Archive by Author

Wild garlic pesto recipe

18 Mar

I confess that I am addicted to wild garlic. When I saw this spring’s first leaves appear in a crate at Booth’s vegetable stall in Bermondsey, I made a beeline for it. As I’ve been busy, it’s been in the fridge for a week. I decided to make a wild garlic pesto, so I can keep some of this delicious taste of spring to hand, once the season is over.Image

For the pesto you will need:

  • 80-90 grams parmegiano reggiano, cubed
  • 100 grams pine nuts
  • 200 grams wild garlic (leaves and stems)
  • 120 grams olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

I used my Thermomix for this, but you could use any food processor, adjusting for mixing times accordingly.

Cube the parmigiano reggiano, put in in the TMX bowl and grate at speed 8 for 10 seconds.

Add pine nuts and wild garlic, whizz at speed 6 for 10 seconds. Scrape down and repeat. Your pesto should look fairly smooth by this point.


Weigh 120 g olive oil into a measuring jug, turn TMX to speed 4 and slowly pour in the oil. It should take about 40-50 seconds.

Add salt and pepper to taste. The pesto at this stage will taste pretty strong, like raw garlic. Hence you will want to cook it through a bit when you use it.

I made some tiger prawn linguine with mine, and mixed in the pesto to cook through a bit at the end with the pasta. Delicious.




Festive cranberry sauce recipe

1 Dec

There’s nothing better than a homemade cranberry preserve to serve alongside your turkey, cockerel, goose or whatever fowl you may have on your Christmas table. This would make a lovely Christmas gift for friends or family too.

Cranberry sauce

Here’s an easy recipe that I’ve adapted for the Thermomix. If you don’t have a Thermomix, all you have to do is bung it all in a saucepan. I don’t really know why people go out and BUY cranberry sauce. I bought my fresh cranberries at M&S, Waitrose also sell them, and you can find them at markets as well. Any white wine will do.

Makes about 1L of sauce


600g fresh cranberries
240ml or 210g white wine
240g caster sugar
zest of 1.5 oranges or 3 clementines (I used 1 orange and 1 clementine)


Put all of the above in your TMX bowl.
Cook at 100/20 minutes/reverse/stir speed/MC on
Taste to see if you want it sweeter. If you do, then add more sugar and put on as above for another couple of minutes.

If you are doing the saucepan version, this will probably take about 15-20 min as well, but you’ll need to stir every now and again to prevent it sticking at the bottom.

The cranberries after cooking in the TMX

Cranberries in TMX

Cranberries in TMX

Orange and clementine zest

Orange and clementine zest

Orange and clementine zest

The finished product:

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce

Cornish Grill & Little Bird Gin popup restaurant at Maltby St

1 Dec

On Friday 30th November we went to the Cornish Grill and Little Bird Gin popup at Lassco on Maltby Street聽(aka Rope Walk) in Bermondsey. If you’ve never explored this particular area of London, and you like antiques and quirky reclaimed furniture, then you need to visit.


Resting ribs of tasty tasty beef

Neil Rankin is one of the most talented chefs we know when it comes to handling a good piece of meat 馃槈聽on a barbecue.

Neil Rankin cooking mackerel

Neil Rankin hard at work with the mackerel

BBQ Grill

Red hot grill

Lassco is full of treasures that make you wish for a large house that you could decorate using the items found here.

The building was transformed into a gin palace and beef eatery for one night. The photos below are grainy as it was dark, but it gives you an idea of the atmosphere.

When we walked through the door, the smell of well-aged beef hit us straight away. To us, that’s one of the greatest aromas ever.

We sat in the bar area and had a pre-dinner dirty dry gin martini (this was after a Delgrado Amontillado sherry aperitf at Bar Tozino) before going to take our table in the dining room.

Entrance and 'bar' at Cornish Grill & Little Bird popup at Lassco, Maltby Street.

Entrance and ‘bar’ at Cornish Grill & Little Bird popup at Lassco, Maltby Street.

Below is the menu. We were all about the beef, so didn’t get to try the mackerel, but I am sure it was delicious as well.

