1 May 2014

Slow-roast lamb with chickpea mash

 Serves 6
a leg lamb, about 2.3kg
for the spice rub:
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 pinch sweet paprika
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
a thick slice of butter
Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 3.

Make the spice rub: peel the garlic cloves, then lightly crush them with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Mix in the cumin, paprika and thyme. Gradually add the oil so that you end up with a thickish paste. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir it into the spice paste.

Put the lamb into a deep-sided casserole and rub it all over with the spice paste, then put in the oven and leave for 35 minutes.
Pour in 250ml of water. Baste the lamb with the liquid, then continue roasting for a further three hours, basting the meat every hour. If the juices are evaporating rapidly, then add a little more water.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour off the thin top layer of oil from the cooking juices, leaving the cloudy, herbal sediment in place. Cover the pan with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes or so.
Carve the lamb, serving with the mashed chickpeas below, spooning the pan juices over both.

 Chickpea mash
3 x 400g cans of chickpeas
a small onion
3-4 tbsp olive oil
hot paprika
Drain the chickpeas and put them into a pan of lightly salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. You are doing this to warm the chickpeas rather than cook them any further.
Peel and finely slice the onion, then let it soften with the olive oil over a moderate heat.
Let the onion colour a little.
Drain the chickpeas, then either mash them with a potato masher or, better I think, in a food processor.
Mix in the olive oil from the onions to give a smooth and luxurious puree.
Stir in the onion, season with a pinch of hot paprika, salt and black pepper, and serve with the roast lamb above.

Bon Appétit

Cauliflower with Bacon & Cheese Sauce Meal


1 large head of Cauliflower cut into bite size pieces
200g of bacon cubes, Fried off 
2 Tbsp dried Chives 
300 ml Creme Fraiche 
300g Extra Mature Red Leicester Cheese Grated 
400g sliced mushrooms
1 sprinkle of cayenne pepper, 
1 tsp Garlic Salt, I always use Garlic salt now and have found that my blood pressure has gone down !,, Love SALT ! hate sugar !

Preheat oven to200c/ 425°/gas 6
In a large pan boil water and cook Cauliflower for 8 - 10 minutes, drain and let cool.
In a large bowl combine Creme fraiche,  1/2 of crumbled bacon, 1 tbs chives, 1 cups of cheese,mushrooms and cauliflower, garlic salt and mix well...
place in baking dish and cover with remaining cheese and rest of bacon crumbles and cayenne pepper sprinkled over the top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.
Top with remaining chives and serve

Bon Appétit

9 Jan 2014

Chicken, lentil and pumpkin curry

Chicken, lentil and pumpkin curry is a slow cooker dish....

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 2½ cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped - next time 2 for me with seeds.
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • 1 kg chicken thighs, fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 500 g pumpkin, or butternut squash, coarsely chopped
  • 60 g brown lentils, rinsed
  • 60 g red lentils, rinsed
  • 270 ml coconut milk or cream
  • 155 g baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp dried methi
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala 
  • 6 tbsp fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 1. Heat oil in a large frying pan; cook onion, garlic and ginger, stirring, until the onion has softened. Add the spices and chilli and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  • 2. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, pumpkin and lentils, cover and cook over a very low heat on the hob for 3 hours or your slow cooker on high for 4 hours
  • 3. Turn up the heat and stir in the coconut milk, spinach and coriander. Season to taste, sprinkle over the methi and garam masala.

Also garlic salt and black pepper to taste at the end, with a 1tbsp of garam masala sprinkled over.....

Bon Appétit

5 Dec 2013

Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Made it twice now and so far its one of the best meatball recipes I have tasted, lovely and juicy and not dry because of the cheeses...

