Thursday, 6 December 2012

Latvian Honey Cake

Latvian Honey Cake

This delightfully different cake recipe was given to me by a lady on my Bettys cookery course. She was Latvian and very forthcoming with her country's recipes and techniques, even bringing a finished cake for us all to sample and a handout. This additional 'bonus' recipe is actually one of the most interesting and delicious recipes to come out of the course and it proves that sometimes it is the unexpected sources which bring us inspiration. This cake is so easy to make and looks spectacular- a leaning tower of honey.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Steak Bearnaise

I have always been a bit dubious about having any kind of sauce with my steak. If I'm going to eat a steak, then I want to be able to taste every last bit of it without it being masked by some other flavourings. To be honest, I'm not sure what changed in my thoughts, but I decided to try steak with a Bearnaise sauce. I think it was more to do with the desire to practice a new technique rather than the actual final dish. Perhaps not the most sensible of ideas but it did come out really well and we both really enjoyed this.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Paris Brest

The Paris Brest is a relatively simple French pastry treat made using a ring of choux pastry filled with a praline flavoured cream. Following the success of our Tarte Tatin, we have continued our education of pastry making by focusing on choux. In some ways this is a more simple kind of pastry because you don't need a delicate touch or certain technique when handling it. But because it is cooked twice, once in a pan and then in the oven, it is a slightly tricky process which relies on a certain level of concentration! Our effort was far from perfect but we think we know where we went wrong, so hopefully next time will be better. For now though, this was very tasty and did look the part.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Sausages with Puy Lentils

Going down the French route with this one. Try to use puy lentils if you can find them, but if not, then green lentils will be fine. I guess you should really use some French sausages such as Toulon sausage, but we just used some standard ones from the butchers. But they must be large ones! This is a dish full of strong flavours and is a real winter-warmer.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Porter Braised Beef Cheeks

My poor camera skills really haven't done this dish justice. I have eaten A LOT of cow in my life, but I think this was probably the tastiest piece I have had. The combination of porter, winter vegetables, herbs, 24 hour marinade time and 10 hours of cooking produced a lump of meat that was so full of flavour, soft and rich. Following the success of our Oxtail Pie, we decided to go to the other end of the animal and try to make something special out of the cheeks. In the same way that the oxtail needs very long and slow-cooking, likewise the cheeks also need similar preparation to be made palatable. Although this recipe does take a long time, nearly all of the time is either the meat marinading in the fridge, or cooking in the oven. So we urge you to give this one a go because it is delicious.

Monday, 12 November 2012

British Sausage Week - Proper Bangers n Mash

So last week was British Sausage Week and so when in the butcher we got a couple of links of big thick Yorkshire sausages. The best way to eat them is surely with a big pile of buttery mashed potato and thick onion gravy - good ole bangers 'n' mash. Apparently we so affectionately call the sausage a "banger" because during World War 2, when food was scarce, they filled the sausage full of cereals and water which would cause the sausage to burst open and "bang" when cooking. So, there you go.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pear and Vanilla Tarte Tatin

"Tarte Tatin" has now become an absolute French classic. It is traditionally made using apples, but I guess due to its huge popularity these days, people are looking for variations on the recipe. Our variety is to use pears in place of the apples. A tarte tatin is a layer of fruit coated in caramel with a layer of pastry placed over the top, with the whole thing being turned over after baking in the oven. We wanted to add another flavour, vanilla, into the finished product. There is no better smell than that of a vanilla pod. It is rich and creamy and works really well with pears. Some recipes suggest to just cook the pears for 10 or 15 minutes in the caramel first before baking in the oven, but we have again adapted this and used a poaching liquid to par-cook the pears and to infuse the vanilla flavour. When we turned over the pan and revealed the tart, we saw a beautifully crisp pastry with soft, sweet and sticky pears. Served with custard, it was delicious.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Apple and Pumpkin Cake - A Halloween Treat

Apple and Pumpkin Cake

This recipe is perfect for Halloween festivities as it uses two of the traditional robust Autumn flavours. I took it from a wonderful book bought for us by my dad and it is really great for finding comfort food inspiration. Tom Norrington's - Just Like Mother Used to Make.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Quark "Ruff Puff" Corned Beef and Sweet Potato Pasties

Pastry is something which eludes many people but if certain rules are followed it is incredibly easy to make at home and a far superior product, plus rolling pastry is very cathartic and a job I would very tentatively part with.

