Confit Duck Potato Cakes

Now that summer has slipped through our fingers it’s time to line up a few comforting autumnal recipes. These confit duck potato cakes can be made small enough to serve as a starter or big enough to enjoy as a main course.

I wanted to eat them with my plum and ginger chutney so the spicing is Chinese-influenced, but frankly you could make them plainer and slap a fried egg on top and they’d still be good. Continue reading

Bigod, That’s Tasty!

Well, Mrs Portly’s only had one week off, but I wanted to share these frankly fabulous little filo pies while redcurrants are still in season.

Crisp, buttery pastry oozing with melty Baron Bigod cheese and redcurrant jelly, offset by the sharp tang of fresh redcurrants. They’re rich but they’re tiny, just a few bites, so they’re perfect as a starter with a few salad leaves or as a warm canape. Continue reading

Broad Bean, Feta and Strawberry Salad

I enjoy a complex curry or fiddly French pastry as much as the next person, but good ingredients don’t always need a lot of faff and hours spent hovering over a hot stove.

Some of the best meals I’ve had have been the simplest – fragrant amber honey poured over thick yoghurt with a handful of chopped nuts for breakfast in Corfu, freshly caught mackerel barbecued on the beach in Ireland, home-grown asparagus drenched in salted butter. And this. 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