18 May 09

half_roast_chicken_coconut

Coconut and Coriander Half Roast Chickens

It’s nearly the barbecue season or braai weather, as my family would say.

Cooking the chicken on the bone is the best way for me as the bone helps keep the delicate flesh moist and gives it that extra injection of flavour.

This dish can be cooked over the coals or in the oven. If you decide to barbecue , I would definitely recommend  that you part cook the chickens in the oven for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the skin does not burn and that you are not left with raw meat on the bones.

I have cooked these half chickens at a low temperature in the oven and not only does it ensure that the meat is moist and tender but it ensures that the marinade does not burn and become bitter.

The marinade becomes sweet as it gently caramelizes and the coconut toasts and becomes

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17 May 09

chocolate101

Marshmallow, Cardamom and Bitter Chocolate Naughty Dunkers

These marshmallow, cardamom and bitter chocolate naughty dunkers are a bit of fun! It’s very simple and easy to make, but the guilty pleasure it provides is irresistible.

I dunk the chocolate in cup of hot milk, stir and enjoy a cup of unbelievably naughty but nice hot chocolate.

Vary the flavours and allow your guest to choose their favourite. Flavours such as cinnamon, cloves, orange, star anise and basically anything you fancy will work pretty well. I choose to use bitter dark chocolate but milk chocolate work just as well.

Wrap them in various different coloured parchment papers and give them to friends and family as a gift. They are guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face.

I found Ramon Morato’s book called Chocolate inspirational for two reasons, his technical explanations and flavour combinations are both outstanding!

chocolatechocolate3

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13 May 09

strawberries_custard

Pink Peppercorn Strawberry Jelly and Thyme Infused Honey Custard

Wow did I have fun making this dish today!

Thanks to Great British Menu last week featuring the Welsh heat with Stephen Terry and James Sommerin. Both their desserts reminded me of my childhood. I love jelly and custard and James made a trifle that looked like my mums Christmas delights.

So being inspired by the Great British Menu and my wonderful box of seasonal vegetables from the market I was happy as Larry. The box contained the most fragrant strawberries, it did really remind me of summer. I have almost forgotten the aroma and taste of ripe strawberries.

I cooked up a jelly from half of the strawberries using an old technique that I used to use when working in the restaurants, we called it jus-de-fraise. The beauty with this technique is that you should use the ripest and most bruised strawberries to make the strawberry jus as they

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11 May 09

sesame_toasted_basmati-rice_salad

Sesame Toasted Basmati Rice and Broad Bean Salad

Believe it or not I have already purchased new season broad beans from Borough market this week.

I was amazed to have found them. I immediately enquired where they came from and I was told that they were English. Well shall I give the chap the benefit of the doubt?

My broad bean plants are standing tall and proud in the grow bag. I have had to stake them as some of the plants are 30cm tall. I’m excited, as I know I will have a healthy crop of fresh broadbeans to gorge on.

This recipe in fact is dedicated to Elsam an Egyptian chef that works with Ross. His cooking is amazing and he is quite happy to pass onto Ross any new techniques or quirky little ideas.

The technique of toasting half the rice in the sesame oil makes this rice dish special and gives it a complety

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