Date Archives August 2012

Cinnamon and Malted Brioche

Brioche is one of those moreish, bouncy, sweet and obligingly toastable breads that is welcome at breakfast, lunch or dinner. This recipe needs tweaking so I am refraining from sharing it just yet as it was a little doughy and heavy….! However, if you have a trusty brioche recipe anyway, try chucking in some cinnamon and malt extract? This is simply to tempt your empty breakfast tummies until- time permitting- I can create a better one! In the meantime, I must devour the remaining loaf to get it out the way….

Trout stuffed to the gills

Just as we were deliberating what we would devour for dinner the other night, an obviously psychic neighbour bought around a freshly caught trout wrapped obligingly in yesterdays paper! Perfect… to create a delicious recipe…..

I’m not a fan of seafood dishes where you constantly have to probe your hands into unwanted shells and tails, picking- if you’re lucky- small bones from between your teeth or in drastic cases, performing the heimlich maneuver on your friends from your fishes splintering skeleton! However, I thought it would be nice to stuff this lovely trout, so I decided to fillet it first and follow an original Jamie Oliver…

Serves 3

  • 1 whole large trout, filleted into two or 4 small fillets
  • 1 handful of flaked almonds
  • 1 bunch of mint, shredded
  • 1 generous handful of breadcrumbs
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 slices of Parma ham/streaky bacon
  • Handful of artichokes in oil- drained and chopped roughly
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Creme fraiche to serve
  • String
  1. Toast the almonds in a hot, dry frying pan for a couple of minutes until fragrant
  2. Crush in a pestle and mortar until fine, leaving some more chunky pieces
  3. Tip into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, crushed garlic, mint, thyme leaves, lemon zest and juice and a glug of extra virgin olive oil to moisten. Season with lots of cracked black pepper and salt.
  4. Cut about 3 lengths of string and lay one trout fillet on a lined baking tray on top, skin side down. Spread the fleshly upside with the mixture and then place the second fillet on top, skin side up.
  5. Lay the Parma ham/bacon slices on top and tie tightly with the string. Scatter any remaining filling around the edge.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for about 15 minutes until crisp and cooked.
  7. Serve with a lemony creme fraiche.



‘Cheese- milk’s leap towards immortality’ – Clifton Fadiman

Pea and Taleggio Fritters and a Pompous Charcuterie

So……I’ve been having withdrawals from cooking and you may have noticed the lack of recipes these past few weeks? I’ve been in London doing a time consuming internship at delicious.magazine! Its been fantastic, and between sampling over 50 Christmas pudding varieties, 30 mince pies, 15 panettones and still with a crate full of mincemeat and cake left to devour (all for the sake of the Christmas issue’s ‘taste test’ of course) it has left me with little time, stomach capacity and/or motivation for anything edible. However, these withdrawals have been kicking in so it was back in the kitchen this bank holiday weekend.

These fritters are essentially savoury pancakes I guess? I make these all the time as a delicious lunch as they are so open to using different ingredients! With an abundance of cooperative peas from the garden and a fridge maliciously hiding a legendary hunk of taleggio cheese I decided upon these tasty ingredients for lunch. I usually use feta but its absence has converted me to this pungent and obsequious cheese which melts so nicely in this recipe!


You can pretty much use any ingredients in this batter, tweaking the amount of flour and liquid. You can add different spices and herbs and different cheeses! For example, I love to make these with fennel seeds, feta, peas and mint or sweetcorn, curry and chilli! Go mad!

  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g cornflour
  • 100g flour
  • 250g peas
  • 100g taleggio cheese, cubed (approx, or a handful)
  • salt and pepper
  • basil, chopped
  • cumin seed
  1. Boil the peas for a few minutes then run under cold water. Place half the peas in a food processor and puree.
  2. Sieve the flours into a large bowl and add some salt, pepper, cumin seed and basil. Whisk in the beaten eggs and milk until smooth.
  3. Fold in the whole peas, pureed peas, and cheese and mix well. It should be fairly thick, enough to hold its shape in a pan
  4. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and warm some sunflower oil
  5. Fry spoonfuls of the mixture in the hot oil for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and set.

These are lovely with a salsa, salad, chutney or anything you fancy depending on the flavours! However, we had some fancy lamb prosciutto and boar ham and some deeply decadent and artery clogging cheeses in the fridge to use up so these went down well too…..


