I blame Hollywood. The popular image of medieval and Tudor food is all fat, gouty nobles with meat grease dripping off their chins, waving haunches of venison which of course would be stiff with spices because they didn’t have fridges and the meat was off. In between gargantuan flesh fests they would oppress peasants and maybe ravish a maiden or two before getting their comeuppance from a hero of gentle birth who lived in a treehouse. Continue reading
Seafood, to my mind, is the original fast food. It cooks in minutes and given the number of species fished off our coast, there’s something for all tastes: delicate and flaky, dense and meaty, rich and oily. One of my favourites is red mullet, a fish I normally associate with warmer climes but which can be caught off our southern coast.
It’s a white fish but it will stand up to punchy flavours. I’ve cooked it here with rosemary, chorizo and clams and the resulting brothy sauce was so good we slurped it from our bowls. With spoons, we’re not heathens. Continue reading
It’s Chinese New Year tomorrow and Valentine’s Day on Sunday, so of course I’m going to suggest a romantic Asian-inspired menu, right? Well, no. Continue reading
I’m lucky when it comes to seafood. Spencer of Spen’s Fish will deliver to my door and my friend Mike Warner of A Passion For Seafood does pop-up sales at a local farm shop every Friday. I’m spoilt for choice, which is fortunate because I went through a lot of fish this week testing what is actually a very simple dish.
It is monkfish with a dressing based on Sicily’s salmoriglia, but using Seville orange juice instead of lemon. Sevilles are such a seasonal treat it seems silly not to. It’s essentially a punchy vinaigrette which acts here as both marinade, glaze and sauce.
Are you in the doldrums? I am, metaphorically speaking because although also a shorthand term for inaction and stagnation, the doldrums are an actual place. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ (apparently also known as “the itch”) is a belt round the Earth extending approximately five degrees north and south of the equator. Continue reading
If you’re casting about for a special occasion meal to make, perhaps for Valentine’s Day, you might like to give this a try. Most of the prep can be done the day before, allowing you to spend more time necking champagne – or just necking. Continue reading
This is a stew made rich and dark as sin with stout, but it’s the blue cheese dumplings that make it stand out. Unintentional rhyming there, but fear not, I’ll still blog when they make me poet laureate. If you think that’s delusional you should know my first draft had me channelling Good King Wenceslas. The poetry gig is a step down from the monarchy but follow boldly in my footsteps anyway. Continue reading
King Henry I is said to have died from a surfeit of lampreys. I can’t eel out of the fact that I’m suffering from an overdose of Christmas. Delicious though the mince pies, clotted cream and chocolates were, I’m beginning to look like a galleon in full sail. Continue reading
I hardly dare wish you a Happy New Year but I do sincerely hope the next 12 months will be an improvement on what has gone before. If you’d like to celebrate leaving 2020 behind (and who wouldn’t?) then this is a good start to a meal and to 2021. Continue reading
Not perhaps the most obvious recipe to offer for the holiday period but a real belly-warmer. It’s one I like to have handy in the freezer, ideal for those days when you want something comforting and a lot more satisfying than defrosting a supermarket pizza.
This one-pot is one of my autumn/winter standbys, in fact I’ve made it so often I can almost do it blindfold and with one hand tied behind my back. It was a bit of a surprise, therefore, to realise I’ve never really shared it with you properly before. Continue reading