Project Food Blog

Lizbeth's Cumberland Rum Butter


225g softened unsalted butter
450g  soft brown sugar
half a grated nutmeg
large wineglass of dark rum, I prefer Cuban


Mix the sugar, nutmeg and rum together, beat in the softened butter and mix well. Leave to set in a bowl.
Delicious served on scones or on hot mince pies for Christmas.

We always have it spread on coarse oatcakes last thing on Christmas Day evening, with a good hot cup of tea!

Mulled Wine Trifle


24 short glasses or 24 tall glasses and 24 long spoons

zest of 2 oranges
zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
250ml vanilla vodka
10 cardamom pods
500ml port
2 bottles of red wine, Shiraz works really well
300g sugar

3 tsps good quality vanilla extract
50g of sheet gelatine, softened in cold water, drained
24 tbsp mixed soft fruit (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

                                                    handful flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate
                                                    800g fresh custard
                                                    2 pints double cream, whipped until soft peaks form  


Gently heat the orange and lemon zest, ginger, cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla vodka, cardamom pods, port, red wine vanilla extract and sugar over a low heat until hot, but not boiling as the alcohol will evaporate rather defeating the object of the pudding!

Strain the mixture through a sieve onto the softened gelatine in a large bowl and give the mixture a good stir.

Pour enough of the jelly mixture into each glass to fill it about a third of the way up.

Chill in the fridge overnight, or until completely set.

I’m ashamed (I'm not really!!) to say I used squirty cream out of a can and it looked and tasted just as good. The key is to use good quality vanilla vodka and the same with the vanilla extract.

If you want to make it all yourself, mix half of the whipped cream with the custard in a bowl until well combined. Spoon on top of the jelly mixture. 
Finally, divide the remaining whipped cream between the serving glasses and decorate with the mixed berries and toasted flaked almonds.

You could put a biscuit base in the bottom, but they are so yummy you may just be over egging the pudding.

Seafood Platter


1 large cooked lobster between each 2 people, plus a pair of lobster or nut crackers per 2 people
6 to 8 king prawns per person
2 to 3 slices of smoked salmon per person


Arrange the seafood on a large plate of crushed ice with individual side dishes of Mayonnaise and Quick Hollandaise Sauce.

Garnish with wedges of lemon, cracked black pepper, and freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Provide small bowls of warm water and lemon juice for guests to rinse their fingers in.

It really is that easy!

Wild Mushroom and Spinach Lasagne


A big slosh of olive oil
750g  to 1kg spinach leaves
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
800 g Wild Mushrooms, such as Ceps, Porcini, Oyster, Morels,  roughly chopped
800g fresh lasagne sheets
800ml tubs half-fat crème fraiche, or double cream, or a mixture
400g Goats cheese, reserve a small amount for the top of the dish.
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C /gas mark 6).

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, flash fry the chopped garlic. Remove from heat and add spinach. When wilted, set aside.

Season the cream and/ or crème fraiche with the nutmeg, salt and ground black pepper, then mix well.

Lightly oil a large oven proof dish.

Place a layer of lasagne over the base.

Place a layer of wild mushrooms over the top.  Put a layer of spinach on top, then the cream mix. Then place a layer of lasagne sheets over the top.  Crumble over some of the Goats cheese.

Continue until you have used all the ingredients.

Place on a baking tray, then bake for 25-30 mins or until the lasagne is tender and the top golden. Leave to stand for 5 mins before serving in wedges with a nice green salad.

Best Chili Con Carne

Serves 10-12

4 tbsp olive oil
3 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2kg minced beef (I use Aberdeen Angus from Doves Butchers, it's sublime)
500ml red wine
4 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tube tomato purée or sun dried tomato purée
4 chillies, thinly sliced an deseeded if preferred
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 sticks cinnamon
good shake of Worcestershire sauce
2 beef stock cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
wedges of lime, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking until browned and breaking down any chunks with a wooden spoon.
2. Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, purée, chilli, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and crumble in the stock cube. Season well. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary. Serve with rice, guacamole, sour cream and warmed tortillas.

To make the guacamole

Take 3 ripe avocadoes, skin and mash in a bowl with salt, freshly squeezed lime juice and 3 crushed garlic cloves. Add freshly chopped chillies to taste. Top with coriander if desired.

