Christmas Spiced Biscotti

These biscuits make a great edible gift and they’re lovely dipped into a glass of vin santo or another sweet dessert wine. Dunk them into tea or coffee if you like. An Italian chef I met in Tuscany would give you a sharp rap on the knuckles for that but it’s your house, your rules. Continue reading

Enjoying Christmas

I was going to call this Surviving Christmas but that felt too miserable and Scrooge-like. I’ve just read Jay Rayner’s account in Observer Food Monthly of his family Christmases, past and present (the story of his mother un-stuffing the turkey is priceless). He says people expect something magnificent of him, being a food writer, but in fact he has simplified the festive meal. My family goes one further. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Kitchen Classes Are Here!

It’s official! Mrs Portly’s Kitchen Classes are up and running! Well, they’re up, in that the website has gone live. They start running in January, just in time to put a gift voucher on your Christmas list. 🙂  Continue reading

Ox Cheeks with Quince and Pomegranate

Beef, or ox, cheeks are perfect for slow cooking, cheap and full of flavour. They’re well worth seeking out. A good butcher should be able to help and you can also ask him/her to trim them up for you, although that’s easy enough to do at home.

I’ve cooked them here with quince and pomegranate in a Persian/Iranian-inspired stew. Meltingly soft meat and a gently spiced, sour/sweet fruity sauce – delicious.This is one of the best things I’ve made this year. Continue reading

Candied Orange Peel, Chocolate Optional

Hands up, who eats oranges and throws away the peel? That’d be me, most of the time, and what a waste it is. I was prepping fruit for a salad the other day and my natural thriftiness, I’m happy to say, got the better of me so I made these. Continue reading