Star Treatment Recipes

There has been a big demand for the recipes from Shiver’s ITV Daytime show Star Treatment. Not ones to disappoint, here are top chef Ricky Andalcio’s recipes from the series. Enjoy!

=================

MY WOK CHICKEN

Serves a (hungry) 6 and this is a great easy, tasty supper dish

Splash of oil

1.2kg boneless and skinless chicken strips

Salt and pepper

3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

12 spring onions, sliced

1 large pack fresh coriander, chopped

Crème fraiche to serve

Sauce ingredients:

Combine together in a small bowl or jug:

3 tblsp soy sauce

3 tblsp lemon juice (bottled is fine)

12 tblsp sweet chilli sauce (I use and swear by Lingham’s)

6 tblsp good old H2O (that’s water!)

Method.

Take a large wok or frying pan and heat it on the stove until it becomes hot but not smoking.

Add the oil and the chicken. Season with salt and pepper (not too much salt as the soy sauce you will add later is salty).

Allow the chicken to get a good colour on the high heat. This means that you have to resist the urge to stir it and shake it around the pan too much. Obviously though, don’t allow it to burn.

Let the chicken stay in contact with the bottom of the pan to get some colour and only then stir to make sure all the pieces take their turn.

It’s this browning that makes the dish. Without it, it looks insipid.

It should take around three minutes or so to brown the meat and to become almost cooked through.

Check by taking a piece and cutting it open to have a look.

The rest couldn’t be simpler. Throw in the fresh chilli then add the wet sauce mixture to the pan. Be careful as the high heat sometimes causes this to spit a bit.

Mix around to coat all the chicken pieces. Add the spring onion and cook for a minute or so.

Remove from the heat and add the fresh coriander. Dish up onto your serving plate and top with the cooling crème fraiche.

Ricky’s tips

You can substitute the chicken for King Prawns or strips of pork or beef.

It is great served in a tortilla wrap with some salad or equally good with rice.

Make it hotter by adding chilli flakes or more fresh chilli. Or if you don’t like things too spicy, leave out the fresh chilli to cool things down.

 

SCALLOPS WITH CHORIZO

18 king scallops

18 slices chorizo

Zest and juice of three lemons

Sugar to taste

Oil and butter for cooking

Salt and pepper

Method.

Heat a frying pan on the stove until very hot.

Add a little oil. Place the scallops in the pan. Seal for one minute before turning over.

Add a small knob of butter at this stage and season with salt and pepper.

Depending upon thickness, the scallops should only take a minute each side to cook.

In the meantime, place the slices of chorizo on a tray and either grill or bake in a very hot oven until they turn crispy. This should only take two or three minutes.

Mix the zest and juice of lemon with a little sugar. You want to take away the very bitter edge from the lemon but it should retain some sharpness and freshness.

Top each scallop with a slice of chorizo and drizzle with the dressing.

Ricky’s tips

If you cannot get King scallops the use Queen scallops and cook more like a stir fry.

This is a very simple dish, but you could add extra ingredients to the dressing if you wish – herbs such as chives and perhaps some chilli.

 

CREAMY AVOCADO CAESER SALAD

For the dressing:

2 avocados, peeled, stoned and chopped

Juice of two limes

A good glug of extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

3-4 anchovies

1 tblsp Dijon mustard

1 bunch basil

Pinch white pepper

3 heads cos or romaine lettuce, cored and chopped

Croutons to serve

Parmesan shavings and grated parmesan to serve

Method

Whizz all the dressing ingredients together with a food processor or hand blender.

Arrange the salad leaves on a serving platter and drizzle the dressing over them.

Scatter with the croutons and the parmesan cheese.

Ricky’s tips

Make the dressing last minute to avoid any discolouration.

Make this into a main course by topping the salad with griddled tuna, steak or chicken.

The dressing makes a good dip for crudités or tortilla chips.

 

MACADAMIA AND CHERRY JAMMY BROWNIES

Enough for ten

200g dark chocolate

1 x 250g pack butter

200g light soft brown sugar

50g cocoa powder

100g self raising flour

4 eggs

1 small pack macadamia nuts, chopped

Cherry conserve/jam

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 C

Line a brownie tin with non stick baking parchment (approximate measurements 30cm by 25cm – or use a silicone tray).

Roughly break up the chocolate and chop up the butter.

Put the chocolate, butter, sugar, cocoa and flour into a food processor. Begin to process together and drop in the eggs as the mixture is processing.

Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared tin.

Poke the nuts into the surface of the brownie and do the same with teaspoons of the cherry conserve.

Bake the brownie in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked but still squidgy.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Ricky’s tips

Mix brownie chunks with whipped cream and ice cream to make a lovely sundae.

Melt white chocolate into some gently warmed cream for a quick and easy white chocolate sauce to top the brownie to make an indulgent dessert.

 

=================

BEEF STROGANOFF

Serves 6

1kg beef steak strips (if you want to splash out then the best option is fillet tail, but buy the best you can afford)

A little oil for frying

2 medium onions, finely sliced

250g button mushrooms, finely sliced

4tsp paprika

Handful of cornichon (baby gherkins), sliced and a little reserved vinegar from the jar

100ml brandy

300ml whipping cream

Salt and pepper

Herbs for serving

Method

Add a splash of oil to a hot frying pan. Add the beef and season with salt and pepper.

Add the onions and mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the paprika and stir to make sure it coats everything.

Add the brandy and flambé to burn off the alcohol.

Add the cream and reduce quickly over a high heat to a coating consistency. Add the cornichon and a little of the vinegar from the jar and mix together.

Serve perhaps garnished with a few fresh herbs.

Ricky’s tips

Cook the dish quickly. This is not a stew but a quick sauced dish. Otherwise the beef will become tough.

Great with alternative meats such as pork or venison. Could also be made into a vegetarian dish by using mixed wild mushrooms.

 

SMOKEHOUSE FISH PATE

Serves 6

Approximately 500g of assorted hot smoked fish (e.g. mackerel, salmon, trout)

500g cream cheese

1 bunch chives, chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Cracked black pepper

3tsp good quality horseradish sauce

Method

Put the cream cheese, chives, zest and juice of lemon, horseradish and a generous pinch of black pepper in a bowl.

Give everything a good mix together.

Flake approximately 90% of the fish into the cream cheese mixture. Break it up into both large and small pieces to have a variety of textures. Very carefully fold it through the cream cheese mixture until combined but not mushed.

Press the pate mixture into six ring moulds.

Transfer to the fridge to chill for two hours.

When ready to serve un-mould from the rings and decorate with the reserved fish and fresh herbs if you have them.

Ricky’s tips

You can use ready flavoured cream cheese such as chive or garlic to alter/improve the flavour.

You do not need to set the pate in rings if you don’t have them. Use ramekins or use one large plastic tub or terrine dish for the pate.

 

POTATO SALAD WITH GRAVADLAX STYLE DRESSING

Serves 6

1.2 kg waxy new potatoes, quartered

Bunch spring onions, finely sliced

DressingLarge handful of fresh dill, chopped

1 tblsp caster sugar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tblsp grainy mustard

4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tblsp white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Method

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, add some salt and bring to the boil on the stove top.

Turn the heat down and cook the potatoes until tender (around 15 minutes).

Drain the potatoes and set aside whilst you make the dressing.

Put all of the dressing ingredients into a large jam jar. Season with some salt and pepper.

Shake the jar to combine the dressing.

Put the potatoes into a serving bowl. Scatter over the spring onions and drizzle over the dressing.

Ricky’s tips

Dressing the potatoes whilst still warm will mean that they absorb the flavour from the dressing.

 

CHOCOLATE KEY LIME PIE

300g Chocolate Hob Nob biscuits

100g butter, melted

1 x 397g tin condensed milk

3 medium egg yolks

Zest and juice of 4 limes

300ml double cream

1 tbsp icing sugar

Grated chocolate, to decorate

extra lime zest, to decorate

Method

Heat the oven to 160C.

Whizz the biscuits to crumbs in a food processor (or put in a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin).

Mix with the melted butter and press into the base and up the sides of a 22cm loose-based tart tin.

Bake this biscuit shell in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk for a minute with electric beaters. Add the condensed milk and whisk for a few minutes. Add the lime zest and juice and whisk again for 3 minutes.