Chicken Potjie


2 kg chicken thighs.
100ml cooking oil (or olive oil)
4 teaspoons salt
6 bay leaves
grinding of black pepper corns
large pinch of dried thyme
2  teaspoons allspice
3 large tablespoons of chutney
200 g carrots, peeled and sliced
12 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
500 g whole button mushrooms
300 ml chicken stock

 Prepare the Potjie 

(Use a large Earthenware or Ironware pot with close fitting lid if you don’t have one!) 
Clean the inside of the Potjie thoroughly
Rub the inside with a couple of cloves of garlic
Make a fire of charcoal, briquettes or wood (a gas fire may be used but does little for the ambience!)


Heat the oil in the pot
Sprinkle the thighs with salt
Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until brown
Add the spices, herbs and chutney
Layer first the potatoes and then the carrots on top of the meat
Add the stock
Replace the lid and simmer slowly for approximately 1 hour

After 1 hour layer the mushrooms on top of the carrots
Simmer for another 20-30 minutes
Serve with rice

If you want to you can add any other vegetables of your choice such as; cabbage, patty pans or corn on the cob. Just make sure that all hard vegetables are near the bottom of the pot on top of the potatoes.


Be careful when making a Chicken Potjie because the cooking time will be much quicker than with lamb or beef as the meat is softer.


Very Easy Cheese Sauce


1 pint (600 ml) of milk
40 g of plain flour
40 g of butter
55 g of grated cheese (Gruyère, Cheddar, whatever you fancy)
30 g of finely grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Grainy Mustard


Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium sized saucepan.

Sieve the flour into the pan and mix together to form a smooth paste.
Cook for 1 or 2 minutes.

Very slowly, add the milk, a little at a time, whilst continuously whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir or whisk and cook over a medium - high heat until the sauce starts to thicken and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

Add the cheese and stir until it melts.

Add the cayenne pepper and then season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, cook gently for a few more minutes.

Stir well and then serve.

Green Tea Ice Cream


2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons  green tea powder or 2 green tea bags
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
300 ml double cream
50 g  caster sugar
300 ml  milk
30 ml  boiling water


Take the dry green tea and soak in boiling water with the tablespoon of sugar for 10-12 minutes.

Put the vanilla pod and milk in a pan and gently bring to the boil.  Pour this over the tea. Leave to stand for 5 or 6 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks with all of the caster sugar in a separate bowl, and then strain the milk mixture into it.

Transfer into another pan. Gently heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick. Leave to cool. Whip the double cream and fold into the cooled tea mixture.

Transfer the complete mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Speedy Pasta Sauce

Chop 1 red pepper and 2 red onions.

Fry in a tbsp olive oil for 2 minutes.

Add 1 tsp sugar and fry for a further 3 minutes.

Add 1 small glass red wine and turn up heat until alcohol evaporates.

Add chicken stock, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 carton passata and 1 tsp wild oregano.

Simmer for 10 minutes then blend with a hand whisk.

Serve with good quality pasta and grated parmesan.

Spiced Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

Fresh ginger is a great addition to many vegetable soups. In this recipe, it gives the pumpkin flavour a real lift.


4 tbsp olive oil
4 onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
5cm piece root ginger, peeled and grated,
2.5kg peeled and chopped pumpkin flesh
3 to 3.5 litres vegetable stock


Sweat the onions gently in the olive oil for 5 mins, add the onion, garlic, ginger and pumpkin and cook for 5 mins more. Add the water or stock and simmer for 30 mins, until the pumpkin is tender.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and thin with a little extra stock, water or milk if necessary.

Serve with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.

Lentil Soup


600g red lentils
3 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
3 litres vegetable stock
Juice and rind of 2 lemons
1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons black peppercorns
6 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil


Peel the onion and chop in half. Slice finely. Peel and crush the garlic.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute gently for 5 minutes, until softening.

Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar (or grind coarsely in a pepper grinder).

Add the pepper, cumin and coriander to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the lentils, lemon juice, rind and vegetable stock. Cover and simmer gently for 35 to 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

Stir regularly, to stop the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You might need to add more water, if it gets too thick.

Season with salt to taste. Serve with a swirl of cream and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.

Woolton Pie


1lb swede diced
1lb carrot diced
1lb cauliflower diced
1lb spring onion finely chopped
1lb potato diced
1 teaspoon of marmite or vegetable extract

For the pastry:

6oz flour
1 ½ oz butter
1 ½ oz lard
2oz raw potatoes


Put all the diced vegetables into a large pan.

