Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lentils with chorizo and warm vinaigrette

A super fast evenin meal for when you come home needing to feed immediately before you get grumpy with your nearest + dearest. Not that I get grumpy when I'm hungry but my evil twin does .'s how to in the style of Gordon Ramsay

Hot pan.....chorizo slices.....sear
Add to pan
Lentils.....drain and rinse.....add to pan
Staarvey Farm vinaigrette.....errrmm.....shake it baby.....big pour into pan
Heat the lot.....garnish with parsley.....lentils with chorizo and warm vinaigrette....done

I like to follow this with chillin on the sofa and an episode of ugly betty. I'm sure old Gordon does the same

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wasabi potato cakes

Have been doing a recipe book cull today. The Gate cookbook made it thru on this recipe

To make them....

Make up some mash, then add wasabi, butter, sesame seeds and salt. Mix thoroughly.

Fry shallots in sesame oil, then add soy sauce after 5 mins

Now to shape your cakes. Using a food ring or round pastry cutter .....put a layer of mash..... Spoonful of shallot..... Another layer of mash. Push the cake out of the ring. Flour the cake and fry in oil until crispy n brown on both sides

Burmese noodles with prawns

Perfect tea for a rainy day

Recipe robbed from Times newspaper :-)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Double chocolate bread n butter puddin

Take 1 chilly day. Add a long weekend working. What do you get? A serious dessert requirement. Cue individual double chocolate bread n butter puddings mmm mmmmm

To make simply....
Butter 4 ramekins
Butter about 10'slices of thick cut White bread.
Cut out circles from the bread. Yes it helps if they're the same size as your ramekins
Now put one circle of bread (butter side down) into each ramekin followed by chunks of White and dark chocolate. Repeat bread-chocolate-bread
In a mixing bowl beat 3 whole eggs. Now add 200ml double cream, 200ml whole milk, 80g golden caster sugar and a big splash of vanilla extract. Mix to combine
Pour the egg-milk mix over the bread, pushing the bread down and adding more mix to thoroughly soak it
Leave for 10 mins to absorb then bang them in the oven @ 160C for about 20 mins

I made some custard to go with mine. Done!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tonight's dinner - courgette n red onion frittata

Aka 'let's see what's lurking in the fridge and make dinner without the trauma of going out to the shop' thought that title might be a little on the long side though.

Easy peasy to make this:
Fry 1 courgette, 1 red onion + 1 White onion in a large frying pan. In a mixing bowl crack 6 whole eggs, add 2 big handfuls of grated cheese ( I used roast onion and sage IOM creamery cheddar) and lots of black pepper.
Pour your egg mix over the fried vegetables, give it a good stir and stick the whole lot in the oven at about 180C for 10-12 mins till the middle is set


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gaggenau at IOM Kitchens

Got to join in on demo day at IOM Kitchens last week. Kathy , nice demo lady, was over from Gaggenau, super swish appliance people, to show us their steam oven and normal oven. Here we have gorgeous blueberry n almond tart mmm mmmm

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Relish Cooks.....with Tanroagan

Read an article in The Times today including one of my least favourite words......Foodie....that word really gets up my nose. People who say ‘Oh I’m a real foodie’ T*****s. Why do we have to have such a silly name to categorise someone who enjoys good food? In Italy we’d be called humans.

Things are busy busy in the Relish camp this month with cookery classes, demonstrations (cookery ones, rather than the ‘Maggie Out’ type) plus various catering bits and pieces. I harvested my first wild garlic of the season and used it in homemade mayonnaise for the lovely St.Johns WI ladies who came to the cookery school for a night out.

And I’ve had a cookery book binge, exciting times. I can particularly recommend the following:
‘Gourmet food for a fiver’ by Jason Atherton, chef at Maze. I went there last year you know.
‘Eat Me’ cupcake book by Xanthe Clay, slightly annoying tone and some poor piccies but good recipes. Love the look of the Bollywood cupcakes
‘Dough’ by Richard Bertinet. Using his French style kneading technique even I can make edible bread. Result.

Errm anyway where was I? Oh yeah, we’re at Tanroagan this month. Hanging out with, chef and owner, Joan Mowatt. I am addicted to their scallop/foccacia starter and chocolate rolo brownie dessert, yum. I have even managed to persuade Joan to teach a class at the cookery school, wahoo!