Pour the filling into the cooled base then put back in the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Cool then chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the pie from the tin and put on a serving plate.

To decorate, softly whip together the cream and icing sugar. Dollop the cream onto the top of the pie and finish with the grated chocolate and extra lime zest.

 

============================================

CRISPY ROASTED DUCK LEG WITH HOI SIN SAUCE

Serves 6

6 duck legs

2 star anise

2 bay leaves

Good splash soy sauce

Pinch Szechuan pepper

2 cloves garlic, bashed

1 small piece fresh ginger, roughly sliced

Water

Hoi Sin sauce

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 C

Roughly trim the duck legs of any excess fat.

Place the duck legs into a deep roasting tray with the star anise, bay, soy, pepper, garlic and ginger.

Pour some water into the tray to half cover the duck legs.

Seal the tray tightly with foil and place in the oven.

Cook for around 90 minutes until the duck is tender and the meat falling off the bone. Check the tray during the cooking time as you may need to top it up with water if it reduces too much.

Remove the duck legs from the stock and transfer to a new baking tray. Turn the oven up to 220 C and roast the duck until the skin is very crispy.

Two minutes before the end of cooking time, liberally spread some hoi sin sauce over the duck and heat until bubbling hot.

Ricky’s tips

You can keep (and freeze) the remaining duck stock and use this for spiced gravy at a later date.

To check whether the duck is sufficiently cooked, if you press it, it should offer no spring back.

You can use other Oriental sauces besides the Hoi Sin and you can add (or take away) further aromatic ingredients to the stock depending upon what you have in.

 

CHAR GRILLED TUNE WITH TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA

Serves 6

6 tuna steaks

Extra virgin olive oil

For the salsa-

1 mango, diced

½ fresh pineapple, diced

1 red onion, finely chopped

1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

Zest and juice of two limes

½ fresh cucumber, deseeded and finely chopped

Fresh coriander, chopped – to taste

Fresh mint, chopped – to taste

Method

Combine all of the salsa ingredients together (apart from the herbs) and add a glug of olive oil.

Heat a char grill pan on the stove until smoking hot. Oil the tuna on a plate.

Cook the tuna in the griddle pan for approximately two minutes on each side for pink tuna.

Add some herbs to the salsa and serve with the freshly cooked tuna.

Ricky’s tips

Try not to overcook the tuna as it becomes very dry.

Many people do not know how to prepare fresh mango. It has a large flat round shaped stone in the centre which needs to be negotiated. It is best to remove the two ‘cheeks’ of flesh from each side of the stone and then trim the rest of the flesh off. Peel the flesh and then it is ready to eat.

 

POMEGRANATE AND MINT COUS COUS

Serves 6

300g cous cous

300ml boiling chicken or vegetable stock (made with one stock cube)

Zest and juice of two oranges

1 tblsp mint sauce

1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped

Handful of fresh mint, chopped

Seeds from one pomegranate

Glug of extra virgin olive oil

Seasoning to taste

Method

Put the cous cous in a large bowl and pour the stock over the cous cous. Seal the bowl tightly with cling film and leave set aside. The cous cous will absorb the liquid.

Once all of the liquid has been absorbed, lightly break the cous cous up with a fork.

Add the rest of the ingredients along with a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper (if you think the seasoning needs to be adjusted). Stir to combine everything together and serve.

Ricky’s tips

Ready to eat cous cous is one of the best ‘fast foods’ and is a blank canvas for flavours so can match other dishes well.

 

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TORTE

Serves 12

250g milk chocolate

250g dark chocolate

1pint double cream

50ml alcohol of choice – anything that goes with chocolate. E.g. brandy, Tia Maria, rum, Baileys etc.

4 chocolate muffins

Method

Line the base and sides of a spring form cake tin with cling film.

Cut the muffins into slices and use the slices to line the base of the tin completely. Overlap the muffins where necessary and press together to fill any gaps. Set aside for now.

Break up the chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl.

Gently melt the chocolate in the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

Whip the cream in a separate bowl to the soft peak stage.

Warm the alcohol gently.

Add the chocolate to the cream and fold together fairly quickly. Once the chocolate is almost folded in, add the warmed alcohol. Pour straight into the prepared tin and then chill in the fridge until set. (At least 4 hours or preferably overnight.)

Ricky’s tips

The alcohol needs to be warm because if there is a risk the chocolate mixture is separating then the alcohol will put things right.

You can use other things for the base instead of the muffins. Suggestions are slices of ginger cake or chocolate loaf.

 

===========================================

MELTING MOZZARELLA AND CHORIZO CHICKEN

Serves 6

6 chicken breasts

oil

1 pack sliced chorizo

2 balls mozzarella, cut into chunky slices

18 sun-blushed tomatoes

Salt and pepper

Fresh basil to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C

Butterfly the chicken breasts or cut them in half – flat-ways. Drizzle the chicken lightly with oil.

Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot. Briefly griddle the chicken on both sides to seal the chicken and achieve a bar mark on the flesh, season the chicken with salt and pepper as you go.

Transfer the chicken to a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment.

Top each piece of chicken with a few pieces of chorizo and sunblushed tomato and a generous slice of mozzarella.

Place the tray in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with basil to serve.

Ricky’s tips

Make it hot and spicy by adding some hot jalapeno chillies to the topping. Also makes a great hot sandwich so stick it in a bun!

 

COD AND PANCETTA BITES WITH FENNEL AND TOMATO COMPOTE

Serves 6

500g cod fillet, skinned and pin boned. Cut into roughly one inch pieces.

2 packs sliced pancetta

Fresh sage leaves

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

2 heads of fennel, cored and thinly sliced, keep any fennel leaves (fronds) aside to use for garnish

2 red onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped

2 table spoons of tomato puree

1 glass of white wine

Salt and pepper

Method

Pre heat the oven to 220 C

Top each piece of fish with a sage leaf and wrap with a slice of pancetta.

Transfer the fish to a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment. Set aside for a moment while you start the compote.

Add some oil to a frying pan and heat on the stove top.

Add the fennel, onion and garlic and cook over a moderate heat until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned – approximately ten minutes. Season the vegetables at this stage.

Add the tomato puree and cook for a few minutes, stirring to coat all the vegetables.

Add the white wine and cook until the liquid has reduced to a sauce consistency.

Garnish with the fennel fronds.

Ricky’s tips

The cod bites are great on their own as nibbles with drinks – would be nice with a red pesto dip.

If you did not have the time to make the compote, the cod bites would make a great warm salad. Place on top of mixed salad ingredients e.g. salad leaves, tomatoes, avocado, spring onion etc.

 

PIRI PIRI CHUNKY CHIPS

Serves 6

6-8 large potatoes – I use Rooster Bartlett potatoes but you could use any good floury potato such as Maris piper or King Edward. It is worth taking care over the variety as this will give you the fluffiest centre to your chip.

1 tblsp olive oil

Generous sprinkle of dry piri piri seasoning

Method

Peel the potatoes and cut up into chip shapes leaning towards the chunky size.

Place them in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to the boil on the stove. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just cooked through. This is probably the most important part of the method as you want to get the balance just right. If they are underdone they will not give maximum fluffiness but if they are overdone you could be left with mush. They should be just yielding and quite fragile but nowhere near ‘mash ready’.

Carefully drain in a colander, so as not to break up the chips and then transfer to a large bowl. Allow them to cool slightly so you can handle them and then sprinkle the oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle the piri piri seasoning over the potatoes.

Get your hands in the bowl and carefully give everything a good stir, again, trying not to break the chips.

Transfer the chips to a large baking sheet (I usually line mine with baking parchment. It stops them sticking to the tray, thereby aiding the washing up, but it is not strictly necessary.)

Bake in the oven at 190 C to 200 C for 15 to 20 minutes until the chips are golden brown.

Ricky’s tips

Try other seasonings to flavour your chips. These are great for a party served with dips such as sour cream and guacamole.

 

AMERICAN STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES

Serves 6-8

450g Plain flour

60g Butter, melted, plus extra for frying

2 tbsp Baking powder

600ml Milk

Pinch of salt

4 Eggs

2 tsp Sugar

100g chocolate chips

Method

Combine the flour, melted butter, baking powder, milk, salt, eggs and sugar together in a food processor (or you can whisk together by hand).

