Chargrilled Lemon Chicken

Food Photography Photographer London UK Lemon

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 skinless organic chicken breasts
juice and zest of 1 large lemon
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
a sprig of rosemary

Method

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of clingfilm and flatten with a rolling pin until they are about 5mm thick.
Place them in a dish with the lemon juice and zest, chilli flakes, olive oil, garlic and the leaves from the sprig of rosemary. Set aside to infuse for an hour.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then reduce the heat. Add the chicken and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side - checking the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a board and rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve with either a crisp green salad, roast vegetable tabbouleh or in a ciabatta roll with rocket and mayonnaise.

 

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Lemon and a Parmesan Crumb

Food Photography Photographer London UK Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 6

Ingredients

a few slices of slightly stale bread
50g grated parmesan
1 tbsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper
750g purple sprouting broccoli
1/2 lemon

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Coarsely grate the bread to make 100g of breadcrumbs. Spread them in a shallow baking tray along with the thyme and bake for around 20 - 30 minutes, stirring gently half way through. When golden brown take them out of the oven, season well and stir through the grated parmesan. Set aside to cool.
Cook the broccoli until just tender and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon, season and spoon on the parmesan crumb. Serve immediately.

A Hearty Minestrone Soup

Food Photography Photographer London UK Savoy Cabbage

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients

3 large carrots
1 large onion
4 celery sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large potatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
2.5 ltr vegetable or chicken stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can borlotti beans
100g spaghetti, snapped into short lengths
1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded

a handful of basil leaves
and a grating of parmesan to serve

Method

Dice the carrots, onion, celery and potatoes into 1cm bite size pieces.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the vegetables along with the garlic and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes until softened.
Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and the stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Add the beans and pasta and cook for a further 10 minutes. Finally add the cabbage and cook for no more than 2-3 minutes.
Season to taste and add the basil leaves just before serving. Spoon into bowls and grate over the parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.

note: for a richer flavour, add the rind of your parmesan when pouring in the stock.

Pomegranate Jelly Shots

Food Photography Photographer London UK Pomegranate Christmas

Makes approx 150 squares

Ingredients

24 sheets gelatine
800ml fresh pomegranate juice
200ml lime juice cordial
100ml grenadine
500ml vodka
pomegranate seeds to decorate

You will need

a 38mm x 26mm swiss roll tin

Method

Soak the gelatine sheets in plenty of cold water for five minutes. Meanwhile, place the pomegranate juice and lime cordial in a pan and heat gently, making sure it does not boil.
Take the pan off the heat, drain the excess water from the gelatine and add to the pan. Stir the liquid until all the gelatine has dissolved, then add the grenadine and the vodka.
Place the swiss roll tin on a level surface in the fridge and gently pour in the liquid. Chill until set.
When ready to serve, cut into 25mm squares and decorate with the pomegranate seeds.
Have a great Christmas!

Roasted Sweet Chestnuts

Food Photography Photographer London UK Chestnuts

Ingredients

an armful of Sweet Chestnuts,
gathered on a long walk

Method

The first thing here is to make sure you have gathered Sweet Chestnuts and not Horse Chestnuts. Horse Chestnuts normally grow with a single nut in the shell and while they are great for a game of conkers, they're not edible.
Sweet Chestnuts have lots of fine spikes on the outer shell and when opened you can see they grow in clusters of three to four.
Whichever method of cooking you choose, first carefully score the outer shell with a knife in a cross pattern.This will stop the chestnuts from popping when heated. Try not to cut into the flesh of the nut.

To pan roast : Place a heavy bottom skillet over a medium heat, add the Sweet Chestnuts and cook through for about 10-15 minutes, moving them around regularly.

To oven roast : Heat the oven to 200°c. Place the scored Sweet Chestnuts in an oven proof pan and roast for 20 - 30 minutes.

