Butterflied leg of Lamb, Herb Potato Salad and Summer Vegetable Ragout

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An early showing for a summer staple

It’s not summer yet, with snow this week I’m beginning to doubt whether it is even spring , but I couldn’t wait to cook this any longer. If forced to choose a favourite roast a butterflied leg of lamb would be near the top of the list – especially when cooked on a BBQ.

It’s still a little too chilly and the weather too unpredictable to break out the BBQ just yet, but briefly roasting a butterflied leg of lamb in a conventional oven, finished with a short blast under a hot grill still produces wonderful results. The key with the lamb to my mind is a nice long marinade, a hefty slug of seasoning, a brisk roast at a high heat followed by a good rest. Continue reading

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Roast Spatchcock Chicken & Chickpeas

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A Moroccan inspired Sunday Roast

The roast dinner is of course a British Institution, who doesn’t love a traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings? The French call us Les Rosbifs with good reason.

Whilst I will readily admit to enjoying a classic roast – especially Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Roast Forerib of Beef, there is no denying it can be time consuming and a bit of a faff, the washing up alone is enough to put me off – who wants to spend their final precious hours of weekend freedom doing the dishes?  Continue reading

Polpette al sugo di pomodoro

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A good, basic meatball recipe

Meatballs are a ubiquitous staple of the global menu, be it Turkish Koftas or Spanish Albóndigas they feature in some guise in the cuisine of practically every country, even a trip to Ikea can’t be considered a success without having tasted some Swedish Köttbullar!

The universal popularity of the meatball is easy to understand, they are economical, versatile, incredibly easy to make and yes, delicious!
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Fish Pie Marinière

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Making the most of Moules

A great fish pie is a thing of beauty, and I humbly submit this to be a great fish pie, a perfect blend of hearty British comfort food and Gallic flair. This is the kind of dish where you need to make double quantities as you know people will keep going back for “just one more spoon”.

To my mind any fish pie worthy of the name must contain, at a bare minimum, three varieties of fish – white, smoked and oily. Prawns are another non-negotiable addition in this household for their flavour, colour and textural contrast. It is a sad fish pie indeed that denies the diner the quiet joy of unearthing a plump prawn or two. Continue reading

Chilli Oil

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Some like it hot

At this time of year I like to make some store cupboard and freezer staples that will pep up our cooking over the coming months. Things like flavoured oils and pickles, even sauces like Pesto, Picada, Chimichuri and Romesco which, whilst always best freshly prepared, freeze perfectly well.

I covered pesto in my last post, now on to Chilli Oil. Over Easter I found myself down in Kent visiting my Mother and her partner and as mentioned we visited the Broadstairs Spring Food Festival. It wasn’t the biggest food festival I’ve attended, but they did have a nice selection of local produce. Continue reading

Wild Garlic Pesto

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A walk on the wild side

I like to take make the most of seasonal gluts when they become available, Wild Garlic (Ransoms) are a case in point. The season only runs from March through to May so I try to take advantage whilst I can and make some Wild Garlic Pesto for the freezer to see us through the summer months.

I’ll make a couple of batches of this over the next month or so and freeze individual portions in small freezer bags or disposable plastic cups. Just label and date them clearly – they should be good for 6 months.  Continue reading