300g short grain brown rice
300g red wild rice
50g craisins (dried cranberries)
50g golden raisins
1 vegetable stock cube
100g tinned chickpeas
Sea salt and pepper
3 red onions
100ml white wine vinegar
10g golden caster sugar
Slice two of the red onions finely into rings and cover with the white wine vinegar and sugar mix and set aside.
Now to cook the rice, salt a large pan of water, bring to the boil and cook both rices together for 20min or until the rice is aldente. Meanwhile while your rice is cooking you need to get to work on the magic! Finely slice the remaining onion and sauté in a little olive oil until soft and transparent. To the onions add the dried fruit and chickpeas stir to mix and add your veg stock cube…… Just as the cube is melting hit the pan with some salt and pepper to taste and about 50 ml of hot water. Bubble for a minute or so and then mix together with the drained rice.
Drain off the onions and squeeze out the excess vinegar liquor.
Serve the pilaff immediately topped with a liberal sprinkling of the pickled onions!!
Tonight I served this to a fabulous group of fabulous people…… With a very well rested butterflied leg of lamb and flat breads and lashings of red wine. I say bring on winter and all the comfort food you can eat, enjoy my friends!!
Posted in Accompaniment, Lunch, Mains, Salad
Tagged accompaniment, dinner, Lamb, Lunch, ottolenghi, Pilaff, red onion, rice, Salad, Tunisian
40g butter, plus extra for greasing
200g pumpkin flesh, cut into small pieces
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
Handful grated Cheddar
Small handful chopped fresh coriander or flatleaf parsley leaves
3-4 tbsp milk, plus extra for brushing
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Put the pumpkin the pumpkin into a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain, leave to cool and mash with a fork. Sift the flour and baking powder into a big bowl. Add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.Use a table knife to mix the mashed pumpkin into the flour mixture. Add the cheese and herbs, then add just enough milk to make a dough. Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and on your hands, then lightly knead the dough for 30 seconds. Form the dough into a ball, then lightly pat it out to about 3cm thick. Dip a knife in a little flour and cut out scones. Put on the baking tray, spaced a little apart. Roll the spare bits of dough into a ball and flatten. Cut out the rest of the scones. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Put the scones into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
125g granulated coconut nectar
125g non dairy spread (or butter)
125g self raising gluten free flour
125g desiccated coconut
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
A handful of raspberries
A sprinkling of fresh lavender
Preheat oven to 170C.
Cream the sugar and spread mith an electric mixer (butter will work too) until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one by one and beat thoroughly, don’t worry if it splits a little the flour will bring it back to consistency. Sift in the flour and fold gently. Stir in the zest and juice and finally the coconut. Tip into a lined brownie pan and dot with the raspberries pushing them in with your fingers (the fun bit)! And then sprinkle liberally with the fresh lavender. Bake for 25 mins or until golden, springy to touch and and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
I am in St Tropez at the moment, cooking my little heart out, loving traipsing around the markets and finding it a very hard task to find organic produce. That said, there is one guy in the market, right by the vintage louis vuitton handbags at extortionate prices, the handbags not the fruit and veg that is! Who once a month (second Tuesday in the month) comes down from the Collobriers area to sell his wares. I used his lemons and raspberries in this recipe. Meci phillipe, you may have saved my bacon!!
A beautiful gluten free, sugar free cake best served for tea, in Provence, overlooking the Mediterranean after a hard day on the beach……. Well, that would be nice I have to make do with a phenomenal view!! On that note, I’m off to catch a freckle à tout alors!!
Posted in Baking
Tagged alternative baking, Baking, cake, coconut, coconut nectar, easy cakes, free from, Gluten Free, gluten free flour, lavender, mediterranean, Raspberries, st tropez, Sugar Free, Sweet
After a long break from writing I am back in the wordpress world and blogging again. Life has been pretty hectic to say the least, a move to London, a new job and many, many stories along the way. Minus my SLR and now armed with my iPhone, i’m off on my travels again to give you a little glimpse into the life of a passionate foodie! There will be plenty of new recipe, restaurants, pictures and stories to keep your interest.
