Fregola Sarda, with a Salsa Verde Dressing

Fregola Sarda is a form of pasta from Sardinia, similar to Israeli couscous, or giant couscous, but toasted in an oven which gives it an additional dimension. If you can’t find fregola sarda, you could substitute giant couscous.

Tangilicious Tamarillo Tart Tatin

I'm crazy about tamarillos, but since I've tried them cooked, I'm coming up with all manner of ways of using them... Their high glutamate content particularly suits the roasting or caramelisation process, which makes me think of tart tatins. I'm not crazy about the apple version, which can be very sweet, but I have made plum and tomato versions quite often. Tamarillos seem like the perfect variation, especially as their tartness lends itself to the process.

Doughnuts, made the Justin Gellatly way...

Amazingly, I've only made doughnuts twice before and both times the results were very disappointing, and certainly not worth repeating.  I knew I'd followed the instructions properly, so something else was going wrong.  Hmmn. Maybe doughnuts weren't for me. 

Tamarillo's - a tangy mouth teaser...

I've been madly in love with tamarillo's since I first tasted them, about 14 years ago, in a fruit box at Ubon.  That was it - from that moment on I was hooked...  Ubon served them raw, with the skin cut virtually to the end, so that you slipped them off and into your mouth.  Delicious!  

As you might suspect, they're a member of the tomato family, complete with seeds hidden in their silky depths.  The skin is typically considered inedible because it's so bitter, and they have an incredibly sweet, but predominantly sour taste - probably quite unpalatable for most people, but there's something else in there that's a little more undefined...  It's the marmite of fruit...

Burrata, Tamarillo and Fennel Pollen...

I have a whole post on the delights of tamarillo's, so I shan't bore you again, except to say that they must be in your top 100 foods to try before you die... Trust me - they're stunning...  This particular dish makes the most of the tamarillo's ridiculously high umami levels, and pairs it with silky smooth, creamy burrata.

Pain Perdu, Pineapple and Coconut

We haven't been to Marcus Wareing's eponymous restaurant since it was re-branded.  It's a little art-deco jewel-box of a restaurant, but the atmosphere seemed just as hushed at lunchtime as before... Still.  The food was good, and I was particularly enamoured with this dish - a little chef's joke...  The pineapple tastes of coconut, which initially confuses the senses, especially as you try to work out how... I pressed the waitress, it's clearly compressed, because of the texture, but what with? And then of course it struck me - Malibu - the scent led me by my nose to my teenage years.  Malibu.  When was the last time you tasted Malibu?  Well, rest assured, in this dish it's absolutely delicious, as long as you like coconut and pineapple.

Coconut Milk Creme Patisserie [Thermomix]

I use the standard Creme Patisserie recipe on the blog a lot, but in a recent recipe (which contained a coconut curd), I thought I might make a coconut milk variation - after all the fat content of coconut milk is quite high, and the consistency can be similar to milk.  I altered the recipe slightly, but that was because I included 30ml of Malibu, and an increased quantity of flour - I wanted to be able to pipe the creme pat into quite stiff peaks on the plate, for a specific dessert.

Coconut Cream Ice-Cream, with Lime Zest [Thermomix]

There are lots of recipes for coconut milk ice-cream, especially with the rise of the "raw" diner (where a dish is not cooked in any way), and the number of vegans (who can't eat any dairy).  My own persuasion of 'pescetarianism' is supposed to mean that I don't eat dairy (because of my osteo-arthritis), but the reality is that I will have the odd cappuccino, the odd ice-cream, and the occasional bit of chocolate.  Luckily I've was put-off cream for life whilst working for six months in a bakery on Saturdays - there's nothing like free cream slices for your break to put-you-off forever!

The Meringue Girls Meringue Kisses...

I love the Meringue Girls on many, many levels - they're cute, and they're cute! They've taken something basic and created a niche market - good for them... In addition, their cookbook has brilliant little video clips which can be accessed via the cookbook by scanning a special code on your iPhone. They're fun, informative, simple, and definitely give you a sense of their personalities: that's often difficult to achieve in a cookbook.

Baked Mercenaria Mercenaria... Aka baked Clams, or Quahogs

I have a fabulous supplier, close to me, of all manner of delicious goodies.  Oakleaf European actually make twice weekly visits to Rungis, in Paris, and return with fabulous things for restaurants all over the UK, and even fly somethings abroad for one or two special restaurants.  Depending on the season their warehouse smells of truffles, the sweetest figs, planters of aromatic mint, basil, and bunches of chervil.

