28/12/2014

Lamb Escalopes & Leaves

Hunting through an unfamiliar supermarket, I happened upon a couple of bags of lamb escalopes in the cheap section ... unable to open the bags to take a look, it was pot-luck but it worked out well. Home, I found a number of thin slices of lamb leg ready for the skillet ...

Lamb Escalopes & Leaves

For serving, I grabbed a good handful of leaves, added some carrot ribbons, green olives, capers and cubes of feta cheese, black pepper, sea salt and some poppy seeds.

Mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in butter for garnish over the meat.

Gorgeous!

22/12/2014

Fajita Filling!

Fancying a quick dinner, I thought about Fajitas but just made up extra filling to go with a light salad and some yoghurt ...

Fajita Filling!

The chicken Fajita Filling is simply chicken strips fried off in a large skillet with some coconut oil, herbs and spices sprinkled over: paprika, turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper and some marjoram, green pepper added then red cabbage.

Serve out with a leafy green salad and a bowl of probiotic natural yoghurt.

Eat, enjoy, feel replete.

21/12/2014

Mid-Winter Venison Meatballs

Mid-Winter, you want nothing more than good food on a plate ...


Venison meatballs with a creamy green peppercorn sauce, potatoes roasted in goose fat, red cabbage boiled with apples, honey, cinnamon & allspice and steamed sprouts turned with clementines.

Too gorgeous!

14/12/2014

Haggis, Neaps & Tatties

Sunday dinner ...

Haggis, Neaps & Tatties

Traditional Scots serving: Haggis with neaps and tatties, or mashed parsnip and potato. Greenage is tenderstem broccoli, peas and some baby kale which can be eaten like salad leaves.

Yes, Haggis is not Primal, but it is primal ... I mean, just how much more primal can you get: take all the offals left over and stuff it into the stomach then boil it. Granted, there is some barley in there, I think, perhaps oatmeal. The ingredients are pretty sparse, so I think I got a good one.

Bloody tasty, nevertheless ...

13/12/2014

Winter Chicken Salad

Cruising around the supermarket, I happened upon some baby kale. Baby kale? Like kale, but the young leaves which can be eaten as salad or just lightly cooked through in a little butter. Massive in vitamin K, vitamins A & C, calcium and manganese if you want the nutritional benefits.

Anyway ...

It's the middle of winter and I'm holding a bag of salad leaves, but inspiration came to me with one seasonal ray of sunshine that I look forward to every Christmas: Clementines.

So, baby kale, clementines ... and there are some chicken thighs in the reduced section. See? When you eat primal, nature (or rather the supermarket) makes your plate for you! It really is, just put real food together. Even if it is salad, in the middle of winter!

Winter Chicken Salad

Chicken thighs are so simple to cook: just cover with water and commit to the oven for a few hours, the timing is largely irrelevant since a couple will do, four or five will not be too long. Low and slow, so 150C (300F) and just turn it down if you're not ready to eat.

Let's have some baby potatoes, too, sliced, par-boiled and sautéed in a little butter, some red onion and what's left of a couple of bell peppers. Icelandic ash salt and black pepper.

Crowning glory is the clementines. Slice through and dot around the salad.

Dinner is served!

12/12/2014

Turkey Steaks & Creamed Chicory

Creamed chicory goes so well with lighter meats like pork and chicken; tonight, with turkey ...

Turkey Steaks & Creamed Chicory

Chicory? You might know it as endive, but I know it as chicory, so ... it's creamed chicory. We're having it over turkey steaks on a bed of rice pasta combined with mushrooms and spinach.

Let's go!

Griddle pan on ...

Two small skillets out ...

Milk pan out ...

Turkey steaks on the griddle pan for maybe four or five minutes on one side, then flipped over.

Meanwhile, in one skillet soften your spinach with a little butter, sea salt and white pepper. Once wilted and reduced, remove to a chopping board and really smash it up! In the other skillet, soften some sliced mushrooms in a little butter.

Once the steaks are turned over ...

Combine the two into one skillet (the one that had the spinach in) and keep the other skillet (the one that had the mushrooms in) for the creamed endive, which is a simple case of removing the leaves from the core and pouring cream over ... low heat, sea salt, white pepper and perhaps some powdered garlic, certainly some herbs: chopped parsley. Control the heat to just wilt the chicory and slightly reduce the cream.

Ready to eat?

The rice pasta that I like cooks simply with boiling water poured over for 60 seconds. Let's do that and then retrieve the now cooked pasta into the skillet with the spinach and mushrooms, splash of olive oil and combine together.

Plate up with the pasta down, the turkey steaks sliced on a Chef's angle and crowned with the creamed chicory sauce.

Super!

