SUSANNAH.ORG.UK

this is the personal website of Susannah Clark

 

THE KITCHEN

 

 

Cooking is my way of unwinding after work. These are some of the meals we cook over the course a year or two:

 

Creamed courgette, diced bacon, onions and tagliatelli, with grated cheese and crème fraiche. The bacon and cheese give it sufficient salt.

Steamed beef chilli con carne, with jalapenos, fried onion, oregano, cumin, black-eyed beans, tinned tomatoes and paste, sweetcorn, onions, garlic, bay leaf (and more oregano and cumin), some smoky chipotle sauce. Thicken as needed with cornflour. Served with brown rice. Highly recommended

Sweet and Sour Pork - with pork belly, sugar, dash of vinegar or soy sauce, onion roughly chopped and lightly fried, half a leek, red pepper, pineapple, a few mange tout and mushrooms, accompanied by egg fried rice and beansprouts

Cold Chicken Curry, with chicken, spring onions, apricots, a few raisins, mango chutney, natural yoghurt, mayonnaise, Madras curry paste - but minus the almonds), with additional lightly fried onion and juice of one lime - served with rice, lettuce, and chopped cucumber. Highly recommended

Sausage in Wine sauce Pasta Bake, with grated carrot, onion, and cheesy white sauce with a dash of vinegar, teaspoon of mustard, and nutmeg. Highly recommended

Rump Steak with fried onions, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, chips and gravy.

Spicy Chicken and Chickpea Casserole.

Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties, with some cabbage, and a whisky sauce.

Lamb and Broad Bean Risotto, with mint, garlic, coriander, lemon, caramelised onion, and rice - served with yoghurt.

Boiled Potatoes and Frankfurters, with a dash of chilli paste, fried onions, spring onions and parsley.

Ndizi Na Nyama Beef and Banana Stew in Harissa Sauce, with onions, green pepper, chopped and puree tomatoes, and coconut milk.

Chicken in White Sauce with Rice, and chunky red pepper pieces, sweetcorn, button mushrooms, onions, and juice from one lemon.

Pork Loin Steaks in an Orange, Honey and Mustard Glaze. Fried, then casseroled in the glaze sauce. Served with fried sprouts, swede, and potato; and slices of orange.

Hungarian Pork Goulash with Mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, red pepper and spices.

Jerk Chicken, marinated for 12 hours in advance in Jerk mixture, served with boiled brown rice and juices. Highly recommended

Home-made Ham and Vegetable Pie, with Fried Onions and Leeks, Mushrooms, Red Pepper, Broad Beans, a Carrot, and a few Sprouts, in white sauce with some Garam Masala.

Spicy Vegetable Soup, with pureed Potato, Onion, Runner Beans, Sprouts, Red Pepper, Chilli, and Garam Masala)

Fresh Baked Rolls and Jalapeno and Cheese Burgers.

Shepherd's Pie, with Peas and Carrots, a little fresh thyme, chopped tomatoes, lightly fried onions, stock, Worcester sauce, garlic cloves, and mashed potato with milk, butter and an egg yolk. Highly recommended

Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Spicy Casserole with Cous Cous, and fried onions, garlic paste, Harissa paste, aniseed, cinnamon, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes.

Various Other Food and Drink: Home-baked scones with clotted cream and jam. Peach and Ice Cream Milk Shake. Banana Milk Shake. Apricot Milk Shake. Chocolate Milk Shake. Strawberry Milk Shake. Raspberry Milk Shake. Petit Munster Gerome cheese (Highly recommended). Raspberry Mousse. Home-made Sausage Rolls, with parsley, small clove of garlic, dash of cold water and seasoning. Fresh Bread and Rolls. Sultana Cake. White Chocolate and Orange Cake, with white chocolate and crème fraiche icing. Strawberries, Ice Cream and Meringue. Highland Flummery, with lightly toasted oats and fresh raspberries. Gaelic Coffee. (Our daily coffee is lightly frothed Mocha Java from Rave Coffee Highly recommended.) Blueberry and Lime Cheesecake, Highly recommended. Italian Strawberry Parfait, with biscotti (amaretti), strawberries, mascarpone, whipped double cream and a miniature of Cointreau. Apricot Jam Tarts. Cheese scones. Lemon drizzle cake. Plums and custard. Home-made mince pies with brandy sauce.

Cream of Asparagus Soup, topped with parsley, and French bread with butter.

Lamb and Apricot Curry, with 6 garlic cloves, 2 red onions, 1 leek, 3 red chillis, 2 green chillis, red and green peppers, dash of lemon, sprinkling of sultanas, 3 cm of grated ginger, medium curry powder, sprinkling of extra strong chilli powder, coconut milk (liquid), cream, a little garam masala, cumin and paprika, a can of chopped tomatoes (drained), topped with coriander, served with rice. Portions for two meals for two people.

Roast Lamb, Roast Potatoes, with Roasted Parsnips, Runner Beans, Onion Sauce and Gravy. Mint Jelly or Redcurrant Sauce. Highly recommended

Shop-bought spinach tortellini, with home-made cheese sauce, sweetcorn and broccoli.

Roast Duck, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, gravy, with cranberry and orange sauce.

Cod and Smoked Haddock Fish Pie, poached in full milk, with bay leaves and quartered onions. White sauce made with the strained milk. 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered. Chopped parsley and a few peas. Topped with mashed potato, and grated cheese, and served with carrots. Highly recommended

Corned Beef Hash, with potatoes, onions, Worcester sauce, sprinkled with parsley, and served with baked beans.

Natchos with Sour Cream. Layers: spicy sausages, red pepper and sliced jalapenos. Then natchos and then bean salsa. Then natchos and then tomato salsa. Then grated cheese on top.

Sorrel Soup, with steamed beef, beef stock, potatoes, sliced eggs and topped with sour cream.

Maple Syrup Glazed Sausages with Mustard Onion, including mustard seeds, red wine, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of brown sugar, in heated fresh rolls.

Green Thai Curry and Rice, with chicken, one fried onion, mange tout, baby corn, garlic cloves, thai curry paste, coconut milk, crème fraiche, red pepper, red and green small chilli, turmeric, thai fish sauce, 1 tspn caster sugar, zest of 2 limes, grated ginger. Highly recommended

Smoked Haddock Rarebit, with cheese, ale and mustard.

Chicken in Lime, Garlic and Chillis, with spicy vegetables in coconut sauce.

Penang Beef Curry, with Fried Onion, Red Chillis, 2 Red Peppers, Chopped Pineapple, Apricots, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar, Juice of a lime, and Coconut Milk, with rice. Highly recommended

Massaman Chicken Curry, with Red Chilli, 2 Red Peppers, Shallots, Chopped Pineapple, Apricots, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, Juice of a lime, chopped beans, mange tout, mini corn, coriander, and top of coconut milk, with rice.

Cold Beetroot Soup.

Avocado and Bacon Salad, with new potatoes in mayonnaise.

Corn on the cob with garlic butter, followed by Bacon Lardons and Avocado in Mayonnaise on buttered toast.

Chicken and Bacon Casserole in White Sauce, and rice, with 2 onions, 2 leeks, a red chilli, a red pepper, 2 carrots, and some sliced beans, mange tout, broad beans and peas.

Spaghetti Bolognese, with chopped tomatoes, one or two chillis, red pepper, olives, oregano and fresh basil.

Thai Yellow Curry with Chicken, with an onion, a red pepper, two red chillis, beans, mange tout, coconut milk and rice.

