Beautiful brassicas

cauli close up

You might remember that I used to write a monthly blog for Francoise Murat Design about season British food. Well,Francoise has had the blog redesigned and its now called Rendez-vous Deco &Jardin,it looks lovely and I’m please to say I’m back doing my monthly feature.

My first piece was on how versatile brassicas are in the kitchen are and how useful they can be in in the lean vegetable months before the UK growing season gets into swing.

You can read the article here,its packed with ideas on how to use brassicas from spicy to [...]

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Easy slaw

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It’s taken me a long time to be a fan of coleslaw. Scarred by childhood memories of gloopy overly vinegary stuff from tubs and at the other extreme overly wholesome versions with yoghurt and stale nuts,I’ve always approached the dish with caution. But my husband is a big fan and so I thought ‘how hard can it be’to make a good version…so I tried.

At first I refused to add any extra vinegar,the recipes got a modest thumbs up but the comments ‘too thick’. Then in summer last year there was a twitter conversation about making [...]

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Talking turkey

turkey displaying plummage

It’s pretty much the hottest day of the year and I’m about to eat a full Christmas dinner in deepest Berkshire. Just what is going on. Especially as I’m not turkey’s number one fan. It’s okay but to date its not had a guaranteed place on my christmas table….

When I was a kid we always had roast turkey for Christmas dinner and it was good,but it never seemed as nice as the excitement it generated amongst everyone else. For me it was never quite a tasty and juicy as roast chicken. Maybe the plethora of trimmings overshadowed [...]

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Take 5 cookbooks

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Last night I was chatting to fellow food lovers Gower Cottage Brownies and Presents Queen (aks The Foodie Gift Hunter) about cookbooks and in particular first cook books and the first things we cooked.

Now as anyone who has read this post about food book I did knows I now have many many food related books….but of course a long long time ago I started with none….

Here’s five books that have heavily influenced my cooking and count as first in some way or another

The Play and Cook Book,Marguerite Patten (1973)

This is genuinely the first cookbook I [...]

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Warming stew:Lentejas

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Its pouring with rain today in London making the autumn evening dark even sooner…whats needed is a warming stew.

I’ve made this one a few times but the first time I did was back in early 2010 when the lovely people at Orce Serrano Hams sent me some of their chorizo and morcilla to try. This dish adapted from the Moro cookbook seemed the perfect way to try them out.

It’s pretty easy and quite and of course you can use chorizo and black pudding sourced in the UK but the Orce morcilla was something truly special,well worth [...]

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Lamb-chetta

Rolled and tied lamb with extra herbs tucked under string

Last weekend I was casting around for what to do with some lamb breast and neck I had defrosted and the weather seemed to good for hearty stews. I asked the hive mind that is twitter and carried on flipping though cook books for inspiration. At roughly the same time as I was eyeing up a porchetta recipes Chris from La Hogue Farm shop suggested a herby stuffing and wrapping the breast round the neck.

And so I set out to make lamb-chetta.

I didn’t want too dense a stuffing so I decided to simply use lots of fresh herbs.

[...]

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Fennel harvest (and fennel crackers)

Fennel flower and ladybird

We’ve a huge fennel plant growing in our garden….we didn’t plant it I think it self seeded from next door. Anyway we kind of ignored it but now its time to tidy the garden so I decided to harvest the seeds before we up rooted it and find a few uses for them.

A bit of googling told me that they aren’t really seeds they are teeny fruits,and that instead of taking nice photos of ladybirds clambering over the yellow flowers earlier in the year I should have been harvesting the pollen as this is the most sought [...]

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ideas…

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