Joan has plenty of experience in the catering trade, having owned a hotel in Lincolnshire before moving to Island to retire. So, the retirement hasn’t exactly gone to plan as her restaurant is always packed.

Joan loves her desserts just as much as me so she has treated us to ‘Gorseflower Pannacotta’ which uses an abundance of local produce. The gorse flowers, cream and milk.

Gorseflower Pannacotta – serves 6

You’ll need to collect a few branches of gorse and pick the flowers. The prickles are super-sharp so definitely arm yourself with gloves and scissors. Or if you’re like me forget both and feel the pain!

700ml double cream
100ml milk
100g gorse flowers
110g caster sugar
3 gelatine leaves

Put the cream, milk, gorse flowers and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 40 minutes.

Soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable, then remove and squeeze out all of the water. Bring the gorse flower mixture back to the boil, remove from the heat again and whisk in the gelatine, making sure it has dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing the gorse flowers to extract as much flavour as possible. Leave to cool, then pour into lightly oiled dariole moulds (about 130ml capacity) cover and leave in the fridge overnight to set.

Great served with coconut sorbet to complement the coconut-y flavour of the gorse flowers.

Full article with photos and video in the Manx Independent around 7th May

Next month we’re with the lads down at Paddy’s Market as they prepare for the Queenie Festival

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cupcakes a-go-go

I had a little book buying binge on Amazon. 5 new cookery books....exciting times. This incuded a couple of cupcake books as I had a job coming up that required the mastering of the cupcake.

The client wanted some fun pastel ones to appeal to all of the guests aged 6 months to lots of months. I used the Primrose Bakery book, their amounts were absolutely spot on, I'd highly recommend it.

I did some more classic ones for .....ahem....testing too :o)
These are now a Relish service, just starting the next commission......

Spice crusted potatoes

These little beauties are proving very popular at the moment. Either as a big buffet bowl, or with a tamarind dip as a little finger food-y canape wotsit.

Dead simple to do. If you 're making ahead then boil the new potatoes until they're cooked through, then leave aside to cool. Then follow Step1. but you 'll only need to put them in the oven for 10mins to crisp up.

If eating straightaway then:

1. Prepare spice mix....for 1kg of spuds use...
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp veg/groundnut oil
Bash the seedy ones up in your pestle and mortar, then combine with the rest of the ingredients.

2. Put your potatoes in the roasting tin then distribute your spice/oil mix evenly. Then into a hot oven they go for about 35-45 mins until golden brown.
Ooooh let's have a closer look at those tantalising tubers
We had them for dinner with carrot and coriander salad. Some lucky clients got them with 'Harissa coated legs of Loaghtan lamb'

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ellerslie Rapeseed Oil - 2 recipes

Aaah spring is here and with it rain, snow and sleet. Lovely!

For my column I went off-campus at Ellerslie farm in Crosby and was joined by Pentti Christian who has been selling his rapeseed oil since September 2009 after 3 years of research and development.

Pentti is a sheep farmer by trade but had seen the value in diversification. The original plan was to grow rapeseed to produce biodiesel, however they soon realised that they could produce a high quality food-grade product from their crop.
The 3 years of development included growing test batches of rapeseed and building his own bottling machine.

The rapeseed is a fantastic multi-purpose crop. The seed is pressed and the oil used for the Ellerslie Oil. The waste is used as sheep feed as it has a great high protein content to keep them happy. And the ‘hay’ is used as bedding for horses, better than the usual barley hay as the horses won’t eat it.

Pentti tells me that the health benefits of this oil are fantastic ‘It has half the saturated fat content of olive oil, and much higher levels of omega 3, 6 + 9’ These are the fats that are great for brain function, immunity...oh and they make your hair and nails look great too, Pentti is a walking advert for it!

But I mainly use it for it’s great taste. It has a strong nutty flavour which works really well with Asian dishes. Has anyone else noticed how ‘nutty’ is the trendy flavour to reference??? I think Heston started it all and where he leads I am happy to copy.

