10.3.17

Broad bean & Ham Hock & Wholegrain Mustard Pie

A thrifty ham hock is the back bone to this recipe and, partnered with cornichons and cream, it equates to pie heaven. The reasurringly creamy filling is encased in fudgy pastry, highly glazed and sprinkled with poppy seeds.


PREP TIME 30 MINUTES + 1 HOUR CHILLING
COOK TIME 4 HOURS
SERVES 6

2 ham hocks
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
220g broad beans, podded weight
1½ tablespoons wholegrain mustard
150ml crème fraîche
1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
4 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons
1 tablespoon plain flour
½ small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
300ml cider
1 medium egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE PASTRY
175g plain flour
Tiny pinch of salt
150g butter, diced
90ml soured cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

You will need a 26cm pie dish

1 Place the ham hocks, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large pan. Cover generously with cold water and bring to a steamy simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours until tender and falling apart. Keep your eye on the water levels and top up every so often, as needed. Once the ham hocks are cooked, remove from the pan. Separate the meat from the bone – I find it easiest to use your hands. Pull away large chunks of the meat, roughly chop and set aside. You need about 500g of cooked ham hock.

2 Bring a second pan of salted water to the boil. Add the beans and simmer for 5–6 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside.

3 Make the pastry. Put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the butter is fully incorporated through the flour. Alternatively, put in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Then add the soured cream and pulse for 2–3 seconds or stir by hand until just mixed. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

4 Select an enormous bowl and combine the cooked ham, broad beans, mustard, crème fraîche, coriander seeds, cornichons, flour and chopped parsley. Pour the cider into a small saucepan over a medium heat and allow to reduce by half. Cool slightly before adding to the ham hock mixture. Season to taste, remembering that the ham is salty.

5 Empty the filling into a pie dish and brush the edge of the dish with a little beaten egg. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and place over the filling. Crimp the edges of the pastry to secure it to the edge of the dish, brush the surface with more beaten egg and chill for a further 30 minutes.

6 Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.

7 Remove the pie from the fridge, glaze again with egg and scatter with poppy seeds. Transfer to the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until the pastry is golden and you can just see the filling bubbling. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving in slices.


TIP You can also use 200g dried broad beans, soaked overnight. Simply, place the broad beans in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25–30 minutes or until the broad beans are al dente.

7.3.17

Baby Rosabella


Forgive my slight pause from blogging but I assure you it is for good reason. Baby Rosabella was born in late December and, naturally, has been needing a whole lot of love and milk ;)



3.12.16

The Ultimate Christmas Pudding Recipe


We have a baby on the way and nesting instincts arrive with little warning, my family being directed around like soldiers while I scour ebay for suitable changing tables/bags/baskets and cleanse the house with a frantic disposition.  Poor planning (or divine intervention) means due date is dangerously near Christmas and as such, the festive flourish needs to happen sooner rather than later.

High on the list was making the Christmas pudding. I know, I know, supermarkets make lovely versions that can be microwaved in four minutes and can sit in the cupboard until next year if not wanted… but a homemade version is something we’ve always done. Like never buying white sauce or low fat yoghurt. Just one of those things.

So here we are, my luxuriously laden version that I’m convinced is the best I’ve ever eaten. Steam tomorrow and it will be ready to be reheated for the giant lunch and served with brandy cream (shop bought, if you are interested). 





 
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PUDDING



SERVES 8-10

PREP TIME – 25 MINUTES

COOK TIME – 7 HOURS



INGREDIENTS



A little softened butter, for greasing

225g caster sugar

200g suet

300g currants

300g raisins

300g citrus peel

100g glace cherries

75g pistachios, roughly chopped

110g plain flour

110g fresh white breadcrumbs

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. mixed spice

Zest from 1 lemon

5 eggs, lightly beaten

50ml whiskey

100ml Cointreau

FOR THE TOPPING

3 tbsp. apricot jam, melted

Zest of 1 clementine

A handful of toasted almonds, pecan nuts and glace cherries



INSTRUCTIONS



1. Lightly grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with softened butter and cut a small circle of parchment to place in the base of the pudding bowl.



2. Combine the sugar, suet, currants, raisins, citrus peel, cherries, pistachio, plain flour, breadcrumbs, spices and lemon zest in a very large mixing bowl.



3. Add the eggs, whiskey and Cointreau and stir all the ingredients together until well distributed and spoon the wet mixture into the pudding basin, pressing the mixture down with the back of a spatula. Place a round of baking parchment over the top of the mixture and then wrap with a layer of foil so that the basin is watertight. Secure with string.



4. Either put the basin in the pan of boiling water, to come halfway up the sides or in the top of a lidded steamer and steam for 6 hours, checking every so often that the water is topped up.



5. Cool your pudding and store, re - wrapped in foil for 6 weeks, until the big Christmas day.



6. Once ready to re-heat, steam the wrapped pudding – still in it’s basin - for a further 3 hours. To serve, remove from the basin and brush with warmed apricot jam. Decorate with cherries, nuts and clementine and serve, with a side of ice cream. 

An image I took for Judes ice cream a few weeks ago, of said pudding!  

5.11.16

26 Grains, London



Really could porridge become and more pimped? Yes people, it can. 26 Grains, the brainchild of Alex Hely Hutchinson is a cute café nestled in Neal’s Yard, amongst the infamous Neal’s Yard headquarters. The location is the sort of secret only real Londoners know about, all hanging baskets, muted tones and aged brickwork.

The café (I think its more café than restaurant) has a hipster vibe to it. Tiny, with small wooden tables, whitewashed walls and an oblicitory smattering of copper. Porridge is the only thing on the menu but man do they do it well, its pimped beyond any porridge I’d eaten before and kicks those pret cardboard pots out of the water.  We sat outside, just next to the street cleaning man – making the whole experience all the more London – and cuddled generous bowls of their Nodic Pear option, think coconut milk, oats, spices, seeds, cacao crumble, coconut yoghurt, pear & maple. And they don’t even mention the flurry of edible violets sprinkled to finish. Sweet nothings, it was so good.

And here are the others:

Hazelnut & Butter
Almond Milk Oats, Butter, Hazelnuts, Cinnamon Coconut Palm Sugar and Apple
Banana Cacao
Almond Milk Oats, Coconut Yogurt, Cacao Nibs, Banana and Date Syrup
Cardamom Orange
Almond Milk Oats and Rye, Cardamom Orange Compote, Greek Yogurt, Pomegranate, Pistachio


Jasper, my four year old eats porridge every day whether the weather Gods are smiling or crying. I arrived home from 26 Grains with my phone loaded with pics and we’ve decided that this is the only café he ever wants to eat at. I think I agree.






23.8.16

The Hart & Fuggle @ Bert & May


It was a week or two ago now but my gorgeous foodie friend Alice Hart and I ran a night in the Bert & May warehouse. I love cooking with Alice; we work well together whilst managing crises, dancing around the kitchen and offering well-timed words of encouragement. The menu was simple and in all honestly, too much was left until the final hour or two but you’ve gotta love a load of last minute kitchen panic. The crockery was stunning – Bert & May originals – and the atmosphere buzzing. Tickets sold out so I think we may be doing another evening, I’ll keep you posted.