Random Recipes
A bunch of recipes I've tried from a variety of sources — jotted notes on scraps of paper and newspaper clippings or my (later) collection of Word documents.
I've included any comments that I made on these scraps, but some were just bare recipes.
I can only hope that if they were worth my writing them up, they were worth cooking...

Some kind of...
Tuna Bake
main fish
Notes from a torn scrap of paper - there may be some missing!

Oil an ovenproof dish, line with lettuce leaves and fine sliced onion, layer tomatoes, several slices lemon, season, lay 2 slices tuna (1½ lbs). Cover with layers in reverse order, thick layer of leaves (to burn). Pour over glass water, white wine, tablespoon brandy or so. Cook.
And that's where the torn paper ends. Intriguing eh?

Stuffed Squid
main fish
As found on another scrap of paper. Both sides this time - must have been good!

Serves 4

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a casserole, add ½ the garlic and anchovies and stir well. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the chopped squid tentacles, cream and spinach, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, pepper. Stir and remove.
¾ fill the squid body pouches and sew them up with a needle and thread. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the casserole and fry the onion. When softened, add the second clove of garlic and tomato purée. Stir. Add the flour, cook for 3 minutes, mix in the wine, canned tomatoes, season, add a bouquet garni.
Add the squid, cover the pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Serve on rice.
Rather Good!

Avocado Pear Soufflé
side main veg
Peel and grate the pear. Melt the butter, stir in the flour, then the milk and make up a thick white sauce. Cool the mixture, stir in egg yolks and beat well.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold into sauce mix with the grated pear. Season, pour into a greased dish. Bake in a hot oven til well risen and golden - around 30 minutes.
Serve at once.

Broccoli in Hot Ranch Sauce
side veg
I've no idea what this recipe was called. I found it on a Christmas Memo pad.
I don't know if that's significant and it was ever made at Christmas, but the memo doesn't say what it was called.
Nor, rather strangely, does it say what to do with the broccoli once you've made the sauce.

Blend the buttermilk with the cornflour and heat, stirring occasionally. Don't overheat it. Add the yoghurt, capers, turmeric and season. Stir until the mixture thickens. Add the sour cream to thin down the sauce.

Probably the broccoli should come in here now, but that's all she wrote on this memo.
It doesn't really look like you could cook the broccoli in this sauce, so maybe just serve it poured over.

Leeks with Pear and Green Bean Purée
side veg vegan
Nope. That's all there is. On the same Christmas Memo. Just the title. Leeks with Pear and Green Bean Purée.
You do the math.
I finally got around to giving this fragment a serious attempt. Pretty good actually!
  • leeks
  • pear
  • green beans

Scottish Beef Sausage in Ale
main meat
Notes on pages cut out from a magazine, could be The Restaurant Magazine.

Serves 4

Cook the sausages in a large saucepan, over a medium heat until browned. Remove the sausages and place in a casserole dish. Add onion, garlic, carrots and turnip to remaining juices and sauté slightly. Then add the ale, stock, marjoram and seasoning. Bring to the boil, pour over the sausages. Cover and cook for 30 minutes ???

Meanwhile, make the scone topping:
Mix the flour, oats, baking powder and salt together and rub in the margarine. Add the milk to make a soft dough. Roll out, on a floured board, to a thickness of ½" (1 cm) and cut into ten rounds.
Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the blended cornflour and button mushrooms. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F/200°C (Gas Mark 6). Arrange the scones on top of the casserole, brush with a little milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake uncovered for a further ten 20 minutes until the scones have risen and are golden.
Serve with fresh seasonal vegetables.

Here are the rather cryptic notes that I made on this recipe verbatim:
Veggies firm, thin rather bitter sauce.
Longer simmering?
Better Bitter?
Wholemeal floured scones bitter & didn't rise.

plain flour
No lovage lovage? What lovage?

1 hour plus simmering
Newcastle Brown
celery too
plain flour

My interpretation of my own notes, for what it's worth, is that I tried making the scones first time using wholemeal flour and lovage.
And it didn't work.

Kurt's Barbecue Sausages
main meat
Kurt tells me this is a very tasty way to prepare sausages for the barbecue. Not only does it flavour them, but you don't have to burn them on the barby since they're already cooked!
Make sure to use a dark beer though, stout or dark ale, not IPA or similar.

Boil the sausages in the beer and onions for 10 minutes or so.
Now you can barbecue them.

Broccoli in Stilton Sauce
main side veg
Well that's what I've called it anyway - I found this title-less recipe on one of my many collections of scraps of paper.
I have transcribed the oddly particular ingredient measurements as written.

Serves 2

Cook the broccoli florets in boiling water for 5 minutes. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the potatoes, Potatoes? What potatoes? You would probably need them par-cooked then. onions and celery for 3 minutes, turning occasionally. Stir in the broccoli and kidney beans and keep warm.
Place the blue Stilton, cream, egg yolk and lemon juice in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour into a saucepan and stir over moderate heat until thickened.
Serve, poured over the hot salad.
Well I tried this, without the potato, or the celery. I also replaced the kidney beans with borlotti beans (soaked overnight and cooked for 30 minutes).
And added some garlic to the onions. And some mushrooms.
And actually, it wasn't half bad :)
Though probably potato would have been better than mushrooms.

Stir-Fried Lamb with Celery and Chilli
oriental main meat
A Chinese-style spicy stir-fry.

Serves 4

Cut the lamb into ¼"x½"x2" strips. Mix with the marinade and leave for between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
Trim the celery and cut into ¼" slices. Slit the chilli, discard the seeds then slice thinly with the garlic. Cover everything and set aside til ready to cook.
Drain the marinade from the meat and save it. Pat the meat dry. Heat the wok, swirl vegetable oil around it to coat evenly then add the celery, stirring and tossing constantly, for 1½ minutes until brown at the edges and ridges. Lift the celery out of the wok and set aside.
Allow 5 seconds for the wok to regain its lost heat the stir-fry the garlic and chilli for 10 seconds before adding the lamb. Stir-fry for 30-40 seconds, tip in the marinade and sesame oil, toss a couple of times then return the celery.
Stir-fry for a final 15 seconds or so to mix and heat through.
Serve immediately.

Ham In Honey
main meat
A very random recipe - I'm not even sure I understand the instructions, but here you go...

Wash and clean the ham with hot water. Place in boiling water and cook for ½ hour. Drain and remove bones. Cut into long slices. Arrange the better slices of ham around a bowl. Put the other pieces on top. Fill the bowl with boiling water and steam for 20 mins using stock. Wash and drain the lotus seeds, place on top of the ham. Place the mashed pineapple on the lotus seeds. Mix the sugar with the sherry, pour on top of pineapple. Put in a steamer to steam for 2 hours. To prepare a serving dish, overturn the steamed bowl and pour the ham into a platter. Drain. Pour honey on top and serve.

Adrianna's Spaghetti Carbonara
main meat pasta
I last saw my college buddy Adrianna Teryiakisauce when we went to try on jeans together in the Original Levi's Store on Prince's Street, Edinburgh. Maybe I was showing rather too much interest in her backside, which I now admit to having the hots for, or maybe she knew full well about that, but just decided it was getting a bit creepy for her.
Whatever, here is a pretty tasty dish from a girl who turned out not to be as down-and-dirty (stock cubes - yeuch!) or as easy as her recipes.

Serves you and your unrequited love.

Cut the root off the leek and slice it in half length-ways down to the green part.
Slice up the white leek and wash thoroughly. Drain.
Grill a few bacon slices and break or chop them up into pieces. Or you can chop them and fry them if you like.
Chop the mushrooms into decent chunks.
Fry the leeks, throw in the mushrooms, bacon pieces and a crumbled vegetable stock cube I know. It's dirty.
Pour on generous cream and voilà: a tasty carbonara sauce.
Eat with pasta and grated strong cheddar, or a spoon.
Nice combination of flavours.
Though rather rudely described by my friend The Cave Bague as really only a diced carrot short of looking like vomit.

Karl's Spaghetti Carbonara for Philistines
main meat pasta
Much like Adrianna's spaghetti carbonara except that I've added some chicken. And some Jack Daniels. Which goes very well with a smokey bacon.
Oh and I took away the crumbled vegetable stock cube, though I must admit it is delicious!

Serves 2

Slice the leeks longways, then cut into slices (not too thinly). Wash thoroughly and drain.
Halve or quarter the mushrooms.
Chop the bacon.
Do something here to cook the chicken, if necessary.
Fry the leeks in olive oil or butter until starting to soften. Meanwhile, fry the bacon then add it to the leeks. Deglaze the frying pan with Jack Daniels and add to the leeks. Add the mushrooms to the leeks and stir through.
Add the shredded cooked chicken and single cream or double cream and stock.

Serve over pasta with a grating of smoked or goat's cheese.
Dijon mustard is quite nice in the sauce, particularly if you don't have any cheese.

Autumn Lamb Braised In Beaujolais
main meat
Here's the simplified notes I made for myself on this recipe, but I also include the full online version below

Smear a leg of lamb with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast on HIGH heat (gas 9) for half an hour uncovered. Remove from oven and pour on a bottle of Beaujolais and sprinkle with chopped fresh bruised rosemary and thyme. Return to the oven at gas mark 3 for 1- hours. Remove and add the roasting vegetables, more herbs (bay leaf for e.g.) and return to the gas mark 3 oven for another 1½ hours.
Remove from the oven, place the meat and vegetables on a pre-warmed serving dish and decant the sauce to a pan. Simmer the sauce to reduce it whilst adding a little redcurrant jelly and whisking in a couple of roasted cloves of garlic.

Serves 6-8

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8/450°F/230°C.

Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into the shallow roasting tray and put it into the oven as it pre-heats. Then prepare all the vegetables as follows: scrub the carrots, turnips, and potatoes; top and tail the carrots and turnips, leaving the carrots whole but chopping the turnips (with skins left on) into quarters, and cut the potatoes length-ways into 4 pieces (unpeeled). Now peel the parsnips and cut them into halves; and finally peel the shallots but leave them whole.

Now dry the vegetables thoroughly in a clean tea cloth. When the oven is up to temperature, carefully remove the roasting tray, using an oven glove to protect your hands. Place this over a direct medium heat on the hob and spoon the prepared vegetables and the unpeeled garlic into the fat. Turn them over to make sure they are well coated and return the tray to the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, turning them over at half time so that they roast evenly. While they are in the oven, prepare the lamb by placing it in the roasting tin and rubbing the joint all over with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, some crushed sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.

When the vegetables are nicely tinged brown at the edges, remove them from the oven and set aside. Place the roasting tin with the lamb in the oven, on the highest shelf that will take it, and let it start to roast for 30 minutes or until it has turned a good golden colour. Take the lamb out of the oven, then reduce the temperature to gas mark 3/325°F/170°C and spoon off any fat to use later. Place the roasting tin over a medium heat on top of the stove, pour in the Beaujolais and baste the meat with it. Then sprinkle with the chopped thyme and rosemary. As soon as the wine begins to bubble, turn off the heat and cover the whole tin with a tent of foil (without it touching the meat). Fold the foil tight under the rim of the tin and replace it in the oven — on the centre shelf this time — and let it continue cooking for 1½ hours.

When the time is up, remove the roasting tin from the oven and once again transfer it to direct heat. Carefully remove the foil and baste the meat well with the wine. Spoon the browned vegetables all around in the wine, season them with salt and freshly milled black pepper and pop in the sprigs of thyme and rosemary and the bay leaf. When it has come back to simmering point, replace the foil and cook for a further 1½ hours.

After that, remove the meat and vegetables to warmed serving dishes, discarding the sprigs of herbs, then cover to keep warm. Place the roasting tin over direct heat once more and let the sauce reduce. Squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skins into the sauce and whisk this in along with the redcurrant jelly. Taste and season the sauce with salt and freshly milled black pepper, then pour it into a warm serving jug. Sprinkle the lamb and vegetables with the parsley or thyme and serve.

Linguine with Mussels and Walnut Parsley Pesto
main fish pasta
Serves 2

First prepare the pesto: select a large pan that will hold the mussels comfortably, then in it heat a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the walnuts in the hot oil to get them nicely toasted on all sides — this will take 1-2 minutes. Place the walnuts and any oil left in the pan into a blender or food processor, add the parsley and garlic, the remaining tablespoon of oil and seasoning, then blend everything to make a purée.

Next, you need to deal with the mussels: heat the olive oil in the same pan that you sautéed the walnuts in, add the shallot and chopped garlic and cook these over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they're just soft. Now turn the heat up high, tip in the prepared mussels and add the wine and some salt and pepper. Put on a close-fitting lid, turn the heat down to medium and cook the mussels for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice or until they have all opened. Discard any that remain closed.