To roast on an open fire or wood burning stove : With a good fire going remove the ash pan. Clean it out, place the Sweet Chestnuts in the pan and return to the stove. Leave them in the stove for 15 - 30 minutes depending on the intensity of the fire.
Or if you have an open fire, let it burn down to embers. Place a skillet with Sweet Chestnuts on the embers and heat through as in the pan roast instructions. You can buy a dedicated chestnut roaster to cook this way.

Remove from the heat and as soon as the chestnuts are cool enough to handle, peel away the husk and inner white pith.
Eat as they come or dip in a little salt if preferred.

Victoria Sponge Cake

Food Photography Photographer London UK Tea Union Flag

Ingredients

170g caster sugar
170g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temperature
170g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
5 tbsp raspberry jam
140ml double cream, lightly whipped
icing sugar for dusting

you will need two 20cm/8" sandwich tins

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the two sandwich tins. Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla extract until pale and light. Add the eggs, a little at a time and beat to a mousse-like consistency. You can do this with an electric whisk. 
Gently fold in the flour by hand and add enough milk to make a dropping consistency. (Hold a spoonful of mixture sideways and give a sharp jerk, some of the mixture should drop off.)
Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins. 
Bake for about 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread the underside of one cake generously with jam and top with the whipped cream. Lay the second sponge on, topside up.
Dust with icing sugar and make a pot of tea.

 

Tomato & Basil Sauce

Food Photography Photographer London UK Tomato

Makes approximately 600g of sauce

Ingredients

1.2kg of medium sized on vine tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato puree
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
a large handful of basil leaves, torn
salt & pepper 

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Halve the tomatoes and place them in a large roasting tin, cut side up. Press the chopped garlic pieces into the tomato halves. Sprinkle over the sugar. Dot with the sun-dried tomato paste, season and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Roast in the oven for an hour until soft and slightly charred in places. Stir the basil leaves through and crush the tomato mixture with a fork to form a sauce.

Aubergine Parmigiana

Food Photography Photographer London UK Aubergine

Serves 6 as a main course 12 as a starter

Ingredients

4 large aubergines, approx 1 - 1.2kg
corn oil for frying
600g of a good quality tomato & basil sauce  -  preferably home-made
3x 125g mozzarella balls, thinly sliced
150g Parmesan, grated
2 large handfuls of basil leaves, torn
pepper to taste

you will need an oven-proof dish approximately 24cm x 32cm (9" x 12")

Method

Heat the oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergines into 5mm slices and brush them with a little oil.
Heat a griddle pan or large frying pan to very hot and add the sliced aubergines to the pan. Cook in batches until well browned on either side, placing them on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
When ready to assemble, spread a little of the sauce in the bottom of the dish, add a layer of aubergines followed by some slices of mozzarella, parmesan, a twist of black pepper and some basil.
Spoon over more tomato sauce and repeat the process until all the aubergine slices are used up.
Finish off with a generous amount of parmesan and the rest of the tomato sauce.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Let the dish rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Celeriac Rosti

Food Photography Photographer London UK Celeriac

Serves 6 generously

Ingredients

800g celeriac, peeled & quartered
800g medium potatoes, halved & unpeeled
150g butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt & ground black pepper

you will need a deep-sided 25cm non stick frying pan

  

Method

Place the celeriac and potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover with the pan lid and set aside for ten minutes. Drain well and leave to cool. 

Grate the celeriac and potatoes into a bowl, season and mix together.
Melt half the butter with one tablespoon of oil, coating the base and sides of the pan. Add the celeriac mixture and gently press down to form a large cake. Cook for 5 minutes over a high heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil around the edge of the pan and gently shake to avoid the rosti from sticking.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, shaking the pan often. Take a slightly larger plate and place it on top of the pan. Carefully invert the rosti onto the plate.
Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and return the rosti, cooked side up. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with a dozen Cumberland sausages and a selection of your favourite mustards.