Top and tail the spring onions, chop into small pieces and add to the pan.

Add a teaspoon of marmite or vegetable extract.

Add a tablespoon of oatmeal.

Cover the vegetables with water and place on the cooker to boil and soften.

Put the flour in a mixing bowl.Add the butter and lard.

Rub the fat into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Grate 2oz of raw potatoes and add these to the mixing bowl.

Add a little water and work into a pastry mix (you will need to work quickly so the potato does not turn the pastry grey.)

Remove the vegetables from the cooker, drain and place in a pie dish.

Flour the surface and roll out the pastry to the size needed to cover the pie dish.

Place the pastry over the edges sealing the edges to the pie dish, trim the pastry and make a few cuts in the pastry to let out the steam during cooking.

Brush the surfaces with milk.

Place in a moderate oven for half an hour. Remove from the oven and serve with brown gravy and carrots.

Pumpkin Ratatouille


A 2.5 kg pumpkin, peeled and deseeded pumpkin or squash cut into 2cm chunks
A few tsps fine sea salt
A few sloshes of olive oil
3 large onions, roughly chopped
4 red peppers, seeded and cut into 1cm chunks
1 aubergine, chopped into same size chunks as above
200g roughly chopped field mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 bay leaves, preferably fresh
6 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram,
a few grates of nutmeg
3 tsps ground cumin
500 ml passata or tinned tomatoes
6 tbsp sweet red wine vinegar, such as cabernet sauvignon (or use any good-quality red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar), mixed with 12 tbsp of water
5 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
Chopped parsley to garnish


In a large bowl or pan, toss the pumpkin with the salt and set aside.

In a large deep saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onions with a pinch of salt.

Stir well and cook, stirring often, for at least 15-20 min until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelise.

Next add the chopped red pepper, fry for a further 10 min, then follow with the garlic, bay leaves and rosemary.

Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, before adding the pumpkin (blotted dry if wet). Reduce the heat and fry for 20 min, until the pumpkin is barely tender, turning it every now and then.

Add the chopped aubergine and mushrooms.

Then stir in the oregano or marjoram, nutmeg and cumin, followed by the passata.

Cook for 5-10 min, until the pumpkin is completely tender, then sprinkle with the vinegar and water, and taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm, with the toasted pine nuts on top, and a further sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Elizabethan Pork


6 tbsp vegetable oil
3 kg 1" cubed pork
6 medium sliced onions
6 tbsp plain flour
3 tsp ground mace
3 tsp curry powder
1 bottle red wine
1500 ml chicken stock
330g dried apricots
300g raisins
300g dates (stoned)


Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

Heat the oil in a large flame proof casserole and fry the pork in batches over a high heat until well browned.

Remove from the casserole and add onions.

Cook over a medium heat until softened. Sprinkle with flour, add the spices and cook, stirring for 1 min.

Stir in the wine and stock then bring slowly to a simmer. Stir in the meat and fruits.

Cook in the centre of oven until tender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice. Garnish with a few flaked almonds and some chopped parsley.

Pumpkin Soup


2 kg of pumpkin (peeled, seeds removed and chopped)
2 to 3 large onions (roughly chopped)
2 large potatoes (peeled and chopped) (You can use apple instead of potato.)
3 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
3 sticks of celery (finely chopped and thick strings discarded)
3 ½ pints of vegetable stock
2 vegetable stock cubes
75g of butter
1 to 1½ pints of milk
500ml single cream
5 tbl spoons of chopped chives to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional seasoning as you like… garlic, chilli, curry powder, bay leaves, nutmeg… (Not all though!!)


Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Sauté the carrots, onion and celery. Next add the pumpkin and potatoes once the other vegetables are softened.

Cook gently for 5 to 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Don’t allow the vegetables to brown.

Pour in the stock and add the stock cubes and stir.

Simmer gently until the vegetables are just cooked (about 30 minutes) and then purée with an electric blender. You will need a large bowl or another large pan as you won’t be able to do this in one go!

Return the puréed vegetables to the saucepan and season to taste.

Add other seasoning such as curry powder, a few bay leaves, or even some chilli powder. Nutmeg also works well, up to you!

Add the milk.

Finally just before serving, add the cream and re heat very gently. Thin with more stock if necessary.

Sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve. If you can, retain the pumpkins and pour the soup back into them, with the lids on.

