I've been cooking


Well, just a quick update here with some of the meals I've been cooking over the past few months. Over the coming weeks I'll try and bring you as many recipes for these meals as I can but for now here are some photos of my latest efforts.

Trio of Fish Salad

Beef Wellington

Potato Dauphinoise

Fillet and Leg of Duck with Duck Fat Sauteed Potatoes, Celeriac Puree, Sweet Potato Crisps and a Port and Mushroom Jus

Chicken Tikka Masala

Spicy Lamb Curry

Chicken, Mushroom and Potato Bake


A few days back I posted to you guys my recipe for "Poached Chicken with Mushroom Sauce" - It was quite a complex and a potentially expensive dish so today I wanted to provide to you a recipe, inspired my a Jamie Oliver dish for a Chicken and Mushroom Bake. From the last dish I had left a Banana Shallot (I always buy two just incase something hideous has happened to one of them), a breast of Chicken, Parsley, Wine and Chestnut and White Mushrooms. So without dipping

into to my store-cupboard again too much (well, not the dried Mushrooms again, I feel I need to save them for another dish) I wanted to make something healthy and simple and after blog-browsing I found a lovely Jamie dish for Chicken and Mushroom Potato topped pie. It's healthy, easy, and wholly satisfying. Furthermore it's also very good value. This recipe is plenty for two with some green vegetables or ok with one with leftovers - depending on how your stomach's holding up. Here's my adaption of the recipe. Thanks to Jamie for the inspiration.

The Recipe:


15 ml Olive Oil - More to brush on top

1 Chicken Breast - Diced

1 Banana Shallot - Fine chopped

1 clove of Garlic - Minced

1tsp Sugar

60 grams of White Mushrooms - Roughly chopped

60 grams of Chestnut Mushrooms - Roughly chopped

1 tbsp of Parsley leaves

1 tbsp Stalks of Parsley - (Soaked in 100 ml boiling water - I'll explain the value of this later) - Optional

100 ml White Wine

2 tsp flour.

250 ml of Chicken Stock (preferably made from concentrate with 150 ml of Potato Water and 100 ml of Parsley water)

200 - 300 grams of Unpeeled Charlotte Potatoes - Finely Sliced.

Cook the meal:

1. Prepare the ingredients. Dice the shallot, mince the Garlic and finely slice the Charlotte Potatoes. Then, dice the Chicken

2. Season the Chicken and add to the hot Oil moving around until sealed. Roughly 2-3 mins. Remove and set aside.

3. Add Shallot until translucent then stir in 1tsp of Sugar and minced Garlic for another minute.

4. Add Mushrooms to cook until all liquid has been released and they appear soft and juicy - 5-10 minutes.

5. Bring pan to a high heat and throw Wine in until reduced by two thirds. While this is happening, boil sliced potatoes for 1 minute and drain.

4. Now sprinkle in the flour stirring contstantly. The mixture should start to thicken.

5. Slowly add the stock (see suggestion below) stirring constantly until used up.

6. When the mixture looks and dense stir back through the Chicken and the Parsley.

7. Take off the heat.

Assemble the meal

8. In a small dish place Chicken mixture.

9. Layer up the potatoes brushing with oil and seasoning, pressing down as you go.

10. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from over and serve with some frozen peas if you want.


1. Add 1 Chicken Stock cube or enough liquid concentrate of stock (I used Knorr) to make up 250ml Stock.

2. When Potatoes are cooked strain off 150 ml of the water (which will be flavoured by the Potato Skins) and place in jug with stock cube.

3. Add 100ml of boiling water to Parsley an leave to infuse. Then add again to Chicken

concentrate stock.

4. Mix well, add at step 5 in recipe.


- The advantage of using the Potato and Parsley water in the stock is to ensure you pack as much flavour from the ingredients you use as possible. You can adapt to many dishes - Do the same with any bits of herb you don't use in the dish - Rosemary stalks for example in a Lamb Stock for Shepherds pie.

- I've left the wine addition up to you with this dish but if you use a sweeter wine maybe cut down the amount of sugar you use. Remember to taste the dish as you go - You'll know what flavour the wine's giving to your dish.

Poached Chicken with a Five Mushroom Sauce


Saying you don't like Mushrooms is akin to saying you don't like the animal world. (This is point I will now go on to weakly defend, however I it will become a bit clearer why I make this sweeping statement). Well, mainly there are so many different types - All different shapes and sizes all with their own different personalities. Each one adds a different flavour to a dish whilst retaining "Mushroom-iness". As some of you will know I've just recently returned from Paris from a holiday and whilst browsing some delis I picked up a few packets of dried Mushrooms of varying varieties. One - "Cepes" is a classic Mushroom used in cooking, noted for its strong earthy flavour and the other "Bolet Jaune" - Of which I am unfamiliar. Now, Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient. Portabello Mushroom Burgers, griddled, layered with a few types of strong Cheeses, served on a toasted Ciabatta bun smeared with Olive Oil and Garlic served with Sweet Potato Wedges perhaps. Or - We might use Mushrooms in a Bolognese Sauce, a Risotto, a Pasta dish - Infact anything. Breaded, battered, grilled, fryed, oven-baked - The list really is endless. I wanted to make a dish that was distinctively "Mushroomy" as sometimes we lose the flavour of a traditional Mushroom by putting in too many ingredients and smothering it. Chicken with Morille sauce has been on the menu of many a restaurant for years - Succulent, moist chicken with a delicious strong mushroom sauce. Here's my version of the classic but utilising not just the one Mushroom but 5 different types (6 if you included the Truffle Oil) - It's a mixture of dried ones and fresh ones. The result - I hope you will think - Is pretty darn delicious.