Tuna & Salads

Not particularly special or interesting, just pretty ... enjoy!






08/12/2014

Haddock & Crushed Potatoes

Monday evening and I just want something quick ...

Haddock & Crushes Potatoes

Kettle on, water boiled ... pototoes on and a steamer of broccoli, asparagus & peas and a couple of lime wedges ready to go on towards the end.

Small skillet on, cream, sliced mushrooms, garlic powder, white pepper, smoked sea salt and chopped dill. Low, slow heat ... let the mushrooms colour through the cream which will reduce to a thick and suptuous sauce.

Almost there ...

Pop the steamer over the potatoes and get a larger skillet on with some butter. Pan fry the haddock fillets for three or four minutes on the presentation side then flip over and remove from the heat allowing the heat from the pan to finish the cooking.

Meanwhile, crush some butter into the potatoes, add in sliced spring onions and some sliced chicory.

Server out, potatoes down in the middle, green vegetables over to one side and the fish the other, sauce over the fish.

Monday dinner, done!

06/12/2014

Rice & Peas, Jerk Chicken ... and Breakfast

I'm experimenting with occasional meals that include legumes, just a small, select few: so, Puy lentils, green lentils, red lentils, black beans and gungo beans.

Tonight, it's that Jamaican classic: Rice & Peas with Jerk Chicken ...

Rice & Peas, Jerk Chicken ... and Breakfast

Jerk Chicken

My jerk sauce is simple: crushed up Scotch Bonnet peppers, spring onions, sea salt, fresh thyme and olive oil. Massage into the chicken (I went with some drumsticks), slashed ... and commit to the oven for about an hour at 200C (400F?), turning over once during the cooking.

... which leaves us perfectly sufficient time to cook the Rice & Peas.

Rice & Peas

Rice & Peas should not be rushed. Personally, I think of it like a Pilaf but with coconut milk in place of the stock, and if you keep that in mind your Rice & Peas will come out perfect!

Take a large skillet and soften some finely chopped onion in butter.

Add the rice (remember, rice will swell up during cooking, so have a sufficient sized skillet) for which I go with a ramekin amount per person, which will make plenty for a dinner and plenty left over. Just allow the rice to get coated in the remaining butter.

Add a pint of chicken stock and boil hard and fast for about five minutes after which the liquid will be slightly reduced and the rice well on its way.

Add in a 400g can of coconut milk and a 400g can of gungo beans. That's the peas.

Low heat and very gently simmer for the remainder of the time it takes to cook the chicken through. If your rice is fully cooked, just add as splash of water to keep it going until you're ready.

Serve

Serve out a mound of Rice & Peas and lay the chicken alongside.

Drink? Guinness, of course, in my case a pack of Foreign Extra from the Nigerian brewery. Awesome!

Anyone else experimenting with legumes in their primal paradigm?

Breakfast

Leftovers. Breakfast is leftovers ... and something easy enough to come by, say some eggs or a fish.


Sprats for me! I love 'em! Whole, heads, guts in, the lot ... so does my mog, especially the crunchy heads.

03/12/2014

Alternative Spag Bol!

Spag Bol is not Spaghetti Bolognaise. Spag Bol is a British institution, a dish done quite wrong what with the sauce not being incorporated into the pasta, but so what? It's Spag Bol and the sauce on top of the pasta is how it's done. Deal with it ...

Alternative Spag Bol!

Spag Bol is: beef mince, onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, carrots, mushrooms and stock.

Carrots and mushrooms, neither of which I have in so I went with butternut squash and courgette, both of which I did have in.

It worked out well ...

Same drill, beef mince, onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, butternut squash, courgette and stock. Serve over pasta - in my case, a rice noodle which is a bit like tagliatelle. Fresh basil to garnish.

27/11/2014

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Weekly experiment with legumes, here, green lentils ...

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Toulouse sausages, high meat content and little else in there ... as they should be. Combine with a few simple ingredients and a couple of store cupboard staples and you've got a great dinner!

Okay, so legumes are not primal but there is a spectrum here, a spectrum, folks. Not all legumes are made evil ... I mean equal. Some, down this end of the spectrum, like lentils are actually fine; red kidney beans down the other end, form a cross with your fingers, primal folks, they're still evil.

Anyway ...

Sausage Casserole

Skillet on, goose fat in, sausages browned off over a low heat and chucked into a lidded Pyrex dish.

In the remaining fat, soften a shredded onion and soak up the lovely fat with some shredded mushrooms. Pour over the sausages in the Pyrex.

Slice a red pepper and a green pepper. Add to the Pyrex.

Pour over a carton of chopped tomatoes.

Pour over a carton of green lentils.

Add three or four cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced, sea salt and black pepper.