Heat a non stick pan over a medium heat. Add a knob of butter and melt it in the pan.

Transfer the pancake batter to a jug which will make it much easier to pour into the pan.

Cook the pancakes in batches in the pan. Pour in the batter to form blini sizes pancakes. Sprinkle some chocolate chips onto the surface of the pancakes.

Once the upper side of the pancake is bubbling it is time to flip it over and cook the other side for around a minute.

Serve the pancakes with cream/ice cream/fruit of choice.

Ricky’s tips

Go wild with flavours or flavour combinations.

Leave the sugar out and use savoury flavourings (e.g. cream cheese and red pepper). Make miniature savoury pancakes as a canapé base.

 

============================

ROASTED DUCK BREAST WITH ORANGE, HONEY AND FIVE SPICE GLAZE

6 medium duck breasts

500ml good quality orange juice

Honey to taste

1 tsp Chinese five spice

Salt and pepper

Method

Pre heat the oven to 220 C

Put the orange juice, honey and five spice into a saucepan. Simmer on the stove top so that the liquid reduces down to a sweet sticky glaze.

Slash the skin of the duck in a criss cross fashion, but not so deep so as to penetrate the flesh.

Heat a dry large frying pan on the stove top over a high heat. Sear the duck breasts skin side down for 3-4 minutes until the skin turns crisp and begins to release its fat. Season the duck at this stage with salt and pepper.

Flip the breasts over and seal very briefly on the flesh side. You may have to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.

Transfer the breast to a tray – skin side up – and then roast in the oven for around 7-10 minutes (meaning that the duck will be served pink). Three minutes before the end of cooking time, brush the duck with some of the glaze, but reserve some for pouring on later.

Remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Carve into slices and drizzle with some reserved glaze.

Ricky’s tips

Wait until the fat has started to render out of the duck before you turn it. Even if you don’t want to eat the fat, cook the duck with it on to help keep the meat nice and juicy.

This glaze works well with pork or salmon.

You can make different glazes in the same way. E.g. pineapple and black pepper

 

PAN FRIEND HALLOUMI WITH CHORIZO AND ROASTED RED PEPPERS

3 x 250g packs halloumi cheese, cut into thick slices

1 horse shoe stick chorizo, sliced

1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped

Pinch chilli flakes

1 small bunch fresh flat parsley, chopped

Olive oil

Method

Put a splash of oil in a large non stick pan and heat on the stove top over a medium heat.

Pan fry the halloumi for two or three minutes on each side until golden brown. Set aside on a plate in a warm place.

Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until some of the oil starts to render from the chorizo and it begins to crisp.

Add the roasted peppers and pinch of chilli, cook for a minute to heat through.

Return the halloumi to the pan and mix everything together. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Ricky’s tips

Halloumi is great for the barbecue because it cooks until tender without melting. Halloumi is a good substitute for meat so especially suitable in vegetarian dishes.

 

SWEET POTATO MASH

Prepare this ahead of time – even the day before – and reheat in the microwave for five minutes or so once you are ready

6 large sweet potatoes

Salt and pepper

1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C

Put the sweet potatoes onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes until very soft.

Leave the potatoes to cool slightly then discard the skin (It usually peels off quite easily but if not then cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh.)

Put the flesh into a bowl and mash together with some seasoning. Stir the fresh coriander through just before serving.

Ricky’s tips

These potatoes can actually be cooked in the microwave instead of the oven to increase the speed of the dish

 

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING WITH TOFFEE SAUCE

Serves 6-8

175g Self raising flour

175g chopped dates

175g dark brown sugar

50g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 eggs

For the sauce:

100g Butter

100g Dark brown soft sugar

Teaspoon vanilla essence

¼ pint whipping or double cream

Method

In a bowl, lightly cream the sugar and butter then add the vanilla essence.

Heat 300ml of water, the dates and bicarbonate of soda together in a saucepan until frothy. Be careful not to allow it to boil over. Then add everything, even the water, to the butter and sugar mix.

Sieve the flour into the mixture and fold in. Break the eggs into the bowl and stir thoroughly. The mixture will look really wet, but don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with non stick greaseproof paper.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 190oC

Sticky Toffee Sauce

Melt the butter, vanilla essence and sugar together in a pan. Then simmer for a few minutes until it makes a caramelised sauce.

Add the cream, occasionally it will spit as the cold cream touches the molten sugar so be careful. Simmer until it amalgamates and stir now and again for a further two minutes.

Cut the pudding into squares and drizzle over the sauce.

Serve with your favourite ice cream.

Ricky’s tips

The sticky toffee sponge freezes very well.

Why not make a seasonal version at Christmas by adding crumbled leftover Christmas pudding to the sponge and a dash of rum to the sauce.

 

=============================

SHERRY AND TARRAGON CHICKEN WITH WILD MUSHROOM AND CREME FRAICHE SAUCE

6 small chicken breasts

12 Shallots

12 cloves of garlic

Small hand full of dried wild mushrooms

1 bunch of tarragon

1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 450ml boiling water

300ml medium sherry

250ml crème fraiche

Olive oil

S & P

Method

Heat a large saute pan on the stove top. Add a splash of oil. Put the chicken in the pan and begin to brown the meat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

After a couple of minutes of browning, add the shallots and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until the shallots and garlic lightly brown in the pan.

Add the sherry to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and the dried mushrooms.

Simmer everything together for 20 minutes.

To finish, stir the crème fraiche into the sauce and heat through for a minute or so and sprinkle the chicken with fresh tarragon.

Ricky’s tips

There’s no need to reconstitute dried wild mushrooms when using them in ‘wet’ dishes such as soups, sauces and stews.

Replace the chicken with pork fillet if preferred.

 

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WRAPPED IN PARMA HAM WITH BALSAMIC AND PARMESAN

2 bunches of Asparagus

2 packs of parma ham

Small piece of parmesan

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

S & P

Method

Pre heat the oven to 200 C

Trim the woody ends off the asparagus if necessary.

Place the slices of parma ham on a chopping board.

Place 3-4 asparagus spears at the end of each slice of parma ham. Roll each slice of ham tightly around each asparagus pile to create a wrapped bundle.

Place the bundles on a tray which has been lined with baking parchment. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season.

Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and parmesan shavings.

Ricky’s Tips

If you bend an asparagus spear, it is likely to snap at the point where the woody end turns tender, which shows you where they should be naturally trimmed.

Use a vegetable peeler to get attractive parmesan shavings.

Makes a lovely starter served with a poached egg.

 

LEMON ROASTED NEW POTATOES

500g new potatoes

1 lemon zest and juice

1 bunch of chives

Olive oil

S & P

Method

Pre heat the oven to 220 C

Halve the potatoes lengthways and place in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and add some salt to the water.

Place on the stove over a high heat and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer for around 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and tender.

Drain well.

Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray which has been lined with baking parchment.

Drizzle with a little olive oil, the zest and juice of lemon and season with salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

Sprinkle with chives before serving.

Ricky’s Top tipsLining the roasting tray with baking parchment means that you do not need to use as much oil and helps with the washing up.

Cutting the potatoes lengthways increases the surface area – more area to get crisp and roasted.

Roasting the potatoes with the lemon gives a lovely caramelised sweetness – also good with fish.

 

ETON MESS SUNDAE WITH SUMMER BERRY COMPOTE

2 x packs of 6 Meringue nests

500g bag Frozen berries

Sugar to taste

1 vanilla pod

500ml double cream

Vanilla ice cream

Fresh mint

Berries for garnish

Method

Place the berries into a saucepan. Put them on the stove over a medium heat. Add some sugar to sweeten the berries to your taste – remember you can always add more sugar but you can never take away.

Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Set the seeds aside for now and add the empty pod to the berries.

Simmer the berries until they form a compote with the juice.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Whip the cream so that it forms soft peaks. Fold in the vanilla seeds.

Lightly break up the meringues.

Assemble the sundaes by layering the serving dishes with layers of cream, meringue, compote and ice cream. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

Ricky’s Tips

Shop bought meringues are great for this as you’re only going to break them up anyway.

Left over compote is lovely for breakfast with yoghurt.

 

TERIYAKI SALMON

6 small fillets of salmon, skinned and boned

Approximately 6 tblsp thick teriyaki sauce

Leaves for garnish

Spring onion for garnish

Method

Pre heat the oven to 190 C

Cut the salmon into large squares. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Coat the salmon with the teriyaki sauce.

