Tuesday, 29 June 2010




1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, divided
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, 1 tablespoon butter and egg; mix well.

Add flour and salt; beat until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Brush griddle and 3-in. metal rings or open-topped metal cookie cutters with remaining butter. Place rings on griddle; heat over low heat. Pour 3 tablespoons of batter into each ring. Cook for 7 minutes or until bubbles begin to pop and the top appears dry. Remove rings. Turn crumpets; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until the second side is golden brown. Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack and toast before serving.

(Thanks to Cynthia for pointing me in the direction of this recipe.)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Wine-poached Chicken

Serves four

3½ fl oz white wine
9 fl oz chicken stock
1 fl oz white wine vinegar
2 ¼ fl oz extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
zest of 1 lemon
tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove – peeled and sliced
4 chicken breasts – with skin removed
Yellow pepper – sliced into small strips
6 Cherry tomatoes
3½ oz watercress
1¾ oz sultanas or raisins
1¾ oz toasted pine nuts
salt and ground black pepper

For the Chicken Breast

1. Bring the wine, chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan with half the lemon zest, the bay leaf and garlic.

2. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Add the chicken and poach for 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool in the poaching liquor.

For the dressing
1. Remove half of the poaching liquor and place in a saucepan. Heat until the volume has reduced a bit and whisk in the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, the rest of the zest, and sugar until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve
1. Place a handful of watercress (or other salad such as Rocket), yellow pepper and tomatoes on each plate and top with the poached chicken.
2. Sprinkle on the pine nuts and sultanas and drizzle over the dressing.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Tuna Burgers and Niçoise-style Salad

Serves four.

For the Burgers
2 tins Tuna in sunflower oil with the oil drained off
5oz Breadcrumbs
1 Egg white
1 Shallott – peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp Chopped fresh Mint
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper

For the Salad
8 fl oz Extra virgin Olive Oil
4 fl oz Sherry Vinegar
(or White Wine Vinegar with a teaspoon of caster sugar)
4 Eggs – hard-boiled and quartered
4 oz cooked fine Beans
8 Cherry Tomatoes – halved
Handful Watercress – roughly chopped
2 oz Green Olives – pitted
2 oz Seedless Green Grapes
1 tbsp chopped fresh Chives
Salt and Black Pepper

Handful Watercress


Blend the tuna, shallot, egg white, breadcrumbs, mint and cumin until well combined and then season.
Shape the mixture into four large or eight small burger shapes.
Put in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.

For the salad – whisk the oil and vinegar in a large bowl, add the remaining salad ingredients – except the eggs - and mix until well combined. Season to taste and then add the eggs but do not stir again.

Fry the tuna burgers for a few minutes each side until golden brown.

To serve, put some of the Niçoise salad in a circle around the plate. Put a little bit of Watercress in the middle and place the burger on top of the Watercress.