Stir together and commit to the oven at 170C (350F) for a good hour, then remove the lid and let it reduce for another 30 minutes, or so.

Serve out when it's how you like it.

... and leftovers?

Breakfast

What do you do with leftovers? Bulk out with something fresh, here some courgette and asparagus, and stick and egg on top. Instant breakfast.

Sausage Casserole ... and Breakfast

Salmon Bikesmad

All pretty self-explanatory, really ...

Salmon Bikesmad

Cubed roots par-boiled and fried off in butter with some spring onions.

Salmon pan-fried in butter.

Asparagus dropped in boiling water for 60 seconds.

Dill and soured cream sauce.

Pickles and a poached egg.

Dinner is served ...

23/11/2014

Chicken Chasseur

Classic French cuisine ...

Chicken Chasseur

Just the word "cuisine" can bring people out in a sweat when they're faced with that notion and put in front of a stove. Couple that with "French" and those people will be running for the door.

But, relax ...

Just because it's French Cuisine doesn't mean it's especially complicated; quite the contrary, in fact, given how rural France is and how much of their cuisine is simple rustic fair elevated to daft levels of culinary highs by Chefs who really should just come down to earth a little.

Chicken Chasseur is about as rustic as you can get. Cooked over an open fire, this is Hunter's Chicken, Pollo a la Cacciatore or whatever you want to call it in whatever language.

Chicken Chasseur

Chicken - Thighs, for me: 5 of them
Mushrooms - Portobello in my dinner: 3 large
Tomato - Keep it simple: carton of chopped tomatoes
Tomato Purée
Onion - 1 Medium
Garlic - 3-4 Cloves
Herbs & Spices - Thyme & Ground Coriander
Seasoning - Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Fat - Your favourite paleo fat or Lardons of Bacon

Cut up the chicken pieces into large chunks, or if you have meat on the bone just keep it as-is, so full thigh, full wing, whatever.

Take a large lidded skillet and a little of your favourite paleo fat or if you actually prepared for this, bacon lardons and seal the meat. Medium heat ... don't be nuking this thing!

Toss in a shredded onion and fry off until soft.

Add in sliced mushrooms to soak up all the lovely fat. Garlic, too, sliced.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes and beef up with a little tomato purée.

In with the dried herbs, spices and seasoning.

Top up with water, bring to the boil, lid on and settle over a low heat for a couple of hours to cook through, soften, tenderise and reduce.

Ready to eat?

Just cook off the last of the liquid with the lid off while you boil some potatoes or rice, or cook through some rice noodles. Something starchy, anyway.

I went with lovely creamy mashed potatoes. Mash.

Plate up and gobble down hungrily and hopefully a little messily ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Got a load of veggies to use up? Shred the lot and stir-fry 'em ...

Grilled Mackerel & Stir Fry Vegetables

Now you need some protein.

Ha! Fish! Mackerel! I love mackerel ...

Fish

Gut your fish and fillet, v-boning to remove the middle bone set and slash the skin.

Fry off in a skillet with a little butter, skin side down until crispy then flip over, turn the heat off and let the flesh cook through in the residual heat.

Meanwhile ...

Stir-Fry Vegetables

I don't need to tell you how to do this, do I?

Suffice to say, shred whatever you want and toss it through with a little fat in a skillet or wok.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable down, fish on top, lemon or lime wedge alongside, perhaps an avocado? This was my breakfast, so I did just that ... and forgot the boiled egg.

20/11/2014

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Leftover are great! Instant dinner ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

I have some pre-cooked rice in the fridge (resistant starch, and all that) and some leftover cubed vegetables from some meal, or other. Protein? I have a fish! It's a mackerel ... lovely soft, fatty flesh.

What to do, then?

Well, I could spice up the vegetable rice with some chilli, or do it the other way around and jerk my fish. Let's do that ...

Jerk Seasoning

Simple stuff, this, and good to make in a batch.

You need Scotch Bonnet peppers, fresh thyme, spring onions, sunflower oil, black pepper and sea salt.

Blend the lot together. The bulk comes from the spring onions and the Scotch Bonnet pepper, fragrance from the thyme and a good saltiness, so over-salt, from the sea salt, wetness from the oil and the black pepper adds another depth of hotness (hotness, not heat) to it.

But, sunflower oil? Well, yes. I know, there's the omega-6 thing what with all that linoleic acid but as Mark points out in his Is it Primal? post, not all sunflower oil is bad. Grab yourself a cold-pressed example "which preserves vitamin E and reduces oxidation" that is a "high-oleic/high-stearic oil".

... and relax.

The quantities are up to you, but I would advise you start out just blending the Scotch Bonnet pepper together with some spring onions and then start to add the oil, then the thyme, then salt and pepper. You'll build up a sense of how YOU want your jerk seasoning as you go.