Honey and Mustard Dressing – Pentti’s classic dressing

1 tsp honey
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp French mustard
100ml Ellerslie Oil

In a jam jar, put 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, 1 tsp French mustard and top up with Ellerslie Rapeseed Oil (about double the volume of the other ingredients). Shake vigorously (you have put the lid on, haven’t you). Tada! It’s done.

Garlic stir-fry oil – super simple multi purpose oil

100ml Ellerslie Oil
3 cloves garlic

Into a cold frying pan pour about 100ml of Pentti’s oil. Add 3 cloves of finely sliced garlic. Put it on a very gentle heat, watch it carefully and as the garlic just begins to change colour take it off the heat. It will keep cooking in the oil.
Use this oil to get a stir-fry started or as a garlicky salad dressing

Check out our video on for the full tutorial - it should be online by 16th April

Ellerslie Oil can be found at the following stockists:

Anagh Coar Butchers
Bry Rad Sexy Veg (Ramsey)
Butlers Choice
Deli @ 35
The Good Health Store (Port Erin)
Greens Restaurant
Isle of Man Farmers
Mostly Manx
Paddys Market
Peel City Butchers
Radcliffe Butchers (Castletown)
T & P Kermeen (Onchan, Port Erin and Andreas)
Tynwald Mills
W.E. Teare Butchers (Ramsey)
Willaston Butchers

Monday, March 29, 2010

New cookery school timetable

The new's here....covering May through to November with loads of classes. We've got a new guest tutor, Joan Mowat from Tanroagan Seafood Restaurant, who will be joining us on Saturday 2nd October. Plus I'm teaching got a new class 'Just Desserts' on Saturday 16th October.

The school is also available for private hire, perfect for special occasions or just a fun day out with friends.

Vegetarian Cooking – Part One
Saturday 8th May – 9.30am to 2.30pm
You will be introduced to a variety of vegetarian ingredients and flavourings for both sweet and savoury dishes and show how vegetarian meals can be interesting and delicious as well as nutritious. Dishes include Sweetcorn fritters, Massaman curry, Blue cheese biscuits and Wild garlic frittata.

Midweek Meal Masterclass – Part 2
Sunday 9th May – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Such a popular course we're running Part 2. Add new meals to your day-to-day repertoire such as Lemon and garlic chicken, Lamb tagine and Braised pork belly with fennel. You don't need to attend Part One before Part Two

Breadmaking with Liz from The Good Loaf
Sunday 23rd May – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Guest tutor Liz Devereau, expert baker, returns to show us the art of traditional breadmaking. Learn how to make and knead the dough, shape 6 different breads from 1 simple dough and take a huge bag of goodies home with you. Plus a simple foccacia and savoury scones, an action packed class with lots of hands-on work.

Midweek Meal Masterclass – Part 3
Saturday 11th September – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Due to demand we're running Part 3. Add new meals to your day-to-day repertoire such as Cumin scented chicken curry, Chorizo and red onion warmer, Chicken and squash one-pot and Choc chip cookies. You don't need to attend Part 1 or 2 before Part 3.

Gujurathi cooking with Meena - Part One
Saturday 18th September – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Meena returns showing us the essentials of cooking from the Indian state of Gujarat. Learn your base of Shak (curry), Dhal, Lassi plus how to roll Chappatis like a pro (Meena's Auntie!)

Cook with Joan from Tanroagan
Saturday 2nd October – 9.30am to 2.30pm
We’re delighted to welcome Joan Mowat, owner of Tanraogan Seafood Restaurant, as our newest guest tutor. Final details are just being confirmed however this class will feature a starter, main and dessert adapted from the restaurant menu.

Introduction to Thai Cooking
Sunday 3rd October – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Kathryn teaches Thai dishes inspired by her travels to the North of Thailand. Featuring Massaman curry, Red curry with duck and bamboo shoots, Tom yam, plus the delicious Mango sticky rice.

Just Desserts
Saturday 16th October – 9.30am to 2.30pm
A brand new class, in homage to Kathryn’s finely honed sweet tooth. You’ll learn the secrets of Crème brulee, Chocolate bread and butter pudding plus sweet pastry in the form of Mango and lime tart.

Gujarathi Cooking with Meena - Part Two 'Street Food'
Saturday 6th November – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Meena returns to show us the ‘junk food’ of India. Delicious street food including Samosas, Pakoras, Chutneys and Chai. You don't need to complete Part One before attending Part Two.

