National Barbecue Week 2020 Monday the 25th May is the start of National BBQ week but as lock down is only just starting to be eased this year is a little different. Bank Holiday Monday is now BarbiforBritain day so it is time to dig out the charcoal, dust off the BBQ, and get cooking…
Condensed milk was a popular ingredient used as a substitute for sugar and milk and even (?) drank in tea. I have cheated slightly in this recipe and used fresh eggs and butter. The original would have been made with powdered egg and margarine.
Afternoon tea, the cream tea or high tea has an incredibly grand history and an impeccable pedigree. Indeed the Duchess of Bedford is believed to have created with what we now think of as high tea
Making traditional shortbread uses only three ingredients flour, butter, and sugar. The proportions are a 3:2:1 ratio. Above all, the type and quality of butter you use is very important as above all the butter gives the shortbread flavour.
Nothing says comfort food to me like a creamy, baked rice pudding. Made with full-fat Jersey milk and cream with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
You make houmous by blending chickpeas with tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, maybe some ground cumin, and definitely garlic. If you have been to North Africa, the Levant or the Middle East you will probably eaten houmous.
The best ever chocolate brownie recipe is my go-to chocolate pudding. I think it has been on the menu of every kitchen I’ve been involved with for over ten years. Chocolate brownie is a rich, sticky, almost gooey, dark chocolate cake normally baked in a tray.
Hot Cross Buns are spiced bread rolls made with an enriched dough. You will recognise them marked with a cross and traditionally eaten today, Good Friday. Traditionally you eat them to mark the end of Lent.
As we are spending quite so much time at home, we are doing lots of family baking together. Butterfly cakes are basically small Victoria sponges. Today’s recipe is for our Easter Bird’s Nest chocolate cakes ready for next weekend.
You will probably have seen pictures of Gashouse Eggs. You might have watched it been made on Friends, and you may have cooked them without even knowing. Put simply it is eggy bread.
This deliciously moist flourless cake is a little like something you might have with a coffee in Italy. It is gluten-free and made with polenta and plenty of ground almonds. We also used the delicious local lemons and Jersey butter, eggs and cream.
How to make perfect Crispy Spring Rolls. I cannot resist Spring Rolls can you? In time for Chinese New Year here is my step by step guide. Spring rolls were first made in China. A rolled pancake filled with the first of the fresh Spring vegetables. Now Spring Rolls are either made from a number of ingredients, often cabbage, sometimes meat, wrapped in a thin pastry. They can deep fried or larger cold variety* wrapped in rice paper
One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to cook a steak straight from the fridge. It does not matter is your pan or grill is smoking hot if you throw a really cold steak on to it. This is especially true if you like your steak cooked rare to medium-rare.
Festive French toast is a great way to use up Panettone, the classic Italian cake / bread from Milan. We always seem to have some left over Panettone after Christmas. We overdose on cake and biscuits, pretty much like everyone else. So my recipe today is a direct result of my last post and the feedback I got from friends on social media. One of the joys for me of food writing for me is the community of amazing people I’ve met and after my French Toast recipe I had a conversation with the talented Bryony Hill. Bryony, a painter, gardener, author and cookery writer was thinking of a Christmas eggy bread. The result of our conversation Panettone pain perdu.
French toast is a perfect holiday season treat served for breakfast with berries and maple syrup. French toast or pain perdu is a simple, delicious dessert or breakfast dish made by frying slices of bread soaked in egg and milk. The dish dates back as far as the Romans and Apicius gives a recipe finished with honey.
Bubble and squeak soup! Has he gone mad? Bubble and squeak is a bit of a tradition in my family. It is a delicious Boxing Day fry up of all the left over vegetables from Christmas Dinner. If you want a very tasty dish that it is a great way then to reduce food waste you have to try it.
Roasting is one of the simplest ways to cook whole birds and large joints of lamb, beef or pork. Roasting helps tenderise meat and brings out the flavour of leaner cuts. The best way to roast is at relatively low temperatures which helps ensure the meat cooks evenly and reduces the joint from shrinking.
If you fancy a completely stress-free alternative turkey lunch and want to spend a lot more time with your friends and family read on. Tandoori Turkey Escallop Burgers with Minted Yoghurt are my ‘ but it’s not a roast ‘ solution to the nightmare of overcooked turkey.
As I work for a company that owns two award winning breweries inevitably I get to cook with beer, and drink the odd pint as well ( any time you want to send some promos over to taste guys ). I’m going to post links to three great recipes made with the amazing Liberation Ale*. Now you don’t have to be afraid to cook with beer, in Belgium they have made an art of using beer much as the French would use wine.
