Agnello con Patate

Agnello

A Hotpot from Puglia for Easter

If you fancy a change from the traditional Roast Lamb this Easter this recipe makes a wonderful alternative. Incredibly simple to prepare, easy on the wallet and quite delicious – what more could you ask for?

This is essentially an Italian take on a Hotpot originating from Puglia. A traditional Lancashire Hotpot, whilst a firm favourite, is an autumnal dish for me and by the time Easter rolls around I want something lighter, fresher and more in keeping with the season. Continue reading

Chicken Kiev, Pea and Spring Onion Risotto, Tzatziki

PeaRisottoandKievFramed

New ways with familiar friends

Who doesn’t love a Chicken Kiev? Well vegetarians obviously, but other than that, come on, it’s a bona fide classic – the Ivan Drago to Southern Fried Chicken’s Rocky Balboa! It also has the dubious honour of being Britain’s first ever ready meal – introduced by M&S to a rapturous public back in 1979.

Did I make this Chicken Kiev? No, I’m afraid not. I maintained that proud ready meal tradition by getting these from our local butcher, Chadwick’s in Balham*. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog Chadwick’s have a daily deal – Wednesday is two Kievs for £5, which makes the total cost of this meal about £4 a portion which is pretty good going.  Continue reading

#JeSuisBruxelles

frites

No recipe.

Just a simple message of defiance to the perpetrators of the atrocities that took place in Brussels earlier today and to the politicians and media commentators seeking to exploit this tragedy for political capital.

I stand in solidarity with the people of Belgium; my thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends.  Continue reading

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

carbonara3

Four ingredients, infinite possibilities

I love dishes like this. Recipes known and loved universally but who’s true origin and “correct” preparation have been lost to time. So incredibly simple; pasta, eggs, cured pork, cheese are sine qua non but of what type and in what proportion?

The etymology of the name is just as hotly disputed and I am not about to wade into the debate, but I am happy to speculate. Generally speaking the Carbonara origin myth falls into four camps, with the name of the dish always being coal (carbone) or charcoal related:  Continue reading

Roast Bone Marrow, Tuna Tartare and Quail Egg

tuna3

Psychedelic Surf and Turf

For the most part the recipes featured on this blog are my own or variations on traditional standards. Every once in a while however I come across a “new” recipe that I instantly think I must try to recreate. This is one of those recipes.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve cooked something which I imagined to be hugely original, only to discover that not only has it already been attempted and recorded but has usually been a vast improvement on my own efforts. Continue reading

Guinness Cottage Pie

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A stout pie for St Patrick’s Day

I have to say I find March to be the most frustrating month of the year in which to cook.

From early spring to late summer I tend to abandon traditional north European cuisine almost completely. Instead our kitchen will become home to the warm, robust flavours of the Mediterranean, with splashes of colour and spice provided by diversions into South East Asia, the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East.

Spring lies tantalisingly close, but still out of reach. The final leg of the interminable winter marathon must drag on for a few more weeks. Continue reading

Carbonnades flamandes

Carbonade

Or the easiest, tastiest beef stew you’ll ever make.

I don’t think I can continue to call this blog The Famous Belgian in good conscience without posting a proper Belgian classic. One of the big guns. A Grandes Dames of the Belgian culinary oeuvre. So here we go Carbonnades flamandesVlaamse Stoverij, Stoofvlees – Flemish Beef Stew to you and I.

This really is one of the simplest, tastiest beef stew recipes you could ever try.  Continue reading