Star Anise & Cinnamon Plum Jam

I used Mirabelle plums from the garden for this recipe but any type of plum should work with this jam recipe. A ratio of 1kg plums to 1kg sugar to 100ml water should be followed. Ingredients (for 1kg plums – see ratio above) plums granulated sugar 2 star anise 2 stick cinnamon 1 tbsp lemon juice knob of butter Method Stone the plums and chop into smallish chunks. Add the plums and water to a pan and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes. Wrap the star anise and cinnamon in a muslin cloth,  tie and add...

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Chicken Liver Parfait

This is beautifully rich and buttery but the Chinese spice adds a nice point to the flavour. What you’ll need 450g chicken livers 150g butter plus a bit more to top the parfaits with 1 shallot – finely sliced 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic A few sprigs of thyme 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice 2 tablespoons double cream. You need to clean up the livers – cut anything off that doesn’t look like it should be there – the white bits, the green bits, the sinewy bits – they all need to go. While you’re at it, try to cut each...

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Pulled Pork Roll

It’s all in the detail with this Pulled Pork Roll. You need a decent bun to start with – a potato roll is the way to go here I think. And then something to offset the rich meat – a pickle or maybe a red slaw would work well. The bigger the joint of pork you buy, the better and if you can buy shoulder on the bone then great but the reality is, if you’re buying from your local supermarket, you’ll probably be using a rolled, boneless shoulder of pork. There is nothing wrong with this and with a bit...

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Piedmontese peppers

Simple but utterly delicious. Served with a decent crusty bread, Piedmontese peppers are an incredibly easy way to turn some fairly basic ingredients into something wonderful. Some versions of this recipe add the anchovy before the peppers go into the oven but I prefer them added to the peppers after you remove them from the oven – you get a nice hit of salty anchovy that way – still with a little substance. Make sure you use a decent olive oil – nothing too acrid or overly peppery. You’ll need the following 1 or 2 red peppers per person 1...

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Sous Vide Chicken In A Honey and Soy Glaze

This dish was inspired by a couple of recipes from the Eleven Madison Park cookbook – a book I thoroughly recommend. I was a little apprehensive when I put this together because the mix of flavours did sound a little complex but they come together nicely and, in the centre of the dish, you  have a beautifully cooked piece of chicken. Buy a whole chicken for this – portion the chicken into breast, wing and leg meat and make your stock from the carcass – it’s a much more economical way of cooking as you’re bound to have leftovers. Here’s what you’ll need For...

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Confit of Salmon with Puy Lentils & Apple Salad

This is a really nice way to prepare fish – cooked at a (reasonably) consistent and low temperature, the fish will retain its texture and moisture. The fish is cooked in olive oil – the oil will hold its temperature reasonably well for the cooking process. Puy lentils are wonderful with this sort of dish – I’ve still got some pea shoots left and plenty of apples so the nutty lentils will work perfectly. I also add a twist of chilli flakes for a slight heat to the dish. Here’s what you’ll need to make Confit Of Salmon With Puy Lentils...

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Autumn Salad of Chicory, Apple, Celery, Walnuts & Bread

This Autumn Salad of chicory, apple, celery, walnuts & sourdough contains everything I like to see in a salad for this time of year –  Strong earthy and fruitful flavours with warming chunks of toasted sourdough bread and salty stilton. A sharp apple twang and acidity from the cider vinegar balances the bitter and peppery leaves making a comforting, flavoursome and well-rounded dish. Here’s what you’ll need 1 apple – sliced 1 head of chicory 1 stick celery – sliced Peppery salad leaves – rocket, mustard etc 1 thick slice of stale sourdough bread – torn into chunks Walnut pieces 1tbsp of...

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Paneer

Paneer really is as simple as a recipe can be but it can be used as the base for so many brilliant and vegetarian-friendly recipes. Ingredients 3 litres whole milk 6 tablespoons lemon juice. Method Bring the milk to a boil in a large pan – staring all the time and scraping the sides to prevent burning the milk. When the milk reaches a boil, lower the heat and add the lemon. Continue stirring until the milk has curdled. Line a colander with muslin and strain the curds from the whey. Pull the edges of the muslin together to form...