Chicken and Bacon Pie, in white sauce, with onions, a leek, a red pepper, a red chilli, asparagus and mange tout.

Sweet Chilli Pork Stir Fry, with vegetables, red pepper, mange tout, tomato with chilli, dark soy sauce and Worcester sauce.

Lamb Cutlets, with Mint and Feta Cheese Salad, and three spring onions, a red pepper, lettuce, baby spinach, cucumber, juice of half a lemon, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Lamb in Mint and Onion Bechamel Sauce, with Broccoli (lamb marinated in half a tin of coconut milk and three tbsp of mint jelly overnight, liquid used as part of sauce).

Red Thai Lamb Curry, with 4 chillis, a red pepper, an onion, half a tin of coconut milk, apricots and a few green beans, with rice. Highly recommended

Penang Chicken Curry, (or see lower down for a great penang lamb version) with zest and juice of a lime, two cloves of garlic, mange tout, a red pepper, three chillis, coconut milk, a shallot, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and brown sugar, served with brown rice. Highly recommended

Southern Thai Green Chicken Curry, with one small onion, a red pepper (but no additional chillis - hot enough without - my favourite home-made curry pastes come from Nitsa at 'mythaicurry'), mange tout, green beans, apricots, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and coconut milk, served with basmati rice. Highly recommended

Lamb Chops and Roast Potatoes, with broad beans and onions in white sauce, broccoli, mint jelly and gravy.

Spicy Poussin with Roasted New Potatoes, cooked with Cajun spices and garlic.

Madras Chicken Curry, with half a chicken, a fried onion, a red pepper, two red chillis, three tbsp of madras curry paste, coconut milk, juice of half a lime, asparagus steamed for ten minutes, mange tout, served with basmati rice.

Duck Stew in Sour Cream Sauce, with sour cream, half a duck, a red pepper, parsley and tarragon, served with boiled potatoes.

Beef and Mushroom Pie, with a fried onion, a red pepper, 4 small chillis and a creamy sauce, served with green vegetables.

Massaman Beef Curry, beef casseroled for 2 hours in massaman sauce and coconut milk, then fried onions, 3 green chillis, and a red pepper added with the beef to second pan of massaman sauce and half tin of coconut milk. Served with basmati rice.

Salmon, Cucumber and Soft Cheese blinis and Home-made sushi.

Fried Swordfish in flour and egg batter.

Devilled Kidneys on Toast, in flour, tomato puree, English mustard and Worcester sauce (hangover cure).

Pork Belly Strips with Bubble-and-Squeak Cakes, made of mashed potato, carrots, Brussel sprouts, broad beans, red pepper, cheese and an egg, coated in flour and fried.

'White' Chilli con Carne, with kidney beans, a red pepper, an onion, crème fraiche, and sliced jalapenos, served with brown rice.

Macaroni Cheese, straightforward cheesy white sauce with plenty of pepper.

Bratwurst Macaroni, with cheese, tomato puree, a tsp mustard, and sausage.

Nasi Goreng Chicken and Rice, with a red pepper, an onion and soy sauce.

Beef, Beer, and Mushroom Pie, with 2 onions, 2 beef stock cubes, a red pepper and a tsp of mustard, served with mashed potato and peas soaked in the casserole gravy.

Ostrich Steaks in Marinade, with Roast Potatoes, served with peas and a marinade sauce combining Marrakesh and a couple of tsp of Harissa paste to spice it up.

Jerk Chicken Pieces on Sticks, with chicken marinated in a jerk sauce, then fried in flour, egg, and jerk sauce, served on sticks with red peppers.

Pork Chops in Apple Sauce, with boiled potatoes and sweet corn.

Sausage Casserole with Georgian Spice, fried onion, a red pepper and tomato puree, served with fusilli pasta.

Spicy Lamb Flatbreads, with one diced onion, 4 chillis, a red pepper, juice of a lemon, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, fresh coriander, half tsp cinnamon, 2 tbsp yoghurt, 3 tbsp sultanas ~ and for the flatbread, 350g strong flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp fast-action yeast, 2 tbsp olive oil and 225ml of warm water. Served with a yogurt dip and lemon slices.

Spatchcock Marinated in Peri-Peri, loads of peri marinade, then cooked for an hour, served with carrots, broccoli, and creamy onion sauce with 2 green chillis and a red pepper.

Baked Salmon in Lime, with salad of gem lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrot, spring onion, radish, beetroot and red pepper, with cold potatoes.

Shop-bought Five-Bird Roast, with chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant and goose - with a topping and extra streaky bacon rashers added for last 15 minutes - served with stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, sweetcorn, cabbage, gravy and cranberry sauce.

Kangaroo and Stewed Plum Casserole, marinated overnight in some stewed plums I had left over from previous day's pudding, with a little Teriyaki, and a dash of rum. Fried the steaks to seal them, then added the marinade. Into a casserole dish to slow cook for 2 hours, with some broad beans, a red pepper, and one red chilli added along the way. Served up with peas and mash.

Uzbek Spicy Sausage and Rice.

Slow Cooked Beef Stew, with an onion, green beans, half a tin of chopped tomatoes, peas, carrots, and cumin, coriander, oregano, two red chillis, dark soy sauce, Worcester sauce, a little brown caster sugar, served with mustardy mashed potato.

Roast Chicken, with stuffing, roast potatoes, bread sauce, carrots, broad beans, peas and gravy.

Spicy Nehari Beef Stew, with sliced chillis and lime, and boiled potatoes.

Stilton Omelette, grilled tomatoes and home-made rolls.

Chicken Biryani, with cucumbers, fried onions, green chillis, tamarind sauce, two tablespoons each of crushed garlic, and ginger, served with basmati rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken, with lightly fried onion, pineapple, two chillis, a red pepper, mange tout, chopped tomatoes, rice vinegar, three spoons of brown sugar, some soy sauce, two cloves of garlic, and some crushed garlic, served with basmati rice.

Tenderised Pork topped with Cheese, Mayonnaise and Grated Carrots, served with potatoes.

Roast Pheasant with Bacon, and stuffing, roast potatoes, onion sauce, thick gravy, Brussel sprouts, peas, and cranberry sauce.

Lamb Chops with Mint Jelly and Onion Sauce, peas, roast potatoes, and gravy.

Cod, Salmon, and Smoked Haddock Paella, with paella rice, two red chillis, green olives, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and a red pepper and fried onions in olive oil, tomatoes, and a little rosemary.

Sirloin Steak in Red Wine Gravy, with fried onions, runner beans, carrots, and garlic mashed potato, with garlic butter, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and dash of milk.

Cheese on Toast, with diced onions, tomatoes, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, a splash of beer, some French mustard, a spoonful of crème fraiche, and a little milk.

Green Thai Pork Curry, with fried onion, two red peppers, carrots, mange tout, six chillis, coconut milk, crème fraiche, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, lemongrass, 5 cloves of garlic and grated ginger, served with basmati rice. Highly recommended

Venison Stir Fry, with beansprouts, chopped cabbage, a red chilli, baby sweetcorn, mange tout, leeks, sweet chilli, and cranberry sauce all fried together.

Hot Dogs, with fried onions, American mustard, and ketchup.

Goan-Style Curry with Slow-Cooked Beef and Apricots, with fried onion, a leek, green beans, and coconut milk, served with basmati rice.

Pork Chow Mein, with peppers, vegetable stir fry, beansprouts and fresh noodles.

