Panackelty (Sort Of)

Long ago and far away in the misty, moisty north country, there was a young and inexperienced cook who found a recipe for something called Panackelty. (It was in a rather grand scroll known to its readers as Vogue. The upper classes were prone to speaking in French in those days.) After slaving over a hot fire for quite some time, the cook proudly served her dish to local friends.  Continue reading

Medlar Tart

“Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinamon, and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart. Being baked, scrape on sugar.” The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, 1660/1665.  Continue reading

Easy Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Image of newly sealed pots of pateThis is an absolute gift in the run-up to Christmas (see what I did there?) because it can be whizzed it up in advance, wrapped and frozen. Then hey presto, you can magic up a quick starter or light lunch when you’re busy doing other things.  Continue reading

Grilled Pineapple with Mint Sugar

I know, this is rather a summery dessert for this time of the year, but at least it’s served warm and it’s lovely after a spicy main course.

I needed to cut back my Moroccan mint before winter and didn’t want to waste the pepperminty leaves, so I made some mint sugar then had to decide what it would go best with. If you’re anything like as lazy as me, you’ll love this, an impressive-looking pud with minimum effort. Continue reading

Beef Short Ribs with Quince

Image of quinceYes, yet another quince recipe, but it’s a good one. Faced with a glut, I’ve been searching my historical British cookery books for a meat-and-quince recipe but can’t find one, which is odd when you think we’ve been cooking these gloriously perfumed fruits since medieval times. Our ancestors seemed to use them exclusively for sweet dishes but if you know different, I’d love to hear from you.

So today’s dish is based on the fragrant Persian/Iranian stew Khoresht-e Beh. Continue reading

Baked Quince with Mead

Image of quince in a basketQuince have been used in British kitchens since (probably) the 13th century and mead’s history goes back even further, so I’ve gone a bit medieval on you today. The flavours complement each perfectly, the sweetness of the fermented honey drink cutting the astringency of the quince. Continue reading

Pig’s Cheek Pie

There’s apparently a pig’s cheek pie on the menu at Tom Kerridge’s new restaurant at the Corinthia Hotel in London. Sadly, this isn’t it. I haven’t been there and judging by the prices quoted in a recent review (£33 for fish and about 12 chips) I probably can’t afford it. But I really liked the idea, so I made my own. Continue reading

Seafood and Sweetcorn Chowder

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Our family loves potatoes. My late father-in-law was a distinguished physician but it was remarkable how many of the sympathy letters we received after his death, regardless of whether they were talking of his career or his kindness, also recalled fond memories of  going down the garden with him to dig potatoes. Continue reading