Place the tray in the oven and roast for ten minutes.

Place on a serving dish and garnish with the leaves and spring onion.

Ricky’s Tips

Use a teriyaki sauce that has a thick consistency (rather than a soy sauce consistency) as you want it to glaze the salmon.

Make the dish the same way but with sweet chilli sauce if you like things spicy.

 

CHILLI COCONUT PORK

1kg stripped pork loin

2 medium onions, finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp white pepper

2 tsp tomato puree

1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 450ml boiling water

Oil

1 tin coconut milk

Fresh coriander to garnish

Method

 

Mix all the dry spices together.

Heat a little oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat.

Add the pork to the pan and fry for a minute. Add the onions and garlic and fry together for another two minutes.

Add the fresh chilli and the mixed spices to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree.

Add the stock and simmer the pork on the stove until the stock has reduced by half.

Add the coconut milk to the pork and simmer again for a couple of minutes until slightly thickened.

Serve the pork garnished with fresh coriander.

Ricky’s Tips

I always use mild chilli powder for maximum and best flavour. If I want it hotter I add more powder (Strong chilli powders have the heat but less potential flavour.)

This dish can be made using light coconut milk and the flavour/texture is not affected.

This is a great dish made with King prawns instead of pork.

 

CRUNCHY ASIAN ‘SLAW WITH SESAME DRESSING

3 carrots, peeled and grated

½ small white cabbage, cored and finely shredded

Bunch spring onions, finely shredded

1 small pack mange tout, finely shredded

1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and finely sliced

Chopped dry roasted peanuts and fresh coriander to garnish

Dressing

3 tblsp rice wine vinegar

1 tblsp sesame oil

3 tblsp light soy sauce

1 tblsp honey

2 tsp sesame seeds

Method

Place all slaw ingredients – apart from the peanuts and coriander – in a large bowl.

Place all dressing ingredients in a jam jar. Put on the lid and shake well to combine.

Pour the dressing over the slaw ingredients. Toss together with your hands. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the peanuts and coriander.

Ricky’s Top tipsYou can use other vegetables or even bags of stir fry / ready shredded vegetables from the supermarket.

Use the syrup from jars of stem ginger instead of honey.

To add some spice why not add a pea sized piece of wasabi paste to the dressing.

 

SAUCY CHOCOLATE PUDDING WITH MASCARPONE

For the pudding:

100g butter, melted, plus a little extra to grease the serving dishes

250g self raising flour

140g caster sugar

50g cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

160ml milk

100g good quality milk chocolate, broken into small chunks

Pinch of salt

Mascarpone to serve

For the sauce:

200g light muscovado sugar

25g cocoa

Method

Butter a 2-litre baking dish/ individual serving dishes and heat oven to 180C.

Put the kettle on.

Put the flour, caster sugar, cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together the eggs, melted butter and milk, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix everything together until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chunks and scrape everything into the baking dish(es).

For the sauce, mix 300ml boiling water from the kettle with the sugar and cocoa.

Pour this over the pudding batter – don’t worry, it will look very strange at this stage but it is perfectly correct!

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes (less time for individual puddings, approximately 20 minutes) until the surface looks firm, risen and crisp.

As you scoop spoonfuls into serving bowls, you should find a rich chocolate sauce underneath the sponge.

Garnish with a scoop of mascarpone.

Ricky’s Tips

This recipe is dead easy – no creaming, no complicated method – just make it, you’ll love it!

This can be made as one large pudding – great for Sunday lunch – and this is reflected in my recipe.

 

==================================

PORK STEAK WITH CARAMELISED PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE

Serves 6

6 pork loin steaks

3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices lengthways

Splash of oil

Good drizzle of honey

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems

Salt and pepper

Blue cheese to taste (I recommend St Agur or stilton, but you can use an alternative cheese if you do not like blue cheese)

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 C

Put a splash of oil in a non stick frying pan and heat on the stove top. Add the pears and begin to cook on a fairly high heat so the pears begin to colour. Add the honey and thyme leaves and continue to cook until the pears take on a glaze and are golden in colour. Remove the pears from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, briefly seal the pork steaks on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Remove from the pan and place the pork on a baking tray that has been lined with non stick baking parchment.

Top the pork with the pear slices. Finally top the pork steaks with some crumbled blue cheese – as much as you like – and transfer the tray to the oven. Cook for around ten minutes until the cheese has melted and the pork is just cooked through.

Ricky’s tips

Substitute the pear with eating apples if you prefer. Prepare the pork in advance and keep in the fridge until you are ready to cook through the oven. Add some crumbled black pudding to the pear mixture if you wish.

 

CREAMY POTATO GRATIN

Serves 6

6 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pint whipping cream

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper

Butter for greasing

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Put the cream in a large saucepan and add the garlic and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Heat the mixture gently so that the garlic infuses into the cream.

Add the sliced potato, bring the mixture to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes gently for a couple of minutes.

Grease a large oven proof dish or individual dishes. Carefully transfer the potatoes to the baking dish(es) and place in the oven. Cook for around 40minutes-1.5hours (depending on the size of the dish and thickness of the potatoes) until the potatoes are thoroughly soft. Cover the gratins with foil if they are beginning to get too brown during the cooking process.

Ricky’s Tips

You can make a root vegetable version of this dish using carrots, parsnips, swede and/or celeriac.

You can add other vegetables to the potatoes (or root veg version) such as sautéed leeks or mushrooms and most herbs for extra flavour.

 

THAI SALMON FISHCAKES

Serves 6

500g salmon fillet

3 tsp (or to taste) Thai red curry paste

Zest and juice of two limes

Handful of green beans, finely chopped

1 bunch Spring onions, finely chopped

1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

4 cloves garlic, grated or crushed

1 large finger sized piece fresh ginger, grated from frozen

2 red chillies, finely diced (depending upon how hot you like it)

Good Splash of fish sauce

Method

Mince, blend or chop the salmon, leaving a little bit of texture to it.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the salmon. Blend together.

Mould into little pattie shapes.

Either bake in a hot oven on a tray lined with silicone paper (10-15 minutes) or pan fry in hot oil for a few minutes on each side.

Serve with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, crème fraiche and some fresh lime.

Make a meaty version by substituting the salmon for minced chicken, turkey or pork.

 

BLUEBERRY SOUR CREAM CAKE WITH CHEESECAKE FROSTING

Makes 10 servings

175g soft butter

175g golden caster sugar

3 large eggs

225g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

142ml carton soured cream

3 x 125g punnets blueberries

200g tub cream cheese

100g icing sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and butter and line the base of a loose-based 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla in a bowl.

Beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes or with a hand electric beater for 1-2 minutes, until lighter in colour and well mixed. Beat in 4 tblsp of the soured cream then stir in half the blueberries with a large spoon.

Tip the mixture into the tin and level the surface.

Bake in the oven for 50 minutes until it has risen, feels firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed.

Cool for 10 minutes then take out of the tin. Leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, beat together the soft cheese with the icing sugar and the remaining soured cream until smooth and creamy.

Spread over the top of the cooled cake (don’t be impatient as the frosting will melt if the cake is too warm) and scatter with the remaining blueberries.

Ricky’s Tips

You can use raspberries instead of blueberries.

Serve immediately or alternatively the cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Bring it to room temperature for about an hour before serving.

 

=================================

SPICED LAMB LETTUCE CUPS

Serves 4

A splash of olive oil

500g lamb mince

Salt and pepper

½ head fennel, diced

2 medium onions, diced

Fresh garlic, crushed (use as much as you like, we use around four cloves)

2 tblsp soy sauce

2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce (or if you want to tone down the spice a bit use honey instead)

2-4 fresh red chillies, sliced

1 bunch spring onions, sliced

Few sprigs (about 10g) fresh coriander, chopped

Few sprigs (about 10g) fresh basil, chopped

Few sprigs (about 10g) fresh mint, chopped

4 little gem lettuce, leaves separated

Yoghurt topper, combine together:

250g Greek yoghurt (you can use fat free if preferred)

½ cucumber, finely diced

A little fresh mint (say ten leaves), chopped

Method

Use a good non-stick frying pan. This will mean that you do not have to load it with too much olive oil.