Roast Partridge with Creamy Bacon and Chorizo Sauce, with mange tout, fried onion, half a red pepper, a few small squeezes of tomato puree, a few spoonfuls of double cream, and a light sprinkling of standard curry spices that can hardly be noticed. Served with creamy mashed potato, carrots and stuffing.

Chicken Jambalaya, with chicken, chorizo, onion, leek, a red pepper, red chillis, chopped tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, garlic and rice.

Grilled Pork, Fried Red Pepper and Onions, with rice - the red pepper fried in long strips and added to the fried onions, and the rice splashed with the juices from the pork grill pan.

Creamy Chicken Dopiaza, with fried chicken, two garlic cloves, a fried onion, broad beans, dopiaza spices, salt and black pepper, three red chillis, a red pepper, half a tin of coconut milk, and a few tablespoons of double cream, served with basmati rice. Highly recommended

Indonesian Slow-Cooked Pork, in Ketjap Manis Marinade, with mashed potatoes, sprouts, carrots, broccoli and sauerkraut.

Lamb Rogan Josh, with a red onion, a leek, garlic, ginger, two red chillis, a red pepper, green beans, mange tout, baby sweet corn, carrot, fresh coriander and coconut milk, served with pilau rice. Highly recommended

Roast Turkey, with cranberry sauce, bread sauce, roast potatoes, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, sage and onion stuffing, runner beans, sprouts, peas.

Moroccan Spicy Chicken and Cous Cous, with sliced chorizo, chopped tomatoes, garlic, aniseed, cinnamon, harissa paste, an onion, and a sliced pepper. Highly recommended

Ukrainian Borsch, using chicken (sealed in a frying pan with carrots), shredded cabbage, sprouts, (could add cut up celery sticks), bay leaves, about ten whole black peppercorns, salt, put this all to boil in a couple of litres of water. Meanwhile cut up an onion, fry onion in butter and add flour. In steam pressure cooker, half an hour. Open it and add the onion/flour mixture, and some cut raw potatoes. Add 2 or 3 stock cubes, and more water, and spices (parsley and dill), and steam for a further 20 minutes. Add a litre or 750 ml jar of small shredded or grated beetroot (or can grate fresh beetroot) then bring to boil for 5 mins, with a bit of garlic, and further salt and pepper to taste. Highly recommended

Pork Jalfrezi, with a fried onion, a leek, grated ginger, slightly roasted garlic, 3 red chillis, cumin, a red pepper, apricots, sugar snaps, coconut milk and some double cream, served with basmati rice. Highly recommended

Chicken Dopiaza, with two small onions, two small leeks, a red pepper, 3 cloves of garlic, mange tout, two carrots, 4 red chillis, dashes of cumin and paprika, coconut milk and some double cream, served with basmati rice. Highly recommended

Hungarian Meat Soup, with 1 kg lamb, 1.2 ml water, 3 chopped and fried onions in 4 tbsp of olive oil, 2 large tomatoes cut in wedges, tbsp of tomato paste, 5 garlic cloves, 1 red chilli, 5 tbsp of chopped parsley, 4 tbsp of rice, and 4 tbsp of plum sauce, served with slabs of bread and butter.

Beef Goulash, with 1.3 kg of beef, browned in 3tbsp of oil, then 2 large onions fried, and 4 garlic cloves heated and chopped, added to the meat in the casserole dish, with half tsp of salt, half tsp black pepper, some tomato puree, 3 all spice berries, two tsp of paprika, a little chilli paste, basil, fresh parsley, 4 fresh bay leaves, and one beef stock cube - all just topped up with boiling water, and cooked for 1.5 hours. Add sliced and lightly fried onions to taste, and 175ml of red wine, cooking in the casserole dish for 30 mins more. Mix 4 tbsp of flour with 280ml of sour cream, stirring it through the goulash, and cook 10 mins more. Served with basmati rice (could also serve with pasta, or mashed potato). Highly recommended

Russian Solyanka Soup, with pickled cucumbers and brine, some chicken, a fried onion, some garlic, a little sliced carrot, a little sliced potato, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a few black olives, chopped smoked ham, chopped frankfurters, all spice berries, peppercorns, fresh bay leaves, dill, parsley, capers, (could also use salami or chorizo or other meat).

Chicken Tikka, with generous portion of chicken, a large onion fried, a red pepper, two sachets of tikka paste, two red chillis, black pepper, mange tout, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 200ml of full cream, served with basmati rice.Highly recommended

Ghanaian Goat Stew with Okra and Garden Eggs, using 1kg of goat meat, 10cm of ginger, a tin of plum tomatoes, 2 garden eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 onions, 1 habanero, and 6 pieces of okra, served with basmati rice.

Spicy Pork Pasta, with pork loin steaks, fusilli, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, an onion, 7 chillis, 2 red peppers, cumin, oregano, basil, a few green beans, broad beans, and some yakhni pulao masala spices.

Latvian Bean Soup, with red kidney beans, carrots, an onion, pork ribs, four potatoes, pearl barley, dill, parsley, mixed spices to effect of two stock cubes, three all spice berries, black pepper and salt.

Steak in Yorkshire Pudding Pie, with briefly sealed steak, cut into pieces, and added with fried onion into a pot, with quarter of a bottle of Guinness, a tsp of sugar, and some beef gravy. Slow-cooked for two hours until gravy thickens (stir periodically), then enclose in a Yorkshire Pudding pie, and serve with mashed potato, carrots and peas.

Quails with Apricot and Orange Couscous, with quails seasoned and basted in honey, vinegar, olive oil and cinnamon, and couscous in boiled orange and apricot sauce, with thinly sliced red onion in vinegar and wine, pine nuts, a generous handful of chopped parsley and mint. Highly recommended

Springbok Pot Roast, with meat marinated overnight in red wine, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and a mirepoix of onions, carrots, parsnips, turnip and celeriac. Bacon lardons fried in morning in olive oil, meat then sealed, and mirepoix fried in same pan, consisting of onions, a leek, carrots, parsnips, turnip, celeriac, garlic, with 40 ml tomato paste then added. Gravy made from overnight marinade, meat stock, 120ml of port, a tea-spoonful of mild mustard, 3 tbsp of redcurrent jelly, and browning. Apricots and celery stirred in. A few small pats of butter placed on the springbok, and rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf added. Slow-cooked in heavy cooking pot with lid for 4 hours. Served with mashed potato and parsley, topped with fried button mushrooms, red pepper, and a tiny sprinkling of cheese (optional). Highly recommended

Llama Stew, slow-cooked with part-boiled carrots and celeriac, then fried with leeks, spiced up with lots of little jalapenos and red chillis in the pot, a red pepper, and peas near the end, all served with basmati rice.

Bison Pie, with wholegrain Dijon mustard-basted bison sealed and then slow-cooked with fried onions, and beef stock mixed with half a bottle of Abbot's 'Reserve' Ale, then later adding a little flour, some runner beans, two carrots, a red chilli, fried button mushrooms, and at the end some peas - all finished in a puff pastry pie. Highly recommended

Ox-Tail Soup, with fresh ox-tail, two cans of chopped tomatoes, a fried onion, a blended carrot, three small potatoes, a turnip, and a parsnip (also all blended), tabasco, Worcester Sauce, 100ml of port, cloves, a few whole black peppers, fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley.

