Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Rhubarb Bellini

A quick upload. Taken from one of Jamie Oliver's cookbook, but recommended by my friend Rebecca.

Rhubarb Bellini

Serves 6 (although, we found that we got a lot more out of it)

300g Rhubarb - chopped
75g Sugar

Put the rhubarb and sugar in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water. Bring to boil and simmer for several minutes until a mushy consistency.

Remove from heat, cool slightly. Place in a blender or use a handheld one and whizz until smooth.

Spoon a couple of teaspoons worth into champagne flute, top up with chilled Cava, Fizz or Prosecco.

Sit back and relish just how damn good this is. Beware they are so tasty you will wolf them down forgetting that it is alcoholic!

Smoky Cheese & Onion Tart

A very tasty, simple flan that does not need to be blind baked! Taken from the BBC Good Food Website

Smoky Cheese & Onion Tart

6 rashers smoked bacon - chopped
3 onions thinly sliced
300ml double cream
500g block of shortcrust pastry
140g strong cheddar, half grated remainder crumbled
1 egg, beaten
140g cherry tomatoes, halved
knob or butter

Heat the oven to 200oc. Melt butter in frying pan and add bacon, sizzle until starting to crisp. Add onions and sweat for 10 minutes until soft, golden & sticky. Pour in the cream remove from heat and leave to cool a little.

Roll out pastry on floured surface till it fits in a baking tray (slightly larger than A4 size). Roll the edges to create raised border.

Pour creamy onions into a bowl add the grated cheese and most of the beaten egg, spread over the pastry. Scatter over with the tomato halves and crumbled cheese, brush borders with remainder of egg add a general grind of pepper. Bake for 20 minutes until golden - leave to cool and cut into squares. Perfect for nibbles, picnics, served with salad.

Monday, 20 July 2009


An indulgent Sunday morning brunch dish. I came across so many different versions of this recipe, the one I remember from my childhood had sultanas in, but this recipe from The Good Food Magazine is light, non-sticky or stodgy and very tasty.

Serves 4

10oz Smoked Haddock fillet - preferably undyed
2 bay leaves
1/2pt Milk
4 eggs - boiled for 4 1/2 mins then cooled.
Handful Chopped Parsley
Handful Chopped Coriander
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Curry Powder
10oz Easy-cook long grain Rice - previously rinsed thoroughly in water

Heat oil in a large pan, gently fry the onion until softened. Add the spices and season and a pinch of salt, fry for a few minutes until fragrant and changing colour to brown.

Add the rice and stir well, add 600ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to stand with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.

Put the haddock and pay in a frying pan, pour over the milk and poach for 10 minutes. Remove from milk and peel off skin and flake into chunks.

Peel the eggs and quarter length ways. Mix the rice, fish, eggs, coriander and parsley, serve warm.

Chicken Chompers

We were invited round to a friends for a BBQ at the weekend and I decided to bring a faithful standby, a recipe that has served me very well for party food - Chicken Chompers. The recipe originally came from an Ainsley Harriot cook book.

4 x Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
4 x Garlic Cloves
2 tbs Coriander Leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 x Lime - Juice
1 tsp Fish Sauce - Nam Pla
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tsp Oil
Skewers soak in water

Grind the peppercorns, garlic and coriander with a pestle & mortar until a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.

Slice the chicken breasts - I manage to get about 10 strips from each breast, depending on size, the aim is for a mouthful or two size when cooked. Add these to the marinade and leave for at least an hour.
The thread one strip each onto the skewers and either place on BBQ or I tend to cook them in a frying pan with low sides beforehand, that way although cold they are ready to take to the party.

To go wit this there is a Chili Dipping Sauce, where you heat 3 floz of red wine vinegar and 3oz of caster sugar in a saucepan until dissolved, boil and then simmer for 3 mins. Add 2 finely chopped and de-seeded chillies and a pinch of salt and leave to cool.

A lovely afternoon was had by all, with lots a varied and delicious food available, the chompers as always did not let me down and were very well received.

Pork with Broad Beans in Mustard Cream Sauce

A lovely easy dinner dish that does not contain either onions or tomato sauce - very unusual with my recipes!

Pork With Broad Beans in Mustard Cream Sauce

2 Pork Loin chops - cubed
2 handfuls of podded broad beans
1 handful mushrooms
2 tsp grain mustard
150ml double cream

I pan fried the pork in a little oil until just browning the edges. I had previously blanched the broad beans and added them to the dish along with the mushrooms which had been roughly chopped, then added the mustard and finished off with the double cream, letting it boil for a few minutes. Serve over rice. Picture pretty bad - but we were hungry!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

BBQ Rib of Beef

Sun, Sun, Sun and what better way to celebrate than to drag out the old BBQ.
So after a rather hot and
clammy day in the office I shamelessly stole this recipe from Girl Interrupted Eating. and went to enjoy the early evening in the garden. This is not so much a recipe as a different way to cook an expensive bit of meat.

I bought a lovely fat marbled rib of Beef, left it to get to room temperature before seasoning with salt and pepper. Heated up the BBQ and as usual could not wait until the coals got completely white and ashy, so I ended up putting the meat on whilst the heat was probably too fierce. There were a fair few flames as the fat dropped onto the coals so a spray of water is required to keep them under control. Keep turning the meat frequently for approx 20 minutes - if you like it rare. Then importantly remove from BBQ and cover in foil to rest for at least 20 minutes.

All the juices had poured out of the meat and it had relaxed making carving like cutting through butter. A lovely crisp caramelised outer with rare tender succulent meat in the middle - perfect.
So as not to detract from the meat, I made a simple salad similar to Girl Interrupted's of new potatoes with broad beans, half a finely chopped onion mixed with mayo and a dash of salad creme
I would like to say that we had some left for sandwiches but being the gluttons we are we guzzled the lot!!!! It was so delicious, just melted in the mouth - drool. It was a test run and I now feel happy that I could cook this for a more formal Sunday lunch.