Ruff Puff Pastry

Things to consider;
1) Handle it lightly
2) Keep it cool
3) Bake it in a hot oven

Cool hands, a cold working surface and cool liquid make the best pastry. This is why we are constantly reminded to use only the finger-tips when combining the ingredients together as these are the coolest part of our hands. You don't want to get the dough stuck to your warm palms! Adding liquid should be gradual as common sense should tell you, you can always add more but you can't take it out. A classic mistake is to try adding more flour to bring it back from sticky death which is a recipe for disaster.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Fancy Popcorn

A few different things came together to form this lovely bowl of popcorn last night. A few days ago I was wondering around Lewis & Cooper which is a fine food and wine store in Harrogate. I randomly picked up a pack of Gourmet Popping Corn. This particular version was described as "Rich Ruby Red". I had no idea such popcorn was available! I had just planned to throw it in a pan, let it pop away and enjoy. But last night, as "The A-Team" began on TV, I remembered a little recipe from Heston Blumenthal in his book "Heston Blumenthal at Home", which a friend from work shared with me this week. So all these things came together to produce this delicious gourmet popcorn treat.

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Very Slow-Cooked Oxtail Pie

This one was two days in the making (everybody knows a good curry tastes a thousand times better the following day!) Couple this with the fact that a good pie is my single favourite food, I was sure I would be on to a winner with this one - and I was. Steak pies are a very common thing, but I wanted to spruce it up a little and I did this by using oxtail as the main ingredient. This is a cheap ingredient (one tail cost me about 6 quid) which, if cooked in the right way, is unbelievably full of flavour. It has definitely grown in popularity recently - I guess this is due to its cost during this terrible financial crisis we are in! Whatever the reason, this is a great ingredient and I think this way of cooking and serving it really does make for something pretty delicious.

The Cheese Board, Harrogate, UK

Our "Cheese Board"- Harrogate
The Cheese Board is an amazing treasure trove on Commercial Street, Harrogate. The shop contains so many cheeses, it is impossible to know what to look at let alone choose and if you like cheese it is enough to send you over the cheese board edge! We bought just two to sample along with some Raydale Preserves Fig and Honey chutney and a packet of oat crackers. Yorkshire Blue and Swaledale Ewe's Milk cheeses went down a treat and we ate the whole lot in one sitting! I didn't even feel a little bad about it. They also provide a bespoke wedding cheese stack service which although against tradition, was an amazing spectacle at the last wedding we attended (although on that occasion it was not a Cheese Board purchase). I am sure we will be back there soon to sample a new tasty morsel.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Rhubarb "Crumble"

Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt Crumble in a glass

Rhubarb pulling is usually between May and August but in early September the rampaging patch in my mum's garden was in dire need of a picking. We twisted off a few stem, discarded the leaves and poached the even 1cm cut stems in a honey and water syrup. I put about 3 tablespoons of honey and the same of water in a saucepan and simmered for about 20 minutes until a soft pulp emerged.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Royal Oak in Ripon - Review

Royal Oak, Ripon
It's fun to spend a day in a new place discovering what is on offer and browsing windows and menus. We recently had a drive up to Ripon for the day and were pleasantly suprised by the range of foodie treats on offer. The cathedral was impressive and the large market town feel made us feel welcome. We spent some time looking in the well established Deli on Duck Hill, enjoying the range of Yorkshire produce including Taylors tea and coffee, unusual global food items and a huge amount of cheese! There were also a great deal of cafes. An interesting looking wine bar named Squiffy's caught my eye and we are due to give that place a whirl one time soon.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Plum, Pistachio and Cardamom Cake

Today at work we had a "cake bake" to raise money for a local charity. Staff brought in their best efforts and we all bought those sweet treats which tickled our fancies! I was a little daunted by this, mainly because Liz was not here to help me. I am not much of a baker, and it is usually Liz who rules the roost when it comes to cakes. I decided to give it a go though. I decided to stick to a simple cake recipe but spruce it up with an interesting flavour combination. I hoped that the flavour would then cover up any flaws in my baking technique! I started with the idea of using cardamom. This is mainly due to the amazing flavour it gave in Liz's blueberry tart. I then wanted to use a seasonal fruit and I chose plums for their combination of sweet and sour. To add a richness to the cake I then opted to add pistachio. So here it is, my "Plum, Pistachio and Cardamom Cake". (Just to let you know, this was the first cake to completely sell out at work.)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Instant Homemade Bread

About 2 years ago, during our time living in South Korea, we were introduced to the concept of "primal living". This is a way of living designed by Mark Sisson based on the more widely known "paleo" diet. The Primal Blueprint was created to offer a general way of living in order to be more healthy. The main focus is on weight loss but it does cover all apsects of health including exercise and how to prevent disease through diet.  Don't get us wrong, we are not a blog designed to convince you to diet and constantly watch what you are eating. I'm sure you can tell that by some of our posts so far! But we have been taking note of some of what Mark says and we do feel it is a very simple and effective way of looking at the kind of foods we eat. One main crux to his argument is that we should remove any kind of grain from our diet. So this means no bread, pasta or biscuits! Trust me on this, by simply cutting grains out altogether for just a couple of weeks will make an amazing difference to how you feel. We do enjoy eating bread though, but this imitation comes pretty close to satisfying our appetite.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Liver and Onions

