27 March 2012

Aged Sirloin Steak,

Skinny oven chips, Asparagus spears, Grilled baby plum tomatoes, Saute spinach, nutmeg and cracked black pepper, Peppercorn and Dijon cream sauce.

I cooked up a special treat for Dinner tonight, the only thing missing being a good bottle of red. ;-) I really love a great piece of Sirloin, cooked rare with a heap of hand cut chips and fresh vegetables. You can't hide behind the ingredients when cooking food so simply and this dish showed off the British beef to its best. I don't eat steak too often but when I do, it needs to be just right. 

26 March 2012

Black sesame and fennel crusted pork fillet

Saute tenderstem broccoli, green cabbage, spring onions, flaked almonds, garlic, soy and sweet chilli sauce.

Another delicious dinner at home. 

Pork tenderloin, (or fillet) is a beautiful lean cut, needing little preparation, but requiring some added love and ingredients when cooking to give it some big flavour. I rolled it in sesame oil and then some crushed fennel and black sesame seeds before searing in a hot pan to caramelise the edges, finishing at a low temperature in the oven. Whilst the pork was resting, I saute the green vegetables in some more sesame oil with thinly sliced garlic, a good quality soy sauce and a little honey. I plated up, slicing the pork quite thickly and presenting atop the vegetables, with a little sweet chilli sauce that I made earlier.

I always use the opportunity of cooking at home and enjoying dinner with my lovely wife to combine  practising dishes and progressing with my food photography. Since having a one on one photography lesson with Jules and Sue porter, my photography has come on in leaps and bounds and I have been really happy with results, stepping up a level and giving my food the justice it deserves.

25 March 2012

Private Dinner Party, Grayshott, March 2012

I have now catered for the third successive dinner club in The Grayshott Gallette, near Petersfield, North Hampshire. They started back in January 2012, being hosted by Noel and Michelle at their family owned coffee shop, The Grayshott Gallette. Each one has been a great success and with raving reviews from each dinner party, it is becoming a popular night out to enjoy and some fantastic food and superb service  in the tranquil ambiance of the beautifully transformed coffee shop.

They are run on the last Saturday of each month and bookings can be taken direct through Noel Reidy on 01428 608277. Numbers are capped at twenty to retain the relaxed atmosphere of a Private Dinner Party so please book early to avoid disappointment. 


To Begin:

Smoked salmon, cream cheese, rocket leaves, granary toast, lemon, cracked black pepper,
Parma ham, soft goats cheese,
Bruschetta, Stilton, fresh cranberries, orange,

To Start:

Saute King prawns, chorizo, sliced red chilli, spring onion, fresh coriander, lime,


Slow braised lamb shank, rosemary and garlic,
Minted mashed potatoes, Honey roasted parsnips, Saute green beans, pancetta and shallots,

To Finish:

Lemon tarte, shortcrust pastry,
Fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis, caramel tuille.

"Thank you for an excellent dinner last Saturday, we have had great feedback,
especially for the dessert presentation; superb!" Noel Reidy, Private Dinner Party

23 March 2012

Curry with friends

We had friends round for dinner tonight and I cooked up some of my favourite food. I have a lot of passion for Indian cuisine and really enjoy making all my spice blends from whole spices and fresh ingredients. I made my own bhaji recipe which went down really well with the piquant, hot and sweet mango salsa. My variation on Indian bread was made with self raising flour, flavoured with fresh garlic, ginger, coriander and whole cumin and coriander seeds. The pork came out of the oven really tender after cooking for four hours at a low temperature, the aromatic spices filling  the room. The dessert was really refreshing, cleansing the palette after a beautifully spiced meal.


To Start:

Vegetable bhaji, spiced with Garlic, ginger, coriander and chilli.
Mango, tomato and chilli salsa,
Natural yoghurt, fresh mint and cucumber,
Sweet chilli jam.


Whole roast shoulder of Tandoori pork, Marsala sauce,
Lentil and cauliflower curry,
Cardamom, saffron and spring onion rice,
Garlic, coriander and coconut chapatti,

To Finish:

Lemon and blueberry posset, orange sherbet and honeycomb, vanilla tuille biscuit.

22 March 2012

Lamb Meatball Tagine

Roasted red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, chilli, cinnamon, ginger, toasted almonds, apricots, spring onions, fresh coriander, Lime and black pepper cous cous.

