22 February 09

pigs_cheeks

The Celebration of the Pigs Cheeks

Ever thought of eating pigs cheeks? If the thought ‘oh no not for me’  enters your mind then I advise you to think again. Once we cooked this dish, Ross’s comments were ‘if I ever to find this recipe on a pub menu I will be the happiest punter in the world.’ This dish is lip smacking delicious, the rich stickiness of the natural gelatine in the cheeks makes the sauce sticky and almost gluey in texture. I love the solid lumps of meat with no bones or tough sinew, they are an almighty brilliant find.

Bath chaps is a perfect example of British regional cookery which disappeared when eating the whole pig fell out of fashion. Many chefs, butchers and food fanatics are working very hard to bring all these past delicacies back to our table. I feel that one should not necessarily have to go to a restaurant

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21 February 09

bircher_meusli_trio

Funky Bircher Muesli

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Oats and whole grains are perfect as they release energy slowly. The attraction for this recipe is that there is no added sugar as the fresh and dried fruits supply natural sweetness and the nuts and seeds give it a lovely bite. We are so used to eating refined foods that we hardly chew our food properly, this recipe will ensure that you chew each mouthful more than once. This funky Bircher muesli recipe is ideal for when you would like to show off or just want to make breakfast fun.

I add  fun to breakfast with the Mango and Blackcurrant Espuma; using an old fashioned cream gun you can create dairy free foam that is easy, fun and funky. By adding air into the fruit puree it will not only double the volume but it will also expand the flavour,

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20 February 09

pork_croquettes

Pork Belly Croquettes with Roasted Corn Cream

Pork Belly is food for the gods in our home.

I use the sous-vide cooking method for this recipe of Pork Belly Croquettes . It does take 12 hours but is worth every minute. The tender flavoursome pork flesh is unbelievably moist and delicious.

As it’s time consuming, I normally cook double the amount of pork belly. We end up having two meals and the opportunity to make two delicious dishes.

Equally if you are planning a party then the time is well spent as it’s worth the praise that you will receive at the end. You can cook the belly a few days in advance, and on the day pre-coat the pieces, fry them and serve as required.

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19 February 09

pearl-barley1

Wholesome Pearl Barley and Beetroot Salad

Warm or cold;starter,main course or accompaniment, this recipe ticks all these boxes. It’s one of my favourite salads, it’s healthy and absolutely delicious. I make this dish in the summer to serve with a family BBQ or during the winter, slightly warm, with slow roasted shoulder of lamb.

My secret spice for this dish is sumac, which gives a slightly sour taste on the pallet and so complements the beetroot. The toasted sunflower seeds adds a gentle crunch to the salad andI like the different textures it offers. This dish is almost like a beautiful song, harmonious and well balanced.

I use a solution of vinegar, sugar, salt and oil to macerate the raw beetroot. This solution softens the hard fibrous beetroot. Macerating the beetroot means that no cooking is required, this keeps the fresh flavour of the beetroot.

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