Thursday, 5 April 2018

SPAM® and Pea Risotto

SPAM® and Pea Risotto
This is a really great store cupboard risotto requiring very simple ingredients.   It is a very tasty and fresh risotto recipe for kids and adults, a great comfort food dish!

Serves 4
Preparation time:  5 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 x tin of SPAM®, chopped
2 x good knobs of butter
1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
300g risotto rice
175ml white wine
1 litre chicken stock
200g frozen peas
120g parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly ground salt & pepper

1.    In a large frying pan heat 1 tbsp of oil and gently fry the chopped SPAM® until slightly golden, remove and set aside.
2.    Now add a knob of butter and 1 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.
3.    Add the risotto rice and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, then add the wine and allow to simmer until fully absorbed.
4.    Now gradually add the stock, a ladleful at a time until the liquid has been fully absorbed before adding the next ladleful whilst continually stirring.  Add the chopped SPAM® after 10 minutes.  Once the rice is cooked through (after 20-25 minutes) you should have a soupy looking risotto.  Sir in the peas and parmesan, season to taste.
5.       Now add a knob of butter, cover and allow to stand for 2 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!


Saturday, 31 March 2018

Chicken Liver Pate with Red Wine & Onion Marmalade

Chicken Liver Pate with Red Wine & Onion Marmalade
This is an inexpensive, delicious, easy to make but very elegant starter to impress your guests!
Serves 4


500g Chicken Livers
200ml Milk
Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper
75g Unsalted Butter
2 Large Shallots, peeled & finely diced
A very generous splash of Brandy
3-4 Sprigs of Thyme, leaves removed

To Seal Pate
175g Unsalted Butter
Thyme Leaves

Red Wine & Onion Marmalade
25g Butter
500g Red Onions, halved & sliced
1 ½ tbsp light soft brown sugar
250ml dry red wine
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Preparation Method

Chicken Liver Pate

1.  Firstly remove any veins from the chicken livers and place in a bowl and cover with milk.  Leave the livers to soak overnight or at least for 6-8 hours in the fridge.

2.  Bring the livers to room temperature and begin to prepare the pate.  Rinse and drain the livers and dry with kitchen paper and season very well.  In the meantime heat a pan and melt 3-4 cubes of butter, add the shallots, season and sauté for 5-6 minutes on a medium heat.

3.  Add the chicken livers and fry for 3-4 minutes until brown but still pink inside.

4.  Add a good splash of Brandy and light, flambé until the flame begins to die and then add the rest of the butter.  Remove from the heat and add the thyme leaves.

5.  Add the contents of the pan to a food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste.  Divide the pate into four small ramekins and smooth the tops with a spatula.

6.  To seal the pate melt 175g of butter in a small pan over a very low heat.  Carefully remove the golden oily layer (clarified butter) on the surface and discard the milky whey below.  Pour or spoon the clarified butter over the pate this will seal the pate and prevent any discolouring or oxidizing. Sprinkle with a few thyme leaves and cover with cling film and chill for at least an hour – the pate will keep well for up to a week.

For the Red Wine & Onion Marmalade

1.  Melt the butter in a pan and add the red onions and sugar.  Stir regularly over a medium heat until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized, this can take up to 15 minutes.

2.  Add the red wine and red wine vinegar and let the liquid reduce until it reduces right down and the pan becomes quite dry.  This can take up to 20 minutes or more, when ready season with salt and pepper.

3.  If not serving immediately place the marmalade into a sterilized jar and seal whilst hot.

To Serve

Take the pates out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.  Serve with warm toast and red wine & onion marmalade… enjoy!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roast Potatoes in Rosemary & Garlic, Glazed Carrots & Leek Gratin

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roast Potatoes in Rosemary & Garlic, Glazed Carrots & Leek Gratin
This has to be one of the best Sunday roasts.  This lamb is full of flavour and is complimented by the side dishes.  This roast takes some organisational skills but it is definitely worth every minute!

Serves 4

Preparation time:  30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 4 ½ - 5 hours


For the lamb:
1x half leg of lamb
2 fresh rosemary stalks
6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained & cut into 3 pieces
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & cut into slivers
1 onion, peeled & sliced

For the roast potatoes with garlic & rosemary:
1.5 kg potatoes, peeled
3 tbsp semolina
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
Few rosemary sprigs
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For the glazed carrots with thyme & garlic:
600g small carrots, peeled
1 litre vegetable stock
1 thyme sprig
½ head of garlic (cut horizontally)
1 bay leaf
Olive oil, for cooking
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Few knobs of butter
1-2 tsp caster sugar

For the leek gratin:
25g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large leeks, finely sliced into rings
300ml white wine
125ml double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
110g mature cheddar cheese

For the gravy:
200ml red wine
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 tbsp cornflour
½ lamb stock cube
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C/Gas Mark 3.  Put the lamb on a board and use the tip of a knife to make 15-20 deep holes all over it.  Take sprigs of rosemary off the stalks and place in a hole with a sliver of garlic and a piece of anchovy, push it in as far as it will go.  Fill all the holes like this.