Heat the pan on the stove; add a little oil and sauté the fennel, onions and garlic until soft.

Remove the onion mix from the pan.

Use the same pan to fry the lamb mince. I do not fully break up the mince so that it retains a chunkier texture.

Almost as if there are some small lamb meatballs in the mix as well as individual strands of mince.

If you are using a good non-stick pan then you should not have to add any more oil. Cook the mince over a medium high heat until it is golden brown. Season the mince as it is cooking.

Once you are sure it is cooked through, but not overdone as it can turn dry, the rest of the method is fabulously easy.

Just add the soy and sweet chilli. Stir well to coat everything. Add the spring onion and as much fresh chilli as you dare. Stir again. Throw in all the fresh herbs. Toss over and you are ready to serve.

Put the little gem leaves onto your serving plate, top with the spiced lamb and then dollops of the yoghurt topper.

Ricky’s Tips

If you have made your lamb very spicy then the cooling action of the yoghurt will be a welcome addition upon eating.

If you think this is a little unsubstantial for you then substitute the lettuce cups for tortilla wraps.

You could use beef, pork, turkey or chicken mince instead of the lamb.

 

STICKY GARLIC AND MANGO CHICKEN

Serves 6

6 skin on chicken breasts

12 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

2 heaped tblsp mango chutney

½ pt chicken stock

Olive oil

Pepper

Method

Heat a large lidded non stick frying pan. Add a little olive oil and seal the chicken in the pan, skin side down.

Turn the chicken over and add the sliced garlic, stirring to distribute evenly. Fry for a couple of minutes until the garlic has started to soften.

Add the mango chutney. Mix with the chicken to thoroughly coat the breasts with a lovely glaze.

Add the stock and a little pepper and cover the pan with a lid (or foil). Cook for approximately 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed, stirring from time to time to coat the chicken.

Check the liquid level during cooking and top up with a little water if necessary to stop the chicken burning.

You should be left with a thick sticky glaze without any excess liquid.

Ricky’s Tips

Spice it up with a little fresh chilli or chilli flakes.

This will also work great with chicken thighs or drumsticks – just extend the cooking time.

 

CURRIED NEW POTATOES

Serves 4

500g new potatoes cut into quarters

1 large onion, sliced

50g butter

1 tsp cumin seeds

3-4 tsp mild curry powder

400ml water

50ml creamed coconut

Salt and pepper

Method

Put the butter in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and cumin seeds and fry gently on the stove until the onion is soft.

Add the curry powder and fry gently for a couple of minutes.

Add the potatoes and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring to coat the potatoes in the spices.

Pour in the water and add the coconut. Season the mixture with a little salt and pepper.

Simmer the potatoes on the stove top for around fifteen minutes, until the potatoes have absorbed all of the water and are tender. If they are not yet cooked, just add a little more water and cook for a few more minutes.

Ricky’s Tips

Garnish with thin slices of fresh coconut and nigella seeds if available.

Experiment with different flavours, using the same braising cooking technique.

 

STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI SYLLABUBS

Serves 4

You will need four serving glasses/glass bowls

450g strawberries, hulled and halved, plus a couple of strawberries for garnish if wished

6tblsp white rum

75g caster sugar (measured into two lots – one 25g to sweeten the strawberries and one 50g to decorate the serving

glasses)

284ml tub of double cream

50g icing sugar

2 limes

Method

Put the strawberries into a large bowl with half of the rum and 25g of the caster sugar.

Mash roughly half of the strawberries with a fork or an end of a rolling pin to give a variety of textures and to release some of the juices. Set aside for the moment.

Zest and juice one of the limes and set aside.

Pare the zest from the other lime in thin strips (you can do this using a parer if you have one. If not, remove strips of the lime zest with a potato peeler and then carefully cut the strips into very thin slivers). Set the pared zest aside.

Cut this lime in half and set aside.

Pour the cream into another large bowl. Add the zest and juice of the first lime, the remaining rum and 50g icing sugar. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Rub the halved second lime around the rims of the serving glasses. Dip the rims of the glasses in the remaining caster sugar to give an authentic ‘cocktail’ presentation.

Divide the strawberry mixture between the glasses then top with spoonfuls of the cream mixture. Garnish the top of the syllabubs with the pared lime strips and a halved strawberry if wished.

 

=================================

CIDER BRAISED PORK BELLY AND BLACK PUDDING

Serves 6

A little oil

1.2kg skinless and boneless whole piece of pork belly

2 bay leaves

2 star anise

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

3-4 cloves garlic

1 500ml bottle cider

2 horseshoe black puddings cut into slices

Salt and pepper

Sage for garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C

Heat a deep heavy bottomed roasting tray on the stove top with a little oil in it.

Seal the pork belly on both sides seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.

Add the bay, star anise, onion, garlic and cider to the tray. Refill the cider bottle with water and then add the water to the tray.

Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake the pork in the oven for around 90 minutes.

The pork should be cooked to the point that it is yielding i.e. when you press it, it should offer no resistance you could almost push your finger through it.

During the cooking time check the liquid level in the tray and top up with a little water if it has reduced too much.

Lift the pork out of the liquid and set the pork aside to cool. Reserve the liquid for later.

Pre heat the oven to 220 C

Cut the pork belly into 1.5inch squares. Place on a clean baking sheet and place the tray in the oven. Roast for five minutes. Add the black pudding slices to the tray and return to the oven. Cook for five minutes until the black pudding is crisp.

Meanwhile, skim the oil from the braising liquor. Strain the liquid into a small saucepan and heat gently on the stove.

To serve, place cubes of pork belly on a serving platter, top with black slices and drizzle lightly with the braising liquor.

Ricky’s Tips

Get your butcher to remove the skin from the pork belly but keep it and use it to make crispy crackling:

Score the skin with a very sharp knife or even a clean Stanley knife. Rub the skin with a little oil and plenty of salt.

Place the skin on a baking tray and then place several other baking trays on top to weight it down.

Cook in the oven at 200 C for approximately half an hour. Remove the trays on top and then continue to cook until the crackling is golden and super crispy.

 

EASY ONE POT CURRY

A generous serving for 2

1 tin of coconut milk

1 thumb sized piece of peeled fresh ginger

6 cloves garlic crushed or finely grated

1 bay leaf

2-3 tblsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot – you decide)

2 stock cubes (chicken, fish, or vegetable)

A few mixed vegetables (one of those packets of mixed baby carrots, corn and mange tout is ideal if you don’t want

to be doing any chopping) or whatever you have lying around, chopped into equal sized smallish pieces

250g pack raw tiger prawns – defrosted if frozen

Bunch of fresh coriander

½ bunch spring onions

Method

Add the coconut milk to a large saucepan. Refill the coconut tin with water and add that to the pan. Add the ginger, garlic, bay leaf, curry powder and stock cubes to the pan.

Bring up to a simmer on the stove top. Simmer for around five minutes until the mixture begins to reduce and thicken.

Add the vegetables and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the prawn and scissor cut the spring onions into the pan.

Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the prawns turn pink. Just before serving scissor cut the coriander into the pan and serve.

Ricky’s Tips

This is no excuse cooking – I have a friend who said he can’t use a knife so here’s a curry that you can make with no culinary prowess or knife skills required.

I usually use mild curry powder and add extra chilli flakes for more heat. If you would like this to be a bit more substantial then add some cooked noodles to the curry.

The recipe can easily be scaled up if necessary.

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH HASH

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks

3 red onions cut into rough chunks

4 cloves garlic thinly sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

Splash of oil

Salt and pepper

1 large handful of fresh coriander chopped

Method

Pre heat the oven to 210 C

Place a large deep heavy, flame proof roasting dish on the stove. Heat up on a high flame. Add the oil then the squash. Season the squash with salt and pepper.

Stir it round the tray letting it get some colour for approximately five minutes.

Add the onions, garlic and red pepper. Toss everything together on the stove top.

Roast in the pre heated oven for twenty-twenty five minutes. Check the squash half way through the cooking time and give it a stir.

When cooked through remove from the oven. Add the coriander last minute and serve.

Ricky’s Tips

Spice up the hash by adding fresh chilli or chilli flakes.

If you ever get the chance, do this recipe using ‘Crown Prince’ squash – it is the best squash I have ever tasted.