'Let it Snow' Chocolate Roulade

Food Photography Photographer London UK Chocolate Raspberry Roulade Cake

Serves 10

Ingredients

a knob of butter for greasing
270g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
6 free range eggs, separated
225g caster sugar
600ml double cream
170g punnet of fresh raspberries
1 jar black cherries in kirsch
icing sugar to decorate

you will need a swiss roll tray
350mm x 250mm

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease the swiss roll tray with butter and line with a piece of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the tin. Now lightly grease the paper. Take 170g of the chocolate and melt over a bain marie. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a ribbon consistency. When ready, stir in the cooled chocolate. 
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Carefully fold them into the chocolate mixture, keeping as much volume as possible.
Pour the sponge mix into the swiss roll tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. It should be firm and springy to the touch. 
Run a clean tea towel under cold water and wring it out. When the sponge has cooled a little, place the tea towel over the sponge for 10 minutes. Remove the tea towel and leave the sponge covered in a cool place overnight.
When ready to assemble, sieve icing sugar over a fresh sheet of greaseproof paper a little larger than the tin. Turn the sponge onto the paper and peel off the piece of greaseproof now on top. Trim the long edges of the sponge with a knife.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the sponge with a palette knife, reserving some to decorate the top of the roulade. Melt the remaining chocolate the same way as before. Scatter some raspberries and drained cherries over the cream followed by a generous drizzle of chocolate. Lift the greaseproof paper at the short side and gently roll the sponge into a log. It may crack in places but don't worry, this all adds to the character...
Transfer onto a platter and spoon the rest of the cream on top of the roulade. Place more cherries and raspberries on the cream and drizzle over the rest of the cooled chocolate. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar.
There you go...Have a lovely Christmas!

Pea & Ham Soup

Food Photography Photographer London UK Fork Cutlery Pea

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients

a knuckle of smoked gammon - approx 1-1.3kg
2 sticks of celery
2 large carrots, halved
4 onions, halved
a small handful of thyme
2 bay leaves
12 white peppercorns
1.2kg frozen peas, semi-defrosted
4 tbsp double cream

Method

Place the gammon in a large saucepan with the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for one and a half hours, skimming off any residue.
Top up with warm water if needed. 
Turn off the heat and remove the ham. Carve the meat from the bone, and while still hot, shred with two forks. Retain for later.
Sieve the stock and allow the liquid to cool before chilling in the fridge.
Liquidise the peas with the chilled stock, then pass the purée through a fine sieve. At this stage the soup can be chilled until ready to serve.
Heat the soup in a saucepan, but don't boil or it will lose its vibrant green colour. Lightly season with salt and pepper - remember the ham will be quite salty -  then stir in the cream.
Put some ham into the bottom of each bowl and pour over the hot soup. Serve immediately.

Marinated Beetroot with Grilled Goat's Cheese

Food Photography Photographer London UK Beetroot

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 medium beetroot, scrubbed, topped and tailed
8 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 dsp runny honey
small handful of thyme leaves
2x 100g rind on goat's cheese halved
to create 4 rounds
4 handfuls of rocket 

Method

Set the oven to 180°C.
Wrap the beetroot in tin foil and cook in the oven until tender - for about 1 hour. 
Meanwhile, make the marinade. Place the oil, vinegar, honey and thyme in a shallow bowl, season and mix well.
When the beetroot is cool, peel and slice thinly. Add to the marinade and leave for at least a couple of hours, overnight if possible.
When ready to serve, heat the grill to high. Arrange the beetroot slices on 4 plates and divide half the rocket between them. Put the goat's cheese on an oiled baking tray and grill for 2-3 minutes.
When ready, add to the plate topped with more rocket leaves. 
Drizzle with the marinade and serve.

