Grow Your Own Tea – Camellia Sinensis

What do you picture if someone asked you where tea grows? Is if the warm, humid hillsides of India where bushes are picked by women in brightly coloured Sari’s? Is it the misty hillsides of China where tea was probably first drunk. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Is it Cornwall or Scotland or in your…

Roasted Vegetable Chilli

I first started playing around with a recipie for vegetable chilli when I found a tin of jackfruit in our local supermarket. Jackfruit is all the rage at the moment as a meat substitute as it has a texture similar to pulled pork and a mild taste so cit an be used in vegan pulled…

Tapas Padron Peppers

We first tried padron peppers over twenty years ago in a small restaurant on a keyside in Mallorca.  I still remember my mothers excitement the first time she saw the peppers for sale in the UK nearly fifteen years later which goes to show just how much this very simple dish had stuck in our…

Asparagus with hollandaise

 “Most cookbooks assume that if the reader follows the recipe to the letter, they’ll get a dish right first time. This is so wrong. If you’re making hollandaise for the first time, you will, of course, screw it up” Or so said Anthony Bourdain who was Gordon Ramsey before Gordon Ramsey and much much worse. Making…

Gigantes Plaki

Brits reading this site will remember the famous slogan “Beans means Heinz” and for over a hundred years we’ve been sitting down to baked beans on toast for breakfast or lunch, so much so we seem to have almost forgotten that baked beans are an American introduction.

Nộm Bò Khô – Dried Beef Salad

We first had this sitting on kindergarten sized chairs in a small street cafe in Hanoi old quarter with wail of mopeds horns buzzing by echoing in our ears. The place was so tiny that the owned produced only a handful of dishes, completely fresh, zingy and alongside the street bustle a wonderful assault on the senses.

Massamam Curry of Squash

Thai food is one of the most fragrant and vibrant cuisines. However most of the pastes and sauces that you can buy from supermarkets fall far short of the mark. Making Thai food from scratch produces something that will make you jump up and down with sheer delight with it’s aromatic, vivid and punchy flavours….

Mujaddara

I’ve seen almost as many ways to spell this dish as recipes. Mujaddara is a middle eastern grain and lentil dish with fried onions. It is an ancient dish dating back to at least 1,226 although folk law says that this is the dish that Jacob used to buy Esau’s birth right in Genesis.

Bánh xèo

I first made these in Hoian in a local cookery school where we made modest little pancakes which you wrapped with salad in rice papers. Imagine my surprise when ordering the same in Saigon and a supersized crepe the size of a small baby arrived.

Orange and White Tea

I started writing this post sitting in a wooden homestead by the side of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam surrounded by coconut groves.

Wholegrain Pita

When you read the back of even “heathy” wholemeal bread the list of additives is shocking. Pita is great fun to involve the kids with, sticky kneading  and then watching the pita rise in to small balloons in the oven and they are also child’s play to make. These are great with Hummus Prep Time:…

Hummus

As the recent humus crisis has shown, the people of the UK who previously would have viewed a chickpea dip as foreign muck have wholeheartedly embraced the humble hummus and now find it hard to forgo their leguminous fix.

Chilli Squid

When ordering squid as a starter it almost is always covered in batter. Maybe it is because we sqeemishly turn away from the tentacles or because they assume that British people can’t eat anything other that battered or breaded fish.

Pesto

Homemade pesto has a lovely fresh zing to it that you don’t get with store bought and you can also control the oils that go in and add ingredients that you fancy.

Steamed Whole Fish with Ginger, Chilli and Spring Onions

This is a beautiful fresh, light and zingy recipe that looks great so I often serve it for lunch with friends or part of an evening banquet. I first cooked this after a memorable trip to a local food market in Hong Kong where the fish was so fresh we chose it still swimming in the tank.