Friday, 31 January 2014

AND One For The Vegetarians - Super Crunchy Double Blackened Tofu with Miso Gravy & Cucumber Relish

Super Crunchy Double Blackened Tofu with Miso Gravy & Cucumber Relish
Preparation/Cooking Time - 25mins
Feeds 4

Ingredients -
Tofu -
4 x Tbsp of black sesame seeds
2 x Tbsp of freshly ground black pepper
4 x Tbsp of runny honey
Fried tofu - allow 3 pieces per serving
Oil for frying

Miso Gravy - 
2 x Tbsp of miso paste 
1 x Inch of fresh ginger - bruised and chopped into chunks for seasoning
1 x Lemongrass stick - bruised and chopped into two
3/4 x Pint of vegetable stock - half a cube
Sprinkle of white pepper
1 x Tsp of cornflour -optional to thicken

Cucumber Relish - 
1/2 x Cucumber - cut in half longways and finely chop
5 x Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1/2 x Medium red chilli
1 x Tsp of palm sugar - caster sugar works too

Garnish -
4 x Handfuls of watercress - allow one small handful per person
1 x Spring onion - finely sliced to garnish
Small handful of coriander or Thai basil - finely chopped to garnish
2 x Limes

Instructions - 
Miso Gravy - 
Start by combining the miso paste with the vegetable stock. Add the bruised lemongrass and ginger and season with the white pepper and leave to simmer. Add the cornflour pre mixed with a dash of water if you want to make the sauce a bit thicker and more gravy like. Remove the lemongrass & ginger prior to serving.

Tofu - 
Heat a generous dash of oil in a non stick pan and dry the ready fried tofu with paper towels or by rolling it in flour. Once the tofu is dry coat/roll each cube in the honey followed by a mixture of the black sesame seeds and pepper. Add to the hot frying pan and using tongs turn the cubes so each side becomes cooked and crispy. 

Cucumber Relish - 
Combine all of the ingredients listed and leave to marinate for 20 minutes in the fridge. Serve alongside the hot tofu. 

Add your garnish of either coriander or Thai basil and don't be afraid to add a little extra fresh chilli if you like a kick to your dish.

Should you need a little extra substance try my Triple the Egg Fried Rice listed on

Happy Chinese New Year -All Day Long Sticky BBQ Pork

All Day Long Sticky BBQ Pork

Preparation/Cooking Time - 1 x Night /1 x Day
Ingredients -

Overnight Marinade- 

5 x Spring onions

1 x Bunch of coriander roots
2/3 x Shallots
Big chunk of galangal around 5" - Bruised 
Big chunk of ginger around 6"- Bruised
2 x Star anise - Dry fry until fragrant
                  3 x Cloves - Dry fry until fragrant
Five spice powder - Good sprinkle
2 x Tbsp of dark soy sauce
3x Tbsp of chinese rice wine
150g of white sugar
1x Tbsp of red food colouring

Marinade Instructions -
Cook it all up and simmer 15mins 
Let it cool
Add your belly of pork (neck & shoulder are the more traditional cuts but I prefer the belly)
Leave overnight to marinate

Basting Syrup
5 x Tbsp of white sugar
1 x  Tbsp of light soy sauce
2 x Tbsp of hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon of honey
Sprinkle of red food colouring...for colour!!

Sticky BBQ Sauce
2 x Tbsp of the basting syrup
2 x Tsp of red food colouring
2 x Star anise
Good pinch of five spice
250ml of Chicken stock
50g of Caster sugar
Good pinch of white pepper
2 x Tbsp of light soy sauce
2 x Tsp of dark soy sauce
1 x Small shaving of orange rind
2 x Tsp of cornflour - Mix with water prior to adding
3 x Tsp of toasted black sesame seeds - Dry roast before using

Garnishes -
1/2 x Fresh lime per serving
Sml Sprinkle of coriander per serving
2/3 x Slices of medium fresh red chilli per serving
1/2 x Tsp of toasted sesame seeds per serving

Instructions -
Once the pork has marinated overnight (or for at least 1hr) cook it in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 25mins, then turn the temperature down to 160, slow cooking it for up to 7hrs. An hour prior to taking it out cover in the sticky basting syrup and put it back in the oven for another hour. Remember to keep adding the basting syrup and turning the meat every 20minutes.

To make the sticky BBQ sauce, combine all of the above and cook on the hob on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes adding the cornflour last. Taste to ensure you have a good combination of sweet, fragrant and peppery.

Serve with my 'Triple the Egg Fried Rice'

Thursday, 30 January 2014


If you ever make one thing I tell you to this has to be it. 
DO IT! This is such a special dish and is 100% my TOP Must Make.