Therefore you can substitute butternut with other squash or pumpkin in this recipe.

 

TIRAMISU

568ml pot double cream

250g tub mascarpone

5 tbsp caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

300ml strong coffee, made with 2 tbsp coffee granules and 300ml boiling water

75-100ml coffee liqueur

175g pack sponge fingers

75g good quality chocolate chocolate

2 tsp cocoa powder

Method

You will need a deep serving dish as the tiramisu is assembled in layers.

Put the cream, mascarpone and caster sugar in a large bowl. Split the vanilla pod in half. Scrape out the seeds and add to the cream mixture.

Whisk until the cream and mascarpone have completely combined and have the consistency of thickly whipped cream.

Get your serving dish at the ready.

Put the coffee and coffee liqueur into a shallow dish.

Dip a few sponge fingers into the coffee mixture at a time, turning for a few seconds until they are nicely soaked, but not soggy (otherwise they will break up).

Place these in a base layer to line your serving dish.

Spread a layer of the cream mixture on top of the biscuit layer.

Grate a thin layer of the chocolate on top of the cream layer.

Repeat this process with the soaked biscuits, cream mixture and chocolate (finishing with a chocolate topped cream layer).

Chill the tiramisu for a couple of hours in the fridge.

Dust the top with cocoa powder before serving.

Cover and chill for a few hrs or overnight. This can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. To serve, dust with cocoa powder and grate over the remainder of the chocolate.

Ricky’s Tips

This is the ultimate no cook dessert but delivers delicious results.

You can use other liqueurs such as Marsala.

Tiramisu can be made ahead of time and actually benefits from a little sitting time. Keep it in the fridge for up to two days before serving but leave a plain cream layer on top and decorate with the grated chocolate and cocoa just before serving.

Tiramisu literally means ‘Pick me up’ in Italian giving you a little boost from the caffeine and sugar.

 

=================================

CREAMY TURKEY CASSEROLE

Serves 6

Olive oil

1 pack turkey rashers cut into strips

1kg diced turkey meat

2 medium onions, diced

4 cloves garlic crushed

400g quartered button mushrooms

1 glass white wine (optional)

2 level tablespoons English mustard

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 chicken stock cubes

600ml water

600ml skimmed milk

Salt and pepper

Method

In a splash of oil sauté the turkey, turkey rashers, onion, garlic and mushrooms together in a saucepan. Do this over a decent heat in order for them to get a nice colour for around five to ten minutes.

Add the flour and stir to distribute it throughout the meat.

Add the liquids, so that’s the water, milk and wine if you’re using. If not just add an extra splash of water.

Add the mustard and stock cubes.

Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes until you achieve a nice sauce consistency, stirring every now and then.

Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Ricky’s Tips

This is a low fat version so substitute the skimmed milk for full fat or even cream if you wish.

This would be lovely with the addition of chopped fresh tarragon.

To make it a real one pot wonder, why not throw some veg in there too.

Asparagus, peas, mange tout, green beans, small broccoli florets or sweet corn (or a mix of vegetables) would all work well here and would cook if you put them in at the same time as the leeks.

If you’re craving carbs, then add some new potatoes but put them in as you bring the casserole to a simmer.

 

BLACK PUDDING AND GOAT’S CHEESE CAKES

Serves 6

500g floury potatoes (e.g. Maris pipers), peeled and chopped into chunks

1 small horse shoe black pudding, diced

A little oil

150g goat’s cheese, crumbled

1 small bunch tarragon, chopped

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

Flour for dusting

Salt and pepper

Method

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add some salt and bring to the boil on the stove top. Turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes until tender.

Drain in a colander and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan. Add the black pudding and fry briefly until crisp. Set aside for now.

Allow the potatoes to cool slightly before proceeding with the recipe.

Lightly crush the potatoes. Add the spring onion and tarragon. Gently mix in the black pudding and the goat’s cheese being careful not to break everything up too much.

Taste the mixture to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Mould the mixture into 6 large or 12 smaller cake shapes.

Dust each potato cake with a little flour.

Heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the potato cakes on both sides until crisp and golden. Ensure the cakes are thoroughly heated through the centre before serving.

Ricky’s Tips

These are great served with poached eggs and/or crispy bacon.

Add leftover Sunday lunch vegetables to the cakes for a twist. Instead of making individual cakes, you can make one whole cake by pressing into a large tin if you want.

This is a good brunch dish.

 

WILTED SPINACH

1 kg fresh washed baby spinach leaves

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper

Method

Heat a large pan to a medium heat on the stove top. Add a knob of butter to the pan and then the garlic.

Gently fry the garlic for a minute.

Add the spinach. Keep mixing the spinach so it wilts and cooks evenly. Add some salt and pepper to the spinach.

As soon as it is all wilted down remove from the pan and serve. It should only take a couple of minutes to cook.

Ricky’s Tips

Do not over cook the spinach as it will lose all its goodness.

 

HONEY AND LEMON ‘CUP’ CAKES

Serves 6

150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the cups

6 tsp clear honey , plus extra for drizzling

150g self-raising flour

75g ground almonds

150g light muscovado sugar

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 eggs

250g Greek yogurt

Zest and juice of one lemon

Butter six large coffee cups. Add 1 tsp honey to the bottom of each cup.

Method

Heat the oven to 180C.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, squashing any lumps of sugar with your fingers.

Beat the eggs, butter, yogurt and lemon zest and juice together.

Pour this mixture into the dry mixture and beat until smooth.

Spoon the cake mix into the cups, sit them on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden.

Test if they’re ready by inserting a skewer – it should come out clean.

Ricky’s Tips

You can make the puddings up to a day ahead, then reheat briefly in the microwave, or leave them in a warm oven, still in the cups.

If you would prefer to turn the puddings out then pop a disc of greaseproof paper into the bottom of the cups before adding the honey.

 

================================

SMOKY JOE’S MEATBALLS

Serves 6

1kg pork mince

2 heaped tsp smoked paprika

2 heaped tsp dried sage

1 flat tsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp sweet chilli sauce

1 tsp salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C

Combine all of the ingredients together. Shape into meatballs.

Place onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for fifteen minutes.

Ricky’s Tips

Lots of other flavours may be added to the meatballs such as fennel seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander, garlic,fresh herbs etc. I have purposely kept my recipe simple for quick preparation.

Substitute ketchup for the sweet chilli sauce if you do not like spicy food.

The meatballs are lovely served with pasta in a tomato sauce.

 

ORANGE CRUSTED SALMON

Serves 6

6 skinless and boneless salmon fillets

½ bloomer loaf, crust removed

Zest and juice of two oranges

Handful of fresh thyme leaves

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

Pre heat the oven to 190 C

Break up the bread and put into a food processor. Pulse the processor to create fine breadcrumbs.

Add the thyme leaves some salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil (around 2 tblsp). Add all of the orange zest.

Pulse the mixture until combined.

Turn the processor on, on a low speed and add enough orange juice until the mixture resembles the consistency of wet sand. You may not need all of the juice.

Use this mixture to top the salmon fillets lightly pressing it onto the top of the salmon.

Put the salmon onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the salmon is just cooked.

 

WHITE BEAN MASH

Serves 6

3 Tins cannellini beans (or any white beans), drained

Splash olive oil

12 Spring onions

6 cloves Garlic, crushed

300ml Milk or cream

Salt and pepper

Method

Add a splash of oil to a saucepan and heat gently. Add the spring onions and garlic to the pan and soften for a minute or two without colouring.

Add the beans to the pan along with the milk or cream. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a light simmer.

Remove from heat and blend to a puree. For best results put the mixture into a food processor and whiz until super smooth. For a more rustic version use a handblender or traditional potato masher.

Ricky’s Tips

This is a fantastic replacement for mashed potato and is very quick and easy.

For a simple and tasty soup, make the bean mash then add some stock to let it down and cooked chorizo.

 

CREME BRULEE

Serves 6

1 pint double cream

10 egg yolks

1 vanilla pod

Caster sugar to taste – approximately 75-100g

Demerara sugar for caramelising

Method

Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds.

Put the cream along with the vanilla pod and seeds into a saucepan.

Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until pale.

Bring the cream up to a scalding (but not boiling) heat on the stove top.

Slowly add the cream to the egg mixture, whisking all the time so as not to curdle the mixture.

Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat on the stove, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon or spatula.

The mixture should turn thick. Be careful not to over heat or the mixture will split (this is not the end of the world and can be corrected – see tips).

Pour the mixture into six ramekins. Place into the fridge and chill for at least four hours to set – preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle the tops with Demerara sugar and a tiny amount of water. Caramelise the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch (or under a hot grill) until crisp and golden.

Ricky’s Tips

You can make different flavoured brulees – fruit, chocolate, lemon curd, spices etc.

If your mixture splits, let it cool and then whiz up with a hand blender. The mixture should come together and correct, then proceed to pour into the ramekins.

 

================================

PAN FRIED SEABASS FILLETS WITH CRISPY FRIED SHALLOTS, GARLIC, CHILLI AND GINGER.

6 seabass fillets, pinboned

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

6 shallots, peeled and finely sliced

6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced

2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced

1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced

Lime wedges for garnish

Method

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Add a splash of oil to the pan. Place the seabass skin side down in the pan.

Season the bass with salt and pepper. Press them gently with a fish slice to ensure full contact of the skin to the pan.

Cook for around four minutes on the skin side. Flip them over and cook for a further two minutes.

Remove the fish and set aside in a warm place.

Wipe out the frying pan with a paper towel.

Add another splash of oil to the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, chilli and ginger. Fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle over the seabass fillets and garnish with lime.

Ricky’s Tips

Use a non stick pan.

Pressing the fish to ensure skin contact gives even browning to the skin and prevents the fish from curling up.

 

STIR FRIED GREENS

2 pak choi, sliced

250g baby spinach

1 chinese cabbage, shredded

2 choy sum or chard, sliced

1 bunch spring onions, sliced

Oil

Soy sauce

Black pepper

Method

Heat a wok or large frying pan on the stove over a high heat.

When smoking hot, add the spring onions then after thirty seconds, add all of the other vegetables.

Stir fry for a couple of minutes until the vegetables have wilted but not over cooked. Add a splash of soy sauce and a

pinch of pepper. Stir together and serve.

Ricky’s Tips

The wok should be very hot. Probably hotter than you think it should be.

Use soy as a substitute for salt.

Do not over cook the vegetables, they should retain their vibrant colour and have a crispness to them.

 

SWEET POTATO CAKES WITH MELTING MOZZARELLA CENTRE

6 large sweet potatoes

3 spring onions, finely chopped

Small bunch coriander, chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 mozzarella balls

250g Plain flour

2 beaten eggs, mixed with a splash of water

250g breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil for cooking

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 C

Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray and oven bake them for around 30-40 minutes until soft and tender. Set aside to cool.

Once the potatoes are cool peel off the skins (discard the skins) and mash the flesh in a bowl with a potato masher.

Add the spring onion, coriander and chilli to the potato flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together well.

Cut each mozzarella ball into three pieces.

Divide the sweet potato mix into six equal sized balls. Take the mozzarella pieces and shape them into a ball. Push each mozzarella piece into the centre of each potato ball. Ensure the potato mix envelopes the cheese totally.

Put onto a tray and transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Put the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.

One at a time place each potato cake in the flour and dust to coat in flour, shaking off any excess. Then place the potato cake in the beaten egg coating well. Finally coat the potato cake in breadcrumbs, coating well.

Return the coated potato cakes to the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.

Once ready to cook heat a shallow layer of oil in a large frying pan. Add the potato cakes to the pan and cook on both sides until lightly brown and beginning to crisp.

Transfer the cakes to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the breadcrumb is crispy, the cakes are heated through and the mozzarella has melted in the centre.

Ricky’s Tips

Chilling the cakes before bread crumbing and cooking makes them much easier to handle.

When coating anything with breadcrumbs always use one hand for wet (the egg) and the other for dry, this makes things much tidier and easy to do… or breadcrumb with a friend.

You can alter the cheese if you wish.

The cakes can be deep fried if you have a fryer instead of fried then baked.

 

PASSION FRUIT AND LEMON CURD CHEESE CAKE

700g cream cheese

250ml whipping or double cream

1 ½ jars lemon curd

Zest and juice of one lemon

250g digestive biscuits

100g butter

Caster sugar to taste

9 passion fruits

Method

Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor or by hand (place the biscuits in a plastic zip lock bag. Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin).

Melt the butter in a saucepan and mix the crushed biscuits into the butter.

Mix the cream cheese, cream, lemon curd and zest and juice of lemon together until smooth. Taste the cream cheese mixture and sweeten with a little sugar to your taste if necessary.

Cut the passion fruit in half. Squeeze the juice and seeds into a pan. Add a little sugar (a couple of tablespoons) enough to take the very sharp edge from the flavour of the passion fruit but not too much that it loses its fresh fruitiness. Heat on the stove top. Bring to a simmer, cook for a couple of minutes to dissolve the sugar then set aside to cool.

Sprinkle a small amount of the crushed digestive biscuit mix into the base of six suitable presentation glasses. Pipe a little cream cheese mixture onto the biscuit base. Lace with a little of the passion fruit sauce. Repeat this process two or three times so you have a layered effect.

Ricky’s Tips

By presenting this cheesecake in a glass you remove the need for a setting agent (such as gelatine) which is sometimes a tricky process to a cooking method in a recipe.

Replace the lemon curd with marmalade for a different flavour.

Use the passion fruit sauce to top ice cream or in a simple cocktail topped up with sparkling wine – cheers!

 

====================

LOADSA GARLIC LAMB

1kg diced leg of lamb

Oil

Butter

2 onions, peeled and diced

2 sticks celery, washed and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 whole bulbs garlic, cloves separated, peeled and cut in half lengthways

2 tblsp tomato puree

2 bay leaves

2 tsp English mustard

2 lamb or beef stock cubes dissolved in 1lt boiling water

1 bottle of ale (we used llangollen bitter, but you can use any similar or in fact substitute for red wine if you prefer)

Salt and pepper

½ pack rosemary, sprigs separated from the stalks and roughly chopped

Method

Take a large casserole pan and fry off the lamb in batches in a little oil and butter, seasoning each batch as you go with salt and pepper.

You should fry each batch for about five minutes on full heat so that the lamb gets a good colour.

Take your time over this part and do not overcrowd the pan otherwise the meat will not get the opportunity to seal and the juices will run out of it, causing the meat to boil in its own juices.

As you remove each batch from the pan, drain it in a colander, placed over a large bowl, to remove any excess fat.

Once the lamb is all done, add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the same pan – you may have to add a little more oil if necessary.

Cook the vegetables for about five to ten minutes over a medium heat until they begin to soften.

Return the drained lamb to the pan along with any of the drained juices that have collected in the bowl (remembering to skim off any fat sitting on top of the juices first).

Add the tomato puree, bay leaves, mustard and stock. Mix well into the lamb and vegetables.

Now add the ale (or whatever you choose to use).

Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours until the lamb is very tender and the liquid in the casserole is at a suitable serving consistency.

During this simmering time you will have to attend to the pan every now and again, but trust me, it’s not too taxing a job.

Skim any fat and froth that forms on top of the casserole and discard (I probably check it for this every 20-25 minutes or so) and top up the casserole with a little water if it has reduced too much.

Add the rosemary five minutes before the end of the cooking time and taste to check the final seasoning, adjusting if necessary.

Ricky’s Tips

To improve the flavour of any casserole, always seal the meat first.

The flavour of the garlic is not overpowering but it gives a sweet stickiness to the sauce.

Leek and chive mash.

6-8 large floury potatoes, peeled and cut into even sized chunks

3 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced

150g butter

250ml whipping cream

Salt and white pepper

1 bunch chives, chopped

Method

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and add some salt to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil on the stove top then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook the potatoes for around 15 minutes or until tender.

Drain well in a colander.

Either return the potatoes to the pan and mash with a potato masher, or better still pass the potatoes through a ricer – this gives a much smoother mash.

Whilst the potatoes are simmering cook the leeks.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the leeks to the melted butter. Cook the leeks gently until soft but without any colour. Once the leeks are soft add the cream to the pan and heat until bubbling.

Add this creamy leek mixture to the mashed potato. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, add the chives and mix everything together to combine.

Ricky’s Tips

Floury potatoes such as the ‘King Edward’ variety make great mash. In fact the ‘King Edward’ is a good all rounder potato and will also make good roasties.

