23 May 2010


This recipe is by the trusted cookery writer Diana Henry and comes from her book Cook Simple. The last time I saw Diana Henry on television, she was one of the presenters on Market Kitchen, unfortunately she no longer presents on the programme, which is a great shame.

The rocket cream is a winner and a perfect match for the chicken and vegetables. Only a few good quality ingredients are required for this recipe and after a couple of hours you will be indulging in a delicious meal.

Diana has written some wonderful cookery books and this one is a firm favourite of mine. A taster of recipes from the book - Chermoula Lamb with Hot Pepper and Carrot Puree - Mackerel Fillets with Mushrooms, Parsley and Lemon - Salad of Seared Beef and Cashel Blue Cheese - Cassis-baked Fruit - these are "make me recipe" titles, and I just love them.

I have given the full quantities for the recipe, although for just the two of us I halved the amount of ingredients.

Serves: 4-6

You will need: 1 x 1.8kg roasting chicken, 300g cherry tomatoes on the vine, 600g small waxy potatoes, 200g green beans, juice of half of a lemon.

Rocket Cream: 125g mayonnaise, 100g fromage frais, 75g rocket.

To Serve: Extra-virgin olive oil, rocket.

1. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and season. Roast in a preheated oven 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 1½ hours, or until cooked through.
2. Place the tomatoes in a roasting tin, season and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 25 minutes.
3. Whiz all the ingredients for the rocket cream in a food processor. Put into a bowl and place in the refrigerator.
4. Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain. Cook the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes to retain some crunch, drain.
5. Slice the potatoes. Place the potatoes, beans and the tomatoes into a bowl and toss them with salt, pepper, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and the lemon juice.
6. Serve the vegetables with chunks of the chicken, rocket cream, and some extra rocket would be good.

3 May 2010


I can't resist a good British Pudding and this is one of those puddings that has stood the test of time.

As a child I ate this at home, learnt to cook it at school, served it to my family and to this day it is still a firm favourite.

I have adapted this recipe from Good Food Magazine 101 Tempting Desserts.

Serves: 6

You will need: six buttered 200ml ramekin dishes.

For the topping: 100g butter, 100g light muscovado sugar, 2 tbsp dark rum, 432g can drained pineapple rings, 6 glace cherries

For the cake: 50g unsweetened desiccated coconut, 100g butter at room temperature, 175g golden caster sugar, 3 large eggs, 175g Self-raising flour, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 125ml milk.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4/Fan 160°C.
2. To make the topping, put the sugar, butter and rum into a pan and heat for 2 minutes, until the sugar has melted, stirring occasionally. Pour a little of the mixture into the bottom of each ramekin, then put a pineapple slice with a cherry inside on top.
3. To make the cake: put the coconut in a pan over a gentle heat, stirring often, until it begins to turn light golden brown, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4. Mix the remaining cake ingredients together until they are well combined. Stir in the cooled coconut. Spoon the mixture over the pineapple slices.
5. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. If they aren't cooked cover with foil and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes or so.
6. Turn the puddings out, reheat any leftover topping and pour over the puddings. Serve with either custard or cream.