I love it. Liz hates it. Liver is one of those ingredients that divides opinions. I get why some people don't like it, I really do. It does have a different texture to 'normal' meat and it definitely has a richness that we are not always used to. But I am sure some people don't eat it for slightly different reasons; reasons to do with their pre-conceptions about eating liver and other kinds of offal. People for some reason become squemish or are put off at the very thought of eating these kinds of food. But there is no doubting the health benefits (click here to see a thorough explanation by Mark Sisson) and it is REALLY cheap (2 portions of lamb's liver will cost less than a quid in the supermarket). Add to that fact that by following just a simple recipe you can have a genuinely tasty meal, then I urge you to give it a go.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lemon Curd Roulade

Lemon Roulade
This recipe is a flourless Lemon Roll taken from the previously showcased cookbook accompanying the Great British Bake Off series; ''How to Bake''. This light lemon sponge is best eaten within 24 hours to avoid the cream seeping into the sponge and creating a soggy bottom.
The key to this recipe is to ensure the cake is served chilled as this allows the curd and cream to solidify and act as a cement.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Shaun Hill's Chicken Escalope with Tarragon and Leeks

In our house we have a bookshelf absolutely full of cookbooks. They have usually been bought for us as gifts and, as lovely as they are, we are both guilty of not really putting them to much use. Very often they get forgotten about and we just use the internet as our source of foodie inspiration. With all these great recipes and ideas just lying around, we thought we should make a greater effort to put them to good use. I took the first one I came to (which was literally right next to me on the coffee table) and decided to choose one recipe to cook. The book I picked up was by Shaun Hill and is called "Better gravy and other kitchen secrets". We haven't eaten chicken in a while and so I went straight for the poultry section and went for his "Chicken Escalope with Tarragon and Leeks".

Guest Post - Prime 16 - New Haven, USA by Brendan Walsh

Picture taken from

The main reason for Liz's first blog's success was the fact that we were travelling around Asia during the time that she was writing. We had so many amazing and unique food experiences that she was never short of interesting writing material. With this blog, we are keen to carry on in a similar vein, but we are restrained by the fact that we are now permanently based back in the UK. To get around this, we have approached the friends we made during our 2 years living in South Korea and asked them to share with us some of their favourite foodie moments. Located in America, South Africa, Mexico, Dubai and many more to add, by sharing their experiences through our blog we hope to show some really interesting posts from around the world.

The first is from a great friend of ours, Brendan Walsh. We met Brendan in Korea and instantly found that the 3 of us shared a great passion for food. We were really happy to hear that he would write a guest post for Food All Ways. Brendan has a great way with words and I hope you enjoy his contribution as much as we did.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Lemon and White Chocolate Souffle

For Liz's birthday meal, I of course had to come up with a tasty dessert. We have a surplus of lemon curd in the fridge following Liz's exploits last week - I wanted to create a dessert that could use this in a refined and spectacular way. Whenever the word souffle is mentioned on TV, magazines or cookbooks, it is met with trepidation. However, after my unorthdox aubergine souffle last week, I thought a more conventional chocolate version must be relatively simple.

Roast Duck with Passionfruit Sauce

It was Liz's birthday at the weekend and so I did my best to prepare a birthday meal worthy of the occasion. Since her recent conversion from vegetarian to carnivore, Liz has been very adventurous with her food - a whole new gourmet world has opened up to her! One animal that we haven't tried together is duck. So I bought a crown of duck and made a lovely passionfruit sauce to go along with it.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is something that I remember eating only a handful of times as a child, but I remember those little moments well and with pure enjoyment! Whoever thought of making a spread using lemons and dairy is a genius of ginormous proportions.

There is a bit of debate surrounding lemon curd and its cousin lemon cheese. The ingredients of both are the same, however the cooking process and balance of ingredients appear to be slightly different and this results in a thinner lemon curd over a thicker lemon cheese.

The recipe I have used is from a book accompanying the first series of the 'Great British Bake Off'', a fantastic BBC competition program featuring some marvellous bakes and some huge bake mistakes! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood make a critical dynamic duo with an almost good cop/ bad cop essence. The challenges are very British indeed.

The recipes in the 'How to Bake', book were developed by Linda Collister and may I say, isn't she a dear. This lemon curd came out very nicely and I dare say it is simple and easy for anyone to make.

