Friday, 28 August 2009

Vegetarian Hoi-sin Duck Tortilla

When I saw the tin of 'mock duck' in the shop I just had to buy it. It turns out that it is braised gluten with a textured outside to give the appearance of duck skin. As dubious as that sounds it does go well with hoi-sin sauce so ignore the strangeness of it and enjoy.


  • 1 tin of mock duck

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 4 tortilla

  • 4 tbsp hoi-sin sauce

  • 4 spring onions, washed and cut into thin strips



  1. Fry the mock duck with the oil over a medium heat until it starts to crisp on the edges.

  2. Spread the hoi-sin sauce over the surface of the tortillas.

  3. Add the spring onions on top of the sauce.

  4. Divide the mock duck up into quarters and place it on top of the hoi-sin sauce and spring onions.

  5. Roll up the tortilla and serve.

Serves 2.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Chocolate Semolina

Yet another semolina recipe, this time for a pudding semolina. Again this is nothing like the stuff you might have had in a school dinner, so don't get scared off.


  • 250g coarse semolina

  • 40g butter

  • 568ml (1 pint) milk

  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar

  • 150g milk chocolate chips


  1. Place the semolina and butter in a pan and heat over a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. Stir the semolina and butter frequently, making sure it gets cooked evenly.

  3. While this is cooking, mix the milk and brown sugar together in a jug.

  4. When the semolina is starting to brown, add the milk and stir vigerously until all the milk is absorbed.

  5. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.

  6. Serve while still hot and don't forget to add water to the pan, otherwise the bits of semolina left in there will set like concrete.

Serves 4.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Sausage, Cheese and Cabbage Pitta

This is a quick and easy one pan meal and is a great way to have cabbage. The cabbage caramelises wonderfully giving it a rich flavour.


  • 3 sausages, chopped into pieces (if they are frozen then heat them in the pan for a bit before trying to chop them up)

  • 1 stick of celery chopped

  • 3 or 4 large leaves of cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 50g Cheshire or Wensleydale cheese, crumbled

  • 3 pitta, toasted and cut into thin strips



  1. Fry the sausages, celery, cabbage and oil in a pan with salt and pepper to taste. Use a medium heat and stir frequently. This will probably take 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Don't worry about stirring the sausages all the time, just every couple of minutes to make sure everything gets cooked evenly.

  3. When everything is looking nice and browned and the cabbage is starting to caramelise, take the pan off the heat.

  4. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese.

  5. Serve immediately onto a plate with the pitta on the side.

Serves 1. Can easily scale up to more.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Lime Burritos

I have a great love for Tex-Mex food but for some reason had never made my own burrito until I made this one. I highly recommend giving it a try, they're very easy and exceptionally tasty.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp oil

  • 300g rice

  • 660ml water

  • 3 limes

  • 1 large bunch of coriander, finely chopped

  • 200g of red leicester, grated

  • 8 flour tortilla

  • guacamole to serve



  1. Fry the onion in the oil on a medium heat until it starts to soften.

  2. Add the rice and stir it well to coat the rice evenly with oil.

  3. Pour the water into the pan and then turn the heat to low and put a lid on the rice. Don't be tempted to peak and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. While the rice is cooking pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

  5. Once the rice is cooked, squeeze the juice of the limes into the rice and add some zest from one of the limes.

  6. Mix the coriander and lime juice into the rice.

  7. Take a tortilla and spoon some of rice mixture into the centre of it.

  8. Sprinkly 1/8th of the cheese over it and then fold the tortilla up.

  9. Place the tortilla in an oven proof dish and repeat for the remaining tortilla.

  10. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the tortilla start to crisp up.

  11. Serve with a large dollop of guacamole on the side of the plate.

Serves 3 to 4, depending on how hungry people are.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Fluffy Pancakes

It's not often I go to the extra effort needed by these pancakes (you need to whisk the egg whites to get them nice and fluffy), but when I do I remember why it's really worth the effort. These pancakes are great on a lazy Sunday morning.


  1. 120g plain flour

  2. 2 tsp baking powder

  3. 300ml milk

  4. 6 large eggs, separated

  5. a dash of salt

  6. 50g butter, melted

  7. 100g chocolate chips

  8. 150g blueberries (or other small fruit)



  • Mix the flour, baking powder and milk in a large mixing bowl. To make a batter without lumps it's easiest if you add half the milk, mix it well, and then add the other half.

