Sunday, 29 November 2015

Steak with Bearnaise Sauce

The first time I had bearnaise sauce, I was an exchange student just outside Paris.  Glamorous though that sounds, the bearnaise was straight out of a bottle.  It was a few years later before I tasted the proper stuff.  For good reason, it's not commonly on a menu.  Imagine making an egg thickened sauce in a busy service kitchen.  Let's face it, even for the most experienced cook, it can go wrong.  With everyone else's food waiting, it's a massive risk...

Steak with Bearnaise Sauce

But this is where I'm going to make the crazy suggestion, making an egg thickened sauce like hollandaise or bearnaise sauce for one makes perfect sense.  The great thing with this recipe is the steak rests while the sauce is being cooked.

So I'm sure many of you would think "no, it's not for me" but genuinely, the flavour is amazing and I've put in a few tips to make it easier to cook for one.

I had such a hard week this week so this was the ultimate "well done to me".

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

I want to change the world

I found this photo on the internet recently and posted it on one of my social media pages.

The outpouring of grief after the Paris attacks, I have to admit passed me by.  Not because I was unfeeling but because I was reeling from shock.  It's only now, nearly two weeks later, I feel floored by it.

Friday, 20 November 2015


I love tempura, it's not healthy, it's not good for you (all that frying) but after a morning run, what could be better for Friday?  Let's make it Fry-day this week!  This can either be a great fish dish or vegan depending on your preferences.  Both are great.


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Shallot Tarte Tatin

Traditional Tarte Tatin contains apples but the combination of the caramelisation with the puff pastry is something which can apply to lots of different dishes and shallots are a lovely way of bringing this together in a savoury way.

Shallot tarte tatin

This could be a great vegetarian (or vegan) Christmas lunch or a lovely starter.  It's a piece of cake to make and is fine (even better) served warm rather than hot.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Smoky Sausage Stew

I was inspired by a windy day outside.   This would be the ultimate "been outside playing in the snow" recipe actually...  I almost can't wait for the really bad weather to come...

Monday, 9 November 2015

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies, what could be better with a glass of cold milk?

For those of you who have been reading for a while, you will be aware my son has a nut allergy.  Surprisingly (for me) as he only has an allergy for brazil nuts, his specialist has recommended we get him to eat other nuts as much as possible in the home, particularly peanuts while continuing to say when we're out and about "no nuts".  This is because it's an easier message to convey to a kitchen and sadly, even some people who work in food for a living can't tell a brazil nut from a cashew!  No, sadly, the allergy specialist had experienced this, I'm really not kidding.  The theory is that by regularly exposing him to peanuts, it's less likely that he will then acquire a serious allergy to peanuts as well.

Anyway, I've been struggling recently to get him to eat peanuts so made him some peanut butter cookies.  I mean who can resist a cookie?  Exactly.  He also LOVED them which was great.

This made far too many for us, even though I ate 3 (did I tell you they taste great?)  So next time I might try freezing some of the dough.  I'll update you with how that goes.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Jewelled Quinoa Salad

I had another pomegranate in my shopping this week.  There is something I love about their combination of sweet and bitter which is lovely in a savoury salad.  Little ruby jewels nestled with all of the other ingredients.  The dried cranberries take it straight into festive territory so this might be quite special for a pot luck or buffet meal with cold meats if you are a meat eater.

Jewelled quinoa salad

You can either serve this with warm quinoa or allow the quinoa to cool (or rinse under a tap) and then use.  Would be a great lunch box dish to make your colleagues go "ooooh!"

As I'm sure all vegans know, quinoa is a complete protein source meaning that if you are choosing to cut down on meat, it's a great food to eat without missing out on essential nutrients.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Roast Vegetable Pasta

I am a meat eater but I am welcome to eating vegetarian and vegan food.  In my book, it's just tasty food.  I think everyone should be open to eating something a bit different and a bit less meat.

This is also handily 3 of your 5 a day.  More than half!  But most of all, it's delicious.  The pepper goes really sweet, the tomato adds a slight amount of sauciness, the courgette absorbs the flavours, the roasted garlic is stunning, the herbs... You won't miss the meat.

Although this is one of my longer cooking time recipes, it's a sling it in the oven job.  Great if you're a parent because you could put this in the oven and with only one stir, have it ready by the time you've got your little darlings in bed.

80g might seem an odd amount to suggest but the quantities aren't vital and the reason why is that 80g is considered by the UK government to constitute 1 of your 5 a day.  Recent research indicates that 7 a day may be more healthful and today I actually managed 7!  I had raspberries and blueberries on my breakfast bowl in the morning.  I had a tomato salad and some grapes as part of my lunch and then this for my evening meal.

If you like a more substantial portion, just have more pasta.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Steamed Hake with a Thai Style Prawn broth

Hake isn't a fish we use much in the UK.  It is part of the same family as cod and haddock but it is delicious and so light.  There is something about Thai food which doesn't crowd out mild flavours but lets them sing and enhances their delicacy in balance.  Or at least that's what I think!

This is steamed hake with a well flavoured Thai style broth.  Delicious to make you feel good from the inside out.