Wednesday, 28 May 2008


450g/1lb Quality Standard Mark lean English lamb mince
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Apple and Cider Relish:
2 dessert apples, cored and finely chopped
225g/8oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
50g/2oz sugar
30ml/2tbsp balsamic vinegar
150ml/¼pint cider

In a large, shallow bowl mix all the burger ingredients together. Using slightly damp hands shape the mixture into 4 x 9cm (3½inch burgers). Cover and chill for 20 minutes.

Prepare the apple relish; place all the ingredients into a large non-stick pan and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve cold.

Cook the burgers on a prepared barbecue or preheated grill for 6-8 minutes on each side until cooked and any meat juices run clear.

Serve the burgers in rolls of your choice with salad leaves, onions and a spoonful of the relish.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus chilling time
Cooking time: 12-16 minutes (burgers), 20-25 minutes (chutney)


· 4 whole sea bass, cleaned
· 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
· 4 whole star anise
· 8 green cardamom pods
· 4 whole cloves
· 240ml/8 floz stock using Just Bouillon Vegetable Cubes

1. If not using a gas barbecue preheat the barbecue 15-20 minutes before cooking. Lightly rinse the fish and pat dry with kitchen paper. Make 3 shallow slashes across both sides of the fish.

2. Open the cavity and lightly sprinkle with a little Chinese 5 spice powder then add 1 whole star anise. Lightly crush the cardamom pods and place 2 pods with 1 whole garlic clove inn each cavity. Press the cavity flesh lightly together to close.

3. Cut out 4 squares of tin foil large enough to completely encase the fish. Place the fish onto each square and pull the edges up to surround the fish.

4. Carefully pour in 4-5 tablespoons of the stock then fold the tinfoil over completely encasing the fish. If liked place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

5. When ready to cook remove from the refrigerator and place on the hot barbecue and cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked. Place each fish on individual plates allowing each person to unwrap so they are greeted by the wonderful aroma as then start. Serve with plenty of bread and salad.

Cooks tip: Take care when unwrapping that the hot stock does not drip onto anyone. If liked the fish can be placed on a baking tray and cooked in an oven at 180°C/ fan oven 160°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus marinating time
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
Calories per portion: 173kcal
Fat content per portion: 1.05g

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


200g/7oz frozen soya beans (also called edamame beans)
200g/7oz frozen peas
500ml/18floz hot vegetable stock
6 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
1 small bunch basil leaves
1 handful (50g/2oz) rocket leaves
300ml/½pt Alpro soya Light alternative to milk

Put the frozen soya beans, frozen peas, vegetable stock and spring onions together in a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for five mins.

Add the basil and rocket leaves and Alpro soya Light. Blend half of the mixture until smooth, leave half of the soup chunky. Combine and warm through to serve.

Serves: 4

Tip: Make up this and freeze into individual portions so you've plenty of low cal, low cholesterol soup portions ready when you feel peckish.

Per serving:
Total calories 129 kcal
Total fat 5.5g
Saturated fat 0.7g
Polyunsaturated fat 2.6g
Monounsaturated fat 1.0g
Carbohydrates 8.3g
Sugar 3.2g
Total Protein 12g
(Soya protein 8.5g)


For the pastry;
· 150g/5oz Allinson Wholemeal Plain Flour
· 75g/3oz butter, chilled and diced
· 50g/2oz Billington's Unrefined Golden Icing Sugar
· 2 large egg yolks
For the filling;
· 150g/5oz Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
· 250g/9oz rhubarb
· 1 tbsp lemon juice
· 150ml/¼pt double cream
· 1 large egg plus 2 large yolks

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC Fan/Gas 6. For the pastry, put the flour and butter into a processor and whiz until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the Golden Icing Sugar and whiz again for a few seconds. Then add the egg yolks and pulse until the mixture just holds together, but doesn't quite form a ball.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.
3. Line a baking sheet with a teflon sheet or grease a non-stick baking sheet. Spread the rhubarb over this, sprinkle over 25g/1oz of Golden Caster Sugar and squeeze over the lemon juice. Roast the rhubarb for 10 mins until slightly softened but still holding its shape.
4. Grease and flour 6 individual tartlet tins. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tins. Press it well into the edges, trim off the excess and chill for 15 mins.
5. Line the pastry cases with greaseproof paper squares and baking beans. Bake the pastry cases for 10 mins. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 5 more mins until the pastry base is firm.
6. Mix together the cream, eggs and remaining Golden Caster Sugar in a jug. Divide the rhubarb between the pastry cases and arrange on a baking sheet. Carefully pour in the egg mixture. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/Fan 150ºC/Gas Mark 3. Bake the tarts for 15 mins or until the filling is just firm. Cool, chill and wrap to transport.
Makes: 6

Thursday, 15 May 2008


200g (7oz) potato, peeled and diced
100g fennel (1/2 a bulb) trimmed (keep the fronds) and finely diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½-1 teaspoon of wasabi paste (or hot horseradish)
1 small Jazz apple
Juice of half a lemon
A few dill fronds, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium sized cooked beetroot
2- 4 fresh mackerel fillets
A little clarified butter or oil for cooking
A few chives or a handful of rocket leaves

Add the potato dice to a pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the fennel dice and cook another 2-3 minutes until the potato is just soft. Drain and rinse through with cold water and drain well.