Peach and Amaretto Mini Meringue Pie

A simple beautiful dessert!  This I actually made the other day with some leftovers- a mini tart case, a lonely peach and an abandoned egg white…….I stewed the peach with some sugar and amaretto and popped it in the tart case before suffocating it in a glossy, sweet and airy meringue mix. Quick blast in the oven and it was ready to devour!

A perfect summer party….

So…..this weekend I helped cater a beautiful, stylish and spirited birthday party on a gorgeous English summer day with a catwalk of the most beautiful guests! With party styling under the professional and wise control of ‘Inspired Party Designs’ ( a stunning company run by my mother and friends and food from myself and team, it was a memorable day which undoubtedly deserves this extended post…

A feast of delicious food; cumin and chilli roasted carrots, fig, goats cheese and hazelnut salad, pea, asparagus, mint and feta salad, seasonal tomatoes with basil and edible flowers, boiled new potatoes with oozing butter and a stunning slow roasted rolled shoulder of lamb with a pomegranate and orange dressing. It was devine!

(Fig hazelnut, goats cheese and balsamic salad on watercress and rocket)

And of course the practiced dessert which was just as good the second time round. Coconut and lime pannacotta, a coconut shortbread and lime melt and a mini mango ice lolly on sugar, salt and citrus crumbs.

And of course……no party is complete without cake……..

And of course the charismatic Birthday girl in her vintage glam attire who made this day so delightful, Happy 30th (‘Np’ I hear you scream…..I know you wouldn’t believe it) Birthday Beth Daniel!!!

Breakfast Granola


There is ALWAYS a jar of this in our cupboard, except this morning when we ran out…… a small tantrum was thrown before butter, oats and honey were scavenged from the pantry and a batch was in and baking before you could say ‘granola!’. This sweet jar of toasty crumbs is perfect for topping yoghurt, fruit salad, compote or just simply with milk. Its delicious and is free for adaptation depending on what your shelves depict and what your taste buds request…

  • 250g oats
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • Handful of mixed nuts (I use chopped walnuts/hazelnuts)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Handful of dried fruit i.e.cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots etc
  • 5 tbsp runny honey
  • 50g unsalted butter
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl except the dried fruit, butter and honey
  2. Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan until liquid
  3. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and spread out thinly
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 180°C turning every 5 minutes to get an even bake
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Don’t worry, once it cools, it will crisp up.
  7. Once cool, mix in the dried fruit and store in an air-tight container where it will keep for weeks!


I’ve never been to Egypt but this is how I imagine it tastes…….Dukka is a ground blend of spices and nuts and is eaten in Egypt as a pre-dinner nibble with bread and oil. The idea is to dip chunks of bread into some good quality peppery extra virgin olive oil then dunk greedily into the dry spice mix and gobble in one! However, I also add it to salads and roasted vegetables such as carrots and beets. It can also be used as a dry rub for lamb or to top fresh bread dough before baking.

I first saw this recipe in Hugh’s River Cottage Everyday book and immediately loved it! Hugh we love you but I have adapted the recipe and added some extra flavours of my own which I think go nicely. As we found out this sunny summer weekend, this nibble goes down a bit too well with a chilled glass of pinot and some jovial company….

  • A handful of hazelnuts OR a large handful of chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Small handful shredded mint leaves
  1. Toast the hazelnuts in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and roll them in between a tea towel to remove the skins. Add to a pestle and mortar and crush coarsely or chop into small pieces
  2. Toast the seeds spices in a dry frying pan until fragrant and they just begin to crackle. Add the to the nuts in the pestle and mortar along with the chilli flakes and salt. Grind coarsely
  3. Shred some fresh mint and stir into the spices.
  4. Enjoy with oil and bread for dipping


Its always nice to use seasonal ingredients that grow at the correct time of year and are perfectly ripe, colourful and full of their maximum flavour. If you’ve ever had a tomato from the supermarket in the middle of winter you’ll have noticed its stubborn insistence on tasting bland as it pokes its anaemic jet-lagged head from the shelf after a long flight from overseas. It will soon make you appreciate the juicy flavour of a scarlet ripe one in the summer months so we usually grow our own! These are looking good but just need a little more sunshine.

Tip of the day…..a friend once told me, if you see a bee that looks tired, it often needs some energy so squeeze a drop of honey next to him and he will greedily slurp it up!