2.  Put the sliced onion in a roasting tin and place the lamb on top, covering all the onion with the lamb.  Season the lamb and cover the roasting tin with foil and place in the oven for 4 ½ hours.

3.  Take the lamb out of the oven and remove the foil and any excess fat.  Pour in the red wine and increase the heat of the oven to 200°C/180°C/Gas Mark 6 and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and place on a warmed dish, cover with foil and a couple of tea towels and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

4.  For the roast potatoes with garlic and rosemary, par boil the potatoes for 9 minutes and drain.  Sprinkle the potatoes with the semolina.  Put the oil in a sturdy baking tray and heat over a medium heat.  When the oil is hot add the potatoes and coat in oil.  Add the garlic and rosemary to the tray and season the potatoes.  Place the tray in the oven and roast, turning the potatoes occasionally for 40-45 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through.

5.  For the glazed carrots with thyme and garlic, place the carrots into a pan and pour over the stock.  Add the thyme, garlic and bay leaf and parboil for 8 minutes.  Leave the carrots to cool in the stock and then drain.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the carrots and season well.  Sauté for 2 minutes then add the butter and a sprinkling of sugar, cook for 3-4 minutes until tender and fully glazed.

6.  For the leek gratin, preheat the grill to high.  Heat a frying pan until hot, and add the butter, olive oil and leeks. Fry over a low heat for 1-2 minutes until just softened.
Add the white wine to the pan and simmer for a further two minutes, until the wine has reduced by half.  Add the double cream and cook for a further minute. Season to taste and spoon the creamy leeks into an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the gratin and place under the grill to cook until golden-brown.

7.  For the gravy, spoon off any fat from the roasting tin then put it on the hob and stir in 200ml water and redcurrant jelly.  Bring to the boil and stir constantly.  Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve into a pan.  Place the pan on the hob and bring to a simmer.  Mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp of cold water and mix in a bowl until smooth.  Stir it into the gravy, add the stock cube and simmer for 2 minutes until the gravy thickens.  Season to taste and keep on a low heat until the lamb has rested.

8.  To serve, carve the lamb into slices and serve on warm plates with the roast potatoes, glazed carrots, leek gratin and gravy – enjoy!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Fish Tacos with Homemade Salsa, Guacamole & Chipotle Garlic Mayonnaise

Fish Tacos with Homemade Salsa, Guacamole & Chipotle Garlic Mayonnaise 
A wonderfully delicious meal to share with friends and family!  All the accompaniments can be prepared in advance to create hassle-free entertaining!

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus an hour resting time)
Cooking time:  10 minutes


For the salsa:
3 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
3 small spring onions, trimmed & roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
¾ tsp salt
10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the guacamole:
3 ripe avocados, peeled & chopped
1 lime, juiced
¼ red onion, finely chopped
1 very small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp of fresh tomato salsa
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the chipotle garlic mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, peeled
250ml mayonnaise
3-6 tbsp chipotle chilli paste

For the fish:
125g plain flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
4 cod fillets, cut into large chunks
Vegetable oil, for deep frying

To serve:
A handful of shredded iceburg lettuce
8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed

1.    For the salsa, in a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, spring onions, jalapeno pepper, garlic and salt, then stir until thoroughly mixed through.  Let the salsa stand for an hour to allow the flavours to mellow.  Just before serving, add the chopped coriander and stir. 
2.    For the guacamole, place the avocados, lime juice, red onion, coriander and salsa in a large bowl.  Mix and crush until you have the consistency you prefer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.    For the chipotle garlic mayonnaise, put all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz for 3 minutes.  Place in a serving bowl.
4.    For the fish, put the flour, paprika, oregano, marjoram, cumin, salt, pepper and 250ml water in a large bowl and whisk together until you have a smooth paste.
5.    Place the fish into the batter and make sure it is well coated. 
6.    Heat the vegetable in the deep fryer until it is 170°C.  Using a slotted spoon gently lower the fish into the oil, cook in batches for 3 minutes.  Remove the fish and allow to drain on kitchen paper.  Repeat the process until all the portions have been fried.
7.    To serve, layer up the ingredients over the tortillas: lettuce, fish, spicy fresh tomato salsa, guacamole and chipotle garlic mayonnaise. Enjoy!

Set of 4 Ceramic Bowls & Spoons on a Slate Base by Arthur Price

Traditional Fish Pie

Traditional Fish Pie
The wonderful combination of fish makes this pie delicious… you can make this fish pie the day before as it tastes even better the next day!