Mix the mayonnaise and wasabi paste in a large bowl and gently stir in the cooled potato and fennel mixture. Quarter the Jazz apple, remove the core and then dice the wedges, tossing them in the lemon juice.

Add the diced apple, along with the lemon juice, to taste, to the potato salad. Add the chopped fronds of fennel (or dill fronds) and season well.

Make a beetroot puree by chopping the beetroot, then pureeing it in a small blender. Add a little oil and seasoning.Arrange the potato salad on a plate inside a ring or square, if you like or spoon it on.

Heat a pan over a high heat, add a little clarified butter or vegetable oil and add the fish, skin side down first, cooking a couple of minutes, flip it over and cook a minute or two. Drain on kitchen paper.

Spoon or pipe the beetroot puree round the edge of the potato salad. Arrange the fish on top and garnish with chives or a few rocket leaves.

NOTE: Use wasabi paste from a tube, or make up the powder, adding a little more water than the pack suggests.
This Salad tastes great with smoked eel or smoked mackerel, or smoked salmon or trout as well.

Serves 2 for main course, 4 for a starter


British Sandwich Week 2008 - May 11th to 17th

If you want to impress your little ones why not try out one of these innovative sandwich recipes from Warburtons!

Sailing Sandwiches

· Any Warburtons Rolls
· Peanut butter, tuna mayonnaise or other ‘sticky’ ingredients
· 1 banana if using peanut butter or sweetcorn if using tuna
· Sliced cheddar cheese

1. Slice the Warburtons Sub Sandwich Roll in half, and use a ‘sticky’ ingredient, such as peanut butter or tuna mayonnaise to cover the ‘middle’ section of the boat.

2. Then use another ingredient, such as banana or sweetcorn, to create a ‘rim’ around the outside of the boat.

3. You could use three different ingredients in this way to create a more colourful effect. Finally, make a sail for the sailing ship by putting a cocktail stick through some sliced cheddar cheese and standing it in the middle of the boat.Tip: For party food, use crisps to give a ‘wave’ effect, and use leftover pieces of cheese to make shark fins.

Sandwich Express

· Any Warburtons Rolls
· Combination of ‘child-friendly’ ingredients, such as grated cheese, ham, tuna, sweetcorn and lettuce
· Cucumber strips
· Carrot strips
· Vegetables for decoration

1. Make up four sandwiches using Warburtons Sub Sandwich Rolls and a combination of ‘child-friendly’ ingredients. Cut each sub roll into three equally sized pieces, chopping the ends off all but one to leave a square edge. This will leave eleven equally sizes ‘carriages’, and a rounded front ‘engine’.

2. Lay a ‘track’ using long cucumber strips and carrot sticks. Place the sandwiches along the track, with the rounded engine at the front. Finally, decorate with vegetables.

Tip: Mix and match different fillings – that way, there is sure to be at least one sandwich that each child will like.


A delicious sponge cake that’s fit for a queen!
· 125g butter, softened
· 2 tsps Taylor & Colledge Natural Vanilla Extract
· 1 tsps Taylor & Colledge Vanilla Bean Paste
· 1¼ cups (275g) caster sugar
· 3 large eggs
· 1 cup (150g) plain flour
· ½ cup (150g) self-raising flour
· ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
· ½ cup (125ml) milk
Vanilla Icing:
· ¾ cup icing sugar mixture
· 2 tsps Taylor & Colledge Vanilla Bean Paste
· 1 tbsp milk
· Taylor & Colledge Vanilla Bean Dusting Sugar to serve
1. Preheat oven to moderately slow (160°C). Grease deep 20cm-round cake pan and line base with baking paper.

2. Beat ingredients in medium bowl on low speed with electric mixer until just combined. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and has changed to a paler colour. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

3. Bake cake in preheated oven about 1¼ hours.

4. Stand cake 5 minutes, then turn onto wire rack; turn cake top-side up to cool. Drizzle with Vanilla icing.
Serves: 6-8


I couldn't resist but showcase this sunny lunchtime treat!
· 2 Cookies
· Lyle's Squeezy Syrup Banoffee Sauce
· Vanilla Ice cream
· 1 Banana

1. Place a cookie onto a plate and top with some sliced bananas and a generous drizzle of Lyle's Squeezy Syrup Banoffee Sauce.

2. Top with a scoop of soft vanilla ice cream and spread out on top of the bananas.

3. Sit another cookie on top of the ice cream to finish your sandwich simply drizzle with a little more sauce!