Cornish Bird Menu

The #CornishBird menu

Hand-dived scallops with jamon Iberico provided by Tozino.

The scallops were sweet, prepared raw and sprinkled with paprika salt. Chuse’s ham, as ever, is delicious and cut to the requisite thinness.

Hand-dived scallops with jamon iberico

Hand-dived scallops with Jamon Iberico

C么te du Boeuf with beef dripping frites and chimichurri. 聽If this had been my last meal I would have died happy. Beef was perfectly cooked and it tasted properly of cow. 聽The frites were well-seasoned and crispy, done in beef dripping. Proper. 聽The chimichurri was delicious. There was also aioli, rich and garlicky, but I didn’t take a photo of it.

C么te du Boeuf with beef dripping frites and chimichurri

C么te du Boeuf with beef dripping frites and chimichurri

Poached pear with hazelnuts. The pear was poached well, still slightly firm, but juicy and sweet. A nice light end to the meal.

Pear with hazelnuts

Pear with hazelnuts

Fleur de lis water glass

Fleur de lis water glass (or was it gin?)

We are looking forward to seeing what Cornish Grill and Little Bird Gin do next. We’ll be there.

Christmas Eggnog recipe

29 Nov

My family has been making this eggnog for as long as I can remember. It’s boozy and rich, and not for the faint hearted! 聽This recipe is adapted from the bible of Canadian cooking – the Canadian Family Cookbook. My parents managed to find an edition for me, even though it’s out of print.

It makes about enough for 25 small punchbowl glasses.


6 egg yolks
2 cups caster sugar
1 pint or 568 ml bourbon or whisky
1 cup or 250 ml Jamaica rum
1 cup or 250 ml brandy
3 cups or 750 ml double cream
2 cups or 500 ml milk
6 egg whites


Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it’s mixed together and very thick. Gradually add the liquors, stirring constantly, then blend in the cream and milk.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, not dry, peaks. Gently fold into the eggnog. Turn into a punch bowl, cover, and chill. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg when served.

Enjoy several glasses but don’t even think about driving afterwards!

Lemon Fairy Cakes Recipe

11 Apr

Quick and easy fairy cakes for afternoon tea, or as an anytime treat. Makes 14-16.

Lemon Fairy Cakes


  • Cake Mixture
    • 125 g butter, softened
    • 125 g 聽self-raising flour, sifted
    • 125 g caster sugar
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp milk
    • zest of one lemon
  • Glac茅 icing
    • 100 g icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    • food colouring, if desired


Pre-heat oven to 190 C.

Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer, add beaten egg in small batches, then vanilla while still mixing. 聽Add lemon zest. 聽The mixture might look slightly curdled due to the citric acid in the lemon zest but don’t worry! Then add half the amount of flour gradually while mixer is on slow speed. Add the milk. Continue adding the rest of the flour until the mixture is smooth. 聽If you don’t have an electric stand mixer, a hand mixer with whisk attachment is fine or quick arm work with a wooden spoon or a balloon whisk.

Spoon the mixture into paper bun cases or if you are using a fairy cake tin, ensure the tin is oiled so they don’t stick. 聽Bake for 12 minutes or until risen and golden in colour. 聽Insert skewer and if it comes out clean, the cakes are done. Leave to cool on a rack before icing.

To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You could make orange flavoured by using orange juice, or in theory any other sort of flavourings/extracts. 聽Stir until smooth. 聽I made my icing purple by adding a few drops of red and blue food colouring, that’s the fun bit!

Spoon the icing over the cakes and top with decoration(s), if using. 聽Allow the icing to set and then remove the external paper cases (if used). 聽Et voila, fairy cakes that your friends and family will love.


I found that my paper cases didn’t fit the silicone tray I had, so I doubled up on the paper cases and put them on a baking sheet, which worked perfectly. 聽After baking you can always remove the other case.

To make icing the cakes afterwards a bit easier, don’t overfill the cases, but leave room for the cakes to rise. 聽Otherwise you will end up with a high dome on the cake, which makes it slightly more difficult for any topping like 聽a cherry or sugar flower to stay put.