Stuffed Aubergines With Roasted Tomatoes

2 aubergines
4 large tomatoes
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Caster sugar,

For the filling
1 large red onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1.5 large red or orange bell peppers
250g chorizo chopped into fine cubes
250g bacon lardons
1 large tomato
2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
4 tsp green peppercorns
I pack instant microwave long grain rice

Split the aubergines into halves lengthwise and the tomatoes into halves across their equator (stalk at the top.) Place uncut side down, in an oiled roasting dish. Season the aubergines with salt, lemon juice and olive oil and the tomatoes with salt and caster sugar. Place in a preheated oven, Gas mark 6, and roast until the aubergines are soft. If the aubergines start to brown too much, turn the temperature down to gas mark 4.

While the aubergines and tomatoes are roasting, make the filling. Fry the chorizo gently in an oiled frying pan large enough to hold all the filling ingredients.
While they are frying roughly chop the onion, garlic, peppers and tomatoes, place in a food processor and chop finely.
Add to the frying pan once the chorizo and bacon are golden and crisp and fry gently until cooked, then raise the heat and continue cooking, stirring all the time, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
Add the paprika and green peppercorns. Heat the rice according to packet instructions, add to the pan and stir very thoroughly. Turn off the heat. Season to taste.

Take the roasted aubergines and tomatoes out of the oven and pile the filling on top of the aubergine halves. Turn the oven back up to mark 6, place the stuffed roast veg back in the oven and cook until the rice on top is browned and crisp.

Serve with the roasted tomatoes. Enjoy.

Mediterranean Soup/Stew

1medium aubergine (400g)
170g chorizo, (1/2 sweet, 1/2 spicy)
1 cup red lentils
4 Ramiro Red peppers or red bell peppers (around 324g)
1 cup Wing Yip fried shallots or 2 cups of finely chopped raw shallots
1 – 1.5 kg roasted tomatoes plus their roasting juices
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp Marigold stock powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2tsp hot paprika
Seasoning to taste

Chop the aubergine into 2ch dice, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 1/2 an hour.

Wash the lentils several times in cold water, place in a small pan, cover with water by 1”, boil vigorously for 10 minutes then simmer until soft. Do not drain.

Skin and dice the chorizo and in a pan with a slightly more than 3 litre capacity dry fry it over a medium heat until it releases its oils. Add the garlic and shallots. If using fresh shallots add 2 tbsp oil and fry gently until soft.

Rinse the aubergine cubes, place in a clean tea towel and wring out all the excess water then add to the pan and fry for a few minutes. Add the red peppers, diced into 2cm pieces and cook gently until soft.

Blitz the roasted tomatoes and their juices in a food processor or liquidiser then add to the pan along with the cooked lentils along with the water it was cooked in. Add the stock powder, oregano and hot paprika and sufficient water to make up to 3 litres. Simmer gently until all is cooked and season to taste.

Turkey Schnitzel

Serves two generously

2 Turkey steaks (c/o ALDI)
2-3tbsp rice flour
1 large egg, beaten
12 DS herb & onion crackers processed into fine crumbs
1/2 tsp Schwartz Season All
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp finelt grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
Oil for frying

Place each turkey steak between two sheets of cling film and beat with a mallet or rolling pin until thin.

Mix the cracker crumbs, Schwartz Season All, ground black pepper, salt, finely grated Parmesan cheese and dried Herbs de Provence together thoroughly and place on a plate large enough to accommodate the flattened turkey steak.

Place the rice flour and beaten egg beaten egg on separate plates large enough to accommodate the flattened turkey steak.

Dip each steak first in flour to coat then pat to remove the excess. Then dip in the beaten egg then the crumb mixture. Make sure that they are event coated on both sides.

Fry the steaks on a moderate heat until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with accompaniments of your choice.

Roast Suckling Pig

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hrs
Serves: 6-8
Omar Allibhoy cooked a whole pig rubbed with salt, roasted with herby potatoes and served with spiced braised red cabbage, worth a look in its own right.


  • 1 suckling pig, around 4-5kg
  • 8 potatoes, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • olive oil

For the braised red cabbage

  • 1 red cabbage, quartered, very thinly sliced
  • splash sweet sherry
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • splash sherry vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 150C fan, gas 4. Burn with a blowtorch any hair the pig may have and cut it in half.

2. Rub the pig all over with rock salt, and place it skin side down on an oven rack.

3. Mix the potatoes with the garlic, onion, thyme, bay leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover them with olive oil and put on a roasting tray underneath the suckling pig so that the juices run onto the potatoes.

4. Roast the pig and potatoes for 1 hour. After 1 hour turn the pig and pierce the skin with a fork. Stir the potatoes and continue cooking for a further hour, or until the meat is tender, the skin golden and the potatoes cooked.

5. Drain the potatoes from the oil and serve with the suckling pig.

6. For the cabbage: mix the cabbage with the rest of the ingredients and put everything in a baking dish, adding enough water until almost covered. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Lynne’s Pineapple Relish

Words from Lynne


  • 3lb pineapple flesh
  • 1lb sugar
  • 1 pint cider vinegar (white wine vinegar will do)
  • 1 medium onion
  • Dried chilli flakes to taste
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 2 tsp whole mustard seed
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 6-8 cloves
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  1. Chop the pineapple flesh into small pieces.
  2. Chop the onion finely.
  3. Put all the ingredients into a strong pan large enough to accommodate them with plenty space to spare. A preserving pan is best but a very large ordinary pan will suffice.
  4. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar then raise the heat until you have a good rolling boil.
  5. Stir regularly to prevent sticking and boil until you have a nice thick texture, stirring constantly once the mix becomes thick.
  6. If you want a chunky chutney, leave it as it is. If you want a relish that you can spread in sandwiches and the like, use a whizzy stick (stick blender) to achieve the consistency you want.

  7. Sterilise jars and lids, pot the mixture while it is still simmering, lid and seal the pots and allow to cool.
  8. Label the jars when cool making sure that you date the labels and add instructions that they should not be eaten for at least three months.
  9. Open and consume after three months, but remember, the longer you leave it the better it gets.

Flower Power Pizza

This is an interesting recipe for a Gluten-Free pizza. The base can be made in batches and frozen according to Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, whose recipe this is.

