24 December 2009

This traditional Spanish dish of seafood, chicken, rice and spices can now become a treat in your own home with this easy to follow recipe.


Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 1 hour
Oven Temperature : 180° C – 360° F

40 ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
50 g Spanish chorizo sausage, diced
2 boneless chicken thighs, cut in cubes
300 g short grained rice
120 ml white wine
800 ml chicken stock
1 tsp saffron threads
100 g peas
8 large prawns, peeled and head still on
2 squid, cut into rings
200 g clams
1 1/2 tsp paprika
lemon wedges

1 30 cm paella pan
1 wooden spoon
1 sheet of aluminium foil


Begin the paella
* Put the paella pan over a medium to high heat. Once it has heated up add some of the oil and then the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
* Fry for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to help even cooking.
* Add the chorizo and stir in. Let it cook for a minute.
* Add the onions and mix them in.
* Add the red pepper, garlic, tomato and then the rice, stirring them all in well.
* Add the wine, saffron and the paprika. Mix it all together.
* Add enough of the hot chicken stock to cover all the ingredients. Bring it to a bubbling simmer.
* Lower the heat slightly, so that it cooks whilst still gently bubbling. Cook for 7-10 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed, but not all.

Add the seafood
* Add the clams, pushing them under the surface with your hands, to ensure that they cook.
* Lay the prawns around the pan, then the squid. Sprinkle the peas over and season with salt and pepper.
* Cover the pan with foil. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes more.
* Turn off the heat. Let it stand for a further 5 minutes, still covered with the foil.

* Remove the foil. Heap a generous portion onto a serving plate.
* Garnish with some lemon wedges and your paella is ready to serve.
* It goes well with fresh bread and a glass of wine.


24 December 2009

Put something different on your barbecue this summer – an Indian twist to a barbecue classic!


Preparation Time : 45 minutes
Cooking Time : 15 minutes

6 chicken drumsticks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, grated
120 ml plain yoghurt
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a few sprigs of coriander

1 sharp knife
1 bowl
1 spoon
1 tongs
1 tray
1 chopping board
1 barbecue, either charcoal or gas
1 bottle of water for dousing flames


Prepare the drumsticks
* Use the knife to cut around the bottom of the drumsticks to the bone. Scrape the flesh from the bone towards the end of the drumsticks and place them onto the tray.

Make the marinade
* Into the bowl add the garlic, ginger, yoghurt, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric and lemon juice. Season well with salt and mix all the ingredients together.

Marinate the chicken
* Transfer the drumsticks into the bowl of marinade and make sure that they are all covered. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour (for best results, marinate overnight).

Prepare the barbecue
* If you plan to use a charcoal barbecue, light it 30-45 minutes before you cook and wait until the charcoal has turned white and there are no more flames. If you are using an electric barbecue, turn to high and leave for 20 minutes to heat up.

Barbecue the drumsticks
* Cook the drumsticks on the barbecue for 10-12 minutes. Using the tongs, turn the drumsticks over every 2 minutes to avoid burning them. Remove from the barbecue.

Serve and garnish
* Transfer the drumsticks onto a large serving dish and garnish with a few sprigs of coriander. A perfect Indian twist to a classic barbecue favourite!


24 December 2009

An exotic way of cooking green beans. Imported from the shores of Asia, this variation adds spice to a vegetable dish.

SERVING : 2 to 4

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 minutesYou Will Need

150 g green beans, topped and tailed
2 large red chillies, deseeded and sliced
1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 quarter tsp sea salt
1 quarter tsp vegetable oil
1 wok or deep frying pan
1 slotted spoon
1 spoon
some kitchen paper


Heat the oil
* Pour the oil into a wok and heat over a high temperature.

Deep-fry the beans
* When hot, add the beans to the oil and deep-fry for 1- 2 minutes, until just tender and slightly wilted.

Add the chillies
* Add the chillies and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Drain the vegetables
* Remove the vegetables from the oil, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

Discard the oil and wipe the wok
* Carefully empty the hot oil from the wok and wipe it clean with kitchen paper.

