Birthday Meal

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Pipers Farm Rump Steak,
Cartmel Village Sticky Toffee Pudding ,with homemade toffee ice cream.
Woolsery Goats Cheese, Monte Enebro Cheese, Dorset Knobs.
Willie Harcourt Cooze Milk of the Gods chocolate
Union Coffee

The steak is as good as it gets flavour wise, properly aged, good breed, superb animal welfare from an amazing farm, via a first class butcher.
The ice cream I made was a fantastic result, proper crème anglaise base mixed with toffee sauce. Both recipes from Gordon Ramsay’s Just Desserts Book, the best cookery book ever. Cartmel Sticky toffee pudding is amazing. Possibly a toffee overload, but it’s my birthday.
Chandos Deli pointed me to Monte Enbro (what a find). Like Mark Hix/Neals Yard and others I am a big fan of Woolsery Cheese.
Read some of the tasting notes and what Willie is doing with his products. Then you will see why it’s my birthday chocolate. I still love and buy Valrhona, Amedei and others, but Willie wins out with the bean flavor. A cylinder of Willies 100% should be in every store cupboard.
Union Coffee, is a pretty good way to end things.

I love putting cheese on my Knob

I love putting cheese on my Knob

Don't use any other eggs, do follow Gordon Ramsay's recipes and techniques.

Don’t use any other eggs, do follow Gordon Ramsay’s recipes and techniques.

Anjum Anand- Chicken Burger

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Cheap and easy to make, one of if not the tastiest burgers I have had.

Cheap and easy to make, one of if not the tastiest burgers I have had.

Another superb meal courtesy of Anjum Anand.
Chicken Burger. It’s perfectly balanced with spice and herbs.
There are so many people on the net, bigging up burgers from London and beyond. I have tried some of them, with varying results certainly varying in consistency of quality, in a few cases.
Anjum’s Chicken burger was up there with the best(Gordon Ramsay-Bread Street Kitchen) ticking every box. We put sweet potato chips on the side. These were cooked in the oven alongside the burger. They took a little longer than the burger.
Here is a link to the recipe

http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes/21085/chicken-burgers-recipe

I Love Curry

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Mussels with Saffron

Mussels with Saffron


Saffron Mussels : yet another superb dish from Anjum Anands ,I Love Curry book. The previously made Bengali Fish Curry was also superb. My mother cooked one of her vegetable curries , again superb results. I am really looking forward to trying more of her recipes.
Bengali yogurt fish

Bengali yogurt fish

The Teign Mussels were also bang on, better than the ones I foraged from that area. Teign Mussels beat Exmouth mussels for sure.
My chilli plant cost £3 (reduced from £5)from Waitrose, just the right type for Indian food. Its giving a fantastic yield of chilli, the second batch are coming through as we speak.
I followed the mussels, with coconut and lime ice cream. The recipe from Nadia and Cesar Rodens ‘Ice Kitchen’ Book. Originally an Ice Lolly recipe . The end result a cross between ice cream and sorbet. Great flavour combo very refreshing. Homemade ice cream can be a hit and miss affair, but it’s well worth doing. Don’t bother with magimix ice cream makers. My cheap one is not the best , but it’s better than the magimix one I used before.