Lynne’s Meatballs

This recipe produces meatballs that are very savoury whilst not having a specific national flavour to them so that they can be used to make a pasta dish in tomato or pepper sauce, a spicy dish in a chilli or curry sauce, a Scandinavian style sauce with cream and dill, onion gravy or whatever you fancy. Suitable for freezing.


  • 500g Premium Lean Steak Mince
  • 500g Pork Mince
  • 4 slices Gluten Free Sliced Bread
  • 5 cloves of garlic crushed or very finely chopped
  • One large egg, beaten
  • 3 teaspoons Marigold Stock Powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • 1 tblsp Vegetable oil


  1. Chop the GF bread, place in a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl large enough to get the ingredients and your hands in, then squish the ingredients together with your hands (immaculately clean hands of course) until you have an even mix.
  3. Oil your hands. Take suitable amounts and roll into meatballs – small ones for pasta, larger ones for koftas.
  4. Placed on a oiled baking sheet, evenly spaced, and place in a preheated oven at Gas mark 4 for 30-45 minutes according to size. Bake until golden brown. You can fry these if you wish but why stand over the stove when you can let the oven do the work?
  5. Place in the sauce of your choice, heat through and serve.

Chicken, Sweetcorn & Potato Soup

2 cans Sweetcorn, 570 g, 1 can blitzed to a creamy texture, 1 can left whole
1 Chicken breast – meat only, cooked and shredded, 146 g
Wing Yip – Fried Shallots, 1 cup (75g) or equivalent
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Selected Potatoes – white with skins, steamed and crushed coarsely, 500 g
Chicken Stock, 2.5 litres approximately
Salt & pepper to taste

If using ready fried shallots (the most liberating ingredient in my culinary repertoire) start by pouring the chicken stock over the fried shallots and chopped garlic in a pan that will take 3 litres, heat and simmer for a few minutes until the shallots are soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and simmer until everything is thoroughly warmed through. Season to taste and serve – easy and delicious.

Chunky Chicken Chilli

I whole free range chicken boned and cubed
1 – 2 tbsp lime juice
2 – 4 tbsp Mexican chilli seasoning (to taste)
2tbsp sunflower oil
2 Ramiro peppers chopped coarsely (ordinary red bell peppers can be used)
4x large tomatoes cut into eighths
1 carton of passata
1 chicken stock jelly (Knorr)
Salt, pepper and sugar to season.

Place the cubed chicken in a bowl, moisten with the lime juice and mix until evenly moistened. Place the chicken in sturdy plastic bag, add the Mexican seasoning (a mixture of ground cumin, chilli flakes, oregano, salt & pepper) and manipulate until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated. Seal the bag and place in the fridge for at least couple of hours. Overnight is fine.

Heat the oil in a pan large enough to fit all the chicken in one layer and fry the chicken until sealed and browned all over. A wok is fine for this. (If you don’t have a large pan fry in batches.) Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add more oil in the same pan and fry the peppers and tomatoes until just soft. Add the chicken, the carton of Passata. And the chicken stock jelly (or cube.) Simmer until the chicken is tender and the oil has started to separate out of the sauce. Taste and season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

Serve with rice, corn tortillas, tostadas, tacos or whatever Mexican accompaniment you fancy.

Prawn & Lemon Pasta – serves two

Sufficient pasta of choice to serve 2
1/2 a Ramiro pepper, chopped
5 spring onions (scallions) snipped into rings
2tsp finely chopped garlic
1 whole lemon, zested, peeled and segmented
50g unsalted butter
2tbsp good olive oil
2 good pinches of hot chilli pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
250g cooked and peeled prawns
Fish stock pot (Knorr)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt as needed

Cook the pasta of choice in lots of salted water until al dente. Make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.
Heat the oil and butter gently until the butter is melted.
Add the garlic and fry very briefly until it is just softened but not browned.
Add the Ramiro pepper and spring onions and fry briefly until just softened slightly.
Add the lemon zest, lemon flesh, chilli flakes and heat through.
Add the stock and heat until melted and mixed through.
Add the prawns and cook until heated through mixing everything thoroughly.
Add the cooked pasta, toss together until well mixed, season with lots of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste and serve.

N.B. There is no cheese in this recipe.

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Cashew Nut Curry

2 kilos pumpkin, deseeded and peeled weight
1 kilo sweet potato peeled
2 large onions (or equivalent volume of smaller onions or shallots)
4-5tbsp vegetable oil
Curry powder or paste to taste, fried in oil separately
200g cashew nuts (more if you like)
50g raisins
1 jar ready made Korma sauce (or make your own)
1 can coconut milk
Vegetable stock as needed
Seasoning to taste

First chop your pumpkin and sweet potato into pieces that will fit into your mouth easily, place in a roasting tray, drizzle with oil, place in an oven heated to 375F, 190C, gas mark 5 and roast until you can pierce the pumpkin and sweet potato pieces with a knife.

Fry the onions gently in oil until translucent. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, cashew nuts, raisins, Korma sauce and coconut milk, stir together gently, heat through and simmer gently until the raisins have plumped up and all the flavours have amalgamated. Taste and adjust with curry paste/powder until you get the level of spiciness you want.

Add vegetable stock as needed and season to taste. Serve with rice or chapattis.

Homemade Mustard

This is a recipe from James Martin on Saturday Kitchen. According to Mr. Martin the effort is well worth the better flavour.


  • 50g/2oz white mustard seeds
  • 50g/2oz black mustard seeds
  • 75g/3oz soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 125ml/4fl oz red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp stout

Preparation method

  1. Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor and blend until the seeds are roughly crushed.
  2. With the motor still running, gradually add the vinegar and blend until well mixed.
  3. Add the stout and blend briefly.
  4. Transfer the mustard to a bowl and leave to stand for one hour to thicken, then transfer to sterilised dry jars.
  5. Cover the surface of each with a disc of waxed paper, waxed side down, and leave until cold.
  6. Top the cold jars with airtight lids, label and store in a cool dark place. The mustard should keep for 3-6 months.

Shipley Baked Beans

Shipley Baked Beans


2 cups of white beans
2 cups of rose coco beans
300g chorizo cut into small dice (you can use fried bacon or pancetta lardons or salami instead)
1-2 cup fried shallots (I use Wing Yip ready fried ones, one of the best culinary delights ever)
2 cartons is passata
1 can chopped tomatoes
2-4 heaped tablespoons black treacle (adjust to taste at the end)
2-3 heaped tablespoons Dijon mustard (adjust to taste at the end)
2-4 teaspoons smoked paprika (adjust to taste at the end)
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans in water for 24 hours, changing the water 3-4 times. Drain the beans, cover in cold water by at least one inch and bring to the boil. Discard the water and rinse the beans thoroughly.