• All courses are £79 per person - includes recipe booklet and lunch
• Class sizes limited to 6 attendees
• Gift vouchers are available for all of our courses
• Please bring an apron and sharp knife with you, we provide everything else

Hopefully see you soon at the school,

Kathryn @ Relish

E: W: T: 07624 453324 B:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Relish news - Dates for your diary

Hi Everyone,

As usual life is busy in the Relish corner of the world. Research trips to London and more recently Harrogate, oh and loads of actual real work too. For a peek at what I got up to in Harrogate as a pupil at Bettys Cookery School check out the post below

So you want to know what's coming up over the next few weeks?

First up, Saturday 27th March. Milntown House will be hosting their 2nd restaurant evening. On the menu are dishes such as Carpaccio of beef, Confit duck with juniper reduction, Chocolate bread and butter pudding, hmmmm I promise that not all of their dishes begin with 'c'. For more information or to make a booking contact Jen on 818091.

On Friday 2nd April (Good Friday) and Saturday 3rd April, from 10am to 3pm, Paddy's in Port St Mary is holding a special two-day Easter Market, showcasing the best and most delicious produce the Isle of Man has to offer. There'll be stalls with mouth-watering treats, freshly-made food and drink to go, live music and Easter-themed activities for the family. Just a few of the treats to choose from: Cocoa Red chocolates, The Good Loaf, Staarvey Farm, Ellerslie Oil, Radcliffe's Butcher, Marianne's Flowers, continental cheese and charcuterie selection, plus all of Paddy's usual delicious fresh and smoked fish. Oh and I'll be there too, selling Indian street food under the watchful eye of Meena!

Heading into May the cookery classes rev up again:

Saturday 8th May - Vegetarian Cooking - including Massaman curry, Blue cheese and poppy seed biscuits and wild garlic frittata

Sunday 9th May - Midweek Meals II - including Lemon and garlic chicken, Braised pork belly with fennel and Linguine with prawn and avocado.

Sunday 23rd May - Breadmaking with Liz from The Good Loaf - learn how to knead and shape like a pro. Including 2 kneading techniques, 6 different shapes and a simple foccacia.

Have a great Easter,

Kathryn @ Relish

Bettys Cookery School - Patisserie Course

Wee Jan and I were treated to this class for Christmas.....thank you Roger!

Here you can see Mum's thank you present for him. I must confess that her Sachertorte icing came out waaay better than mine. Mum also averted disaster when someone's tea towel caught fire!

Within the day we learnt Sacher torte; lemon & strawberry torte and a fresh fruit tartlet made with pâte sucrée & crème pâtissière

I think creme patissiere would feature in my 'Condemned Man' meal.

I'd highly recommend a tip to Bettys. We fitted a huge amount of technique into the day, had lovely lunch and were sent home absolutely laden with goodies.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sarah's Girls - Private cookery lessons - Sticky Asian Pork

Sarah and her gang of girls from 'Hysteria Lane', Glen Vine invited me to teach them a set of 6 night classes. We've just done Week 2, so I thought you'd like to see some of the recipes.

The girls are all busy with families so we're focusing on easy family meals to begin with. So we had to have 'Sticky Asian Pork', this recipe is soooo quick to prepare and really really delicious. Please make it :o)

The sauce sounds weird but it works, trust me!

Sticky Asian Pork
Serves 4
Prep: 5 mins (plus marinating time)
Cook: 30 minutes

• 500g pork fillet
• 1 tbsp clear honey
• 4 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp vinegar (rice or white wine)
• large knob of ginger, grated
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 4 tbsp peanut butter

Marinate the pork in the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and ginger for anything from 0mins to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, put the pork into an oven proof dish, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
Mix the peanut butter thoroughly with warm water until it forms a paste. Alternatively you could use a satay sauce mix.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review - Ottolenghi Knightsbridge

So I'm back on the rock after a few days in London. Looks like I'll be eating dhal for the next week after 'investing' heavily in various London eateries.

So where did I make it to?

Plus...errrm...Pret and Marksies....but you probably know what they're like

I was sooo excited about going to Ottolenghi, their food is definitely my cup of tea. Delicious filling salads with loads of herbs/spices and amazing cakes, all beautifully presented with loads of colour.