Quails in Creamy Sauce and Pasta with a red pepper and tabasco

Chicken Drumsticks and Chorizo in Harissa Sauce, with a fried onion, an orange pepper, half a red pepper, a sliced green chilli, aniseed, pimento powder, cinnamon, garlic, sultanas and chopped tomatoes, served with basmati rice.

Roast Guinea Fowl with Vegetable Gratin, made of two fried onions, a leek, half a yellow pepper, sliced chorizo, then adding three boiled carrots and a boiled courgette, boiled broad beans, some green beans, all fried, then adding chopped tomatoes, all placed in a casserole dish, and topped with sliced partly boiled potatoes and lots of grated cheese, grilled until the cheese browns on the potatoes. Served with half a broccoli. Highly recommended

Creamy Mushroom Soup, finely chopped pound of chestnut mushrooms, chopped onion fried in a large knob of butter with the mushrooms until onions are soft, then add two raised tbsp. of flour and mix it in, so all is covered in flour; then add 600 ml of chicken stock, boil for 15 minutes on medium heat, add a tin of evaporated milk which has been mixed with another tbsp. of flour, then add spices - pepper, salt, half level tspn of nutmeg - bring to boil, then turn off to let it cool a little Highly recommended

Slow-Cooked Beef Casserole, with beef cooked for 5 hours, beef gravy, a third of a bottle of Guinness, three tbsp of French seed mustard, three tbsp of redcurrant sauce, two roughly chopped onions, two chopped leeks, four cloves of garlic, plenty of button mushrooms, a yellow pepper, four chillis, then fried into a mirepoix with four roughly chopped and boiled parsnips, a turnip, four carrots, runner beans, and later, sugar snaps, a courgette, chopped coriander, celery, tomato paste and broccoli (which could be omitted), served with mashed potato, and spring greens stirred with sour cream. Highly recommended

Yellow Split Pea and Bacon Soup, with split peas left to soak for an hour or two (or overnight), then boiled for fifteen minutes, adding diced and fried smoked bacon and one onion, with salt and pepper, served with bread.

Lamb Balti, with basmati rice. Grill seasoned lamb steaks on a medium heat for about 16 minutes, but not too much, turning once. Meanwhile, lightly fry three cloves of garlic, later chopping them finely, and then fry a roughly chopped onion. At the same time, boil a carrot and a parsnip, dice a red chilli and a green chilli, and a red pepper and a green pepper. Add all these ingredients to a new, fat-free pan, grate a few cm of ginger, the grilled lamb in chunks, and then add Balti spices and 400ml of coconut milk, along with a tomato-based sauce - but not too much. Gently stir all the contents as they heat up in the pan. Add a dash (maybe 150ml) of full cream. Meanwhile very lightly boil some sugarsnaps and mange tout, and set aside. Boil the basmati rice, and in the final six to eight minutes add the sugarsnaps and mange tout, along with mango in chunks. Highly recommended

Goat Curry, steamed for an hour (after slightly browning) with curry powder, scotch bonnet chillis, onions, all spice berries, tomato paste, garlic, two bay leaves, black pepper, topped to cover with water, adding potatoes for the last twenty minutes; served with curried brown rice with onions, kidney beans, scotch bonnet chillis, two lamb stock cubes, thyme, a bay leaf and coconut milk. Highly recommended

Chorizo Salad, with a red pepper, a yellow pepper, about a dozen sliced radishes, half a dozen sliced spring onions, four sticks of celery (chopped), 220g of piccolo tomatoes, a thickly sliced and chopped cucumber, one avocado, 200g of feta cheese, wild rocket, watercress and two gem lettuces, with balsamic dressing, served with dishes of sliced beetroot, coleslaw, sweet corn, and sliced chorizo.

Swedish Meatball Soup, with meatballs made of minced beef and pork mixed with two eggs. The meatballs are only added for the last 20 minutes, into the soup made of… with spoonfuls of sour cream added Highly recommended

Beef and Pork Mince Patties, mixed with bread in milk, and onions, and served with boiled potatoes.

Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup, with 675g parsnips (diced), a large onion diced in 8, 2 plum tomatoes, quartered, 2 diced cloves of garlic, all mixed with 2 tbsp of olive oil, a teaspoon of ground coriander, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of ground cumin, half a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, roasted at 225 for half an hour, then all into a food processor with 600ml of vegetable stock, then into a large pan with another 600ml of the stock, seasoned to taste, brought to simmering point, and finally a tablespoon of lemon juice, then served with buttered roll.

Baked Salmon and Butternut Squash Risotto, with the lightly smoked salmon marinated in lime and a little lemon juice, garlic, ginger and a little chilli and red pepper, black pepper and onions. The risotto, prepared with boiled rice, butternut squash, spinach, diced red onion lightly fried, a little whipping cream, some Emmental, a little Cheddar, dried tomatoes, a dash of olive oil and a dash of white wine, pine nuts, a few sunflower seeds, sage, a little red chilli, half a teaspoon of honey, and 200ml of vegetable stock - to which can be added, a small quantity of some seafood of choice. Half a lime to squeeze on the baked salmon (and risotto if wished). Highly recommended

Chicken Rendang Curry with Two Squeezed Limes. Although often associated with beef, Rendang is really delicious with chicken too. (Alternatively, slow cook diced beef for three hours in a beef gravy with a roughly chopped onion, and a dash of chilli paste, then remove the beef only, and marinate in rending paste overnight, before adding red pepper strips, a few sugar snaps late on, and lastly a few dollops (only 3 tbspns) of sour cream.) Lightly seasoned and fried chicken pieces. In separate pan, fry a chopped onion until golden, add four or five tablespoons of Rendang Curry Paste, heat, then stir in the chicken, pour on a chopped red pepper and four finely chopped red chillis, splash on a little fish sauce (not too much) and a small splash of dark soy sauce, sprinkle on one tablespoon of caster sugar, add three or four tablespoons of sour cream, then squeeze the juice from two fresh limes, and add just a few boiled sugar snaps chopped in small pieces (not too many, maybe about twelve). Finally, add half a tin of coconut milk (preferably the white consolidated part at the top). Let it all cook on a low heat for another fifteen or twenty minutes. Serve with basmati rice. The limes give it a lovely fresh taste. Highly recommended

Roast Pork with Stuffing and Apple Sauce. Roast boneless leg of pork served with onion gravy, apple sauce, stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, runner beans, peas or vegetables of choice. Simple and delicious. Highly recommended

Chicken and Apricot Madras Curry. Fried pieces of chicken, three cloves of garlic, a fried red pepper, two sachets of Geeta's madras curry paste, then add a little cumin, black pepper and turmeric. Meanwhile prepare sixteen well-ripened apricots, one or two chopped runner beans, two red peppers, four extra red chillis, six fresh vine tomatoes, and one carrot chopped into short strips and then into quarter parts of each strip. Heat on the hob in a large pot. Ten minutes before serving add 150ml of sour cream. Serve with basmati rice. The apricots give the curry a lovely fresh taste that also plays on the heat of the chilli. Highly recommended

Alternatively, Chicken and Apricot Gujarati Curry. Fry pieces of seasoned chicken breast and set aside. Fry a large sliced onion, adding a sliced leek when the onion is turning. Add 3 or 4 finely-chopped red chillis. Heat up a small pot of Gujarati paste in a pool in the middle of the pan, add the fried chicken, turn it in the paste, and then stir in the rest of the pan. Add a sliced red pepper. Add the juice of 1 lime. Add 5 sliced vine tomatoes. Add 12 sliced and skinned apricots. Add a very small number of boiled sugar snaps. Do not add creams of any kind for this dish. Allow the contents to simmer for an hour, and then serve with basmati rice. Really fresh with citrus, fruity and delicious.Yoghurt to accompany. Highly recommended

