Chef ?

Did a chowder night at my local pub last night ... great fun.

Stage at Le Manoir tomorrow ... am quite nervous ... update to follow !

ANZAC Day and ANZAC Biscuits

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand.

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a Federal Commonwealth for only thirteen years. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, under a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. What had been planned as a bold strike to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stale-mate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand soldiers died. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

Though the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives of capturing Istanbul and knocking Turkey out of the war, the Australian and New Zealand troops' actions during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an "Anzac legend" became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This shaped the ways their citizens viewed both their past and their future.

The above is quoted from Wikipedia to read more please follow the link.

I'm not going to try and reinvent this recipe so the one posted is straight from NZ Women's Weekly as the ANZAC biscuit is protected in law from being used for profit I believe and must remain close to the original recipe. They are a great alternative to a flapjack and perfect dunking in a cup of tea !

Makes 30, depending on size

1 cup flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups rolled oats
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp boiling water

Heat oven to 180C (160C fan bake). Line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Place flour, caster sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre.
Place butter and golden syrup in a saucepan to melt, or microwave in a bowl to melt. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water. Add melted ingredients and dissolved baking soda to dry ingredients and mix to combine.
Roll spoonfuls into balls and press onto prepared baking trays, allowing space for biscuits to spread while cooking.
Bake for 15 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy!
Stored in an airtight container, Anzac biscuits will last well for up to a week.

Crowdie Raspberry Cheesecake

I was privileged to spend an hour or so at Connage Dairy this week having a tour of their cheese factory, a really impressive operation and some superb cheese. I left with a small bag of samples which I'm enjoying. Their Clava cheese is a brie style cheese second to none I have tried in the UK and their lovely creamy Crowdie is a great full fat cheese, perfect for a cheese cake, and needs no cream to be added.

Here's my Crowdie cheesecake (shamelessly made from fridge leftovers) ... I'd probably use a little less base and more cheese next time but I only had half a pot of cheese left after eating the rest with some smoked salmon last night !

10 raspberries
Raspberry liquor
1/2 sheet gelatine
1/2 small Crowdie
72% Chocolate
Clarified butter

Blitz cornflakes till crumbly. Heat equal quantities of chocolate and clarified butter together and blend, mix with cornflakes to a just dry mix. Press mix into base of a cooking ring.
Mix Crowdie with raspberry liquor till smooth and a nice cheesy sweet mix, add on top of crumble base.
Place half raspberries on top of cheese, heat the other half with a little liquor then add gelatine. Sieve then pour clear jelly on top of cake.
Remove ring carefully and fridge for 30min before serving
Delicious !


Noma ... what an amazing restaurant and chef ! ... an inspiration for me and now ranked 3rd in the world and the chef's choice number one in the world - congratulations Rene and team !

Noma Restaurant website
The 50 best restaurants in the world


{edit posting pics recipe to follow}

Made some yummy Biscotti this morning ... nice simple recipe and about 20 min to make plus 30 min baking time.

Exeter Food and Drink festival

I'm there all day Friday. There's a 'cook off' with James Nathan on Friday night which will be great fun.
I'll mostly be wandering around talking to suppliers ... and hopefully be able to make an announcement regarding restaurant plans too !

Simple sweet chilli dipping sauce

Classic dipping sauce for Thai fish cakes, I often use this with a squeeze of lime to cook squid ... one of my favourite quick dishes. Once you've made this you won't ever go back to bottled sauce ... only takes a few minutes and lasts well in the fridge.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (can be white wine)
  • 1 red birds eye chilli
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove

Simmer vinegar and sugar gently to reduce to a syrup
Add chilli, finely sliced on an angle to look pretty ... leave the seeds in. One is plenty hot enough.
Add the garlic
Leave on low heat for a few minutes to infuse

That's it ... very simple. You can try adding fish sauce or using some palm sugar but I find it better to leave it simple and add the other ingredients to the dish rather than the sauce.

Great for cooking with, squid, vegetables ... but to save you an experiment ... don't try it with crab meat ... it doesn't work ! The two different sweet flavours clash horribly ... mine went in the bin.