Pomegranate Poussins

There’s something pathetically froggy about spatchcocked poussins but my word, they taste good and they cook a lot faster, staying deliciously juicy. They make a fabulous supper and a very good dinner party dish. Minimum effort, maximum flavour. Continue reading

Cotechino and Italian New Year

Cotechino is an Italian sausage traditionally eaten at New Year. Simmered, rather than fried, it is sliced into rings and served with lentils, the round shapes of each symbolising coins and therefore hopefully good fortune for the coming 12 months. Continue reading

Christmas Brownies

The tree is up and decorated, the turkey and goose are nearly ready to be collected and there’s just time to squeeze in one last recipe before the family arrives for Christmas.

Make these chocolatey, fudgy, gently spiced brownies as an alternative to a traditional fruit cake, for a dessert or just for a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea … they’re versatile enough to fit in pretty much anywhere. Continue reading

Damson Gin Truffles

Image of damson ginEvery time I make a fruit gin (which is often) I look at the boozy fruit left over and wonder what to do with it. This is the perfect solution, especially as gins of this sort are usually ready to be strained and bottled close to Christmas, and these truffles make such great presents. Continue reading

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