Cold Coronation Chicken Curry (nod to Delia Smith), with a chopped mango, and served with cold brown rice, and a cucumber, lettuce, and avocado salad. Meat from a 1kg chicken (or larger), 150ml mayonnaise, 75ml natural yoghurt, a large tablespoon of Madras curry paste, 2 large tablespoons of Mango Chutney, salt and black pepper, a sprinkling of sultanas, a chopped mango, and optional sliced spring onions. It's important to be quite precise with these measurements, but if you are, the results are really delicious. Highly recommended

Diced Beef in Guinness Gravy. Fry 600g of salted and peppered diced beef until browned, and meanwhile fry two large onions until well browned as well. Heat up 700ml of beef gravy, with 250ml of Guinness, add 8 chopped tomatoes, and some puree chilli and garlic (not too much). Place the beef, onions and gravy in a large, heavy cooking pot. Pre-heat the fan oven, initially at 200 degrees, then after 20 minutes reduce to 140 and slow-cook for two hours. Next day, peel and cut in large chunky pieces 5 parsnips, 4 carrots, a turnip, and 250g of runner beans, along with two large leeks. Add boiling water to the carrots and parsnips, return to the boil, then simmer for 6 minutes. Add boiling water to the turnip, beans and leeks, return to the boil, then simmer for four minutes. Fry the carrots and parsnips until browned and add some tomato puree while frying. Add these, and the other vegetables, to the cooking pot. Season to taste. Slow-cook at 140 for another hour, and meanwhile make mashed potato (with salt, pepper, butter and a little milk), before serving. Highly recommended

Chiang Mai Burmese Curry, with marinated pork belly, chiang mai paste (I recommend the home-made paste from 'mythaicurry' and Nitsa is really friendly), red pepper and mange tout (small quantities) and strips of fresh ginger - absolutely superb. I marinated the belly of pork (cut into pieces) in the paste overnight, then next day lightly fried it to let it brown, then slow cooked the curry in a heavy 'crock' style oven pot for three hours, with just enough water added to cover the meat. When it was cooked, I set it aside in the fridge for another night, allowing all the paste juices to seep further into the now gorgeously tender meat. Next day I added a few strips of red pepper into the now thickened and reduced curry, slow-cooked another hour, adding a handful of chopped and partly-boiled mange tout late in the proceedings to add some green colour, juice of half a lime, and some strips of ginger (and that worked really well). I served it with brown rice/quinoa mix - and it was heaven. Absolutely heaven. I can't really begin to describe the originality of the taste experience, but the way the juice-soaked meat almost melted in the mouth was wonderful. This Chiang Mai curry is sensational. Highly recommended

Penang Lamb Curry, with 4 lightly-grilled leg steaks, diced afterwards. Meanwhile gently heat a tin of coconut milk, and another half tin of the creamed off solidified cream. As it heats, add two sachets of Penang curry paste (again, I use Nitsa's), stir in, then add the grilled lamb. Add a tbspn of soy sauce, and a little less of fish sauce, two level dessert spoons of demerara sugar, and juice from a lime. Cook at 140 for half an hour, then slow cook for another 60 to 90 minutes. Leave overnight. Next day, add some lightly-boiled mange tout and a couple of red peppers in strips. Once again, cook at 140, for 20 minutes, then slow cook for 40 minutes. Serve with basmati rice. Hot, spicy and flavourful. Highly recommended

Pork Steaks in a Khukhan Marinade: marinate the pork loin steaks in the sauce (also sourced from Nitsa), leaving for several hours. Scrape off most of the marinade and fry briefly on both sides of the steaks, then smear the tops of the lightly-fried steaks in the marinade, and grill until almost burning at the sides. The resulting pork is beautifully moist and succulent. I served with runner beans and halved sweet potatoes, but a more delicate accompaniment would probably have been better. The sweet potato, cut in halves, I smeared lightly with olive oil, and sprinkled on salt (not too much), black pepper, and paprika, at 200 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Highly recommended

Lamb Chops in an Apricot Marinade, served with brown rice and quinoa. Cut up 6 apricots finely and reduce in a pan with a very small splash of water, until the apricots are soft and able to be crushed to an extent. Meanwhile, mix up a marinade with: 1 and a half large tablespoons of apricot jam, 2 large tablespoons of whole-grained or Dijon mustard, 2 and a half large tablespoons of virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme leaves, 3 teaspoons of garlic puree, 1 and a half teaspoons of ground black pepper, 1 and a half teaspoons of salt, 1 and a half to 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (according to taste), a large tablespoon of mint sauce, zest of 1 lemon, 1 to 1 and a half tablespoons of brown sugar, and add the boiled up fresh apricots. Stir well. Marinate 8 lamb chops for half an hour or more. Heat up a frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil on a high heat. Scrape off most of the surface marinade from the chops (save the marinade) and fry lightly on both sides, maybe two minutes each side. Then place the chops in a large tray and pour the marinade on the chops, and grill on one side for about five minutes or until some of the edges of the chops start to char a little, but avoiding overcooking or crystallising the marinade. Serve up with brown rice and quinoa, splashing some leftover marinade and juices on the rice and quinoa. Highly recommended

Cottage Pie, with cheesy mashed potato, served with peas. Fry the minced beef. Separately fry a finely diced onion. Stir in gravy (not too much, keep the consistency quite thick in the pan or add flour), with one or two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, a little chilli paste, a little garlic paste, seasoning to taste. Lightly boil diced carrots and runner beans for adding later. When complete, top with mashed potato and light covering of grated cheddar. Then cook at 160 fan for 30 minutes, grilling the top at the end. Comfort food.

Piri-Piri Chicken, with Quinoa and Brown Rice mix. Easy and simple as anything, and delicious. Just add two shop-bought sachets of Piri-Piri marinade to three halved chicken breasts and marinate overnight. Then place in baking dish and add diced red pepper and a small fried onion. Season to taste. Bake for 45 minutes.

Welsh Rarebit, with grated mature cheddar, half an onion (finely sliced and diced), a splash of Abbots Special Reserve beer, one or two tomatoes diced into small pieces, a generous tsp of grained mustard, black pepper, and a splash of milk, on already moderately toasted slices of Hovis 'doorstep' white loaf. Grill. Highly recommended

Roast Lamb, with whole leg of lamb (2.4kg), left out of the fridge for 12 hours, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and 3 tbsp of finely chopped rosemary leaves, 1 tspn of paprika, and 3 tbsp of olive oil, stirred together, then rubbed all over lamb, top and bottom. Pre-heat fan oven to 200 (fan), then put lamb in for 30 minutes uncovered and with no extra butter or oil, on a rack, and underneath in the roasting tray, 2 sliced onions, and up to 2 pts of lamb stock. After 30 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 140 (fan) for 3 to 4 hours, with lamb now covered in foil. The lamb will release its juices, and baste it once an hour, with a little sprinkle of extra salt and pepper each time. After 2.5 or 3 hours at 140, roast potatoes as usual in a separate baking tray, raising oven temperature to 200 (fan), sprinkled with salt, black pepper and paprika, and then add parsnips. Optionally, make 780ml of white sauce, well-seasoned, and add lightly fried onions or other vegetables. When the potatoes have 20 minutes left, take the lamb out and place on a plate under foil, raising oven temperature to 220 (fan). Boil carrots, adding peas after 8 minutes (or other vegetables). Take the roasting tray juices, sieve into a jug, then try to remove top layer of fat. Transfer to saucepan (which can also have a sachet of lamb gravy if wanted), add flour, and a heaped tbsp. of redcurrant jelly, add seasoning to taste, and sieve again before serving. By then the potatoes and parsnips should be ready. Serve with redcurrent jelly and mint jelly. Highly recommended

Pork Loin Steaks marinated in Tum Yum Sauce - A bit unorthodox use of Tum Yum but I like the outcome. Pan-fried on both sides with additional salt and pepper. Served with rice or mashed potatoes, and vegetables.