The Recipe:


For The Sauce:

200 ml Medium Dry White Wine

1/2 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 tbsp Slightly Salted Butter

1 Clove Garlic - Crushed to a paste

1/2 Small Banana Shallot - Finely chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

1 large Chicken Breast

10 grams Dried Cepes

10 grams Dried Jaunes

10 grams Dried Jumbo Morels

30 grams Chestnut Mushrooms - Roughly chopped

30 grams White Mushrooms - Roughly chopped

400 ml Chicken Stock

2 tbsp Double Cream

1 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley (Stalks removed) - Roughly chopped

A dash of Truffle Oil (Optional)

For The Mash:

1 Large Maris Piper Potato - Quartered

2 tbsp Whole Milk

1 tbsp Double Cream

Sea Salt

Ground Black Pepper

Prepare the Ingredients:

1. Soak the dried Mushrooms in the Wine for upto 1 hour in order to rehydrate them and then drain reserving the liquid squeezing out any excess moisture from the Mushrooms back into the infused Wine and then roughly chop.

2. Peel and quarter the Potatoes, crush the Garlic, finely chop the Shallot, remove and roughly chop the Parsley leaves.

Cook the meal:

3. Place potatoes in a pan of salted water and bring to boil .

4. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, heat Butter and Olive Oil in hot pan, season Chicken and pan fry on both sides until sealed, roughly 2-3 minutes each side. Remove chicken and cover.

5. Turn down the hob slightly and in the same pan throw the Shallots in and fry until translucent adding a Sugar to allow a slight caramelisation - Roughly 3 minutes.

6. Add Garlic for a further minute stirring vigoursly and then add all the Mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until the juices from the Mushrooms have all but evapourated.

7. Now turn up the heat throw in the reserved Wine Mushroom stock until reduced by 2 thirds.

8. Place back in Chicken, and pour stock over until it just reaches the top of the Chicken.

9. Bring to boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for another 15 minutes.

10. The Potatoes should have now been cooking for 20 minutes or so. Check the are soft, drain, set aside in warm saucepan to allow any excess moisture to evapourate.

11. Push through a Potato ricer or mash extremely finely until you have a light, lump free and set aside again.

12. When the Chicken cooking time has elapsed, check it is fully cooked

and the juices run clear and remove from the Mushroom Sauce.

13. Now, turn up the poaching mixture to a high heat and reduce the mixture until it has thickened and the stock has all but evapourated.

To Serve:

14. Add double Cream and Parsley to the Mushroom Sauce, stir and add back the Chicken to warm through - 2 minutes.

15. Heat double Cream, Milk and Butter in a pan and pour through Potatoes on a medium heat stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy - 2 - 3 minutes.

16. Heap Mash onto a warmed plate and lay the Chicken Breast over the top. Spoon over the Mushroom sauce, drizzling with a very small amount of Truffle Oil until your content, reserving any leftovers to stir through pasta the next day, or serve on lightly toasted Ciabatta for a luxury breakfast.

Note : If you feel like substituting different dried Mushrooms - Feel free. The combination above although delicious may simply be used as a guide.