Ingredients makes 500g

125g butter
225g sugar
3 unwaxed lemons, grated and zested.
3 large eggs (preferably free range).


Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a heatproof bowl.
Place over a simmering pan of water, but don't allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water below.
Stir gently with a spoon or spatula until the butter is melted and the consistency smooth.
Remove the bowl from the pan, pour the beaten eggs into the mixture and stir well.
Replace the bowl back over the water and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Don't be tempted to increase from a low heat as the eggs will cook too quickly and scramble! Oops.
The curd is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Transfer to a storage container, allow to cool and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Mutton Curry with Cauliflower "Rice"

I think that behind traditional British cuisine, Indian food has to be our next favourite food. Here in England, Indian food is extremely popular due to the large population of Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi people who live in this country. There are huge cultural ties between Britain and this part of the world and this is undoubtedly the reason for our fasciantion with this kind of food. The key to this food is in the spices used and it is these spices which came to our shores with those returning from the Crusades. Using and combining these spices can be a little daunting at times. But it doesn't need to be difficult to create a rich, deep and spicy curry and making something simple like my Mutton Curry with Cauliflower "Rice" would be a good place to start.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Oat-rolled Herring with Beetroot Puree

Last week in the supermarket was a big pile of reduced fish for sale. We decided to buy bags and bags of different fish including cod, bream and these herring. Most of the other fish went into our fish pie but the herring remained in our freezer. Although Liz really loves any kind of fish, cooked in any way, I am a little more cautious when it comes to oily and pungent varieties such as mackerel, sardines and, in this case, herring. As such, I prefer to fry these kinds of fish in plenty of butter and serve them with plenty of little side dishes so as the flavour blends in with the other food and is less empowering. We all know that fish can be battered in either breadcrumbs or a wet flour mix (as in our traditional fish 'n' chips) but I wondered if something different could be used - oats.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lancaster's Bakery, Harrogate

Throughout this blog we hope to show you the food we are cooking and eating at home, but we also hope that we can share more than that. We want to share all our foodie experiences, whether that be our own cooking, eating out at restaurants, coming across interesting food articles and anything and everything else food related. With that in mind, I want to tell you about a lovely family run business called Lancaster's Bakery in Harrogate.

Liz and I only moved to Harrogate a few months ago and so we are still exploring the eating options on offer, in what is a very food-conscious town. I was advised to go to Lancaster's by a work colleague who assured me that they serve the ''best sausage rolls in the world''. Upon entering the bakery, it appeared to just be quite a standard bakery, nothing too much different to any other bakery you can go to. We chose a wide selection of baked goods, including the sausage rolls, pepper steak slices and a chicken pie. Although the appearance was all very familiar and probably quite ordinary, the taste and flavours really were exceptional. The sausage rolls were indeed very good but it was the pepper steak slices which unanimously took all the greatest compliments.

I will certainly be a regular customer to Lancaster's and look forward to trying everything from their extensive range. Don't be put off by the average appearance of the place - they really are producing baked goods of an unparalled standard.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Aubergine (Eggplant) Souffle

Aubergine, or eggplant as it is known outside of the UK, divides opinions in our home. Liz, as a former vegetarian, really loves it but I am a little unsure. I find it can be a little flavourless and perhaps a little watery. But I was determined to find a way in which I could really enjoy this ingredient. By making a rich egg mix flavoured with the aubergine and then baking it to make a souffle I think I achieved my aim. By baking the souffle in the shell of the aubergine this ensured very little food was wasted and it makes for an interesting looking accompaniment to any meal.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Potato Peeling Crisps

When making a fish pie recently, I had to peel a lot of potatoes and made a large heap of potato peelings. Usually these just get thrown in the bin and are forgotten about but I decided to put them to some use this time. Very simply, preheat the oven to 200C and heat some oil in a baking tray. When smoking hot, put the peelings in the pan and toss them in the oil with some salt, pepper and some paprika. I am sure other seasoning options could be used such as cumin, chilli and garlic. Then bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until they are nice and crispy.

A nice little snack from something we usually throw away.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Chicken with Rhubarb

Our house is full of cookbooks, but one which has caught my attention more than most is the Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit - It gives a comprehensive guide to how different flavours can work together. These are very often quite strange pairings but it has started to make me think I should be a little more experimental in the kitchen. So last night for tea, we made a rhubarb sauce to go with our roast chicken.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hearty Fish Pie

Food doesn't get much more British than a hearty fish pie. It is believed that it was brought to our shores by the Romans, who would prepare a similar dish when they were on a fast day (for example during Lent when they could not eat meat). A variety of poached fish and seafood, covered in a white sauce and topped with mashed potatoes (the original versions probably had a pastry lid), it is an easy and simple way to enjoy fish.