Cover with water again by at least one inch, bring to the boil and boil very vigorously for at least ten minutes. This is essential with all pulse to kill off the toxins that can cause digestive problems.

After the ten minute vigorous boil turn the heat down and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy. The beans’ packet will give you an idea how long this will take, but this will vary according to the age of the bean so keep testing. Drain and rinse the beans then place in an ovenproof dish with enough room to accommodate all the extras.

Add the chorizo, onions, passata, tinned tomatoes, treacle, mustard and paprika and stir gently to mix so as not to break up the beans. Rinse out the passata cartons & tomato can with water (I hate waste) and add sufficient water to bring the level of liquid almost to the top of the beans.

Cover, place in a low oven and leave to simmer slowly for hours (ours festered away on the slow setting for about 5 hours.) Check occasionally to ensure that they don’t dry out and add water if needed.

These can be cartooned and frozen in appropriately sized freezer cartons or bottled and processed to keep in the larder.

GF Rice Pudding Cake

Andy Bates’ Recipe at


350ml whole milk
350ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
Zest of 2 lemons, peeled into wide strips with a potato peeler
50g light brown soft sugar
100g Arborio risotto rice
Pinch salt
Knob unsalted butter
250g dulce de leche
3 dessert apples (Pink Lady or Cox)
50g caster sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
25g unsalted butter
50g sultanas
50ml spiced dark rum


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour all of the ingredients, except the eggs and dulce de leche, into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Take the pan off the heat and remove the vanilla pod and strips of lemon zest.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes, remove the vanilla pod and lemon zest then beat in the eggs. Meanwhile grease a 20 centimetre sandwich tin with the butter, spread the dulce de leche over the base in an even layer then chill in the fridge until needed.

Pour the cooled rice mixture over the top and even out the top with the back of a spoon.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until just set, with a slight wobble in the centre. Leave the cake to cool completely then transfer to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.

Just before serving, prepare the apples. Core the apples, cut into wedges and toss with the sugar and cinnamon. Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan and when foaming add the apples.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until then apples are golden brown but still hold their shape. Add the raisins and rum and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Turn the rice pudding cake out onto a serving plate or board. Cut into thick slices and serve with the warm apples.

Mumbai Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji – Popular Street food of Mumbai
Author: Dassana
Recipe type: Mumbai Street food
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5-6 plates of pav bhaji

2 medium size potatoes
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
½ (half) cup chopped french beans (optional)
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 to 3 large tomatoes – finely chopped
1 capsicum/green bell pepper
2 to 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
1 or 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
½ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
1 tsp chilly powder or freshly pounded 1-2 dry deseeded red chilies – the latter works much better and imparts a beautiful orange color to the bhaji
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
amul butter as much you want
12 pavs

Preparing the Bhaji:
Boil all the vegetables except onions, tomatoes and capsicum in a pressure cooker or microwave oven.
Mash the vegetables and keep aside.
Just lightly mash. Don’t make a puree.
In a pan, add butter.
When the butter melts, add cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the chopped onions.
Fry the onions till they become transparent. Now add the ginger-garlic paste.
Fry till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic paste disappears.
Add chopped green chilies and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and fry them till they become soft and mushy.
Add the chopped capsicum. Now add the chilly powder, turmeric powder and pav bhaji masala.
Mix the dry masalas well. Fry for few minutes till the capsicum become a little soft.
You don’t need to make the capsicum very soft. A little crunch is alright.
Now add the mashed vegetables.
Combine the mashed vegetables well with the masala.
Add some water. Keep on stirring and let the vegetable simmer for 7-8 minutes.
If the vegetable becomes too dry and then add some more water.
When done, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with chopped onions and chopped lime.
While serving, add amul butter to the bhaji and serve with buttered pavs.
You can add more butter, if you like it. In fact, with more butter, the pav bhaji tastes very good.

Spicy Pakoras

1.5 cups gram flour, sifted
1 cup potato starch, sifted
2tsp baking powder
4 tbsp yoghurt
1 tbsp Marigold stock powder
5tsp Madras curry powder
2 pinches red chilli flakes
2tsp black onion seeds
Salt & pepper
Selected vegetables shredded or finely sliced (I used a mix of sweet potato, carrots and onions).

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Add water until you have a smooth coating consistency. Leave to rest for at least half an hour.

Heat oil to 180C. Thoroughly mix shredded or sliced vegetables with the batter so that they are just coated. Drop teaspoons full into the oil being careful not to overcrowd the fryer. Keep turning to ensure even frying. Fry until mahogany coloured. Drain on multiple layers of kitchen. Eat with raita or chilli sauce for dipping. (My home made chilli sauce is THE BEST)!

Lynne’s Liver Loaf/Patties

500g Pigs Liver
500g Pork Mince
150g (gluten free for me) Breadcrumbs
1 Medium Ramiro Pepper
75g Wing Yip Fried Shallot
1 Egg
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Herbs de Provençe
1 Knorr Herb Jelly Stock
1 Knorr Chicken Jelly Stock

Chop the liver in a good processor. Add the fried shallots, chopped Ramiro pepper and breadcrumbs and process again. Add the egg, seasonings and minced pork and process again until well mixed.

For a liver loaf grease a loaf or pate tin, fill with the mix, smooth down, cover with a lid or foil and bake in a moderate oven (gas Mark 3) for 45 minutes to an hour until cooked through. Serve hot or cold. If you intend to serve cold press and weigh until cool.

To make wonderful liver patties mould the mix into burger style shapes using wet hands. Fry in oil over a moderate heat turning over to complete the cooking once the first side is well browned and the patty has set. The mixture is quite sticky (hence the need for wet hands) but sets beautifully on cooking.

The loaf can also be served cold.

Both are lovely served with a chunky tomato sauce. The loaf can also be served cold.