I hit the salads in the form of

  • Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic
  • Green beans and mange tout with hazelnut
  • Roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt
  • Courgette with feta
  • Roast fillet of beef with a l0vely dipping sauce (watercress and mustard I think)

Then after much consideration I went for carrot cake and a vanilla/mascarpone friand style something for dessert.

Everything was beautifully presented and chock full of flavour

They have 4 branches over London, I'd highly recommend a detour :o)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

London calling.....wahooooo!

I'm off to London next week for a few days of hard work......hehehehe........'research' in the capital's eating establishments. In order to provide the best quality eating experience for my cookery school + catering clients back here. Yes, I am doing it for you! My dedication knows no bounds.

Possibilities include....Mark Hix's new place in Soho, Tim from Island Seafare/Paddy's Market was there last week and recommends it. Well he does supply them with queenies so it's must be good!........Leiths Cookery School to watch a few demos........L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon looks pretty slick so may be graced with my presence.

Meeting up with my brother so expecting some Italian goodies..........Andrew if you are reading this.....get to the shop please

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Relish Cooks column.....hits Manx Independent

On the first week of every month I'll be gracing the pages of the Manx Independent with my new cookery column. Featuring loads of local food-involved people.

First up I headed to Teare's Butchers, where Mark butchered a lamb. Then I toddled off to the cookery school to cook Lamb Tagine. See it all in photos/video here at

There's no knead for that... I the only person laughing at the hilarious food pun?

Much as I can appreciate the care and attention that goes into kneading and shaping a hand-made loaf......sometimes I just can't be bothered doing it. Enter *da-da-da-da-daa-daaaa* this fab little no-knead loaf.

The recipe was developed by a little lady called Doris Grant in the 1940's, if you google 'Doris Grant loaf' you get tons of hits. Okay I accept, not many of you will be joining in on that one.
  • 2tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 700g wholemeal flour
  • 200g white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 850ml warm water
Grease 2 large loaf tins (if you don't have loaf tins you can use any tin with a side 3cm of higher).
Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl, then add the oil and water. Mix well with a spoon, at this point it will look highly unappetising. Divide the mix into your tins, then cover with tea towels and leave to rise (doesn't have to be in a warm place) until the mix has doubles in size. Mine took ages because my kitchen was chilly that day, about 3 hrs. Be patient otherwise your bread will be too heavy.

Cook the bread in a hot 200degree oven for 40 mins, until they are crispy and golden. Then take them out of their tins and give them another 10mins in the oven. Give the base a tap, if it sounds hollow, it's ready.

It comes out fairly dense, a good healthy bread that freezes really well.

I have been enjoying mine toasted with avocado/lime juice/sesame seeds/salt/pepper

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mmmmm canapes

Had a little canape job on last week, only 40 people so nice and easy. Thought you might like to see what the finished result looks like so here is a wee selection.

First up 'Curry Puffs' these had a samosa style filling .......potato, pea, loads of spices......often I do these with minced chicken too which are Stokesy's favourite for packed lunch.

Aaah the 'Garlic Butter Popcorn' you all know that savoury popcorn is well trendy nowadays? Course you do! I went for individual bags rather than serve a big bowl of popcorn, not only does it look a lot cooler, it is also waaay more hygienic.

I made the popcorn for gathering at home with garam masala, chilli and butter.....t'was good

Last, but certainly not least 'Meringues with Baileys cream, toasted hazelnuts and chocolate', I guess these little beauties are my signature canape. I would tell you how to make them but I'd have to kill you.

I managed to eat 15 one day, in my defence they are quite small :o)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Italian night with Big Momma, CB + BB

After scoring big on the food front when my brother came from Italy for Xmas we had to have a go at an Italian-ish evening. We soon discovered that this ended in us stuffed to the gunnels with carbohydrate and having to undo top buttons.

To begin we had a nice little antipasti plate: Bresaola from my bro :o) , chorizo from errrm Spain, some nice little mozzarella balls with basil/olive oil/parmesan, then I made foccacia with a cumin/coriander/salt crust. Foccacia as taught by Liz on the Bread Making day at the school.