During those 5 minutes bring another large pan of salted water up to the boil. Then, when the mussels are cooked, remove them from the heat and transfer them to a warm bowl using a slotted spoon and shaking each one well, so that no juice is left inside. Keep 8 mussels aside still in their shells, for a garnish. Then remove the rest from their shells and keep them warm, covered with foil in a low oven. Then place a sieve lined with muslin or gauze over a bowl and strain the mussel liquor through it. This is very important as it removes any bits of sand or grit that get lodged in the mussel shells.

Put your pasta into the boiling water for 8 minutes (or the time on the packet) Then pour the strained mussel liquor back into the original saucepan and fast-boil to reduce it by about one-third. After that turn the heat to low and stir in the pesto.

Now add the shelled mussels to the pesto sauce and remove it from the heat. As soon as the pasta is cooked, quickly strain it in a colander and divide it between two hot pasta bowls. Spoon the mussels and pesto over each portion, add the mussels in their shells and scatter over the parsley. Serve absolutely immediately with some well chilled white wine.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
starter side dessert veg
Well, I'll say one thing for my old Mum, she gets around a bit.
On her return from China she wanted to re-create a dish she enjoyed there. We made a good stab at it, though I think it probably needs more work.

Our first attempt involved making caramel from sugar and water, and throwing in some boiled sweet potato cubes. This didn't work because of the amount of water which came off the potatoes and diluted the caramel.

The second attempt involved making caramel from heating pure sugar until it began to turn golden, stirring in some butter, and adding the potato cubes which had been previously roasted on a tray in the oven.
This was much better, and tasted very good, although the caramel was perhaps rather hard and didn't stick too well to the potatoes.
A similar recipe I found for ordinary potatoes suggested rinsing the cooked spuds in cold water to help the caramel to coat them more effectively.

It's worth mentioning that other recipes I've found reduce honey, rice vinegar, ground ginger, five-spice powder, and water with par-boiled yams gently for half an hour, but that sounds a bit savoury and I'm not sure that would produce the crispy coating that Mum was after.

Chinese Chicken
main fowl
During my time at the North Fork Youth Hostel in Montana, I swapped many recipes with Anne Sullivan, who was mostly into Mexican cooking, but also had an eclectic set of other ethnic dishes.
Like this one.

Oil a large wok. Slit the sides of the chilli pods and remove the seeds if you don't want it too hot. Throw in the chilli pods and the chunked-up chicken and sizzle until brown. Fry the onion and the spices. Throw in julienne potatoes and vegetable ingredients and sizzle. Add soy sauce, Hoisin sauce or whatever liquid you prefer, a little water, cover and allow to steam until the chicken is cooked.
This was pretty tasty, although the chilli pods we used were so mild as to not deserve the name chillies! Perhaps also, the water was not necessary.

Anne told me that this recipe was modified by her friend Jim from the original in Mrs Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook and here it is:

Soak the mushrooms for 20 minutes, cut off the stems and halve them. Save the water. Cut 2 of the scallions and save 2 whole.
Marinate the chicken in the wine and cut scallions for 15 minutes. Peel; cut the ginger into 4 pieces.
Heat the oil until just smoking then throw in the ginger, peppers, sugar, whole scallions and chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat, add the anise and cook 5 minutes or so until chicken is done.
Add the potatoes. Add the wine and soy sauce to the pan, bring to the boil and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Now add the black mushrooms and their water and enough more water to cover the chicken.
Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover the pan.
Let simmer for 1 hour.
Chicken should be soft, sauce reduced to half.
Add the tree ears, cook for 5 mins.
Add sesame oil and stir.
This can be prepared ahead. Best served at room temperature. Keeps well in the fridge.
Apparently, the anise and mushrooms are what really make it taste great.

Chinese-Style Noodles
side staple veg vegan
Pour some vinegar (rice-wine or wheat-bread vinegar preferably) over your noodles for that authentic Chinese flavour!
  • noodles
  • chinese rice-wine vinegar
Veg Talk Recipes
A few recipes from the BBC radio 4 program Veg talk

Smoked Haddock and Butternut Squash
side main fish
The phone-caller on Veg talk suggested halving the butternut squash, cleaning out the seeds, scoring the flesh and then microwaving the halves, though I would think that baking them would be better, if longer.

  • Smoked Haddock, or e.g. smoked salmon.
  • Whole butternut squash.
The smoked haddock is heated e.g in water, milk, cream or butter, then the fish and squash are mashed together.

Apparently the two flavours go very well together.

Yep, the tastes do go well together . I briefly simmered the haddock in a little milk, then scraped the fishy flesh away from the skin & flaked it (look out for bones). I halved the squash and roasted them, but it takes ages! Mash the squash separately, then combine the fish and squash. You can reuse the skins to serve but they are a bit floppy. I imagine potato skins would be better.

Milk and Onion Bolognese Sauce
sauce veg pasta
Here's an interesting idea for when you have nothing but milk and onions: Chop, then brown the onions. Add milk and simmer for a couple of hours(?). This should make a surprisingly rich and tasty sauce a bit like Bolognese. Suitable for pouring over pasta.

Curry Sauce thickener
sauce veg vegan
Make a thickening agent for curry sauces by boiling onions (in stock?) and blending them.
Thanks Veg Talkers!

Oliver's Oily Focaccia Bread
bread veg vegan
Oliver Meister was another mad creature of the North Fork Hostel. He mostly lived in a Teepee, was German, had uncontrollable hair and a way with bread. These qualities may be unrelated.

Sift 4 cups the flour into a bowl. Mix 3 tablespoons of warm water with a packet of dry yeast, a spoon of honey and some of the flour in a mould. Let rise for 15 min or until it bubbles. Add a teaspoon of salt 2 tblspoons of olive oil and 1 cup of warm water. Knead a nice smooth dough adding water or flour if necessary. Let rise for an hour in a warm spot. Make 4 focaccias or pizzas out of it.
Top with put whatever you like; for the focaccia sprinkle with lots of oregano and sprinkle plenty of olive oil after it comes out of the oven while it is still hot.
Bake at 400°F for 20-30 mins.

Pepper-Fried Monkfish in Red Pepper Relish
main fish
A simplified version of Delia's original from some random notes.

The Relish:
Fry slices of unpeeled red peppers with two tomatoes and garlic. When starting to blacken at the edges, cover and simmer on low heat for 25 mins. Blend (reasonably coarsely) and leave to stand.

The Monkfish:
Coat 1" slices of monkfish in flour blended with 1½ tblsps coarsely ground mixed peppercorns, 1 tsp salt. Fry in very (smoking) hot oil for 2 minutes per side (in batches if necessary).
Keep warm and serve with the relish.
  • monkfish
  • red pepper
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • flour for coating
  • salt and coarsely ground mixed peppercorns

Pepper-crusted Monkfish with Red Pepper Relish
starter main fish
This is the original recipe of a simplified version I wrote down on some scattered notes.

Serves 4

Begin the relish by heating the oil in a medium saucepan. When it's really hot, add the strips of pepper and toss them around, keeping them on the move so they get nicely toasted and browned at the edges. Then add the tomatoes, the whole garlic clove and the chopped anchovies. Give it all a good stir, put a lid on and, keeping the heat at its lowest possible setting, let the whole thing stew gently, stirring once or twice, for 25 minutes or until the peppers are soft.

Then whiz the whole lot to a coarse purée in a blender or food processor. Taste and season with salt and freshly milled pepper, then empty into a serving bowl and stir in the balsamic vinegar. It is now ready for serving and can be made in advance.

To cook the fish, first cut it into small rounds about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. Mix the flour with the salt, then crush the peppercorns with a pestle and mortar — or using the end of a rolling pin in a small bowl — to a fairly coarse texture. Combine them with the seasoned flour.

Next, heat the oil until very hot in a good solid frying pan. Dip each piece of fish in the flour and peppercorn mixture, pressing them gently on all sides to get an even coating. Now fry the fish in two batches, for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they're tinged nicely brown. Keep the first batch warm while you cook the second.

Serve, garnished with watercress or fresh coriander sprigs, and the sauce handed round separately.
I'm sure it's every bit as good with the anchovies and the vinegar :)

Stacy's Marmite Loaf
bread veg
According to the song Stacy's Mum was a bit of a goer.
Well, like Mother like Daughter :)

Here's her Marmite loaf. She was very proud of the recipe, and rather disappointed when I was unimpressed. If England had trailer trash, Stacy's Marmite loaf would feel right at home.
I'm saying nothing more.

This is the official recipe. You chop the ingredients up, shred the bread, mix together and fill a loaf tin, then bake at gas 5 for half an hour. It comes out as a fairly firm loaf.
I Didn't think too much of it frankly, despite pepping up the ingredients with Emmental and Dolcelatte cheeses, and chopped parsley. The result seemed awful bready, not cheesy or Marmitey enough.

Perhaps consider something more in the line of actual bread baked with cheese & Marmite?

Andy's Dinner
main veg vegan
My sometime flatmate Andy the soil biologist is the king of one-pot meals. Well, a one-pot meal. He cooks his staples in the pot, and his side dish in the steamer on top.
The ingredients vary within tightly controlled limits - sometimes the pot contains rice, sometimes pasta, and sometimes potatoes.
Sometimes the steamer contains kale, sometimes spinach, and sometimes broccoli.
Sometimes Andy adds fish, sometimes he adds a poached egg.
Usually he mashes in some tomatoes and garlic, and often supplements the dish with a slice of toast, greased with olive oil.

Day after day, over and over, he makes this same meal and here it is, in his own words:

Take 1 litre H2O with pinch of NaCl, apply heat until detect shift from liquid to gaseous phase, add carbohydrate, leave for 5 min, drain, serve with some edible plants (the author suggests, raw garlic, a kilo of kale, drowning in olive oil), ta-da!

Smartarse :)

Sautéed Mussels in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce
main fish
From a pullout recipe series in the Mail On Sunday magazine called The Great Hotels Cookbook.

Serves 6

Wash the mussels in several changes of water and scrub the shells thoroughly until clean. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil.
Add the mussels and cook over high heat just until they open. Drain thoroughly and discard any mussels which remain closed.
Or steam them in the sauce.
Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the chopped garlic, red chilli, green pepper, shallot and tangerine peel over a high heat. Add the Chinese wine, black bean paste, stock, ginger powder, salt, sugar, chilli paste, oyster sauce and soy sauce, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil.
Add the raw mussels here and then add the cornflour in much less stock (a half) for a rich sauce.
Mix the cornflour with a little water until smooth, then mix into the stock and cook, stirring until thickened. Add the mussels and stir constantly for a few minutes until hot.
Serve at once, garnished with chopped spring onion.
Very nice.

Fried Noodles Man Wah Style
main fowl fish oriental
From a pullout recipe series in the Mail On Sunday magazine called The Great Hotels Cookbook.

Serves 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and sauté the noodles quickly. In more oil? Remove from the wok and keep warm. Heat the remaining oil and sauté the duck, prawns, onion, celery, beansprouts, carrot, chilli and green pepper over a high heat.
Return the noodles to the wok with the mixed pickle, salt, sugar and soy sauce and oyster sauce to taste. Sauté quickly until well heated.
Stir in the Chinese chives and serve at once, sprinkled with egg shreds and sesame seeds and garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
Good noodles - though as usual they don't fry well - tending to stick and burn.

Three Minute Cod with Tomato and Pepper Salsa
main fish

Serves 4

Chill fish in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. The idea is to firm it up, but not to freeze it - don't forget it's there. Slice very thinly across the grain. Brush with olive oil and arrange slices of fish on one large heatproof plate or four smaller ones, overlapping as little as possible. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep cool until needed.

To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep covered until needed.

Preheat the oven to its highest setting. When you are almost ready to eat, uncover fish and zip it into the oven for three minutes. Pour a little of the salsa over each plate for colour, and serve with remaining salsa.
The salsa goes very nicely with the cod, indeed is quite tasty. But the cod is finnicky to prepare and takes ages. It also falls apart on serving, being so thin.
Why not simply grill the fillets?

Pomander Chicken with Poached Pears in Green Peppercorn Sauce
main fowl

Serves 6

In a pan large enough to accommodate the chicken breasts in one layer (a sauté pan is ideal), heat the oil over a low heat and cook the onion until transparent. Add the wine, stock, orange rind, pear slices and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer over a low heat until the pears are tender. (This could take up to 40 minutes - depending on the type of pear.) Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the pear slices to a heated dish, cover and keep warm. Mine took 10 minutes.

Push 3 whole cloves into the top of each fillet of chicken and arrange these in a single layer in the liquid in the pan. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to the dish with the pears. Remove the cloves, cover and keep warm until required.