Lamb and Plantain Stew Highly recommended

Chicken deep-fried in Beer Batter. Highly recommended

Khukhan Lamb Hotpot - Pan-fried lamb, marinated in Khukhan Sauce, then slow-cooked in a heavy dish, with asparagus, a fried red onion, a green pepper, three or four diced apricots, finely-cut fresh coriander, and juice from half a lime - served with jasmine rice and lightly peppered,salted and fried beansprouts.

Rump Steak and Chips - Classic and simple meal: well-peppered fried steak, onions, button mushrooms and red pepper (all fried), with chips and tomatoes, and a yorkshire pudding - gravy with a little 'heat' to accompany.

Creamy Turkey Stew - turkey drumsticks, very lightly sealed in hot oil, then covered two-thirds with water in a pot, with salt, pepper, one chilli, one red pepper, some Yugoslavian/Croatian spice mix, 150 ml creme fraiche, can add parsley - cook for an hour, boiling off excess sauce, then add flour and 150 ml more creme fraiche. Served with boiled potatoes and dill. Highly recommended

Mediterranean Guinea Fowl in White Wine - Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 115gms of diced pancetta, 1 guinea fowl jointed into 8 separate pieces (or use large chicken drumsticks), 2 red onions peeled and roughly chopped, 8 garlic cloves peeled and crushed (I fry them very lightly and then just cut them in very fine pieces), I red pepper de-seeded and chopped into nice lumpy pieces, 1 yellow pepper treated the same, 3 tablespoons of green or black olives (I used some black ones because we already had them in the fridge), 2 or 3 bay leaves, sea salt to taste, ground black pepper, I teaspoon of oregano, 320ml of white wine (I used Blossom Hill 'Crisp and Fruity', I don't think a sharp white wine would work so well), finely grated zest of 2 lemons, finely chopped bunch of parsley (personally I just use the leaves and try not to use the stalks, but maybe that's just me). Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/180Cfan/375F/gas mark 5. Place the oil, pancetta and guinea fowl in a roasting tin (I used a heavy Staub cooking pot) and gently toss to coat everything in the oil. I added about a third of a tablespoon more oil myself. Put the tin (or pot) in the oven without lid and cook for 15 minutes (no more). Remove and add the red onions, garlic and peppers. Turn the meat and return to the oven and return for a further 15 minutes. 2. Turn the meat again and add all the remaining ingredients except the lemon zest and parsley, place a lid on the pot or foil over the roasting tin and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Meanwhile boil up some potatoes or pasta if you like. 3. Sprinkle half the lemon zest and parsley over the food, turn the meat again, sprinkle the rest of the lemon zest and parsley, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve (with potatoes or pasta if you want). Highly recommended. Pleasant with chilled white wine or rosé.

Zoran's Salmon and Spinach Pasta: Wrap 520gm of boneless salmon fillets in lightly oiled individual foil packets and bake for 23 minutes at 170Cfan. Meanwhile, boil fusilli pasta for 12 minutes, and fry an onion lightly, with lots (at least 240gm) of young spinach leaves (which will reduce). Drain pasta, add the onion and spinach to the pan, then spoon in 280gm of Philadelphia full fat soft cheese and stir. Crumble in the baked salmon and serve.

Leek and Potato Soup: Cut the end stalks off leeks until you are left with 600gm of leeks. Slice them in 1cm-wide slices. Peel potatoes until you are left with 600gm of peeled potatoes, then slice them in 1cm-wide slices as well. Place them in a saucepan or heavy hob pot, with salt to taste, plenty of black pepper and half a spoon of cayenne pepper, and add 1200ml of boiling water and one vegetable stock cube. Bring everything back to boiling point and boil for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are near to breaking apart (avoid this as you want nice pieces of potato when you eat the soup). Add 50gm of butter, then taste and if necessary add more salt or pepper. Depending on how much 'heat' you want in the soup's taste, you can add further cayenne pepper, but personally I avoid too much as I like just a hint of heat, with maximum emphasis on the potatoes and leeks themselves. At this stage I add a generous bunch of parsley - personally I take off the stalks, though admittedly it's time-consuming, and I chop the parsley up then sprinkle it into the soup: it really enhances the soup and I use a generous quantity of parsley. I add about 100 to 150ml of crème fraiche: I'm a little cautious with this, and only add it progressively, as I don't want the creamy taste to dominate - but a little cream does make a nice smooth soup. Alternatively you can leave the cream out, if you like clear soups, but personally I prefer the slightly creamy version. A delicious soup!

Beef Stroganoff: Heat up half a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Finely slice and chop one large onion and fry at a low heat for 10 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and catch a little gold. Add four finely chopped garlic cloves (I lightly fry them first to soften them) and continue to fry and stir in for 2 more minutes. Crumble in a beef stock cube, one teaspoon full of smoked paprika, and one teaspoon full of hot paprika (or two of the smoked version if you want the stroganoff less 'hot'/spicy (though the outcome isn't too hot and spicy). Add a tablespoon of tomato puree - I like that, Karina says the recipe is more authentic without it. Stir everything for a further 2 minutes. At this point the ingredients will almost be paste-like in consistency as you've used little olive oil, but be careful not to overcook this paste, because if it catches it may spoil the flavour. Then add a 400g tin of beef consommé, 150g of thinly sliced chestnut mushrooms, and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Bring the frying pan to the boil, and then lower heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate frying pan, fry 2 seasoned rump steaks on a high heat in not too much olive oil, enough to seal and cook the outsides, but only for 2 or 3 minutes each side, leaving the meat inside rare or medium rare (it will cook further in the frying pan when added). Don't add the meat yet. After the 10-12 minutes is up for the previous mixture, add 60g of thinly sliced cornichons, 110ml of half-fat crème fraiche, a couple of squeezes of lemon (but not too much, nothing like half a lemon, just 2 squeezes), and simmer. Finely chop 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley leaves and 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh tarragon leaves (or fresh chervil if you can get it) and add to the pan. Finely cut the steaks into thin strips with a steak knife or similar, and add to the pan with any meat juices. Add 30g of butter and stir in. Finally (optional) add a bottle cap or two of brandy, and simmer the meat for 10-15 minutes more, while you boil 75g of fusilli per person (or basmati rice if you prefer). Serve (you could decorate with a little more parsley and tarragon if you wished, but I didn't think it needed it. If you season the meat well and add any juices, you may not need to add more salt and pepper in the mixture (I didn't need any). Highly recommended

