03 April 09


Warm Pickled Beetroot and Heirloom Tomato Salad

I have had these pickled beetroots in my fridge since autumn of last year.

They came from our garden and it’s quite a surprise as we love beetroot and they normally get eaten quite quickly. The star anise has penetrated the beetroots and has given them a mysterious but outstanding flavour.

I discovered these beautiful multi coloured heirloom tomatoes at our local farmers market and thought that this would make a brilliant spring salad.
Heirloom tomatoes are better known as Heritage tomatoes. I love the knobbly shapes and multi colours that these tomatoes offer. Each tomato has its own taste and they make this dish extra special. If you cannot find heirloom tomatoes, use ordinary tomatoes instead.

I challenge you to plant tomatoes this summer, look for heritage tomato seeds or plants.

We enjoyed this warm pickled beetroot and heirloom tomato salad on a lazy sunny Saturday afternoon with our


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01 April 09


Giant Cocoa and Cinnamon Meringues

These giant meringues take me back to the Millennium when I lived in Fulham. Most Sunday mornings I used to walk down Fulham Road towards Sloane Square to have breakfast at Baker and Spice.

I loved the atmosphere with the big rustic wooden table in the middle of the room,surrounded by the windowsills stacked with all sorts of mouth-watering delights. Amongst the display were giant meringues. I often bought one and nibbled it as I walked back home. Lovely memories.

The Baker and Spice inspired me to have a go at making these huge joyful fluffy pillows of sugary eggy air laced with bitter cocoa and cinnamon.

They are still one of my weaknesses, just like the good old days. They are just simply yummy!

Eat them when you are on your own as they do make a bit of a mess and you do look slightly silly with cocoa


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30 March 09


Warm Ginger, Tamarind and Lime Flu Beater

I’m feeling pretty rotten this week. I have been struck down with the dreaded flu for four days and cannot stand it much longer.

My mum was kind enough to tell me about her best friends recipe for a drink that she makes to cure the flu.

‘Aunt’ Elises’ advice was to heat ginger beer mixed with two disprins, a shot of brandy and a squeeze of lemon.

I managed to drag myself out of the house to get the ingredients and I felt much better doing so.

It did tinker with the recipe. I made a cordial infused with the tamarind, vanilla, ginger and lime. When I was ready for my potion I heated the ginger beer, stirred in some of the cordial to taste and served it up with freshly sliced ginger, mint and lime. It worked a treat; the fresh ginger helped clear my head and the


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29 March 09


Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb, Greek Style Salad and Warm Lamb Vinaigrette

Shoulder of lamb is level pegging with belly of pork when it comes to my favourite meat rankings. I simply love the flavour of the shoulder when cooked slowly for 24 hours at 63°C. It’s simply just delicious and melts in the mouth.

For Mother’s day this year we cooked the shoulder in the water bath for 24 hours, then crisped the fat under the grill. It was served alongside crispy, duck fat roasted potatoes and a very cheesy cauliflower mash. Mmm I’m still dreaming of that meal, as it was utterly good!

My speciality used to be confit shoulder of lamb cooked for 3 – 4 hours in duck fat then turned in to the ultimate shepherds pie or lasagne. I think this one should now take its place.

As spring’s approaching and we see  the little lambs grazing the fields, my brain starts to work overtime thinking about


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