Next :o)

We used a Jamie recipe which you can read in full here in our piccie CB helpfully demonstrates the flour well method. Look at the determination in his face, grrrrr mix it!

Him hungry ug!
After much friendly 'discussion' re. toppings we went for a few options: red onion/mozz/chorizo, mozz/tom/basil (me being boring.....ahem...classic) and a meaty feast option aswell.

Cookery School - Midweek Meals II

A new set of victims arrived at the school on Saturday - Helene with Sue and Jean, Naomi and Alex. Several of them had been given the day as a Christmas present (a VERY good present hahaha). As the name suggests this class is all about giving you ideas for when you're brain dead after a hard day at work/chasing kids and need some sustenance.
On the menu:
  • Lamb tagine with herby couscous
  • Prawn and avocado linguine
  • Crispy pork belly with fennel, served with braised cabbage
  • Lemon and garlic chicken
  • Cardamon and banana raita for puds

It was went swimmingly, everyone's dishes turned out really well. The Lamb Tagine came out top in the opinion poll.

The dessert got a mixed review, memories of biting into whole cardamon pods and just a plain old dislike of raisins, put a couple off. But we agreed that a substitute for cinnamon and leaving out the evil raisins would be perfectly acceptable.

Alex and Helen put the finishing touches to the dessert. Lovely sprinkling action.

Sorry everyone but I failed to get a photo of Alex in his cute kitten apron, d*mn! Maybe next time. Note to other men attending, if you wear your girlfriend's apron to class you will get stick for it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MIdnight snack - welsh rarebit

Stokesy and I had a hankering for a little late-night sustenance so decided to try a traditional Welsh Rarebit, it is essentially cheese on toast for people with too much time of their hands.

Here's what you need:

  • 4 slices bread
  • big knob of butter
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 handfuls of grated cheddar - we used the IOM Creamery black peppercorn one
  • 2 tsp worcester sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp mustard

Toast your bread while you make the topping. Sweat the leeks in the butter til soft. In a bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, then add the leeks, it should be a mushy paste (ours looked rather unappetising at this point). Then just spread the mix over your toast and lash it under the grill til it's lovely golden brown.

I couldn't decide which sauce to have so tried tommy sauce, brown sauce and Reggae Reggae with it. The Reggae was top of the list for me. Hey check out my super-glam slippers, Nigella you have no competition from me.

Easy dhal with stir-fried corn and courgette

This dish represents a perfect January meal: Delicious, Nutritious and Cheap!

The dhal was super-simple. Just boil 300g of any lentil with 1 litre of water salt, 1 tsp and 1tsp of garam masala. In a separate pan fry onion, garlic, ginger, 1tsp chilli powder and 2 chopped tomatoes. Once the dhal is cooked just stir the fried mixture through it then top the whole lot with coriander. Lovely.

The side dishes were:
1. Stir-fried corn with chilli - errrmm....for this you should stir fry tinned corn with chilli!
2. Courgette with sesame seed and ginger - pretty easy again, stir fry all of the ingredients together.

If you get your timing right you can use only 2 pans. Perfect :o)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Salted caramel ice cream

If you're thinking that salted caramel ice cream sounds a bit odd then get with the program! Everyone knows that it's well trendy....maybe even a little bit 2009.

It is really really disgustingly delicious, salty gooood, caramel gooood, ice cream goooood. What's not to like?

I topped it with shards of salted caramel, they look super-cute don't they.

For the ice-cream......serves4
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 225ml double cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt

In a pan put 120g of the sugar and 40 ml of water. Boil until the sugar melts and turns a golden caramel colour (5-10mins).

While the sugar is boiling whisk the egg yolks and 30g caster sugar in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and thick.

Once your caramel is ready add the cream + milk to the caramel pan then bring back to the boil. When it's boiling i.e. bubbling up the sides of the pan, get your glamourous assistant to vigorously whisk the eggs mixture, whilst they're whisking quickly pour the bubbling caramel mix onto the eggs. Whisk for another 30 seconds. Then pour the mix into a wide, shallow container to cool.

