Pad Thai

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Serves 2 (Generously)

130g Wide Rice Noodles (about half a packet)

2 Limes (plus an extra one for garnish, to squeeze on top at the end)

2 Tsp light Muscovado sugar (or any brown sugar – don’t worry too much)

2 Tbsp of Fish Sauce (known as Nam Pla)

180g Raw King Prawns

1 Garlic Clove (finely chopped)

1-2 Chillies (cut in half, discard the seeds and finely slice  – I use one red and one green for colour, but it’s completely up to you. Chillies from the supermarket can often have no spice at all so use however much you like but be careful)

4-5 Spring Onions (finely chopped – discard the tough green bit at the top)

1 Egg (beaten with a fork)

A Few Handfuls of Beansprouts

2 Handfuls Of Unsalted Peanuts

1 Tablespoon of Honey of Maple Syrup

Pinch of Salt

Vegetable Oil

A Handful of Coriander and Mint (chopped)

Preheat the over to 180c.

Prepare all of the ingredients above. The cooking time is very quick so make sure everything is ready and organised.

Cook the rice noodles following the instructions on the packet. Usually you pour boiling water over them, leave to stand for 3 minutes and then drain. Run cold water over them until they are cold and then stir a tablespoon of oil through them so they don’t all stick together. Leave to one side.

Put the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar into a bowl and stir together. Leave to one side.

Put the peanuts on a baking tray and put in the oven to roast. Nuts burn very easily so be careful, you just want them slightly toasted (3-5 mins). You can do this in a frying pan too. Once slightly cooled but into a blender with the honey / maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times so that they are chopped up. Leave to one side.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a wok (or a large frying pan). Keep the pan on a medium/ high heat. Fry the prawns for one or two minutes on each side, depending on the size. Add the chilies and garlic. Fry for one minute.

Add the spring onions and noodles stirring until warmed through. Add the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce mixture, stir. Add the beaten egg and stir until you can’t see any raw egg.

Add the beansprouts, half the nuts and half the chopped herbs, give it one final stir and then serve immediately once hot. Garnish with the left over nuts and herbs and a wedge of lime.

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Beef Burgers with Caramelised Bacon and Aioli

Makes 4, Prep Time 20 mins, Cooking Time 20 mins


Burger Buns x 4 

Patty Ingredients 

500g Good Quality Minced Beef

2 Tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup

2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tsp Marmite

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Thyme

1 White Onion, finely diced

1 Clove of Garlic, crushed

Salt and Pepper

Dried Herbs of your choice – a sprinkle of dried rosemary and/or oregano 

Pinch of Chilli Flakes

8 Rashes of Smoked Streaky Bacon

1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar 

1 Tablespoon of Honey

Mixed Leaf Salad or Rocket

Sliced Strong Mature Cheddar, (or American sliced cheese if you prefer)

Sliced Tomato 

And then if you fancy …

Sliced Gherkins

Sliced Red Onion


etc … 

Cheats Aioli Mayonaise

1 Clove of Garlic, crushed

8 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise

Juice of Half a Lemon

1/4 Tsp Salt


Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Lay the bacon out on a wire rack on top of a baking tray. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and drizzle with honey. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy and caramelised. 

Heat a small pan, add a drop of oil. Add the chopped white onion and the garlic. Take off the heat when it has become translucent – 4-5 minutes. 

Put all of the patty ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Divide the mixture into four and shape into patties. Push your thumb down half way in the centre of each patty so that they don’t dome when they are fried. 

Heat a frying pan with a little bit of sunflower oil so that the patties don’t stick. Fry the patties on each side for 4-6 minutes. 

Mix all of the aioli ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. 

While the patties are frying, slice your buns in half and toast them in the toaster or in the oven. 

When the patties are almost cooked lay sliced cheddar on top of them in the pan so that the cheese melts. 

Build your burger – Butter your bun and slather with the aioli. Start at the bottom with salad, the patty, melted cheese, caramelised bacon, red onion, tomato etc …. keep on building. 




Pork, Chilli and Cabbage Momos


2 Cups of Flour

¾ Cup of Water

Pinch of Salt

Tablespoon of Oil


400g Pork Mince (if you can’t find ground pork open up six good quality sausages and use the meat from them).