Serves 6
Prep time:  30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours

For the potato topping
1.25 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large knob of butter
4 tbsp double cream
3 egg yolks
Freshly ground salt & pepper

The filling
250g un-dyed smoked haddock, with skin on
900ml pint milk
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 onion, peeled & sliced
250g salmon fillet
250g cod fillet
250g cooked king prawns, peeled
3 tbsp capers, drained & rinsed
3 hard boiled eggs, shelled & quartered

For the sauce
125g butter, diced
100g plain flour
550ml whipping cream
4 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
Freshly ground salt & pepper


1.   Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

2.  For the potato topping, place the potatoes into a large pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.  Drain and set aside to dry.  Mash the potatoes and beat in the butter, cream and egg yolks and season, set aside.

3.  For the filling, place the haddock into a pan filled with 600ml of the milk, rosemary and onion.  Bring the milk to a simmer and poach the haddock for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from the milk with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.  Repeat this process by poaching the salmon and then the cod in the same milk.  When the fish is cool, remove the skin and flake the flesh into large chunks.  Sieve the poaching milk into a jug and add the rest of the milk, set aside.

4.  For the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes to make a roux.  Pour in the milk from the jug and beat until you have a very thick sauce.  Beat in the cream and then remove from the heat.  Stir in the parsley, lemon juice and season to taste.

5.  Place the fish and prawns into a 2 litre pint baking dish.  Pour any remaining fish juices into the sauce and mix well.  Gently fold in the capers and chopped eggs and pour the sauce over the fish.  Cover with the mash and place in the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes or until the mash is golden brown.  Enjoy! 

* Cutlery -  Sophie Conran Rivelin for Arthur Price

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Best Banana Bread

The Best Banana Bread
This has to be the BEST banana bread I have ever tasted.  It is very easy to make with perfect results every time... a perfect breakfast!

Makes 10 slices
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

110g butter, softened plus extra for greasing
225g caster sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas mashed
85ml buttermilk
1tsp vanilla extract
285g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt


1.  Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

2.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until you have a light and fluffy mixture.  Mix in the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract. 

3.  Sift in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda and fold into the mixture.

4.  Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour in the cake mixture.

5.  Place in the oven and bake for an hour or until risen and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely before serving.  Enjoy. 

Cooks tips
·         Make sure to use over-ripe bananas and the right size cake tin. 
·         If you do not have buttermilk you can use normal milk mixed with 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice or vinegar.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Bloody Mary with Paprika Prawn, Chorizo & Halloumi Kebab Garnish

Bloody Mary with Paprika Prawn, Chorizo & Halloumi Kebab Garnish
Big Tom Spiced Tomato Mix never lets you down on making the ultimate Bloody Mary!  Garnish with these delicious kebabs - these skewers combine all of the flavours of summer on a stick.

Serves 4
Prep time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 4-6 minutes

For the Kebab:
12 large raw prawns, peeled & deveined leaving tail intact
1tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 garlic clove, peeled & crushed
1 tsp brown sugar
100g chorizo, thickly sliced
100g Halloumi, cut into 2cm cubes
1 small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped

For the bloody Mary:
2 x 75cl bottles of Big Tom Spiced Tomato Mix
4 shots of vodka
Lemon wedges, to serve

1.    For the kebabs; combine the prawns, lemon juice, oil, paprika, garlic and sugar in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
2.    Preheat a grill or chargrill pan to medium-high heat.  Thread the prawns, chorizo and halloumi evenly among 4 skewers.  Cook kebabs for 2-3 minutes each side or until the prawns change colour and curl.  Sprinkle with parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
3.    For the Bloody Mary, pour the Big Tom Spiced Tomato Mix into a glass with a good shot of vodka. Place a skewer on each glass and serve with a wedge of lemon, cheers!

Follow in the footsteps of Bloody Mary herself and learn more about the
pulse-racing hidden history of the Tower of London!

Follow in the footsteps of Bloody Mary herself and learn more about the pulse-racing hidden history of the Tower of London. Enter our competition for you and a guest to indulge in a heady cocktail masterclass inside the Tower walls, delight in a decadent dinner and then catch your breath at the five-star Grange City Hotel, surrounded by iconic London landmarks including the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. With the hotel incorporating one of the last remaining sections of London's Roman Wall it is perfectly situated for a city break. It's an intoxicating combination, but try not to lose your head!
Ten runners up win two places on the cocktail masterclass plus two tickets to the Tower of London.

We'd also love to see your own Bloody Mary creations using Big Tom spicy tomato mix. Share photos of your finished cocktails with glamorous garnishes online using #BigTomTower for more chances to win. 
Struggling for an idea? Check out all our entries for some inspiration.