cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

An Autumnal Salad

I had a wonderful gig this summer, touring the country promoting Campingaz¬† BBQ’s. I toured pretty much every weekend showcasing my recipes and feeding the general public. The only downside from such a great job is that now I cannot even look at a steak, let alone eat it. I am cowed out!

Hence the last few weeks I have been trying to come up with no meat options for myself and the kids. The kids are not quite as enthusiastic about this phase as I am but I shall persevere.

After many a pasta, potato and couscous dish, even I was looking for something a bit different. Squashes and Beets are in season and on my last visit to Lidl (I bloody love that place) I grabbed some beetroots and made up this salad. It is soo good I have eaten it pretty much everyday for a week.  I hope you like it too.

Beetroot and Halloumi Salad

As long as you have the two main elements, beets and halloumi, the rest is up to you. There is something really addictive about the sweetness of the beetroot and the saltiness of the cheese.

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 4 small or 2 large fresh beetroots
  • pack of Halloumi
  • Rocket
  • Half a red chilli (finely diced)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Splash of olive oil

Method

Turn on the oven to about 180C, prick the beets and put them on a roasting dish, roast for about 40mins until they have a bit of give in them. Set them aside to cool enough for you to peel them.

Heat up a frying pan and slice up the Halloumi. Splash a little olive oil on the cheese pieces then fry them in a pan until each side has a golden tinge. Set aside and then peel and slice the beets.

Place the beet slices on a plate and lightly season with salt and pepper. Scatter the rocket leaves over the top then the Halloumi slices and chilli. Dress with the lime juice and olive oil.


signature
cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

Burger Me

After doing a couple of shifts at the 3 Compasses Dalston for my lovely friend Michael AKA Stephen Fries. Flipping burgers and assembling his signature Stephens Piggie and Fat Ronaldo, he asked me to pop in and do a bit of tszujing for a burger shoot.

A few tips on styling a burger. First have a chef who knows how to cook a burger properly, which Stephen clearly does. The basic rule is, assemble the burger so you can see every element, the lettuce, the burger, the onion, the sauce. That and a little bit of oil to make the burger glisten just before you shoot. Thats it!

Have a lovely weekend.


signature
cropped-cropped-Love-Learn-Cook-Logo-1.jpg

Strawberries and Chicken

The boy, when asked what he would like for his birthday dinner, raised his eyes to the sky and thought long and hard. In fact he thought for so long I left the room to put the coffee on. He followed me shortly to announce. “Strawberries and chicken, mummy!”

Right ok, well after a little teasing out of the details, we both agreed the chicken would be fried, and the strawberries would be in the cake. Thank god!

It is a tradition in my house for birthday meals to be full of “Crappy kids food”. I hold my nose and buy all the things which are pretty much banned from my house, sweets, crisps, white bread, you get my drift. However this young boy requested fried chicken, mac n cheese, and a strawberry cake.

Whenever things are a bit wobbly in the family, arguments, disappointment, sadness. I usually resort to my staple comfort recipes. It is amazing how a big plate of fried chicken can bring a smile to a sulky child’s face, or help an angry sibling, calm down and ask for another hot and crispy piece of chicken.

The fried chicken and mac n cheese are a no brainer for me to make. The strawberry cake however took a bit of thought. In the end I used a simple recipe for vanilla cake, and sweetened some cream with icing sugar then added the strawberry pieces, English of course.

I leave you with my vanilla cake recipe and a few photos of said feast.

Happy birthday Rufus!

Strawberry Rufus Cake

This is a simple sponge cake, super easy to make and goes perfectly with a cup of tea, or a glass of Prosecco.

Ingredients

  • 175g (6oz) softened butter.
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar.
  • 3 large eggs.
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted.
  • 1tsp baking powder.
  • 1tsp vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt.

For the Filling

  • Small tub of double cream
  • 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • Couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • Strawberry Jam
  • Tub of strawberries

Method

Cream the sugar and butter together until light and pale. In a separate bowl sift the flour and mix in the baking powder and salt. Beat an egg into the butter sugar mixture, then gently fold in a third of the flour mixture. Repeat until you have mixed in all the flour and eggs.

Take two 8inch cake tins and line them with parchment paper. Pour in the cake mixture and put in a 180C oven for 20 mins or until the cake is lightly browned and pulling away from the edges of the tin.

Leave to cool while you whip together the cream and icing sugar and vanilla, until the cream is thick and spreadable.

When the cakes are cool take them out of their tins and spread the strawberry jam onto the top of one cake, then add a layer of cream and a layer of strawberry pieces. Place the second cake on top and add another layer of cream and strawberries.

Lovely x


signature