Saturday, 31 December 2011

Plum cobbler

I've been raiding the Christmas nut bowl again, like some kind of new year squirrel. The fridge rattles with "Class of Xmas '11" alumni - sprouts, cranberries, parsnips; the challenge is using them up and not letting anything go to waste. This cobbler went down a treat as part of our New Year's Eve supper; a few chopped dried figs would be great stirred into the fruit if you have any knocking around. Happy New Year you lot!

200g Self raising flour
150g Golden caster sugar
75g Unsalted butter
125ml Whole milk
About a dozen plums, cut in half and stoned
The zest of half a clementine
A good squeeze of honey
1/2Tsp Ground cinnamon
A handful of roughly chopped mixed nuts (I used brazil, hazel, almond and walnuts)

1 Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Tip the plums into an ovenproof dish, then cover with with the honey, zest, cinnamon and 50g sugar. Give it all a quick stir, then pop in the oven.
2 In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the remaining 100g of the sugar. Grate in the butter, then use your fingertips to gently rub everything together into a fine, breadcrumb-like mix. Stir in the milk to form a thick, doughy batter.
3 Take the fruit out of the oven. Spoon large blobs of the cobbler mix on top, scatter with nuts and bake for 30-40 minutes (or until browned and a skewer comes out of the topping clean).

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Jewelled dukkah crusted lamb shoulder

The ‘Danny Glover Quote Lexicon’ is far from being a tome, “I’m getting to old for this shit” being the only Glovernugget that I ever regularly paraphrase. “I just wanna fix mah boat and put mah kids through school Riggs” (something like that) doesn’t really bristle with many social applications. I’m embarrassed to say that three consecutive nights of festive revelry last week has left me gaunt, dishevelled and malnourished, like a poor Dickensian street urchin. This was compounded on Friday morning when we ran out of milk and honey for porridge, and I was forced to contemplate a bowl of thin oatmeal gruel for breakfast. It is my hope that this hearty roast went a little way towards righting the balance.

I first tried dukkah a couple of years ago. In that instance it played part of a Maria Elia recipe; juicy watermelon wedges plunged into a bowl of dukkah as a canape - very much a ‘YES’ moment. Traditionally hazelnuts are used in this Egyptian dip, but this morning I raided the Christmas nut bowl in a gesture of ‘Renegade spice assemblage’.

For a small jar of dukkah

2Tbsp Sesame seeds

2Tbsp Chopped mixed nuts (I used a blend of hazel, almond, walnut & brazil nuts)

1Tbsp Cumin seeds

1Tbsp Coriander seeds

1Tsp black peppercorns

1Tsp Sea salt

1/2Tsp Ground cinnamon

1/2Tsp dried mint

Toast the sesame seeds, nuts, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in heavy pan until they’ve toasted lightly. Allow to cool, then tip into a coffee grinder with the peppercorns, salt, cinnamon and mint. Blitz until fine.

Jewelled dukkah crusted lamb shoulder

(I used) 0.75kg Rolled lamb shoulder (cooking times will vary depending on the size of your meat)

2Tbsp Olive oil

6Tbsp Dukkah

1 Pomegranate

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Rub the lamb with olive oil, then place in an ovenproof dish. Gently sprinkle the dukkah over the meat (you may have to fill in gaps here and there with your fingers), then roast for just under an hour until the lamb is blushing. To serve, scatter pomegranate seeds over the meat (a good squeeze of juice over the top is a good thing too).

Friday, 16 December 2011


Gluten-free stollen

Shot for BBC Good Food magazine, December '11 issue
Recipe: Hannah Miles
Prop styling: Tony Hutchinson
Food Styling: Cassie Best

Monday, 12 December 2011

Rabbit, mushroom and ramson bulb pate

The Ramsons are so abundant along this riverbank during the spring; digging up a small handful of bulbs in the winter months won’t upset the balance in the slightest. A summer spent swelling gently in the soil leaves them plump and juicy - that garlic flavour is distinct as ever. If you'd prefer your pate to be really gamey just use rabbit; I like to tone down the strong flavour a touch though, so go 50/50 with chicken livers.

200g Rabbit livers

200g Chicken livers

100g Chestnut mushrooms, roughly torn

100g butter

3 bacon rashers, chopped

4 Large ramson bulbs

Fresh thyme leaves

Bay leaves

A splash of sherry

Salt and pepper

Fry the bacon in an oiled pan until crispy, then add the mushrooms to soften. Stir in the livers, brown for a few minutes (try not to cook them all the way through) then add the thyme, bay, chopped garlic and butter. Season, get a splash of sherry on the scene and stir through until the butter has melted. Spoon into a food processor, give it a brief blitz (I don’t like it too smooth), then spoon into ramekins. Create a seal with some clarified butter and a couple of bay leaves.

Monday, 5 December 2011


There’s a surplus of membrillo in fridge. Slabs of the stuff; I could probably tile the utility room with this year’s batch alone. Perhaps I could use that spare jar of damson jam as grout? Anyway, i’m saving a good wedge for the Christmas cheeseboard, but a simple cocktail made from membrillo, clementine juice and fizz is a great seasonal twist on the classic Bellini.


2 sugar cube-sized chunks of membrillo

The juice of 1 clementine


Mash the membrillo and clementine juice together, then pour the syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top up with prosecco, then "Quaff" (as they say in Farnborough's sultry nightspots).