This is the time of year for the arrival of the first game if you are lucky enough to live near a shoot, and for foraged wild mushrooms, but please don’t pick any without suitable advice. It is also the season for shellfish mussels, oysters, and scallops, and we are lucky the waters around Jersey are perfect for all of these as they are some of my favourite ingredients.
But my biggest success of the evening was probably the vegetable crudité and smoky aubergine Baba ghanoush and cream beetroot and Edamame houmous. Platters piled high with the best local vegetables, radishes, celery, peppers, cucumbers, and carrots.
Did you know that there are over one and a half million pictures of avocado on toast on Instagram? The dish really exploded in popularity in the 1990’s and it has been suggested that it has caused a massive spike in the cost of avocados.
Hot Cross Bread and Butter Pudding. This is a really easy way for you to make bread and butter pudding. You don’t need any extra dried fruit just what’s in the Hot Cross Buns and some of our fantastic local dairy produce.
How to cook the perfect Boiled Eggs for you to use in Salads, Buddha Bowls or just for dipping lots of hot buttered Soldiers.
Granola is a very popular breakfast cereal made from baked oats with oil and honey or sugar. Factory manufactured granola can be quite expensive and yet it is so very easy to make at home. It is delicious mixed with dried fruits and nuts such as flaked almonds, apricots, raisins, and sultanas or eaten with creamy, natural yoghurt, sliced banana and sprinkled with blueberries.
A one tray oven-baked dish that would be perfect served with a dressed green salad and a nice cold beer.
American pancakes are made from a light batter cooked on a flat top, griddle plate or in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. The batter is made with flour, eggs, a raising agent and milk, buttermilk or yoghurt and have a moist open texture.
You make real thing from stir-fried soy marinated chicken, leeks and raw peanuts. Your flavour comes from Sichuan peppercorns and red chillies. They are first heated in hot oil with perhaps some ginger and garlic. Then you serve the finished dish with simply steamed rice.
A crepe is a very thin pancake which can be made in a pan or on a cast iron griddle plate. These plates were placed over a fire but now are electrically heated. Crepes are cooked across France, Northern Europe, and North Africa.
spicy Sichuan salt and pepper king prawns are the type of recipe I just love to eat and share. So, it had to be the next recipe in this year’s celebration of the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐) is a very popular Sichuan Chinese dish made from tofu, Douchi or fermented black beans, rice wine, pungent Sichuan peppers and a double hit of chilli flakes and Douban, a chilli and bean paste.
We chefs can sometimes overlook simple classic dishes that have pleased people for a very long time. The fruit fool is a versatile and first-rate example of an underrated culinary star, tart fruits with sweetened cream.
My perfect Christmas Dinner – Sides. A perfect Christmas roast turkey dinner isn’t a perfect Christmas dinner for me without the stuffing, gravy, roast potatoes, and the rest of the sides. Honey roast parsnips, buttered carrots and today’s recipes braised red cabbage, Brussel sprouts and of course cranberry sauce.
Most families in the United Kingdom traditionally sit-down on Christmas afternoon for their festive Christmas Dinner. Today the centerpiece is usually a roast Turkey served with stuffing, sausages wrapped in streaky bacon ( pigs in blankets ), crisp roast potatoes, parsnips, Brussel sprouts and lots of other vegetables, and cranberry sauce. This is followed by Christmas pudding and brandy sauce, maybe sherry trifle and mince pies.
Mince pies are a peculiarly British pie or tart now eaten across the English speaking world particularly America. They are traditionally served over the Christmas period.
My Christmas biscuits or cookies are a definite family favourite. They are great if you want to make something with your children to decorate the Christmas tree. But don’t worry they are very tasty too
Biscotti or cantucci ( most commonly in Tuscany ) are delicious twice-baked Italian biscuit usually made with almonds.
Stir up Sunday Stir up Sunday? Christmas Culinary Countdown? What is that I hear you cry? Well this Sunday is thirty days before Christmas and a week before Advent. Advent, yes the thing with the calendar! Stir up Sunday is a Victorian tradition where the family gathered together to make the Christmas pudding or plum…
See what I did there another terrible pun. But I remember the village fetes when I was growing up and there was always a coconut shy. You aimed a small hard wooden ball to knock down coconuts and win a prize. The only other time I encountered coconut in my childhood was the giant box…
As a marinade for meat or poultry, beer penetrates, flavours and tenderizes. Good beer is less acidic than wine so your food can be left in your marinade longer increasing the flavour. When you are roasting or braising and beer is used to baste the food or in the basting sauce, it imparts a rich, dark colour as the sugars caramelise. So, cooking with beer is great for adding flavour to BBQ’s and slow cooked casseroles and stews.