This recipe also works well with butternut squash or sweet potato.

Ruby's Crunchie Semifreddo

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 servings, for more just make 2...)

500 ml double cream
3 eggs, separated
125 g caster sugar
3 Crunchie bars, bashed coarsely with a rolling pin


Line 2 500ml loaf tins with cling film and refrigerate.

Whip the double cream in a mixing bowl just until thick.

Separate the eggs into a second and third mixing bowl.

Add the caster sugar to the egg yolks and beat with a whisk until fluffy and pale yellow.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Fold the egg yolk mixture into the stiff egg whites, add the whipped cream, and mix very gently.

Sprinkle an even layer of the Crunchie bits on the bottom of both tins.

Top with a layer of the creamy mixture. Repeat with alternating layers until you’ve used up the ingredients. Cover and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

To serve, turn semifreddo out onto a serving plate, peel off the plastic wrap, and let stand 5 minutes to soften slightly.

Cut into thick slices and enjoy. You could pour a sauce or fruit coulis over, but I don’t think it needs anything else really!

Sherry Tortoni

INGREDIENTS (serves 8, if you need more just make 2!)

115g unsalted butter
6 eggs, separated:- yolks beaten and whites whisked till stiff
225 g caster sugar
220g macaroon or ratafia biscuit crumbs
60 ml (2 fl oz) Marsala or sweet sherry, plus 1 glass for the cook


Cream the butter and sugar together.

Add egg yolks, beat until fluffy.

Add sherry and mix together.

Beat egg whites until stiff, then fold into mixture. Drink the remaining glass of sherry, you deserve it!

Place a layer of the biscuit crumbs onto a sheet of grease proof paper in the base of a shallow dish.

Then spoon in a layer of the tortoni mixture.

Continue layering, and finish with a final layer of biscuit crumbs.

Cover with cling film and then freeze overnight.

Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving, and turn onto a serving dish (remove paper!)

Quick Hollandaise Sauce

INGREDIENTS (Enough for 20 Benedicts)
4 large eggs, separated
1 ½ to 2 dessertspoons lemon juice
1 ½ to 2 dessertspoons white wine vinegar
220g butter
salt and freshly milled black pepper


Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and season them with a pinch of salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Then place them in a blender and blend them thoroughly for about a minute.

After that, heat the lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a small saucepan until the mixture starts to simmer.
Turn the blender on again and pour the hot liquid on to the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. After that, switch the blender off.

Now, using the same saucepan, melt the butter over a gentle heat, being very careful not to let it brown. When the butter is foaming, turn the blender on again and pour in the butter in a thin, slow, steady trickle; the slower you add it the better.

TIP: Use a jug warmed with hot water rather than pouring straight from pan. Dry the jug before adding the butter though!

When all the butter has been mixed in, wipe around the sides of the blender with a spatula, and then give it one more quick burst in blender. You should end up with a smooth, thick, buttery mixture.

In a grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, fold them into the sauce – and that’s it!

Transfer the sauce to a small plastic freezer box, with enough space to leave about 2 in (5 cm) at the top so you can stir the sauce easily when you reheat it. Transfer to the freezer until you are ready to use!

A Perfectly Poached Egg

4 free-range eggs
1tbsp vinegar

Bring a large, wide saucepan of water to a rolling boil and add the vinegar. The vinegar helps the egg white set. Reduce the heat, and create a vortex in the pan by stirring the water quite quickly. Break each egg into a cup and slide them into the water.

Cover immediately and leave for three to four minutes or until the whites are firm and the yolks still look a touch runny.

Carefully remove each egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Trim the egg whites of any ragged edges and serve.

If you are doing large numbers, get a friend to help! Mike and I did 20 eggs for Andy’s 40th birthday breakfast, and assembled them into Eggs Benedict without too much trouble!

Chili Jam

8 red peppers , deseeded and roughly chopped
8 red chillies , roughly chopped, either seeded or deseeded, up to you!
small piece fresh root ginger , peeled and roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves , peeled
400g can cherry tomatoes
750g golden caster sugar
250ml red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Put the peppers, chillies, ginger and garlic into a food processor, then blitz until very finely chopped. Transfer to a heavy pan with the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar, then bring everything to the boil. Skim off any ‘stuff’ that comes to the surface, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 45 to 50 minutess, stirring occasionally.

