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    500 Recipes

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    A delicious 18th Century recipe from the county of Somerset; Somerset is the home of England's most notorious cider, 'scrumpy', a seemingly innocent drink to the unwary! However, cider makes an excellent substitute for wine in cooking and tenderises the meat beautifully. The addition of honey blends extremly well with the cider, and adds a complexity to this easily baked chicken dish. Serve with steamed greens and baked or mashed potatoes.

    Recipe #238815

    This is a very simple recipe for a delicious and swiftly made trifle. It originates from the 18th century, when the word whim-wham was used to describe something light and fanciful. It is quite boozy, and you might want to take a break before driving!! You can add fresh fruit to this if you like - it is not traditional, but I like to add raspberries when they are in season.

    Recipe #230466

    An easy and VERY light Christmas pudding - for those that dislike the heavy dark puddings. However, this still has all the traditional Christmas pudding ingredients, but it is served with a delicious butterscotch sauce for a decadent twist! Moreover, all the family can now have their pudding and eat it, as this appeals to all ages! Steaming a pudding is SO easy - you just pop it on to gently steam, whilst you prepare the rest of the festive meal. You only have to remember to keep topping up the water from time to time. Serve warm with the hot butterscotch sauce and maybe a jug of single cream or brandy custard to help it along! Merry Christmas! N.B. This recipe was taken from the Christmas 2003 edition of BBC Good Food magazine, I have amended it slightly to personal taste. I have made this pudding every year since I first saw the recipe, and I have given this recipe out countless times!

    Recipe #257417

    A classic British No-Cook pickle for your sandwiches and cheese board! Remember Pan Yan pickle? It was a firm favourite in our home and my dad loved it slathered on top of cheese on toast! Now sadly discontinued, this fabulous British pickle with the catchy name is easy to make! I have fiddled around and recreated this recipe, and I am delighted with the results even though I say so myself. Lighter and with more "tang" then Branston pickle, I love it in sandwiches. Adjust the curry powder to your own tastes.

    Recipe #246663

    This would be a wonderful centrepiece for a special celebratory meal, such as a summer wedding, christening, anniversary, birthday or a bridal shower. Open faced omelettes, studded with fresh vegetables and herbs including chives and chive flowers, are sandwiched together with herb and garlic cream cheese to create a savoury vegetarian gateau! Top the gateau off with parmesan cheese shavings and toss baby salad leaves on and around the gateau to serve. This does take a little time to prepare, however, it is made a day before it is needed, making it ideal for a special event. You could add thinly sliced ham or crispy bacon if this is not required as a vegetarian dish. Preparation time includes the chilling time overnight. (The idea for this recipe was taken from a Good Food magazine - summer 2008.)

    Recipe #303666

    I am lucky enough to live in the Cognac and Pineau grape growing area of South West France - we also grow grapes for the excellent local (Charente-Maritime) wine in this area. Our woodman, Monsieur Jacquot, has a small chateau with several vineyards, and every year we are invited to join in on the first or last day of the "Vendange" - the grape harvest. And, every year, Madame Jacquot prepares and cooks the most delicious food for all of the grape pickers, family and invited friends. This year (2009) the harvest started on the 1st October, and this is the dish she made for us, served simply with fresh salads, assorted local breads, local butter, cheese and of course local wine, pineau and cognac. I asked her for the recipe and she rattled out the ingredients at a rapid pace, whilst I scribbled them down on the back of an envelope! I have recreated this recipe at home twice now, and this is ALMOST as good as hers is! (Mind you, she set hers out on long tables with white linen and beautiful old vintage crockery.......I found out that the white linen were bed sheets! NEVER used on a bed she stressed, kept for large gatherings.) The key to this recipe is SIMPLICITY and GOOD sausages and wine. I used local Toulouse sausages, meaty and with a high 85% meat content. But you can use ANY good, meaty sausages that you have available locally - I bet high quality venison or Angus beef sausages would be brilliant in this dish. Also, DO try to source “Lentilles Vert de Puy” – green Puy lentils; they make all the difference to this wonderful harvest dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, sitting at the long table in the old barn, under ancient beams and with beaming faces and loud laughter. ( PS: I cut this recipe RIGHT back from 30 people to just 4! Please adjust the amounts to suit.)

    Recipe #393717

    I have no idea why this burger recipe from New Zealand is called a warrior burger - maybe because you need to have a "fighting" appetite to eat this amazing burger or have an asbestos tongue?! A meal and a half in a bun - and with MORE than a bit of a kick as well! (I should have called this An All Blacks Burger maybe?!)