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Potato & Dill

This is the ultimate Indian potato-based dish. The distinctive taste of dill adds a fragrant sweetness to the earthy turmeric-coated potatoes. Ingredients 5 or 6 medium potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces 3 bunches of dill, stalks removed 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil 3 cloves of garlic a pinch of black mustard seeds 2 green chillies, sliced 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida salt. Method Boil the potatoes in salted water just until the edges begin to scuff and break down but the potato is still firm. Drain and allow to dry for a few minutes. Add oil to a hot pan and fry...

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Salsa Verde

This is a great sauce to be able to knock out – it goes with so many different types of food – fish, lamb, chicken.. or maybe just bread dipped into it. Make it to your liking – if you like it strong on capers (like I do) add more capers. Here’s what you’ll need: 2 cloves garlic Fresh herbs – choose from Basil, Mint, Parsley, Tarragon – or all of them. The best extra virgin olive oil you can get 1 tablespoon capers 6 anchovy fillets Juice of a lemon Mustard – many recipes call for Dijon but I’m...

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Sea Bass & Orange Fennel With A Soy, Mirin & Citrus Sauce

Fish with fennel – I can’t get enough of it this week for some reason. You’ve really got to give this a go. The sea bass is meaty enough to stand up to a fairly punchy soy and mirin sauce. The fennel and orange softens in flavour enough not to overpower the rest of the dish. It’s subtle enough to be refreshing but has a nice twang that is most pleasing. The sauce is kind of like a Ponzu sauce but  I made use of the stock created from cooking the fennel instead of dashi. I’ll give the measurements per person...

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Chilli Sauce

This is a great chilli sauce to have prepared a day or 2 before you host a BBQ. You can make it as hot as you like. It’s great smeared on meat and acts as a brilliant mopping up sauce/dip for pretty much anything you cook. The ingredients 6 or 7 red bell-peppers 3 or 4 red chilies – even more if you want hotter 1 tablespoon of maple syrup 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar 2 cloves of garlic, crushed Sea-salt to taste. Heat your oven to 180c. Put the bell peppers and the chilies on a roasting tray and roast...

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Kimchi

There are many different varieties of kimchi – Korea’s national dish. Recipes vary from region to region and preparation methods differ from family to family – so much so that you’re never going to really find one, true, authentic Kimchi recipe. Keeping that in mind I think the best you can do is make the stuff to suit your tastes. The ingredients you can actually get hold of will also dictate the direction your kimchi takes. That said, you’re going to need Korean red pepper powder (Gochugaru) at the very least so do your best to hunt some down. You...

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Farro, Roast Squash, Chicory, Pomegranate & Goat Cheese

You might not find farro in your local supermarket but it’s worth hunting down if you can. I bought mine from Sous Chef – a site worth bookmarking. They stock  a wide variety of ingredients and equipment that aren’t always that easy to source and delivery was quick (and free for larger orders) so I’m sure I’ll be using them again. Farro is nutty in flavour and chewy in texture so it stands up to some fairly bold flavours. It lends itself to roast veg and then contrasts nicely with sweeter, fruity flavours and a tangy, creamy cheese. This is...

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Beef Biryani

This beef biryani is an incredible mix of rich curry flavours and sweet, aromatic rice. Ingredients for the Beef Biryani 400g basmati rice 500g cubed stewing beef 8 Green cardamom pods 3 black cardamom pods 2 tsp coriander seed 4 star anise 4 cloves 2 cinnamon sticks 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp chilli flakes 1 tsp saffron 3 tsp rose water 1 tin of plum tomatoes 2 tbsp natural yoghurt 1 onion, sliced 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated 3 cloves of garlic, minced Half a lemon 2 tbsp ghee 2 tbsp vegetable oil Dried rose petals Pistachio nuts, slightly...

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Tomato Sauce – Back To Basics

If you’ve spent any time cooking you’ll probably have made a tomato sauce at some point – it’s one of the most basic sauces you can make. There are however a couple of considerations that make the difference between an average sauce and something really special. Leave the onions out of it You may well disagree with me on this one. To be fair, there’s many an established Italian cook who would rely on onions as the cornerstone of a good tomato sauce but it’s just not for me. I want my tomato sauce to be all about the tomatoes...

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