Sunday, 15 May 2011


Gorgeous fluffly soft megingue, cream, strawberries and chocolate.... what's not to like?

Meringue: dead simple two ounces of caster sugar per egg white. that's it. in the mixer and whip to as stiff as you can get it.

put greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and oil the paper. put half a teaspoon of vegetable oil on, and then use a kitchen towel to remove as much of it again as you can. just leave it glistening.

spread the whipped egg/sugar mix on top and put in a warm oven (150 degrees C) for 30 minutes and then turn off the oven and allow it to cool with the merangue STILL INSIDE!

once cold, transfer to a serving tray.

if you are on oiled greaseproof, this is pretty straightforward, it's a bit like a nurse changing the sheets on a hospital bed with the patient still in there.....

with the serving tray infront of you turn the far corners of the greaseproof down and under the meringue. keep the whole thing as flat as possible. as you pull the papre towards you it will unroll from under the meringue and let it drop onto the serving plate. the paper will pull free from underneath and then add whipped cream and the fruit of your choice. we usually do strawberries, raspberries or Kiwi fruit.

finish with chocolate, either a crushed flake or use a potato peeler to shave chocolate off a block.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Great potato recipe. slow cook and holds for AGES so great for preparing ahead of time....

peel the potatoes.

slice as thinly as you can.

peel, cut in half, and slice two onions.

layer the potato & onion in a tray, about 2" deep. Sprinkle crushed garlic through the layers

pour in cream and milk, 50/50 to come about 3/4 depth of the tray

cover with foil and put in a warm oven, say 160C for 2 hours.

remove the foil and add grated cheese on top.

another half hour to melt & crisp the cheese


and any left overs?

add chicken stock, and liquidise.

GORGEOUS creamy potato soup!!

Micronoffi (mini banoffi pie)

When I worked in the restaurant trade we were proud of our range of puddings. if we had less then 10 there was something wrong...... sometimes there is a rush on one thing or another and an emergency back up was needed. Banoffi was a quick and easy make to fill a gap on a menu.

now there are as many versions of banoffi as there are people making it, but this is a version very close to the banoffi served in Nick's warehouse where I spent 7 very happy years.

from the bottom, pastry base, caramel, banana, whipped cream with coffee essence, chocolate shavings.

and as a twist, these ones are two bites big (OK one of your mouth is as big as mine!!)

I use ready made pastry cases from the supermarket. purists, make your own!

in past times I used to boil a tin of condensed milk for about two hours (don't open the tin and DO NOT LET IT BOIL DRY!!!!) do four at a time and so long as you don't open the tin they'll keep indefinitely. NOW, I've found that I can buy tins of dolce de leche (literally sweetness from milk) for about 10p more than the tin of condensed milk. its a no brainer!!

so, into the pastry base, put in a layer of caramel, then a slice of banana. top it off with whipped cream, adding about 1 teaspoon of camp coffee essence just as the whipping is done. make sure you get the cream right down to meet the pastry as this keeps the air ioff the banana and it wont go black. add some chocolate shavings (use a potato peeler on a block of chocolate. easy!!)

for a full sized banoffi, the process is the same.



Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Morroccan Lamb Tagine

Morroccan Lamb Tagine


1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground black pepper
1½ tbsp paprika
1½ tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 x shoulder of lamb, trimmed and cut into 5cm/2in chunks (about 1.1kg/2½lb meat in total)
2 large onions, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tube of tomato pure
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
115g/4oz dried apricots, cut in half
55g/2oz dates, cut in half
55g/2oz sultanas or raisins
85g/3oz flaked almonds
600ml/1 pint lamb stock
1 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2.
2. Place the cayenne, black pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and toss together with half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
3. heat the oil in an oven proof casserole. brown the meat. add the onions, & garlic.
4. add the tomatoes, stock tomato pure, almonds dried fruit, and anything else I've forgotten!
5. bring up to a simmer then place in the oven for at least 2 1/2 hours
6. add chopped coriander before serving.

I'll often add carrots & peppers to the mix too.......

I'll someimes use lamb shanks instead of shoulder

serve with cous cous and pitta. my daughter wont eat cous cous so there's rice in the pic too!

after all that time in the oven the meat is fall off the bone tender



Monday, 18 April 2011

Beer Butt Chicken

Beer Butt Chicken

this is a very simple way to make a roast chicken something a little out of the ordinary!

take a chicken, take a can of beer. remove half the contents of the beer (into a glass obviously)

insert the chicken on top of the beer can......

stand it upright, and tuck the wings back so they don't burn.

chop some herbs, and make up a paste with some salt and olive oil.

rub the herby mix into the chicken skin.

roast as normal.

the beer boils and steams the chicken from within.

the skin roasts and gets all crispy all the way round.

I used lager and it gave a very subtle flavour, but wonderfully moist breast meat.

and beacuse there is some beer which overflows and mixes with the pan juices, the gravy is jummy!!



all done!!


purist will say it should be done inunder the hood of a big barbeque, and I can see the appeal...... maybe I'll try that sometime!