  • 1 lb Mince beef 
  • 1 lb Minced pork
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  • 3 slices of white bread, crusts removed 
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 3 oz finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 small finely chopped onion.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 1 cup of flour for dusting
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (24 ounces) of tomato sauce
Tomato Sauce:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 700 g fresh tomatoes skinned and sliced  or a 800 g tin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 350 g sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh fennel or 1 tsp dried fennel seeds crushed
  • ground black pepper

    1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a heavy based pan and add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf.
    2. Cook slowly for 30 mins in a covered pan
    3. If you like a smooth texture Liquidise the mixture at this stage
    4. add the mushrooms, crushed garlic and remaining olive oil and fennel
    5. add ground black pepper and salt to taste
    6. Simmer the mushrooms in the sauce until they tender, about 20 mins, stiring occasionally

 For the Meatballs....

  1. Heat the milk in a small pot until steamy. Turn off the heat, tear the bread into little pieces and soak it in the milk until it partially dissolves. Mash it until you get something that resembles a paste. Turn it out onto a plate to let it cool. 
  2.  In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, salt, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic cloves and the bread-milk mixture. Mix it well with your hands until it barely combines. Don't overwork the mixture or it will become tough. It is OK to have some discernable bits of bread or meat in the mix; better that than overworked meatballs 
  3. Wet your hands and form the meatballs. A traditional size for this sort of meatball is 2-3 inches across, but you can make them any size you want. Once you roll the meatball in your hands, roll it in the flour to give it a good coating. Set each one on a baking sheet as you work. You might need to rinse your hands a few times as you make the meatballs.
  4. When all the meatballs are formed, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on at least two sides. Don't worry about the center getting cooked through, as you will finish these in the sauce.
  5.  Once all the meatballs are browned, arrange them in the sauce, turning each one over in the sauce to coat. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the sauce and pasta or crusty bread. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley for garnish if you want

Bon Appétit

Phil's Southern Fried Chicken


  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 225g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 175ml cold water
  • 8 medium chicken thigh, bone in and skin off
  • Sunflower or safflower oil, to fry
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C gas 6.
  2. Place the oregano, thyme, pepper, flour and salt into a medium bowl and mix well.
  3. Whisk the eggs together with the water.
  4. Toss the chicken thighs into the flour and spice mixture to lightly dust, remove from the flour and place on one side.
  5. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, shake off any excess then put back into the flour mixture to coat - it's best to do this stage one piece at a time, otherwise you'll get very messy!!
  6. Heat a pan of vegetable oil about 2cm deep to about 175°C, or when a piece of bread browns within 30 seconds when popped in.
  7. Add 4 chicken thighs and fry for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown - the oil should only come just halfway up the sides of the chicken.
  8. Place a wire rack onto a baking tray, then place the browned chicken on the wire rack.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  11. The smell will be really tempting, but try to resist because they'll burn your mouth if you eat them straight away.

Bon Appétit

White chocolate cranberry cheesecake

grease and line 23cm loose bottom tin 

250g shortbread biscuits
100g butter melted
100ml double cream
200g white chocolate chopped
600g cream cheese
2tsp vanilla extract
200g cranberries.... I couldn't get cranberries fresh so used blueberrys instead
50g caster sugar
2tbsp creme de cassis
6tbsp redcurrant jelly
100g raspberries
2tbsp white chocolate stars ... Asda or waitrose.

Whizz the biscuits in a food processor until they form crumbs. Pour in the butter and blend again to combine. press the crumbs into the base of the cake tin and chill.Pour the cream in a heatproof bowl, resting over a pan of simmering water and heat until it begins to steam.Tip in the white chocolate, turn the heat off and leave until melted. Stir to mix together.Whisk the cream cheese and vanilla together for about 30 seconds, until you have a smoother silkly mixture.Pour in the white chocolate and cream and blend again to make a smooth, shiny mixture.Pour this on the biscuits base.Chill for at least two hours or up to 2 daysCarefully loosen cheesecake from the tin and put on a serving plate.Put the cranberries in a pan with the sugar and creme de cassis and heat for few minutes until softened. Add redcurrant jelly and warm through until melted.Arrange the raspberries around the centre of cheesecake, then drizzle over the cranberries and boozy liquid.

Bon Appétit

18 Nov 2013

Baked Camembert with cranberries

This is a sainsbury's recipe and now a family favourite recipe, so just had to add it...