Small Bunch of Coriander, roughly chopped.

1 Tablespoon of Ground Cumin.

3 Inch Piece of Ginger, finely chopped.

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped.

1 Medium Chilli, finely chopped.

100g Cabbage, finely chopped.

1 Carrot, grated.

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce.

1 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander.

Mix all of the dough ingredients together in a bowl. Bring the dough together and knead on a flat surface for 8-10 minutes until smooth. Put the dough back in the bowl and put a damp cloth on top of it so that is doesn’t dry out.

Put all of the ingredients for the filling into a bowl and mix together with your hands so that they are all really well combined.


Flour the table surface and take a small piece of the dough. Using a floured rolling pin, role the piece of dough into a circle, about 6-8cm in diameter. Make sure it is very thin. Momos with thick dough are disgusting. They will expand when cooked. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and put it in the centre of the dough.

Either fold the dough into a semi circle and pinch the sides around (a bit like a Cornish pasty) or pull all of the outside edges into the centre and squeeze in the middle. If you are having trouble making the dough stick, use a dab of water.

You can use a steamer to cook your momos or if you don’t have one, a saucepan of boiling water with a colander and a lid on top will do the trick. Make sure to grease the colander or steamer, before placing the momos on to steam, otherwise they will stick.

Steam for 12-15 minutes. Make sure the pork mince is cooked completely through (all white and no pink). Serve immediately with either soy sauce or sweet chilli!




Medieval Tonic 

1 Large Bulb of Garlic Finely Chopped (A natural antibiotic)

1 Small Onion Finely Chopped (Powerful duo with close relative, garlic)

2 Tablespoons of Turmeric (I’m obsessed with it – it’s marvellous!)

5 inch Piece of Ginger Grated (Has an anti-inflammatory effect)

2 Tablespoons of Horseradish (For sinuses and lungs)

2 Fresh Hot Red Chillies (Have antibiotic properties and stimulate circulation)

700ml Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (It’s high in potassium so good for hair, teeth, colds and bones. It’s high in pectin, which decreases cholesterol, and malic acid that cures joint pain. Hippocrates, the father of medicine used only two natural remedies, apple cider vinegar and honey – and he knew what he was doing! Furthermore it promotes natural weight loss – FAB)

Put all of the ingredients in a mason jar. Close the jar and shake well. Keep it in a cool dry place for 2 weeks. Shake the jar several times a day.

tonic 1

After two weeks strain through muslin, squeezing well.

tonic 2

Dose –

Quite worryingly, it says ‘it is valuable advice to eat some orange, lemon or lime after you consume the tonic in order to reduce the burning sensation and heat’!

A tablespoon has to be gargled and swallowed once a day just to boost your immune system and fight colds. If you are already ill then it recommends taking 5 tablespoons a day.

Apparently you can also add it to olive oil to make salad dressing! How convenient.

tonic 3


Mussel Fry

mussels 6

This serves 3-4. Serve with rice.

1 Kilo of Mussels

2 tsp Garlic Paste (about 2 cloves)

2 Tsp Turmeric Powder

Pinch of Salt

2 tsp Chilli Powder (depending on strength)

1 tsp Vinegar

Few tablespoons of Coconut Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

Handful of Curry Leaves

2 Small White Onions Sliced

2 Large Tomatoes Chopped

2 Green Chillies Split Lengthways

2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Ginger

1 Heaped tsp of Ground Coriander

1 Heaped tsp of Garam Masala

Put the mussels in a pot and pour over a kettle of boiling water so that the shells open. Drain the water and remove the flesh from each shell. Throw away any that don’t open. Make sure you remove the beard off each mussel.

Mix together the garlic, turmeric, salt, chilli powder and vinegar and marinate the mussels in this paste for 15-30 minutes.

Fry the mussels on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes in a tablespoon of coconut oil.

In a separate pan (i used a wok) heat 3-4 tbsp of coconut oil. When it’s hot add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. After a few minutes add the onions and ginger and fry until the onion is translucent and starting to soften. Add the tomatoes and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes.