Restaurant Review : Fishy Fishy - Brighton


Oh glorious Paris! Bustling cafes, bistros and restaurants with satisfied (sometimes) customers pouring out onto the street, waiters shouting (only occassionaly screaming) orders over the counter to irate, frantic and very hard working chefs while the customer sits and muses with friends over a short coffee after a Croque Monsieur and a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape (if your feeling flush). Forget the food for a minute and think about the atmosphere. It's the "sitting outdoors factor" that really makes Paris (and other locations in France) so great. Now - think about the atmosphere AND the food. As you will probably see I'm trying to paint you a picture of Fishy Fishy - One of Brighton's more acclaimed Fish restaurants - Of which you are spoilt for choice. Yes, the two cities are totally different - But, the outdoor factor (especially in summer) is something you're probably craving - We certainly were. Also , it's good to be in the thick of it - I think and the outdoor space of Fishy Fishy certainly is. Enough about the atmosphere though - I'm in a nostalgic mood after just returning from the French Capital as you may have already deduced (or you're already wondering what "on earth" I'm on about) What about the food then! Well - I had some friends down and we all fancied a classic fish and chips - We had passed Harry Ramden's - famous for their glorious chips (not in Eastbourne) and crispy uniquley battered Cod (not in Eastbourne) after a visit to the Sea Life Centre (could do with a revamp) and it had whetted our appetite. I'd always fancied giving Fishy Fishy a go and the visit was definitely not dissapointing. I ordered the Fish Burger and my friends, the Fish and Chips - Both were served on wooden boards - A nice touch! The Fish Burger, served with homemade Tartare sauce and skinny fries, was laced, delicatley with capers and cornichons - It was the rare combination of Plaice and Squid (they usually offer pollock but that wasn't available at the time). It was well cooked, flavoursome and hearty, served in a toasted Ciabatta bun. The Fries were crisp although it would have been nice if we had salt and pepper to put on them - The waiter didn't bring it over as he forgot - It was a particularly busy time. My friend claimed the Fish and Chips were "the best he'd ever eaten" and after a taste I can say that they were delicious - Soft flakey Cod encased in a crisp light batter. It's the battered Fish you always hope for when you get Fish and Chips. The mushy Peas were a bit more liquid than the classic version, but the taste was far superior than the canned stuff you pick up from the corner shop. The menu was very wide ranging, serving treats such as "Oven baked Tranche of local Turbot with braised Peas, Bacon & baby Onions" and "Grilled Local Lobster" with a garlic and herb butter and other diners definitely appeared to be enjoying it too. There's even a Steak and Chicken dish on the menu for people not in the mood for Fish. The decor inside the restaurant was simple and effective with clean colours and a few select pictures on the wall. The conservatory area at the front definitely looks like the place to dine. In terms of cleanliness, the toilets were immaculate and the Molten and Brown soap and moisturiser was a nice treat. Service was good on one level - they were busy and a little slow but this won't put me off in any way as when we were served the waiters were polite, considerate and well informed. Although my experience here of the rest of the food was limited I will be visiting again too see if Dermot O'Leary's Brighton venture - Sorry I maybe should have mentioned this little nugget of information before - is at the same standard as the dishes we tried. The bill for 3 came to roughly £35 including 2 Fish and Chips, 1 Fish Burger, 1 Peroni and a Diet coke.

Visit :

Midnight Phone Art


I've recently been playing about with my phone in bed far too much and playing about on the iPhone app store looking for fun gadgets. I'm amazed by the amount of creative things you can do on such a small device. Recently I downloaded a sketching program and here are some examples of some of my midnight phone doodles.

Tweed love.


I've recently been developing a rather excessive love of tweedesque patterns. My first purchase was a green tweed blazer I picked up in a lovely little vintage shop in the le marais area of Paris. My most recent is this tweedesque double breasted coat which I found in "Snoopers Paradise" down in the North Laine area of Brighton. I'm still looking for a nice herringbone tweed blazer with three buttons and elbow patches. My friend picked up a lovely one recently and I have to say I'm jealous. Couple of tweed finds are shown above. Oh, and how amazing does the new Doctor Who look?

Steak with Peppercorn Sauce


Well, its been a while since I updated this blog. Two years infact, so here I am updating. I might get more into this blogging thing, its quite fun to talk about random stuff sometimes. I quite like it. So today I'm going to share my recipe for steak with peppercorn sauce. This is insanely rich and incredibly unhealthy but delicious. I've tried a few versions of this over the years but this is the finely tuned version. If you like rich food this is for you.


For two:

2 Rib-eye Steaks

2 Cloves of Garlic

1 Banana Shallot

2 Sprigs of Thyme

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

2 Portabello Mushrooms

10 Black Peppercorns

2 tsp of Green Peppercorns

2 tbsp Brandy

175ml Red wine

150 ml of Beef Stock

100 ml of Double Cream

Butter to Baste Steaks


Prepare the ingredients : Season with steaks with salt and pepper both sides - Set aside - Make sure you've taken the steaks out of the fridge 30 mins before cooking to come to room temperature so they aren't cold inside when cooked. Finely chop shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Crush peppercorns with thyme and rosemary in a pestle and mortar. Cook steaks (for medium rare) - 3 minutes each side in olive oil, add butter when you turn steaks over and baste continually for the last 3 minutes. Take out and of pan and keep warm. Add a little more butter and shallots and fry for 2 minutes with garlic until soft. Add mushrooms until soft and then pour in Brandy to deglaze the pan (keep back from the pan or your hair will set on fire and then you'll be in serious trouble) Add herbs for 20 seconds. Add wine and reduce by half, add stock and reduce by half - The kitchen will now smell delicious, and you may faint. If you are prone to fainting, ensure you have a glass of water standing by. Finally pour peppercorns and cream into the pan for 2 minutes. When slightly reduced and the consistency looks just right (so that it coats the back of a metal spoon will do) pour over steaks. Serve with Dauphinoise Potatoes and a glass of Red wine. Leave the washing up till the morning, you won't want to move after this. I suggest curling up on the sofa and wacking on a nice film.