Off the heat, add the dissolved arrowroot and peppercorns to the sauce and heat gently, stirring until slightly thickened.

Place a piece of chicken and some slices of pear on each of 6 heated plates, pour over the sauce and serve with boiled rice (you can add lots of pepper and chopped fresh herbs to the rice, then lightly press each portion into a small mould before turning out onto plates) and fresh steamed or boiled seasonal vegetables.
Good dish.
Looks rather pale, but tastes interesting.

Green Mussel Bisque
soup fish

Serves 4

Chop half the onion and one stick of celery, and put them with the washed, cleaned, bearded mussels in a large saucepan, cover with the wine, adding a sprig of parsley, the thyme and the bay leaf. Bring to simmering point, and cook a few minutes, until mussels open. Strain, reserving mussels and liquid. When cool, remove mussels from shells.

Roughly chop the celery, fennel, garlic and remaining onion, and sweat in a heavy pan in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, till vegetables are tender. Blend in a food processor, together with the mussels and their liquid, pressing through a sieve with a wooden spoon to extract all the juices. Add the cream, reserving a teaspoonful, to the mussel broth, and boil to reduce volume to two-thirds. Season with pepper (and salt if necessary), and whisk in last spoonful of cream before serving. Garnish with the finely chopped parsley.

The Renggli who? is to cool the broth, divide it between four soup bowls, and cover with circles of puff pastry. Chill 30 minutes more, then brush with egg wash (one egg yolk and one spoonful milk, beaten together) and bake in hot oven 10 minutes, then lower heat another 10 minutes till it browns. As you cut the crust at table the scent explodes in you face.
The soup is lovely!

Imam Bayildi
main side veg vegan
The famous Turkish aubergine dish. Its name means the Imam swooned. Why? Because it was so delicious? Or he ate too much?
Or possibly because he overdosed on olive oil?

Serves 4

Cut a deep slit lengthwise down each aubergine, stopping short of top and base. Place in a bowl of very salty water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a heavy pan, heat half the olive oil. Gently fry the onions with the green peppers and garlic until soft. Then combine them with the tomatoes, parsley, allspice (if used) and salt and black pepper to taste.

Drain the aubergines, gently squeeze out moisture with your hands, and dry with paper towels. Put the rest of the olive oil in the pan and fry the aubergines, gently turning several times (take care not to spoil the shape), until they begin to soften.

Take the pan off the heat and turn all the aubergines so the slit is facing upwards. If you prefer to bake them in the oven, you can transfer them to an oven-proof dish.

Force as much filling as possible into the slits, and put any that is left on top. Pour on the water go easy on it and lemon juice. Either cook on top of the stove at very gentle heat, or bake in the oven, preheated to 325°F/160°C/Gas Mark 3, for 45 minutes. Leave to cool at room temperature. Then chill, if you like. Best eaten cool or cold, and garnished with parsley.
Easy to prepare, but it didn't make me swoon!
The aubergine didn't seem to pick up much flavour.

Vegetable Samosas
starter veg vegan
Finger food, wonderful for parties and buffets, equally good as a first course. This version has a spicy stuffing.

Serves 24

In a mortar pound together the garlic, coriander root and peppercorns to form a paste. heat the oil, briefly fry the paste then add the other ingredients in turn, stirring constantly. Set aside. Cut the filo pastry sheets into eight short strips. Put a dab of mixture on the edge nearest you. Fold up an edge diagonally to form a triangle, then the other edges, dabbing cornflour paste on the final corner. Fold over to seal. Heat the oil and deep-fry the samosas until they are golden brown.
Use single sheets or the inner leaves won't cook.

Skorthalia (Garlic Sauce)
sauce veg vegan
Similar in consistency to mayonnaise, Skorthalia is popular served with fried vegetables, boiled potatoes and beetroot, fried fish and chicken. Vary the amount of garlic to taste.

Serves 4

Soak the bread in a little water then squeeze it gently to remove excess water. Put the bread, garlic and vinegar in a liquidiser and blend well. With the machine running, add the oil slowly. Continue liquidising until the sauce is the consistency of mayonnaise. Season and set aside. Serve as an accompaniment to fried courgette and aubergine slices, sprinkled with parsley.
Interesting - works well and makes a thick and tasty kind of mayonnaise.

Parsnips and Yam Crisps
starter side veg vegan
Cut the parsnips and yams into thin slices with a vegetable peeler, then deep-fry in hot oil for about 10 min or until golden brown.
Yes, alright.

Red Cabbage in Cider
main side veg
This one was written up in the margins of my copy of Floyd on Britain and Ireland. Maybe it's a Floyd recipe from somewhere else?

Sauté red cabbage (~1 lb)
with sliced onion (~2)
in butter, add cider (dry, one glass)
& steam sealed with foil.

With elderberries (1 heaped tablespoon) - quite sweet flavour, but the berries didn't soften - they would need grinding.
  • red cabbage
  • onion
  • butter
  • cider
The Ultimate Sweet Soufflé
From a section of a Good Housekeeping Magazine
I've noted of these recipes:
When cooked has a light spongy texture - just firm, not runny or bubbling.

Hot Vanilla Soufflé
dessert veg
Serves 4

  • 1 vanilla pod or 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
  • 300ml (½ pint) milk
  • butter or margarine
  • 40g (1½ oz) white flour
  • 50g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 5 eggs (size 2), separated
  • icing sugar (optional)
  • single cream to accompany
Split the vanilla pod to reveal the seeds. Place in a saucepan with the milk and bring to the boil. Take off the heat; cover and leave to infuse for about 20 min before straining.

Tie a collar of greaseproof paper around a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) soufflé dish so that it stands about 7.5cm (3 in) above the dish. Brush the inside of the dish and the paper with melted butter.

Melt 50g (2 oz) butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 min before blending in the strained milk. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time; cook for about 1 min. Take the pan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly then beat in the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla essence.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat one spoonful into the sauce mixture, then lightly fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the mixture gently into the prepared dish. Level with a palette knife and make a few cuts through the outer edges of the mixture - this helps it to rise evenly.

Stand the dish on a baking sheet and cook at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 35-40 mins or until well risen, just set and well browned. (It can take as long as 50min in a gas oven.) Remove the paper, dust lightly with icing sugar and serve straightaway accompanied by single cream.
Not especially exciting flavour.
It cooked in 40 minutes, but failed to rise - was that because I didn't make cuts in the mix?

Apricot & Almond Soufflé
dessert veg
Serves 4

  • 175g (6 oz) no-soak dried apricots
  • 1 lemon, pared
  • butter or margarine
  • 40g (1½ oz) plain flour
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) milk
  • 40g (1½ oz) sugar
  • 5 eggs (size 2), separated
  • flaked almonds
  • single cream with Amaretto di Saronno (almond liqueur) added
Cover the apricots with cold water. Add the pared lemon rind; cover and leave to soak for 3-4 hours or overnight. (Even though we used no-soak apricots we left them in water for a few hours to plump them up.)

Simmer the apricots and liquid in a covered saucepan for about 20 min or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Purée the apricots with 100ml (4 fl oz) of the cooking liquor; sieve to make a smooth purée.

Tie a collar of greaseproof paper around a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) soufflé dish so that it stands about 7.5cm (3 in) above the dish. Brush the inside of the dish and the paper with melted butter.

Melt 50g (2 oz) butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 1 min before blending in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time; cook for about 1 min - the sauce will be very thick. Take off the heat. Allow to cool slightly and then beat in the apricot purée, sugar and the egg yolks.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat one spoonful into the sauce mixture to lighten it, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. Gently pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish. Level the top with a palette knife and make a few cuts through the outer edges of the mixture - this helps it to rise evenly. Sprinkle over a few flaked almonds.

Stand the dish on a baking sheet and cook at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 35-40 min or until well risen, just set and well browned. (It can take as long as 50 min in a gas oven.) Remove the paper and serve straightaway accompanied by single cream mixed with a little almond liqueur, if wished.
Took 1½ hours at gas 5 plus 5 mins at gas 6!
A bunch of sauces form a typewritten sheet of notes

Marie Rose Sauce
A random Marie-Rose-like sauce.

  • 4 fl oz mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 2 tablespoons single cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Hot Butter and Quark Sauce
sauce veg
  • 4 fl oz water
  • 4 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon single cream
  • 2 oz quark
heat the water, vinegar and onions together in a pan, and boil to reduce the liquid by two thirds. Raise the heat and when boiling vigorously add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the cream and season with a little salt. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk the quark into the sauce until it is foamy and light. Season the sauce to taste with pepper.
No mention of how it tastes or what one might do with it!

German Cream Cheese Sauce
sauce veg
  • 3 oz German cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt, pepper & sugar
Combine the cream cheese, cream, oil and lemon juice with salt, pepper and sugar.
No mention of what to do with it though.
From a sheet of hand-written notes
Recipes from a densely-written piece of A4. Don't know where they came from though.
It says that The following recipes for celeriac, kohlrabi and mooli are interchangeable as these vegetables are all very similar in texture.

Celeriac and Potato Gratin
side veg
  • potato
  • celeriac
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • double cream
  • butter
Take equal amounts of each vegetable and peel, but keep them separate. Cut into very thin slices and blanch in boiling water using one pan for the potato and one for the celeriac. Drain and dry well, then lightly sauté a batch of potato slices in olive oil with salt and pepper. Put them in a flat layer in a buttered gratin dish. Repeat this process with the celeriac and place on top of the layer of potato. Repeat these layers, then cover the dish with double cream and dot with butter. Bake in preheated oven 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 for 30-45 mins or until the top is brown and all the cream has been absorbed.
Mooli and potato: marvellous delicate flavour, the sautéing is very faffy and the result greasy - what about the method aux Roux Bros?
Whatever that is? Is it this one?

side veg
  • kohlrabi
  • butter
  • parsley
  • lemon juice
Trim the stem and peel the root, making sure that you remove any stringy parts that lie beneath the skin. The best kohlrabi can be peeled like a banana. Cut into neat, evenly-sized slices or cubes and either boil or steam until tender. Serve tossed in butter with a sprinkle of parsley and a sprinkle of lemon.

Cooked Mooli
  • 1 mooli root
  • butter
  • 2 fl oz veal or chicken stock
  • ¼ pint dry white wine
  • salt & pepper
  • a sprinkling of lemon juice
Peel the root with a potato peeler, cut into 1½" lengths, then slice each cylinder downwards into several segments. Heat a knob of butter in a saucepan and cook the pieces gently for 5-6 mins. Add 2 fl oz veal or chicken stock and ¼ pint dry white wine. The liquid should just be level with the mooli.
Season well.
Cook fairly rapidly for about 15 minutes. The mooli should be tender and the liquid syrupy. Add seasoning and lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle with plenty of freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Red Mullet with Olives
main fish
Serves 2

  • 2 x 8 oz red mullets, cleaned and scaled
  • 4 tblsps olive oil
  • 5 fl oz white wine
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 oz black olives, stoned
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tblsps fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Lay the mullet in a roasting pan. Pour over oil and wine, add salt, olives and lemon halves. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minus, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with the point of a knife. Lift the fish out and keep warm. Reduce the sauce by half by boiling rapidly. Pour over the fish and sprinkle with parsley and garlic.
Serve immediately.
Delicious sauce.

Braised Fennel
side veg vegan

Serves one person per fennel bulb.

  • one fennel bulb per person
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 3-4 unpeeled garlic cloves per person
  • white wine
  • fennel leaves or parsley, to serve
Trim the hard round stalks close to the bulb. If the outer layers are very stringy or damaged, remove that too. Cut each bulb in halves or quarters, depending on size. Cut away the central core if it is very thick, but leave enough to keep the sections intact.

Using a sauté pan cook the fennel slowly in olive oil, adding salt and 3-4 unpeeled garlic cloves per person. When the fennel pieces are brown all over, add equal amounts of water and white wine to a depth of ¼". Bring to the boil, then simmer covered for 30-40 minutes. When the pieces are tender, remove the lid and reduce the sauce to a glaze. Serve sprinkled with fennel leaves or parsley. Skin and mash the garlic cloves to eat with bread as an accompaniment.
Lovely - sauté the fennel well.

Hot Cucumber
  • a cucumber
  • butter
  • chicken stock
  • thick cream
  • parsley or chives, to serve
Peel the cucumber, slice each one into 4 lengthwise. De-seed and cut into 1" chunks.
Boil the pieces in salted water for 4-5 minutes No, don't do that - just blanch them!, then drain and continue to cook in a generous amount of butter and a little chicken stock it takes quite a while to soften - perhaps half an hour.
Season well and add enough very thick cream to coat the pieces. Serve sprinkled with plenty of chopped parsley or chives.
Pleasant, if a little bland. Supposedly goes well with fish.
Much better on the second try without boiling the cucumber to death.
I prefer to cook the parsley with the cucumber a little before adding the cream - and/or a touch of dill at the end is nice.

