Red wine and lamb

I cooked a rack of lamb to perfection over the weekend, searing it hard on all sides before popping in the oven for 10 minutes. It was perfectly pink and wonderfully tender. The lamb was served with a cherry tomato, black olive and green been salad with fried gnocchi. Nigella’s clementine sauce was made, it […]

Seafood at Fish Works

Unimaginative, maybe.  Six of us went for a meal at Fish Works in Swallow Street.  I ordered squid rings followed by cod and chips, and was slightly surprised when three others did the same. Mind you, they do it very well, and it goes perfectly with the Paarl Heights chenin blanc.

Smoked salmon

Smoked salmon on a toasted bagel is a classic. I like to crush (or blend) capers, white onion, dash of lemon and black pepper up into a paste and annoint my sandwich with it. Recently I had Waitrose’s Laspsang Souchong smoked salmon and omitted this strong tasting garnish out of respect, choosing instead a light grating of […]

Chicken dippers

They didn’t call them chicken dippers, but that is effectively what they were. Not feeling very hungry at a Slug & Lettuce lunch, I ordered just a starter.  The fried chicken strips sounded fine, and when they came, I was glad I’d not ordered a main course and had to give it away.  For a […]

Twice the seabass

I was pleasantly surprised by the seabass I ordered at Cote in Cambridge.  It came skin side up, as it should, and was in a lovely creamy sauce.  The surprise was that, in the creamy sauce underneath the fish, was another piece of seabass, about as big as the visible one.  There was about twice […]

Spanish Tortilla

This old favourite is good as a hearty breakfast or snack at any time. 1 average – large potato, skinned 1/2 a white onion, sliced 5 eggs Too much oil and salt The trick is turning it when the tortilla is still very runny so the finished product has a gooey centre.

The right reward

I was visiting speaker at a school last week, addressing the sixth formers and answering questions.  It was a very impressive school, state grammar, non fee-paying, and I found the students very clued up.  When they came to thank me for my visit, they proved this by presenting me with a bottle of wine.  Either […]

My version of rhubarb fool

With rhubarb season in full swing here, I made my version of rhubarb fool, adapted from several other recipes.  Firstly, I bought a couple of large sticks of rhubarb from the market.  It’s important to choose very red ones.  I chopped these and roasted them in a covered foil dish with a sprinkling of cane […]

Spicy chicken casserole

It’s an oven dish, though I give the chicken pieces a few moments on the stove top first to seal their outsides.  They go into the casserole, with everything else added on top.  Everything else includes whatever you have around.  In my case it was a few very ripe cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic, green beans, […]

Purple Heron

There’s a new wine list at the Balls Brothers wine bars.  I spotted a South African chenin blanc I’ve not met before.  It is Purple Heron, and comes with one on the label.  I looked up to see how it is made: “Juice is separated from the skins as soon as possible after crushing and […]