  • Add in the egg yolks and a dash of salt and mix well.

  • In a separate and very clean bowl, whisk up the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

  • Carefully fold the egg whites into the milk and flour mix. To fold egg whites in you spoon some of the whisked whites in, and then using the 'sharp' edge of a metal spoon, cut it across the whites and fold some batter from below over the egg whites. Repeat this action several times and you should slowly be mixing the egg whites into the batter.

  • When all the egg whites are mixed in, heat up a heavy frying pan on a medium to high heat. Use a rolled up bit of kitchen towl dipped in the melted butter (or a brush or a teaspoon) to spread melted butter over the pan.

  • Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the hot pan (test with a little blob of batter first to check it's hot enough).

  • As soon as you're dropped the batter onto the pan, drop some of the chocolate or blueberries into the top of the batter before it is cooked.

  • After a few minutes run an knife under the edge of the pancakes and flip them over with a fish-slice.

  • Repeat until all the batter is used up.

  • While you are cooking the rest of the pancakes, keep the cooked ones wrapped up in a clean tea-towel to make sure they don't go cold.

Makes many pancakes. Easily enough for 6 to 8 people. You can half the recipe if you want less.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Apple Sauce

I've never found a simple recipe for apple sauce on it's own, so I decided to write this one up. It's really simple and goes well on it's own, with ice cream or on-top of other food, such as pancakes.


  1. 3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

  2. 3 tbsp caster sugar

  3. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  4. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  5. 3 tbsp water



  • Place all the ingredients in a saucepan which has a lid.

  • Put the lid on the pan and heat over a low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apple is soft, but not mush. You can stir halfway through if you think you might not have the heat on low enough.

  • You can cook it longer if you want it more like a puree or shorter if you want it crisper.

Makes about a cereal bowl's worth of sauce (250ml or so).

Friday, 7 August 2009

Peanut Butter and Marmite Semolina

This is another semolina recipe and once again it's very tasty. Don't be put off by the odd combination of peanut butter and marmite and don't be put off by your memories of terrible semolina from school.


  1. 15g butter or 2 tbsp olive oil

  2. 15g sunflower seeds

  3. 150g semolina

  4. 350ml boiling water

  5. 1 tbsp marmite or equivalent

  6. 1 tbsp peanut butter

  7. 1 more tbsp peanut butter, crunchy is best



  • Melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat.

  • Add the sunflower seeds and semolina.

  • Fry these together, stirring frequently, until the semolina starts to toast/change colour. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • While frying this dissolve one spoon of peanut butter and one spoon of marmite into the boiling water.

  • When the semolina is toasted pour in the water mixture and stir continuously until all the water is absorbed.

  • Put the semolina into a bowl and lightly stir in the other spoon of peanut butter.

  • Eat with a fork and freshly milled black pepper or chilli flakes over the top.

Serves 1.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Lemon Cheesecake

A simple lemon cheesecake. Nothing better than a straightforward cheesecake and lemon seems to be the traditional flavour.


  1. 250g chocolate backed biscuits (e.g. chocolate digestives), crushed

  2. 125g butter, melted

  3. 750g of cream cheese ('Philidelphia' or similar)

  4. 165g caster sugar

  5. 2 tbsp vanilla essence

  6. juice and grated rind of 4 lemons

  7. 4 eggs, separated out into 4 yolks and 2 egg whites (you don't need the other two whites)

  8. 180ml single cream



  • Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter until they are well mixed.

  • Press the biscuit/butter mix into the edges and bottom of a spring-form tin that's about 24cm across. Place in the fridge.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees.

  • Mix the cheese, sugar, vanilla essence, lemon rind and juice, egg yolks and cream together in a big bowl until they are a smooth mixture.

  • Separately whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

  • Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture (fold by cutting through the egg whites with the edge of a metal spoon and folding some cheese mixture over the egg whites repeatedly).

  • Pour the cheese mixture into the chilled tin with the biscuits in.

  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

  • When the hour is up, just turn off the oven and open the door slightly (I wedge the oven glove in the gap to stop it closing). This allows it to cool slowly so it doesn't crack.

  • After a couple of hours the cheesecake should be cool enough to put in the fridge.

  • After leaving in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) it's ready to remove from the tin, serve and eat.

Makes a good sized 24cm cheesecake.