Once the jam is becoming sticky, continue cooking for 10-15 minutes more. Keep stirring so it doesn't stick or worse, burn. Cool slightly, transfer to sterilised jars, then leave to cool completely. This keeps for 2 to 3 months in a cool, dark cupboard - refrigerate once opened. It's so tasty you won't need to worry about how long it'll keep for though!

(IKEA sell really nice French style preserve jars quite cheaply.)

Mexican Fiesta

To Drink
Kath’s Margaritas
Mexican Beer

Easy Chili

Served with
Rice, Tacos, Tortillas, Nachos

Tomato Salsa
Grated Cheese
Sour Cream
Jalapeño peppers

Green salad

More Margaritas!!

Extraordinary Banana Trifle

INGREDIENTS (Makes 8 servings, for more make another trifle!)
500ml Baileys (Aldi do something similar for less money)
4 medium Bananas
160g Butterscotch toffee (Werthers Originals are great for this!)
8 Slices Banana loaf, chocolate cake or similar
50g Dark Chocolate (grated or curls)
240ml of Double Cream
1 teaspoon of finely ground Espresso Coffee
A sprinkle of Icing Sugar


Put toffees into a small saucepan with 8 tablespoons of Baileys. Stir over a gentle heat until the toffees melt into the liqueur (without letting it boil) to forma sticky sauce. Leave to cool.

Crumble the cake into the bottom of the bowl and lightly press crumbs with fingers to firm them down. Then pour 4 tablespoons of Baileys over the crumbs.

Peel and thinly slice the bananas and spread evenly over the cake layer. Spoon the toffee sauce over the sliced banana.

Add 8 more tablespoons of Baileys and a teaspoon of ground coffee to the double-cream and whip until it forms soft peaks. Add some sieved icing sugar to taste. (Now drink any Baileys that is left over!!)

Top the trifle with spoonfuls of the cream and sprinkle on grated or curls of chocolate. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

French Banana Filling

200g butter
200g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tsp Banana liqueur (eg BOLS)
800ml single cream
20 bananas, halved
Whipped cream and additional cinnamon

Melt butter in a large pan. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add liqueur if required. Turn down the heat and stir in cream slowly. Cook until slightly thickened.
Add 2 or 3 halved bananas at a time; heat for 2-3 minutes, spooning sauce over them. Remove from heat.
Roll a crepe around each banana half and place on serving platter. Keep warm in oven on a low heat. When ready to serve, spoon the remaining sauce over the crepes.
Top with whipped cream and a dash more cinnamon.

Neon Green Relish

800g cucumbers, deseeded and finely chopped
400g chopped white onion
200g chopped red pepper
200g chopped green pepper
2 tsp coarse sea salt
1200ml water + 60 ml
700g sugar
450ml vinegar
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
4 tbsp corn flour
A couple of drops of green food colouring if you are feeling daring!

Put all the chopped ingredients in a large bowl.
Sprinkle salt on top.
Cover with water and leave overnight.
In the morning drain, rinse, and drain again.
Press to get as much juice out as possible.
In a large pot combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed & mustard seed.
Bring to the boil; add chopped ingredients back to mixture, return to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Mix 4tbs. corn flour with 60ml of water. Add to mixture gradually to thicken slowly.

If you want an authentic Chicago relish, add the food colouring.

Pour into prepared jars and seal.

An easy way to seed the cucumbers is to cut them in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Fairground Feast

Sharon Moran’s Best Burgers with cheese
Chicago Hot dogs with Neon Green relish
Corn on the cob
Special Barbecue Chicken
Fried Onions
Chili Jam

Crepes with French banana filling
Toffee Apples

Hot chocolate with Marshmallows

Toffee Apples

For the toffee coating
675g Demerara sugar
330 ml water
1 ½ tsp vinegar
6 tbsp golden syrup
75g butter

For the apples
20 smallish apples
Wooden skewers, for holding the apples – ice lolly sticks will do


Be extremely careful while making Toffee Apples, and do not leave children unsupervised.

Dissolve the sugar into the water over a moderate heat. When it has dissolved, stir in the vinegar, syrup and butter. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until it reaches hard-crack stage (138C) or hardens into a ball when dropped in a jug of cold water. This should take around 10 minutes boiling time. Be extremely careful while making Toffee Apples.

While the syrup is cooking, pierce each apple with a wooden stick. Once the toffee is ready, dip each apple into the hot toffee, turning it around in the syrup so that each one is fully coated.