Fish

Take your fish, gut is and lay it flat on a board.

Slash the skin both sides, gently so as not to go through the bone and massage some jerk seasoning into the slashes.

Under the grill for 5-7 minutes each side, just to make the skin bubble and you're done.

Vegetable Rice

Combine your pre-cooked rice and leftover vegetables, chopped up, in a skillet with a little (that is a little, since our fish is fatty) of your favourite paleo fat. All together now, "goose fat, for me" ... and cook through.

Serve

Serve out, vegetable rice down, fish on top ... perhaps with a little soured cream alongside.

Breakfast

I still had some rice and vegetables left, so did much the same for breakfast but served with a pickled herring ...

Grilled Jerk Mackerel & Vegetable Rice

Dead simple! Two great meals for the price of one concept.

18/11/2014

Fast & Furious! Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

I've shown you this a good number of times in various guises, but it's worth showing again ...

Fast & Furious! Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

... and to emphasise just how fast a good meal can be made using this recipe.

Turkey & Mushroom Stroganoff

Clock is ticking ...

Skillet on, coconut oil in, sliced turkey meat in.

Maybe a minute or so later, shredded onion in, sliced mushrooms in, garlic powder, black pepper and a little sea salt.

Rice noodles in boiled water ... 60 seconds. Retrieve and add to the skillet.

Cream and chopped herbs, dill in this case for a nice Russo-Scandic feel, toss together and turn out into a bowl.

Shredded spring onions to garnish.

Done! Four minutes? How quickly can you make it?

17/11/2014

Steamed Cod & Hot Tomato Sauce

Relaxing start of the week dinner ...

Steamed Cod & Hot Tomato Sauce

Monday dinners can be tough, what with so much to do when you get home from work after the weekend ... not least, cooking dinner.

When you have 10 minutes, or so, you can make up the sauce and just let it simmer on a very low heat until you're ready to cook the rest ...

Hot Tomato Sauce

Carton Chopped Tomatoes (400g)
Half Small Onion
Garlic Cloves (3-4)
Chilli Flakes
Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Heat up some olive oil in a skillet. Olive oil does not tolerate high heat well, and one of the forgotten skills in Italian cooking is to keep the heat moderate or low and take your time. I repeat: take your time. Relax into the sauce.

Finely chop half an onion and soften in the warmed oil.

Lightly blend the chopped tomatoes so that you have almost a passata, but still with some structure. Pour into the skillet.

Slice the garlic cloves and add. I don't like to add garlic to the oil and onions since it can burn. I much prefer to add garlic later.

Sprinkle over some chilli flakes, add some sea salt and black pepper, reduce the heat and let it simmer ... it will be perfectly happy until you're ready to cook the rest of the dish and will improve with that time. Relax!

Steamed Cod

Cod Loin

Our cats eat fish. They love their fish! I get all the tail ends and offcuts from our local Chippy and all I need to do it remove the really big bones and steam the rest.

So, steamer on, I might as well steam some fish for us humans, too ...

I have a lovely loin of cod, thick, big flakes, gorgeous. Steamed, perhaps 10 minutes.

Salsa

Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Spring Onions
Capers
Green Olives
Dried Oregano
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Fish on sauce is a bit dull to the eye, so I made up a quick salsa of olive oil, lemon juice, shredded spring onions, capers, sliced green olives, dried oregano, sea salt and black pepper.

Serve

Sauce down first and gently lay the fish over, salsa over the top.

The fish falls apart in huge flakes, picking up the sauce and gaining an extra pique of interest with the salsa. This truly was a gorgeous meal!

16/11/2014

Beef Medallions & Root Cubes

Quick and easy Sunday dinner ...

Beef Medallions & Root Cubes

Cube up a load of root vegetables: carrot, swede, celeriac & potato. Steam.

Slice some mushrooms and place in a skillet. Pour in cream, a good teaspoon of green peppercorns and a touch of white pepper and celery salt. Gently heat through. If the sauce becomes too reduced, just add water.

After about 10 minutes, warm up a large skillet with some butter for the beef.

Cut the medallions into inch thick slices and lay in the large skillet to colour up. Flip over after about 3 minutes, same again on the other side. Reduce the heat and go for 5 minutes each side on the lower heat. The meat should be cooked through, but not "well done".

Serve up, roots down first, laying the (rested) meat over the top and spoon the sauce over.

15/11/2014

Spicy Chicken & Mushroom over Roasted Marrow

It's a bit of a use-up meal ...

Spicy Chicken & Mushroom over Roasted Marrow

Take a marrow, or at least a good length of, cut in half lengthways, remove the seeds and commit to the oven at 180C for about an hour. Optionally, drizzle some olive oil over.