Pink Fir Apple Potato Salad
salad veg vegan
  • pink fir apple potatoes
  • dry white wine
  • watercress
  • parsley
  • red onion

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • German mustard
  • salt and pepper
Choose the largest potatoes you can find. Scrub well and steam until tender. While they are still warm, cut into large chunks or halve without peeling. Put in a salad bowl and sprinkle with a little dry white wine. Let this soak in for ~10 mins then add a vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper, olive oil and German mustard. Mix well and, if you like, add watercress leaves, chopped parsley and sliced red onion.
Great simple salad - use the right potatoes though.

Grilled Lollo Rosso
salad side veg vegan
  • Lollo Rosso lettuces
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Cut the lettuce length-ways into 4 so that the leaves remain attached to the central core. Put the quarters in a flat oven dish and coat lightly with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook under a preheated grill, turning the lettuce once or twice until the edges of the leaves go crisp and the rest is slightly soft. Serve at once, either as an hors d'oeuvre or as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.
Nice enough.
I can't help thinking a sprinkling of lemon juice or vinaigrette might also be nice.
German Meats and Gravies
A sheet of typed recipes

Steak and Bacon
main meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for frying
  • 2 sirloin steaks, 6-7 oz
  • 4 rashers bacon
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice of ½ lemon
Heat half the butter for frying in a pan and fry the steaks until done to taste. Season to taste and keep warm. Fry the bacon rashers in the rest of this butter and keep warm. Melt the remaining butter in a pan over a low heat and allow to cool slightly. Combine 1 teaspoon of the chives, the chopped onion and the wine vinegar in a separate saucepan and season with pepper. Boil until the vinegar has reduced to a scant tablespoon. Remove from the heat and add the cold water, then stir in the egg yolks. Whisk over a low heat until thick and frothy. Remove from the heat again and slowly whisk in the melted butter. Whisk in the lemon juice, and season with salt. Serve with tomato wedges on fried bread.
Pour the sauce over.

Leg of Beef in Vodka
main meat
  • 1 small glass of vodka
  • 1 leg of beef about 6lb
  • 4 oz smoked fat bacon, cut into thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons dripping
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into rings
  • 16 fl oz hot meat stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 10 oz soured cream
  • 1½ tablespoons German mustard
  • 1 dash red wine
  • 2 slices beetroot, cut into strips
  • 1 pickled cucumber, cut into strips
  • 1 bunch of dill, chopped
Sprinkle the vodka over the bacon. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Better to soak over-night. The vodka flavour is very subtle. Press the bacon strips onto the beef and rub all over with salt and pepper. Melt the dripping in a roasting tin, add the leg of beef and the onions and roast for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas mark 4 gas 6-7 to brown.
Pour on the hot meat stock and return to the oven, covered for 2 hours or 1½ hours for a 3lb leg uncovered. Transfer the beef to a heated platter and stir the flour into the meat juices in the tin. Allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Mix in the soured cream, mustard, red wine, beetroot and pickled cucumber. Add half of the chopped dill and cook for 5 minutes. Cut the meat into slices and serve with the sauce, garnished with the remaining dill.
Serve with boiled potatoes and a salad.
Damn fine flavour.
Though it looks messy and is hard to carve.

main meat
  • 6 tablespoons red wine
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 fl oz water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 x 3lb joint rolled beef
  • 4 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 oz flour
  • 2½ fl oz soured cream
Put the first six ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Cool.
Place the beef in a large bowl with the onion, pour in the wine mixture, cover and leave to marinate for 2-3 days in a cool place, turning the meat several times. Remove and pat dry. Melt the butter in a pan and brown the meat all over. Transfer the joint to a casserole. Take the onions from the marinade, drain and brown in the same fat with the carrots. Add the marinade, bring to boil then pour over the beef. Cover and either simmer on top of the stove (depending on the cut), or bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas 4 for 1½-4 [sic!] until tender. Remove the joint and the vegetables and keep hot. Skim the fat from the liquid until smooth, then whisk back into the rest of the liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Spoon a little sauce over the meat to moisten and serve the rest separately.
A collection of slightly bizarre soup recipes on a typewritten sheet. Where they came from nobody knows!

Edam Soup
  • 2½ pints chicken stock
  • 10 oz Edam cheese, grated
  • 4-8 fl oz white wine
  • grated nutmeg and black pepper
  • 4 large slices white bread, cut into small dice
  • butter for frying
  • 2 small onions, peeled and cut into rings
  • 4 oz ham, cut into thin strips
Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan and stir in the cheese. Bring back to the boil and add the white wine. Season with pepper and nutmeg to taste. Heat some butter in a pan and fry bread cubes until golden brown. Remove, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm. Heat some more butter and fry the onions until golden brown. Combine the croutons, ham strips and onion rings and serve on top of the soup.
Good flavour, though it doesn't keep.
The Edam may not dissolve - simmer well, then strain.

German Gourmet's Soup
soup fowl meat
  • 1 chicken, about 2½lb, washed and dried
  • 4 oz rashers fat bacon or slices German speck
  • 1 oz butter, melted
  • parsley sprigs, to garnish

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 fl oz German white wine
  • 8 fl oz meat stock
  • 4 fl oz double cream
  • salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar
  • few drops of lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 14 oz can carrots, drained
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
Cover thighs of the chicken with the bacon or speck slices. Rub the rest of the chicken with salt and brush with the melted butter. Roast in an oven preheated to 200°C/gas mark 6 for 1¼ hours.
To make the sauce, heat the butter in a pan, stir in the flour, cook, stirring, for 1 minutes then add in the wine, stock and cream. Cook, stirring continuously, until thickened, then season with salt and pepper, sugar and lemon juice and beat in the egg yolks. Add the carrots and mushrooms and bring to the boil.
When ready to serve, place the chicken on a serving platter, pour the sauce over, arrange the vegetables around it and garnish with parsley.
Hmmm. Dunno what's soupy about it?

Raw Carrot Soup
soup raw veg
  • 8 carrots,
  • ¾ cup walnuts/pecans
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of 3 oranges
  • 1 egg yolk
  • dash white wine
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • a few chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder not that I'd recommend that
Grind the nuts, in a food processor. Add the carrots, roughly chopped and re-process. Finally add the orange juice, water, egg yolk, bouillon, wine and nutmeg. Combine thoroughly. Serve at once or warm gently for a minute or two. Pour into individual bowls and top with chopped chives.

Raw Gazpacho
soup raw veg
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar 2 are enough
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • a dash red wine
  • 2 spring onions
  • fresh basil and parsley
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
Purée the onion, tomatoes, half the red pepper and one of the cucumbers in the blender or processor, then add the egg yolks, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, tomato juice, seasoning, honey and wine. Finely chop the spring onions, the other cucumber and remaining red pepper and fresh herbs and add to the soup when you serve.

Fresh Green Soup
soup veg vegan
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1-2 cups water (to taste)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
  • dash white wine
  • parsley, lovage
  • the centre stalks of a head of celery
Peel and stone the avocados and process with the apple juice, water, 1 heaped teaspoon of chopped lemon rind, the juice of the lemons, bouillon, parsley, lovage and wine. Chop the celery stalks, including the leaves, and add to the soup.
Blend well and serve garnished with a thin slice of lemon.
Although it doesn't say - I'd assume you serve this cold.

Potato and Caraway Soup
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1½ pints milk
  • 1 lb peeled potatoes
  • ½ pint single cream
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • croutons and caraway seeds to garnish
  • 1¼ pints chicken stock
Fry the onion in half the butter until soft. Dice the potatoes and add to the onion with the caraway seeds, bay leaves ans stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in another pan, add the flour, cook for 30 seconds and then take off the heat. Gradually stir in the milk. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and liquidise half the potato mixture with half the white sauce. Pour into a clean pan and repeat with the other half. Stir in the cream, season and reheat without boiling. Serve garnished with croutons and caraway seeds.

Carrot and Coriander Soup
soup veg
  • 1½ oz butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 12 oz carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons plain flour
  • 1½ tsps ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ tsps lemon juice
  • ½ pint milk
  • 6 tablespoons single cream
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes or until soft and lightly coloured. Add the carrots, stir to coat in butter, and fry for a further 2-3 mins.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then gradually stir in the stock and bring to the boil.
Season well with salt and pepper and add the coriander, bay leaf and lemon juice. Cover the pan and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are very tender.
Discard the bay leaf and purée the soup in a food processor or blender, or work through a sieve.
Return to a clean pan with the milk and return to the boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, stir in the cream and reheat gently. Serve at once in warmed soup bowls, garnished with chopped parsley though I don't know why you wouldn't use fresh coriander??, plus a little freshly ground coriander, if liked.

Sweetcorn and Bacon Soup
soup meat
  • 1 oz butter
  • 3 oz streaky bacon, rind removed, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1x12 oz can sweetcorn kernels, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ green pepper, thinly sliced
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry gently in the butter and bacon fat until softened. Add the carrot and celery and fry for a further minute.
Add the stock, potatoes and ⅔ of the sweetcorn with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skimming if necessary, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then purée in a blender or food processor. Return to the rinsed pan and stir in the parsley, green pepper, reserved bacon and remaining sweetcorn. Reheat gently.
Good thick soup, but a little heavy tasting.
It's good with dumplings!
More Notes
Another sheaf of typewritten sheets. Probably all around the time I lived in Edinburgh with Mad Scottish Karen.

Onions Braised in Cider with Sage
side veg vegan
  • 2 large Spanish onions, about 1lb total
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ pint dry cider
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh sage, or ½ tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon water
Remove the papery skins from the onions and cut each into 4. Trim the bases very lightly so that the quarters stay intact during cooking.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the onion quarters on all sides until golden brown. Place them in a small shallow casserole, cut-side up.
Pour the cider into the pan and add the sage and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then pour over the onions.
Cover the casserole and cook at Gas Mark 4 (350°F) for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven. Blend the cornflour with the water and stir into the liquor surrounding the onions. Cover again and return to cook for a further 20 minutes, when the onions will be tender and the sauce thickened.

Fried Mushroom Kiev
starter veg
  • 24 cup mushrooms
  • 4 oz unsalted, softened butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 oz dried breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Carefully pull out the stalks, keeping the caps whole. Chop the stalks very finely.
Put the softened butter in a bowl with the chopped mushroom stalks, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Beat together well. Spoon into the mushroom cavities, then sandwich the mushrooms together in pairs. Use wooden cocktail sticks to secure them.
Dip the mushroom pairs one at a time into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat once more. Chill for 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190°C (375°F), or until a stale bread cube turns golden in 40-50 seconds. Fry the mushrooms a few at a time for about 5 minutes, turning them frequently with a slotted spoon until golden brown and crisp on all sides. Drain on paper towels and keep hot while frying the remainder.
Remove the cocktail sticks and serve immediately, garnished with chicory leaves and parsley sprigs.
Tasty enough - bit greasy and the fillings do escape.

Cheese and Mustard Bread
bread veg
Makes One Loaf

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 fl oz lukewarm water
  • 4 fl oz lukewarm milk
  • 1 tablespoon mild-flavoured honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary
  • 8 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 4 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¾ lb wholemeal flour
  • up to 2 oz unbleached white flour for kneading
  • 1 egg, beating with 4 tablespoons water, for egg wash
Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the milk, honey, sea salt, pepper, egg, rosemary, mustard and onion and beat well. Stir in the grated cheese.
Fold in the whole wheat flour a cup at a time. When the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl, place a half cup of flour on your kneading surface and turn out the dough. Knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour as necessary.
Oil the bowl and place the dough in it seam side up first, then seam side down. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Punch the dough down, knead a few times and form into a loaf. Butter a loaf pan and place the dough in it, seam side up first, then seam side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Make what you will of all the seam-side-up seam-side-down nonsense.
In the morning remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let it stand in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (180°C). Brush the loaf with egg wash, slash the top and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Camp Coffee Ice Cream
dessert veg
Ugh - Camp Coffee! I'm not sure it's even coffee at all.
Still as part of my faithful attempt to transfer all my cookery notes to the interwebs - I add it here in the interest of completeness. Don't try this at home folks!

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ pint double cream
  • 2 tablespoons camp coffee
  • 2 oz icing sugar
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff.
Beat ¼ pint double cream until pretty stiff.
Beat 2 tablespoons of Camp Coffee with 2 egg yolks.
Mix (up to) 2 oz icing sugar into the cream (maybe less?), then fold in the egg/coffee mix and fold in the egg whites. Pour into a lidded container and freeze (without stirring).
Try it with Tia Maria.

