• Category Archives Sauces
  • Onion Chutney

    2014-05-02 14.15.45

    So growing up in a house that LOVED cheese, having chutneys of all description was a standard. I think that my Dad had cheese and pickle sandwiches everyday for about 20 years! I’m not that boring but I love a nice platter with cheeses and pickle and tomatoes and the odd glass of wine 🙂 So naturally after sucessfully making marmalade I figured why not give onion chutney a go. So here’s my go!

    1.5 kg of onions thinly sliced
    3 T olive oil
    300 g dark muscovado sugar
    200 ml red wine vinegar
    1 T crushed garlic
    1 T whole grain mustard
    1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
    1 t crushed chillies…or to taste…if you want kick ass then add more if not add less!

    Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan and slowly cook the onions until soft, but don’t let them brown. Stir in 3-4 T of the sugar cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have browned then chuck all the rest in and cook until it’s lovely and sticky and gooey and the liquid has reduced. I stirred it fairly regularly to stop it all from sticking and catching on the bottom of the pan. And voila! That’s it… now distribute into sterilised jars and you can keep for 6-12 months…that’s a laugh as there is NO way that it will stick around that long!

  • Hunters Chicken with BBQ Sauce

    2014-04-06 18.51.39

    Mmmmm this is a dish that smells amazeballs when it’s in the oven. You can use store bought bbq sauce or make the one I make from scratch! I usually serve it with mashed potatoes and a nice green veg of some description.

    Preheat oven to 180 c.

    This recipe makes 4 portions

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    8 rashers of unsmoked bacon
    1 portion of my BBQ sauce
    4 oz grated mature cheddar cheese

    Take your chicken and wrap it in the bacon, 2 pieces to each breast. If you are using streaky bacon you’ll probably need 4 rashers for each breast.

    Pop into a glass 9×13 baking dish.

    Put to one side and prepare the sauce.

    Get a small saucepan

    1/2c apple cider vinegar
    1/2 c honey
    1T maple syrup
    2T black treacle
    3T dark brown sugar
    1t garlic powder
    1T onion powder
    1T smoked paprika….love love love this stuff!
    1t smoke chipotle chili paste (available from Tesco)
    1 shot of whiskey or bourbon
    1t smoked sea salt

    Chuck this all in and cook over medium until the consistency you like. It can be reduced to a thick syrup or have it as a thin sauce, but I’d recommend at least 7 minutes. Taste and season as you’d like.

    When you have the sauce how you’d like it pour it over the prepared chicken. Pop the chicken into the oven for about 30 minutes then take it out and sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese is lovely and golden.

    When done…enjoy!!! This is great comfort food

  • Mustard and Tarragon Hollandaise

    2014-03-29 18.40.58

    This recipe is adapted from the Riverford Farm Cookbook

    250g butter
    3 egg yolks
    juice of 1 lemon
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 t wholegrain mustard
    1/2 t dried tarragon
    salt and pepper to taste

    Melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan and remove from heat. Get a medium saucepan and get the water simmering, pop a glass bowl on top and make sure the bottom doesn’t touch the hot water. Put the egg yolks, cayenne pepper and lemon juice into the bowl. Using a whisk, whisk this mix until it starts to thicken. Once it gets to this stage take it off the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter a bit at a time until it’s all incorporated and a lovely thick gooey glossy sauce. Mix in the mustard, tarragon. Taste and season as appropriate. Now use it with whatever you fancy….broccoli, salmon, make eggs benny (I’d leave out the wholegrain mustard if you were doing eggs benny!) We had it with a Pork, Apple and Fennel mix…it was pretty damn good!

  • Riverford Seville Marmalade

    2014-03-05 10.18.11

    So with trepidation we decided to start ordering organic fruit and veg delivered to the house. A friend recommended Riverford Organic and we had had a chat about them about 6 months ago so when my partner recieved an email offering a free fruit box and cookbook it swung the decision to go for it. After checking out their website,which is very easy to navigate and understand, the choices were made and orders placed. It felt rather silly to be excited about a fruit and veg order but as a foodie it was to be expected.

    2014-01-15 14.16.21
    Our first Riverford Delivery 🙂

    So after the first delivery we have had an order every week and not had one thing that we haven’t enjoyed. So when I saw an offer of a marmalade kit then I thought why not give it a try. One kit ordered, jars begged from friends and co workers I got stuck in.

    1.5 kg Seville oranges
    2 lemons
    2 kg granulated sugar
    a LARGE pan
    sterilised jars
    screw top lids

    Now this is NOT by any stretch of the imagination a quick process so make sure you have time!