When the marrow is about done, shred an onion and some chicken breast.

In a large skillet, melt a little coconut oil, pop the onions in with some flavours: sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and ground coriander.

Once the onions are cooked through, add in the chicken and quickly cook through before adding in sliced mushrooms and chopped fresh coriander.

Serve out with the marrow down first, chicken and mushroom over, garnished with some pine nuts and a good drizzle of yogurt and lemon juice. I also sprinkled some sumac over.

... for a random bunch of ingredients, just cooked through and put together, it worked very well; testament to the chorus of the ancestral chef: "cook real food and put it together".

13/11/2014

Turkey Mince Sliders with Celeriac Remoulade

Turkey Mince Sliders with Celeriac Remoulade

... just a simple meal, quick to make and great to eat!

Turkey Mince Sliders

1lb Turkey Mince
Lemon Rind
Chilli
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Ground Coriander

Coconut Oil to fry

Mix the lot together, divide into 8ths and make meatballs, pressing down gently once you pop them into the skillet for frying.

Coconut oil in the skillet for frying.

Fry off on a higher heat for 2-3 minutes each side, lower the heat and cook on for maybe 5 minutes each side.

Meanwhile ...

Celeriac Remoulade

Celeriac
Egg Yolks (1 per Person)
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt
White Pepper
Poppy Seeds

Slice the celeriac into thin slices and shred into long matchsticks.

Blanch in boiled water.

Make up the remoulade by whisking the egg yolks, drizzle of olive oil, splash of cider vinegar, juice of half a lemon, no need to be exact ... together with sea salt, white pepper and poppy seeds.

Drain the celeriac and combine with the remoulade which will cook through in the residual heat.

Serve

Mound up some of the celeriac remoulade in the middle of the plate and surround with the sliders over some salad if you like - I went with shredded lettuce and tomato slices.

16/10/2014

Chicken Liver Parfait

Similar to pâté but more creamy ...

Chicken Liver Parfait

Take some chicken livers, it doesn't matter how much; some, and gently fry off in butter.

Blend with cream, at something like a 1:3 ratio of cream to livers.

Spoon into ramekins and seal with melted butter poured over the top and garnished with a thin slice of lemon, sprinkle of Allspice, some green peppercorns and a sprig of dill.

Serve with crisp lettuce leaves.

13/10/2014

Canned Tuna Fish Cakes

Fast and easy ...

Canned Tuna Fish Cakes

Combine drained canned tuna and cold mashed potato at a 1:2 ratio of potato to fish.

Add in any flavourings you like - chilli, ground coriander, lemon rind, whatever.

Gently fry off in your favourite paleo fat, goose fat for me.

Serve with mixed vegetables, some mayonnaise and a wedge of lime, scattered herbs over.

11/10/2014

Roasted Sprouts & Bacon with Mashed Cauliflower, Feta & Soured Cream

Really two meals combined ...

Roasted Sprouts & Bacon with Mashed Cauliflower, Feta & Soured Cream

Roasted Sprouts & Bacon

Oven on at 180C.

Par-boil some Brussels sprouts, half and drop into a roasting tray with shredded fatty bacon and a few cloves of garlic.

Omit the bacon and add in some coconut oil or olive oil for a vegetarian alternative.

Commit to the oven for about half an hour.

Mashed Cauliflower, Feta & Soured Cream

Steam some cauliflower and crush with feta cheese and soured cream.

Serve

Roasted sprouts down first, cauliflower over and a good knob of butter on top, shredded spring onions to garnish.

10/10/2014

Mayaj - Sheep Brain Curry

... something interesting for lunch.


I popped out with a pal of mine for a spot of lunch at Akbar's Café in Bradford, an excellent lunchtime venue with a really interesting menu.

For starters, we had Liver Tikka and Panner Tikka; mains, curried Lamb Shank and Mayaj - a sheep brain curry.

Nutritionally, brain is phenomenal giving something like 4000% RDA of cholesterol, massively protein-rich and full of good saturated fats. The only thing that could make it any better would be to curry it, a popular dish in Pakistan.

I think the curry was very simple, just the brains, onion and spice base and some fresh coriander. Served with steamed rice, lovely!

09/10/2014

Cod with Cavolo Nero & Puy Lentils

Lentils are something that I enjoy eating on occasion, Puy lentils a variety I regard as quite special.

Today, a variation on a classic Cod & Puy - you can read my thoughts on lentils in the link, but generally, I regard them as fairly inoffensive and perfectly good to eat every now and again ... if that's what you want to do.

Puy lentils, a Protected Designation of Origin green lentil variety from the Le Puy region of France owes its distinct character to the terroir within which it grows.