What I really think about Chinese food is the wonderful mix of slightly sweet and salty soy, a little sour rice wine, some chilli and ginger bite, crisp vegetables tossed in delicious sauces and succulent melt in the mouth meats.
Thai green curry is an extremely popular recipe from the central region of Thailand. It is made using a paste of fresh green chillies, Thai basil, and galangal so be prepared it packs quite a punch. This is a real favourite in many of the restaurants and pubs I have cooked in and really easy so I thought it would be a great recipe for National Curry Week. The dish is normally made with white fish or chicken and traditional vegetables such as bamboo shoots or baby Thai eggplant. The sweet coconut milk balances the heat of the chillies in the Thai green curry paste.
It is the start of National Curry Week and so time to get out the spices. Let’s make something easy, nutritious, and full of flavour a Roasted Vegetable Curry. As an added bonus this is my first vegan recipe and it is great for everyone to eat.
This is really a simple but stunning recipe pairing sweet scallops and tomatoes with a hint of smoke and saltiness from the bacon. Scallops with Lentils and Bacon is ideal as a fantastically tasty starter or suitably scintillating summery lunch or supper served with crusty French bread.
There is an Indian influence to kedgeree, but it is a particularly British interpretation. Kedgeree is thought to have originated with the British colonial servants returning to Britain after working in India.
One thing I really love about cooking is that you are always learning new recipes, techniques, and tips like the one I’m going to share today. I don’t know about you, but I always struggle with even the sharpest of knives to peel raw ginger without losing lots of the flesh alongside the skin.
It is difficult to trace the origins of the crumble, the sweet golden-brown topped pudding, The Oxford Companion to Food suggests the recipe for crumble was developed in the second world war, as an alternative to pastry, using whatever fat was available. Crumbles can be made throughout the year and made with plums, rhubarb, greengages, gooseberries and most popularly apples or apples and soft fruits such as raspberries, blackberries and brambles.
This is my go-to recipe for fruitcake, rich and flavoursome enough for a christening or wedding cake or our family Christmas Cake.
As we shift into Autumn if you are a bit of a foodie you will know it is also time to celebrate National Cask Ale Week* and to promote British Food Fortnight, and if you follow this blog you will also know how I feel about some of the more obscure food promotions but as my day job is working for a brewery pub chain this is an ideal opportunity for me to promote two great passions, classic British pub food accompanied with a pint or two and what can be more suitable than a traditional Beef and Ale pie, a real pub favourite.
Here is my Chocolate and Coffee Buttercream Cupcake Recipe the only Chocolate cupcake recipe you will ever need.
Fishcakes are incredibly versatile, they can be a great starter cake, or as a main course. Fishcakes are really simple to make, and you can choose from any number of combinations. Today’s recipe punches plenty of flavour, smoked haddock, prawn and herb.
Smörgåsbord means buttered open sandwich and many of my favourite types are made with rye bread, a dark, intensely flavoured bread, high in fibre, which is popular across Northern Europe.
We are coming to the end of a beautiful Jersey Summer. What do you think of when you think of food and Jersey summer? Is it some of our amazing seafood? Fresh strawberries and thick Jersey cream? We are lucky to have so much fantastic food right on our doorsteps from the humble hedge veg, dedicated producers big and small, and all fishermen and farmers. I think this rather special version of Ratatouille called Confit Byaldi captures the best of our island, our horticultural heritage, and delicious sun-ripened local produce.
Garlic Roast Chicken -stuff the cavity with a big handful of fresh herbs tarragon, parsley, thyme and lots of oregano, add a lemon, then sprinkle with Jersey sea salt and a good twist of fresh black pepper from the mill and add lots of sliced garlic.
My last recipe for this year’s National BBQ Week is a simple sticky BBQ butterfly chicken breast ( no bone so no need to worry about cooking the meat through ) with a nice simple sticky Kansas city style BBQ sauce which can be used on ribs and other BBQ meats.
Adjusting the temperature is easy with a gas fired BBQ you can simply adjust the flames on a charcoal fire, once the coals are glowing and turning white your best method is to move the distance between the grill and the coals. The higher the grill the lower the direct heat.
My last post gave away my secret for really crispy chicken and today to celebrate National BBQ Week ( it’s longer than a week but who cares when its sunny and you have an excuse BBQ every day ) the recipe I am sharing is for one of my personal favourites Jack Daniel’s and Black Treacle Rib Glaze.