Malaysian Prawn and Pineapple Curry

Hubby makes a LOT of curries - curries and tagines. He's often constrained by my need to eat fish or shellfish, but luckily there are any number of dishes from Asia and the Indian subcontinent which suit my requirements perfectly.  His favourite cookbooks are those by Atul Kochhar, Rick Stein and more recently my chum Dhruv Baker, and he also attended one of Atul's courses, and prepared a meal for the lunch service.  Hubby gained a number of useful insights into preparing curry, chief of which appears to be proper cooking of onions.  This recipe is actually a Malaysian curry, known as Udang Masak, and is based on one taught to Atul by Maria Mustafa...

Orange and Cranberry Scones

The 9 year old's on-going quest for the perfect bake has turned to scones.  So far we've made conventional scones, cheese, raisin, and this variation from a recipe by Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa).  Ina's version includes cream and is made in the kitchen aid - I've included it because the ingredients and technique varied a great deal from the English versions I saw.

Blackened Fish (or Chicken)

Since I have eschewed meat, I've been eating predominantly fish.  Hardly a hardship I hear you cry, especially when the fish I buy is usually some gorgeous (ethically sourced) bit of wild fish, such as sea trout, or halibut.  But still, fish several times a week can become a little bit uninspiring.  In Antigua I spotted a blackened flying fish burger, with a brioche bun, and a spiced remoulade - I think I must have eaten it three or four times in the remaining days before I had to fly home.

Oeufs en Cocotte, Alba Truffle, and King Oyster Mushrooms

Some supper dishes are so simple that they should be saved until you have some really special ingredients - oeufs en cocotte (baked eggs) are the perfect example.  A quick tour of the fridge reveals lovely Legbar eggs, the remains of an alba truffle from Christmas, and king oyster mushrooms.  Baked together like this it's not a supper dish but a feast...

Chicken Casserole with Fennel, Lemon, Garlic and Mushrooms

I've no idea where this idea came from, as I'd originally intended to make a chicken chasseur.   When I opened the fridge though, I had an excellent head of fennel, amazing lemons, some beautiful pink garlic and some of my new favourite king oyster mushrooms. It reminded me of one of my absolute favourite summer lunches - finely sliced fennel, served with a garlic and lemon dressing, and seared chicken breasts which have been marinated in garlic and lemon juice.  I think it just seemed logical to give it a go...

Sous Vide Fillet of Beef

The sous-vide dish which I prepare most often is actually fillet of beef for a Sunday lunch... Most of my children are addicted to rare beef, but heaven forbid you get it anywhere beyond that and they'll turn into the biggest critics on the planet.  Given that I'm cooking for six, and that they usually also demand chicken too, or salmon, it's actually very easy to end up going over by five minutes!  Consequently one of the first things I learnt to do with my water bath was rare beef...

Gordon Ramsay's Baked Spice Porridge

My predictable January health kick survives* - we've reached the 5th - and although it's a Sunday morning, I've managed to stall breakfast long enough to make baked porridge.  I'd caught this recipe earlier in the week on Ramsay's show, and located the recipe online.  I have to say, it's so much nicer than perhaps it sounds!  Forget that oats are a good source of soluble fibre, help reduce cholesterol, and provide an invaluable source of manganese and non-meat protein - this thing tastes yummy too!

CakePops are Dead! Long live the MallowPop!

We've all made cake pops - good grief - what a bore!

For starters, who really wants a mouthful of dry cake, mixed with sickly sweet buttercream?  Then there's the fact that they take soooo long to make, fall off if you make them too big, or include too much buttercream... No, no.  The cakepop is dead.

Puy lentil salad, with roasted vegetables and king oyster mushrooms

It's inevitable, as predictable as the rising sun - come the first of January and we all feel the call of the detox. I've been craving lentils ever since I caught the Nigel Slater show over Christmas - his dish of warm lentil salad, horseradish and rare beef chimed somewhere with my overloaded palate... However I really wanted to make it meat-free, and to incorporate some roasted king oyster mushrooms. The mushrooms are meaty enough - they're perfect for roasting and absorb the flavour of anything they're dressed in.  I coated them in porcini oil, and salt and pepper and roasted them for around 30 minutes.

Christmas Stuffing

Food bloggers record their recipes for a variety of reasons - sometimes we've learnt something that we'd like to share with others, for example the correct range to maintain a gel for Meat Fruit - and on other occasions it really is just a gigantic aide-mémoire!  The more mundane recipes on my blog are in reality the ones I use the most - they make their way onto here so that no matter where I am, I can turn to them time and again...