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.

tip: Wrap leftover filo pastry tightly in cling film and freeze for up to 1 month, or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce 
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon clear honey 
  • 3 sheets ready rolled filo pastry 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 250g Camembert, sliced in half horizontally
  • 400g white baguette
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 6 sticks celery, washed and each cut into 3 pieces
  1. In a bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, garlic, thyme leaves and honey, then set aside.
  2. On a baking sheet, layer up the filo, brushing a little of the oil between each piece. Place one half of the Camembert in the centre of the filo, cut-side up, then brush more oil over the surrounding pastry. Spread the cranberry mixture on the cheese and top with the remaining Camembert, cut-side down.
  3. Bring the sides of the pastry up and around the cheese, using the remaining oil to seal it (like a big parcel). Scatter with some of the extra thyme leaves and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden.
  4. To serve, place the Camembert parcel on a board with the baguette, garnish with the remaining thyme leaves, then cut into it and let everyone spoon the cheese onto the bread using the carrot.

Bon Appétit

Huevos a la Flamenco– Flamenco Eggs


Huevos a la Flamenco...

Pre-heat oven to 180°

Ingredients :

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Red Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Courgette slice thinly
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 Tsp.E' Espelette paprika
  • Cup of frozen peas
  • Large potato cubed and boiled until cooked but firm
  • Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 4 Slices ham chopped
  • 8 Slices Chorizo cooked
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. White Wine
  • Chicken Stock Cube, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. of chilii flakes

Heat Olive Oil in a deep frying pan, sauté onion, peppers,courgette and garlic until soft, add chorizo, tomatoes, peas, paprika, potatoes, Vinegar and white wine. Simmer and reduce keeping the mixture juicy and thick not dry, add salt and pepper to taste, add chillii flakes

Transfer to an oven dish,  Lay the torn up strips of ham on top. Make 4 wells in the mixture and break 4 eggs into the wells.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180° for approx. 15-20 mins (until eggs are cooked) 

Serve with crusty bread
Bon Appétit

8 Nov 2013

sweet ginger pastry

This is a lovely pastry, If you like ginger you will love this.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  • 400g/14oz plain flour
  • 80g/3oz icing sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 250g/9oz cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 free-range eggs, yolks only
  • 50ml/2fl oz ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (if needed)

    1. For the sweet ginger pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar, ground ginger and salt into a large mixing bowl.
    2. Rub in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
    3. Mix the egg yolk into the water and add into the flour mixture, stirring with your hands until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Add olive oil if the dough is a little dry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and set aside in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
    4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin.
    5. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and use it to transfer the pastry to a 30cm/12in tart case. Press the pastry into the tin, ensuring there are no gaps in the corner. Allow the excess pastry to overhang the tin.
    6. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
    7. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork. Line the case with baking paper and weigh it down with baking beans, rice or lentils.
    8. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool on a rack.

 Bon Appétit

Bilberry/Blueberry Tarts with Almond Filling

This is a Mary Berry Recipe and so quick and easy to make and one that I make when I can get bilberries.

Preheat oven 200c
Tart tin greased, should make around 12

sweet ginger pastry

For the sweet ginger pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar, ground ginger and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Rub in the cubed butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix the egg yolk into the water and add into the flour mixture, stirring with your hands until the mixture just comes together as a dough. Add olive oil if the dough is a little dry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and set aside in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface and cut out 12 pastry tarts and line tray

Ingredients for filling.