    Get a sharp knife and peel both the oranges and lemons leave as much pith on as possible. Chop this peel into teeny tiny strips and put into the large pan. This takes bloody ages…but its very important.

    Get a large bowl and line it with the muslin. Cut the oranges and lemons in half and then squish the juice out of them over the muslin so the juice flows out and you don’t have to worry about the pips or anything so there’s no panicing! When they are all cut up then gather all the edges of the muslin up and squish it so you get as much juice out as possible. When you’ve squashed it to death tie it up tightly.

    Place it in the large pan and add whatever juice you’ve squeezed and 2.5 litres of cold water into the pan. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. After this amount of time the peel should be tender. Now you need to put a few saucers into the refrigerator to chill.

    Remove the muslin bag and squish out whatever juice we can get. Best way is to take a collander and use a wooden spoon and press it out as best you can. Measure the liquid into a large cup measure and then return the liquid to the pan and add 450g of sugar for evey 500 ml of liquid. Heat gently for 15 minutes until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Then crank up the heat and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.

    To test that the marmalade has set get out one of the cold saucers and pop a drop of the marmalade onto the saucer….gently push it with a spoon…if it wrinkles then it’s reached setting point. If not then keep boiling and re test every 10 minutes. Turn off the heat when it reaches setting point. I used a jam thermometer as it’s easier and more accurate.

    There will be some scum on top of the marmalade and slowly scrape as much as you can off the top. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Carefully spoon the marmalade into the sterilised jars. I used screw top jars and when the jars are full I turned the jars upside down for 5 minutes to let the jars seal.

    When cool then they are ready to go. I gave a few away to co workers and got great reviews.

    If you fancy a look check out their website www.riverford.co.uk. We’ve found that we are actually saving money and eating better as we are not shopping at as much and getting tempted to buy the 2 for 1 offers and processed food…so a bonus all round!

  • Creamy Dreamy Caramel Sauce

    This sauce has a knack to getting it perfect…once you have that knack it’s divine…can be eaten in many ways….over ice cream, as a dipping sauce for apples, with a teaspoon (let it cool first or you’ll have no skin on the roof of your mouth)

    3 cups caster sugar you can use granulated it just takes longer to melt
    1 c water
    2 t Vanilla extract
    5 T butter
    3/4 c double cream
    2 t sea salt

    Get a large heavy bottomed sauce pan. Spread the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Slowly pour in the water and heat over medium. Now as much as you want to….DO NOT stir it! Let the sugar boil and bubble and dissolve into a nice clear syrup. If there are any clumps then give the pan a swirl.

    Now….here’s the part that takes practice…watcht the pan closely and then the caramel should start to smoke and turn a golden colour and then a reddish brown colour and starts to smell. Don’t let it start to smell too burnt…it needs to be a dark amber coloue then take it off the heat.

    Now stir in the vanilla, butter, cream and sea salt. Watch out as it will bubble up…don’t dip your finger in to taste it as you’ll burn yourself! It’s tempting….but wait for it to cool!

    Pour into a jar and use when you need it….it’ll all be gone by the time it goes off….just like the chocolate syrup 🙂

  • Cheeky Chocolate Syrup

    Now this syrup is dark and rich and rather moorish! It added a great level to the I Love Cake like a fat kid loves cake….cake…but it would be divine poured over some good quality Vanilla ice cream…mmmmmmm…throw some roasted salted peanuts on top and I’m in love!

    200g of GOOD quality dark chocolate at least 70% Cocoa…even you don’t love dark chocolate it’s not too dark…honest!
    4 T unsweetened cocoa…good quality of course
    2/3 c Golden Syrup…for our North American readers you can use corn syrup if you can’t find golden syrup
    2/3 c double cream
    2/3 cup superfine icing suger or sift it well so you don’t have lumps
    1t Vanilla Extract
    Good pinch of sea salt

    Now break up the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, put the cocoa powder in and melt over simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the bowl.

    Once it has melted and all mixed together into a lovely rich pool of darkness, take it off the heat and stir in the syrup then the cream then the icing sugar and lastly the vanilla and salt. Keep in a glass jar until ready to use. You’ll eat it before it goes off but it keeps a couple of days!

  • Individual Beef Wellington

    2014-02-15 19.46.28

    Now this is one tasty dish! Here’s a chance to big up a local supplier… we’ve discovered Hazeldine’s Butchers in Hazel Grove and they were doing a deal for valentine’s week that screamed MAKE BEEF WELLINGTON! 5 fillet steaks for £20!!! So off I trot and pick up a pack.