I use whipping cream in nearly all my recipes. It is a good all rounder with enough fat content to be suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes and is cheaper than double cream.

Mashed potato is a blank canvas and lots of flavours can be used to make it more interesting and/or to match it with specific dishes.

 

SMOKED HADDOCK FILLET TOPPED WITH CAERPHILLY CHEESE RAREBIT

6 pieces smoked haddock fillet

50g butter

50g plain flour

100ml cream

150ml milk

200g Caerphilly cheese, grated

2tsp English mustard

Splash Worcestershire sauce

White pepper

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Method

Pre heat the oven to 200 C

Place the smoked haddock onto a large tray lined with baking parchment.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes. Mix together the cream and milk. Gradually add this mixture to the flour/butter in the pan, stirring well after each addition. Continue this process until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The resulting mixture should remain relatively thick.

Add the cheese, mustard and Worcestershire to the sauce. Taste to check the seasoning. Add a little white pepper and some salt if necessary. Add the chopped parsley to the sauce.

Spoon the rarebit mixture over the fish fillets. Transfer the fish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the rarebit is bubbling.

Ricky’s Tips

Rarebit can be made with the addition of ale or stout which is a nice option.

You can make the rarebit mixture and pour onto a tray and leave to cool. This is then ready to cut into slices and used to top bread for posh cheese on toast.

 

DAMSON AND ALMOND TART

Serves 10

1 packet pre prepared and rolled Sweet shortcrust pastry

If you cannot buy pre prepared, here is my version for homemade:

321 and an egg sweet pastry

So called as it makes the weight of ingredients easy to remember

300g plain flour

200g cold butter cut into cubes

100g icing sugar

1 egg, beaten

For the filling:

300g ground almonds

300g icing sugar

300g soft butter

30g plain flour

3 beaten eggs

A splash of alcohol – brandy or damson gin

1 jar damson conserve

Method

Put the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl and mix together.

Add the butter cubes and lightly rub the butter into the flour mix until just incorporated. It doesn’t matter if a few odd bits of butter are bigger than others, it’s more important that your pastry isn’t overworked as it can become tough.

Add the egg and bring everything together with a light stirring of the fingertips (don’t knead it for the aforementioned reason)

It will come together to form a slightly sticky pastry. Give it a good chill in the fridge (30 mins) before rolling out and using it to line the loose bottomed tart case.

For the filling:

Line a ten inch loose bottomed tart case with the pastry. There is no need to bake it blind but I like to leave a little excess pastry hanging over the edge of the tin which can be trimmed up after cooking for neatness. Spread the damson conserve over the pastry.

Put the almonds, icing sugar, butter and flour into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the eggs and alcohol and mix until everything is combined.

Pour the mixture into the pastry case.

Bake in a pre heated oven at 160 C for roughly an hour and a half. Check half way through the cooking time and cover loosely with foil if you feel it is browning too much.

Insert the tip of a knife in the tart to check if it’s cooked and it should come out clean in the same way as if you were baking a cake.

Ricky’s Tips

This almond tart (also known as frangipan) can be flavoured with all sorts of things and so is the basis of a very versatile dessert. (e.g. all sorts of fruits and fruit conserves, nuts, chocolate, spices etc.)

Cutting out the baking blind process in a pastry based dish saves a lot of time and effort.

The tart is great served warm but it keeps well and can also be eaten cold.

 

 

==================================

CHAR GRILLED STEAK WITH SALSA VERDE

Serves 6

3 good quality thick rump steaks (about 6oz each).

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Drizzle the steaks with olive oil.

Method

When you are ready to cook the steaks, heat a large griddle pan until smoking hot.

Griddle the steaks on 2-5minutes each side – depending on serving preference and thickness of the steaks. Season the steaks in the pan.

If the pan is very hot then the steaks will not stick to it. If you resist the urge to move the steaks around too much then they will get the ‘bar marking’ from the griddle pan. My top tip is to move the steaks only once by 90 degrees half way through the cooking time, on each side so you will produce a criss cross design to the bar marks.

Once cooked to your liking, remove the steaks from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place covered with foil for 10-15 minutes.

To serve, carve the steak into medium slices. Arrange on a serving platter (or chopping board) and serve with the salsa verde.

Ricky’s Tips

If the pan is very hot then the steaks will not stick to it. If you resist the urge to move the steaks around too much then they will get the ‘bar marking’ from the griddle pan. My top tip is to move the steaks only once by 90 degrees half way through the cooking time, on each side so you will produce a criss cross design to the bar marks.

 

SALSA VERDE

1 bunch Parsley

½ bunch mint

1 small handful of Capers

1 small handful of Gherkins

6 Anchovies (or to your taste)

2 cloves Garlic, peeled

1-2 tblsp Dijon mustard

6 tblsp Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method

Finely chop (or pulse in a food processor) the parsley, mint, capers, gherkins, anchovies and garlic. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl.

Add the mustard and olive oil and mix everything together. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to your taste.

Ricky’s Tips

This is a beautiful sauce/salsa/dressing and is lovely with boiled egg, grilled lamb, chicken or beef as well as any fish I can think of. Or just simply spread onto toasted bread for a snack

 

SMOKY CHILLI PRAWNS

Serves 6

One to one and a half 250g bags frozen raw king prawns (defrosted)

Olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp dried chilli flakes (or more if you like it hotter)

salt and pepper

Knob of butter

Green leaves (rocket, pea shoots etc)

Optional to serve – sour cream

Method

Heat a little oil in a large pan or wok. Add the prawns and season them with a little salt and pepper.

Once the prawns start to turn pink add the garlic, cook for a minute or so and then add the smoked paprika and chilli flakes.

Ensure all the prawns are coated in the spices. Now add a tiny knob of butter to enrich the mixture.

Garnish with a few pretty salad leaves before serving. Serve with sour cream on the side which has a cooling effect .

Ricky’s Tips

This is a great ‘store cupboard’ dish as the prawns come out of the freezer and the spices are dried. It is really quick and easy, only taking a few minutes from start to finish.

To make this dish more substantial and extra tasty you could add chorizo to the recipe. Add slices of chorizo to the prawns in the pan just as they are turning pink and proceed with the rest of the recipe as stated.

 

COBB SALAD

2 cos lettuce, shredded

2 pack watercress

3 avocados, peeled and cut into chunks

6 slices cooked crispy bacon, cut into pieces

1 pack baby plum tomatoes, quartered

½ bunch spring onions, sliced

4 boiled eggs to your liking – I prefer mine yolks just firm but not hardboiled – peeled and chopped

100g blue cheese, crumbled (or more to taste)

2 cobs fresh sweet corn

Red wine dressing – optional

Method

Begin by cooking the sweet corn – stand each cob on its end and slice the kernels from the cob by running a sharp knife down the cob where the kernels meet the cob. Turn the cob slightly and repeat the process until all of the kernels have been removed.

Heat a non stick frying pan on the stove top on a high heat. When hot add the sweet corn to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until toasted and golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Once the sweet corn has cooled combine all of the salad ingredients and arrange on a serving platter.

Serve with dressing if wished.

Ricky’s Tips

This is traditionally served with red wine vinaigrette, but I don’t think it needs it to be delicious. For a quick dressing combine 3tblsp red wine vinegar, 6 tblsp good quality olive oil, 3 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp sugar and some salt and pepper – mix thoroughly.

Roasting corn is a tasty and different way to serve it rather than steamed or boiled. Use this roasted corn in other salads, salsas or on its own as a side dish with or without butter.

 

WHITE AND DARK CHOCOLATE POTS

Makes 10

1 pint of whipping or double cream

A splash of alcohol such as brandy

Small knob of butter

350g white chocolate, broken into pieces

250g dark chocolate, (at least 70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces

Berries and mint to garnish

Method

Separate the cream into two half pints. Place them in separate pans and heat gently on the stove.

Once the cream has come to a simmer, remove from the heat. Add each type of chocolate separately to each of the pans of cream. Stir the chocolate until it melts into the cream.

Add a splash of alcohol and a knob of butter to each of the pans and stir again.

Pour the mixtures simultaneously into little serving pots so that the mixtures fill the pots half and half, side by side.

Put in the fridge and leave to set for a few hours.

Garnish the pots with fresh berries and mint to serve.