  • 85g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g ground almonds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • few drops almond extract
  • 2 x 125g punnet bilberries/blueberries 
  • icing sugar, for dusting

  • Method:-
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 1 min. 
  • Stir in the almonds, egg and almond extract.
  • Stir in half the blueberries and spoon into the pastry case. 
  • Smooth the top using the back of a metal spoon, then scatter over the remaining blueberries, pressing them in lightly. 
  • Bake for 45-50 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden, and the filling is golden and feels firm to the touch.
  • Cool the tart for 10 mins in the tin, then lift onto a serving plate. 
  • Dust with a little icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

 Bon Appétit

7 Nov 2013

Crispy beef Strips

  • 350g slice beef into thin strips
  • 1 beaten Egg
  • 3 tbsp Potato Flour
  • 2 tsp Five Spice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Julienne Red & Green peppers/onions/ginger
  • 1 chopped chilli
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  1. Coat the steak with beaten egg and then potato flour
  2. Put oil into a wok and heat up
  3. Add the beef and fry until golden and crispy, then set aside to drain
  4. Toss into wok the veg and chilli with only a coating of oil in the pan 
  5. Add sweet chilli sauce 
  6. Add the soy sauce and cook for a couple of mins and then return crispy beef back to pan to coat and serve.

Bon Appétit

Rum & Raisin Cake

This is such a easy cake to bake 
Try it with cheese

Pre heat oven to 160c/ gas 3
Grease &  line 8" cake tin

  • 450g Raisins
  • 150 ml Rum
  • 350g Plain Flour
  • 1.1/2 level Baking Powder
  • 225g Demerara Sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 3 eggs beaten

  1. Soak the raisins in half the rum overnight
  2. Sieve the flour & baking powder into mixing bowl and stir in sugar
  3. Cut the butter into the mixture, rub the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs
  4. Stir in the raisins and beaten eggs and mix well
  5. Turn the mixture into the tin and smooth level 
  6. Sprinkle with extra sugar
  7. Bake in centre of oven for 1.1/4 to 1.1/2 hours, just check after 1 hour if browning to much loosely cover the top with greaseproof paper
  8. Test with a skewer to make sure it is baked
  9. Cool the cake in the tin for 15 mins, turnout and prick the top with a skewer and trickle the remainder of the the rum over the top of the cake.

 Bon Appétit
I often get asked *What flour do you use for cake baking in France* so I thought I would do a post just to let my English (french living friends what I use)

For Self Raising 
Farine de Ble Gateaux 

Plain Flour

Farine de Ble.

Farine Sarrasin is like a buckwheat 

For Baking Powder look for Levure Chimique sold in packets of 5 sachets 9g each. 
But you can buy FRESH yeast from the bakery counter usually in the chiller cabinets where the Gateaux are

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

6 Nov 2013

Olive, Bacon & Cheese Loaf

Lovely easy loaf to make
You can really add anything you like with this type of loaf.

Preheat the oven to 160c - 5.6 gas

  • 250 g plain flour - Farine de ble blanc
  • 300 g smoked bacon cubed - lardons fumes - I fried these off
  • 100 g grated cheese - fromage rape
  • 50 g green olives, chopped or sliced
  • 4 eggs whisked - oeufs
  • 1 slice of ham chopped - jambon blanc
  • 80 ml olive oil - h'huile d'olive
  • 1 sachet of dried yeast - levure chimique
  • Black Pepper - poivre.

  1. Mix the flour with the yeast,
  2. mix in the eggs and olive oil till a smooth and thick cream consistency.
  3. Add the grated cheese, bacon, olives, ham pinch of pepper and mix everything.
  4. Pour the preparation into a loaf tin that has been buttered.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes
  6. Turn out with caution, to be enjoyed hot or cold.

Bon Appétit

29 Oct 2013

Spicy Mackerel

This is a spicy Fish Dish and a favourite in our house as we love Mackerel

  • 2 Mackerel 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Potato powder or flour
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  1. Slice the mackerel down the middle lift out the bones in one piece
  2. Put the spices and salt/pepper on to a plate
  3. Dip the mackerel both side into the mix
  4. Dust with the potato powder or flour
  5. leave in the mix for 30 mins
  6. Put the oil into a large frying pan and heat on high
  7. Put the mackerel into the hot oil skin side down first, cook until golden brown, then turn over and do the other side
  8. lift with a fish slice onto plates and serve with salad and naan bread.