It's autumn, and so I'm bulking this meal out a little ...

Constituents

Fish - Cod, although any white fish will do, skin on and fried in butter

Cavolo Nero & Puy Lentils - Cavolo Nero, Puy lentils, sea salt, black pepper, sprinkle of chilli flakes and your favourite paleo fat, goose fat, here

Method

Steam your Cavolo Nero for a few minutes before transferring to a large skillet with your favourite paleo fat, toss in the drained lentils, add sea salt and black pepper along with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and warm through.

Warm some butter through in another skillet and fry the fish, skin side down for a few minutes. Loosen the fish by giving the skillet a gentle shake and flip over. Switch the heat off and let the other side cook through in the residual heat for a really tender piece of fish.

Serve out, kale and lentils down with the cod to crown.

07/10/2014

Chilli Con Carne Sweet Potato

Quick and dead easy ... it's leftovers!

Chilli Con Carne Sweet Potato

Commit a sweet potato cut in half to the oven, set to 180C for about 30 minutes.

Take some leftover Chilli Con Carne and warm it through in a pan.

Dress a plate with some salad leaves and maybe some chilli sauce*.

Prepare the rest: grated local sheep cheese, matchstick cucumber and tomato, horse ear spring onions and some soured cream.

Great! The potato is ready ...

Pop it on the plate, good slab of butter, Chilli Con Carne, cheese, soured cream and the salad ingredients. Sea salt and black pepper.

Dinner is served!

Great! Feeling replete but not overly full and ready for an evening of fencing ...

*The sauce I slathered over is my own chilli sauce: red chillies, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, sea salt, white pepper, cider vinegar & lemon juice. Purée well and pass through a sieve. Thicken with a little arrowroot if necessary.

05/10/2014

Grilled Herring

Simple as simple can be ...

Grilled Herring


Fish, grilled and chilli sauce*.

Beautiful! That's breakfast. Now, out to enjoy the day.

*The sauce I slathered over is my own chilli sauce: red chillies, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, sea salt, white pepper, cider vinegar & lemon juice. Purée well and pass through a sieve. Thicken with a little arrowroot if necessary.

04/10/2014

Cauliflower Stalk & Potato Soup with Crab Beignet

Crab Beignet? Not the traditional French type from choux pastry, but a quick and easy with three ingredients: canned crab, cottage cheese and tapioca flour.

The soup is simply cauliflower stalks (I never throw away trimmings) and cubes of potato with onion, garlic and some bouillon. Cook through, soup done.

Back to these Beignets ...

Take a can of crab meat, drain and squeeze out thoroughly. Combine with equal portions of cottage cheese and then start to add in tapioca flour until the mixture turns dry enough to roll out into long sausages without it sticking to hands or the rolling board.

Cut into inch long sections and roll each piece in a large bowl with more tapioca flour.

Shallow fry in coconut oil, say in a milk pan. Good and hot, or they'll simply stick together.

Ready? Serve out ...

Soup in a bowl with a good mount of beignets in the middle.

Squid Kedgerish

... sort of Kedgeree.

I bagged a couple of good sized squids on Friday night, going cheap and thought it would make a great breakfast!

Squid Kedgerish

Cook some rice or use leftovers.

Boil a couple of eggs.

While the rice is cooking and the eggs boiling, prepare your ingredients:
  • Squid
  • Spring Onions
  • Tomato
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Chillies, Ginger & Garlic
  • Spices
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Chilli Sauce* or Condiment
Washed, cleaned and prepared, the squid should be sliced thinly into noodles.

Thinly chop up a few spring onions, mince a clove of garlic, a little ginger, de-seed and chop a chilli.

Once the rice is cooked through and steamed off, drop it into a large skillet with some ghee and fry off ... adding in the squid once the rice is starting to get a little crispy from the frying, along with the oyster mushrooms.

Add spices: turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, fenugreek and asafoetida.

Add the ginger, the garlic and the chilli.

Cook through for three or four minutes ...

Just before serving, add in chopped tomato and some fresh chopped coriander.

Serve out and garnish with boiled eggs.

*The sauce I slathered over is my own chilli sauce: red chillies, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, sea salt, white pepper, cider vinegar & lemon juice. Purée well and pass through a sieve. Thicken with a little arrowroot if necessary.

02/10/2014

Swordfish with Asparagus and Roasted Beetroot, Squash & Garlic

Simple preparation for a mid-week dinner ...

Swordfish with Asparagus and Roasted Beetroot, Squash & Garlic

Oven on ... 200C ...

Peel and segment some beetroots, peel and cube up some squash, take a whole garlic and pick off the bulbs. Add the lot to an oven-proof dish with some fat, goose fat for me, and commit to the oven for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile steam some asparagus and set aside.