    Recipe #230475

    Luscious fresh strawberries nestle amongst light sponge cake sandwiched with strawberry jam, which are then covered with creamy custard and topped with clotted cream. Simple! This trifle may be simple but it is the star on any tea-time or dessert table and if you cannot obtain clotted cream, use whipping cream, heavy cream or double cream instead. Madeira is used in place of sherry in this trifle, which gives a mellow flavour to the trifle. This is a recipe that my mum sent to me, from a cutting in a British magazine promoting Devon and Cornwall in the West Country - home of the Cream Tea! If you wish to serve this to children or non-drinkers, substitute the Madeira with fruit juice of your choice. In the summer scatter some pink rose petals over the top for the ultimate and romantic finish! (Prep time includes the chilling and soaking time.)

    Recipe #412075

    This is such a wonderful way of serving your chocolate truffles at Christmas or New Year - or indeed any special winter festival! I do make my own truffles for this, but you can buy ready-made truffles for ease and speed of course! I love to see my family and friend's faces when I bring the coffee and "chocolates" out with this Truffle Tree! Allow yourself plenty of time to assemble this, the plant pot and the tree "trunk" can be prepared beforehand; once the chocolate truffle tree has been assembled, it will be fine for up to 2 days before you need to serve it, stored in a very cool and dry place - NOT a fridge however. I have made this with a well-known gold wrapped chocolate nut truffle before, as well as the white chocolate and coconut version by the same company! The truffles shown in my photos are local hand-made truffles, but any "firm" high chocolate truffle is fine. I have my own truffle recipe posted on zaar, Recipe #271012 which also works very well with this tree! Have fun - and just watch your guest's faces when you bring this out!! NB: You can also make this with marshmallows and other suitable sweets or candy, especially for children.

    Recipe #270171

    Classic and traditional British Pub Grub! Cooked prawns (shrimps) served in a pint mug with a tangy garlic mayonnaise and a pint of Guinness of course - my idea of heaven! British pub grub is justly famous and this simple dish is also great when served at home. Serve these prawns for family gatherings, or St Patrick's Day, St George's Day, St David's Day, St Andrew's Day, Australia Day, football, superbowl, darts matches or ANY time you fancy simple, robust food with a pint of ale! I have suggested Guinness but you can serve these prawns with any real ale or your favourite brew. I have spiced the mayonnaise up a tad - if you are not a lover of spicy food, serve these prawns with classic mayonnaise.

    Recipe #359858

    A selection of my four favourite "cheesy" flavoured butters..... Cheddar & Garlic Butter, Camembert Butter, Roquefort Butter and Stilton & Green Peppercorn Butter. These can be prepared well ahead of time and stored in the fridge or the freezer. I then cut off rounds or slices, as and when I need them. My favourite uses for these wonderful cheese butters are as toppings for steaks, grilled fish and vegetables. They are also wonderful spread and melted on ciabatta, a baguette or good artisinal bread - a meal in themselves!! I have also popped a slice or two into pasta dishes or white and any savoury sauces, for that extra cheesy zing!

    Recipe #228627

    A Symphony or rather a selection of fresh cream chocolate truffles, this is my basic recipe with a few indulgent added extras.......such as toasted almonds, stem ginger with brandy or rum! These decadent rich truffles are perfect to finish of a dinner party with, especially if you serve them on a Truffle Tree - Recipe #270171 Do try to use very high quality minimum 70% solids chocolate, it really does make such a difference to the taste. They also freeze very well - which means you can make them in advance and at leisure; they only take about 1 hour to defrost at room temperature.

    Recipe #271012

    I named this A Winter's Walk Beef Stew, as it is JUST the kind of hearty and welcoming meal to come back to after a cold and energetic winter's walk! The dumplings are baked for the last 20 minutes on top of the stew and are deliciously crisp and golden, but still fluffy and light underneath. This can be made with minced beef/ground beef as well as braising/stewing steak or chuck steak. I have allowed 2 dumplings per person here - please adapt the quantities to suit, but we always find 2 dumplings each very satisfying! There is no need to serve much else with this filling comforting stew, maybe some steamed cabbage, baby potatoes or greens would be nice.....or a few extra carrots. This serves 4 people with very generous helpings. You may need a walk AFTERWARDS!! A nice glass of robust red wine or a pint of ale would be great accompaniments! This can be made in a crockpot - up to the dumpling stage and then the stew can be put into an ovenproof dish and baked with the dumplings. Likewise, if you are going for a pre-dinner walk - make the stew right up to the dumpling stage, and then finish off when you get home.

    Recipe #270955

    This is as wicked as it sounds. A truly delectable combination of flavours and textures that are light and melt in the mouth. I would choose this as a Christmas or New Year dinner party dessert, as the puddings freeze well and are no trouble to re-heat. A modern British classic - sticky toffee pudding was thought to have originated from the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Ullswater in the Lake District of Northern England There is also a school of thought that John Tovey at Miller Howe in Windermere was the first to make this. Either way, the pudding is as iconic today as it was when it was first baked and devoured by the lucky diners of either one of those hotels! My recipe is based on the recipe that Delia Smith published in her Christmas cookbook, but I have made several changes that I feel work better for me, the main change is to increase the pecan toffee sauce quantities, as I have had grown people - mainly males - fighting over who gets the last dribble of this delectable sauce!! I hope you find the step-by-step photos useful when you make this for the first time. (This was featured in the September 2008 Cooking School Topic of the Month on Zaar - a wonderful event where lots of talented chefs on Zaar showed off their culinary skills through photographic tutorials!) Prep time includes the time needed for soaking the dates.