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

Slow cooker pork shoulder with butterbeans, apple and sage


  • 2 onions roughly chopped

  • 1 sticks celery thinly sliced

  • small bunch fresh sage 

  • salt & ground black pepper 

  • 2 x 400g cans butter beans in water, rinsed and drained

  • 4 thick pork shoulder steaks

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil 

  • 1 can Tomatoes chopped

  • 400ml dry cider 

  • 100ml chicken stock 

  • 30g butter

  • 1 apple peeled and cut into 8 wedges

  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water until smooth

  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

  • Method:
  1. Place the onions, celery and five shredded sage leaves in a slow cooker, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scatter with the butterbeans.
  2. Season the pork steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan then fry the pork until golden-brown on both sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the cider and stock into the frying pan, then bring to the boil, add the tomatoes, pour over the pork, put the lid on, then cook on low for seven hours until tender and surrounded with sauce.
  4. Cut the apple into eight wedges and cut away the core. Heat the butter in a frying pan, then add the butter and fry for 8-10 minutes until golden-brown and just tender. Add about 15 more sage leaves, turn up the heat and fry until the leaves are crisp.
  5. Lift the pork steaks from the slow cooker and set aside in a serving dish. Mix the cornflour paste and the mustard into the beans and stir till the sauce thickens a little. Transfer the sauce to the serving dish with the pork, top with the apples and crisp fried sage. Serve with crusty bread.

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

28 Oct 2013

Poori ~ Deep Fried Indian Bread

  • 300g Chapati Flour or Wholemeal Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp of Rapeseed Oil or 1 tbsp of Vegetable Ghee
  • 120 ml Milk
  1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl
  2. Add the salt
  3. Add the oil/ghee which ever you are using
  4. rub into the flour
  5. add the milk slowly until you have a soft ball of dough
  6. Knead the dough until it is smooth ( I use my kenwood chef to do this)
  7. Roll and cover with a oil covered cling film and put into fridge for 15/30 mins
  8. Get the oil Very hot in a fryer
  9. Split roll of dough into small balls size of a small golf ball
  10. then roll out each ball, to a small saucer size, I usually do two at a time
  11. Make sure the oil is very hot and drop one one into the oil, it will float to the top, turn over and cook over side, they will only take a minute to cook, put next one and and do the same thing
  12. Cook all they come up like little air balls.
We love these and I make them every time I make a curry.....

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

Tandoori Monkfish

For the Tandoori Marinade, which you can you for not only Fish, but Chicken or Meats...

  • Thumb size Ginger grated
  • 4 cloves crushed Garlic
  • 1 tsp Crushed Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g yogurt I used Greek yogurt as I find it does not split when heated
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (but to your tastes)
  • 1 tsp dried methi leaves
  • tip of the knife Red food colouring
  1. Place the ginger and garlic into a bowl with everything else and mix together
For the Monkfish
Bamboo skewers to soak in water
  • 500g Monkfish cut into bite size pieces
  • Juice of a lemon or lime
  • 3 tbsp Oil to baste, mix with the juice of the fruit
  1. Put the Monkfish into the marinade and cover, leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours
  2. Thread the monkfish on to the skewers and put under a HOT grill or HOT BBQ, baste the fish with the juice of the fruit and oil, keep basting while cooking which should take 8/10 mins
  3. Serve with Salad and breads

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

26 Oct 2013

Garlicky Camembert Cheese with Crusty Garlic Baguettes

This is one for the people who LOVE garlic, its a comfort food,

Preheat oven to 200c

1 whole camembert in a box
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tbsp of chopped chives, fresh or dried or any herb

1 Baguette either fresh or part baked
40 g butter
2 cloves of garlic crushed

Unwrap the Camembert gently
Slice the camembert in half gently so that it doesn't split
Spread the garlic puree over one half
Add the chopped chives over the top
Seal back into it paper
Pop back into its box
Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 to 15 mins

Slice the baguette in half long ways,
Mix the butter with the Garlic and add the lemon juice and parsley or chives
Spread over the baguette and wrap in foil
Place in the oven for 5 to 10 mins

Take out unwrap and dip or spread with hot camembert

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

Speculaas biscuits (traditional continental Christmas biscuits)

This is a recipe for Christmas
Its a biscuit that people on the continent eat around christmas time with coffee or hot chocolate or Vin Chaud, hot spicy wine.
It really smells wonderful while baking

  • 100g/3½oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g/2oz soft brown muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 2 tbsp candied peel, finely chopped
  • flaked almonds, to garnish (optional)
Preparation method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, muscovado sugar, milk, butter and candied peel until well combined.
  3. Using your hands, bring the mixture together as a dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out shapes or circles from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with flaked almonds, if using.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack, then serve.