Now if I have a weakness for ‘junk food’ it is Southern Fried Chicken, I don’t have a pressure fryer like a certain well know high street chain, which is one of the secrets to producing a piece of crisp coated moist chicken but after a fair few attempts I do have an excellent recipe for well-seasoned coating and tender chicken. While Daddy’s Not-so-Secret Crispy Chicken Wings recipe doesn’t have anywhere near the 10 -12 herbs and spices in the famous secret Kentucky recipe**
Jersey Mussels with Garlic, Chilli, Caraway, and Beer is a full flavoured spiced version of steamed mussels. Liberation Ale replaces the more common wine normally associated with mussels. The shallots and tomato concassé add a little sweetness and the dish is finished with fresh coriander.
This is a very simple recipe to produce mouth-watering, addictive bar snacks or party nibbles.
Jetton catered for the first barbecue at the White House and continued to do so during LBJ’s term in office. When he decided not to stand for re-election LBJ hosted one last farewell barbecue on the White House lawns for over two hundred friends and supporters. The Texas-style ribs must have been quite special as the Swiss-born, formally trained, White House head chef Henry Haller, wrote in his The White House Family Cookbook, ” He did a terrific job and I was most impressed with the results. His barbecue sauce avoided all of the common flaws (oversweetening, overcooking, excessive thinning) and by serving the sauce separately, he also avoided drying out the meat. “
Shish kebab is an English version of the Turkish words for sword and roasted meat. A Shish Kebab is a grilled skewer of marinated meat, normally lamb but chicken, beef, veal and even swordfish can be substituted. In Turkish cooking, the vegetables are normally cooked separately.
It is British Sandwich Week and while my tastes have not changed that much, my favourite is still an unctuous melting ham and cheese sandwich and I have found the most incredible way to prepare one.
The popular misconception is that Marie Antoinette famously said of the starving French peasants at her gates, “Let them eat cake”. What she actually said was actually “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.
One of my favourite chilli-based dishes is Tom yam, a hot and sour Thai soup flavoured with fragrant spices and aromatics; a good chicken stock flavoured with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal, which is now popular around the world.
A devilled dish like Devilled Lambs Kidneys has a piquant, spicy flavour usually from the addition of Cayenne pepper and / or strong mustard.
Today’s recipe is for Shanghai Red-braised Pork Belly, in China red coloured meats are eaten for good luck as red is the colour of fire, a symbol of good fortune and joy. ‘Red cooking’ is a popular method of braising dishes in northern, eastern, and southeastern China. The name is derived from the dark red-brown colour of the cooked items and the sauce using both dark and light soy sauces, Chinese Rice Wine, and caramelized sugar flavoured with whole spices such as Star Anise, Cassia bark, and Fennel seeds.
It is British Pie Week that quintessential staple of a good pub menu, and who doesn’t like pie. Traditionally Shepherd’s Pie is a réchauffé dish made from reheating leftover minced lamb and vegetables in gravy and serving with a mashed potato top. My recipe uses one of my favourite cuts of lamb, the shoulder, which is full of flavour and delicious when slow cooked.
This is my oven baked version of the classic Cantonese BBQ Pork recipe or Char Sui with its distinctive colouring, sticky sweet marinade, and succulent melt-in-the-mouth texture.
I love any food you eat you eat with your fingers, prawns in their shells, ribs, it is great fun and so tasty. No surprise then that I’m such a fan of chicken wings maybe with a Crispy Salt and Pepper Crust, American BBQ style Buffalo Wings with a cooling Blue Cheese Dip or Asian style hot Wings with Sesame Seeds.
There are up to two weeks of celebrations for the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. This year is the year of the Dog. In China and the Chinese diaspora there are visits to family, fireworks, and feasts and so I thought appropriate over the next ten days to post some more of my favourite Chinese dishes.
So, you have successfully shucked the oysters, the steak was cooked to perfection and you matched your meal with a perfect bottle of wine, Valentine’s Day is going according to plan now you need something simply stunning to finish the meal. I have chosen something stunningly simple to make, that can be kept in the fridge and will wow your dinner companion. And the bonus, there will be a couple left over for the morning.
What can be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than to cook and share a delicious steak with your partner, served with a rich buttery Bearnaise Sauce, some thick cut chips, and a crisp green salad? Here are the steps you need to prepare a fabulous steak just like a professional grill chef.
A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar, and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect.”