    So for ease I prepared these the day before and popped them on the baking sheet covered in the fridge. Makes for less faffing about on the night!

    This recipe will make 4 individual Wellingtons

    4 individual beef fillets about 115 g (4oz)
    1 pack Puff pastry (defrosted if frozen)
    1 portion Mushroom Duxelle
    1 pkg of Pate of your liking we used Brussels Pate with Garlic

    So…this is a little time consuming to make but worth every minute!

    Take the fillet out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature. I’ve learnt that letting the meat warm up gives a nicer texture and helps the meat cook more evenly.

    Chop up all that needs chopping…I used my mini food processor to get this chopped faster and with less blood loss on my part as my knife skills aren’t that swift!

    Heat up a fry pan and pop a bit of oil in ( I used about 1 tbsp of sunflower oil) get the oil popping hot and then sear the fillets on all sides…make sure they have a full blown tan on all sides and then put to one side to cool.

    Mushroom Duxelle:
    1 T butter
    1 T olive oil
    1 medium onion (chopped into teeny tiny pieces)
    1 clove garlic (chopped into teeny tiny pieces)
    225 g mushrooms (chopped into teeny tiny pieces) I used Forestiere Mushrooms but Button or Chestnut all are fine..it’s whatever floats your boat!
    75 ml red wine
    75 ml double cream
    1 t chopped fresh Thyme
    salt and pepper to season

    Turn the heat down on the pan to about medium and chuck in about 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil….get it all lovely and bubbly. Saute the onion in the oil until golden. Once the onion is translucent (check out my vocabulary…lol) Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they are nice and tender. Pop the garlic in and give it a good mix up. This is the point where you’ve done your quality control on the wine….hopefully leaving enough for the Duxelle 🙂 put in the wine and cook until reduced by about half…add the cream and do the same…add the thyme…now taste it and season with salt and pepper. Put this to one side to cool.

    Finally when all is cool…assembly!

    Roll out the puff pastry until its a couple of mm thick…not too thick or your pastry will be claggy and yukky and we don’t want that! Do we? Now I cut the pastry into squares and spread a lick of Pate onto them but not to the edge….don’t put too much on as you want to accentuate the beef not overpower it…next a teaspoon of Duxelle and then pop the fillet on top. Now make a lovely little package wrapping the fillet up tightly with the pastry and then if you turn it over and pop it onto an oiled baking tray. Now I got all romantical and cut out little pastry hearts out of the off cuts to make it look all pretty…you can make any shapes you want or nothing at all…your choice 🙂

    I popped these in the fridge overnight and then brought them out onto the counter to warm up to room temperature before cooking them the next day.

    Heat the oven up to about 180c and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until lovely and puffy and golden!

    I served these with New Potatoes that I had boiled drained and then let butter melt on them in the pan and then tossed in rosemary, thyme salt and pepper. Easy peasy and tasty!

    For the green veg (fine green beans and asparagus) I threw these in a large pot of boiling water…for about 3 minutes, drained them and let them dry on some paper towel then fired up my griddle pan and grilled these babies…when hot I grated a bit of fresh parmesan on top for extra flair!

    The Wellington was accompanied by a lovely red wine reduction that I had bubbling for a while on the hob…just teasing the partner in crime’s taste buds!

    I took about:
    200 ml Red wine
    100 ml water
    1 Beef Oxo cube
    a sprig of fresh Thyme
    a sprig of fresh Rosemary
    1 t black Peppercorns
    1 t chopped Garlic

    Chuck it all in a pan and let it bubble away over a low heat…taste regularly and add water, wine and spices to taste…it’s not an exact recipe but a base to use and tweak to your liking! Strain into a jug and pour generously all over your Wellington!

    Bon Appetit!!!

  • Courgette Sticks with Lemon Dill Dip

    2014-02-15 19.19.39

    Now a little prep needs to be done so the flavours can take hold!
    To make the dip take 1 cup of Greek Yogurt and squeeeeeezzzzeee the juice of 1/2 a lemon into it…don’t forget to take the pips out…nothing more romantic than cracking a tooth on a pip! I bought a package of fresh dill from Tesco and chopped aobut 1/4 of the pack into itty bitty bits and then mixed it all throughly and chucked it in the fridge to fill with flavour overnight!

    Take 1 courgette per person wash it and pat it dry and cut it into stick sized bits…I cut ours in half and then into 4 so we got 8 manageable size pieces each.