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

garlicky spinach lentils or Lasuni Dal Palak

I love Indian/Asian/Pakistani Food and we usually have something from this continent every other day
If I am teaching a class we may have it two days running ! I think once you like chilli's you get hooked on the craving....

This is a lovely garlicky Dal recipe that we have quite often and I hope you like it to.....

4 People
  • 100g  Masoor dal 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • Half tsp cumin
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Chopped Fresh Coriander to finish
Wash the lentils thoroughly and set to boil with twice as much cold water add the turmeric powder in a medium pot.
Chop finely or garlic press four garlic cloves and slice the onion and tomato. In another small pot, bring the oil to heat over a high flame. When it’s hot, add in the cumin and garlic. As they sizzle up, stir in the tomato and onion and fry for two minutes on high until they are soft.
Next add in the spinach, lower the flame to a medium and cook the spinach until defrosted or wilted. Keep an eye on the lentils and if they are drying up add a bit of hot water to them. To keep the dal thick, don't add too much water, just a little bit every time the lentils start spluttering because they're too dry.
When the lentils incorporate with the water and get a soup-like consistency and texture, mix in the spinach. Add a little hot water to combine all the ingredients and keep it bubbling to infuse flavours.
After five minutes, fire up a small pot with the ghee and slice the remaining two garlic cloves. When the ghee is hot, add the sliced garlic and chilli powder. As the garlic starts turning golden brown, mix this tadka into the main pot of dal.
Finally check for salt and serve with a squirt of lemon and some hot Basmati rice.

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit

Pasta made in Kenwood Chef

My lovely Daughter and future Son in Law bought me the most wonderful Pasta Machine, which is strong and sturdy
So I wanted to try homemade pasta
I have made it before by hand and rolled it by hand, then cut all the strips, but seeing one of these machines in action thought Ooooo

So now I am trying out different recipes for pasta
This is just a basic recipe, but one that I have made several times now and it works each time.
We have problems here in France getting Italian 00 pasta flour, so I have made it with Chapati Flour !! and it was a wonderful nutty flavour
I have made it with Plain flour which is also nice, but I cant wait to get some Italian Pasta flour and try it with that next....

So Homemade Pasta

Serves: 4
Attachments: Spiral Dough Hook, Kenwood.


Flour '00' type 400g I used Chapati flour 
A pinch of salt
Olive oil , optional 60ml (4 tbsp)
Eggs (beaten) 4


  1. Put the flour, salt, oil and eggs into the bowl of the machine.
  2. Attach the Spiral Dough Hook and set the speed to 1-3 and knead for 4 minutes or until the dough comes together.
  3. Place the dough onto the work surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes.

  1. Set up the Pasta Maker to the table
  2. Put some semolina onto the pasta and cut into four equal pieces.
  3. Lightly roll it with a rolling pin into a rectangle shape.
  4. Set the Flat Pasta Roller to the widest setting, moving up through the numbers on the side of the roller, and using a low speed, feed the pasta through it several times, folding it in half each time, until the pasta is smooth. 
  5. Reduce the thickness of the roller by 1, sprinkle some more semolina if needed, and feed the pasta through again. 
  6. Continue to reduce the thickness until the required thickness has been achieved.
  7. Then cut pasta to the shape you want
  8. place on a pasta on a table to dry.
To Cook the pasta, fill a pan with water and bring to boil, then add pasta, it should only take 5 mins to cook.

एपीटिट बॉन Bon Appétit