Lynne’s Gazpacho

3-4 slices of crustless bread cubed (stale bread is best for this) Obviously I use gluten free bread.
1 cucumber, raw with peel, diced very finely (2 if they are the small ridge cucumbers and if so these are best peeled)
1 red bell pepper (I like the long pointed Romero ones) chopped very finely
1 red onion chopped very finely
2 tbsps of green olives finely chopped
1-4 cloves of garlic (according to taste) finely chopped
3 tbsp good balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 carton passata
1 can or the equivalent volume of fresh plum tomatoes finely chopped (if using fresh a good sqidge of tomato paste helps)
Tabasco to taste
Herbs to taste finely chopped(basil s good but thyme and parsley work too)
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste (usually a good pinch each)
Sufficient iced water to thin to the consistency you like.

Soak the bread in water until soft then squeeze out. Add all the other ingredients except the water and stir together. If you want you can leave this to stand and chill to get a chunky textured soup and once it has soaked thoroughly add water until you get the consistency you want. If you like a smooth soup blend and add iced water until you get the consistency you like. I like mine smoothly blended then a fine dice of cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and onions added as a garnish.

Chill very throughly, adjust the seasoning and vinegar according to taste, garnish and serve. It is delicious and very cooling on a hot day and though listed as a starter it makes a very satisfying lunch.

Cauliflower With A Cheese Dressing

This makes a great lunch dish and is much lighter than the conventional cauliflower cheese with its gloopy sauce.


1 cauliflower broken into florets


1 300ml carton of soured cream
175g of strong cheese, finely grated
Ground black pepper
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper

First mix the dressing and set aside at room temperature.

Next steam the cauliflower until just tender but still with bite.

Dress the cauliflower with enough of the cheese dressing to coat it. How much you use depends on the size of the cauliflower and your personal taste. Any left over makes a great dip for crudités.

Serve and enjoy.

Paul Hollywood’s Olive Tapenade

For the tapenade
50g/1¾oz anchovies in oil
400g/14oz pitted black olives
75g/2½oz capers, drained and rinsed
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp good-quality olive oil
handful fresh basil, chopped
fresh black pepper

Preparation method
To make the tapenade, combine everything except half of the basil and the black pepper in a food processor and blend until roughly chopped up, but not puréed. Pour into a dish and garnish with black pepper and the remaining basil leaves.

Savoury Bread Pudding

Savoury Bread Pudding
6 cloves of garlic grated finely and mixed with 1tbsp good olive oil
2 medium aubergines
1 large red pepper
Approx 2 tbsp good olive oil for frying
2 small red onions
1 small ring of chorizo, cubed (I use half sweet, half hot)
6-8 slices of bread of your choice, depending on size, cubed ( I used gluten free multi seeded bread)
4-6 sun dried tomatoes soaked in hot water until soft
4-6 oz hard cheese cubed (I used Feta)
1 pint of milk
4 large eggs
Around 2oz pecorino, Parmesan or other hard cheese

Grate the garlic and add to the oil. Slice the aubergines and halve the pepper. Brush the aubergines and pepper halves with the garlic and oil mix. Grill under a hot grill turning as needed until the aubergines slices are a nice, nearly charred brown and the pepper skin is charred and blistered. Place the pepper halves in bowl, cover with cling film and leave for the steam to loosen the skin. Peel the pepper and chop the aubergines and pepper into chunks around 1″ square-ish.

While the aubergines and peppers are grilling, chop the onions and chorizo and fry gently until the onions are soft and the chorizo has released its red, paprika rich oil. Add the bread cubes and fry gently stirring regularly until the bread has absorbed the flavour rich oil. Turn everything into a large bowl.

Add the aubergines, peppers and hydrated sun dried tomatoes which have been drained thoroughly and chopped into 1/2″ chunks. Add any remaining garlic oil, the cubed cheese and seasoning. Mix thoroughly (I used my hands) and season with approximately 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Put everything into an oiled baking dish at least 3″ deep (I used a lasagne dish).

Beat together 1 pint of milk and 4 large eggs and pour over the ingredients in the baking dish ensuring that everything is covered with the egg and milk mix. Leave to soak for at least half an hour, but an hour is better.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4,180C, 350F. Top the dish with the pecorino, Parmesan or other hard cheese, finely grated. Place the baking dish in a Bain Marie (large roasting dish with near boiling water to come half way up the side of the baking dish) and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 1 hour until the dish is set and the top is a lovely golden brown.

Serve hot with a salad of your choice as an accompaniment. (We served it with home made cole slaw). Deeeeeelicious!

The Tapas Tree

Located on Wharf Street near Fox Corner in Shipley, West Yorkshire, this is a very friendly atmosphered place to enjoy tapas type eating. The menu is clearly marked with GF’s and they sell the world’s best Gluten Free beer, Estrella Damm’s Daura!

Three C’s Soup (Courgette, Chickpea & Cumin).

Ingredients –
1 tbsp flavourless oil
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
3 medium courgettes shredded or grated
1 medium potato grated
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 oz unsalted butter
Seasoning to taste
Crème fraîche (optional)

In a large pan heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and fry for a few minutes until the aroma of the spice is rleased. Add the curry powder and fry for a few seconds more.

Add the shredded courgette and potato and stir on a medium heat until the courgettes are softened.

Add the drained chickpeas and the vegetable stock and simmer on a low heat until all the vegetables are cooked. Liquidise (a stick blender is best for this) and season to taste.

If a foamy top appears (which it probably will) add the butter and ‘whiz’ again until all is amalgamated. (This technique beats the hell out of fiddling around skimming, but it only works with soups that benefit from the taste of butter).

Serve either hot as a warming winter soup or chill thoroughly and serve cold dressed with a swirl of Crème fraîche.

Lynne Joyce, invented 26.03.2013

Pizza Patties

No precise quantities here, it just depends on what you have to hand and your personal taste.

Firm leftover mashed potato
Pepperoni finely chopped
Sundried tomatoes in oil drained and finel chopped
Parmesan cheese and/or finely chopped mozzarella
Herbs to taste.
Salt & pepper to taste
Beaten egg to bind

Mix the pepperoni, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and herbs thoroughly into the mashed potato.

Add sufficient beaten egg and mix to make a mouldable texture (not too sloppy).

Season to taste (you can test your seasoning by frying a tiny bit and tasting it).

Using wet hands, form into patties of whatever size you want (small ones for cocktail snacks) and fry turning once until golden on both sides.

Serve and enjoy.

