Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lamb n vin: lamb shank braised in a whole bottle of wine


I’m not really a stew person. I wouldn’t even rest my eye on stew if it was on a menu; I’d skip right past it without it even entering my consciousness. I don’t really know why that is. There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t like a hearty and rustic stew. I mean, those two descriptors appear in my index of preferred food styles. They even figure in the remit of my blog, ergo ‘Stew’ and I ought to be the best of friends. So I thought it was time for Stew and me to spend a little time together.

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Filed under Chillies, Lamb, Main courses, Mushrooms, Nigel Slater, Orange, Recipes, Wine

Buttermilk vanilla cupcakes with caramel icing (or why I am not a baker!)


As you may have noticed by now I don’t bake very often. In fact, the last time I blogged about baking I pointed this very fact out. Although an enthusiastic cook, and a merry eater of all culinary genres, I just don’t ever feel the call to bake. However, that all changed when I saw Shauna’s (of Piece of Cake) blog on caramel cupcakes. These little beauties simply called to me. I resolved that the next time I had a reason (read: excuse) to cook some cupcakes I would whip up a batch of these. That reason came this weekend.

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Filed under Baking, Desserts, Eggs, Recipes, Vanilla

King prawn and coconut curry


I love curry. I love it, love it, love it. I particularly love Malaysian and Thai curries probably because I have a special weakness for coconut milk. However, I’d never made a curry using fresh coconut. In fact, I had never even opened a coconut before. That was until Friday.

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Filed under Chillies, Coconut, Curry, Fancy eats, Main courses, Prawns, Recipes, Rice, Rick Stein, Spices

Mushroom risotto (using my homemade stock)


 

You may remember that I recently made my own chicken stock for the first time. Ever since then the resulting stock has been sitting in my freezer waiting to be utilized. I, the other hand, have been thinking carefully about what I could make; something that would really showcase my first homemade stock. Finally last night I made the absolute perfect dish with it: mushroom risotto.  

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Filed under Cheese, Jamie Oliver, Lemon, Main courses, Mushrooms, Recipes, Rice, Thyme, Weekday dinners

Make your own pizza party


Sometimes when you have friends round for dinner you want to do something a little bit different. You don’t want, for example, to be stuck in the kitchen whilst everyone else is having a good time together in the living room. Or you don’t want everyone to sit stiffly around the table as you grandly roll out course after course. Maybe you want to get everyone involved a bit more. So why not hold a pizza party?

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Filed under Capers, Chillies, Chorizo, Fancy eats, Gorgonzola, Main courses, Mozzarella, Olives, Other meats, Prosciutto, Recipes, River Cafe, Tomatoes

Moussaka (for weekends only)


There are certain things you simply don’t order in a restaurant because they can never compare to the version you make at home. I have a whole host of Italian dishes for which this is true. Being part Italian, I grew up on my mum’s lasagne (which is without doubt the best in the world) and I refuse to let anyone order lasagne in a restaurant in my presence: “Don’t you dare; I’ll make it for you myself with my mum’s recipe – it will be a thousand times better”. I won’t even order lasagne in Italy. Restaurants just can’t possibly match the quality that is borne from the undivided attention and care you can offer at home. And I think the same could be true for moussaka.

Moussaka is such a homely dish: layers of fried aubergines, potato and spiced mince, topped with thick creamy béchamel sauce. What could be more welcoming for a Wednesday night dinner for our good friend Joe?

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Filed under Aubergine, Beef, Fancy eats, Main courses, Pork, Potatoes, Recipes, Spices, Tomatoes