Once cool churn in your ice-cream machine (I just got a Cuisinart one from Butlers Choice, yaay for me!) or use the still-freezing method (booo for you). Once churned to thick consistency you can store it in the freezer. We had it with shortbread, roasted apples and the salted caramel shards

Creamy coconut curry with aubergine and courgette

I actually learnt this one at Ballymaloe back in..........hmm when was I there??.....2008-ish......anyway.....I hadn;t made it since then. So as I was working late left instructions for Stokesy and came home to lovely dinner, my preferred recipe testing method.

The boy did good! And here's how you can recreate the magic at home...serves 2 greedy b*stards

  • 1 aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 1 courgette, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed, whole
  • 2 tsp fennel seed, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, ground
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp oil, sunflower/groundnut/rapeseed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • lime wedges
  • fresh coriander, roughly chopped - we didn't have any in but would have been better with it

In a large frying pan dry fry the vegetables until browned. Remove and set aside.

Now heat your oil in the same pan, then add the spices, stirring while then toast gently for 15secs. Add the flour and keep stirring for 2 mins (you're making a kind-of roux to thicken the curry), it should be fairly dry and change colour slightly.

Add the coconut milk, tamarind and chilli. Heat through then add the aubergine and courgette back into the pan. Taste it and add more salt, lime juice or water so it's just right. Stokesy added about 1 tsp salt, juice of 1 lime and 150ml water.

Serve with rice and coriander over the top.......yum!

Tip: This would be really nice with big prawns added for 1 minute of cooking time at the end. The leftover coconut milk freezes really well

Testing testing - on the menu for January

After a Christmas/New Year of making almost nothing new at home it was time to get motivated, get the books out and plan some new menus. Luckily Mitler (aka Big Momma) and her accomplices CB + BB got their cooking mojo back which encouraged me. stuff cooked in the last week (which will follow on da blog) has been:
  • Creamy coconut curry with aubergine and courgette
  • Welsh rarebit with leeks
  • A new dhal with stir-fried sweetcorn and chilli
  • Salted caramel ice cream
  • Self-saucing chocolate pudding

Plus.....still to come!!!

  • Duck ragout - from Maze cookbook
  • Pork belly with fennel - actually an old favourite but we haven't had it for ages - pre-blog!
  • Crispy Chinese belly pork
  • Slow braised shoulder of lamb - Heston-style
  • Kharma soupra - from the Leon book
  • South Indian rice soup
  • Spicy lamb pastry
  • Shellfish bisque
Yes, you guessed right, I got recipe books for Christmas. The Fat Duck, Anjum's New Indian....oh and Stokesy gave me a really rubbish Indian one which I generously passed on to my brother :o)

However, since Christmas I have treated myself to a few little purchases which have just started arriving....wahooo! Maze by Jason Atherton arrived yesterday and currently in transit are: Caramel (Trish Deseine), Ottolenghi and Cook at Home with Peter Gordon (the guy that runs the Tapa Room where we had amazing brunch in London)

Oh and I've just done my Spring/Summer menus for the catering side of things....I'll post them up too so you can check them out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chrimbo Eve

Aaah Christmas Eve. Time for relaxing with nice food and drinkies. No red meat/poultry on the menu for us tonight cos our friend Heidi is a pescatarian. Luckily I've had a monster trout in the freezer awaiting its fate for a couple of months (thank you Annie for the monster trout!). In fact I had nearly all of the ingredients in stock...wahooo! *mental note* must get out more

So on the menu........Italian-style trout en will need....

1 large trout fillet
200g puff pastry, rolled out nice and thin - freeze the rest for another time
1 tbsp sun-dreid tomato pesto
2 large tomatoes, in thick slices
1 ball mozzarella
Fresh basil
1 egg

And using my handy step-by-step piccies this is how you do it.

1. Spoon the pesto onto the centre of your rolled out pastry, spread out to match the shape of your fillet. Lay fillet on top (Pic 1), tear over the basil, add salt/pepper.
2. Lay the tomato slices down the centre of the fillet, then tear the mozzarella into chunks and place that over the fillet (Pic 2)
3. Now crimp the edges in a very loose/messy way (Pic 3), egg wash the visible pastry bits and bung it all in the oven for 35 mins at 200C(180C fan)

And here's the end result. To accompany Green salad plus Stokesy made couscous salad with loads of herbs, sun-dried tomatoes plus the oil from the tomatoes (hahaha there goes his rough tough builder image...sorry Stokesy!).