Archive for the 'recipes' Category

Dutch baby

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015


Recipe from here. Very tasty, rather like a pancake. As you can see I burned it slightly even after 12 minutes, so I think the optimum cooking time is something like 10 minutes.

Rogan Josh lamb curry

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Jamie Oliver’s lamb curry recipe. Complicated to make, but very tasty indeed.


Waldorf salad risotto

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015


Jamie’s apple, walnut, gorgonzola risotto.


Sunday, February 8th, 2015


I didn’t make the gorgonzola pizza.

Best of the lot may have been the truffle pesto and caramelized onion pizza.

3 types of pizza

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Pesto, aubergine, goats cheese pizza. This one was very good, the best of the lot:

Black garlic and pancetta. I made a mistake here by cooking the black garlic (which turns it into tasteless charcoal). I should probably have added it after cooking. In any case you couldn’t really taste it:

Kabocha squash and honey pizza. Nothing particularly special:

Black garlic

Monday, February 2nd, 2015


Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.

Kuro ninniku drying out

Sunday, February 1st, 2015


I placed the garlics on a wire rack to dry them out for a week or two. After that they’ll be ready and I’ll store them in the fridge.

Kuro ninniku day 12½

Sunday, February 1st, 2015


I think it’s pretty much ready now. After checking that the taste is still fine once cooled down, I may take it out of the rice cooker and start to dry it out.

Kuro ninniku day 10

Friday, January 30th, 2015


Similar to day 7; still not very sweet.

Update: But after leaving the black garlic to cool and dry out for about 24 hours, it was a lot better. I think it’s nearly ready!

Kuro ninniku after 1 week

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


After 1 week of mostly being on “keep warm” the colour has developed well and the taste is beginning to resemble kuro ninniku. However it does need longer as it is rather bitter / lacking in sweetness. 

Making kuro ninniku day 3

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


The second hand rice cooker doesn’t stay on “keep warm” for more than 12 hours, so I have to turn it off and on twice a day. That is annoying.

Anyway, here is a garlic plucked from the bowl after 3 days. It’s beginning to turn brown, but you can see it still has a long way to go. The flavour is still very much like roasted garlic, and hasn’t developed the sweet flavour we expect from kuro ninniku.

One and a half weeks to go …

Making kuro ninniku #1

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Start with about 20 giant garlic (the number you can make depends on the size of your rice cooker). For this experiment you will also need an old rice cooker, one that you don’t care about if it catches fire / stinks of garlic forever more.

Open up each clove slightly (but try to keep the cloves intact):


Place them in the bowl of the rice cooker. Note there are no other ingredients, and in particular, no water is added.


Put the rice cooker on its keep warm setting (not cook), which for the typical rice cooker is around 67-68°C.

Now you leave it (almost) alone for 2 weeks.

Don’t open the lid, except on days 3 and 6, when you briefly open the lid to let out the steam.

Check back in a few weeks to see the final result.

Tom Clancy mushroom book recycling

Monday, July 7th, 2014


I feel this is for the better really. It stops someone else reading this rubbish.

Rustic Mushroom Co book recycling kit

Making Nigel Slater’s 20 frozen lasagnes

Sunday, December 29th, 2013


That’s a lot of ingredients! The recipe is this one from Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen.

Making the ragu:


To give you an idea of the quantity of meat sauce, it only just fits in my second-largest pan:


The recipe is for 20 takeaway portions, so I’m using 18 trays plus a bowl for me to eat tonight.


I feel like I’m working in a frozen lasagne factory.

Here’s what they look like after assembly. Note the “breadcrumbs” are 1 packet of Blue Dragon Japanese panko from Waitrose:


All packets ready to go in the freezer:


The final taste was pretty good. It’s been a very long time since I’ve eaten a frozen lasagne from a supermarket, but this was far better than any I remember.

Some observations about this mega-recipe:

  1. It took me most of the afternoon to make (2pm-7pm, not full time). It would have been even longer if I’d decided to make the pasta from scratch too.
  2. There is surely far too much liquid in the original recipe; I used only 2 pints of stock (instead of 4 pints in the recipe), and even that was almost too much.
  3. I nearly ran out of meat sauce, but I guess that’s because I’m making > 20 tray-sized portions, since my meal for tonight is probably bigger than two trays.
  4. I don’t think the basil oil is necessary, but you could use fresh basil shredded up (added just before packing).

Still, it was pretty interesting mass-producing food like this, and the contents of the tray do look quite a lot like the frozen lasagne that you get in the supermarket (prior to cooking).

Austerity Britain bean burger

Saturday, April 27th, 2013


From this recipe as featured on the BBC today. The picture is not great but it was really delicious.

Potato and celery soup

Sunday, January 20th, 2013


Onion potato celery white wine sour cream. Served with onion bread. Excellent for snowy evenings.

Snails 2

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

After feeding them on lettuce for 3 weeks I starved them in the refrigerator for a couple of days:


Plunged into boiling salty water, for 12 minutes:

Sushi, playing with a stick. It’s her favourite toy now:

Garlic and parsley:


After boiling them, I drained them and extracted them from their shells:

Fried in garlic and butter:

The result, with a bit of parsley:

We all agreed they tasted a little bit like slimy mushrooms. An enjoyable day was had by all in the garden.

Thanks to P-p for taking the photos.

Curry bread

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Bread with cumin, coriander seeds and turmeric. The dough was made for naanbreads originally, and the bread was made with the leftovers.

Haddock and bacon chowder

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The recipe was from here. Easy and delicious.

Pork and pears

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Roast pork belly and pears recipe from the Times.

In case the Times decide to put it behind a paywall, here is this recipe:

2kg pork belly, bone in, skin scored by the butcher into 1cm strips
Cider vinegar
3 plump cloves of garlic
Fine salt and freshly ground pepper
8 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
4 red onions, peeled and quartered through the root
4 pears
125ml dry cider
200ml chicken stock

Eight hours before you want to eat, place the pork, skin side up, on an oven rack in the sink and pour over freshly boiled water. This helps open up the fat to create good crackling. Dry the skin thoroughly, then brush with cider vinegar. Place uncovered in the fridge for at least four hours, ideally overnight. If you don’t have time, dry thoroughly with kitchen towel.

Mash the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt. Strip the leaves from 4 of the thyme sprigs and add to the garlic. Stir in the olive oil.

Place the pork, skin side down, in a large roasting tin. Season the flesh generously, then poke a few shallow holes between the bones with the point of a knife. Massage the garlic mixture into the meat. Turn skin side up, tucking the bay leaf underneath, and leave at room temperature for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Dry the pork skin again, then scatter with a good tbsp of salt and massage in well. Place in the oven, skin side up, and cook for 1 hour. Add the onion quarters and stir until coated with the fat. Return to the oven for 30 minutes.

Turn the onions, then halve the pears and add to the roasting tin, cut side down. Scatter with the remaining thyme. After 15 minutes, turn the pears and increase the oven temperature to 240C/475F/Gas Mark 9. Cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the skin is puffed and crisp. The meat should be juicy but cooked through, the onions caramelised and soft, the pears on the verge of collapse. Transfer everything to a serving dish and keep warm.

Tip off most of the fat from the pan, leaving behind the meaty juices. Place on the hob, pour in the cider and allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes – scrape all the caramelised bits off the bottom. Pour in the stock and bubble for a few minutes more. Taste and season.

Carve the pork at the table, cutting between the bones into rustic ribs.