Swedish Apple Cake

So here is the thing; you are making dinner for Eurovision fanatics and for each course there must be some link with the competition, but what? Well, this year it was held in Sweden so what better than a dessert of Swedish Apple Cake. This really does give American Apple Pie a run for its money, and while I am sure there are as many versions of this in Sweden as there are kitchens, this is the one I love and it is tried and tested.

Served warm or at room temperature  with a light drizzle of cream or custard, and it can be made in advance and brought out when needed. You can save the left overs for teatime the next day, if it lasts that long – a pudding that goes on giving. Serves 6-8.

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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Each year, around the time of my birthday, I wander up the road to the gates of Greenwich Park. From that vantage point I can watch thousands of not so lonely long distance runners set off on the London Marathon. It is fun, for a while. Then I can stroll back home and watch the rest on the television, or sit down with the newspaper. What has this to do with food? Well, the night before a marathon pasta meals are usually the thing. It is so called ‘carb-loading’. This is fine, but a long distance runner (over 90 minutes) also needs to add the protein in order to feed the muscles. Far more important, however, is that the other people eating with you need to enjoy the meal too.  So here it is, a classic carbonara – balancing carbohydrates and protein. There are two ways of cooking this, the one that follows is the ‘in the pan method’. I will put the other one on here (Zabaione method) for those who like a bit more of a challenge.

This serves two – so you may want to add more if there is a house full.

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Monkfish with Saffron Sauce

Monkfish with Saffron Sauce

Monkfish is one of those fish that has an almost meat-like quality. It is firm and holds up well to a sauce. I first tried this on a holiday about 4 years ago, and said I would attempt to recreate it. I have added a base of spinach, it works well with the richness of the sauce, and combined with the fish and saffron this is a great dish. Crusty bread to mop up the sauce? If you like, or leave it as a more refined and elegant as a supper for guests. This serves six. Continue reading

Crispy but Moist Chicken

So how is it that you make chicken skin crispy, but the meat moist and soft almost like it has been poached? Well the answer is to fry it and then poach it. Yes, sounds daft I know but it can be done, and put it along side some sweet, buttery sautéed cabbage and it becomes a wonderful, quick,  evening supper.

Best of all it takes only thirty minutes to cook. Continue reading

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Trust me, I’m not searching the world for recipes that are a heart attack on a plate, but sometimes things are just too good not to try. Brownies (more about their history below) are one of those wonderful food creations that can be eaten at almost anytime. Great for tea-time, on picnics and even as a dessert after good meal (just add a spoon of ice cream). This one has extra chocolate chunks running through it – I used mostly dark chocolate but the choice is yours. I have a recipe for a brownie cake, squidgy on top with wonderful chocolate goo on the base. When I’ve tried it I will share it. Well, maybe.

Cuts into 16 squares or 32 triangles. Ready in 1 hour  (inc cooling) Continue reading

Lamb Chop with Borlotti Beans

Lamb with Borlotti Beans

It’s wonderful, spring lamb gambolling around the countryside. It is even better on a plate, quick fried and then put in the oven, accompanied by borlotti beans, tomatoes, peppers and anchovies. It is a smoky sweet, almost mid-eastern side dish; all made in the time it takes to drink the first glass of red wine. Some people I know like to use crusty bread to mop up the remains, but the choice is yours. Continue reading

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry MuffinsI love blueberries, especially in muffins. Maybe I just love muffins more, I don’t know. Anyway, the combination of the cake-like texture and sweet pop of blueberries is irresistible. Better than that, they only take twenty-five minutes or so from batter to breadbasket. One final word of warning, they are not shop made, they do not look shop made, and most important of all they don’t taste shop made. Continue reading