
They used a Jamie Oliver recipe for a light fish pie with no cream and loads of veggies. From my position of sitting on my tail at the kitchen table (drinking ginger beer yum) it all looked pretty easy ;o) I can assure you it was absolutely delicious