Add the cooked mussels (including any of the marinade) into the onion pan. Stir together on a medium-high heat. Add the ground coriander and garam masala. Add half a cup of water and then simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add some salt if necessary.  For a dry fry, cook until the liquid has evaporated. Finish with a sprinkling of curry leaves.

mussels 5


Cured Goan Sausage

by Crescentia and Chris Fernandes who own Bernardo’s Goan Restaurant in Gurgaon, Delhi.

Goan Sausage


1kg Pork Meat (shoulder)

90g Sea Salt

30 Dried Red Chillies

5g Cumin

6 1inch Pieces of Cinnamon

30 Peppercorns

25 Cloves

8g Turmeric

30g Ginger/ Garlic Paste

90ml Goan Vinegar

5g Salt Petre (Sodium Nitrate)

3 Metres of Sausage Casing

The pork used must be fatty, Wash well and drain the pieces of pork.

Add two handfuls of sea salt. Mix it well in a plastic or wooden colander (not metal). Put a plate to cover the meat and put a weight on top so that all the liquid drains out below.

In a blender make the masala. Put chillies, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, turmeric (which helps to preserve it), and ginger garlic paste into the blender. Add the vinegar to make a smooth spice paste.

Add salt petre to the pork and mix well.

Pour over the spice paste and mix well.

Marinate overnight or for a couple of days in the fridge. (You can use the meat just like this stored in a jar or smoke the meat for a better flavour)

Fill the sausage casings with the pork mix using a funnel and a cutlery knife to push the meat down. Tie the casings at the end.

Two days later – smoke the sausages. Light a pile of damp leaves and grass on fire outside. Hang the sausages above so that they are consumed by the smoke coming from the leaves. You can cover the sausages so that they are properly smoked.

Sun dry the sausages on a washing line in the hot Indian sun for a day.

They are now ready to be cooked.

Fry without oil, the sausage will release its own red delicious oil that will flavour ingredients added to the pan or soak into large chunks of white bread.

From ‘Italian Food’ by Elizabeth David

This is in the true name of the Bolognese sauce which, in one form or another, has travelled round the world. In Bologna it is served mainly with lasagne verdi, but it can go with many other kinds of pasta.

The ingredients to make enough sauce for four generous helpings.

225g lean minced beef

115g chicken livers

85g uncooked ham (both fat and lean)

1 carrot

1 onion

1 small piece of celery

3 tablespoonfuls of concentrated tomato purée

1 wineglassful of white wine

2 wineglassfuls of stock or water,

Butter, Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg

Cut the bacon or ham into very small pieces and brown them gently in a small saucepan in about ½oz [15g] of butter. Add the onion, the carrot, and the celery, all finely chopped. When they have browned, put in the raw minced beef, and then turn it over and over so that it all browns evenly. Now add the chopped chicken livers, and after 2 or 3 minutes the tomato purée, and then the white wine. Season with salt (having regard to the saltiness of the ham or bacon), pepper, and a scraping of nutmeg, and add the meat stock or water. Cover the pan and simmer the sauce very gently for 30-40 minutes. (However i actually then removed the lid and simmered for an hour at least to reduce the sauce). Some Bolognese cooks add at the last 1 cupful of cream or milk to the sauce, which makes it smoother.


When the ragu is to be served with spaghetti or tagliatelle, mix it with the hot pasta in a heated dish so that the pasta is thoroughly impregnated with the sauce, and add a good piece of butter before serving. Hand the grated cheese separately.


Herb Quiche (with CHEESE) with Thyme and Parmesan Short Crust Pastry

Pastry –

245g plain flour, pinch of salt, 115g chilled butter, 25g finely grated parmesan, 2 tablespoons chopped thyme, 2 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of cold water mixed together.

Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of the magi mix, add the parmesan and thyme. Cut the chilled butter into cubes. Add the butter to the four. Pulse the magi mix until the butter and flour resembles breadcrumbs.

Add a tablespoon of the liquid mix to the breadcrumb mixture and start the magi mix. Slowly add a few tablespoons of the liquid mix at at time until the dough comes together as a whole.

Tip the pastry on to cling film, wrap and put in the fridge for half an hour.

Roll out your pastry and line a 24cm flan ring.

Chill the lined pastry case in the fridge until very firm.

Heat the oven to 200c and blind bake the pastry with a cartouche and baking beans for 20 minutes. Then remove the cartouche and baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 150c.