Mediterranean Soup

Mediterranean Soup
* Starred items to be chopped finely

Olive oil
* 1 stick of celery
* 2 banana shallots
* 2 Romero peppers or ripe red capsicums
* 18-20 stoned green olives
* 2tsp capers
* 3 fat cloves of garlic
* 1/2 a sweet chorizo ring
* 1/2 a hot chorizo ring
1 dessertspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cartons Passata
I can full of hot water
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the chopped chorizos gently with olive oil in a pan until the oil turns red with the spices from the chorizo.

Add the celery, shallots, peppers, olives, capers, garlic, paprika and herbs and sweat gently, stirring frequently until the vegetables are thoroughly softened.

Add the tomatoes and passata. Use the hot water to rinse out the tomato can and passata cartons and add to the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Taste and season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or chilled according to taste.

Butternut Squash and Almond Soup

This is the recipe for one of the ‘everyday’ soups that Lynne makes up for our lunches. Usually in three litre batches so that we have six portions or three lunches. (Our soup cups are 500ml capacity.) This one was just too good to lose!

  • 2 butternut squash
  • Good olive or other nutty oil
  • 2 handfuls of whole blanched almonds
  • Garlic
  • Mild curry powder or paste to taste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 300g carton crême fraiche (I think, it was from Aldi)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Water or stock to bring the quantity up to three litres
  1. De-seed and chop the butternut squash into chunky pieces. Place in roasting pans, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, place in a hot oven and roast until soft and browned at the edges. Do not peel.
  2. Toast the almonds in a dry pan until golden.
  3. Place the butternut squash and almonds in a large pan with a little more oil, add the curry powder or paste and chopped garlic and heat on a medium flame until the spices and garlic are toasted but nor burned and the squash and almonds coated with them.
  4. Add the vegetable stock (preferably hot) and simmer together until all are softened.
  5. Us the whizzy stick (stick blender) or liquidiser to liquidise until creamy in texture. Add more stock if necessary and desired until you have a texture you like.
  6. Stir in the carton of crême fraiche, adjust the seasoning to taste and heat through but do not boil.

Serve with crispy croutons and/or crispy fried bacon lardons.

Spanish Rice With Beef

1/2 a Chorizo Picante ring, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
1/2 a Chorizo Dulce ring, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
Olive oil
1 long red pepper chopped into 1/2 cm pieces
3 sticks of celery chopped
4 large vine tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 large or two small courgettes chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
Kernels from 2 corn cobs
2-3 coffee mugs full of cooked rice
1heaped tbsp Marigold stock powder
8-12 oz pre cooked beef cut into strips (you can substitute other meats and change the title accordingly)
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

First fry the chorizo over a medium heat until the red oil of coming out and they are lightly browned.

Then add the celery, pepper and courgette, plus as much olive oils as needed and fry until softened, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Next add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until soft.

Add the corn kernels, rice, Marigold stock powder and mix thoroughly.

Add the beef strips and paprika powders, mix thoroughly then cook over a low heat with a lid on until everything is heated through, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (Don’t worry if it sticks a bit as the crusty bits scraped off the bottom are probably the best part).

Tuna & Avocado Mix

1 tin ethically caught tuna in sunflower oil
2 ripe avocados
2tbsp lemon or lime juice
1tsp Green tabasco
salt & pepper to taste

Put the tuna with its oil and the scraped out avocados in a bowl along with the lemon juice and mash with a fork, mixing thoroughly. Add the green tabasco and mix through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through.

If you are not going to use this immediately, place in a plastic fridge container and before putting the lid on, cover with cling film so that the cling film is in direct contact with the mix and there is no contact with the air. This prevents browning.

Use as a sandwich or wrap filling or a dip with crudites and/or tortilla chips. This would also be good as a topping for baked potatoes.

Dairy Free Smoothie With Zing

Serves 2 generously

2 large bananas, sliced
4 kiwi fruit, peeled
Ginger beer (ALDI’s is brilliant)

Place the fruits in a blender or food processor and whiz. Add only enough ginger beer to facilitate the production of a smooth puree. Place in a chilled jug that will accommodate twice the volume. Top up with an equal quantity of ginger beer, stir until well mixed and serve.

Delicious and good for you!

Spanish Potatoes

Serves 2 as a breakfast or supper dish

2 medium or 1 very large potato, diced into 2cm cubes
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 a sweet chorizo, chopped into 1cm cubes
1/2 a picante chorizo, chopped into 1cm cubes

2 long red peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 a tray of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
12 – 16 cherry tomatoes
Good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Extra ingredients to be added at stage 2
2 courgettes chopped into 1cm cubes
1 medium aubergine chopped into 1cm cubes

Heat some live oil on a large frying pan and add the potatoes and chorizo. Fry on a medium-high heat until the potatoes are golden and nearly cooked. Add the garlic and fry until the potatoes are cooked through.

Now you have a choice. If you want the potatoes to remain crisp and do not want all the flavours to blend, remove the potato/chorizo/garlic mix from the pan and set aside. Add al the other ingredients to the pan, season and cook through on a medium heat until cooked but not sloppy, then add the potatoes at the last minute to reheat.

If you don’t mind the potatoes losing texture but gaining greatly in flavour, just add the other ingredients to the pan and cook until they are cooked but not sloppy (covering for part of the time helps here).

Serve with an egg fried gently in olive oil on top (optional)

* If you can’t get Chorizo Picante, us a whole sweet chorizo and add a good pinch of dried chilli flakes at the same time as the peppers and tomatoes.

Chilli Beef and Bean Soup

1 12oz chunk beef brawn or 1 can of corned beef
1 can good quality plum tomatoes
1 carton passata
1 can cooked beans of choice
Mexican chilli powder to taste (cumin seeds & chilli flakes toasted then ground finely)

Tip beef, tomatoes, passata and cooked beans (with their liquid and goo) into a pan and heat through.
Use a potato masher to crush to a rough purée with sufficient texture to keep it interesting.
Add water to get the thickness you desire.
Add Mexican chilli powder to taste, season with salt and sugar and simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

The Leeds Kitchen, 4 The Boulevard, Clarence Dock, Leeds, LS10 1PZ

The staff at The Leeds Kitchen however, were brilliant. they were pleasant, accommodating, helpful and positive and offered me a large range of appetising options which were not just the usual catering by omission (that’s where they take all gluten bearing ingredients off the plate and leave me with dry grilled chicken breast). I was even given gluten free bread.

