All 2015th Posts

Christmas Sandwich

It’s something of a tradition in my house to make sandwiches on Xmas night using the leftovers, but there is a rule: if it was on the table, it’s in the sandwich.

Roast rib of beef with a pickled onion cream gravy

I love a good roast but it’s a tricky bit of timing sometimes. Roast potatoes take ages, rare meat doesn’t and making gravy can only happen after everything is ready to go, what a nightmare.

Sloe gin decanted

Back in October I finallly (a few weeks late) bottle up my [sloe-gin] and this evening, just in time for Christmas drinkies. Not much to say here, decant slowly to avoid sediment, sweeten if needed (I like mine dry so I didn’t) and bottle in something pretty.

Cranberry chicken

A good way to use up Christmas trimmings or, in my case, christmas party leftovers and bargins to be had hen shopping. You will need Chicken portions, I used drumsticks A handful of fresh cranberries 3 peppers A large glass of wine or beer One of these handy stock pots or some leftover gravy A couple of spoonfuls of cranberry sauce A chilli Little bit of garlic and lemon would not go amiss.

Baked red cabbage

Snow started falling as I started cooking this, which is pretty fitting. It’s gently spiced, slightly sticky, sweeter than it should be and unctuous is exactly the right way.

Simple savory pasta

Quick tea, very similar to the mushrooms on toast but with added seafood. Lemon peel for flavour, lemon juice to cut the grease. You will need wholegrain pasta A handful of mushrooms A handful of cooked peeled prawns Zest of half a lemon Juice of a quarter of a lemon A big spoonful of soft cheese A few sprigs of thyme Black pepper Do Slice the mushrooms and dump the thyme and lemon zest in a pan with a dash of oil on a medium heat Put the pasta on to boil Keep the mushrooms moving until they are nicely softened and slightly browned Once the pasta is 2 minutes of being ready dump the prawns (defrosted) an cheese in with the mushrooms Drain the pasta, reserve a few spoonfuls of the water to slacken the mushroom mix if needed Mix lots, season, serve.

Beef braised with French flavours

Braising steak is sometimes a difficult thing to use. You can use it in stir-frys etc but what it needs it a bit of slow cook to help break down the fibres.

A note on burnt on pans

Because I’m a lazy and inattentive cook I quite often leave pans on a bit high and food sticks to the bottom. Your nose will tell you before anything else but there’s something about the way the food separates and bubbles on the very surface that when you see it you just know, “thats stuck”.

Sour Thai Style Beef

This was a quick dish that I could stick on to cook whilst I did a million and one things one evening. It’s a bastardization of flavours and cuisines, but it’s tasty in your face.

Sweet and sour pork

When I first got interested in cooking in the early 90s I was living in Cumbria, there was not a lot of cultural diversity in local food.

Sloe gin

I had so much to write but it all comes down to two things: I love gin and sloe gin is just enough faff to make it feel special.

Crusty roast mutton

Having a freezer clear out we were left with a 2kg chunk of mutton, prime for pot roasting and indeed just roasting. Muttons got a storing flavor than lamb and needs something with some punch.

Cheating steak and kidney pudding

I love a steak and kidney pudding. The rich filling, the drama of cutting into it and steam errupting out, the spongy case, there’s so much to love.

Chicken and Chorizo salad with fried chicken skin coutons

A week or so ago my friends the two hungry boys posted a salad with two different fried meats. This sounds excellent. I doubled up on the greenary and added a lemony dressing and… fried chicken skin as coutons and roast potatoes for a gluten free tea with a friend.

Hipster pot noodles

This idea was everywhere a few years ago, especially on the American food blogs. I didn’t ever get round to having a go (as a packed lunch) but given how much noodly soups feature in our house, it was only a matter of time.

Pirate Spawn

Years ago I shared a flat with a workmate called Darius, and one night we got very drunk of cocktails of rum, ginger beer and lime.

Beef rib with Thai style salad

I love beef rib, but it does best when given a long and slow cook. At some point I’ll get round to doing some in the BBQ but until then, slow cooker it is.

Super green cucumber lemonade

I saw this on Smitten Kitchen a few years ago and was reminded about it this week (a retweet I think). The original recipe discards the skins of the cucumbers to create a much subtler colour and flavour.

More Mushrooms

After my last mushroom post by old mate Ali got in touch This with added cream and brandy and tarragon in the place of parsley is my go to starter for dinners.

Mushrooms on toast

Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods but I get to eat them infrequently because they’re very much a marmite food and our house is 50⁄50 split, so when I get the chance I binge.

Summer tart

Today has been grey, cold, wet and exactly what the end of the summer shouldn’t be. Driving home tonight I decided to cook something full of summer colours and flavours.