Ribs

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I have at late tried two lots of spare ribs, using Heston’s simple, brine first recipe.
While the first method I used to cook ribs was good, I think the ingredients were wrong. Too much Soy sauce flavour, I think.
So my next rib mix was an experiment, using my own recipe, interesting but not quite right. I tried to use Jack Daniels in the mix. Maple tomato puree and soy. I have a bottle of JD, I don’t drink alcohol, it needs using. I have used it in Eat like a Girls Truffle recipe, very good call. But it’s a dirty hit and difficult to fit it in other recipes. Ideas welcome.
A good Scottish Whisky is easier to work with. Mussels (Jamie Oliver) Venison/Stag (my own sauce) Cranachan all have it as an ingredient.
Maple Syrup is a great addition. Don’t buy the brand I bought from the supermarket (Buckwood). You may find this difficult as Supermarkets put a rubbish brand next to their own brand. The end results being you buy their own brand. Not too much of a problem in Waitrose as there in house can often be good quality. Some of the other supermarkets its bad news. I will let you know when I find a good quality one.
Sugar is cheap and underrated; you may find some molasses or brown sugar in the cupboard. White sugar is worth using, before you go unnecessarily spending money.
Tomato puree is another classic marinade ingredient. Honey Ginger soy Garlic, Asian flavours work well. Americans love their ribs so Tex Mex is popular. There are lots of ideas on the net. Using what you have in house/can afford/ is in season/ or good quality and price, is the best way to go. You might want to adapt a recipe to your ingredients.
Here is a link to the recipe I used which was to strong in soy flavour. I used Dark soy perhaps light would have worked better. Generally though light is for cooking Dark is for marinades.

http://www.waitrose.com/content/waitrose/en/home/recipes/recipe_directory/h/heston-s-asian-styleribs.html

Here is another , more simpler, easy one.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/honey_roast_ribs_with_64823

Brine your ribs first as bellow, cook as bellow. Experiment with marinades.

For the brine
2 litres water
200g salt
2 hits of Pork Rack Of Loin Ribs
Method
1. For the brine: heat 1 litre of water in a large pan and bring to the boil. Add the salt and whisk until fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour in 1 litre of cold water. Allow to cool completely.
2. Pour this brine into a large plastic container, add the ribs and cover with the lid. Place the ribs in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and place in a bowl. Drain the brined ribs and transfer to the marinade, making sure they are well coated in the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
4. Transfer the ribs into a wide shallow pan with the marinade and add stock. I used a stock cube to make the stock 100g roughly 100ml. Over a medium heat, allow this to come to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Remove the ribs and bring the marinade to the boil and reduce to a thick sauce consistency.
5. Before serving, place the ribs on a hot barbecue for 5-10 minutes, brush regularly with the thickened marinade (I put them in a moderate to hot oven).Serve the ribs topped with the sauce.
Good luck, If you can’t afford good ribs buy some cheap ones. Most supermarkets do them. The marinade will give great results despite the quality of meat being not amazing. That said ribs should be a cheap cut of meat.

Second try, using butchers ribs.

Second try, using butchers ribs.

First try, basic ribs from Waitrose. nice colour, very sticky.

First try, basic ribs from Waitrose. nice colour, very sticky.

Fish Balti

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Fish Balti ,simple salad, Elderflower cordial.

Fish Balti ,simple salad, Elderflower cordial.

I have been making fish curries recently. I have even used a shop bought paste made by Pataks , not something I usually do. I recommend Patak brand if you choose the same route. This one used Pollack, I have used ling( I browned the ling first as it holds firm shape).Starting with a base of onion garlic or onion garlic ginger, I had no ginger. Then adding tinned coconut milk, what a result. I now have an off cut bag in the freezer for fish curry. The other thing I did was to marinade the fish in ¼ – ½ a lime and pinch of salt, for half an hour to 1 hour,then using something clean to pat it dry(tea towel kitchen paper). This is something I saw Atul Kochhar doing on T.V. It makes a great difference. Don’t forget to taste your curry as you may or may not need to use salt. Coriander at the end if you have any , I did not.
This would be great using prawns or frozen fish (not everyone gets fresh fish like I do). You could add peas or green beans to this. A simple salad is needed for the side(no dressing) or just a flat bread or plain rice. I have Elderflowercordial in the picture as well. I guess lemonade (real deal) is popular in India. I must research this.
Which paste so many to choose, I used Balti. But feel free to experiment.