Real Cloudy Lemonade

Food Photography Photographer London UK Lemon

Makes 6 glasses

Ingredients

3 unwaxed lemons

120g unrefined sugar

750ml water

12 ice cubes 

you will also need a food mixer 
or blender 

Method

Take the lemons and with a sharp knife,  cut off the tops and bottoms. Now with the knife or a potato peeler, pare off the lemon peel with as little of the white pith as you can manage - pith in the lemonade will give an unpleasant bitter taste. 
Put the rind in the food mixer with about a third of the sugar. Now pare off the rest of the pith around the lemons and discard.
Cut the lemons in half, remove any pips and add to the mixer, along with 250ml of water and 4 ice cubes.
Whizz the contents until well blended. Pour off the liquid into a jug through a sieve.
Return the lemon mush to the mixer with a further third of the sugar. Add another 250ml of water and 4 more ice cubes and whizz again.
Sieve the liquid into the first batch and repeat the process a third time. All done.
Ice cold, ready to drink, real cloudy lemonade.

Cherry Clafoutis

Food Photography Photographer London UK Cherry

Serves 8

Ingredients

for the base

30g butter, melted
50g caster sugar
 

for the batter

800g cherries
2 large eggs & 4 large egg yolks
150g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g plain flour
300ml double cream
300ml Jersey milk
 

Method

Set the oven to 180ºC. Take a large oven proof dish, 36cm x 26cm,  and brush the inside with the melted butter. Add the caster sugar and shake it around the dish to coat the inside. Pour the cherries into the dish and set aside.
To make the batter, put the eggs and the caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until thick and creamy - about 3 minutes with an electric whisk. 
Split the vanilla pod and add the seeds to the mixture along with the vanilla extract. Gently add the flour and fold in with a hand whisk followed by the milk and cream. Pour the mixture over the cherries and cook in the oven for 35 minutes. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to stand until warm. Serve with cream and play 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor' with the cherry stones.

Baked Sea Trout with a Fennel and Rosé Wine Sauce

Food Photography Photographer London UK Trout Fish

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 sea trout fillets
275ml fish or chicken stock, unsalted
125ml dry rosé wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 star anise
75g lightly salted butter
juice from 1/2 lemon
5 fennel bulb tops, finely diced 

Method

Catch a good sized Sea Trout.
Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC. Take two fillets and put in an oven proof dish with a little of the stock. Season with pepper but not salt at this stage as the stock reduction will end up too salty.
Cook in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes then remove and keep warm.
Pour the juice from the fish into a saucepan with the remaining stock and add the wine, vinegar and star anise. Bring to the boil and cook rapidly until the liquid is reduced to a third. Approximately 15 minutes.
Turn the heat to minimum, whisk in the butter and add the lemon juice and fennel tops. 
Taste and season if necessary.
Remove the skin from the fillets and transfer to warmed plates. Pour over the sauce and serve with new potatoes and green beans.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Food Photography Photographer London UK Spaghetti Parmesan Cheese Pancetta Egg

Serves 3 generously, 4 sensibly 

Ingredients

400g dried spaghetti
200g smoked pancetta, cubed
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 large eggs & 2 egg yolks
6 tablespoons double cream
6 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano, grated
salt and black pepper
  

Method

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the dried spaghetti until al dente, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a heated dry pan and cook until golden brown. Add the diced garlic and cook for just a few seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, yolks, cream and a little black pepper. 
Drain the spaghetti, tip back into the saucepan and add the egg mixture. Toss through followed by the pancetta and the cheese. Mix through again, add a little more black pepper and serve.

Griddled Leeks with Lemon & Toasted Hazelnut Dressing

Food Photography Photographer London UK Lemon Hazel Nut

Serves 6

Ingredients

8 medium sized leeks
6 tablespoons olive oil
 juice & zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
50g whole hazelnuts
a handful of parsley, chopped
a little oil for cooking

Method

Top and tail the leeks. Place in a large pan and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Put the lid on and cook for 4 minutes until just tender. Drain the hot water, refresh with cold and drain again. Set aside.
To toast the hazelnuts, set the oven to 180ºC. Place them on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Hazelnut skins can taste bitter. To remove them, place in a tea towel and gently rub them together.
To make the dressing, put the olive oil in a bowl, add the lemon juice and zest, mustard and honey and whisk together until amalgamated. 
Roughly chop the hazelnuts and add to the dressing along with the parsley.
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Slice the leeks lengthways and brush with oil. Put the leeks on the griddle pan in batches and cook for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a serving dish and spoon over the hazelnut dressing.

