Friday, 26 December 2014

Fanny Cradock Clip

Fanny Cardock was one of the first TV Chef's. This clip was the last she made for the BBC as they terminated her contract. As you watch the clip you'll understand why.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta

The other day I was in Waitrose and bought some Italian spicy sausages and was wondering what to do with them, Seeing as they were Italian I thought it has to be with pasta then – yeah I know original....NOT :-). Rather than just cutting up the sausages I thought it might be good to just use the meat. I removed the skin and put made clumps of sausage rather then neat meatballs, to try and give it a more rustic feel.

  • 4 Spicy Italian Sausages (or any other spicy sausage)
  • Big splash of extra virgin oil
  • 2 Small onions finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • 3 Peppers (use a mix of colours)
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Remove the skins from the sausage and make balls or clumps of sausage meat

Heat a pan and gently brown the sausage meat. Do a few at the time so they brown and not cook. Once done remove to a plate and do another portion.

Once completed throw in the extra virgin oil into the pan and add the onions. Cook for about three minutes and then add the garlic and chilli (the chilli is optional – but I like the extra kick the chilli provides)

Once the onions are soft add the mixed peppers and cook for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, sausage meat, bay leaf and season

Cook for about 10-20 minutes and serve with pasta.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Morrocan Chicken Stew

I was asked to go to Dubai for 2 months in October 2012 and ended up staying two years. But as I was so busy I didn't write much on my blog, even though I was being exposed to some amazing foods and great restaurants. My passion never left, but I just didn't have time to write much

So, what is my first post about, is it about the local Emirati food, or the spicy flavours from the large Indian or Pakistani population or even some exotic Filipino recipe – no of course not, although this is a middle eastern dish, but it's roots are more Moroccan than Emirati.

It's a very simple recipe – but it does need at least an hour to cook and as I'm using dried chickpeas, they need to be cooked for about 90 minutes after soaking for 8 hours. So this recipe needs a bit of planning.

  • 75g dried chickpeas
  • 75g blanched almonds
  • 500g diced, skinned and boned chicken
  • 50g butter/margarine
  • ½ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 Spanish onions (red onions if you can't get Spanish)
  • 900ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 Cinnamon stock
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • lemon juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to season

Put the dried chickpeas in water and soak over night or a minimum of 8 hours

Once soaked, drain and rinse. Take the chickpeas and blanched almonds and place into a pan of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes and then turn down the heat and simmer for another 80 minutes. Once cooked, drain and place to one side.

Place the diced chicken, butter and half the saffron into a casserole dish and heat until the butter has melted.

Place in the onions and stock and bring to a rapid boil

Once boiling add the chickpeas, blanched almonds and cinnamon stick.

Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes.

Once cooked, take out the chicken and place to one side and keep warm, being careful not to carry on cooking them as the chicken will dry out.

Turn up the heat to a rapid boil and bring the liquid to half the amount.

When you have reduced the liquid, throw in the chopped parsley, the other half of the saffron and lemon juice.

Put the chicken on a plate and pour over the liquid.

Place the chicken back in and serve, with rice, couscous or as I am doing roasted vegetables with quinoa.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Chicken Adobo

I've now been in Dubai for 18 months and I have been really enjoying the vast array of foods, due to the fact that Dubai survives on immigration. Each nationality is therefore catered for by the local restaurants and supermarkets. My favourite is Indian which has actually become a staple for me. But as my work colleague pointed out that there is also other great foods, one being Filipino.

This version of Adobo was given to me by my colleague and was told that is a popular dish in the Philippines and also very simple to make. This is actually the second times I've made this dish, the first being a disaster because I stirred the ingredients whilst cooking. This apparently affects the vinegar, which overpowered my first attempt. So it wasn't that simple :-).The second time came out a lot better.

Also I do not have any measuring jugs and so guess the amount of liquid, but it's 50% soy and 50% vinegar. I had a lot of liquid so cooked it without a lid to reduce the liquid to almost nothing. Also if you can get Filipino soy sauce and vinegar it give a slightly different taste, as the soy is sweeter than Chinese soy source and the vinegar is cloudy and not clear, but do not worry if you cannot.

4 pieces of chicken (can be boned or left on but thighs are best)
50% soy sauce
50% white vinegar
4/5 crushed garlic cloves
10 black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
(serves 2)

Add all the ingredients into a bowl and marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes, but the longer the better, as left it overnight

Then place into a pan and bring to the boil (do not stir until it is boiling). Then turn down the heat until the liquid and reduced to almost nothing.

I am serving it with brown basmati rice (because it's healthier) but jasmine rice is normally the preferred rice.

How simple

Monday, 24 February 2014

Poached Mackerel

Since I am on my own in Dubai I have been able to eat lots of foods that I would find difficult to be able to eat when at home because my partner would not like them. One thing that I have really been enjoying is fish and I've been making the most of it. In the UAE, like the UK the array fish is vast and but most of I've not heard of before, like milk fish, king fish to name a couple. So it was nice to see Mackerel in my local supermarket as it reminded me of home. Although these mackerel where smaller, they still had the beautiful marking as the ones in get in the UK.

When I get to cook a wonderful fish like Mackerel I like it plain and simple. I would just place the fish into foil sitting on some lemon slices, add some seasoning and then just throw into oven for about 10-15 minutes. This time I wanted to do try something different and decided to try poaching which I have never tried before. This is a very simple recipe and works well with Mackerel. I'm serving it with grilled potatoes wedges (a healthy version of chips) and steamed vegetables, as I wanted simple accompanying flavours to allow the fish to shine. Apologies for the photos – not my strong point.

Two things though, do not steam the vegetables over the poaching fish and it’s mackerel so expect a LOT of bones – but worth the pain :-)

4 small or 2 large mackerels
1 onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp vinegar
(serves 2)

Just place all the ingredients in a pan with cold water.

Bring to the boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer for 15 to 30 minutes and serve.

See I said it was easy.....