The food was superb, modern, imaginative and delicious, and the choice of wines excellent. Well done The Leeds Kitchen

Simon Hopkinson’s Homemade Gravadlax with Cucumber Salad and Mustard Sauce

Remove the mystique from this classic dinner party recipe with six simple steps for how to make gravadlax.

For the salmon

85g/3oz caster sugar

70g/2½oz flaky sea salt

2 tbsp schnapps, gin or vodka

2 tsp freshly ground white pepper

100g/3½oz fresh dill

500g/1lb 2oz centre-cut salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed

For the cucumber salad

1 large cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp caster sugar

freshly ground white pepper

1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the sauce

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

squeeze lemon juice

2 tsp caster sugar

1-2 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper

2-3 tbsp sunflower oil

Preparation method

To cure the salmon, blend together the sugar, salt, alcohol, white pepper and dill in a food processor to make a paste.

Place half of the mixture into a container that will accommodate the fish snugly (say the plastic container the fish was bought in). Lay the salmon on top of this flesh-side down, press it down, then cover with the other half of the mixture, smearing it well over the surface of the fish. Secure with a lid or cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 48 hours, turning the fish occasionally, until firm to the touch.

For the cucumber salad, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and leave to macerate for an hour in the fridge. Drain off the liquid, put the cucumber into a serving dish and chill in the fridge. The salad should be served really cold.

For the sauce, mix the mustard, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper and dried dill in a bowl until well combined. Gradually whisk in the oil until you have a loose, thick dressing. You may need a little more oil. Pour into a small serving bowl.

Carefully rinse the fish under cold running water, but not so much that no remnants of dill remain. Dry with kitchen paper.

Thinly slice the gravadlax at an angle and present on a large serving dish. Serve alongside the cucumber salad and the mustard sauce with buttered rye bread.

Simon Hopkinson’s Rice Pudding


40g/1½oz butter

100g/3½fl oz pudding rice (or Spanish paella rice)

75g/2½oz caster sugar

1 litre/1¾pints full-fat milk

150ml/5fl oz double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways

pinch salt

plenty freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 140C/285F/Gas 1.

Melt the butter in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Continue stirring until the rice swells and becomes sticky with sugar.

Pour in the milk and keep stirring until no lumps remain. Add the cream and vanilla and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once this is reached, give the mixture a final stir and grate at least a third of a nutmeg over the surface. Bake for 1-1½ hours and cover with foil if the surfaces browns too quickly.

Once there is a thin, tarpaulin-like skin on the surface, and the pudding only just wobbles in the centre, it is ready.

Serve at room temperature.

Michael Caines’ Easy Sweet & Sour Pork Pork


For pork marinade

2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine
3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

For the pork

600 g pork loin, chopped into cubes
cornflour, for dusting
vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh ginger
100 g carrots, halved lengthways and thinly sliced at an angle
100 g red peppers, deseeded, sliced into strips
100 g yellow peppers, deseeded, sliced into strips
40 g oyster mushrooms
40 g bean sprouts
150 g gluten free tomato ketchup
200 ml water
120 g fresh pineapples, peeled and chopped
chinese five spice, powder
4 spring onions, sliced

1. For the pork marinade: mix together all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl until well combined..

2. For the pork: add the pork to the marinade, mix well and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

3. Remove the pork from the marinade and dust in the cornflour, shaking off any excess. Half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with vegetable oil and heat to 190C/375F, then deep-fry the pork in batches for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

4. Heat a drizzle of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok, add the garlic and grated ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds, or until aromatic. Add the carrots, onion, peppers, oyster mushrooms and bean sprouts and stir-fry for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the tomato ketchup and water. Stir well and bring to the boil.

5. Add the fried pork to the pan along with the pineapple and a pinch of Chinese five spice powder. Mix well and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes to warm the pork and pineapple through.

6. Pile the sweet and sour pork into a bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onion. Serve with steamed jasmine rice on the side.

Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake

Gluten Free & Vegetarian

This is incredibly easy to make; even if you’re stressed out, it won’t topple you over into nervous collapse. It’s such an accommodating kind of cake: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days, and it is perfect either as a pudding, with some creme fraiche, or as cake.

It is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don’t have to.


4-5 clementines (about 375g total weight)
6 eggs
225g sugar
250g ground almonds
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

Serves: –

Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ºC. Butter and line a 21cm Springform tin.
Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the tin. Said to be better a day after it’s made.
can also be made with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case increase the sugar to 250g. With this varation, add a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Tom Kerridge’s Braised Shin of Beef with Parsley Purée

Prep time: 1 hr 15 min, plus marinating and chilling time
Cook time: 4 hrs
This recipe is classed as hard

6 pieces beef shin, about 225g each, marinated in 750ml red wine and refrigerated, covered, for 24-48 hours
oil, for frying
6 pieces bone marrow, 5cm long, soaked in salt water for 24 hours and cleaned
500g roughly chopped mirepoix, (mixed onion, leek, carrot and celery)
1.5 litres veal stock
5 bay leaves
1 clove
1 tbsp white peppercorns
1 bunch thyme
150g diced bone marrow
200g pig’s caul fat
250g butter

For the glazed carrots
250g butter
150g caster sugar
4 star anise
6 medium carrots, peeled
For the parsley purée

2 bunches flat-leaf parsley
100ml vegetable oil

1. For the beef: preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7. Drain the shins, reserving the wine. Pat the shins dry with paper towel. Bring the reserved wine to the boil in a large pan and skim the froth from the surface.

2. Heat a little oil and sear the shins until well browned – this will take at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sear the bone marrow pieces in a different frying pan so that they are browned on the bottom, then transfer to the hot oven for 15-20 minutes, until the marrow is soft. Set aside to rest, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 2½.

3. In a large flameproof casserole, heat a little oil and fry the mirepoix until browned. Drain the beef in a colander to get rid of any excess fat, then place them on top of the mirepoix in the casserole. Pour in the skimmed red wine and veal stock. Add the bay leaves, clove, white peppercorns, thyme and 3 teaspoons of sea salt. Bring to a simmer on the hob, then cover and place in the oven for 2½-3 hours.