Leave to harden on a lightly oiled tray before serving. If you're planning to keep them for longer, wrap the apples in cellophane.


INGREDIENTS (makes about 15)
2 eggs
100g caster sugar
100ml sour cream
350g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
Oil, for deep frying
More sugar mixed with cinnamon powder to finish


Whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy, then stir in the soured cream.

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

Mix until everything comes together in the bowl into a sticky dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until the dough becomes soft and smooth in texture.

Using a little bit more flour if needed, roll the dough out until it's about 5mm thick.

Cut out circles in the dough with a pastry cutter, approximately 7cm in diameter.
In the centre of each one, cut a smaller circle.
Transfer the rings and centre circles to a piece of greaseproof paper and roll out any trimmings, repeating until all the dough is used.

Heat plenty of oil in a deep-fat fryer or saucepan to 180C/350F/Gas 4. If you don't have a thermometer, drop a 2-3cm/¾-1¼in cube of bread into the hot oil. If it sizzles straight away and becomes golden in about a minute, the temperature is fine.

Drop a few doughnut rings and the centre circles into the oil and fry until golden on both sides (about 2 minutes). Once cooked, drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess fat, then toss in some more sugar and a bit of cinnamon.

The easiest way to do this is to use a large plastic sandwich bag to shake around a few doughnuts at a time so they get an even coating of cinnamon sugar.

Eat straight away!! (Careful you don’t burn your mouth though!!) Or decorate… whatever you want to do!


625g flour
10 eggs
590ml milk
590ml water
5g salt
140g melted butter


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot. Et Voila!

Sharon Moran's Best Burgers

INGREDIENTS (Makes 20 burgers)
2 kg minced beef (it is best not to use very lean mince as the fat will help to keep the burgers moist)
2 finely chopped shallots
8 tbsp fine bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard power or mustard
1 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp finely chopped parsley


Place the beef in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
Mix it all together until just combined.
This is best done by hand but be careful not to over-work the mixture or you'll get a tough burger.
Wet your hands then shape the mixture into burgers by flattening the mixture in your hand about 2cm or 1 inch thick and smoothing the edges.
The burgers can now be cooked either on a griddle pan, non-stick frying pan with a bit of oil, or even a barbeque.
Pre-heat the frying pan, griddle pan or barbeque to a medium heat.
Cook the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side, turning them once only.
Serve in a warm sesame seed bun with grated cheese, lettuce, tomato, a slice of onion and some sliced gherkin.

Jewelled Couscous

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
700g/12oz couscous
1 lemon, grated rind only
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small shallots, finely chopped
100g finely chopped cucumber
100g toasted flaked almonds
100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
100g sultanas
5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Boil stock in a saucepan. Pour in the couscous in a thin stream and stir in lemon rind. Cover pan, remove from heat and leave for 5 minutes, fluffing with a fork after 2 minutes.
Drizzle over olive oil and stir in almonds, apricots, sultanas and parsley. Season.
Either serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes.
Alternatively allow to cool and serve cold.

Honeymoon Passion Cocktail by Wayne Collins (BBC Food)

25ml/1fl oz Mama Juana (an aromatised rum and wine-based drink from the Dominican Republic, available from specialst drinks suppliers)
25ml/1fl oz aged rum, preferably from the Dominican Republic
25ml/1fl oz passion fruit pureé
1 tsp sugar syrup (often sold as gomme syrup)

Place the Mama Juana, rum, passion fruit purée and sugar syrup into a Boston glass. Add ice to fill, and shake hard.
Strain into a Martini glass and serve.

Drink with caution, this is known as the BabyMaker Cocktail in The Dominican Republic!

Special Barbecue Chicken

An easy homemade jerk sauce of soy, lime, honey and spices. A mouthwatering marinade for barbecued chicken which is perfect with Rice and Peas.

1 spring onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced green chili
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
5 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
squeeze of tomato puree
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

60 assorted chicken thighs and drumsticks


Combine spring onions, honey, tomato sauce, tomato puree, ginger, chili, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Spread most of the marinade liberally over the chicken and marinate for 8 hours. Reserve enough sauce for serving later.
Preheat barbecue or oven to a medium heat. Cook chicken until juices run clear. and drizzle with reserved sauce.

Caribbean Rice and Peas with Coconut Milk

2 tins red kidney beans
2 tins of coconut milk
7 spring onion stalks, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
5 cups long-grain rice
2 whole Scotch bonnet peppers

Place beans, coconut milk, onions, thyme, salt, and pepper in large saucepan and add rice. Top with water, if necessary, so that there is about 2-1/2 times as much liquid as rice and beans.

Place the whole hot peppers on top and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover. Let the rice steam slowly for at least 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Do not stir while cooking or allow the pepper to burst.

Remove the pepper and thyme stalk, then fluff lightly before serving.

Wedding Buffet Menu

Whole Dressed Salmon
2 x Jewelled Couscous
2 x large Caesar salad
1 large Green salad
1 Pasta salad
Caribbean Rice and Peas
1 Greek salad
60 pieces Special Barbecue Chicken
Cocktail sausages
1 large Roast Ham
Cherry tomatoes
French bread

Nicola's Extraordinary Banana trifle x 3
Sue's Raspberry Pavlova x 3
Chocolate Roulade x 3

Chocolate wedding cake

Serve with Wayne Collins Honeymoon Passion cocktail, a Dominican Republic Speciality

Roast Pork and Crackling

This a recipe slightly adapted from Delia Smith. I find the crackling works really well.
This recipe is for loin of pork which provides maximum crackling.How to get crisp, crunchy crackling is not a problem if you follow a few simple guidelines. Buy the pork a couple of days before you need to cook it, remove any plastic wrap, put it on a plate immediately and dry it as thoroughly as possible with absorbent kitchen paper. After that, leave it uncovered in the lowest part of the fridge so that the skin can become as dry as possible before you start the cooking.

2 large (2.25 kg) loins of pork
2 small onion, peeled
2 tablespoon plain flour
20 fl oz (550 ml) dry cider 20 fl oz (550 ml) vegetable stock (or potato water)
Maldon salt and freshly milled black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 9, 475 F (240 C).


While the oven is pre-heating, score the skin of the pork. It will be scored already, but it's always best to add a few more lines. To do this you can use the point of a very sharp paring knife, or Stanley knife, or you can now even buy a special scalpel from a good quality kitchen shop! What you need to do is score the skin all over into thin strips, bringing the blade of the knife about halfway through the fat beneath the skin. Now place the pork in a tin, skin-side up, halve the onion and wedge the two pieces in slightly underneath the meat. Now take about 1 tablespoon of crushed salt crystals and sprinkle evenly over the skin, pressing it in as much as you can.

Then place the 2 loins of pork on a high shelf in the oven and roast the joints for 25 minutes. After that turn the heat down to gas mark 5, 375 F (190 C) and calculate the cooking time, allowing 35 minutes to the pound. In this case it would be 2 1/2 to 3 hours. There's no need to baste pork as there's enough fat to keep the meat moist. The way to tell if the meat is cooked is to insert a skewer in the thickest part and the juices that run out should be absolutely clear without any trace of pinkness. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and give it at least 30 minutes' resting time before carving.

While that is happening, tilt the tin and spoon all the fat off, leaving only the juices. The onion will probably be black and charred, which gives the gravy a lovely rich colour. Leave the onion in, then place the roasting tin over direct heat, turned to low, sprinkle in the flour and quickly work it into the juices with a wooden spoon. Now turn the heat up to medium and gradually add the cider and the stock, this time using a balloon whisk until it comes up to simmering point and you have a smooth rich gravy.

Taste and season with salt and pepper, then discard the onion and pour the gravy into a warmed serving jug. Serve the pork carved into slices, giving everyone some crackling.

We had this as part of our Sunday lunch in the Cotswolds, and with the 2 legs of lamb and all the trimmings, fed 40 people. I've also had Roast Pork cooked like this at 1 o'clock in the morning one New Year, in a lovely white roll with stuffing and apple sauce. A very versatile way to feed a lot of people.

Hearty Sweet Potato and Chili Soup

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tbsps olive oil
8 red onions, peeled and sliced
8 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
600ml vegetable stock
Sour cream and fresh coriander to serve

Grind all the spices in a pestle and mortar.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the red onion and sweet potato for a few minutes, to soften.
Stir in the ground spices to coat the vegetables. Pour in the vegetable stock and reduce the heat and simmer gently for 18-20 minutes.
Blend using a hand blender or transfer to a liquidiser and blend until smooth.
Transfer to a serving plate and spoon the sour cream on top, to serve, garnish with the coriander leaves....