Its amazing what a sunny day does for the soul…. tonight I have found myself in rural Wiltshire sitting outside with my laptop, a bottle of rose, a yummy dinner and a chocolate springer who goes by the name of Captain Oats. What better time to find inspiration to start writing again?
London moves at a pretty hectic pace and stepping out for just 48 hours has made me realise all the things I have been missing recently, finding time to slow down take a step back and write. Not too sure how many posts i’ll be able to manage a week as I am trying my hardest to get to grips with a new job which is pretty demanding of my time and patience. Best foot forward though and I have very good intentions!
Captain Oats, my dinner companion!
135g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter (cool slightly)
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When melted, add a dessert spoon of batter. It will seem thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm (½in) thick.
Repeat and keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan!!
Serve with lashings of real maple syrup, greek yoghurt and bananas.
500g good quality high pork content sausages – I try to use 90% or higher.
200g smoked bacon lardons
200g sliced red onion
1 tbs chopped thyme
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
175ml red wine
1 tbs tomato puree
100ml beef stock
200g haricot beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs mango chutney
Preheat the oven to 170C.
You will need a large oven proof casserole dish with lid, like a le Creuset. Heat a teaspoon of oil in the pan, add the sausages and lardons turning often until they are browned all over. Add the butter, onions, garlic and thyme, cook for 5 mins or so, until soft. Add the red wine and bubble on a high heat until reduced by half. Next add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock and haricot beans. Stir well, put the lid on and place in the oven for about 1hr. At this stage your casserole should look rich and thick, stir in the mango chutney and its ready to go, garnish with more fresh thyme!
This is so easy and delicious, a perfect one pot warmer….. so boys, only one pot to wash up, this means you don’t need to use every pot in the kitchen!! I tend to serve this beautiful cassoulet with a parsnip mash, creamy mashed potatoes or just a nice big hunk of granary bread.
I was asked to post this recipe for Tuppy our gardener at the house. He wanted something that he could make the night before and bring in to warm up in the shed on one hob in one pan. Here you go Tuppy, I expect to smell good things coming from the shed on Friday….. you have to make enough for Phil too though!
Posted in Garden, Lunch, Mains
Tagged beans, cassoulet, haricot, mango chutney, onepot, sausages, stew, Thyme, warming
Prep time 24 hrs
Cook time 10 mins
500g beef sirloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
2 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1/2 tsp chinese five spice
350g good quality stir fry mixed veg – I used one with pea shoots
100g baby sweet corn
1 bag of fresh egg noodles 450g – available in most supermarkets in the veg section
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 handful of pea shoots
24 hours in advance. Marinade the beef in the hoisin, oyster sauce and chinese five spice. Cover and pop in the fridge.
Heat 1 tbs of vegetable oil in a large wok, add the garlic and ginger, saute for a few seconds and then add the veg including the baby sweet corn tossing over the heat until tender but still crunchy, should be about 3-4 mins. Working quickly throw in the cooked noodles and toss the veg through for another 2-3 mins, once the noodles are heated through, add the soy sauce. Transfer the veg noodles into a warm dish and cover loosely with tin foil. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok, on a high heat until the oil is almost smoking, add the beef and cook for 3 mins or so until cooked to your taste, I like mine rare so 2-3 mins is plenty. Cook more as desired. Serve immediately, noodles and veg first into you noodle boxes then the beef and top with pea shoots and the remaining pan juices.
I cooked these for a 13 year old’s birthday party a few weeks ago and then again of lunch this week, goes down very well and as you can see its wok to bowl in the space of about 10 mins with a day for marinating (makes all the difference)! A quick easy mid week supper. Also works well with chicken or pork. Cheaper, healthier and much much better than a take away!
Posted in Lunch, Mains, Party food, Snacks
Tagged beef, chinese, egg noodles, hoisin, noodle box, noodles, oyster sauce, Party Food, sirloin, stir fry