4. Remove the casserole from the oven and leave the shins to cool in the braising liquid.

5. Lift the cooled shins from the pan (reserve the braising liquid for the sauce) and flake the meat. Mix it with the diced bone marrow and season. Roll the beef mixture into a long barrel shape, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until the mixture has set.

6. Unwrap the beef mixture and cut it into 6 equal portions. Double wrap them in caul fat, making sure they are well sealed. Add to a pan with a knob of butter and a little chicken stock, then transfer to the oven. Baste with a spoon every five minutes until the shin is glazed – about 20-25 minutes.

7. Use a chinois or fine sieve to strain the braising liquid from the casserole. Skim any fat from the surface then place the liquid in a saucepan and boil hard until the volume has reduced by half. Strain the liquid again through a sieve lined with 6 muslin cloths and leave to cool.

8. Take 500ml of the reduced and strained braising liquid (reserve the rest) and place in a saucepan with the butter. Simmer together, whisking as necessary, until the mixture has emulsified and you have a sauce the consistency of single cream. Keep warm.

9. For the glazed carrots: combine the butter, sugar, star anise, 3 teaspoons of salt and 400ml of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the carrots and cook until the carrots are soft and the volume of liquid has reduced by about half.

10. For the parsley purée: blanch the parsley for about 30 seconds in a pan of boiling, salted water. Drain, reserving some of the hot water, and refresh in iced water. Drain the parsley again and place in a blender with the oil. Purée the mixture until emulsified, adding some of the hot blanching water.

11. Serve the shin drizzled with some of the sauce and a spoonful of parsley purée on the side. Rest a spoon inside the bone marrow, then lean it against the glazed carrots next to the meat.

Fig & Blackberry Chutney.

A Recipe given To Me By HobbitDave, a fellow photographer who also posts on ePHOTOzine

800g fresh figs (12)
200g fresh blackberries
200 ml balsamic vinegar
300g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 red onion (optional), 15 cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons mixed spice
10g fresh root ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 × jars

Use a sturdy pan, quarter the figs, halve the tomatoes, sling everything in the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for one hour. Pot in sterilised jars while hot (Jars, chutney and lids) and leave to mature for at least 3 months before using. Refrigerate after opening.

Patatas Casa Nirvana

For 2 portions:-

4 medium potatoes
1 large scallion finely chopped (include the green part)
1 fat clove of garlic
Good olive oil
Tasty stock powder (marigold or klaarsuppe)

Microwave or boil the potatoes whole until just cooked but still firm. Cut into bite sized chunks.
Heat the oil until smoking hot in a sauté pan then add the potatoes and sauté until golden. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add more oil and when hot add the scallion and finely chopped garlic. Fry until soft then sprinkle with the stock powder & mix.
Add the potatoes and reheat, mixing well.
Season with salt , stir and serve.

Delicious! Goes brilliantly with fried eggs.

Invented by Lynne Joyce on 03.05.2011.

Sri Lankan Kaju Maluwa (Cashew Nut Curry)


  • 200g cashew nuts
  • 1 medium onion – sliced
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons garlic – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger – finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Sri Lankan roasted curry powder*
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons oil
  • 5 – 6 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash the cashew nuts and soak it for overnight.
  2. Then drain the water and place it in a medium size bowl.
  3. Now mix all the spices with cashews (black pepper, turmeric, salt, Sri Lankan roasted curry powder) and keep it aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, in medium heat.
  5. Then add curry leaves, chopped garlic & ginger, and fry it for 1 minute, then add onions and fry it nearly 5 minutes.
  6. When onions are ready, add the cashew mixture, and mix it well with onions.
  7. Keep it on heat nearly 5- 10 minutes.
  8. Then add coconut milk and cook it till you get little bit gravy.
  9. Taste for salt.


You can have cashew nut curry with any kind of rice, noodles or any dish you like.
*The recipe is in the “Other Odds ‘n’ Sods” section of this site

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

  • Start with 100 gms raw yellow curry powder.
  • Add about a 1 tablespoon fennel seed,
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder,
  • 2 pieces lemon grass,
  • 2 cloves,
  • 3 cardamoms,
  • 2 pieces cinnamon and
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed.
  • Roast in a frying pan at low heat for about 3 minutes or until dark brown in color.
  • Then remove and grind to a powder.

Perfect Roast Pork Belly with Cabbage and Bacon (BBC Saturday Kitchen)

James Martin’s twice-cooked pork belly comes with bacon-flecked greens and a fluffy apple sauce. This was Michael Ball’s Food Heaven on the programme and is going to be our Boxing Day Lunch 2010. See the original recipe at

For the pork belly

  • 2kg/2lb 2oz boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stick, cut into four pieces
  • 4 sprigs flatleaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 110g/4oz butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 110ml/4fl oz red wine
  • 250ml/9fl oz beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sautéed cabbage and bacon

  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 4 slices smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced
  • 1 green cabbage, preferably Hispie, finely shredded
  • 150g/5oz Brussels sprouts, finely sliced
  • 75ml/3fl oz water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil

For the apple sauce

  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, roughly chopped

Preparation Method

  1. For the pork belly, place the pork belly, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, star anise and cinnamon sticks into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water until the pork is just covered.
  2. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.
  3. Remove the pork belly from the mixture and place between two heavy baking trays. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225C/450F/Gas 8.
  5. Remove the pork from the fridge and cut into four squares.
  6. Heat an ovenproof frying pan until hot, add half of the butter and the pork belly pieces, skin-side down. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Carefully turn the pork belly pieces over and pour over the honey. Roast the pork belly in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the pork skin is crisp.
  8. Meanwhile, bring the red wine and beef stock to the boil in a saucepan and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Meanwhile for the sautéed cabbage and bacon, heat the butter in a frying pan until foaming and fry the bacon until crisp and golden-brown. Add the cabbage and Brussels sprouts and stir-fry for a further minute. Add the water and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the cabbage is just tender.
  10. Stir in the chervil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  11. For the apple sauce, heat the butter and Bramley apples in a lidded saucepan over a gentle heat. Cover and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the apples have collapsed and are soft and fluffy. Stir the mixture to form a smooth purée.
  12. To serve, spoon the sautéed cabbage onto serving plates and top with a piece of pork belly.
  13. Spoon over the red wine sauce and serve the apple sauce alongside.

