Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Giant(ish) Stuffed Smoked Cheese Meatball

The Giant(ish) Stuffed Smoked Cheese Meatball
(I made enough for about 90 portions but here's what I'd recommend for 6-8 starter or main portions- these would be great with roasted veg/salad/baked potato...)

350g x Good Quality Minced Beef- find your local butchers & make sure it's good/not horse!!
350g x Good Quality Minced Pork -Same as above!
Home made bread crumbs- a stale loaf works best, either tear/chop it up really fine or blitz in the the blender until fine crumbs. 3 slices should do it.
Salt & White Pepper- be generous on the white pepper
1 x Handful of parsley- finely sliced as fine as you can
1 x Onion (white or red) finely sliced/cubed as small as you can- you can lightly cook these first but make sure that you either let the onions cool first or cook the meatballs straight away.
1x Sprinkle of dried oregano or fresh if you have it.
1 x few sprigs of rosemary- finely sliced and optional
3 x eggs to bind the mixture
200g x Smoked Scarmoza/ Provolone


Tip- If the mixture goes too sloppy when rolling it into balls then add a sprinkle of flour until it binds

Tip- Roll into balls and push the cube of smoked cheese into it them mould the mixture around it- once in a ball leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30mins before cooking so they hold their shape.

I lightly fried these in oil to brown them before cooking them through in the oven for 25/30 mins on 200. You can however just cook these in the oven- it's defo an easier option and if you leave them uncovered then they'll still brown. 

I served with a caramelised onion chutney and and smokey chilli and tomato sauce....

The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for rye barley with courgette, feta and crispy roasted red onions, topped with mint, pea, coriander, caper and fresh lime dressing

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fish Stew with Star Anise, Fennel, Mussels, Clams & King Prawns- GETINMYPOP-UP

Fish Stew with Star Anise, Fennel, Mussels, Clams & King Prawns

Fish Heads for the stock- 
Make sure you ask your fish man to remove all gills as they cook up and leave a bitter taste.
These are gurnard - I was actually going to use these in the fish stew but they hadn't been pin boned an it was too fiddly, just didn't have enough time!
TIP- Get your fish man to clean and pin bone your fish-EVERY time!!
Gurnard although aren't massive meaty fish are a good version of a white sustainable fish.

I was making a serious amount of stock here, enough for about 70 portions of fish stew but if you're cooking for a regular amount of people 6-8 then follow the recipe below.
1 x carrot
2 x bay leaf
1/2 white onion
1 x celery stick
1/2 fennel bulb and stalk with leafy bits- these are more aniseedy
1/3 bottle of white wine
5 x black pepper corns
1 x leek
Fish heads- around 500g
Salt & white pepper

Roughly chop up all the veg and onions and fry them up until translucent-season with salt & pepper and once cooked remove from the pan add the fish bones cook until lightly brown then remove them from the pan and add the white wine, reduce it by half by cooking over a high heat. Once reduced add all the fish heads and cooked veg to the wine and cook for 45 mins on a medium heat- don't let it boil.
Once cooked strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth.
I separated mine into freezer bags but you could do ice cube trays.

Freezer bags

And then onto the actual fish stew-
1x White Onion
1 x Fennel bulb- greenery included
1 x Carrot cubed
2 x Bay leaves
3 x Star Anise (fish these out before serving- no one likes crunchy on them)
1 x Handful of fresh fennel- depending on how aniseedy you like it!
1 x Handful of black pepper corns (optional but I loves these once cooked through and soft, they give such a warm peppery taste. Into it)
2 x Tins of good quality tin tomatoes
2x lrg tbsp of tomato puree
Salt & Pepper- Fresh Black & White
1 x pint of fish stock
Mussels x 500g
Clams x 300g
300g white fish
King Prawns (shelled or not) -enough for 3 each
Garnish with parmesan and fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions-
Cook up all the veg for 5 mins on a medium heat- season then add the tin tomatoes, puree and fish stock, let it cook for 30/40mins on a medium heat. 
Add all fresh seafood 4/5 mins before serving.
Add all the fish above, making sure mussels are cleaned and closed prior to adding, same for the clams, get these in the stock first followed by the prawns and white fish so that both mussels and clams are covered, they shells should all be opened once cooked. 
Don't overcook the fish 5 mins should be plenty. 