Cube up some feta.

Settle a couple of swordfishes onto an oven-proof plate.

After 20 minutes of cooking, pop the swordfish into the oven.

After a further 10 minutes, turn the swordfish over and scatter the asparagus into the roasting vegetables.

Another 10 minutes and we're done ...

Serve out, swordfish down, roasted vegetables down and feta cheese scattered over. Ladle some chilli sauce* over the fish.

*The sauce I slathered over is my own chilli sauce: red chillies, powdered ginger, powdered garlic, sea salt, white pepper, cider vinegar & lemon juice. Purée well and pass through a sieve. Thicken with a little arrowroot if necessary.

21/09/2014

Instant Blackberry Ice Cream

Blackberry season is just drawing to an end and our freezer has several bags which will be the base for my excellent Red Wine Jelly, but I fear they will not last long now I've discovered this ...

Instant Blackberry Ice Cream

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

What you do is take a handful of blackberries per person and put them into a receptacle. So as not to shower the place in blackberry pieces, take a rolling pin and break up the berries, breaking them down a little, too.

Now, take your stick blender and gently blend as you pour in double cream. The cold from the berries will freeze the cream and the liquid from the cream will blend the berries - the result: Instant Ice Cream!

Serve immediately ...

No stirring every 30 minutes, no unwanted ice crystals, just instant ice cream.

19/09/2014

Spicy Grilled Fish

Inspired by a Mexican dish of food I saw on the internet, I made my own grilled fish, black beans and rice with a little salad underneath and boiled egg with guacamole alongside.

Spicy Grilled Fish

It's all fairy self-explanatory ...

Gut and scale a fish, any fish - it was a sea bass for me, slash it and rub some paste in. My paste is a jerk seasoning of thyme, spring onions and Scotch Bonnet pepper with a little salt. Grill for 15 minutes each side.

Meanwhile cook your rice, your beans - the adventurous might want to combine these with some coconut milk for a Jamaican-style Rice & Peas; make a little salad, boil your eggs and make up a Holy Guacamole by blending avocado with lime juice and salt.

Plate up!

Mrs didn't like hers, which was great for me since leftovers make fantastic breakfasts ... just bung the lot into a skillet with some good fat: goose fat, for me.

Spicy Grilled Fish

I've said it before, but this is living proof that good, real food is simply a case of putting good ingredients together. No recipe, no method, just cook some real food and put it on a plate ... re-cook it and put it on a plate.

18/09/2014

Stuffed Aubergine

It's a use-up meal ...

I have a cabbage which has been sitting around for ages and some chorizo that wants using up. Perfect partners and a meal with a good piece of white fish ... but, no fish! I also have an aubergine that is starting to soften, some lovely tomatoes, some prawns and some flaked salmon. I have an idea forming ...

Stuffed Aubergine

So, cabbage steamed and fried through with some chorizo - that's the side done.

Eggs boiled, yolks popped out and blended with some wasabi, avocado oil, sea salt and a spritz of rice wine vinegar. Pop a parsley leaf in and we've got a delicious garnish.

The aubergine was cut in half, slashed through the flesh (not the skin), slathered in olive oil, given a little salt and committed to the oven set to 180C (350F?) for 15 minutes, skin side up, turned over and give another 15 minutes.

Flesh removed and added into a skillet of prawns, the flaked salmon, the tomatoes, some Scotch Bonnet pepper, parsley, black pepper and sea salt.

Skins re-filled, we have dinner.

13/09/2014

Pisces

... after a long day assembling Swedish flat-pack furniture at my son's, I had hoped to go home and cook up a fun Mexican dish of fried fish and all the accompaniments, but as afternoon turned to evening and evening turned to night, it was all getting a bit late.

Home around half past nine, I reckoned I could still cook the fish ...

Simply.

Pisces

I had a couple of Sea Bream which just wanted gutting, slashing, sea salt, splash of lemon juice and under the grill for 5 minutes each side.

Done, garnished with fresh coriander and some black pepper, laid out on the plate like the star sign and I was ready to eat but Mrs said it was just too late.

So ... I enjoyed two whole Sea Bream with the cat!

Pisces

I have never seen our cat "fished out" but tonight was the night; the little blighter simply could not eat all the fish I gave him.

What a great meal! So simple, barely any preparation, simple cooking methods, simple flavours and the full enjoyment of the fish cooked on the bone.

Sea Bream are very easy to eat as the fearsome spines top and bottom simply pull away once cooked, skin easily removed and you're left with four fillets (two each side, one either side of the middle line) which slide off readily.

I heartily encourage everyone to try a meal like this ...

Simply done, refreshing and wholesome, just protein and fat.

