Category Archives: Food Blog

St David’s Day Menu

St David's Day
St David’s Day

St David’s Day, the feast day for the Welsh patron saint and falls annually of the 1st March. In memory of my late Welsh Grandmother Gwen, who lived to the ripe old age of 94, I have put together a Welsh inspired menu to celebrate this Welsh national holiday using her recipe for Cawl

 Cockles with Pancetta and Thyme Cockles with Pancetta and Thyme
Main course
 Cawl Cawl
 Snowdon Pudding Steamed Snowdon Pudding (Pwdin Eryri)
Red Dragon Cocktail Red Dragon Cocktail
 Double Dragon Beer - Felinfoel Brewery Double Dragon Beer – Felinfoel Brewery

Buy a few bunches of bright yellow Daffodils, look forward to Spring and celebrate St David’s Day.

Not that Mr T

My favourite Valentine’s Day Menu

Favourite Valetine's Day Menu
Favourite Valentine’s Day Menu

Although I have found a Valentine’s Day menu for an Incurable Romantic, this would be my ideal choice if it was being cooked for me. It’s a protein based Man’s man food menu, with meat, seafood followed by another big slab of meat all washed down with beer!

 Scallops with chorizo Scallops with chorizo
Main course
 Rib eye steak, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Bearnaise sauce Rib eye steak, Lyonnaise Potatoes and Bearnaise sauce
 Spiced Apple Crumble Spiced Apple Crumble with custurd
 Vespa Martini Pre Dinner: Vespa Martini
 Harveys Kiss ABV 4.5% During Dinner: Harveys Kiss ABV 4.5%

Now doesn’t that sound like the menu from heaven?

Not that Mr T

Moro’s Arroz a la Marinera


Moro’s Arroz a la Marinera

My current fascination seems to be with food from the Moorish influenced regions of Europe and the Mediterranean. This wonderful Spanish fish and rice stew (paella) recipe is taken from the menu at Sam & Sam Clark’s Moro, a southern Mediterranean restaurant based in London’s vibrant East End. The recipe can be found here.

Although this isn’t found in Sam & Sam Clark’s recipe books, their Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook benefits from the experienced learned from publishing the previous cookbook. The recipes included are truly geared towards home cooks and serving sizes rather than the over generous spicing required for restaurant sized pots and pans. I can guarantee that once you start using this book you will come back to it regularly.

Not That Mr T.

Jewelled Pumpkin Rice

Jewelled Pumpkin Rice

We were sorting through the freezer this weekend working out what was stored in there and doing a bit of a rationalisation. I saw a bag of raw Pumpkin that had been saved this years Halloween ‘Jack O Lantern’. and wondered what I could do with it, maybe a Spiced Pumpkin soup or something more exotic. Sam and Sam Clarke at Moro, a Southern Mediterranean restaurant in London’s East End had a recipe for Jewelled Pumpkin Rice in their Moro East Cookbook, which looked stunning and defiantly one to try. The muted golds and yellow with the warming middle eastern spices are evocative of holidays in the North African side of the Med. The recipe can be found here.

Not that Mr T!

Recipe credit: p192, Moro East, by Sam and Sam Clark (Ebury Press).


Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

It’s the time of the year when family and friends pop round bearing Christmas cards and gifts and for those unexpected moments when unplanned vistors turn up, it’s always good t have something quick that you can prepare on the hop. This 10 to 15 minute wonder will have you passing round the festive cheer as quick as a flash.

Not that Mr T

The holidays are approaching…

The festive season is fast approaching and I’m finishing up on all of the present buying for the family, (well, I have to say that the majority of it has been done by my lovely ‘other half’) and my musings are returning to what to cook for dinner on Christmas Day. The obligatory Turkey is a must, the kids would never forgive me if I didn’t give them slices of Roast Turkey on their plate (I’m trying to get them to convert to the more flavoursome goose, without any luck), plus a boiled then roasted ham joint.

For the Side, I’m looking for different things to go with the ubiquitous Goose fat Roasted Spuds, so have been dipping in and out of the various Christmas themed cookery programmes that have been on over the last few weeks for inspiration and have come up with the following:

This Potato and fennel bake from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, would add a variety of taste to the meal and use some of those fennel bulbs that seem to be going cheap at the moment. It’s a simple side dish that can be pre-prepared up to the final roasting and popped in 30-40 mins before dishing up time.


I’m going to be cooking my favourite Brussels Sprout recipe, you’ve just got to have them at Christmas

Brussels Sprouts with pancetta

This recipe combines the humble Brussels with the wonderful saltiness of pancetta and deep sweet notes of Marsala wine and sweet Chestnuts

I also cook way too many Sprouts as the make great ‘Bubble and Squeak’ to go with the cold meat on boxing day


December is also slap bang in the middle of the parsnip season and their sweets citrus notes is a highlight of any roast.

Maple roast parsnips

Nigella Lawson’s Maple Roast Parsnips have a smoky-sweet flavour that everyone will adore, I’ll get hold of some young carrots, scrubbed and the stalks clipped leaving about a centimetre of green and pop those in too.

To add a splash of colour to the meal, it’ll have to be the red jewel of the season the beetroot. Not just the preserve of the Boxing day fry up as a pickled accompaniment, roasted, it makes a cracking side dish too.

Roast Beetroot

My favourite Roasted Beetroot recipe adds a splash of balsamic vinegar and thyme to give a sweet Herby background to this versatile vegetable


The kids just love Cauliflower Cheese and this recipe hits the mark, it’s easy and quick

Cauliflower Cheese

BBC Good Food provides a brilliant version of the standard British classic of Cauliflower Cheese, just pop it in when you’ve taken the roasted meat out to rest.




With the addition of some decadently out of season boiled new potatoes and small sweet ‘Petit Pois’ I think that selection of sides will fill the table as well as ‘the bill’ for my side dish requirement for my Christmas dinner.