25 December 2010


Roast turkey with fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon.
Chipolata sausages wrapped in streaky bacon, pork sausage meat and apple stuffing,
crispy roast Maris piper potatoes in goose fat, caremelized carrots, honey roast parsnips,
Brussel sprouts saute with smoked bacon, red onion and roasted chestnuts,
sea salted turkey scratchings, natural gravy and cranberry sauce.

Ready for cooking!

Seared before going in the oven.

Honey roast parsnips.

Brussel sprouts, saute with crispy smoked bacon and chestnuts.

Sea salted turkey scratching.

Roasted turkey breast with fresh rosemary, thyme and lemon.

Centre piece

Turkey dinner

My beautiful wife

Followed by Christmas pudding and mince pies with Brandy cream.

Homemade Christmas pudding.

Mince pies.

23 December 2010


I love to cook curries and often make a banquet out of several different dishes for the evening. We had friends for curry the other night and I made three great curry dishes with home made naan bread and extra side dishes.

Balinese Pork Curry; marinated diced pork leg, braised with red chili, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric, toasted cashew nuts, nutmeg, lemongrass and coconut.
Chicken Curry; diced chicken breast, cooked with green chili, cumin and coriander seed, garlic, ginger, tomato, coconut milk and fresh coriander.
Roasted Pumpkin curry; with puy lentils, spinach and tomatoes, chili, ginger, garlic and cumin., toasted coconut.
Crispy potato; carrot and parsnip fritter; spiced with turmeric and freshly made garam masala.
Naan bread; made with fresh dough, garlic and coriander.
Condiments; Lemon and mustard seed pickle, minted yogurt and pickled green chili's.

Was absolutely great with plenty of beer to wash it all down and Ben and Jerry's ice cream to finish.

Naan bread dough.

Spiced potato and vegetable patties.

Lemon and mustard seed pickle.
My dinner.
Spiced vegetable and potato patties.

Green chillis, toasted coconut condiments.

Banquet of curries.

Balinese pork curry.

Balinese pork curry.

Banquet of curries.

Banquet of curries.


My brother in law, his partner and my parents in law came round ours for some dinner last week and I prepared another great curry feast. Originally we were booked to go the local curry house but I couldn't miss an opportunity to cook my favourite dishes for everyone at home. I made all my own curry pastes, sauces, vegetable pakoras, naan and flat breads. We had a great evening and I had some good fun in the kitchen all day as had no work other work on.

To begin, we had a lovely curried soup, garnished with rice, coconut yogurt and fresh coriander.

We then dug into the chicken wings, samosas and pakoras, with minted yogurt and coconut dip.

For main course we had:

Slow braised pork in coconut and ginger,
Spicy beef curry with garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and tomato,
Butternut squash and lentils, in a spicy fennel seed and coriander sauce,
King prawn and white fish in coconut milk with red chili and fresh coriander,
Pilau rice, garlic naan breads and sesame flat breads.

We had creamy rice pudding for dessert, flavoured with cardamon and cinnamon, garnished with caramelized oranges and figs.

Flat breads, with cumin seed, coriander seed, dessicated coconut and roasted sesame seed

Garlic and coriander naan bread and tandoori chicken wings

Vegetable  pakoras, veg samosa, chicken wings

Curry feast

Neil and Jo enjoying their Curry

Recipe for chicken and squash curry with coconut milk

Equipment you will need : Chopping board and knife, deep frying pan or wok, pestle and mortar.

Ingredients you will need,
Thai curry paste; (3 lemongrass stalks, 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger, 2 green chili's, 2 kaffir lime leaves, 6 peppercorns, 1 small onion, bunch of coriander stalks, 1 tspn shrimp paste)
Grind to a smooth paste in a pestle and mortar or use a good blender.

1 Medium onion, sliced.                                                     
1 Green chili, finely diced.
1/2 Butternut squash, diced.
2 Chicken breasts, diced.
2 tspn lime juice.
2 tspn palm sugar.
1 tspn fish sauce.
3 kaffir lime leaves.
1 stick cinnamon.
Small bunch Thai basil leaves.
Small bunch coriander leaves.
Little carotene oil for cooking,
Salt and pepper.

1) Pre heat the wok, adding the oil, cinnamon stick and the kaffir lime leaves.
2) Add the onions and chili and fry for a minute before adding the butternut squash. Cook for a further few minutes before adding the curry paste.
3) Stir in the chicken breast and colour on all sides before adding the coconut milk.
4) Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
5) Add the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Remove the cinnamon and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
6) Pour into a serving dish and decorate with the basil and coriander leaves.
7) Serve with basmati rice.

Recipe for vegetable bhajis.

You will need:

1 onion, grated.
1 potato, grated.
1 carrot, grated.
1 parsnip, grated.
1 courgette, grated.
2 inch fresh ginger, grated.
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
2 teaspoon garam masala.
1/2 teaspoon turmeric.
1 red chili, finely sliced.
A little flour to bind.

1) Wash all the grated ingredients in a sieve under running water to remove any excess starch and leave to drain. You can aid the drying process by pressing in a clean tea towel. They do not need to be completely dry as any excess moisture will be absorbed by the flour.
2) Add the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add enough flour to create a thick batter around the vegetables. For this recipe I usually add two tablespoons.
3) In a preheated frying pan, add a little sesame oil and spoon the mixture into little piles around the pan. Do not overfill the pan as you will need room to turn the bhajis later.
4) They should take about 5 minutes on each side, becoming crisp enough so that they turn over easily.
5) I made mine in advance and crisped them up in the oven nearer the time.
6) You can substitute most vegetables in this recipe, using up what is in the fridge.

Tandoori spiced lamb rack
Curry with Jules and Sue
Ready steady cook, curry night.

12 December 2010


My wife and I went to friends tonight and we had the pleasure of having a great stew cooked for us. However, I didn't go empty handed and brought with us a lovely apple tartin. I made a caramel sauce at home, then tossed in the quartered and peeled apples, before adding mixed spices of ground cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice. I then arranged the apples carefully around my oven proof dish and allowed it to cool. I made a shortcrust pastry, using two parts plain flour, two parts self raising flour, two parts butter and one part ground almonds. I let it rest before rolling it quite thick and placing over the tart. I didn't add any sugar to the pastry as the caramel adds enough sweetness to the dish. Baking time was 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, leaving it to cool in the oven slightly while it was switched off. I used a basic egg custard recipe and added cinnamon at the end, which I served at chilled temperature while the tart was still warm.

Carameilised apple tartin

Served with chilled vanilla creme Anglais.

7 December 2010


I have just cooked for a lovely couple, Terry and Carolyn at their home for Carolyn's Birthday. I was booked through my cousin Liesl a few weeks ago and planned a menu to suit them for tonight. I turned up with all my own cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery, taking away all the dirties with me when I left.

The evening menu was as follows:


King prawn, chorizo and rocket salad, balsamic roast tomatoes and red chili,
served with homemade blush tomato, basil and cheddar bread.,


Slow roasted pork belly in Moroccan spices, crispy sea salt crackling, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed curly kale, parsnip, carrot and ginger rosti, spiced rosemary gravy.


Trio of chocolate desserts;
Chocolate and orange creme brule with honeycomb,
Fresh minted white chocolate chip and mascapone cheesecake,
Warm chocolate and roasted hazelnut brownie with tuille biscuit.

King prawn and chorizo, Wholemeal bread with blush tomato, fresh basil and cheddar
Slow roasted pork belly

Trio of chocolate desserts