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Cinnamon French Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 80ml milk (semi-skimmed or whole)
  • 40ml double cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 thick slices of brioche
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Optional to serve – berries, icing sugar, honey, syrup etc.

Method

  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon
  • Lay the brioche slices in a shallow dish and pour the egg mixture over them
  • Allow the slices to soak for 2-3mins then flip and leave for another 2-3mins. Make sure all parts of the brioche are soaked.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat until foaming
  • Fry each slice for 3mins on each side or until golden brown

Swedish “Ikea” Meatballs with Creamy Gravy

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people)

For the meatballs:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500-600g mince (beef, pork or a mix of both)
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 50ml milk or single cream
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 100ml white wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2tbsp single cream

Serve with creamy mash and lingonberry jam or redcurrant jelly

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200C/180C Fan
  • Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl or mixer and mix until combined.
  • Roll meatballs about the size of golf balls and place on a baking tray. Cook for around 20 mins or until browned
  • Once the balls are in the oven, get your mash going. Peel and boil your potatoes.
  • Now for the sauce. Add the butter to a large frying pan (make sure it will hold the meatballs later) and once it melts, add the flour. Mix together to make a roux and stir for a few minutes.
  • Add the white wine and whisk vigorously until it’s all incorporated.
  • Gradually add the beef stock, mixing along the way to avoid lumps.
  • Let the sauce thicken up on a low heat and then add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5-10mins while you mash up your potatoes.

Filling for Butternut Squash Ravioli

Makes enough to fill about 30-35 small ravioli

Ingredients

  • 350g peeled and chopped butternut squash (2cm cubes)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 15-20g pecorino/grana padano cheese
  • Ground nutmeg/ground cinnamon

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
  • Place the butternut squash in a large bowl with about 2stp olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix it up.
  • Tip the pieces onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 18-20mins.
  • Meanwhile, add the onion slices to the bowl used to season the squash. Drizzle another teaspoon of olive oil and season to taste.
  • Once the butternut squash has had 20mins, sprinkle the onion slices over it and cook for another 10mins.
  • Leave it to cool for 5mins and then tip it into a high sided bowl. Blend it into a puree with a hand blender.
  • One completely cool, stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I also like to add a dash of ground cinnamon.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4-6 people.
Chef’s tip: Make this at least 6 hours before you plan on eating it. The flavours will develop the longer you leave it.

Ingredients

  • 500g beef mince (a bit less/more works just fine if you can’t get the exact weight)
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1/2 a celery stick, diced small
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tins of plum tomatoes 
  • 1x 200g tube of tomato puree
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry basil
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Add the mince and use a whisk to break it up and remove any chunks. Season the mince with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the mince until all of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown/stick to the pan (don’t worry, it will come off). This will take your bolognese to another level of flavour.
  • Add the red wine and cook for about a minute to release the alcohol, then add the onion, garlic, celery and rosemary.
  • Cook for another 5mins or so to soften the onions then add the tomatoes. Break them up with a spoon/masher/knife if you want smaller chunks.
  • Take one of the tins and fill it 2/3 with water, and add that to your sauce.
  • Add about 2/3 of the puree (you might need to add a bit more later), a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and a good sprinkle of basil and oregano – I’d say around a tablespoon of each.
  • Re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn down to simmer with a lid on for as long as you possibly can leave it. Minimum should be an hour but if you can leave it for hours, occasionally stirring it then even better.
  • Taste it every time you stir and see if you need to add any more seasoning/puree.
  • When you put your water on to boil for the pasta, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce to really bring it all together.
  • Serve with your choice of pasta and maybe some garlic bread 😉

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves 4. Great with fresh cream or custard.

Ingredients

For the puddings

  • 125g pitted dates
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 60ml whole or semi-skimmed milk

For the toffee sauce

  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 80g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 60ml single or double cream

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
  • Grease 4 ramekins
  • Soak the dates in the boiled water for a few minutes, then drain and whizz into a paste.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg a bit at a time, making sure to beat it in well.
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl, then add a third to the mixture and fold it in.
  • Add half of the milk and mix it well.
  • Continue with the next third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and the final third of the dry.
  • Mix in the date paste.
  • Split the mixture between the four ramekins and bake for 20-25mins.
  • The sauce only takes 10 minutes so you can start as the puddings are almost done or let the puddings cool and use them later on.
  • Add the butter, sugar and 40ml of the cream to a pan and melt over a low heat.
  • Stir consistently for 7-10mins until all of the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is a dark toffee colour.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 20ml of cream.
  • Turn the puddings out onto a plate/bowl and spoon the toffee sauce on top.

Apple and Blackberry crumble

Serves 4-6 people

Chef’s Tip: Try my custard recipe which goes perfectly with this crumble!

