Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Superb Onion Gravy

This is one of those sauces that is a must when you are eating comfort food such as bangers and mash. No fancy bangers – just good quality pork ones and use Mozart variety potatoes for a lovely mash - don't forget plenty of butter!!

Ingredients (enough for 2 people)

  • 50gms of butter (slightly salted)
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • ½ tbps of plain flour
  • 50ml of red wine (I use Cote du Rhone)
  • 200ml of good beef stock
  • ½ tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp of Colemans english mustard
  • Salt & Pepper to taste (careful with the salt)

Melt butter in a pan and then cook onions until soft. Reduce heat and cover. Cook until unions are brown which is about half an hour or so.
Stir in the flour can cook for a few minutes – stirring.
Add all of the other ingredients (except salt & pepper) and simmer for about 20 mins – stirring occasionally.

When done, season to taste.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Red Onion Relish

This is a perfect accompaniment to my Foie Gras Burgers! You will have to wait for that recipe!

  • 4 Medium Onions (red) – finely sliced
  • 50 gms of butter
  • 3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Cook the onions in the butter over a low heat for about 15 minutes until soft.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the liquid is syrupy. Cool and then strore in the fridge until required.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sweet Potato Soup - with a dash of curry!

There seems to be a lot of sweet potatoes in the shops at the moment, so what better time of the year to make a hearty soup!

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 600gms of sweet potatoes
  • 50gms of butter
  • ½ large or 1 small onion
  • 700ml of decent chicken or vegetable stock
  • Heaped dessertspoon of curry paste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.
  • Cream (as required)

Peels and chop the veg and heat with the butter and curry paste in a pan for a few minutes. (If using the Thermomix, chop on speed 5 for 6 seconds.)
Add the stock and simmer until soft. (In the Thermomix, 12 mins/speed2/100deg)
Liquidise using a stick blender (Thermomix 1 minute, speed 9)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
I tend to use Balti Paste but any form of curry paste to your preference will do.
Pour into a bowl, add a splash of cream if you want and  serve with some warm bread. sit in a chair by a fire and enjoy!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Guinness Bread

Want to be able to make an impressive bread? One that is easy as well? then here you go!


  • 325g of Malted Blend stoneground wholemeal flour
  • 125g of plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbps of Demerara sugar
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tbsp (heaped) baking soda
  • 300ml of Guinness
  • 150ml of milk
  • 2 tbsp of treacle

Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl (except the soda) and rub in the butter until the mixture is even and looks like breadcrumbs, lifting as you go. Add the soda to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Add Guinness, milk and treacle to the dry mix and mix until you have an even wet mix. Put in a baking tin and bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour until risen and hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire tray.

This bread is so easy to make and there is no proving etc. It is quite a heavy bread but cut thinly it is delicious with cheese, pate or soups. Or simply with some good butter!

Simple Roasted Nectarines

I love simple dishes especially if they are easy and tasty as well! This makes for a very easy pudding and you will wish you had cooked one extra nectarine! Maderia is quite a rich sweet wine which you may not have. A dessert wine could be used or just replace with water and add a little extra sugar to the water in the tray.

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 4 ripe nectarines, halves and stones removed
  • 1 tbsp of demerara sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of butter per half
  • 1 glass of Madeira wine
  • 1 glass of water
  • Pinch of cinnamon per half

What simpler dish than a roasted peach or nectarine!
Prepare the nectarine halves and put into a baking dish. Add the wine and water around the halves (the halves being placed cut side up). Place the butter in the hollow of the nectarine and sprinkle each half with demerara sugar followed by a pinch of cinnamon. Roast for approx 30 minutes in an over at 190degC or until soft and golden. Serve with a couple of spoonfuls of the liquor in the pan and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Simple and delicious.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Chicken and Chorizo - Catalan Style

(photo to follow!!)

Well, it’s what I perceive it to be!! This dish is simple to do and can be left to simmer away to ensure the flavours permeate out. It is real soul food. There is a variety of chorizo to use but use a soft cured or uncooked type – it will be much more tender in the dish. I prefer the softer cured type as it has a little bite when you eat the dish and is a good contrast to the soft chicken. Plenty of paprika and off you go…

Ingredients: (Serves 2/4 depending on how hungry you are!)

  • 250gms of boned chicken thighs
  • 250gms of chicken breast
  • Half a horseshoe shaped chorizo - diced
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil
  • Half a large red pepper (or one small one) deseeded and chopped
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic – sliced or chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of regular paprika
  • 1 tin of chopped tomoatoes
  • 500ml of decent chicken stock
  • 1 tin of cannelloni beans or butter beans
  • Sugar to taste – I usually use a teaspoon but it depends on the tomatoes
  • A little salt and pepper

Dice the chicken pieces and brown in a the oil. Set to one side. Add the chorizo and  then add the onions and cook for a little until softened over a medium heat. Then add the garlic and red pepper and soften a little. Now add the paprika and mix well. When mixed add the chopped tomatoes and stock together with the browned chicken and then simmer for about 40 minutes (covered). At this stage, check the liquid and taste – add salt, pepper and sugar to taste and uncover to allow the liquid to reduce. At this stage you can add the beans. Do not add the liquid the beans are in but I really see no reason in washing them.  When you have a reduced sauce (not too thick) the dish is probably ready. Serve with plain basmati rice and a  large glass or Rioja!!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Gingery Rhubarb Fool

This, my friends, is a very easy and fast desert that will impress. Not everyone likes stem ginger and so this can be left out without and detrement to the dish. When in a hurry, I use the jars of rhubarb compote available in supermarkets but it is best with freshly made rhubarb. Ready made custard can also be used but again home made creme anglais is best.

  • For the Rhubarb -
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 2 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of aprocot jam
  • 1/2 vanilla pod or equivalent vanilla extract
  • 2 stalks of rhubarb - young and tender, trimmed and cut into batons
  • For the cream -
  • 150ml of custard
  • 150ml of double cream, whipped into peaks
  • 1/2 vanilla pop or equivalent extract
  • Optional - 1 tbsp finely sliced stem ginger
  • For serving -
  • Half a pack of gingernut biscuits (crumbled)
In a pan put the wine, sugar, jam and vanilla seeds and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and then poach the rhubarb for about 8 minutes until tender. Remove the rhubarb and set aside. Keep the syrup for serving.
Fold the vanilla, cream and custard together until combined. I do not mix too much as it makes the cream less light and I like the contrast between the cream and custard. To serve, place biscuit crumbs in the bottom of the bowl followed by some rhubard and a very small amount of syrup. Then cover with some cream mixture. Repeat the process again and then sprinkle some crumbs on the top. (you don't have to do two layers and sometimes the dish is just as good with a single layer of each of the above) You could add a couple of slivers of stem ginger if you wanted!
I serve in a cone glass bowl so the diner can see the layers.