Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Chicken Fricassee with New Potatoes and Asparagus


1 tbsp Groundnut Oil

4 lean Smoked Back Bacon rashers, chopped and rind removed

6 skinless Chicken Breast fillets

700g/1lb 9oz New Potatoes, thickly sliced

250g/9oz Asparagus Spears, trimmed and diagonally sliced (keep tips whole)

225ml/8fl oz dry fruity Cider (or ½ a can)

1 tbsp Cornflour, blended with a little water

200ml Crème Fraiche

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf Parsley


Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the bacon for 5 minutes on a medium heat until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the chicken to the pan, then lightly fry for 4-5 minutes to brown on both sides (you may need to brown the chicken in two batches if your pan is not large enough).

Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender.

Cook the asparagus in a steamer over the potatoes for 6-8 minutes or microwave in a covered dish with 2 tbsp water for 4-5 minutes.

Pour the cider over the chicken, bring to the boil then reduce heat.

Put the bacon back in the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Stir in the drained vegetables and sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Lavender Sorbet


2 ripe Ogen Melons

juice of 2 Lemons

120gm/4oz Caster Sugar

15gm/½ oz Lavender Flowers (fresh or dried)

2 Egg whites

½ bottle dry sparkling Wine or Champagne


Liquidise the melons, lemon juice and caster sugar.

Infuse the lavender flowers for twelve minutes only in the sparkling wine which has been gently warmed.

Drain and press through a sieve.

Add this liquid to the puree followed by the egg whites.

Add a drop or so of blue vegetable colouring and put in an ice-cream machine until done, or whisk the mixture together and freeze, whisking every twenty minutes until set.

Roasted Pork Meatballs with Garlic Mushrooms

serves 6


1 kg pack Minced Pork

1 Onion, roughly chopped

large bunch Parsley

grated zest 2 Lemons


500g pack open cup Mushrooms

2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp Olive Oil

6 tbsp Medium Sherry

200g pot Crème Fraiche


Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Tip the pork, onions, half the parsley and the lemon zest into a food processor with lots of pepper and some salt if you wish, then pulse until well mixed.

Shape the meat into 25-30 balls and put in a large roasting tin.

Arrange the mushrooms in a separate flame-proof roasting tin, sprinkle with garlic and drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper.

Roast the meatballs for 25 minutes, adding the mushrooms on the shelf below after 10 minutes.

Transfer mushroom tin to the hob.

Stir in sherry and crème fraiche and bring to a gentle simmer.

Stir in the meatballs, then spoon it all onto a large warm dish.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley, roughly chopped.



8ozs Self-Raising Flour
2ozs Margarine or Butter
1 1/2oz Caster Sugar
1 1/2 oz of Mixed Fruit or Sultanas or Cherries or Apricots
1/4 pint milk


Preheat Oven to 210C
Rub margarine into flour til it resembles breadcrumbs
Add sugar and fruit
Mix together with milk
Add the milk slowly else mixture might be too wet
Roll out on floured surface
Cut into rounds with cutter
Should make about 7 scones
Bake for about 10mins

Suet Pastry


8ozs. S.R. Flour

4ozs Shredded Suet

Pinch Salt

Iced Water


Mix all the dry ingredients together well, then form into a ball with the water.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly. It’s then ready to use.

Don’t over roll as it will fall apart. Bake as you would any pastry.

Three Fruit Marmalade


2 Grapefruit

2 Oranges

2 Lemons

2 pts Water

2 lb Sugar


Remove all the pith away from the peel and fruit and then finely slice it into strips about 1 inch long, it's up to you on how chunky you want it.

Put that into a saucepan along with the water and heat gently.

Remove the fruit from the pith and membranes and pips and add the fruit to the saucepan.

Put all the rest into a muslin bag or cloth and put that in the saucepan too.

Simmer for about an hour until the peel is soft, then boil hard until a setting point is reached. Pour into jars whilst it is hot and seal them well.

Chestnut and Squash Pie


1 Butternut Squash
, peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm chunks (800g-900g prepared weight)
9 Shallots
, peeled and quartered
8 cloves Garlic
, peeled and halved lengthways
1½ tsp Ground
1½ Ground Coriander

¼ tsp
dried Red Chilli flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
7 tbsp Olive Oil
Shortcrust Pastry
150 g
Spinach Leaves
25 g Butter

200 g vacuum-packed cooked, peeled Chestnuts
, halved or roughly chopped
300 g
Chestnut Mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp leaves Lemon Thyme
, plus sprigs to decorate
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf
4 tbsp dried Cranberries

500 g ready-rolled
Shortcrust Pastry
1 beaten Egg
, to glaze
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Tip the squash, shallots and garlic into a large roasting tin.
Mix the ground cumin, coriander and chillies with 5 tablespoons of the oil.
Pour it over the veg and toss everything together.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender but still holds its shape and the shallots and garlic are soft and turning golden.

Remove the veg from the oven and gently stir in the spinach so that it wilts in the warmth of the tin. Set aside to cool.
Lower the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan, toss in the chestnuts and stir-fry for a few minutes until golden.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the butter left in the pan, heat through, then throw in the mushrooms and stir-fry over a high heat until the mushrooms have browned and there is no liquid in the pan.

Add the mushrooms to the bowl of chestnuts.
Stir in the thyme, parsley and cranberries and season with salt and pepper.
Set aside to cool.

Put a baking tray in the oven.
When the squash and chestnut mixtures are cold, roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm springform or deep, loose-bottomed tart tin.

Spoon in half the squash mixture, then top with all the chestnut mixture.
Finish with the rest of the squash (don’t worry if it doesn’t quite fill the tin).

Roll out the rest of the pastry for the lid.
Brush the edges of the pastry lining the tin with beaten egg and lay the lid on top.
Seal and trim the edges, then flute the pastry edges using your fingers so they sit up straight. Brush more egg over the pastry lid then sprinkle over a few dried crushed chillies.
Bake on the hot baking tray for 15 minutes, then raise the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake a further 25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Remove the pie from the oven and leave in the tin for about 10 minutes.
Release the pie and carefully transfer to a flat serving plate using a wide spatula.
Scatter over some sea salt flakes, freshly ground pepper and a few thyme sprigs.
Serve hot (or cold) with roast beetroot and yogurt if liked.