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3-4 cooking apples
  • 100-120g blackberries
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g demerera sugar (or golden caster sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the crumble:

  • 50g golden caster sugar 
  • 100g plain flour
  • 80g butter
  • Optional: 1tbsp soft brown sugar
  • Optional: 2tbsp ground almonds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
  • Peel and chop the apples into small cubes.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a medium/large saucepan and melt together over a medium heat until it turns into a light caramel (around 3mins).
  • Stir in the apples and cook for 3-5mins.
  • Add the blackberries and cinnamon and cook for another 3mins.
  • Cover with a lid and remove from the heat to sit for another few minutes while you make the topping.
  • Add the sugar, flour and butter to a mixing bowl. 
  • At this point you can also add the optional ingredients which I highly recommend!
  • Use your hands to combine the ingredients until they are crumbly. 
  • Sprinkle the topping over your filling and bake for 10mins or until golden and crunchy on top.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 large onion, finely grated
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, needles chopped
  • 250ml red wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1kg Desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Parmesan, for grating
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan
  • Peel and chop the potatoes, put them in a large pan of salted cold water and get them boiling.
  • In the mean time, heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Season and fry the lamb until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
  • Stir in the onion, carrot and garlic for 1-2 mins.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and herbs, and cook for another 2mins.
  • Pour in the red wine and cook until it’s almost evaporated.
  • Check your potatoes and when they’re done, drain them. Let them sit in the colander to dry off.
  • Add the chicken stock, bring it to a gentle simmer and cook until it’s thickened up.
  • Mash up your potatoes, and stir in the 2 egg yolks.
  • Add a decent helping of grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the sauce to a small oven dish, cover with the potatoes and then grate more parmesan on top.
  • Fluff the potatoes up with a fork and bake in the oven for around 20mins, or until golden and bubbling.

Perfect Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 500ml milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter for frying

Method

  • Whisk all of the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth
  • Rub your frying pan with butter over a medium heat
  • Use a ladle to spoon some batter into the pan and turn the pan to spread it around
  • Flip the pancake once it’s browned underneath and skates around the pan
  • Serve with toppings of your choice

Slow Roast Pork Belly with Gravy

Ingredients

  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1-1.5kg pork belly
  • 1tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and bashed
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 3 bay leaves (ideally fresh)
  • 1 medium/large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 325ml white wine
  • 500-750ml chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180C (160C Fan – I never cook this on Fan because it doesn’t go crispy).
  • Score the skin of the pork diagonally both ways to create a diamond pattern. Don’t go too far through.
  • Rub the skin all over with sea salt. Be generous with this, get it in the cracks and really rub it in. This will help form a nice crispy crackling.
  • Heat some oil in a large roasting tray on the hob and add the fennel bulb and 3 garlic cloves. Cook for a few minutes to release the flavours.
  • Add half the fennel seeds, star anise and cardamom pods and cook for another few minutes
  • Add the bay leaves
  • Push these to one side and add the pork skin side down to the pan. Cook for at least 5mins to turn it golden brown
  • Turn the pork over, season the skin again with a bit of salt and sprinkle the remaining fennel seeds on top.
  • Pour in the wine around the pork, being careful not to get the skin wet and scrape the flavour from the bottom of the pan. Let the wine bubble to reduce and cook away the alcohol.
  • In the mean time add the carrot around the pork – this will add a nice sweetness to the gravy.
  • Add the chicken stock to come up to the fat layer just under the skin and bring it to a boil. It’s important to get it boiling before it goes in the oven.
  • Cook in the oven for 2.5 hours.
  • Remove the pork and set it aside to rest.
  • In the mean time, add the vegetables and juices from the tray to the hob on a medium heat, add a little flour until it starts to thicken up. If it’s too thick, add a splash of water or wine. You can get creative by adding a dash of cranberry sauce or some gravy granules, more wine etc. Just keep tasting it until you love it 🙂

Home Made Tikka Masala

Serves 4-5 people

You will need

  • A large high sided frying pan
  • Wooden skewers
  • Garlic press
  • Fine toothed grater

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon
  • 125g plain yoghurt
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced (use the grater)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika (not smoked)

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika (unsmoked)
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 800g tomato passata
  • 300ml water
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Method

  • Slice the chicken into bite sized chunks and combine in a bowl with all of the marinade ingredients. Stir until evenly coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 230C Fan/260C
  • Skewer the marinated chicken onto wooden skewers and place them over an oven dish. Make sure the ends of the skewers are over the edges of the dish so that the chicken isn’t touching the dish at all.
  • Bake the chicken for around 15mins until slightly browned
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, and saute the onion, ginger and garlic until tender but not browned
  • Add the spices and fry for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly
  • Stir in the puree
  • Add the tomato sauce and water then bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins.
  • Pour in the coconut milk gradually, tasting as you go until you’re happy – you don’t have to use the whole lot.
  • Mix in the chicken and leave to simmer.
  • Cook your rice/naan and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander!