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.