• 24th November
    2011
  • 24
  • 6th September
    2011
  • 06

Hot chocolate fudge sauce

This is so easy to make and is one of the standbys I use to take a dessert from ordinary to awesome.

Whether you pour it over shop bought chocolate cake or muffins, good vanilla ice cream or pancakes with bananas, it always tastes great. It is also quick enough to make on a complete whim halfway through dessert if something just doesn’t taste quite right and needs a flavour hit.

I have made it with soy milk, oat milk and non dairy ‘butter’ as a treat for my dairy intolerant toddler and it works just as well, just be careful not to over heat it!

Serves: 1-2 portions of sauce

Ingredients

25-50g of the best quality, highest cocoa content plain chocolate you can find - don’t even bother if all you have in the cupboard is milk chocolate!
1/2 cup of fresh milk (or single cream…)
A teaspoon of butter or so (I prefer salted)

Method

1. Chuck everything in a large cup or small jug.
2. Heat in microwave on high for bursts of 10-15 seconds. After each burst take it out and give it a really good stir with a tiny whisk or fork. After the first stir or two, you may think this will never work, as there are lumps of chocolate and unmelted butter - keep cool and blast it in the microwave again!

3. The sauce is done when it is beautifully glossy. Dip finger in for sneaky taste then rake to table to drizzle over ice-cream or cakes.

  • 5th September
    2011
  • 05

Summer Pork Fillet with Pears

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 Pork Fillets
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 packham pears, sliced
  • Around 300ml of good dry cider
  • Salt and pepper
  • Around 6 finely chopped sage leave
  • A knob of butter and some of your favourite cooking oil
  • Optional - a little concentrated stock or good quality chicken stock cube

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, hot, heavy based frying pan and fry red onion quickly until crispy
  2. Take onion out of pan and set aside on kitchen paper
  3. Trim and tendons and nasty bits from Pork fillet and slice into 2.5cm rounds. Slice at an angle to get larger slices
  4. Season pork with salt and pepper
  5. Add knob of butter to the oil that was used to fry onions antil it has sizzled and melted but before it goes brown add the pork and fry for around 3 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove pork from pan and place to rerst on a bowl to catch any jioces that may emerge.
  7. Add the pears and the onions to the pan and toss around for 20 seconds. Add the cider to deglaze the pan and stir around rapidly until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the chopped sage.
  8. Taste the sauce and season to taste. Tip - if the taste is not flavoursome enough, add ½ stock cube and stir around or some good quality stock.
  9. Serve in pan at table along accompany ied by mustard mashed potato and some fresh steamed cabbage.and carrots
  • 5th September
    2011
  • 05

Scallop and chorizo

I really like simple dishes that are quick to prepare, quick to cook and both look and taste amazing. Better still, your diners think you have been working away for hours to create it.

This dish is based on one I was served at a rather good restaurant in Melbourne many years ago, it combines the salty, spicy slightly oily chorizo with the sweet creamy scallop meat. I’ve added some touches from UK as I love the peppery taste of good Hampshire watercress. Not much else is really needed to make a five star meal…

Serves: 6 as a starter

Ingredients

18 queen or king scallops, as fresh as you can possibly get them with roe removed
Around 450g of whole chorizo
Bag of watercress
Some rocket leaves
Zest and juice of one lemon
125ml of marsala wine or sherry
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Get your plates ready and lined up and place a handful of watercress and rocket on each of them.
2. Pick over the scallops and if there is any of the tough muscle that connects them to the shell, chop it out. Give them a grind of pepper and set aside.
3. Cut the chorizo into medium thick slices.
4. Heat the pan over a medium to high heat and have the lemon, Marsala, chorizo and scallops near to you as the dish really does cook in a flash…
5. Place the chorizo slices in the dry pan and cook them until they are nicely browned on each side. They should release plenty of spicy orange oil which you will use to cook the scallops - don’t throw it away.
6. Take the chorizo out of the pan with a slotted spoon or fish slice and put in a bowl.
7. Put the scallops in the hot chorizo oil pan and fry for about 1 minute each side - avoid overcooking! The oil will really spit when the cold scallops hit it, so take care.
8. Take the scallops out and place three on each set of salad leaves along with some of the chorizo rounds.
9. Keep the pan on the heat and place in the lemon juice & zest and the Marsala wine in with what’s left of the scallop chorizo oil. Mix it around briefly to deglaze the pan and then pour a little of this liquor over each of the scallop & chorizo plates. Give a season of salt and pepper to each plate and serve immediately.

Accompany this with a nice, really cold bottle of new Zealand Pinot Gris or dry riesling.

  • 3rd September
    2011
  • 03

Warm Manuka, Chicken & Bacon Salad

Serves: 4-6 as a starter or side salad - 2 as a main meal

Ingredients

  • 8 rashers of good quality, dry cured smoked, streaky bacon, chopped into 4cm strips
  • Two organic, free range cooked chicken breast roughly chopped into 1cm strips
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ ripe avocado cut into chunky pieces
  • Your favourite salad leaves - works well with baby spinach and rocket for me, but any will do.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Manuka honey
  • A glug of balsamic vinegar
  • A teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • A glug of good EV olive oil

Method

  1. Chop avocado, tomato and add to the sald leaves in a large bowl.
  2. Fry bacon gently in a  dry pan until fat runs from it and it is crispy, but not burnt (patience is key here - don’t get the pan too hot or it will burn and taste rubbish!)
  3. Add the cooked chicken and stir around for 30 seconds so it gets well acquainted with the bacon
  4. Add manuka honey, mustard, a glug of balsamic and EV olive oil, a good grind of salt and pepper and stir together with chicken and bacon off the heat, but whilst the pan is still hot.
  5. Add the contents of the pan to the sald bowl and toss around.
  6. Serve with some warm crusty bread