Filling –

2 small leeks finely sliced, 2 tablespoons each of finely chopped marjoram and parsley, 30g butter, 100g finely grated gruyere cheese, 3 eggs, 350ml double cream.

Melt the butter in a small pan. Wash the leeks then cook in the melted butter with a wet cartouche until soft.

Drain the leeks. Mix the eggs and cream together well with a fork and then sieve. Add the leeks, herbs and cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into your blind baked pastry case.

Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 45 minutes. It is done when there is still a small wobble in the centre but no liquid remains.

Garnish with red amaranth, chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Parmesan and Thyme Shortcrust Pastry

Herb Quiche with Red Amaranth

Pears Poached In Mead –

Firstly, peel the pears (one per person), leaving the stalks on.

Then put them in a large cooking pot, lay each one flat on one side and pour in your prize bottle of mead. You want the liquid to come half way up the pears. If it needs topping up do so with water. Add a few bay leaves and a few tablespoons of honey and simmer on a low heat. You can also add a stick of cinnamon and a couple of star anise if you want to spice it up a bit. After 30/45 mins feel the side of the pear that has been submerged in the mead. It is soft to the touch turn the pears over and cook them on the other side for the same amount of time. Once the pears are soft through remove them onto a dish and keep warm. Return the liquid to the heat and reduce until syrupy.


To serve – Put one pear in a bowl with a few tablespoons of the mead syrup. I served it with some vanilla ice cream and an edible flower (after all there wouldn’t be any mead if it wasn’t for the pollen from the flower!)

Poached Pears in Mead

Poached Pears in Mead

I have acquired a wonderful cookery book from 1887

It is called ‘PRACTICAL DINNERS – With Plain Directions For Their Preparation’


It is by someone called ‘The G. C.’ (author of the round table) – This is all it says and i cant find out who this is after all of my google searches. The recipes in the cookery book appeared originally in the pages of ‘The Queen’ magazine. The whole book is organised into dinners for each month with a similar format each time. At the very least there is a recipe for a starter, one or two meat dishes, a fish dish, vegetable side, a carbohydrate side and two puddings. It is very interesting to see how vague the recipes are. For example in a recipe for Spring Soup it says ‘cut some carrots and some new turnips in the shape of peas, put them in separate saucepans with enough stock to cover them and a pinch of sugar; keep them on the fire till the stock has all boiled away, but mind they do not catch or burn. Cook some peas and some asparagus points in the same way. There should be equal quantities of each vegetable. Cut out the lettuces and sorrel leaves pieces the size of sixpence let them have one boil in some stock. Put all the vegetables so prepared in the soup tureen add a few sprigs of chervil, pour over them some well flavoured consomme and serve.’

Clearly, in the 80’s you had to actually be a good cook to be able to pull something like this off as being able to prepare a well flavoured consomme with no direction isn’t easy. Therefore it is very different in comparison to cookery books today which tell you every last detail! I guess the clue for the format of this recipe book is in the title.

A recipe from June 1887 from ‘Practical Dinners’

Veal Cutlets with Macaroni

‘Dip the veal cutlets in liquefied butter then roll them in equal parts of parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, and pepper and salt to taste. When the bread crumbing is quite set, dip the cutlets in egg, and again cover them in parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Let them stand for a couple of hours, then fry them a light colour in butter. Boil a small quantity of macaroni in the usual way, dress it with some butter and plenty of tomato sauce into which the yolk of an egg has been stirred and sprinkle it freely with parmesan cheese. Lay the macaroni on the middle of the dish, the cutlets round and serve’.

I reckon that if 10 people were given this recipe they would have 10 completely different tasting dishes by the end. For instance everyones tomato sauce would be unique. Its quite an odd dish. What’s even stranger to observe is that the whole meal recommended is as follows;

Carrot Soup, Soles with White Sauce, Veal Cutlets with Macaroni, Roast Quails, Green Peas, Cheese Biscuits, Watercress Butter, Breadcrumb Pudding and Cream Tartlets.

I believe these breadcrumbed veal cutlets served with macaroni is the British take on the Italian dish Veal Milanese which is a flattened breadcrumbed veal fillet served with tomato spaghetti.


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