Garnish with finely chopped parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan and a slice of toasted fresh white bread, brushed with fresh garlic and olive oil.

I love this dish, could eat it a million times over :-)

Friday, 19 April 2013

Home Made Crispy Ravioli with Sage Butter- Follow me on the Independent online




Cheese board

Loving it

Home made ravioli

The A Team

Home made pasta.

British Bulldog


                                         2x TOP MOTHERS!!! My Mum And Mrs Holland

Feeding time...

Mother on her night off!!

Dad mingling with the staff!!

Another Mum on the kitchen team...

Hot mates

Head of hospitality /Tired dog

A fraction of the washing up..

Parents a few drinks in/last ones to leave!

Pre service warm up

Dad getting some extras in in the staff quarters!


Team 'GIMPU'

El & Dan giving some big Italian tunes

Mum making her famous profiteroles

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Monday, 8 April 2013

White Pepper, Spinach & Parmesan Dumplings In A Yorkshire Bake

Feeds: 6/8
Cooking Time: 45mins

White Pepper, Spinach & Parmesan Dumplings
1 x Bag (250g) of Fresh Spinach -Thoroughly washed
1 x 50g Bag of Sage & Onion Stuffing
1/2 Zest of Lemon
2 x tsp of White Pepper
1x Handful of Mixed Seeds
1 x lrg Handful of Freshly Grated Parmesan
Few Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper

Yorkshire Bake-
220g of Plain Flour
4 x Medium Eggs
1/2 Pint of Semi Skinned Milk
3/4 Pint of Water
250g of Spinach- Thoroughly Washed and Blended
1 x Sprinkle of salt

Roasted Two Potato Mix
2 x Medium Sweet Potatoes- cubed
2 x Medium Regular Potatoes- Maris Piper works well- cubed
4x Sprigs of fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper
Rapeseed Oil to Roast

Purple Sprouting Broccoli-
2 x Big Bunches- Thoroughly washed

Sweet Onion Gravy-
1x White Onion- Finely sliced
2 x Vegetable Stock Cubes
1 x tsp of Sugar
Few Sprigs of fresh Thyme


Pre heat your oven to 200.

Roasted Two Potato Mix-
Cube both lots of potatoes -rinse the white ones to remove starch and add to a pan with rapeseed oil, fresh thyme and salt& Pepper. Get these on first, they take the longest.

White Pepper, Spinach & Parmesan Dumplings
Cook the spinach in a non stick pan- until it wilts down- 2/3mins.
Hydrate the sage and onion stuffing by adding the boiling water as per packet instructions and add the zest of lemon, mixed nuts, white pepper, handful of parmesan and cooked spinach. 
Mix it all together with your hands and roll into evenish balls-ideally x2 per person
TIP- Wet your hands with warm water before mixing so you don't get half the mixture stuck to your hands.

Yorkshire Bake-
Add the plain flour to a bowl followed by the four eggs, salt and pureed spinach, start mixing this with a fork so you don't whisk all of the air out of it, then gradually add in the combination of the water and milk. You're aiming for a sloppy but still fairly gloopy consistency.
TIP- With any yorkshire pudding mix it's good to store in the fridge for a minimum of 10 mins before cooking or even over night and pre heat the oil in the bottom of your pan before adding the mixture- it's all helps it rise!

Oil the bottom of your dish and heat in the oven for 2/3 mins then pour in your Yorkshire bake mixture, followed by the spinach balls- cook for 25/30 minutes.
TIP- Don't open the oven if you can help it as you want it to rise as much as possible. Check after 20/25 mins only.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli-
Add the thoroughly washed purple sprouting broccoli (cut the bottom of the stalks off -they may be tough) to a frying pan and cook on a medium heat in a big nob of butter and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 4/5 Mins making sure they stay nice and crunchy- no sloppy veg please!

Sweet Onion Gravy-
Cook the sliced onions and thyme with a small glug of rapeseed oil until sticky and translucent then add the veggie stock cubes plus one pint of water, one teaspoon of sugar, let it cook away on a low/medium heat for 10 mins then you're ready to serve. 

Serve the veg up in a big bowl, slice the pudding so people can help themselves and get eating.