Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Year's Food Resolutions Worth Keeping

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Who doesn't start the New Year pledging to begin a new healthier lifestyle?

Let’s face it we all do it…my resolutions are usually to eat less sugar, less fat, less salt and go vegetarian.  We make these resolutions annually in an attempt to start afresh and turn over a healthy new leaf.  I believe that the secret to a healthier lifestyle normally lies in the kitchen and if you are really serious about it, one of the answers is to become a better cook. So if you hoping to become a culinary wizard in your kitchen in 2017 here are my 7 essential food resolutions for the new year.

1.Get a knife that’s sharp and learn how to keep it that way.



Saturday, January 7, 2017

How to cook the perfect steak



   
Call me an old fashioned Neanderthal if you must, but every now and then I get a real craving for a rare steak. I think its still one of the purest carnivorous pleasures known to man.


Although it might seem a little out of sync in these days of political correctness gone mad, but I have to admit that I like my steak oozing with blood…the type that might be described in an American steakhouse as “take a cow, rip off any horns, wipe it’s arse, and throw it on a grill for 2 minutes; or my personal favourite: a steak so rare, a good vet could bring it back to life!

Friday, January 6, 2017

SALTY SENSATIONS



Forward-looking chefs are always on the look out for new and exciting ingredients to liven up their menus and sea vegetables are slowly becoming the next big thing. They are also a great idea if you need to introduce a salty sensation on the plate and impress your guests.

Confessions of a Chef



I have a confession to make. Some years ago I caused a major incident on an airplane and very nearly got kicked off for upsetting other passengers. Luckily for me, we were already 10,000 feet above the ground and there was no going back. No, I had not been drinking; no I didn’t get into a fight. I was traveling alone and I did not have a single conversation with anyone. It was my hand luggage that did all the talking!

Monday, December 19, 2016

PEACE, LOVE & CHOCOLATE


Someone once said, “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate”, I couldn’t agree more…The fact is that very few people fail to realize the charms of chocolate and it is probably one of our most popular ingredients. Indeed many food scientists have reported chocolate to be the single most craved food and sales of chocolate worldwide continue to soar. We Europeans eat a staggering 40 percent of all chocolate produced in the world. The top five countries are Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Germany and Norway, according to the world Atlas of Chocolate.

Mussel Time

Often regarded as poor man's shellfish, mussels are cheap and plentiful.



I love mussels. They are great value for money, entirely sustainable and have a wonderful gutsy flavour with an amazing aroma. After cooking you are also left with an intense cooking liquid that offers up the most incredible taste and that, is just the half of it. Mussels are also a good source of vitamin B12, zinc, folic acid and omega 3.



Spanish Mussels, along with clams, appear in just about every seafood dish you care to imagine from the ubiquitous Paella to the various fish soups, stews and calderetas all along Spain’s vast coastline. 

In the sheltered bays of the Spanish Atlantic coast, mussels are commercially grown hanging from ropes attached to stakes in mussel farms. The constant exchange of water through the ebb and flow of the tide encourages the build-up of plankton, the mussels' main

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

slave to fashion


SLAVE TO FASHION….
Ceviche is all the rage these days and Peruvian/Japanese restaurants are quickly moving from the next big thing to omnipresent, trendy “cantinas” springing up all over the place. 
So why have we fallen in love with this Peruvian icon and why has this spicy marinade become the most fashionable taste in town?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Flavoured Salts

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Flavoured salt is sometimes all you need to bring a dish to life and making them is easy with a food processor. You can process dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, fennel, juniper or lavender with sea salt to flavour anything from grilled steaks to lamb cutlets. Salt flavoured with spices such as cardamom, cumin, coriander and saffron also make great addition to any kitchen. The combinations are endless and they make great presents…personally, I love lemon salt with grilled or fried fish!

Lemon salt
2tbsp *grated lemon rind
8tbsp sea salt flakes

In a food processor or blender, pulse the lemon peel until finely chopped. Add the salt and pulse several times to combine well.

*you can substitute the lemon rind for orange or lime.

MEDITERRANEAN HERB SALT
1tsp dried rosemary
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp dried sage
1tsp summer savoury
10tbsp sea salt flakes

In a food processor or blender, pulse the herbs until finely chopped. Add the salt and pulse several times to combine well.



Goujons of Sole with Dill-Caper mayonnaise and lemon salt


Goujons of Sole with Dill-Caper mayonnaise and lemon salt

Ingredients                  serves 4

For the goujons
4 large Lemon sole fillets (skinned)
70g Plain flour
150g white breadcrumbs or Panko
2 large free-range eggs
250ml sunflower oil
A good pinch of paprika
Salt & freshly ground pepper





For the dill mayonnaise
200g Home made mayonnaise
2tbsp chopped dill
2tbsp capers
1tsplime juice
Salt & freshly ground pepper
For the dill-caper mayonnaise:
Put the all the ingredients of the mayonnaise in a blender and blend to a puree.

Cut the sole fillets in half lengthways, and then slice each fillet half into about four long strips on the diagonal. This will give you eight goujons from each fillet.

Love your local market

Love your local market



Every time I visit a Spanish city I always try to visit its food market or ‘mercado’ as its known here in Spain.  Every town seems to have at least one market and cities will often have two or three. You could argue that the heart of any Spanish city is its central market.



Recently I found myself in Barcelona and I was excited to visit the famous “La Boquieria”. This market has a worldwide reputation and I really enjoyed my first visit nearly 20 years ago.