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Blow-Waved Chicken

There’s method in the following madness. I’m rather keen on the Chinese method of cooking duck, drying out the skin as they do, to create a marvellous crunchy texture with real flavour. The following is something of the same with a chook.
There is something quite unnatural about blow-waving a chicken. The mere recollection of it [...]

Lamb Shanks, An Old Favourite, A New Way

No book of mine would be complete without a reference to lamb shanks. They’re not as cheap as they were, but they’re still far below so-called premium cuts.
Lamb shanks make for the most marvellous slow-cooked dish, no matter how you cook them. That doesn’t necessarily mean a stew. This is the muscly part of a [...]

Lamb With Anchovies

Beware bizarre dishes from iffy restaurants. Try, with open arms, unheard of dishes from great restaurants. Chances are that what you are eating is either a delicacy of the chefs great grandmother, or a dish that has been developed after hours of labour. Great restaurants never serve shonky dishes. One of their roles is to [...]

Clams In An Oriental Sauce

Most cookbooks suggest that clams need to be cooked until they open, like mussels. Trouble is, by then they’re all but inedible. Just be sure you’re getting clams from a good supplier. The cooking-to-open business is about making sure you’re not eating dead clams. If your supplier is hot, you’ll have nothing to fear by [...]

A Prawn In The Pan, And Two On The Toast

Okay, I prefer scampi to prawns, but Paul Hogan’s mob has its place in any kitchen, As Hogan said: don’t get fancy with prawns. Cook them quickly, eat them quickly.
Prawns should be kept as simple as possible. No need to deluge them with cream or rich stock-based sauces. Like most of the brilliantly flavoured, shelled [...]

Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream

Another treat for chocolate lovers. It’s easy to make and it’s one ice cream that doesn’t need a professional machine to make it creamy and smooth. The chocolate does that easily.
Stuck in the middle of my copy of Gaston LenĂ´tre’s inspiring and beautifully detailed LenĂ´tre’s Ice Creams and Pastries, is a sheet of yellow copy [...]

Chocolate And Pecan Tart

The most time-consuming part of this dish is making the pastry. But if you’re an organised soul, this can be rather soothing. If you’re not, making pastry and cakes is the only time you should be.
This is the classic dish of the post food-processor era. It’s quite possible to do everything involved with this tart [...]

Don’t Laugh! Pumpkin And Quince Soup

Unlikely partners, the pumpkin and the quince, despite sharing rather strange names and unlikely shapes. But they stand firmly behind my old rule of cooking: if they grow together, they go together.
The pumpkin is a marvellous vegetable to grow, if you’ve got a football ground as your backyard. Those vines spread and spread, covering all [...]

The Usual Suspects – Tomatoes, Olives And Mushrooms

Think of flavours you like when you’ve had a few beers. Toss them together with a bit of vinegar and a lot of olive oil. Chances are you’re on a winner.
Salads are marvellous because they are quick, they are made with the freshest of ingredients and, more often than not, they have come from a [...]

Warm Spinach Salad

a little olive oil
250 g snow peas
250 g spinach, washed and dried
a little soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon
black pepper
small bunch of chives, chopped finely
a few sage leaves, chopped roughly

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan or wok. Add the snow peas and stir until hot, but miles away from wilted. I like to have [...]