Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shepherds Pie

Shepherds pie, is such a classic a great way to fill you up on a cold day, especially this time of the year, you can make it the night before so then all you have to do is put it in the oven and heat it. Serves 4.

Olive Oil 
700g Lamb Mince 
1  Carrot - finely chopped
1  Onion - finely diced
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Thyme
2 Cloves of Garlic 
Worcestershire Sauce 
Tomato Puree 
75ml Red Wine 
75ml Chicken Stock 


660g Rooster Potatoes
35g Milk 
75g Butter 
Egg Yolks (2)
35g Parmesan Cheese 


  1. Boil some water, throw some salt and your potatoes in, and set a timer for 15 minutes – start on your filling.  
  2. Upon the timer going off, take your potatoes out and strain the water off. 
  3. Put potatoes back into the pan, or into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Mash the potatoes with their ingredients from above and keep warm (your filling should be about done by this point)
  5. Pour Olive Oil into a hot, rather large pan, then add meat. 
  6. Stir meat as if your life depends on it for a few minutes so it’s nice and brown, and broken into very small pieces. 
  7. Add your Rosemary, Thyme, and Garlic, then stir some more. 
  8. Quickly add your Carrot, and Onion, stir a little longer. 
  9. The idea at this point is to get everything to a minced consistency.
  10. Add Worcestershire Sauce, stir, add Tomato Puree, stir, add Red Wine and sweat down for a minute or two. 
  11. Add chicken stock and cook for 3 more minutes.
  12. Scoop your meat mixture into a deep casserole or other oven safe dish and then spoon the mash over the top. 
  13. Spread the mash over the top of the mix with the bottom of the spoon and then sprinkle a generous portion of Parmesan cheese over the top. 
  14. Poke the top with a fork several times to give it a peaked look and stick it in the oven at 200 degrees/ gas mark 6 for 18-20 minutes to brown the potatoes and set the pie. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pumpkin Soup

I was carving pumpkins for Halloween, and decided I was going to make a pumpkin pie and try out an American classic but halfway through stewing my pumpkin I decided that I would prefer soup - it's cold outside and everyone loves a bit of soup when it is cold outside! Serves 4. This recipe is slightly edited as I didn't roast the pumpkin but it makes it so much easier than scooping it out of the pumpkin.

1 Pumpkin - cut in half remove seeds
2 Small Onions - Rough Dice
2 Carrots - Rough Dice
1 Chicken Pot
25g Butter
Parsley - To Garnish
Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200 degrees and put the pumpkin on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast until soft about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a saucepan and add the onions and carrots, cook for a few minutes then add the butter and put the lid on, leave for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  3. When the pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the flesh and add it to the sweated vegetables.
  4. Blitz with a handgun and pass through a fine strainer.
  5. Add to a clean saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasoning.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Swiss Roll

I love Swiss Rolls i think they look great you can have whatever flavour you want i went with strawberries and creme Chantilly, but you could do chocolate and cream if you wanted. This makes 1 large swiss roll (no really it is quite large)

Swiss Roll Sponge

10 Eggs
226g Plain Flour
280g Caster Sugar
1 Tablespoon Liquid Glycerin
Vanilla Flavoring


  1. Weigh all ingredients carefully, prepare tins or sponge by lining with baking parchment and lightly brushing with melted butter and dusting lightly with flour.
  2. Sieve the flour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  3. Place the eggs, sugar and glycerin in a mixing bowl, beating over warm water for five minutes until the mixture has reached a temperature of 37-38 degrees.
  4. Transfer the mix to machine and whisk until thick and creamy.
  5. Carefully fold in the flour taking care to avoid lumps in the mixture.
  6. Pour on to prepared trays, spread the mixture evenly to about 9mm in thickness using a palette knife or scraper.
  7. Bake in a hot oven at 232 for about 8 -10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, allow to cool, turn over onto sugared paper, the tops may be covered with a slightly dampened cloth to avoid edges drying or cracking

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Thai - Crispy Chicken with Basil

I decided to do something different and this dish is great, the oyster sauce and the fish sauce will last for ages in your cupboard its worth buying them you find them quite often in ethnic dishes. This recipe serves 2.

500g Chicken Breast, Thinly Sliced
1 Medium Onion, Thin Wedges
4-5 Garlic Cloves 
Red Pepper, Bite Size Pieces
4-5 Small Red Bird’s Eye Chili*         
½ Tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce              
2 Tbsp Vegetable/Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce          
2 Handfuls Basil leaves

* this chili is really spicy if you don't really like spice go for a regular chili!


  1. Mix the chicken, garlic, chilies, fish sauce, and oyster sauce in a bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a wok over a medium heat.
  4. When the oil seems hot, drop a few basil leaves into it.
  5. If they sizzle immediately the oil is ready.
  6. Fry three quarters of the basil leaves until they are crispy.
  7. Lift out and allow to drain, discard the oil.
  8. Heat oil in the same wok ad stir fry half of the chicken.
  9. Add stock and sugar to the wok, then the pepper and onion, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
  10. Stir in the fresh basil leaves.
  11. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  12. Garnish with the crispy basil.