venison steak on a bed of celeriac puree, with potato croquettes, beetroot discs, roasted carrots and port and black garlic sauce

Apologies for my recent absence! I haven’t been in the cooking spirit over the last few days, as I’ve been suffering with a sickness bug. I’m glad to report that I’m back to my usual, food-loving self and can now start to write up this huge backlog of recipes for you! I have so many to share with you, so I’d really better crack on.

I really enjoyed making this dish. Venison is such a rich and gamey meat, and needs to be cooked right. I enjoy mine cooked medium-rare in the form of a steak. I wanted to keep the sides simple for this dish, but opted for rich and earthy vegetables which compliment it so well, with the addition of a potato croquette for a little crunch. What can I say, I’ll always try to find space on the plate for a croquette….

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aloo tikki with tamarind chana masala

As much as I love good quality meat (ALWAYS from Southampton Butchers), I do also enjoy a lot of vegetarian food, mainly because I’m a potato fiend! Indian cuisine provides some of the best veggie dishes out there, using a variety of pulses and vegetables.

Aloo tikki is one of my favourite dishes, made up of spiced mashed potato cakes. Many versions come with different fillings inside, as well as the addition of semolina or sago to the outside to add extra crunch. With this recipe, I keep the aloo tikki simple, and let the tamarind and tomato chickpea curry do the work – the sweet and sour flavour adds a lot of depth to the dish. This makes a great starter for a homemade Indian feast.

I’m so excited for my trip to India next March, and hopefully I’ll get to taste the real deal. We’re visiting Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi and Goa, so if you have any suggestions of places to visit or where to eat, please let me know!

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herb crusted lamb rack with anna potatoes, goats cheese bon bons, petit pois puree and sugarsnap peas

I have, well and truly, developed an addiction: making croquettes. Out of anything and everything. I love how much that little addition of crunchy flavour can add to the plate. Nanny Bill’s has been a massive inspiration – their food truck, based in London, is known for their signature croquettes such as mac’n’cheese and pea, mint and feta. I love bread-crumbing anything and deep-frying it – whether it be arancini (risotto balls), potatoes or completely obscure fillings. With this recipe, I already had a crunchy element with the lamb, but I knew the little injection of goats cheese would help cut through the sweetness of the peas and the richness of the meat. When making croquettes is so simple and allows so much room to experiment, how could you resist giving it a go?!

Lamb is a relatively new meat for me. I’ve grown up as a fussy eater – not as a result of my parents, particularly my mum who has continuously pushed for me to try new things. But until recent years, I was still refusing to eat common foods such as tomatoes, lamb and cauliflower. However, this is something I’ve worked on, pushing myself to try them. And guess what? I now enjoy all of these foods. Especially tomatoes – I would go as far as to say they are now one of my favourite things to eat. I can sit down on my own in front of the TV, and work my way through a punnet of cherry tomatoes without a second thought. This is an ideology I want to instill in others who love food, but only select foods. There will be things you do not like, no matter how hard you try – believe me, I wish I loved fish but I just really do not enjoy eating it. However, there are many foods out there that people think they don’t like, but would if they gave it a second chance. Many still have the ideas of food they hated as children stuck in the back of their mind. For example, if you don’t eat lamb as you find it too fatty, give a recipe ago that uses a lean cut – I have a great adaptation on the site of an Atul Kochhar recipe for an Indian-inspired lamb rump. It’s not particularly fatty, and the spices really help to make it into more than just a piece of meat.

If you’re feeling even braver, then give this recipe a go! It’s very easy to put together, and a lot can be prepped in advance – e.g. crumb your lamb earlier in the day, form the croquettes and leave in the fridge, slice the potatoes and set aside in cold water. Despite it’s simplicity, there’s no denying that it looks great on the plate.

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