    Get 2 eggs and beat them into a bowl that is big enough to dip the courgette. Get another bowl and fill with Panko breadcrumbs. Dip the courgette into the egg then into the breadcrumbs and put to one side.

    While all the dipping is going on fire up your deep fryer to about 180 c ready to give these babies a hot oil bath!

    You might find the bread crumbs aren’t sticking all that well..just give em a squeeze and there will be enough stuck to it to taste yummy! For a bit of variety you can grate some Parmesan into the Panko 🙂

    Now gently….ever so gently…pop the courgette into to bubbling oil and watch them get a lovely golden brown. Gently scoop them out and let them drain on a paper towel until they are all done and ready for dipping.

    Pop em on a plate and either divvy up dip between eaters or just have one free for all bowl!

    Dip away!!!

  • Steak Sandwich and Dip

    2014-02-04 20.24.18

    Now this is a totally to taste recipe…so I’ll tell you what I put in it and you throw it together as you like it!

    Frying steak…as much as you need for how many people you are serving…we had about 8 oz for two of us…but we have large portions :)Now I like fried onions and mushrooms and he doesn’t (he’s boring 😉 ) not really…I just like to tease him!

    Let’s say 1 medium onion and a few mushrooms…with butter of course!!!

    So as I was feeling lazy I went to Tesco and got a small baguette (Tiger bread but if I was making this for more than 2 I’d go for the salt and pepper baguette as it’s a firm fave!)


    Ahh…this makes the kitchen smell so damn good! I used about 200 ml red wine …my preference is Merlot…then 2 cubes of OXO and about 100 ml of water…gives a nice beefy taste. Throw in some onion slices, some garlic and a sprig of thyme and rosemary…bit of salt and pepper (that’s a given!) Hell throw in whatever floats your boat! Let bubble over a medium heat until you are drooling! Thin out with a water if you need to.

    Now heat up a fry pan and saute the onions and mushrooms in butter until lovely and gooey and the kitchen smells divine! Oh and the rule is…when cooking with wine you have to have a glass…cooks perks and quality control!!! Then pop the steak in and cook until about medium…unless you absolutely HAVE to…sacriledge….cook it well done 🙁


    When the steak is ready…let it sit while you are getting everything ready. Mine had onions mushroons and a generous swipe of whole grain mustard….his…nothing but steak. then pop a bowl of the dip on each plate and add your own personal side dish..ours was salad as a token healthy bit and chips 🙂 Chips just seem right….gotta do them…whether it’s oven or Heston’s triple oooked…whatever time you’ve got!

    Pop The steak on the cut baguette and dip away!!!!

  • Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Grain Mustard Sauce

    2014-02-02 17.14.23-1

    1.5 kg pork belly
    2 onions finely diced
    200 ml good ale, I used a Pale Ale
    500 ml chicken stock
    2 tbsp grain mustard
    1 tbsp English mustard

    Brine…this need to be done the day before! So you can’t just whip this up on a whim! This is where I deviated from Tom’s recipe.

    125 g Sea Salt
    75 g Smoked Sea Salt…I love smoked sea salt…I slip it in wherever I can!
    150 g Demerara sugar
    1 tbsp whole peppercorns
    2 cloves
    1 star Anise
    1 bay leaf
    sprig or two of fresh Thyme

    Bring all the brine ingredients to a rolling boil until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Put it aside and let it go cold. This is where a cold conservatory comes in handy! Place the pork belly skin side up in a non metallic container. Cover and leave for 24 hours…or so.

    Heat that oven up to 150 c. Dig through your cupboard and find a roasting tin with a rack to sit the pork belly on. Dry the skin with paper towel and chuck in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and chill out! Keep an eye out for the nice crispy skin 🙂
    If it’s not looking crispy enough for you then crank up the heat for the last 30 minutes or so and crisp it up. Don’t chill out too much…you have to make the sauce!

    Saute the onions in a pan until soft and translucent….your kitchen will smell so good….now take a swig of the bottle of ale as you have to do a bit of quality control! Pour in the ale and reduce over a high heat to a glaze. Prepare the chicken stock and add to the pan then reduce to a smooth sauce consistency…some like it thicker than others.. I like my sauces thick 😉 Take it off the heat and whisk in the mustard and voila! place in a jug ready to pour over that pork

    Now once it’s done then the tough part…well I found it a challenge…cut the belly into rectangular pieces. I ended up using a pair of kitchen scissors to cut through the crackling! This is a melt in the mouth piece of meat…so many people are put off by the fat on this meat but with it being slow roasted it just melts in your mouth!