Lamb Liver Bhuna

It's the weekend, and I'm partial to a little (late) breakfast, but only at the weekend ...

Lamb Kidney Bhuna

Lamb Liver Bhuna

Lamb Liver
Large Onion, Garlic & Ginger
Ghee
Turmeric, Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Fenugreek & Asafoetida
Black Pepper & Sea Salt
Large Plum Tomato
Chillies

For two:

Take a large skillet and melt some ghee, caramelising off a large onion over a low heat with spices: turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, fenugreek & asafoetida (a teaspoon of the first three and half a teaspoon of the last couple), a couple of cloves of minced garlic and a good slice of ginger, shredded.

Raise the heat to medium and brown off the liver, chopped into chunks.

Add a splash of water and reduce fully.

Add a couple of whole chillies, simply sliced in two and a large plum tomato, cored and sliced into segments.

Cook on for several more minutes, turning frequently. Bhuna is a dry dish, so ensure that any liquid from the tomatoes is fully cooked out.

Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve out with a light green salad.

12/09/2014

Maltese Sea Bass

Following a lovely holiday to Malta, home, inspired and hungry ... here's my little ode to Malta which has nothing at all to do with Maltese cooking but everything to do with that conflux of Mediterranean and North African flavours.

Maltese Sea Bass

Simply, it's leaves, salad potatoes cooked through with sun-dried tomatoes, olives added and figs at the very end; a warm salad.

The fish is simply gutted, filleted, slashed and pan-fried.

07/09/2014

Herring? What a jerk!

It's Sunday morning, I've got a herring and a hankering for something spicy ...

Clean, scale and gut your fish, washing out the cavity, slash the skin, rubbing in jerk seasoning and fill the cavity with lemons.

Place into an ovenproof dish, scatter over some onion rings, courgette, mushrooms, perhaps capers and commit to the oven for about 15 minutes before flipping over for another 10 to finish off. 200C (400F?) will do nicely.

Herring? What a jerk!

The jerk seasoning? Take a few scallions, top tail and shred, a handful of fresh thyme, a couple of Scotch Bonnet peppers and some salt. Mash the lot together. That's your seasoning.

Retrieve, plate up and enjoy ...

Herring? What a jerk!

Oily, fatty protein. What a way to start the day!

Have a great Sunday!

03/09/2014

Spicy Duck Breast

Who doesn't like a good pair of breasts?

Spicy Duck Breast

With a couple of duck breasts, some leftover mashed potato and a huge cucumber from a friend's allotment it might sound like the start of a joke, but it is the formation of an idea for dinner.

Peeled, cored and thinly sliced, cucumber is lovely with a splash of rice wine vinegar, a little sea salt and some shredded spring onions to accompany. Finished with fresh coriander, it'll make a spritely accompaniment to the fatty duck.

Mashed potato, chilled, chives and chilli, small egg to bind, a good starchy base for the meal is quickly formed.

... and onto cooking.

Duck breast takes about 10 minutes in total. The potato patties will take about 10 minutes to cook through.

10 minutes, then ...

In a skillet, dry, place the duck breasts skin side down and press down for about 30 seconds. Leave them in place for a further 6 minutes. Flip them over and leave them for 4 minutes, during the last of which use tongs to sear the sides. The meat should be cooked through, but remain pink inside.

In another skillet, coconut oil to shallow fry, drop the patties in. Five minutes each side and they're done.

Meanwhile make up the cucumber side and a sauce.

I keep a few select bottles of sauces in the fridge, sauces with minimal lab ingredients that can be used as condiment to really pull out a punch in a dish ...

Today, I mixed Maggi Chilli Sauce with Worcestershire Sauce, some white pepper, celery salt and a splash of lemon juice. Yum!

Ready?

Spicy Duck Breast

Plate up, potato pattie down, duck breast just rested for a few minutes and sliced through placed over the top. Sauce and salsa alongside, give the dish a quick crowning with sauce and perhaps some fresh herbs. Don't forget the sesame seeds over the cucumber. I did.

02/09/2014

Basa Soup

I have some Basa fillets and fancied a spicy soup ...

Basa Soup

Take a whole bunch of interesting flavours and shred them, matchstick them, mince them and set them aside.

I went with ...

Basa Soup

Spring Onion
Garlic
Ginger
Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Carrot
Cabbage
Basa Fillets
Poppy Seeds

Into a large open pan, tip in some bone broth and drop in the vegetables to warm through.

Once warmed, add the fish and any final flavours like fresh herbs, seeds or whatever.

Your soup is ready!

Totally fusion, I know but I made a little pistou to stir in ...

Hazelnut Pistou

Hazelnut Pistou

Hazelnuts
Parsley
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Blend the lot together and you're done. Simply stir a spoonful into the soup.