Cheesy Fennel Bake
side main veg
Serves 4-6

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 6 tomatoes, skinned
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 pint very thick white sauce
  • 6 large courgettes
  • 6 oz mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
Chop the fennel, skinned tomatoes, onion, oregano and cook in 3 tablespoons olive oil, covered, for about 10 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons tomato purée, cook for 5 minutes. Slice the courgettes length-ways, blanch, drain and refresh with cold water. Stir the cheese and chopped chives into 1 pint very thick white sauce. Line the base of a 2 pint ovenproof dish with 6 courgette slices. Spoon over alternate layers of fennel mix, sauce, courgettes, finishing with a layer of courgettes and sauce. Bake at Gas Mark 4 for ½ hour.
Garnish with oregano.

Peas with Bacon and Onions
side meat
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 lb shelled fresh peas
  • 4 oz streaky bacon, rind removed and cut in strips
  • 4-5 lettuce leaves, coarsely shredded if large
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and left whole
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan, add the bacon and cook until crisp. Add the onions and cook for a few seconds, then mix in the peas and lettuce.
Just cover the peas with water and add the sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Adjust the seasoning.
Drain and serve.

Grilled Courgettes with Mustard
side veg
  • 1 lb courgettes, cut in half length-ways
  • 1 oz butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Meaux mustard
Brush the courgettes with the melted butter and place them, cut side down, on a heated grill pan. Grill under high heat until lightly brown.
Turn them over and spread with the mustard. Grill until golden.
Not sure the flavours really go together though this version seems to work well enough - needs a little salt.

French Beans in Garlic Cream
side veg
  • 1 lb french beans, trimmed and cut in half just top them
  • 8 fl oz double cream
  • salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • For the garnish:
  • white pepper
  • chervil/parsley
  • nutmeg or mace?
Cook the beans in boiling, salted water for 10-15 minutes until just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile, place the cream and garlic in a saucepan and boil for 7 minutes to thicken. Add the beans and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Season, garnish and serve.
Yum Yum!
You can reduce the cream drastically. And I'd guess it means to thicken the sauce well, rather than reduce the amount.

Fennel Provençale
side main veg
  • 3 fennel bulbs, 1 lb total
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 oz butter
  • ½ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ pint stock
  • 1x14 oz can tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
Cut the fennel bulbs into thin slices, reserving any feathery tops, and place in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Drain well. Melt ½ the butter in a heavy-based pan and add the fennel and stock. Cook gently for 30 minutes or until the fennel is tender.
Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic in the remaining butter. Add to the fennel along with the tomatoes and seasoning to taste. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved fennel tops.

Baked Curd Cheesecake
dessert veg
  • 6 oz plain flour
  • ¾ oz caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 egg yolk, size 3
  • 1½ tsp brandy

  • For the Filling:
  • 3 eggs, size 3, separated
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 1 lb curd cheese
  • 1 oz cornflour
  • 1 oz sultanas
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ pint soured cream
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6. Sift the flour into a bowl, stir in the sugar and salt and rub in the butter. Mix the yolk with 1 tablespoon water and the brandy, stir in and mix to a dough.
Knead lightly until smooth, roll out and line the base of an 8" clip-sided cake tin. Prick the pastry with a fork, line with greaseproof paper, add baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans. Reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 3.
meanwhile, for the filling, beat the yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Bea in the cheese then stir in the cornflour, sultanas, zest and cream. Whisk the whites until stiff but not dry, fold in and pour onto the base.
Bake for 55 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for another 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of the cake and leave to cool in the tin.
Serve warm or cold.

Pork and Beetroot
main meat
  • 4 pork steaks - about 1 lb
  • 1 tablespoon butter/grape oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 lb raw beetroot
  • 4 each peppercorn, allspice, juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig mint
  • 1 33cl bottle Traquir House ale or Duvel
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt or dark honey
  • 2 tsp potato flour
  • 1 small pot sour cream
Brown the pork in the butter. Peel and thinly slice the onions, peel the beetroot and grate or chop it into matchsticks. Place the onions, beet, spices and herbs in a casserole and place the steaks on top. Bring the ale and barley malt to the boil and pour over. (The liquid should barely reach up to the meat.) Cover and bake the dish for 1¼ to 1½ hours at Gas Mark 3 turning the steaks occasionally. Check also that the liquid is not bubbling strongly (or turn the oven down).
Pour the juices into a pan, season with malt or honey if liked, dissolve the potato flour in a little water and stir in. Bring to the boil and cook until thick and clear. Pour back over the dish and stir in the sour cream.

Beetroot Bake
side main
  • 1 peeled, baked beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 oz plain flour
  • ½ pint milk
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Grate the beetroot with a medium grater, add the vinegar and seasoning, mix. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour, cook for a minute or two, then gradually add the milk to make a thick roux. Simmer for a few minutes, allow to cool a little, then beat in the eggs gradually. Add a generous scrape of nutmeg and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan. Add this to the beetroot and mix well. Butter a 1½ pint ring mould and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Fill and bake in a bain marie (filled with boiling water) at Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour (or 30-40 mins for individual ramekins) until firm. Leave to cool for 10 mins then remove.
Serve with a wild mushroom sauce or Dolcelatte melted in cream and chicory lettuce and walnut salad.
Really good.
Baked in a soufflé dish it took 1 hour (or less) to cook. It begins to rise like a cake, but then leaks water which may mean it has then overcooked?
Perhaps stop just as it reaches this rising point?
Baby Veg
Some hand-written notes on cooking baby vegetables on one of those many type-written sheets.

Swede and Orange Purée
side veg vegan
  • 1¼ lb swede
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
Mash or purée it up.
Nice combination - add a big knob of butter.
Though I prefer these versions.

Baby Beets and Mustard Sauce
side veg
  • ½ oz butter
  • ½ oz flour
  • 3 fl oz milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 lb baby beets, cooked
Melt the butter, add the flour and take off the heat. Add the milk and mustard, and cook for a minute. Stir in the cream and pour over cooked baby beets.

Asparagus with Orange Hollandaise
starter side veg
  • 1 lb asparagus spears, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 oz butter
  • 3 size 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • salt & pepper
Cook the asparagus.
Mix the lemon juice and vinegar and bring to the boil. Melt the butter.
Put the egg yolks, orange zest and sugar in a liquidiser. Blend and season, then slowly add the hot juices then a thin stream of the melted butter.
Dribble over the cooked asparagus spears.

New Potatoes
side staple veg
Beat 3 fl oz milk and 3 oz cream cheese, gently heat. Add 1 tsp fresh parsley, tarragon and chives. Season.
And presumably then dress your new potatoes!
  • new potatoes
  • milk
  • cream cheese
  • parsley
  • tarragon
  • chives

Baby Turnips
side veg
Beat 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tablespoon chopped mint into soft butter.
Again, presumably to dress your baby turnips.
  • baby turnips
  • lemon juice
  • mint
  • butter
Another Sheet of Typewritten Notes
I've written up an awful lot of these!
This one has absolutely no comments pencilled on it, so I don't know if I ever tried any of them.

Rognons au Madeira
starter side meat
  • 3 oz butter
  • 12 lamb's kidneys, skinned and sliced, white cores of hard fat removed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons Madeira or dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons moutard de Meaux
Melt 2 oz butter, add the kidneys and mushrooms with last and pepper and fry moderately circa 5 mins, shaking the pan until the kidneys brown and the juices start to run faintly pink.
Mushrooms? What mushrooms? Maybe add some button mushrooms after you've started the kidneys off then.
Remove and keep warm on lowest oven setting, pour off the juices and store separately in a jug.
Melt the remaining butter in the pan, add the shallots or onion and garlic and fry gently until soft and lightly coloured. Sprinkle in the flour and fry for 1-2 mins, stirring constantly, then gradually add the Madeira and reserved cooking juices. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and add the kidneys and mushrooms. Stir in, then simmer for 15 mins until the kidneys are tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and mustard and serve.

Poulet au Fromage
main fowl
  • 4 chicken portions, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 oz butter
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • ¼ pint dry white wine
  • ⅓ pint milk
  • 4 oz grated Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • 4 oz thinly sliced button mushrooms
Place the chicken portions in a single layer in an oven-proof casserole dish. Sprinkle over the lemon juice, salt and pepper and dot with 1 oz butter. Cover with foil and cook in an oven preheated to Gas Mark 4 (350°F) for 45 mins to 1 hour until the chicken is just tender. Baste occasionally with cooking juices whilst roasting.
15 mins before the end of the cooking time make the sauce:
Melt the remaining butter, add flour and stir over low heat for 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and gradually add wine then milk, whisking all the while. Return to heat and boil, stirring, then reduce heat and simmer until thick and smooth. Add 3 oz cheese, the mace, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in mushrooms.
When the chicken is tender, drain the cooking juices into the cheese sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Grill for 5 mins until the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve.

Poulet A L'Estragon
main fowl
  • 1 lb oven-ready chicken
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon or 1 tablespoons dried tarragon
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • ¾ pint dry white wine and water, mixed
  • (can also add ¼ pint double cream just before serving)
Put ½ the butter inside the cavity of the chicken with 2 whole garlic cloves, half the tarragon and salt and pepper. Truss the chicken with string and put in a roasting tin. Crush the remaining garlic cloves with ½ tsp salt. Beat into remaining butter with the rest of the tarragon until soft, then spread over the chicken's skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven preheated to Gas mark 5 (375°F) for 1½ hours or until the juices run clear when the bird is pierced with a skewer. Turn over the chicken every 15 minutes or so and baste with the cooking juices during roasting.
Transfer the chicken to a warm platter and keep warm in a very low oven. Pour off all except 2 tablespoons of excess fat and juices from roasting tin. Place tin over moderate heat on top of oven and sprinkle in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, stirring constantly then gradually stir in wine and water mix. Bring to boil and lower heat and simmer until sauce thickens stirring constantly.
Pour off sauce and serve separately in a gravy boat with the chicken.

Beer Roast
main meat
  • 3 lb beef joint, for roasting
  • 2 tablespoons beef dripping
  • 24 fl oz German beer
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and sliced
  • ¼ head celery, sliced
  • 8 oz onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb button mushrooms, wiped
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 4 fl oz single cream
Season the meat with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings in well. Heat the dripping in a roasting tin and brown the meat all over in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Pour over two thirds of the beer and cook for 30 minutes. Then add the leek, peppers, carrots, celery, onions and mushrooms and cook for 1 hour more. Transfer the beef to a heated serving platter. Add the remaining beer to the sauces in the pan, stir in the flour, then pour in the cream. Stir until thickened over a gentle heat. Serve the meat with the sauce and with parsley potatoes.

Saddle of Venison with Chestnut Butter
main meat
  • 1 saddle of venison
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 fl oz red wine
  • 8 fl oz single cream
  • 4 fl oz meat stock (from a cube) what?
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 oz butter
  • 8 oz seedless grapes
  • 2 oz bacon, diced
  • 6 oz flat open mushrooms or chanterelles
  • 2 apples, peeled, halved and cored
  • 1 tablespoon apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz tinned chestnut purée (unsweetened)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 240°C/Gas Mark 8. Rub the venison with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a roasting tin, put the meat in the tin, place in the oven and reduce the heat to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Roast for 20 minutes per 1lb plus 20 minutes, basting frequently. Remove the venison to a warmed dish and pour off any surplus fat from the tin. Pour the wine into the roasting tin and bring to the boil, stirring well. Add the stock, cream, cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste. Carve the venison into thick slices, replace on the bone and keep warm. Melt 1 oz of the butter in a pan, add the grapes and mushrooms and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and when crispy, spread the mixture over the saddle of venison. Put the apples in a pan, cover with water and add the juice of 1 lemon, apple juice and sugar. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
For the chestnut butter, cream the remaining butter with the chestnut purée, cinnamon and ground cloves. Fill the warm apple halves with the chestnut butter and arrange them around the meat.
Serve sauce separately.

Jasmine Tea Smoked Fish
main fish
Serves 4

Mix together the saké, salt, spring onion, ginger and crushed peppercorns. Marinate the fish fillets in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
Line a wok with aluminium foil. Place the tea leaves, sugar and a sprinkling of water in the bottom of the wok. Sit a wire grid in the wok.
Remove excess marinade from the fish and place the fish on the wire grid. Cover the wok firmly with a lid and smoke over a high heat for about 4-5 min.
Meanwhile, place the vegetable strips, tomato dice, vinegar and fish stock in a pot and bring to the boil. Correct seasoning drain and add the chives.
Serve the fish on a bed of vegetables, garnished with chervil.
Very strongly flavoured.
The fish is not strongly heated - just warmed and has a thick jelly texture but good flavour.
It took 15 minutes to cook the fish satisfactorily - but this was on an electric hob!
The vinegar in the veg is very powerful - you might want to use less.
Clippings from Marie Claire Magazine
I don't know why I have so many clippings from these decidedly immasculine magazines, but there you go.