A Casserole of West Country Hare

Food Photography Photographer London UK Carrot

Serves 4

Ingredients

a tablespoon of olive oil
1 jointed hare, about 1kg weight
200g smoked bacon lardons
2 medium onions
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves
zest of half a lemon
zest and juice of one orange
a large sprig of thyme
a large sprig of marjoram
3 cloves
1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
350ml red wine
salt and pepper

All works will be exhibited and auctioned online and at the exceptionally glamorous Hare Ball on 26th May 2011.
GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL
 to see original art, raising money for
 Go to:   www.harestyling.com

Method

For a divine casserole of West Country hare, heat a tablespoon of oil in a large casserole dish. Add the jointed hare and cook quickly to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. Add 200g of smoked bacon lardons and cook for two minutes. Dice two medium onions, two carrots and two celery sticks. Add to the pan and cook for a further three to four minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add the browned hare and two crushed cloves of garlic. Also add the finely grated zest of half a lemon, the zest and juice of an orange, one sprig each of thyme and marjoram, three cloves
and half a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.
Pour over 350ml of red wine and season. Bring to the boil and cover. 
Transfer to the oven preheated to 150ºC and cook for two and a half hours. Serve with crusty bread.


When out of season or as a good alternative, this recipe works well with chicken.

An Onion Tart for the Weekend

Food Photography Photographer London UK Onion

Ingredients

for the filling

4 large white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
about 800g when peeled
75g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
a generous sprig of thyme
6 large eggs, plus 1 beaten for egg wash
350ml double cream
150g aged cheddar, grated
salt & pepper

for the pastry

220g plain flour
110g butter, cut into small cubes
a large pinch of salt
1 egg yolk

Or a quantity of ready made pastry
to line a 25.5cm/10" pastry tin,
about 300g - 350g

 

Method

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and stir until the onions are well coated. 
Add the thyme. Cover the pan and cook on a gentle heat until the onions are softened but not coloured, for around 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue cooking to evaporate the liquid for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Now make the pastry. Sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt and quickly rub the butter into the flour. Add the egg yolk and enough ice-cold water to form a firm dough, about 1-2 tablespoons.
Form into a ball, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
Set the oven to 190ºC.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a circle large enough to fit a loose bottomed pastry tin 25.5cm/10" in diameter and 3cm deep. 
Place the pastry in the tin, pressing gently into the sides. Leave the excess to overhang. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the greaseproof and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Take the case from the oven and brush the whole of the inside with egg wash. Turn down the oven to 180ºC.
Beat the eggs and add the cream. Stir in the cheese and season well. Mix with the cooled onions and pour into the pastry case. 
Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat down to 160ºC and bake for a further 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 
Remove from the oven and cool until set. Trim the edges or leave them untidy.

A Chocolate Espresso Torte for Christmas

Food Photography Photographer London UK Chocolate

Serves 8 

Ingredients

1 espresso cup of coffee, about 80 ml
120g prunes, diced
60ml Tia Maria
170g plain chocolate
120g butter, cubed
5 large eggs, separated
120g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cornflour, sifted

Method

Put the diced prunes in a bowl and pour over the coffee and Tia Maria. Cover and leave the mixture to infuse overnight.
Set the oven to 170ºC. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a simmering pan of hot water, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in the vanilla essence, the prune mixture and the melted chocolate.
With a clean whisk and fresh bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the chocolate mixture with the sifted cornflour.
Pour into a greased and lined 20cm spring sided cake tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for around 50 minutes or until springy to the touch. 
Leave to cool. Dust with cocoa powder and serve with a generous amount of clotted cream.