Pimped up Fishfingers

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Easy pimped up fish fingers: Bashed up peas with mint and lemon juice. Smeared on a Mexican wrap ( the commercial El Paso ones in the supermarkets are very good ). Fish fingers (Jamie Oliver). Salsa on the side, salsa is a must in summer, no cooking required. Taste as you add ingredients. Tomato coriander/mint chili oil seasoning lemon juice, lime, avocado, sugar/cactus syrup , shallot, onion, the list is endless.

Tasty Quick

Tasty Quick

Bowl and rolling pin will also work well

Bowl and rolling pin will also work well

bashed up pea, mint ,squeeze of lemon

bashed up pea, mint ,squeeze of lemon


Wahaca and Thomasina Miers is a great place for Salsa ideas.

As for bashing up use a bowl and rolling pin, rough and ready, great results.

Elderflower

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Take any advantage of sunshine in the UK. It is thin on the ground.
Elderflower needs sunshine, so pick it when the sun’s out. Nice cream bloom, open flowers.
Cordial is so easy to make, it’s a crime not to. There are many recipes on the internet. Some with citric acid some without.
Homemade elderflower cordial is so much better than anything you can buy. Serve with sparkling water for a refreshing drink or sparkling wine for a delicious cocktail.
Ingredients
• 30 elderflower heads , bugs removed
• 1.7litres/3 pints boiling water
• 900g/2lb caster sugar
• Juice and zest of 2 unwaxed oranges,
• Juice and zest of 2 unwaxed lemons,
Preparation method
1. Heat zest juice sugar and water, until sugar has dissolved.
2. Pour over the Elderflower heads. A bowl or plastic bucket is OK for this.
3. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. I put a bag over the top to keep the flies off.
4. Strain through some muslin, or a J cloth and transfer to sterilised bottles( I use hot water to sterilise) The smell is superb.
Elderflower cordial made this way will not last a long time. So be careful it does not ferment in the bottle. I have usually drunk it before this happens. Freezing some in a plastic bottle is a great idea.
My mother used to make Elderflower champagne, this is one of the whoopiest yup yup things in the universe. Seriously if you get the chance, your taste buds will love you forever. Also I made Lime Elderflower and Cucumber Granita, in this heat it is very welcome.

June is Elderflower

June is Elderflower

Taste of the sea

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Crab and sea vegetable risotto was the end result of a trip to Beesands , Britannia on the beach supplying the crab. They are worth a visit. Crabs are caught by their boat from Start Bay. They are kept in holding tanks. Very alive crab, caught as locally as possible, very sustainable and ethical. Superb end product.
I used Florence fennel ,banana shallot, Ferron rice( it’s the best),Noilly Pratt, Home made crab stock, Waitrose trimmed sea vegetables, Maldon sea salt, Bart Organic Pepper, Roddas Cornish butter(even with the salt its superb).
Jamie Oliver is the best guide for risotto. But you do need to use homemade stock, not stock cubes. See Gordon Ramsay for the best stock recipes.

Start Bay, superb sea produce.

Start Bay, superb sea produce.


http://www.roddas.co.uk http://www.britanniashellfish.co.uk
Creamy Risotto

Creamy Risotto

Pots and bait

Pots and bait

SS Chicken

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Simple Asian flavours make a chicken leg in to something special.
Sweet chilli sauce, bashed garlic, bashed ginger, whole star anise, a little soy sauce, any plain oil (I used rapeseed). Mix it all up; cover a chicken leg in the marinade. Leave for as long as you have got, 30 seconds – 24hrs.
Put all of this in foil, put it in an oven at 180/190 after 20 mins open the top of the foil, baste return to the oven, do this until nicely brown and glazed.
Garnish with chopped spring onion or coriander if you have them.
Serve with white rice.I like Jasmine, but Basmati is fine. You can add peas or/and chopped spring onion.
But what does the SS stand for Simply Stunning? Sunday supper? Speedy Supper? Perhaps it’s German?

If it’s brown it’s cooked, if it’s black it’s fucked!

If it’s brown it’s cooked, if it’s black it’s fucked!


SS Chicken done!

SS Chicken done!