Grilled Marinated Tofu
side main sauce veg vegan
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 115ml/4fl oz olive oil
  • 115ml/4fl oz red wine vinegar
  • 115ml/4fl oz soy sauce
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 455g/1lb tofu
Place the garlic, oil, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger in a saucepan, add 280ml/10fl oz of water and bring to the boil. Place the tofu in a shallow dish, pour over the hot marinade, let it cool and leave in the fridge for a day or two. Cut the tofu into chunks and place in a shallow pan. Grill, turning the chunks occasionally until they start to crisp.

Serve with stir-fry vegetables, chicken or noodles.
Try threading the marinated tofu on to skewers with tomatoes and mushrooms and serving with rice.
Rather a lot of effort to go to for the end result, but it is nice enough.
Make sure the tofu chunks are large.
Blending the tofu up with the marinade makes a lovely dip.

Baked Fennel with Walnuts, Parsley and Lemon
main side
Young fennel bulbs are best for this dish. Avoid the large bulbs with thick stalks and heavily ridged flesh as they are too fibrous.
Yeah - the fennel can be rather stringy, even when well pre-boiled.
Serve with fish - baked or grilled - roast lamb, or pork.

Serves 6 as a side dish, 3 as a main course with brown rice

  • 6 bulbs of young fennel
  • 110g/4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 85g/3 oz walnuts, roughly chopped
  • a good handful of parsley, chopped
  • 4 heaped tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add a drop of wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon to the water to stop the fennel discolouring. Remove the feathery fennel fronds and put to one side. Slice the fennel in half vertically and drop into the boiling water. Turn the heat down and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the point of a sharp knife goes into the fennel with ease.

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (200°C, 400°F). Place the breadcrumbs, walnuts, parsley, Parmesan, lemon and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and pepper, fennel seeds and fronds.

Drain the fennel, reserving the cooking liquid, and place flat side up in a shallow baking dish or roasting tin. Add 6 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to the stuffing and mix well. Place spoonfuls of stuffing on to the fennel until it is all used up. Drizzle the olive oil over and pour two fingers' depth of the cooking liquid into the bottom of the dish. Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or 20 until the stuffing is crisp on top.
Curious - not bad.
The lemon flavour is very strong and almost overpowers, so be careful, though it does go very well.
Karen McLoony (mad Scottish ex-girlfriend) liked the lemoniness!

Date and Pistachio Couscous
side staple veg vegan
The traditional accompaniment to Moroccan-style casseroles (tagines) of meat and vegetables, couscous is especially good with roast duck.
It is particularly good if you stir in a knob of butter just before serving.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

  • 230g/8 oz medium couscous
  • a little vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 110g/4 oz dried apricots, sliced
  • 110g/4 oz prunes, stoned and sliced
  • 85g/3 oz pistachios, shelled
  • 85g/3 oz stoned dates, chopped
Wash the couscous in a sieve, tip the grains into a shallow pan and sprinkle with water. Leave to swell for 10 minutes. Rub a drop of oil into your hands, and sift the couscous with your fingertips to separate the grains (most therapeutic this).

Transfer the couscous to the top of a steamer. Cook, without a lid, for 20 minutes. Remove the top part of the steamer and tip the couscous into the shallow pan again. Spread the grains out and sprinkle over a glass of cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Oil your hands again and break up any lumps. Allow the grains to dry for 10 minutes. At this point you can store the couscous in the fridge until you need to use it.
I rather think the couscous they're talking about here isn't the quick-cook kind. Which is only kind I've really come across so I'd start here.

Return the grains to the steamer and cook for a further 20 minutes (or 30 if you have refrigerated it). Stir in the fruit and nuts. Remove from the steamer and serve.
Reasonable - a bit veggie for me personally, bit it is filling and straightforward.
From the Cookery Year
A few written notes from Reader's Digest The Cookery Year. Or one of them anyway. From 1974 I believe. My Mum was always a big Reader's Digest fan.
Bit fascist for me though.

main meat
  • 2lb topside of beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon caster sugar
  • ½ pint wine vinegar
  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 piece bread crust
  • 2 rounded tsps cornflour
Wipe the meat with a clean cloth and trim off any fat. Tie the meat with thin string to maintain its round shape and put it in a large earthenware bowl. Peel and slice the onion and add it to the meat, together with the peppercorns, clove, bay leaf, salt, freshly ground pepper and the sugar. Pour the vinegar mixed with ¾ pint of water over the meat and leave it to stand, covered, in a cold place for 4-6 days, turning it once a day in the marinade.

Lift the meat from the marinade and pat it thoroughly dry on absorbent paper. Melt the butter in a deep, heavy-based pan, add the meat and brown it quickly all over. Season to taste with salt and pour ½ pint of strained marinade over the meat. Add the crust of bread (in Germany a piece of honeycake or gingerbread is sometimes used as well). Cover the pan with a lid and simmer over low heat for 1½ hours or until meat is tender. Add extra marinade if necessary.

Lift out the meat and keep it warm. Strain the gravy through a fine sieve, measure off ½ pint and top up with more marinade if necessary. Blend the cornflour with a little water and stir into the gravy: bring to the boil, stirring til smooth. Check and correct flavour and seasoning - the gravy should taste slightly sweet and sour.

Serve the meat cut into slices with boiled noodles or macaroni (traditionally potato dumplings).
Glazed carrots or a green vegetable would be suitable.

Pickled Salmon (Gravadlax)
starter main fish
The traditional version of this Scandinavian dish (Gravadlax) uses fresh dill, but it can also be made with dried dillweed.

Serves 6

  • 1½lb salmon tailpiece

  • Pickle:
  • 1 heaped tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 rounded tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 rounded tablespoon fresh dill
  • or
  • 1 level tablespoon dried dillweed

  • Sauce:
  • 2 rounded tablespoon French/German mustard
  • 1 rounded tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon fresh dill
  • or
  • 1 level teaspoon dried dillweed
  • salt and pepper
Ask the fishmonger to fillet the salmon into two triangles. Mix all the pickling ingredients together and spread a quarter of this mix over the base of a flat dish. Lay the first piece of salmon, skin down, on top of the mixture and spread half of the remaining pickle over the cut side. Place the other piece of salmon, skin side up, over the first. Spread the top with the remaining mixture, rubbing it well into the skin. Cover the salmon with a piece of foil and a board weighed down with a couple of tins. Leave the salmon to press in a cool place or a refrigerator for anything up to 5 days, but not less than 12 hours, turning the salmon once a day.

Before serving, slice the salmon thinly, either parallel to the skin as with smoked salmon or obliquely to the skin.

For the sauce, beat the mustard with the sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Gradually add the oil and vinegar, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Season to taste with dill, salt and pepper.

Arrange slices of salmon on individual plates, and serve buttered rye bread and the sauce separately.

Onions À La Grecque
starter salad veg vegan
Serves 6

  • 1½lb small onions

  • Sauce:
  • 1 pint dry white wine
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2¼ oz tin of tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • 2 oz caster sugar
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • salt and pepper
Bring a large saucepan, holding at least 3 pints of water, to the boil. Cut the tops and bottoms from the onions and drop them into boiling water for 1 minutes. Drain the onions in a colander; cool slightly before peeling the onions.

Put all the sauce ingredients with ½ pint of water, into a heavy based pan; season this sauce to taste before adding the peeled onions.

Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until the onions are tender, but not disintegrating. Remove the onions; mark the level of the sauce and boil briskly for about 15 minutes or until it has reduced to ¾. Strain the sauce through a sieve over the onions; leave to chill for a few hours in the fridge.

Serve chilled garnished with finely chopped parsley.
And a few garnish ideas.

Grapes, Red Currants, Mint Leaves Garnishes
ingredient veg
These are frosted. Brush singly or in small clusters with lightly beaten egg whites, dredge heavily with caster sugar. Leave on a wire rack to dry.
  • grapes or red currants or mint
  • egg whites
  • sugar

Fried Parsley Garnish
ingredient veg vegan
A garnish for fried fish:
Heat lard/oil to 375°F, put parsley in a frying basket and immerse it in the hot fat. As soon as the hissing ceases lift out the parsley.
  • parsley
The Cook's Christmas
A pullout section from the Independent on Sunday by Michael Batemen featuring three Christmas meals from leading chefs. Here's the one I tried.

Colin Spencer's Vegetarian Feast
main side veg
Christmas Day must be the one day of the year when you want to flatter everyone by showing how much trouble you've taken. So make three delicious, melting, savoury sauces for this meatless alternative to the Christmas roast - a timbale of pancakes. These are moulded pancakes cooked in a soufflé dish, interleaved with various purées and custards. Cook the components separately as below.

Butter an 8-inch soufflé dish. Take 4 crêpes and arrange them around the sides, allowing 1 inch at the bottom and as much as possible at the top. Place one crêpe at the bottom of the dish and cover with some of the spinach sauce. Place a crêpe over it and add the mushroom duxelles, then another crêpe and the leek custard.

You may have room for two or three layers. Do not feel you have to use up all of the sauces. When the soufflé dish is full, bend over the side crêpes so that they meet at the top and cover with another crêpe.

Put a piece of foil over the top, sit the soufflé dish in a meat tin filled with boiling water and put into a pre-heated oven 400°F/205°C/Gas 6 for one hour. Take the timbale out of the oven and let it rest for five minutes, then unmould on a hot platter. Serve it by cutting like a cake into wedges.

Accompany the timbale with a tomato or caper sauce and the traditional - why not? - Brussels sprouts. But do not let them cook for more than three minutes. Directly they all become soft, their flavour radically changes into something quite unpleasant.
This is quite a pleasant dish. It looks quite classy too.
A tomato sauce heavy with capers added at the end is an appropriate sauce.
For a non-vegetarian version you could maybe use some slices of ham replacing a crêpe or two?
  • crepes
  • spinach sauce
  • mushroom duxelles
  • leek custard

Crepe Batter
ingredient veg
Makes 10

  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ pint skimmed milk
  • 3 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Sift the flour. Beat in the eggs, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Allow the batter to rest for an hour. Then, oil a pan, heat it, and ladle in enough batter to cover the base with a thin layer. Cook, turn the crêpe, and just let that side dry out before laying aside on a piece of greaseproof paper. Continue until you have used all the batter.
The crêpes need to be thin or there won't be 10.

Spinach Sauce
sauce ingredient veg
  • 1 lb spinach or ½ lb broccoli, mashed
  • 1 oz plain flour
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz grated Gruyère cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • sea salt and black pepper
Wash the spinach leaves well. Tear them into small pieces, pat them dry with a cloth and place in a saucepan with the butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Allow the spinach to reduce over a low heat for five minutes. Add the flour, stir, then add the grated Gruyère. Take away from the heat and when it has cooled beat in the egg.

Mushroom Duxelles
ingredient veg vegan
  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 2 small chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Slice the mushrooms and cook with the onions and olive oil. When they start to lose their moisture, raise the heat and stir continuously until the liquid has evaporated. Make sure the mushrooms don't burn. They must be cooked and dry. Add a little salt, pepper and parsley when they are cooked.

Leek Custard
sauce ingredient veg
  • 1 lb leeks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz curd cheese
Slice the leeks down the centre, clean them, and cut them across in ½ inch slices. Cook them in the oil over a low heat until soft. Allow them to cool. Blend in a liquidiser with the cheese and egg and a little salt and pepper.

bread veg vegan
North Acton's bakery La Fornaia's recipe for Pugliese bread. By way of Michael Bateman and an article in The Independent On Sunday.

For one large loaf or two small ones

The key to this very tasty loaf is the large amount of olive oil, combined with delicate handling of he dough. It is not knocked down after the first rising like other doughs.

At the bakery, the yeast goes into the warm water to start it to work. The dry ingredients go into Mr Spickett's huge stainless steel mixers, followed by the yeast mixture as soon as it starts to froth. You can mix it with the dough hook on a Kenwood Chef, he suggests. Or you start to mix it in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Either way, you must put in the oil last, or it combines with the dry flour to make a tough glue. The oil turns a pleasant plastic dough into slippery soft putty.

If you are kneading by hand, make the dough into a ball, rolling it forward in the time-honoured way with the heels of your hands to make a long sausage. Turn it 90 degrees, roll it into another ball, rolling prevents the dough from sticking to the surface and continue in this way till it is springy and silky.