Add the garlic, hoisin sauce and salt
* Pour the remaining oil into the clean wok and add the garlic, hoisin sauce and salt.

Add the beans and chillies
* Toss the cooked beans and chillies into the sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute, coating them in the sauce.

* Serve at once.


09 December 2009

A delicious, quick and easy mixed nut roast. A classic vegetarian recipe made simple! To accompany a more extended vegetarian Christmas lunch: a tasty mushroom sauce; roast potatoes; fresh green beans and honey glazed carrots.


Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time : 55 minutes

1 onion, chopped
25 g butter
220 g mixed nuts
180 g wholemeal bread without crusts
300 ml vegetable stock
2 tsp yeast extract
1 tsp mixed herbs
55 g wholemeal bread crumbs for topping
salt and pepper

2 small saucepans
1 liquidizer
1 oven dish
1 spatula
1 medium bowl


Preheat the oven
* Set the oven to 180°C – 350°F – gas mark 4.

Saute the onions
* Place a small pan on a medium heat, spoon in the butter and allow it to melt.
* Add the onions and stir. Leave to saute until they become transparent, which will roughly take 5 minutes.
* Once sauteed, remove from the heat.

Grind the nuts and bread
* Place the bread slices and mixed nuts into the liquidizer. Put on the lid, turn onto a high speed and blend until finely ground.

Make the stock
* Place another small pan on a medium heat and add the vegetable stock.
* Spoon in the yeast, stir and bring to the boil.
* Once boiling remove from the heat.

Grease the oven dish
* Take a knob of butter and rub it around the oven dish, making sure the bottom is well greased.

Combine the ingredients
* Pour the breadcrumb mix into a large bowl. Add the herbs, spoon in the onions, season with salt and pepper and pour in the stock. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer to the oven dish
* Pour the nut mix into the oven dish. Smooth it over to make it level.
* Finally, sprinkle over the bread crumb topping.

* Place the oven dish into the centre of the preheated oven. Cook for half an hour or until golden and remove when cooked.

* Your dish is now ready to serve.
* To accompany, we have a few suggestions for a more extended vegetarian Christmas lunch: a tasty mushroom sauce; roast potatoes; fresh green beans and honey glazed carrots.


09 December 2009

Mince pies at their very best. Delicious served cold or hot with a splash of cream. Simply irresistible!


Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time : 35 minutes

680 g ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry
450 g sweet mince meat
1 egg beaten, to glaze
a handful of flour for dusting
2 tbsp water

1 rolling pin
1 8 cm / 3.1 inch pastry cutter
1 7 cm / 2.7 inch pastry cutter
1 bun tin
1 pastry brush
1 spoon


Preheat the oven
* Set the oven to 200°C – 390°F – Gas mark 6.

Roll the pastry
* Sprinkle your working surface with flour. Place the pastry in it and also dust with flour. Start to roll the pastry out, turn it over and continue rolling until it is rolled into a thin sheet.

Prepare the pastry cups
* Take the bigger 8cm cutter and cut out 12 pastry disks for your mince pies.
* Place each of the pastry disk into the bun tin gently press down into the bottom to create a cup.

Fill with mincemeat
* Add a spoonful of mincemeat to each of the cups.

Re-roll the pastry
* Take the excess pastry, left over from making the mince pie cups and roll it into a ball.
* Sprinkle the work surface once more with flour and re-roll it in preparation for making the lids for the mince pies.

Make the lids
* Take the smaller 7cm pastry cutter and cut out 12 lids from the sheet of pastry.

Finish the lids
* Taking a lid, brush with a little water around the edges and place it wet side down on top of the open mince pie. Gently push down the edges with your fingers to seal.
* With your pastry brush generously coat the lids with the egg wash. They are now ready to bake .

* Place your bun tin in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
* Remove after this time when golden brown.

* Dust with a little icing sugar for that finishing touch and serve hot or cold over the Christmas holidays.


09 December 2009

How to make canapes of stuffed new potatoes which are perfect for dinner parties, a light snack or a special starter!


Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 45 minutes

12 new potatoes
2 tbsp creme Fraiche
1 tbsp caviar
1 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped
150 ml canned chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp crispy bacon bits
1 ltr vegetable oil

1 large saucepan
1 small saucepan
2 spoons
2 tea spoons
1 melon ball cutter
1 slotted spoon
2 trays
1 cutting board
1 knife
kitchen paper


Prepare the ingredients
* Get all your ingredients ready to cook.

Cut the potatoes
* Take your large knife and firstly top and tail the potatoes, then slice in half. If they are a little small, slice more off both ends and make one half instead of two.
* Taking your melon ball maker and one half of a potato, scoop out the centre and place the ball of potato into a bowl. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Cook the potatoes
* Place the saucepan under a medium heat, half way filled with water, now add in the halved potatoes and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are soft. Check to see if they are cooked by taking a knife and softly piercing through the skin.
* When cooked using the slotted spoon carefully drain and transfer them to a baking tray covered in kitchen towel.
* There is no need to salt at this stage as we will be seasoning later on.

Cook the tomato sauce
* Place a small sauce pan under a medium-high heat, now add one tablespoon of olive oil, green chilli, chopped garlic and slowly mix it in.
* Add the chopped tomato, stir in, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until you achieve a nice thick consistency.
* If you are going to serve the potatoes soon then you will need to pre heat the oil. So pour in the litre of vegetable oil into a large pan and bring to high heat.

Fry the potatoes
* Before frying, you can test to see if the oil is hot enough by placing one potato in the oil using your slotted spoon. If it bubbles, it is ready.
* We need to cook the potatoes in 3 batches, so place the first batch using your slotted spoon into the hot oil. And allow to fry for roughly 3 minutes.
* A quick tip : Make sure the potatoes are completely dry before frying!
* When the first batch is ready, remove them using your slotted spoon and place them onto a tray with some kitchen roll to drain.
* Now, place the second batch of potatoes into the hot oil and when ready, remove with your slotted spoon and transfer to the tray to drain.
* Then place the final batch into the hot oil and fry.
* Remove when ready and once more drain on the tray.

Season the potatoes
* With your potatoes still on the tray now season with salt.

Garnish with creme Fraiche and caviar
* In preparation for serving your canapes, place the potatoes onto a large serving platter. Place four halved potatoes onto the tray.
* Then, with a teaspoon, heap a dollop of creme fraiche into the centre of each potato.
* Place a generous dollop of caviar on top and finally sprinkle some chopped spring onion on top.

Garnish with tomato sauce and spring onion
* Place four more halved potatoes onto the platter and with a teaspoon heap a generous amount of tomato sauce into each centre.
* Now garnish with the chopped spring onion.

Garnish with sour creme and bacon
* Again, place four more potatoes onto the tray and heap a generous dollop of sour cream into each centre.
* Place a few bacon bits on top.


06 December 2009

Perfect treats for kids, sweet and easy to make. Party cakes that will be popular. Our cup cakes are the best!

180 g butter
180 g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
180 g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
500 g icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsp water
Food colouring as desired


Preheat oven
* Heat oven to 190°C /fan 170°C / gas 5.

Cake mixture
* Cream 175 g butter and 175 g caster sugar together until light and fluffy.
* Add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and gradually beat in 3 beaten eggs little by little, if the mixture curdles add a table spoon of flour and continue beating.
* Sift in 175g self-raising flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and gently fold in. The mixture should easily drop off the spoon. If it doesn’t, add a little milk and keep stirring.

* Divide the mixture between the cake cases filling each on about 3/4 full, and bake for 12-15 mins, until they are pale golden and springy to the touch. (if one tray is on a lower shelf in the oven it may need a little longer).
* Cool on a wire rack.

* Combine 500 g icing sugar with 5 tablespoons water and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency.
* Divide the mixture into 2 or 3 bowls and colour each bowl with your chosen food colouring, mixing thoroughly.
* Top each cake with icing and a sugar flower or cherry, leave to set.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.