I love cooking traditional dishes and lamb tagine is a great favourite of mine. I cooked up a slight twist on the original by using lamb meatballs rather than diced meat. A much cheaper way to create the dish and also more appealing to the younger generation, it is a great way to get your young family used to the aromatic spices. With influence from many regions of North Africa, there are lots of variations, containing different blends of spices, but all are traditionally cooked in the Tagine style casserole dish. It is dome shaped at the top so as to return all the evapourated condensation to the centre of the casserole.

I slow cooked my Tagine in the oven for several hours before finishing with fresh baby spinach, spring onions, toasted almonds and fresh coriander. It was really tasty, the meatballs having absorbed the flavours from the gravy, served with cous cous to soak up all the natural juices spreading out onto the plate.

21 March 2012

Smoked duck salad

Warm potato salad, smoked duck breast, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and rocket leaves, raspberry vinaigrette.

Another delicious dinner enjoyed at home. A great recipe that I have come up with and practised at home to use for my dinner party menus. 

18 March 2012


Although I have a great base of clients that I love to cook for regularly, I attain equal personal reward and pleasure when I get to cook for someone new for the first time. It is really exciting coming up with new menus, relishing the thought of cooking in a new environment where I will be producing some great food for my hungry and expectant diners.

Tonight's Private dinner party was at a beautiful house near Romsey, where I was greeted by all the family, making me feel very welcome before I set up. I was shown to the kitchen, which was my idea of absolute heaven. A vast amount of work top space with a beautiful eight hob range to cook on, with two grand ovens underneath. The dining table was part of an open plan kitchen so I would be on full view of the guests whilst I was cooking away. We had a great menu planned so I was confident that everyone would enjoy the food and have a brilliant evening.


To Begin:

Sliced smoked duck breast, raspberry vinaigrette, caramelised figs, rocket leaves,
Warmed goats cheese and red onion tart, roasted baby plum tomato, balsamic dressing,


Seared pork fillet, Slow roast pork belly, Sea salt crackling, Caramelised apple, 
Cider and Dijon cream sauce,
Mushroom stroganoff: Garlic, shallots, white wine, paprika, cherry tomato, mustard cream,

Served with:
Creamed potatoes, Saute greens, Glazed baby carrots, Asparagus spears, Tender stem brocolli.

To Finish:

White chocolate and fresh minted cheesecake, 
Chocolate coated cherry, vanilla tuille,

14 March 2012

Vegetarian Chef of The Future 2012

I love vegetarian cuisine and am so passionate about creating vegetarian recipes. I have put a lot of thought and effort into the "Corden Vert Vegetarian chef of the future's" competition after making it to the finals last year. I have put a fantastic menu together to celebrate some amazing ingredients, offering variance in textures and flavours, showing modern cooking techniques and presentation skills. Winning this competition would evoke intense emotions, arousing my enhusiasm and great passion for vegetarian food. I have taken a few photos from my practise run below.


To Begin:

Vegetarian Tapas
Wild mushroom risotto ball, fried in ciabatta crumb,
Bruschetta, Black olive tapenade, blush tomato, fresh basil,
Roasted sweet potato, cumin and sesame seeds, tomato and chilli sauce.


Mille fuille of roasted Mediterranean vegetables,
Spinach, halloumi and red pepper filo parcel,
Coriander and lime cous cous fritter, toasted almonds,
Roasted Tagine sauce: Ginger, paprika, turmeric, tomato and fresh coriander,
Apricot, sweet chilli and basil compote.

To Finish:

Assiette of desserts,
x x x
 Cardamom and saffron creme brulee, honeycomb, vanilla and chocolate tuille,
Strawberry, elderflower and lychee jelly,
Mango, strawberry and basil maki roll, lime syrup.

Winner, Winner, Chicken dinner

I cooked up a great relaxed dinner tonight, kicking off with chilli and fresh basil hummus with freshly made pitta bread to snack on whilst enjoying a few drinks. Moving on to a fantastic chicken dish, followed by a modern desserts selection, it was a brilliant evening, revolving around the food.


To Begin:

Freshly made chilli and basil hummus, grilled sesame and cumin seed pitta bread.


Pan roasted hicken thigh, Parma ham and wild mushroom sausage meat stuffing,
Seared chicken breast, shallit, tomato and tarragon gravy,
Sweet potato mash, glazed carrots, saute green beans, toasted almonds

To Finish:

Trio of desserts:

Vanilla and cardamom creme brulee,
Strawberry, lychee and elderflower jelly,
Mango, strawberry and fresh basil maki roll, lime syrup.