Shape into a round ball (or two), cover with a damp cloth, and leave for two hours. Don't put in an airing cupboard or a warm place, says Mr Spickett. It doesn't want to rise too fast.

Two hours later, the dough has risen into a lovely big white puffball. The next bit is critical, says Mr Spickett, so pay attention. He picks up the ball with two hands and stretches the sides downwards gently, tucking them underneath and pressing them upwards into the centre of the ball. He repeats this a few times, as if caressing the dough, before pinching the loose ends together. He places the creased side down on a board thickly dusted with flour, leaving it to rise for a further 30 minutes covered with a cloth. He turns on the oven to preheat it to very hot (240°C, 475°F, Gas 9), putting an oven tray inside.

Half an hour later, the dough has swollen beautifully. He turns it over gently, and places it on the hot oven tray, the creased side uppermost to allow the bread to expand and stretch. He bakes it for 50 minutes to one hour (35-40 minutes for two small loaves). A delicious fragrance announces that it is nearly done. The sure test is to tap it with you knuckle, and if it sounds hollow it's done, he adds.
One 1lb loaf took just 25 minutes.

You should find you've made a masterly loaf, almost as good as one form the La Fornaia bakery. A proud achievement. Eat it as soon as possible, because it is not designed to keep for weeks. But it does make good toast when no longer fresh.
Quite good - lovely cold.

Iced Strawberry Soup
Serves 4-6

Chop up the strawberries, add stock, herbs, salt, pepper and ginger. Simmer gently for five minutes. With a wooden spoon, press pulp through a sieve. When cool beat in yoghurt till smooth. Chill in suitable container. Serve garnished with the chives.
Quite nice, though not as strawberry as you might expect. Try it with cream, or what about puréed uncooked?

Glazed Spare ribs
starter main meat
It's best to leave pork out of the fridge for an hour before cooking so it cooks evenly and thoroughly without burning. You must seal the meat on all sides and on a high flame, then lower it so the ribs brown without burn. Never salt pork before browning or you'll end up with a tough, dry piece of piggy!

Serves 4

Heat the oil, fry onion and garlic garlic gently on a low heat until transparent. Add everything except the spare ribs. Cook for about 10 minutes until it's like thick, red paint.
In the accompanying photo, the sauce is a deep succulent red colour. Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing at all red in the original ingredients list so I can't help feeling he missed something out. I added 4 (or more) tablespoons of tomato ketchup to the mixture and the ribs tasted good.
Remove clove. Pour into a bowl so it's easy to get at. Smear ribs with sauce and grill gently for about 40 minutes. Grill them over a drip tray so when they're done you can add the juices to the leftover sauce. Baste and turn occasionally. Serve with sauce.

Fried Oysters with Bacon-Sour Cream Dressing
starter fish meat
Serves 4

For the sauce
Combine the egg yolks, vinegar, water and mustard in the top of a double boiler. Whisk vigorously over simmering water until it is extremely thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the warm bacon fat. Stir in the sour cream, chopped bacon and spring onions. Season with Tabasco and freshly ground pepper.
Could do with more sauce — up to double.
Timing the sauce and the frying is tricky unless you have a wide thermos handy. Best to have a pan of boiling water ready and whisk the sauce in the pan whilst the oysters deep fry.

For the oysters
Shell the oysters raw if you can, or grill/steam them open.
Dissolve 1 oz (30g) of the flour in the milk to make a smooth, thin paste. Season with a pinch of cayenne and salt. Stir in the oysters and set aside.

In a second bowl combine the remaining flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. One by one, remove the oysters from the milk mixture and coat evenly in the cornmeal mixture. Set aside on a piece of parchment paper. Heat the oil in a fryer to 375°F/190°C not too hot. Fry the oysters in batches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and season again.

To serve, place 6 reserved oyster shells on each of 4 plates. Settle them on a bed of rock salt or salad greens. Spoon one tablespoon of warm dressing into each shell and place an oyster on top. Serve with lemon wedges.
Looks very pretty.
Ice-cream recipe clippings from the Independent On Sunday

Vanilla Ice-Cream with Stem Ginger
dessert veg
You need an ice-cream machine to do this properly.

Serves 4

  • 1 pint milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 oz caster sugar
  • 5 fl oz double cream (small carton)
  • 1 oz preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
Make a crème anglaise custard mixture, first whisking the yolks in a bowl with 2 oz of sugar till the yolks emulsify into a ribbon texture. Boil the milk with the remaining sugar, and pour on to the egg mixture till it thickens; thicken over a double boiler be careful not to let it turn to scrambled egg. Strain and leave to cook in the fridge.

Freeze the bowl of the ice cream machine. Pour the crème anglaise into bowl and beat for 10 minutes. Add cream and stem ginger, return to ice-cream maker, and churn for another 20 minutes, then freeze. For best flavour, it should be eaten the same day.

Instead of ginger you can incorporate chopped fresh fruit or glacé fruit, chocolate chops, or an almond or hazelnut praline, a nut crunch which is easy to make.

ingredient veg vegan
  • ½ lb skinned almonds, flaked
  • 3 oz sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
Toast the almonds to a light brown, tossing in a heavy pan over a high heat, or by placing them on a tray in hot oven for 10 minutes (don't let them burn).

In a heavy pan, melt the sugar and water over a high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon till the mixture turns toffee brown (avoid letting it burn). Stir in the almonds. Turn out on to a sheet of baking paper, and leave to cool. Cover with another sheet of baking paper, and with a rolling-pin smash the toffee to crumbs. Add them to the ice-cream before freezing.

Chocolate Sauce
sauce dessert veg
The perfect accompaniment to a vanilla ice-cream.

  • 7 oz bitter chocolate
  • 5 fl oz milk
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 oz sugar
Melt chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. In a saucepan, whisk the milk, sugar and cream till they boil, then pour on to the melted chocolate, continuing to whisk. Return to pan, and reheat till it bubbles. Fro a particularly silky finish, you can whisk in, off the heat, 1 oz of unsalted butter, bit by bit. Strain. This sauce keeps well in the fridge.

Pork Chops with Various Sauces
main meat
Brush chops with oil then grill or fry on a moderate heat 20-25 mins for loin; 10-15 mins for boneless loin; 15-20 mins for chump; 15-20 mins for spare rib (from shoulder not belly).

All recipes serve 4

Mixed Peppers
Fry chops, remove from pan and add 1 tbsp oil. Fry 1 red, green and yellow pepper, seeded and chopped, for 5 mins. Add 1 tbsp tomato purée and 1x400g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes. Return chops and simmer for 5 mins. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds.
Pizza Style
Spread 2 tsp pesto sauce over cooked chops. Top with 100g/4oz sliced mozzarella. Cut 2 bacon rashers into strips and arrange in a lattice on cheese with a halved black olive and basil sprig. Grill for 3 mins. Serve with green salad and tomatoes.
Onion, Oat and Sage
Fry 1 chopped onion in 1 tbsp oil and 25g/1 oz butter for 3 mins. Stir in 75g/3oz jumbo oats and 1½ tbsp chopped fresh sage, cook for 3 mins. Top cooked chops with oat mixture and grill for 3 mins. Put 150ml/¼ pint pork stock in a pan, add 3 tbsp double cream, 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly, ½ tsp French mustard, pepper and 1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in a little water. Bring to boil, simmer 1 min. serve chops with sauce, sauté potatoes and sticks of courgette and carrot.
Mix 4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp dry sherry, 4 tbsp water, 1 tbsp groundnut oil 2 tsp soft brown sugar and 2 tsp Chinese five-spice. Pour over chops and marinate for 2 hours. Grill or fry. Reserve marinade and mix with 2 tsp arrowroot. Add 4 tbsp chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer 1 min. Pour over chops. Serve with egg noodles mixed with sliced spring onions, and baby corn.
Garnish chops with curls of spring onion and red chilli.
Curried Mushrooms
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add 100g/4oz sliced mushrooms and fry 5 mins. Add 2 tbsp curry paste and cook 1 min. Stir in 150ml/¼ pint plain yoghurt, 50g/2oz chopped creamed coconut and 4 tbsp water. Heat, spoon over cooked chops.
Mango and Sour Cream
Mix 150ml/¼ pint sour cream, 3 tbsp mango chutney and ½ tbsp chopped fresh oregano. Fry chops; add mixture and 1 peeled, sliced mango 5 mins before end of cooking.
Honey and Sesame Seed
Mix 2 tbsp honey, ½ tbsp lime juice, salt and pepper. Brush over chops. Mix 6 tbsp sesame seeds with 1 tsp paprika and use to coat chops. Grill or fry.
O.K. Allow 30 mins for grilling
Creamed Sweetcorn and Tomato
Spread 1x300g/10½oz can creamed sweetcorn on top of cooked chops. Top with tomato wedges. Grill 3-5 mins
Apple and Sultanas
Core and slice 2 red eating apples into rings. Fry chops, remove and add 300ml/½ pint dry cider, apple rings, 50g/2oz sultanas and 1 tbsp demerara sugar to pan. Simmer 6-7 mins, spoon over chops.
Chilli Bean
Fry 1 chopped onion, 1 diced red pepper and 1 crushed garlic clove in 2 tbsp oil for 3 mins. Add 2 tsp chilli powder, 1x400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes and 1x400g/14oz can drained red kidney beans. Simmer 15 mins. Season, spoon over cooked chops.
Mix 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 4 tbsp dry white wine and 6 tbsp Greek yoghurt. Heat gently, season and pour over cooked chops.
Marmalade and Ginger
Mix together 4 tbsp thick-cut marmalade and 2 tsp grated root ginger. Brush over both sides of the chops then grill.
Coarsely crush 1 tbsp black peppercorns and press onto both sides of chops. Leave for 30 mins. Fry chops, remove and add 4 tbsp water and 1 tbsp brandy to the pan, boil 3 mins. Add 4 tbsp double cream, simmer 2 mins, season and pour over chops.
Stilton and Grape
Top cooked chops with 75g/3oz halved and seeded black grapes and 75g/3oz crumbled Stilton. Grill for 3 mins.
Avocado and Olive
Blend 1 ripe avocado, 1 seeded green chilli, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp fresh parsley, 8 green olives, salt and pepper. Spread mixture over cooked chops, grill 3-5 mins.
Sprinkle 1 sliced aubergine with salt, leave 30 mins, rinse and dry. Fry 1 chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves in 2 tbsp olive oil for 3 mins. Add aubergine, 1 sliced courgette, 1 tbsp chopped basil, 1x400g/14oz can tomatoes, seasoning. Cover and simmer for 20 mins. Spoon over cooked chops.
Golden Garlic Crumbs
Melt 25g/1oz butter, add 2 crushed garlic cloves, fry 1 min. Add 50g/2oz breadcrumbs, stir until golden. Mix in 1 tbsp chopped parsley. Spoon over cooked chops.
Heat 150ml/¼ pint fresh orange juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp Cointreau, 1½ tsp caster sugar and pinch of nutmeg. Add 1 tsp cornflour blended with a little water, stir until thickened. Pour over cooked chops. Garnish with orange segments and strips of rind.
Mix 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp apple juice, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp soft brown sugar and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Brush all over chops. Grill, brushing with rest of sauce.
Creamy Spinach
Fry 2 crushed garlic cloves and 25g/1oz pine nuts in 1 tbsp oil for 1 min. Add 100g/4oz chopped spinach, 2 tbsp water, pinch each of grated nutmeg and cayenne. Cook for 4 mins. Add 150ml/¼ pint double cream, simmer for 2 mins. Spoon over cooked chops.
  • pork chops
  • peppers, tomatoes and flaked almonds
  • pesto, mozzarella, bacon, cheese, black olives, basil
  • onion, oats, sage, cream, redcurrant jelly, French mustard, cornflour
  • soy sauce, dry sherry, brown sugar, Chinese five-spice, arrowroot, spring onion, red chilli
  • mushrooms, curry paste, yoghurt, creamed coconut
  • sour cream, mango chutney, oregano
  • honey, lime juice, sesame seeds, paprika
  • sweetcorn, tomato
  • apple, cider, sultanas, demerara sugar
  • onion, red pepper, garlic, chilli powder, tomatoes, red kidney beans
  • wholegrain mustard, white wine, yoghurt
  • marmalade, ginger
  • peppercorns, brandy, double cream
  • grapes, stilton
  • avocado, green chilli, lemon juice, parsley, green olives
  • aubergine, onion, garlic, courgette, basil, tomatoes
  • butter, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley
  • orange juice, lemon juice, Cointreau, caster sugar, nutmeg, cornflour
  • tomato purée, apple juice, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Tabasco sauce
  • garlic, pine nuts, spinach, nutmeg, cayenne, double cream
A seafood section from some magazine. Not sure which though.