A tale of two pizza toppings

I have a soft spot for pizza (other than my tummy) and probably always will have. From the brown self-raising scone mix bases topped with mature cheddar and slices of tomato of my youth (mum desperately trying to sneak in some whole grains), past the deep cheesy messes from the only takeaway place in town as a teenager to take in the delights of first thin crust real pizza in Rome and then deep pan Chicago style pizza eaten in down town Chicago (whilst hunting for hotdogs as it happens) through to what I honestly believe is the best pizza I’ve eaten in years at Cal’s Own, I’ll never stop loving the bread and cheese.

Iced tea fried chicken and sharp coleslaw

I have a love/hate relation with fried chicken. When it’s good, it’s amazing. When it’s bad it’s terrible, and no matter how good it is it is still absolutely terrible for you, so if you’re going to make it, make it brilliant and make it rarely.

Pastry free individual leek and bacon quiches

Pastry is delicious but it is a faff. Much like the Teeny Tiny Cheaty Leeky Goats Cheese Tarts these rely on a hot baking tray and the wonders of fat.

Strawberry jam with chilli and lime

It’s the time of year when you get lots of discounted soft fruit in the supermarkets which should be labeled “eat today or watch me rot”.

Crispy sticky deep fried beef

Years ago I had crispy ginger beef in a restarunt in Vancouver. I’ve never found anything quite as good, but I’ve an idea how to reproduce the beef now.

Barbequed watermelon, feta and mint salad

This seems really odd but was really good and an excellent way to use the heat when you put the BBQ on. You will need A couple of slices of watermelon (very ripe) Feta Mint leaves Rock salt Do Make sure the melon is very ripe (I stuck it in a bag with a couple of bananas to make the most of the XXXX effect) Get the BBQ seriously hot Cook the melon until the flesh starts to blister and caremalise.

Lazy inauthentic (but delicious) one pan paella

I joked tonight that I should rename this blog to, and this post might be a perfect example. Culturally bereft, easy and delicious

Spiced roast lamb with a fresh grape chutney

Another chunk of lamb, spiced, blackened and then left to rest. This was a leg of lamb I boned out and flattened. The grape chutney was a use up of some past their best grapes, I’ve been rather facinated with “fresh pickles” of ate.

Mean Thai Green Prawn Curry

Since The Bangkok Cafe on Low Friar Street closed last year our house has been a somber place. It served freshly cooked Thai street food, quite different from the Royal Thai stuff that you typically get at Thai restaurants with carved carrot nonsense on the side.

Warm rare beef salad

Another warm salad this evening, this time a piece of topside done on the BBQ. Topside would probably better slow roasted but a hot short grill and a decent rest leaves it juicy and delicious.

Warm chicken and tarragon salad

Years ago I baked chicken pieces in cream, tarragon and carmelised onions for a dinner party. It was excellent, but very rich. This is a lighter alternative, perfect for a summer evening tea.

Making bacon

I got given a bacon making kits for Christmas. A quick word with G&S Organics secured me a substantial piece of belly pork (about 5lbs).

Asian style baked belly pork

I doubt this is in any way authentic to any country, but get passed that and dig in. You will need A chunk of bely pork A handful of kale Sweet chili sauce Five spice Dark soy White wine vinegar Noodles Sesame Do Score the fat right though Rub the 5 spice into the meat side of pork Mix sweet chili, soy and vinegar Stick meat and mix into an air tight plastic bag and marinade for as long as you can Pour off the marinade and reserve Wrap the pork in tinfoil and bake at 150 for about an hour Unwrap, place fat side up, pour over the marinade and shake on sesame seeds Bake at 180 for about 20 minutes until the top is crispy.

Lightly spiced rice pudding

On this, the Summer Solstice, it shouldd not be a day for rice pudding, especially hot rice pudding. But it’s grey and Tupperware day, so here it is, my ultimate comfort food

Cheating Chinese lemon Chicken

A while ago I made a cheating version of one of my favourite Chinese takeaway dishes, orange chicken. Last week I made a lemon version and it was even better!

Braised Sausages

Spring should have sprung by now, but it’s cold and crappy outside, so sometimes you need some comfort food (one that’s not just cheese and chilli based)

Teeny Tiny Cheaty Leeky Goats Cheese Tarts

Out of date goats cheese? Check Slightly past it’s best leek? Check No pastry and can’t be arsed to make it? Check Perfect dinner: Goats cheese and leek tartlets!

Baconated Sprouts

I’ve never really enjoyed sprouts but one of my friends pointed out that you could treat them like tiny cabbages and in the same week I saw another friend referring to “baconating the sprouts”.

Mulled wine marshmallows

This all started with a blagging Facebook post. “Nobody mulls wine as hard as I do” (because frankly if you’re not making mulled wine in lab glassware on top of an open fire, you don’t).