Thursday, 17 May 2018

Steak and whisky sauce

  • Steaks
  • Cream
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sliced onions
  • Chips
  • Whisky
Fry the onions, prepare the chips
Remove packaging from steaks, heat oil until very hot
Cook steak for 1 minute on each side
Reduce to medium heat and cook for 2 minutes (or more) on each side
Put on warm plate and place in warm oven for 5-10 minutes
Put 25 ml of whisky on pan until it bubbles
Add cream
Pour over steaks

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Minestrone soup

Olive oil
Rashers of bacon
Clove of garlic
1 or 2 carrots
Stick of celery
Courgette or a leaf or two of green cabbage
450 g tin of finely chopped tomatoes
ham stock
chicken stock
bouquet garni sachets [herbs]
2 ounces of rice
salt and pepper
  • In a large pan put a few spoons of olive oil .
  • Chop up 6 or 7 rashers of lean bacon and a clove of garlic and an onion.
  • Gently fry in the oil until softened.
  • Add a finely chopped carrot or two and a stick of celery, a courgette or some green cabbage, all finely chopped
  • Gently saute for a few minutes.
  • Add a tin of finely chopped tomatoes and then a litre of stock (namely 500 ml of ham stock and another 500 ml of vegetable stock).
  • Into this mixture add a couple of sachets of bouquet garni, 2 ounces of rice and a little chopped up spaghetti or any suitable pasta.
  • Salt and pepper - not too much and add water as required
  • Simmer gently until everything is cooked and serve with some garlic bread, garished with fresh basil.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Braised red cabbage with apple

Serves 6 (serves 2)

2½ lb red cabbage (small)
2 medium onions, sliced (one)
2 medium cooking apples, cored and chopped (one)
2 level teaspoons of suger (one)
bouquet garni
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar ( one )
1 oz butter ( half an ounce)

  1. Shred cabbage. Discard coarse stalk and leaves
  2. Layer the cabbage in a 6 pint casserole with the onions, apple, sugar and seasoning. Put bouquet garni in centre and pour over 2 tablespoons of water and the vinegar
  3. Cover tightly and cook in oven at 200°C for 1 hour
  4. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, until liquid has evaporated. 
  5. Add butter and toss 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Banana loaf

2 cupfuls self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
1 cupful caster sugar
2 ounces (50 g) butter or soft baking margarine
3 bananas mashed
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons sultanas
Optional : small quantity chopped walnuts

Rub butter into flour
Add all dry ingredients, bananas and egg
Put into greased or lined loaf tin (200 x 90 x 60mm or 8 x 3½ x 2½ inches)
Bake approx 1 hour at 180C (350F, gasmark 4) or 160C (325F, gasmark 3) fan oven until a skewer comes out clean.

A nice way of using up overripe bananas

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Celery and stilton soup

40g (1½ oz) butter or margarine
4 celery sticks, trimmed and chopped (cubes of 5 - 10 mm)
45 ml (3 tablespoons) flour
300 ml (½ pint) milk
600 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
165 g (6 oz) stilton cheese, crumbled.

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the celery and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured
  2. Stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk then the stock. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the celery is tender
  3. Gradually add the stilton and stir in until melted. 
Please bear in mind that Stilton cheese is very salty, and no salt needs to be added.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Parsnip and walnut cake with citrus icing

Parsnip and walnut cake
175 g  plain flour
5 g baking powder
5 g bicarbonate of soda
5 g ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
175 ml sunflower oil
175 g caster sugar
3 large eggs
175 g grated raw parsnip
60 g chopped walnuts
80 g sultanas
zest of one lemon

Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt together.
Place the oil and sugar in a large bowl, beat with an electric whisk then add the eggs one at a time until all are combined.
Fold in the dry ingredients, then the parsnip, the walnuts, the sultanas and the lemon zest.
Grease and flour a 25 cm diameter cake tin, pour in the mixture and cook in the over at 180C / gas mark 4 for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170C / gas mark 3 and cook for another 20 minutes.
It may be necessary to cover the tin with baking paper if it appears to be cooking too fast
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Citrus icing
100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
175 g icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
juice of half a lemon
25 ml milk

Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and cream together, then add the zests and lemon juice.
Add the milk until you achieve a spreadable consistency, then spread evenly over the cooled parsnip and walnut cake.

Modified 29 November 2013

Friday, 25 January 2008


1 sheep's stomach bag and pluck (heart, liver, lungs and windpipe)
250g-1kg/½lb-2lb pinhead oatmeal, or a mixture of medium and pinhead
125g-500g/4oz-1lb suet, finely chopped
4 onions, finely chopped
2-4 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried mixed herbs, or 2 tsp chopped fresh herbs


1. Begin the day before you want to cook the haggis. Wash the stomach bag in cold water, scrape and clean well. Place into a large bowl of clean, cold water.

2. Wash the pluck and place it into a pan of boiling water. Let the windpipe lie over the side of the pan and place a small jar underneath to catch the drips. Simmer gently until all parts are tender - this depends on the age of the animal but is usually between one and two hours.

3. Place the cooked pluck into a large basin, cover with the cooking liquid and leave overnight.

4. The next day, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

5. For the stuffing, spread the oatmeal out on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and toast for around ten minutes, or until thoroughly dried out but not browned.

6. Drain the pluck, reserving the cooking liquid. Cut the windpipe off and discard, along with any skin and black parts. Chop or mince the heart and lungs and grate the liver. Place into a large bowl and mix well.

7. Add the toasted oatmeal, suet, onions, salt, pepper, herbs and about 570ml/1 pint of the liquid the pluck was boiled in and mix well.

8. Drain the stomach bag. Fill the bag to just over half full with the stuffing mixture. Press out the air, sew up the top of the bag and prick with a long needle.

9. Place the haggis into boiling water and simmer for three hours, pricking with aneedle again when it swells. Alternatively, the bag may be cut into several pieces to make smaller haggis, in which case cook for only 1½-2 hours.

10. Serve hot with 'neeps', 'tatties' and a glass of good blended whisky.