Moules a la Mariniere
starter main fish
The famous and delicious Normandy mussel stew. This is a less adulterated version.

Serves 4-6

  • 4½ lbs (2kg) fresh mussels
  • 4 shallots or one small onion
  • handful of fresh parsley, including stalks
  • 4 fl oz (150ml) dry white wine

  • To Serve:
  • 2 tblsps fresh parsley, chopped
Wash mussels in running water and pull away any stringy beards protruding from the shell. Finely chop shallots or onions and simmer in a large pan with the parsley and wine for 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until the shells open. Drain and remove from pan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and pour over some of the liquor, leaving any sand or grit in the pot. Season with black pepper. Serve with crusty French bread.

Clam Chowder
soup fish
Of the several versions of clam, the Almonde, Venus and Hard-backed American are readily available here all year round. The Hard-backed American - also known as Quahog - is the variety used in Manhattan clam chowder. Here is a version of New England chowder which omits the tomato, celery and green pepper characteristic of the New York version. If fresh clams are not available, then you can substitute prawns, a few oysters and scallops.

Serves 4-6

  • 18 clams
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 oz (25g) butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 15 fl oz (450ml) milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • parsley stalks
  • freshly ground black pepper

  • To serve:
  • fresh parsley
  • water biscuits
Scrub clams, put in a pan with a little water, and cover and cook until the shells open (3-5 minutes). Allow to cool slightly then remove the clams from the shells and chop. Strain liquor through a very fine sieve or muslin to remove any sand. De-rind bacon, blanch in boiling water for one minute and roughly chop. Sauté in butter until golden. Drain. Chop onion, add to pan and sauté gently until soft and transparent. Peel potato - do not wash - and dice. Cook in milk with bay leaf and parsley stalks until tender. Discard herbs.

Add bacon, onion and strained liquor to the milk and potato. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add clams and season with black pepper. Serve piping hot sprinkled with chopped parsley. Crush some water biscuits into the bottom of each bowl and ladle over the chowder.

Oysters Grilled with Garlic Butter
starter fish
This is how the late Jane Grigson, our finest English food writer, preferred to cook oysters. Choose the Pacific variety for cooking, reserving fine natives for eating au naturel.

Serves 4-6 (2-3 oysters per person)

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 oz (75g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1-2 tblsps breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz (25g) Gruyère cheese
  • 12 Pacific oysters
  • rock salt

  • To serve:
  • lemon wedges
  • seaweed (optional)
Peel and crush garlic and blend with the softened butter and chopped parsley. Toast breadcrumbs under the grill. Finely grate cheese. Place oysters under hot grill for about 3 minutes until the shells part very slightly. Insert a knife between the shells and twist off top shell. Slip the tip of the knife under the oyster to cut through the muscle attached to the bottom shell. Arrange oysters on a bed of rock salt or on small circles of bread in a gratin dish. Top with a little garlic butter, sprinkle with a few breadcrumbs and cheese, and grill for 2 minutes until the butter has melted and the cheese has turned golden. Serve with lemon wedges and decorate with seaweed.

Mussels with Black Bean Sauce
starter fish
Mussels respond well to the oriental flavours of sherry, soy and black bean sauce. Cook this dish in a wok if you have one rather than a saucepan - it's much easier to use when handling a large amount of mussels.

Serves 4

  • 4½ lbs (2kg) mussels
  • 4 tblsps dry sherry
  • 6 spring onions
  • ½ bottle Sharwood's black bean sauce

  • To serve:
  • handful of fresh coriander (optional)
Wash mussels under cold running water and pull away stringy beards. Place in a wok with half the sherry and shredded spring onions. Cover with a lid and cook until the shells open (3-5 minutes). Blend the black bean sauce with the remaining sherry, add to the wok and toss well until evenly coated. Scatter with some freshly chopped coriander (optional) and serve with finger bowls.

Caldo Verde
main meat
Originally from Minho in northern Portugal, caldo verde is now a national dish. Towns like Barcelos and Porto hold markets for the region's famous dark green-blue Couve Gallego cabbages.
Caldo verde is traditionally served with broa, Portuguese corn bread.

Serves 4

Fry the sausages in olive oil, remove from pan and brown the garlic and chopped onion. Boil the potatoes until cooked, drain and mash. Return to the saucepan, cover with the water and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 10 min. Add the cabbage, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and boil uncovered for 5 min. Add the sausage and simmer for a further 2 min. Serve immediately, adding a few drops of olive oil to each bowl.
Warming, filling and tasty.

Sopa De Ajo
soup veg
This Spanish garlic and bread soup is more substantial than Provençal aïgo boulido or tourain from the Languedoc, which uses goose fat and has more puréed consistency.
Served in individual lidded earthenware bowls, the bread and the pungent smell of garlic dominate.

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (200°C/400°F).
Fry the garlic and bread in olive oil in a large frying pan for 2-3 min or until the bread is golden brown. Remove bread from the pan and put two slices each with the garlic in ovenproof soup bowls. Then add the water or chicken stock and salt and pepper to the pan, and simmer for 10 min. Pour over the bread then break an egg into each bowl. Cook in the oven for 10-15 min ensuring the egg yolks are still soft. Sprinkle with parsley or paprika and serve.

starter main
This recipe from the Spanish province of Laburdi, is taken from Maria José Sevilla's Life and Food in the Basque Country

Serves 6

Melt the lard in a deep heatproof earthenware pot and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. Add the water, beans, cabbage and garlic. Cook slowly for 2-3 hours. Add seasoning to taste, and a few drops of cider vinegar before serving.
Reminds me a bit of Fasolia.
I gave this a try on my boat, to get rid of some of my vast collection of beans before they rotted.
I used cannellini beans, some foie gras fat instead of lard, about a half dozen garlic cloves, and a savoy cabbage. I also didn't finely chop the onions and cabbage - I chopped them up about the same size as the beans.
The result is quite good - though it could benefit from a little stock adding. It's definitely not up to fasolia standards! I only added 2 pints of water - just to cover, and it's already quite soupy. 3 pints would be far too much I would think?

Chocolate Truffle Stuffed Eggshells
sweet veg
After a particularly disastrous delivery of Fazer Mignons we decided to have a go at making our own, just in case.
We used the following truffle recipe from the Joy of Cooking (I made double).

Makes about ⅓ pound of truffle mix

Coarsely grate the chocolate, melt it with the butter and add the cream.
I used a double boiler arrangement. However, I found that the mixture 'curdled' at this point and the butter separated. Perhaps I added too much cream, or too quickly. Anyway, I seemed to fix it mayonnaise-style by recombining the mixture with the poured-off butter, whipping constantly. The sugar does seem to stabilise the mix.

Gradually stir in the rest of the dry ingredients until lump-free.
The ground hazelnuts are amazing! They smell exactly like praline.

Make some empty eggshells with reasonable-sized holes in the fat ends.
I just knocked a hole in with a knife then scooped out the egg as best I could, though you could always make a small hole at the other end and blow the content out. You will have to clean out the eggshell next. I did this by rinsing with milk, but I didn't get out the membrane. Perhaps baking the shell til dry? Also, the truffle mix sticks to the inside of the shell so it might be a good idea to try coating the inside of the eggs with icing sugar or (cinnamon-flavoured) cocoa powder.

Fill the eggs with the truffle mix
Ha! Good luck with that - we used a combination of syringes, home-made piping bags, brute force and mostly spoons!

Refrigerate the eggs for 12-24 hours.
Serve in eggcups.
Feel free to decorate the shells :)

Here's what you're supposed to do with the truffle mix:
Cover & refrigerate for 12-24 hours, roll into balls in palm of hands and roll balls in cinnamon-flavoured cocoa or chocolate pastilles? or shot?. Remove from fridge 2 hours before serving.
Well, they ain't Mignons, that's for sure.
As much fun as it was making them, the truffle mix is a bit too soft really. You want something more approaching real chocolate.

Jenny's Beer Cake
sweet veg
Jenny made this and said it was delicious. I haven't tried it yet.
Remember it's an American recipe, so cups are 4/5 the size.

Makes 22 generous slices.
Or fills a 12-cup tube I guess

Do not preheat the oven. Grease and flour a 12-cup tube pan.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, allspice and salt into a medium-size bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the baking soda over the sugar. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat well. Alternately stir in the dry ingredients and the beer. Fold in the nuts and dates and stir until all the ingredients are well distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set the oven to 300°F. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 1½ hours. Transfer the cake to a cake plate and allow to cool thoroughly. (Be sure that the cake is thoroughly cooled before slicing.)

Via a Word document from who-knows-where
Normandy Apple Tart
dessert veg
Line the pie tin with the pastry and fill with the frangipani.
Thinly slice 3-4 apples and press them into the top of the frangipani in an interesting and eye-catching design.
Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes until slightly brown. (Check after 10 minutes and if the apples are browning turn down the temperature).
Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar and glaze with apricot jam.

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies
sweet veg
Combine oil, sugar and beat. Add egg, vanilla and milk and beat more.
Add flour, soda (premixed). Add salt, oats and make dough.
Make cookie shapes put on greased tray. Throw in oven, 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Random Buttermilk Dressing
salad dip raw veg
As found on a piece of paper - it describes it as coming from The Complete Book of Dressings by Paulette Mitchell, but doesn't say what it's called. Some kind of attempt at a Ranch?

Makes ½ Cup

Place the cottage cheese, buttermilk, lemon (lime?) juice, shallot and mustard in a blender. Purée until smooth, stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste; adjust seasonings, stir before serving.

Advance Preparation:
If dried herbs are used, allow the dressing to stand for 15-30 minutes before serving. This dressing will keep for 2 days in a tightly closed container in the fridge.
Ranch Dressings
These recipes were carefully cut out for me by my one-time American girlfriend Lisa Wellington-Boot, who helped to keep me sane during my Montana odyssey.

Ranch Dressing
salad dip raw veg
The original version of this now-ubiquitous condiment was created at the Hidden Valley Guest Ranch in Santa Barbara in the 1950s. The formula was subsequently purchased by the Clorox company, which uses the Hidden Valley name to this day, but 'ranch' has become a generic name not just for a dressing but for a buttemilky flavor (as in ranch-flavored corn chips). Here's a fresh homemade version. If you prefer a less runny dressing, stir in ⅓ to ½ cup of mayonnaise or sour cream.

Makes About 1 Cup

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro that's coriander to you or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
Mash together the garlic and 2-3 pinches of salt until a paste is formed.
Remove to a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk or shake until well blended.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate.

Flying R Ranch Dressing
salad dip raw veg
Ranch Dressing are buttermilk dressings, usually flavored with onion and garlic and other seasonings. The original ranch dressing is said to have been created by the Henson family, owners of Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, California. They began selling their dressing as a dry mix shortly after World War II. This is my version.

Yields About 1¼ cup

  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple juice or cider
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 scallion, white part only
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
In a jar with a hand blender or in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the buttermilk, vinegar, apple juice lemon juice, sugar, garlic, scallion, thyme, oregano, and egg yolk. Blend until the garlic, scallion, and herbs are finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and continue processing until the oil is fully incorporated into the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill the dressing until you are ready to use it. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before mixing again and serving.

This dressing is best served the day it is made.

Posh Tuna Bake
fish main pasta
According to the instructions on the jar, tuna bake is made from tuna bake sauce, tuna, pasta and cheese.
I don't think so!

Serves 4 at least

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C Cook the pasta, drain and pour into a large casserole dish. Add the jar of pasta sauce. Refill the jar with pasta water.
Chop the onions not too finely. Fry them in a little butter over a high heat until they start to brown at the edges.
Add a generous glass of cognac and flame.
Peel the tomatoes, remove the cores, chop roughly and add to the frying pan. Fry until softening. Stir in the mustard.
Add to the casserole dish and rinse the pan in with some reserved pasta water.
Separate the broccoli florets and cut into sixths. Reheat the pan with a little butter and fry over high heat to sear them slightly then add to the casserole.
Drain the tuna, break up the chunks and add to the casserole.
Shred a couple of spring onions, crush a half dozen garlic cloves and add to the casserole. Stir thoroughly with as much of the reserved pasta water as required. Perhaps all of it.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Grate the cheese and the bread and mix together with a generous grind of pepper.
Stir the yoghurt through the casserole, season if necessary, scatter over the topping and bake for another 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Serve with garlic bread. Ideally.
It's Tuna Bake Jim. But with much of the contents of the fridge thrown in.
Including a chopped half beetroot. But the less said about that the better!