Pasta Ingredients-
 (You can just use the '00' flour but I find this combination works well)
350g of '00' Flour/Pasta Flour
150g of Strong White Flour (usually used for baking- you should be able to pick this up anywhere)
4 x Medium Sized Free Range Eggs 
1/2 x tsp of salt
2-3 x tbsp of water - depends on eggs size and consistency once all mixed
4x squid ink sachets-think they come in 7g sachets-see pic below.
Fine Semolina - use to stop the pasta from sticking together 

TIP-You can make this pasta and dry it and use it a few days later or the following week.

Mix the squid ink in with the eggs.
If you have a mixer then use the K beater to combine all of the above. The mixture should turn to crumbs when adding small amounts of water. Do this literally a teaspoon at a time until it turns to bigger crumbs before coming together into bigger doughy lumps. Don't worry that it's not in a smooth ball at this stage. Take it out of the mixer and roll/knead it together into a ball as best you can. I find using the ball of your hand works best plus you get to really work those arm muscles.

-If you don't have a mixer then heap the flour up and make a well in the middle, crack the eggs into it and use a knife to mix the flour and eggs. Using your hands, bring the mixture together and knead until in a rough ball.

The trick here is to then wrap it in cling film and leave it to rest for a minimum of 30 mins or up to 3 hours. It then miraculously comes together and you only need to gently knead it a few times before it's ready to roll out. 

If you have a pasta machine, roll it through each thickness setting twice. If you don't then you need to aim to roll the pasta out so it's as thick as a penny, it should be slightly transparent. 

Squid Ink Sachets

Making The Pasta Into Nests-

Making sure your firstly lightly sprinkle the pasta with fine semolina, then fold the pasta up before slicing it into ribbons. One sliced into ribbons lay them out flat again dusted with the semolina, let them dry for around 20mins then wrap the ribbons around your finger and thumb tucking the end into the middle of the nest. Make sure it's very loosely wrapped and that the pasta is dry enough, so the ribbons don't stick to each other- the semolina should help with this. 

For the BEST sauce of all times-

1 x White Onion - finely cubed
3 x Large Garlic Cloves - Crushed and finely sliced
3x Large/Generous Glugs Of Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
2x Small Glugs Of Brandy (Around 4 tbsp)
3 x Star Anise
1 x Small Handful Of Tarragon- Finely sliced
1 x 250ml Pot Of Single Cream
Fresh parmesan & extra black pepper and parsley to serve.


Cube the onion and garlic and add them to a generous amount of olive oil, let them gently cook in the oil for around 5 mins on a medium heat so the onion goes translucent- don't let the garlic brown.
Add the brandy, salt & pepper and let the brandy cook off again on a medium heat for around 5/6 mins.   Add the star anise and tarragon followed by the single cream and cook still on a medium heat for 10mins. You can put the sauce to one side and reheat when ready to serve or add the prawns, cook for 3 mins then serve with the squid ink pasta mixed in.  

Garnish with freshly grated parmesan, loads of black pepper and a sprinkle of parsley.


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Prawn Cocktail My Way

Prawn Cocktail My Way

Cooking/Preparation Time - 20mins
Feeds - 4/6

Ingredients -
Fresh King Prawns (in their shells) - Allow at least 3 per serving
1 x Lemon
Salt, black & white pepper
2 x Gem lettuces - Wash and cut in half lengthways
2 x Avocados - Sliced into strips
1 x Bulb of fennel - Sliced lengthways into strips
Olive oil

Marie Rose Sauce-
2 x Tbsp of mayonnaise (Full fat)
2 x Tsp of tomato ketchup
1 x Tsp of dijon
1/4 x Tsp of smoked paprika
1 x Glug of chilli sauce (Mexican Cholula is my favourite)
Chilli flakes
Squeeze of lemon juice
Rock salt, black & white pepper

Instructions -
Start by boiling the uncooked prawns in a pan of water, cook for around 3 minutes or until the prawns turn pink. Drain the prawns and rinse with cold water. Cover with fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, keep refrigerated until ready to serve. I cut off the heads but serve with heads on if you prefer.

Finely slice the fennel, drizzle with oil, season and roast on 200 degrees Celsius for 12/15minutes until the edges start to crisp up.

