08 February 09

green_chilli_chicken_wontons

Green Chilli Chicken Wontons with Avocado and Lime Dip

Call me tight or stingy, but I do not like to waste food as there are too many hungry mouths in this world.

I make these green  chilli chicken wontons with avocado and lime dip. I make my white chicken stock with chicken wings. Once the chicken wings have been cooked, strain off the liquid and pick the meat from the bones. It’s the cooked meat from the wings that I use for this recipe. These wontons are perfect for a drinks party with friends or a lazy tapas style dinner.

Three times a year I make a special journey to a shop specialising in Chinese and Japanese ingredients. There I find most of the ingredients needed for this recipe. Look for the wonton wrappers in the fresh pasta and noodle department. I buy the fresh  wrappers, as I make these wontons to freeze. Buy the kaffir lime leaves fresh

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07 February 09

apple_and_olive_oil_cake

Spiced Apple and Olive Oil Cake

This Spiced Apple and Olive Oil cake is a tribute to an Egyptian chef who used to work with me. Using olive oil instead of butter makes this cake interesting. Expect a dense cake packed with character, flavour and fruitiness but fewer calories. As the cake is fairly dense I like to serve if warm. My preference is to make this cake in a shallow cake tin, expect the mixture to have a batter consistency.

English apples have a special place in our cooking repertoire, as all the different varieties have their own flavour and react differently when cooked. I like to use English Cox’s for this spiced apple and olive oil cake as the Cox’s hold their form and add a little bite to the cake. I can also recommend Russets; they are softer and have more of a tendency to break up  but have an intense sweet apple

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06 February 09

breakfast_rice

The Bilbao Breakfast

This recipe is a memory of last spring when we went to the Basque country, Northern Spain for a pure stuff your face weekend. We had a table booked for dinner at the world famous Arzak (three Michelin stars) in San Sebastian. All excited and giddy like two teenagers on their first school trip, we were open to any possible form of indulgence.

We stayed in a contemporary hotel in Bilbao. We expected breakfast to be quite dull, so we thought we had better stock up on caffeine before we started sightseeing. Oh us of little faith,  as we were about to enjoy the best breakfast that we  have ever experienced. A table floating from the wall dressed with the most desirable morsels of Spanish breakfast cuisine. Passion, pride and perfectionism oozed from that table.

Amongst this entire eye catching fare was this very unusual but most memorable dish, rice

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05 February 09

hock_terrine

Hog Shank and Savoy Cabbage Terrine

Boiling ham is time consuming but nothing beats the taste and flavour of freshly boiled ham. Working in restaurants I have had my fair share of making terrines of all shapes, sizes and flavours. Once I left the restaurants I did not want to leave my skills behind, so I still make terrines at home. This delicious Hog Shank and Savoy cabbage terrine is a true revelation.

An added benefit is that you end up with a delicious stock once the hog shank is cooked and the stock is ideal to be used to make soups and casseroles.

Hog shank ,better known as a ham knuckle, is basically the shank part of the hog’s or pig’s front legs without the trotters. Ham knuckle is widely available in most supermarkets and high street butchers. Make sure that you ask the butcher if the ham knuckle was cured in brine, if so,

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