6 avocados - peeled, stoned, and mashed
2 lime, juiced
generous pinch of salt
1 medium diced onion
large bunch of chopped fresh coriander
4 large tomatoes, finely diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 pinches ground cayenne pepper (optional)
A few spoonfuls of sour cream or mayonnaise


In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, most of the coriander (leave some for garnish), tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in sour cream and sprinke on the cayenne pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour for best flavour, or serve immediately.

Cotswold Shopping List for 20 adults and approx 14 kids

3 x Fresh Soured Cream 284ml

2 x Philadelphia Original 300g

Mature Grated Cheddar 500g

2 x Le Rustique Pasteurised Camembert 250g

2 x Pie D'angloys 200g

2 x Finest Cheese Selection510g

3 large packets of Smoked Salmon

1 large cooked ham

2 cooked turkey breasts

1 large pork pie

3 x T.Finest* 12 Traditional Pork Chipolata 375g

12 packets of Thick Cut Bacon 220g

2 x Lamb Whole Leg 1.8 kg each

2 x Finest Pork Ribeye Joint

36 Free Range Eggs

2 x Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style Natural Yoghurt 450g

4 x Cool Salsa Dip 200g

3 x Nacho Cheese Dip200g

King Edward Potatoes 5kg

Chantenay Carrots 1.5 kg

20 Large Flat Mushrooms

4 x Iceberg Lettuce 250g

5 punnets Cherry Tomatoes 300g

3 x Unwashed Lambs Lettuce 60g

1 x Red Cabbage

3 large heads of Broccoli

2 x Cauliflowers Extra Large

3 x Cucumbers

6 x Medium Avocados

5 loaves Medium Sliced White Bread 400g

2 x New York Bagels Plain 5pk

1 x Cheese Sauce 600g (It was my birthday so I CHEATED, FORGIVE ME!!)

Finest Four Cheese Twists 130g

2 X Cheese Twists 125g

2 X Rough Oatcakes 250g

2 X Biscuits For Cheese 500g

2 X Milton's Garlic & Herb Crackers 170g

4 X Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips 300g

3 X Jordans Country Crisp Strawberry500g

2 X Vegetable Gravy Granules 200g

1 X Snack Pack Raisins 18x14g

1 X Trade Aid Uk Granulated Sugar500g

8 X Heinz Cream Of Tomato Soup 4 X 400g

8 X Napolina Chopped Tomatoes400g

5 X Taco Mix Beans & Mex Sauce 420g

2 X Old El Paso Mixed Chilli Jalapenos 215g

8 X Discovery Taco Tray Kit 270g

8 x Organic 6 Tortilla Wraps

Uht Skim Milk 6 X 1 Litre

Uht Semi Milk 6x1ltr

4 X Fragata Olives Stuffed With Anchovy 200g

4 X Fragata Olives Stuffed With Garlic 200g

3 X Mrs Elswood Sweet & Sour Cucumbers 670g

2 X Haywards Crisp & Mild Sweet Onions 710g

Minced Beef 2 kg

6 bottles Schloer

Finest 160 Tea Bags 500g

Fairtrade Freeze Dried Coffee 100g

With delivery this came to about £300….

Top Tip….

Get it delivered to where you are staying!!

Whole Dressed Salmon

Buy a large (12lbs at least) gutted and cleaned salmon, wash well, making sure to remove all traces of blood from along the backbone.
Remove gills
Pack cavity with crushed foil

To Poach (You will need to use a fish Kettle... you can borrow from shops such as Sainsbury's)
Place prepared salmon in simmering water with salt, pepper, bay leaf and lemon slice.
Allow the water to return to a good steady simmer.
From then, allow 3 minutes per 450g/1lb cooking time
Allow salmon to cool in water for 15-20 minutes

To Bake

Line a roasting tin with a sheet of foil.
Butter and place prepared fish on foil
Season with salt pepper, bayleaf, parsley stalks and lemon slice
Add a little water or white wine
Fold foil over and seal to make a loose parcel
Bake, allowing 10-12 minutes per 450g/lb at 190ºC/350ºF/Gas

To Dress

Allow salmon to cool completely before removing skin
Scrape away brown flesh, remove eyes and fill sockets with half a stuffed olive or a cherry tomato
Garnish to taste with slices of cucumber, radish flowers, dill etc, arrange to look like fish scales