Wash and prepare the gem lettuce, slicing each leaf lengthways. Prepare the avocado - Cut in half, remove the stone then use a spoon to scoop out the avocado. Slice into strips and arrange by stacking in the centre of the plate.
For the spiced up Marie Rose sauce combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, dijon, lemon, chilli and seasoning in a bowl and stir thoroughly.
Once you have everything ready to go, drizzle the sauce over the avocado and gem lettuce. Stack with the warm roasted fennel then add another few dollops of the sauce followed by the seasoned prawns. Finally add an extra squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some extra black pepper before getting stuck in!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Smokey Coconut Corn

 NYC Miss Lily's Coconut Corn - 

Cooking/Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Feeds - 4/6

Ingredients -
4 x Corn on the cob
5 x Large Tbsp of full fat mayonnaise
2 x Tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 x Tsp of white pepper
100g of Desiccated coconut

Instructions -  
Boil the corn in salted water for 5 minutes then remove and set to one side. If you're able to you can  BBQ or grill it a little for even more tastiness. In a frying pan add the desiccated coconut and let it golden. Add a sprinkle of paprika and cook for 4/5 minutes on a medium to high heat being careful to not let the coconut burn or overcook. Next mix the mayonnaise, paprika and white pepper then coat all sides of the corn with it before springing over your coconut. Be sure to serve whilst the corn is still warm. 
This is a serious dish that I was immediately obsessed with after eating at Miss Lily's in NYC.
If you can't make it to Miss Lily's then make sure you get this made at home. It really is that good.

Mexican Brunch

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chilli King Prawns & Roasted Fennel with Sourdough

Chilli King Prawns & Roasted Fennel with Sourdough
Cooking/Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Feeds 4/8 

Ingredients -
1 x Fennel bulb - Finely slliced lengthways 
1 x White onion - Cubed
3 x Large cloves of garlic - Crushed and roughly sliced
1 x Pint of white wine
1 x Red chilli - Finely sliced
1/3 of x Ancho chilli - Finely sliced
Glug of olive oil
Handful of fresh parsley - Finely sliced

Hunk of sourdough per serving - Once toasted rub in the oil that the fennel has roasted in.

Instructions - 

Start by finely slicing the fennel lengthways and add a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning before roasting on 200 Degrees Celsius for 12/15minutes or until the edges start to darken.
Finely cube the onion, crush and finely slice the garlic and add both to a pan with a big glug of olive oil on a medium heat. Season with Salt & pepper and add in the chopped Ancho chilli and cook for 2/3 minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the white wine and turn the heat up to cook off the alcohol. Cook for 4/5 minutes then add in the whole uncooked prawns along with the fresh chilli and cook for a further 4 minutes or until the prawns turn pink. Whilst the prawns are cooking toast the sourdough or put in the oven for 4/5minutes. Cover with the leftover oil from the dish you roasted the fennel in, this will give a lovely sweet taste to the sourdough. 
Once the prawns are cooked serve, adding in the roasted fennel. Garnish with the fresh chopped parsley and you're ready to get stuck in..

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Crispy Ricotta Dumplings with Rosemary & Sage and Prosciutto Topping

If you're in need of comfort food then look no further, plus it's simpler to make than it looks. Give it a try and you'll definitely be surprised at how easy it is and how impressive the results are. If you've mustered up enough energy to start entertaining guests again then this will work as a great main dish. It's very colourful and the contrast between the hot and the cold parts is fantastic as is the beautiful scent created by the fresh herbs. It's wholesome, home made and hearty...what more could you be after?

Crispy Ricotta Dumplings with Rosemary & Sage and Prosciutto Topping

Cooking / Preparation Time - 45 mins
Feeds - 4/6

Dumpling Mix
2 x Cups of Ricotta (2 x 250g pots)
1.5 x Cups of Parmesan - Finely grated
1  1/4 x Cup of plain flour 
2 x Free range eggs
1/4 x Nutmeg
1/4 Zest of lemon 
White pepper
Rock salt & black pepper

Sage & Rosemary Butter
2 x Large sprigs of rosemary
4 x Sage leaves per serving
1/2 x Pack of butter
Rock salt

2 x Red pepper - Sliced lengthways into 1cm wide strips and roasted until crispy round the edges.
Watercress - 1 x Handful per serving
Prosciutto - 1 x Slice per serving

Instructions - 
Start by combining the dumpling mix and stir together thoroughly until you have a sticky but together mixture. Next roll it into a ball, adding a little extra flour if you need to. Make sure that you flour the kitchen surface before rolling out the mixture into a tube and slicing into portions. Transfer these onto baking paper with a dusting on either flour or fine semolina. Aim to cook 3 to 4 dumplings at a time in a large pan of generously salted boiling water for between 6 to 8 minutes. Your dumplings should float to the top and no longer be sticky in the centre when sliced. 
In a frying pan melt the butter on a medium heat adding the sage, rosemary and rock salt. Next add the cooked dumplings and fry until golden on both sides.

TIP - Dry the dumplings with kitchen towel before frying and they'll cook a lot quicker.

Allowing 3 to 4 dumplings per serving, stack them into the centre of the plate and sprinkle round the fresh watercress.  Next add the crisp, roasted red peppers in the middle along with the prosciutto and pour over a spoonful of the herb butter. Garnish with the crispy sage leaves.