Spicy sugar-free popcorn

Two things inspired this post – the health-kick that everyone, including myself, has been on since a particularly indulgent end of 2016 (it was a terrible year so it needed to go out in a fit of gluttony). The other reason is that I have this batch of sumac that I just can’t stop using. I’ve moved to a new floor of the office where the sugar-free diet seems to reign supreme (not over me, not ever). The canteen has low-fatRead more

Sumac & lemon chicken with a cucumber cooler

Firstly, my apologies. It’s been an age since my last post but the truth is, it was Christmas, I’m dieting and doing Dry January. A perfect culinary s***storm that left me bereft of time and motivation but I’m back. And I am hungry. I’ve pulled this together after my friend Ursula brought me back some sumac from Morrocco. It’s a spice which packs some heat and depth without the fire breathing longevity of chilli. It has a lemony quality thatRead more

Wild mushroom and black pepper chicken winter warmer

I date an Australian, I’m surrounded by Australians, I love Australians. Except in winter. The moaning about the wet, the wind, the cold and the dark never ends. To help the long winter nights fly a little faster, I throw good intentions out the window and embrace indulgence with reckless abandon. This dish helps me do all this in under an hour. The key to making this one-pot warmer a success is reducing the mushroom liquor till it’s thick andRead more

Resurrection: 1936 spiced pickled pears

I’ve just come back from visiting an old university friend in Stroud, Gloucestershire. While down there we did a tour of the charity shops and I discovered a 1936 edition of Cookery Illustrated & Household Management for the bargain price of £1.50. There are two things charming about this book. The first is that it has chapters with titles like ‘Entertaining without a Maid’ which, considering when it was published and the growing clouds of war looming, seems a uniquely BritishRead more

Baked Camembert & warm fruit topping for everyone

I’ve put on my brave face and started my hibernation in preparation for the longer colder nights; and there’s nothing better than baked cheese and berries to add that extra layer of comfort we all need to get through the long winter nights. This recipe is less about the cheese and more about the topping (insert your own gay innuendo here). The toppings in this recipe can be used with chicken, pork and room temperature cheese as well. What I’veRead more

Torrijas for Caleb via Milagros

I’d not cooked torrijas (luxury French toast, but from Spain) for nearly a quarter of a century but was reminded of them at a recent dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I was taught how to make them by Milagros, my little old lady neighbour from Calle Cervantes in Zaragoza, northern Spain – a kindly dueña who took a shine to her rowdy English student neighbours. Caleb is like my partner Jarod – his job is to bring out theRead more

Easy-yet-no-way-authentic saltimbocca

This recipe applies the adage I use for dogs but for humans- if you want people to love it, wrap it in bacon. This is a go-to staple of mine and while it’s inspired by saltimbocca it really isn’t one. I cook this a lot because Jarod and I eat a lot of fish… a lot; this is an equally healthy and easy alternative and cooks in the same amount of time. Traditional saltimbocca (all Romana) uses veal, parma ham, sageRead more