Macaroni Cheese: with basil, thyme, gruyere and parmesan. First of all (because it's time consuming) pluck the leaves off fresh thyme until you have about 6g of the fresh leaves. (This may take half an hour, so if in a hurry you could just use 12g of thyme stems, but I prefer the leaves in the final meal. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add 400g of macaroni (or personally I like fresh penne). Once boiling again, boil moderately for 6 minutes, then strain, rinse in a saucepan of cold water, strain again and leave. In another saucepan, warm 920g of full cream milk with the 6g of fresh thyme leaves and 24 basil leaves, chopped finely, and heat but don't boil. As the milk comes towards boiling point, take it off the hob and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees fan oven. Then melt 72g of butter and add 7 chopped cloves of garlic, finely chopped at the start (you could use a garlic press, or I like lightly frying all sides of the garlic cloves then when they are softened, finely slice and chop). Let the garlic and melted butter simmer and stir for 2 minutes. Add 80g of plain flour, heat and stir into a roux for 1 or 2 minutes. Then add the milk and stir until the mixture thickens, adding black pepper and a small amount of salt (half a teaspoon or to taste), a level tablespoon of Dijon mustard, the chopped basil, 50g of grated parmesan and 80g of grated gruyere. Place the macaroni or penne in a casserole dish, add the sauce mix, and stir it all in thoroughly. Top with grated parmesan and gruyere to taste, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees fan oven.

Chicken Adjika: You can get good Adjika marinate in Russian shops in London (like Kalinka at 35 Queens Street, close to Queensway Station) or on the Internet. It's an easy meal. Marinate 6 chicken thighs with a pot of Adjika (Georgian) Paste, making sure to salt and pepper all sides of the chickens first and leave for an hour before spreading the Adjika on all sides of the chicken, and leaving in a bowl, covered with clingfilm, ideally for 4 hours or overnight. Cook for 40 minutes at 180 degrees fan oven, skin side up, taking care to ensure each thigh is well-spread with a thin layer of adjika, and also taking care to baste the chicken with the juices at the 15 and 30 minute points, to stop the adjika turning too hard. Serve with white or brown basmati rice, drenched in any remaining juices in the pan. Personally I line the pan with foil prior to cooking. Highly recommended

Brussel Sprouts Gratin with Finocchiona Salami: Make a paste for the gratin, out of a third of a tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds, one crushed garlic clove, a couple of pinches of salt, one and a half tablespoons of olive oil, and a tablespoon of demerara sugar. Meanwhile put 500ml of double cram in a saucepan with two whole garlic cloves and a bay leaf, and bring to a simmer for five minutes on a medium low heat. Blanch 500g of Brussel sprouts in boiling water in a separate pan for three to four minutes to tenderise. In a frying pan, melt 20g of butter and fry the salami for 30 seconds, then add the sprouts (halved), and seasoning, and toss it all around in the melted butter for a minute. Then (removing the garlic cloves and bay leaf) pour in the cream, and then put the contents of the frying pan in a baking dish. To the gratin paste, add 70g of breadcrumbs, and 50g of grated parmesan cheese, stirring the contents in a mixing bowl. Scatter the gratin over the sprouts and salami in the baking dish, drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the gratin, and in a pre-heated oven at 180 (fan), cook for 25-30 minutes.

Large Hare in Creamy Sauce: Cut the hare into joints and pieces, fry at high heat to seal, then pressure cook for an hour and a half, in boiling water two thirds of the depth of the meat, with all spice, herb de provence and cloves, salt and pepper, and a lightly fried onion. After an hour of cooking, add 200ml of crème fraiche or sour cream, and sliced red pepper. Cook for a further half hour. Adapt to taste, adding further crème fraiche and heat/seasoning. Serve with boiled potatoes.

Chicken Chow Mein: Chicken Thighs cut into thin strips, coated in beaten egg white and cornflour, then boiled for 45 seconds to part-cook them. Pak Choi, mangetout, large spring onions, and a red pepper, all cut into strips. Sauce prepared, with light and dark soy sauce, a little sugar, mirin, and plenty of oyster sauce. Add fresh egg noodles to boiling water, separate them and remove them immediately, adding a little sesame oil. Heat olive oil in a large pan or wok, and when almost smoking hot, throw in the vegetables, toss as they reduce for a minute, then throw in the chicken, toss and cook for a further three or four minutes, then add the noodles and sauce mix, with a few more of the sliced green ends of the spring onions. Stir and toss the mixture, but only for a few minutes to keep some 'crunch' and freshness in the pak choi.

Grouse Casserole in Gin: Marinated 2 grouse in 200-300ml gin (and 200ml of rum, optional), thyme, a level tablespoon of light brown soft sugar (but no more than that), salt and black pepper. Then seared the grouse in a very hot heavy pan to seal in juices. After that I stuffed the grouse with a heaped tablespoon of butter and a heaped tablespoon of redcurrant jelly (or could use cranberry sauce), wrapped in 4 rashers of streaky bacon each, and cooked in a pre-heated oven at 200C (fan) for 18 minutes to part cook. Added the meat juices and 390ml of vegetable stock to the marinade liquid, and then sieved all the liquid into a heavy casserole dish, added a diced carrot and some of the vegetable water to ensure the meat is covered, two small diced and fried red onions, four or five slices of chorizo (lightly fried and quartered in small chunks), two more tablespoons of redcurrant jelly, a lemon de-pipped and sliced in three, the de-boned grouse meat and a tablespoon of Adjika paste. A little more salt and pepper to taste. Taste and check flavour halfway through. Cooked at 160C for 90 minutes, initially without lid until boiling, then with lid, and served with boiled potatoes and Dalwhinnie malt whisky. Highly recommended. Plums and custard to follow.

Moroccan Roast Lamb with Ras el Hanout, and chickpeas with a spicy sauce: Moisten a half leg of lamb with water, then smear it with copious amounts of Ras el Hanout, adding a little salt, to taste. Drizzle a little olive oil lightly over the lamb. Place in a roasting tray, covered with foil, and cook for two hours at 170 degrees (fan). Fry an onion, adding sliced red pepper, and a sliced courgette. Meanwhile heat up 2 tins of chickpeas in a little water for about 10 minutes, draining off the water into the frying pan with the vegetables. Add half a tube of tomato paste, and add 2 heaped teaspoons of Harissa paste. Add salt and black pepper to the sauce to taste, and serve up: lamb, chickpeas, and spicy sauce. Highly recommended. Enjoyable with a glass of red wine.

Fillet Steak in Creamy Pepper Sauce: Leave the steaks out of the fridge for half an hour. Cover them with 1 tbsp of black pepper, 2 tbsp of rainbow pepper, and a little salt. Pat the pepper into the steak, and make sure the steaks are nicely coated. Heat up oil to a high heat in a frying pan and add the steaks, frying each side for 3 minutes for a medium rare steak or 4 minutes each side for a well done steak. Place the steaks in a bowl and cover with foil. Fry 4 finely diced shallots (previously prepared) in the pan and oil used for the steaks, for about 90 seconds, until softened but not coloured. Add 75 to 100ml of brandy and bring to the boil for 3 minutes to evaporate a lot of the brandy. Add 300ml of double cream, bring back to the boil, then add the meat juices from the steaks you had set aside. As the sauce starts to thicken, whisk in a knob of butter, one and a half tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley, one and a half tablespoons of wholegrain mustard, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of black pepper (to taste). Add a little salt if wanted. Place the two beef fillet steaks in the pan and cover with the sauce, basting them and retrieving any lost heat from their time out of the pan. Serve the steaks with previously fried mushrooms and an onion and 2 shallots, and mashed potato. This is a really delicious recipe! Highly recommended.

