25 Nov 2007


The weather has been cold, wet and grey. This pot roast will make you feel better just by looking at it. Everyone seems to have a cold at the moment and thinking about cooking is the last thing on your mind. How about trying out some one pot cooking where you just throw everything into the pot and then you needn't even think about putting a saucepan on the hob.
It will take you about 20 minutes to prepare the pot roast and then 1½ to 2 hours later you will have the most amazing chicken meal which is bursting with flavour.
This is soul food and an excellent way to feed a cold.
Seasonal Kitchen is a wonderful book packed full of beautiful photographs and recipes. It is divided into seasons which is very useful and the recipe below comes from the Winter section.

by Michele Cranston

ISBN 9781921259036 - Page 331

Serves: 4-6 (this recipe has been slightly adapted).

1.5kg whole organic chicken, 1½ tablespoons softened butter, 4 slices proscuitto, 2 onions each cut into eight, 2 large carrots,(peeled and cut into chunks), 1 celery stalk (cut into 2cm lengths), 2 leeks (rinsed and sliced into 2cm rounds), 3 potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks), 1 rosemary sprig, 250ml dry white wine, 250ml chicken stock, a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/Gas 4.
2. Sit the chicken in a 3 litre casserole dish. rub the butter over the breast of the chicken, then cover with the proscuitto slices.
3. Arrange the vegetables and rosemary around the chicken, and then pour the wine and stock over. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and then put the lid on top and bake for 1 to 1½ hours.
5. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and gently move the vegetables around. Using a large spoon, pour some of the juices over the chicken. Leave the lid off and roast for a further 30 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown.
6. Place the chicken on a warm serving platter along with the vegetables.
7. Pour the sauce from the casserole into a gravy skimmer, discard the fat, then pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.

18 Nov 2007


Jeanne over at Cook Sister is hosting
Waiter, There's Something in My...Topless Tart! I've entered the 'Waiter' challenge several times click here to see my previous entries.
Pears, almonds and chocolate are a divine combination of flavours and on many occasions I have looked at this recipe longingly and waited for the right time to come along to make it. This was now the perfect excuse to indulge!
The book I've taken this recipe from is by food writer Louise Pickford who is a contributor to food magazines such as Delicious. I'm a huge fan of food writers and if you enjoy baking, this book will earn its place on the bookshelf.

FRESH BAKED - Louise Pickford

ISBN 0600613569 - Page 93

Serves: 8

The original recipe suggests making a sweet shortcrust pastry to line the tin but I opted for a basic shortcrust pastry.
Delia's method for baking a pastry case blind is the method I always use and needless to say it's foolproof.

225g plain flour, 50g butter, 50g lard, approximately 3 tablespoons cold water.
Make in the usual way and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out and line a 25cm
flan tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill for a further 30 minutes. Bake blind in a preheated oven, 190°C(375°F) Gas Mark 5.
Leave the cooked pastry case to cool completely.

125g butter (softened), 125g caster sugar, 125g ground almonds, 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 ripe pears (peeled, cored and thickly sliced), 25g flaked almonds.

1. Beat the butter, sugar and ground almonds together until smooth and then beat in the eggs and lemon juice.
2. Arrange the pear slices over the pastry case and carefully spread over the almond cream. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and firm to the touch.
3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4. Dust the tart with icing sugar and serve in wedges with the chocolate sauce and some vanilla ice cream.

100g dark chocolate chopped, 50g unsalted butter (diced), 1 tablespoon golden syrup.

Put the chocolate, butter and syrup in a small bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until melted. Leave to cool slightly.

11 Nov 2007


Although at this time of the year we turn our thoughts to comfort food, I try to eat some lighter meals midweek. Christmas is only a few weeks away and I start to think of all of those extra calories eaten over such a short time. If the pounds pile on now in the run up to Christmas, then the problem becomes greater over the festive period.

If I eat sensibly then I don't have any weight issues, but unfortunately, that isn't the case with my husband, who just has to look at food and seems to be able to put on the pounds!

After cooking Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes I had lots of spinach left and so this salad was made and I served it with a savoury tart.

OLIVE MAGAZINE - August 2007

Serves: 4

Marinating the onions gives them a lovely sweet and sour flavour and takes away some of the rawness.

1 red onion (halved and sliced), 1 tbsp caster sugar, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 100g young spinach, 4 tbsp toasted pine nuts, olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 150ml natural yoghurt .

1. Put the red onion in a bowl and toss with the sugar and vinegar. Leave for 10-15 minutes to soften. Put the spinach in a large serving dish. Drain the onions then scatter over the spinach with the pine nuts.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the cumin seeds. When they start to pop, take off the heat and stir into the yoghurt. Drizzle over the salad and serve.