    Recipe #325920

    A wonderful brunch recipe for the morning after or when you need an early boost for a busy day ahead; although this is super healthy and refreshing, I have also served this as the dessert dish for a buffet, BUT with champagne as the liquid instead of orange juice! (Just another idea for dressing this fresh fruit salad up with frills!) This is not only healthy, but it is SO festive and colourful - my photo shows the one I made this Boxing Day (26th December), I usually add kiwi fruit too, but we had run out of them.......oooops! My quantities listed here make enough for 6 to 8 people, but this can be increased as well as reduced to suit personal requirements. I normally serve this with crème fraiche or vanilla yoghurt, but it’s also wonderful when served “naked”, the salad that is, not me! The fruits I have suggested are rich in vitamins and antioxidants for a quick mental boost, as well as a rapid detox to aid recovery after a heavy night or after indulging in rich food, but please do adapt this to your own seasonal and local produce if you wish.

    Recipe #404993

    Valencia is true orange growing country, and this recipe is based on fresh orange juice, which is best - try not to use carton or bottled orange juice. And beware, this innocuous-sounding drink is strong! It must be served ice cold - if Cointreau is not available or too expensive - use a local orange liqueur.

    Recipe #225953

    I adore moules, mussels, and this is the classic French recipe for them. Moules Marinières is also commonly known as Sailor's mussels or Mariner's mussels. The dish consists of delicately steamed fresh mussels in a white wine, garlic, parsley, butter, onion and cream sauce. Moules Marinières can be served as an appetising starter or even a light main meal. It is delicious served with fresh crusty bread or with frites (chips/fries). There is nothing more mouth-watering than a huge bowl of artistically presented mussels, yet the fun part is eating them. The best way is to use an empty mussel shell as the "spoon" in which to pick the remaining mussels from their shells and then eat them. It's a brilliant excuse to use your fingers to eat rather than the usual knife and for - very tactile! A traditional French recipe will use butter, however the butter may be substituted for a few tablespoons of olive oil for a healthier option - I sometimes use a mix of butter and olive oil I hope you find the step-by-step photos helpful, this recipe was used in the September 2008 Cooking School for the TOTM - hopefully, the photos will debunk the myth that mussels are hard to prepare and cook, NOT so! Bon Appétit!

    Recipe #326393

    This classic Arabian dish is Saudi Arabian in origin, and is believed to originate from the nomadic Bedouin tribes centuries ago. Arabic cuisine has its roots in tent cookery. Nomadic tribes could use only transportable foods such as rice and dates, or their nomadic stock like sheep and camels in their recipes. As the caravans journeyed throughout the Middle East, new seasonings and vegetables were discovered and added to the existing repertoire. Each new discovery was incorporated into the diet in quantities palatable to a particular tribe - a fact that many cooks believe is responsible for the anomalies found in some Arabic dishes today. You can use lamb (or camel !!) in this dish, but it is more usual to make it with chicken nowadays. I have a recipe posted on Zaar for the Kabsa spice mix needed in this recipe. Recipe #290159

    Recipe #290003

    Picnic like the French with a perfectly ripe Camembert, some garlicky sausage and a fresh, crusty baguette - eh voila! No need to go outside for a picnic, if the weather is inclement; enjoy a picnic in your kitchen at the kitchen table, or use the cheese platter as a centrepiece for parties, fêtes, cocktails or social gatherings! Lay a tartan rug on the table and use wicker baskets or a hamper if you wish...........be as "rustique" or as "chic" as you want to be! Great for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, as well as for a summer picnics of course!

    Recipe #393189

    Pinchitos Morunos (Moorish Skewers) are extremely popular as a Tapa, partuclarly in Andalucia. They are of Moorish origin, and are usually made from Lamb or Pork, I have used Chicken as the meat in this recipe, but I have listed other options! They are marinated in a Moorish saffron & spice mix and usually grilled outside and over charcoal or wood; however, they also cook beautifully on a griddle or in a heavy griddle type pan inside, during the cooler months. These are my favourite meat skewers and make a regular appearance on the "Al Fresco Lunch Table" during the Summer months. Great finger food for friends - or you can increase the quantities and make a meal of them. Serve them with a simple Tomato & Parsley Salad with my Sherry Vinegar Dressing, Flatbreads & Pickles for a true taste of Spain!

    Recipe #227243

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