Creamy Mushrooms and Bacon: Finely dice a dozen chestnut mushrooms, and an onion, and fry in a large pan, adding diced bacon from a block. Stir in 300ml of crème fraiche, add some diced celery, and bring to a vigorous boil before simmering for half an hour. Season to taste. Serve with boiled potatoes. A simple and delicious meal. A pepper could be added, and a parsley garnish would work well.

Harissa Lamb with Chickpeas: Fry 2 onions until browning, adding a diced red pepper and green pepper as you fry, and 2 red chillis. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp of parsley or coriander, 2 tbsp of cumin, 2 tbsp of harissa paste, one and a half tbsp of tomato paste, a little ginger, zest of a lemon and juice from half a lemon, 2 tbsp of soft honey, and leave the contents of the frying pan to simmer for half an hour on a low heat while lightly frying lamb, and adding it to the mixture. Season to taste, with salt and black pepper. A little white wine could be usefully added if available. Heat up chickpeas, and serve the meal. Samuel Smith's organic pale ale makes a lovely accompaniment.

Lamb Vindaloo: (details to follow) Highly recommended.

Slow-Cooked Roast Belly of Pork: Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes and then scar the skin deeply, to open meat up to the top of the flesh. Salt and black pepper to taste, on meat side, and also along the top and trickled into the deep scars. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 160 (fan) for 2 hours, basting the juice of 2 lemons over the crackling half-way through. Meanwhile slow roast some potatoes in the top of the oven after 75 minutes, and after the pork has been in for 2 hours, turn up the heat to 180 (fan) for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with apple sauce, fried red onions and a red pepper and carrots and sprouts, along with gravy. Roasted parsnips as an extra. By this time the meat should be melty and soft and very delicious. Highly recommended.

Beef Stroganoff: Fry strips of beef (we used minute steaks), and also fry an onion and gently fry sliced chestnut mushrooms to brown and soften them. Then add 300ml of sour cream, and add salt and black pepper to taste, with a little garlic, a little beef stock, parsley and a tiny pinch of nutmeg. Serve with pasta (we used fusilli). If available, a dash of brandy can be added but we didn't on this occasion. Highly recommended. Served with a good Rioja.

Chinese Chilli Beef: Marinate the strips of beef in light soy sauce and cornflour. In heavy pan, a mixture of rape seed oil and sesame oils and heat up to maximum electric hob, and then dip the beef in cornflour again and fry the beef for one or two minutes to brown it, then take it off. Add a sliced pepper, some bean sprouts, 2 birds eye or other Chinese chillis(Sichuan or long Chinese chillis) (or you could use Kashmiri chillis adding more because they're not so hot), some small black beans and green peas (a selection of all these vegetables according to what you have). Soften Chinese noodles in boiled water for a while (if in hard, dry package) just to soften for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the noodles and fry for a further minute or two. Then add light soy sauce, a tablespoon of rice vinegar, and a little sugar or honey. Add more a little water or white wine if you need it, but not too much because you want the meat slightly sticky in texture. Fry the meat for two minutes in a second frying pan, then add it to the overall mixture. Highly recommended. Wonderfully delicious.

Chicken Legs in Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce: The Carolina reaper version is only for people who handle extreme heat, or substitute with a habanero sauce if you like it less hot. Carefully break up 4 reaper pods (or even as little as half a teaspoon if you don't enjoy the heat) with sugar, brown or barbecue sauce and a little ketchup, for a kind of hot-wing coating. Coat the chicken and place the chicken and sauce in a steamer for 20 minutes, then finish in the oven at 180 (fan) for 15 minutes (underside first and turning halfway) or until ready.

Smoky Whisky Chilli: Place some oil in a pressure cooker. Seal diced beef with onions and chipotle sauce and a drop of habanero sauce. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a cut up pepper and some jalapenos (and chipotle flakes or Ancho powder if you want) and some de Arbol or other chillis with a hint of smokiness to them. Add water so it's just liquid enough not to burn, and steam for 20-30 minutes. Then open the cooker and add between 50 and 100 ml of Jura or Islay whisky or Jack Daniels, and a large tablespoon of peanut butter and tomato paste. If it tastes too sweet, correct with a dash of Worcester Sauce or vinegar. Add a tin of kidney or black beans and a tin of sweet corn. Other seasoning to taste during the process. Serve with boiled rice. Highly recommended.

Piri-Piri Pork Loin Slices: A simple, speedy meal. Place oil in a heavy frying pan on a high heat; meanwhile put salt and pepper to taste on one side of the meat, and add 150ml of medium piri-piri sauce. Flip the pork into the pan, sauce side down, and fry to seal and slightly brown - meanwhile salt and pepper and another 150ml of piri-piri sauce on the top side. Flip over and fry that side as well. Then flip a few times, spooning in the piri-piri sauce that seeps into the pan juices, reducing the heat as the pork browns. Serve with boiled potatoes to counter the heat, and selected vegetables.

Fried Cod in a Lahore Curried Batter: This is a delicious, spicy fish meal. Cut the cod (or other fish) into large chunks, double coat with egg, flour and curried batter, and deep fry. Serve with rice.

Lamb Iskender: Slices of uncooked lamb with blended onion, interlaced with layers of lamb mince (in proportions of 3 to 2), slow-cooked at 120 for 1 hour, and then 140 for 1 hour. Served with a tomato, chopped yellow pepper, and pea sauce; and with optional plain yoghurt; or sour cream with garlic; and assorted warm bread rolls.

 

Alcohol favourites:

Brandy: Cognac Maxime Trijol - VSOP - Cognac Grande Champagne - Premier Cru de Cognac Highly recommended as it is a superb cognac. I have never been a brandy drinker but this one is really enjoyable.

Whisky: Talisker - Highly recommended and in particular, the 15-year-old Distiller's Edition, which is Very highly recommended. Knockando. Oban. Dalwhinnie (but not all versions, I like the most standard version which is delightful and smooth). Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve is one of my favourites but you're paying very high prices. Whisky tastes are very personal: it's simply what you like. For a cask strength, Glenfarclas 105 is gorgeous in my opinion. I am not very into the peaty, smoky Islay-type whiskies, but Bunnahabhain Ceobanach is lovely for when I do feel like a peaty dram.

Liqueurs: I have always loved Green Chartreuse, but only in very occasional and small quantities.

Wines and Port: I don't have very developed tastes with wine. Generally speaking I love good champagne. I like easy drinking Rosé wine. With red or white wines, not being expert, I often play safe with a Californian or Australian bottle. I do like nice Chateau Neuf de Pape. I also like good-quality Rioja. I only like white wine if it's quite dry. I've always enjoyed an occasional glass of Port, especially on a winter's evening, with cheese, and reading a Scottish climbing book!

Beer: My all time favourite is Samuel Smith's Organic Pale Ale - Very Highly recommended. I also like Rogue Juniper Beer from the USA - Highly recommended. For week to week beer drinking (say one bottle of beer with some meals) I choose Abbot's Reserve - Highly recommended - and also like Doom Bar.

 

The meals and alcohol descriptions on this page are spread out through the year. Other days I'll enjoy beans on toast, or a frankfurter sandwich with mustard. We eat well, but good food is such a pleasure. My alcohol levels are modest, though I've listed some expensive favourites. Above all, I just find cooking really relaxing. It's my way of switching off and winding down. And it's such a pleasure to make nice food, especially cooking for other people.

 

 

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