13 November 14

Venison Ale Pies with Carrot and Potato Rösti Topping

Looking out of the window today the sky is grey and the day is gloomy. Part of me sighs and thinks ‘Oh, it’s going to be winter soon’, but another part of me is happy and jumping with joy as I do have a special place in my heart for autumn. I especially love the colours of autumn or fall (‘fall’ being the American term for autumn, which I actually think is more descriptive and exactly what autumn is all about).

Cooking and eating pies at this time of the year provides a welcome comforting ‘hug’, making you feel that the cold and gloom are not so bad after all. The game season is in full swing now and I particularly enjoy cooking with venison. It’s packed full of flavour, contains very little fat and is a bit different. During the summer we cook and serve a lot of beef,


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03 November 14

Butternut Squash and Onion Bhajis

These little numbers are great fun and utterly delicious. I love pumpkin and as expressed in previous posts and in my cookbook, it’s the kind of food I was brought up eating. Lin Carter brings me the most wonderful array and varieties of squashes and pumpkins that give me great pleasure to cook wonderful and tasty recipes with.

This is a classic recipe that should not be messed about with too much, but I have added one of my favourite ingredients to make it extra fun, that is the pumpkin, of course.

We serve these bhajis at the restaurant with a bowl of Madras Spiced Pumpkin Soup. They make a delicious starter or they can also be served as a snack at a drinks party. Make the madras spice mix up to 1 month in advance and keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard until needed.


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26 October 14

Smoked Haddock and Cockle Consommé

The method used to cook this soup technically means it is not a consommé, but as the broth is cooked in a pressure cooker and is very clear, in my opinion it is as good as a consommé.

We could call this cheat’s consommé, if you prefer.

I adore smoked haddock, but then again I quite enjoy smoked foods in general. It’s the depth of flavour, the intriguing method of how the flavour is achieved and simply the fact that with wood and good-quality ingredients, the character and flavour of the food can be manipulated to achieve something rather remarkable.

I could smoke the haddock myself, but we do have a good supplier which means I can concentrate on cold-smoking my venison, lamb and other meat joints. In all fairness, I do not have that much experience in cold smoking fish.

I tend to hot-smoke fish and meat using a


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17 October 14

Chicken Baked in Corn Cob Leaves with Corn and Potatoes

Corn on the cob is one of my favourite ingredients. I loved it as a child and I love it even more as an adult. I have wonderful memories of my father and mother cooking corn on the cob for Saturday lunch in the biggest saucepan you have ever seen, every year in the autumn.

It was a memorable family occasion, because my parents boiled the corn in this enormous saucepan filled with salted water until soft, then we would sit around the table with napkins and lashings of margarine, salt and pepper. My mother only served white sliced bread with it and it was heaven. I loved it.

I also remember us all sitting around afterwards (like baboons!) with the toothpicks, removing the bits stuck between our teeth. When my mother reads this she will probably want to kick me on the shins, as she’ll probably want to die


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