Nigella Lawson’s Lemon Polenta Cake

To quote Nigella: “This cake is a sort of Anglo-Italian amalgam. It is a good marriage: the flavoursome grittiness of the polenta and tender rubble of ground almonds provide so much better a foil for the wholly desirable dampness of the drizzle than does the usual flour. If you were to try to imagine what lemon curd would taste like in cake form, this would be it.”

For this recipe you will need 1 x 23cm/9in springform round cake tin.

For the cake

  • 200g/7oz soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 200g/7oz ground almonds
  • 100g/3½ fine polenta/cornmeal
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free if required)
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 2 lemons, zested (save the juice for the syrup)

For the syrup

  • 2 lemons, juiced (see above)
  • 125g/4oz icing sugar

Preparation method

  1. Line the base of your cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
  3. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter and sugar mixture, followed by one egg. Alternate adding dry ingredients and eggs, beating the mixture all the while.
  4. Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. It may look wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish when pushed into the centre of the cake. Most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Remove the cake from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave it in its tin.
  5. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish non-reactive saucepan. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

Nigella Lawson’s Chorizo & Chickpea Stew

To quote Nigella: “This is a full-on feast thrown together to enormous effect, simply with ingredients that you can more or less keep on permanent standby. And, like so many of these recipes, it’s pretty well instant. After all, if you haven’t got time to shop, it’s hardly likely you’ll be able to spend many hours at the cooker.”


  • 2 tbsp regular olive oil
  • 50g/2oz spaghettini or vermicelli, torn into 3cm/1in lengths
  • 500g/1lb 2oz bulgur wheat
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1 tsp pouring salt
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 350g/12oz chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
  • 4 tbsp amontillado sherry
  • 100g/3½ ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped into pieces with scissors (optional)
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans chickpeas or mixed beans, drained and rinsed in a sieve
  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans cherry tomatoes, drained, plus 1½ cans tap water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh coriander, to serve (optional)

Preparation method

  1. Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws, then add the bulgur wheat and stir for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon and the salt, then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
  3. Put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until the orange oil runs out of them. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away.
  4. Add the apricots (if using) along with the chickpeas (or beans) and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill it out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with the bulgur wheat and, if there’s any to hand, some chopped coriander.

Everest Spice

I have to recommend everyone to the Everest Spice in Portsmouth. You can find them at They were helpful in providing Lynne and Francesca with GF options, which meant all but the breads as is the usual case in this kind of establishment.

The difference though is hinted at in the name, there is a Nepalise section to the menu, and the samples we had were really delicious.

Spicy Parsley & Pineapple Salad


1 large, ripe pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 large bunch of flat leaved parsley, washed and dried
1 or 2 medium green chillies de-seeded with the membrane removed and very finely chopped
Lime vinaigrette made with 1 part lime juice and to 4 parts olive oil, seasoned to taste with sugar, salt, pepper and dijon mustard

Mix the pineapple chunks with the very finely chopped chiili. Ideally, leave in the fridge for a few hours.

Chop the stalks off the parsley and place the leaves at the bottom of a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients. Dress with the lime vinaigrette and toss. Place on the serving pates. Top with the pineapple and serve.

Lovely as a de-toxifying, healthy breakfast but also excellent as an accompaniment to rich meats or even curries.

El Riu (on the road to Guadalest)

This delightful and very popular restaurant is next to the Farmers Cooperative Shop on the road from Callosa d’En Sarrià to Guadalest in Alicante Province, Spain. The location is picturesque and the outdoor barbecue, upon which many of the dishes are cooked, is a delight. The staff are very helpful, their attitude being that you have a problem, not that you are a problem

As with many good restaurants in Spain, a pre-starter is always provided. Here it is aioli and a home-made picante served with bread, but for me they always provide wedges of boiled potato – bless them – so for once I don’t have to sit and watch as other people enjoy food.

Their menus are not cheap but are very good value. Try the Cordonices (Quail) grilled on the barbecue, and the Conejo con Ajo (rabbit with garlic). I am told by my husband that the pork dishes are very good but warned not to have the soup as a starter as one bowl can fill a legion of people for a week!

Their home-made desserts are to die for (if you can find room) and there are good, gluten-free options. The Flan de Café (coffee flavoured caramel cream) was mind-blowingly good.

***** Five stars for this one.

Lynne & Marijke’s Kumquat Chutney

3lb sliced Kumquats weighed once the pips have been removed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 lemons, de-pipped and very finely sliced
1lb sugar
1 pint red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or whole mustard seed
4-6 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less to taste, depending on how hot you like it)
1 teaspoons of salt

Place all the ingredients in a large acid-proof pan (stainless steel is best), bring to the boil and boil and boil until all the fruit and onions are very soft. Take off the heat and cool slightly. Using a whizzy stick (hand held blender) or food processor, whizz until a coarse puree is achieved – there should still be discernible bits in. Return to the pan and boil until thick, stirring constantly so that it does not burn at the bottom of the pan – this would ruin the chutney. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and bottle in hot, sterilised jars, placing waxed paper discs on the top of the chutney then close the jars while still hot using sterilised lids. (I sterilise mine by immersing them in boiling water for several minutes).

Leave to cool and label ensuring that you write the date of manufacture on the label. Store in a cool, dark place. When you have done this, pour yourself a large, stiff drink to recover from the very worst job in the world, de-seeding kumquats!!!

Leave for at least one month before opening and using – three months is better, six months even better. Refrigerate after opening.

Serve with cold meats, charcuterie, salamis, cheese etc.


Cream of Strawberry Soup

1 punnet of strawberries (8oz)
4 tablespoons of good quality, clear honey
About 8 ounces of gluten-free sponge cake of your choice (NOT fruit cake)
Sherry or fruit juice to moisten the cake
2x 200ml tubs of crème fraiche

• Wash and hull the strawberries, cut into small dice and place in a bowl. Add the honey and stir together. Set to one side and leave until the honey has drawn lots of juice out of the strawberries.
• Cut the cake into small cubes, place in a large bowl and moisten thoroughly with sherry, orange juice or best of all, a mixture of the two. Set aside until the cake has absorbed all the liquid and is thoroughly soggy.
• When the cake is soggy and the strawberries have exuded lots of juice, add the strawberries to the cake and mix thoroughly.
• Add the crème fraiche and mix thoroughly.
• Put in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavours to amalgamate.
• Serve in soup bowls as a dessert and make sure everybody wears a bib!