Yep that was me in the middle ... looking nervous. No comments till I'm out of the program but I loved the whole experience and felt very lucky to get through !

Lemon Chicken

Italian inspired ... lemon and chicken go together fantastically, or you could use oranges as an alternative if you can't get really ripe lemons. It's sweet, hot, garlicky comfort food - a lighter alternative to a traditional Sunday roast. It needs to be served with something equally strongly flavoured, otherwise they'll get lost against the intense flavours of the chicken, so garlicky roasted potatoes are ideal.

(Makes 4 portions)

  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 3 really ripe lemons
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1-2 small red chillies
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 stick of celery
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Chop the chicken into pieces (to suit)
In a large sealable plastic bag, place zest and juice from 2 lemons, the honey, salt, Tabasco and 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
Place chicken pieces in the bag. Remove all the air and seal. Squidge it about to ensure the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate
Into the Roasting dish, place the chicken and the marinade from the plastic bag (spreading the chicken pieces evenly). Then, slice the 3rd lemon and the chillies, finely chop the celery (saving the celery leaves to decorate the final dish) and scatter these in the Roasting dish, along with the remaining whole garlic cloves
Season, then put in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 200C

Serve with garlic potatoes and a salad

Fish sausages

These taste ok so far ... brainwave with a good mate who's my butcher and has a little fishmongers alongside ... would a fish sausage taste good ?

Made a strong stock and mixed with some rusk to hold it all together.

Added chopped white fish and squid then pulled it all together.

Tasted good ... but not great ... so we're going for version 2

Drop the rusk and add some flavour ... wild garlic pesto tasted pretty good ... will update when we've done the next batch !


Forgot how easy these are but made a batch this morning with the kids as a treat breakfast.

Self raising Flour

Rub butter in till crumbly with your fingers, then add some more to make them extra buttery !

Add pinch of salt
Add little sugar if making sweet scones

Mix then add flavour, cheese, sultanas, dates ... whatever you fancy ... remember plain are pretty good on their own too.

Add milk and mix by hand till just binding together ... not a wet dough ... add a bit more flour if you've added too much milk.

You've probably noticed I haven't added any measurements ... I never measure ... as long as you get the butter and flour to a nice crumbly mix where it will bind if squeezed hard then its done ... at a guess I would say about 150g Flour to 50g Butter and 50ml milk to make a really buttery scone. Don't over work them or they won't rise ... worked flour stretches the gluten and you get hard scones (or cakes when making cakes) ... work it as little as possible to get yummy, crumbly, buttery scones ... there's not much better !

Scallops and seaweed

I've been working on this for a while ... Arame seaweed (about £3 at an asian supermarket for a 30g bag of dried seaweed which will make approx 10 portions) tastes amazing with miso and a strong beef stock but I've struggled to get a balance to match the strong umame flavour of the seaweed. I matched it with some scallops, ginger, garlic and chilli.
Three pans to cook, one for the seaweed, one with some sliced garlic, ginger and red chilli cooked in butter and finally cook the scallops in butter and oil. Bring the dish together using a large ring like so:
Then add the seaweed and remove the ring ... the garlic and seaweed juices mix together for an amazing flavour and the scallops lift the whole plate with their sweetness ...

Now back to the Texturas ... made some lemon drops and added them to vodka ... amazing but none lasted long enough to photograph !

Caviar ... sort of

How stunning do these look ! Little dots of mock caviar on a plate. Made with the Texturas, I used a fish base made with Miso and Seaweed stock ... they taste amazing as they have a thin skin that bursts in your mouth to create an amazing taste sensation. Still needs much more practice to perfect but I am so pleased with my first attempt !


This will be great or a disaster ! ... I've just 'invested' in some of Albert Adria's (who with his brother the more famous Ferran Adria run El Bulli ) potions from Texturas ... I'll keep this entry updated as I play with the various ingredients ...

I bought two main things, one is a kit for making spheres:
Spherification is a spectacular cooking technique we introduced at elBulli in 2003 which enables us to prepare recipes that no-one had even imagined before. It consists of the controlled gelification of a liquid which, submerged in a bath, forms spheres. These techniques can obtain spheres of different sizes: caviar, eggs, gnocchi, ravioli... In both techniques, the spheres produced can be manipulated, since they are slightly flexible. We can introduce solid elements into the spheres, which will remain in suspension in the liquid, which obtains two or more flavours in a single preparation.

The other is a 'spaghetti' making kit that uses Agar for hot jellified flavours:
Extracted from a type of red algae (of the Gelidium and Gracilaria genera), AGAR is a gelling agent used in Japan since the 15th century. In 1859, it was introduced to Europe as a characteristically Chinese food, and at the start of the 20th century it began to be used in the food industry. It is a source of fiber and can form gels in very small proportions. It can be used to make hot gelatins.

Photos and more to follow ...................................... the kits have arrived !

Simple Ice Cream, no mixing

Closing down another blog and decided to save this post ... easy ice cream without a machine. It is a bit heavy and rich but small amount is nice with a fruit coulis

Ice cream is so easy if you follow this simple rule ... double cream only ! That way it sets perfectly, no mixing or machines required, yes its really rich but tastes so good ... adding milk is just watering it down and creates ice crystals so just have less !

  • 300ml of double cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar

heat to simmer, mix, add flavour then freeze (I put it in ramekins) it really is that simple.

Flavour with one vanilla pod

or 10 drops of lavender essence (this is really good ... try with some hokey pokey)

or a fruit coulis (stir it in as the custard starts to set), jam works well too :-)

an espresso

chocolate of course !

For something special freeze a ramekin, cool the custard (I put it in a bag and run under the cold tap till its chilled, pour the custard into the ramekin and leave for 30min in the freezer, the sides and bottom will have frozen. You can then pour out the centre, add a treat (jam works great here for the kids) and put custard back over the top for final freezing ... leaving a hidden treat in the middle.