Fernand Point, French chef, and restaurateur
The oysters are gratinated with a crisp mix of fresh herbs, savoury biscuit crumbs, and Jersey Blue soft cheese which creamy and slightly tangy taste accentuates the salty ozone flavour of the Jersey oysters. The very light continental style beer, Liberation Blonde provides the base for a refreshing dressing to the baked oysters and chilled is an ideal accompaniment.
A proper pasty is considered to contain beef, sliced potato, onion, and swede. The ingredients are sealed in the pastry with plenty of black pepper and cooked from raw.
Today’s recipe is perhaps the most satisfying, a one-pot casserole, ideal after a good long walk on the cliff tops in Jersey.
There is a substantial amount of meat on a large shank enough for the largest of appetites and I would say ample for two average dinners with the addition of a selection of vegetables.
There is a myriad of varieties of paella and a huge number of ingredients that go into different regional recipes, some call for chicken, rabbit or snails. This is my recipe is for a great, authentic paella de marisco or seafood paella, packed with tasty mussels and prawns and with a rich, full flavour from the garlic, Chorizo and smoked paprika.
What’s not to like with Mouclade, plump, salty, full of flavour mussels in a bowl of creamy lightly spiced sauce.
I am at heart a big fan of enjoying the sweet delicate flavour of lobster as unadorned as possible and simply poached and served with a little melted butter and lemon.
So, I only made Chorizo Jam for the first time three week ago and I have eaten Chorizo Jam on toast, stuffed Chorizo Jam into Chicken breasts and used Chorizo Jam as a garnish for soup, but this sweet, slightly spicy, slightly smoky, relish is a must with a cheese board, absolutely delicious in fact.
Tartiflette is a truly indulgent dish, a hearty, rich, starchy treat for your taste buds, traditionally served after a strenuous morning on the ski slopes — or at least a brisk winter’s morning walk.
My Cranachan recipe is entirely my own twist which I first used in a restaurant in Jersey with fresh raspberries folded into cream flavoured with honey, whisky and the crunch of delicious homemade Granola.
After the excesses of Christmas, I quite often want something with plenty of flavour but that is perhaps not too substantial
I love garlic, I adore garlic, I cook with absolutely loads of garlic like today’s recipe for Spaghetti with Parma Ham and Roasted Garlic.
Coquilles St. Jacques is a classic of French cuisine, gently poached scallops and mushrooms in a rich, cream sauce, garnished with enriched mashed potato and gratinated.
This recipe is a marriage made in heaven, sweet pan-seared scallops, a lightly spiced, well-seasoned sweet potato purée and pungent rich braised Chorizo sausage. This is warming indulgent dish ideal on a crisp cold winters day.
Whatever roast Turkey, Ham or Beef you have chosen for your Christmas Dinner you will need some potatoes to help mop up the delicious gravy and I am going to give you three recipes. The first is guaranteed to give you a plate full of Perfect Roasties to serve up on the table. The second is for luxurious butter and stock braised Fondant Potatoes, packed full of flavour, and the final recipe is for my new favourite that doesn’t even need peeling and are really, really, crisp.
Chilled Salmon, Dill, and Cucumber Soup is a lovely starter for a relaxed festive party or a fabulous light lunch.
Coq au vin an ideal dish for the slow cooker. A good coq au vin improves immensely if you marinade the chicken overnight and improves further if you leave it when cooked, overnight, in the refrigerator. If you cannot get a piece of bacon try to use the thickest rashers you can find so the lardons will not break up during cooking.
Mulled Wine and similarly Mulled Cider are popular drinks over the Christmas season. They are served hot, often sweetened with sugar or honey and flavoured with a variety of spices, oranges, and lemons.
This is a classic French recipe that comes from the Bourgogne or Burgundy region of France and is traditionally made using Charolais beef.
Today restaurants serve far more elaborate versions of the dish which was originally a simple stew.
The best thing about this recipe is that it does not require the poaching in a water bath or bain-marie that you find in classic pâté and parfait recipes. Actually, make that the second best thing, the most important thing you need to know about this parfait is it is delicious, absolutely delicious. It is easily adapted, and you can fancy it up a little up by substituting duck livers for chicken and adding extra flavours like orange peel, tarragon, and Cointreau.
here is my recipe for the second staple of a New Orleans Mardi Gras, traditional Cajun Crocialles or Beignets, crisp deep fried dough dipped in sugar.
Properly done authentic Cantonese pork is delightful and my recipe is I hope a little more delicate than your local takeaways. And the fried egg? Well I had this dish served to me in China town and have served it like this ever since. The egg yolk adds another dimension altogether.
Where do you start or who do you look to as an authority for the perfect Moules marinières recipe?