Saturday, 26 April 2014

Indian Spiced Lamb 'Burgers'

Is it too early to spark up the old BBQ? Why of course not. Get yourself some minced lamb and try these amazing burgers this weekend.

Indian Spiced Lamb 'Burgers'
Makes 6 large burgers

500g quality minced lamb
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
A handful each of fresh mint and coriander
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
2 handfuls of stale breadcrumbs

For the raita
Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
Fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

1 - Put the mustard seeds into a dry frying pan and toast until fragrant. Remove.
2 - Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl them combine thoroughly with your hands.
3 - Form into your preferred burger size then grill or BBQ to your desired rareness. Or form around BBQ sticks and call them a shish kebab.
4 - To make the raita, simply combine the ingredients and taste for seasoning.
5 - Serve with toasted sesame seed buns, fresh salad and raita.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Potato, Garlic, Cheddar and Chive Soup

A soup that uses the most simple of ingredients to make a flavour packed and filling meal.

Potato, Garlic, Cheddar and Chive Soup
Feeds 4

25g butter or 2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
6 large, floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper or King Edward), peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
250g Cheddar cheese, grated
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt or double cream
Salt and pepper

1 - Heat the oil in a large soup pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened but not coloured.
2 - Add the chopped potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Stir in the grated Cheddar cheese.
3 - Blend until smooth and reheat. Stir through the Greek yoghurt or cream and taste for seasoning. Serve in bowls with freshly chopped chives and crusty bread.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns
Makes 10-12

1 tbsp dried yeast
1 tbsp honey
200ml warm water
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
50g sultanas
Zest of one orange, finely grated
Half an Easter egg, roughly chopped, or 100g of plain or milk chocolate
2 tbsp honey
25g melted butter
100ml warm milk
1 egg

1 - Mix together the yeast, honey and water and leave for 5-10 minutes in a warm place until it forms a froth and starts to smell.
2 - Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt, spice, sultanas, orange zest and chocolate egg.
3 - Pour in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Mix the egg in with the milk and pour in along with the melted butter and honey, mixing thoroughly. You may need a little more milk. Mix until it comes together into a dough.
4 - Tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until a hand indentation pressed into the surface springs back straight away.
5 - Put back into the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
6 - When doubled in size, lightly knead again to get rid of the air. Roll out into a sausage and cut off 10-12 portions. Roll these into balls and place onto a greased and floured baking tray. Cut crosses into the top with a sharp knife then cover again and leave until they double in size again.
7 - Place into a high oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and make a hollow sound when tapped. Mix a little sugar and water together over heat and brush onto the top to make a sugar glaze.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Almond and Lemon Biscuits

Almond and Lemon Biscuits
Makes a dozen (depending on size)

170g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
75g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon
A squeeze of the juice
170g softened butter or margarine
A few drops of almond essence
Sliced almonds

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 180C/GM4.
2 - In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt.
3 - Grate in the zest of the lemon, a squeeze of juice, margarine or butter and almond essence. Combine into a dough with your hands then form into a ball.
4 - Roll out onto a floured surface to approximately 1cm thickness. Cut out using any shaped biscuit cutter according to preference.
5 - Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the biscuits on, scatter with sliced almonds and bake on the middle tray for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
6 - Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Sausage and Puy Lentil Onepot

Cheap, sustaining, healthy and tasty. This is proper family food which everybody will enjoy. Serve it with plenty of green vegetables and perhaps some buttery, crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Sausage and Puy Lentil Onepot
Feeds 4

1 tbsp olive oil
A dozen good quality sausages (I used Gordon's of East Boldon gluten free chilli sausages, amazing)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 small or 1 large sweet potato, cubed
A handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
A tbsp of fresh of dried thyme leaves, rosemary works too
200g puy lentils
1 tbsp Dijon or Wholegrain mustard
1 litre beef stock
400g chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A handful of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper

1 - In a large non-stick deep pan, heat up the oil and add the sausages. Cook for 5 minutes, browning all over, then remove with a slotted spoon or tongs.
2 - Add the onion, carrot, sweet potato and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
3 - Add the sausages, thyme or rosemary, lentils, mustard, stock, chopped and sun dried tomatoes and vinegar. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook on the hob for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are just cooked and the liquid reduced.
4 - Taste for seasoning and scatter with torn fresh basil or parsley.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Smoked Mackerel and Pea Kedgeree

Smoked Mackerel and Pea Kedgeree
Feeds 4

4 eggs, boiled for 5 minutes then left to cool in cold water
50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
A pinch of cayenne pepper
200g basmati rice, cooked and drained
100g frozen peas
1 pack of smoked mackerel
Salt and pepper
A handful of fresh dill, parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
2 lemons, halved

1 – Heat a non-stick pan and melt the butter. Add the oil then stir in the onion. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
2 – Add the spices and combine thoroughly. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
3 – Stir in the cooked rice and peas and heat through for 5 minutes, stirring all of the time until piping hot.
4 – Flake in the fish and stir in the fresh herbs. Taste for seasoning.
5 – Plate up and decorate with the boiled eggs – food faces optional. Serve with a wedge of fresh lemon.

Christmas Pavlova

I’ve invented a twist on a traditional Pavlova, a meringue, cream and fruit-based dessert. Made to resemble a Festive wreath, it not only lo...