That Time I Built a Cheese and Pineapple Hedgehog

Having not lived through the 70’s, in Britain or otherwise, I was, until very recently, unaware of the gastronomic showpiece that is the Cheese and Pineapple Hedgehog. It came up during a discussion about Eurovision – another WTF cultural phenomenon – when someone advised the Cheese and Pineapple Hedgehog was the ultimate in Eurovision partyContinue reading “That Time I Built a Cheese and Pineapple Hedgehog”

Leek and Potato Soup with Bacon, Whiskey and Cream

A hearty, earthy soup that will warm you up on a stubbornly cold day. The whiskey adds a subtle complexity that seems to bring out all the other flavours. Feeds 4 – 6 Ingredients 2 – 3 slices of smoked streaky bacon, thinly sliced1 tsp olive oil½ tbsp butter2 – 3 leeks (depending on size),Continue reading “Leek and Potato Soup with Bacon, Whiskey and Cream”

Crispy Pork and Apple Crostini

This is a really exciting appetizer – crispy, shredded pork, spicy applesauce and peppery rocket are the perfect combination atop a crisp slice of baguette. What a treat. And while this might seem like a lot of work for an appetiser, it’s actually very easy and almost entirely make-ahead. The instructions are long, but theContinue reading “Crispy Pork and Apple Crostini”

Bar Nuts

The perfect snack for watching the game. Smokey, spicy and intensely savoury, these nuts are just the thing with a cold beer, or three. Ingredients: 4 cups raw, unsalted mixed nuts – I like walnuts, cashews, pecans and macadamias1/4 cup brown sugar3/4 tbsp sweet smoked paprika1/2 tsp cayenne1/4 tsp cinnamon1 tbsp flaked sea salt suchContinue reading “Bar Nuts”

Prosciutto Roll-Ups

My all-time favourite festive snack, next to sausage rolls, of course. Sweet, salty and crisp, these attractive nibbles make a fabulous appetizer passed around just as they are. Or, add a pile of these to a festive grazing board for a special treat. Ingredients 1 pack of good quality, ready-rolled puff pastry Honey mustard (orContinue reading “Prosciutto Roll-Ups”

Marinated Olives

Warm olives take on a whole new dimension. Not only are they juicier and more flavourful, serving them warm seems to carry an element of luxury not present if they’re cold. Feeds 4 – 6 as a nibble Ingredients 1 orange or clementine 1 lemon 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 2 bay leaves (fresh orContinue reading “Marinated Olives”

An Afternoon of Festive Nibbles

All my favourites, rolled into one relaxing and Christmassy afternoon. Dispense with the dinner party this time of year and go in for something much simpler, but by no means less enjoyable. An Afternoon of Festive Nibbles Sugar & Spiced NutsCauliflower and Truffle SoupSliced BaguetteHard cheese (Gruyère, Aged cheddar or Comté)ProsciuttoSausage Rolls One thing allContinue reading “An Afternoon of Festive Nibbles”

Cheese Straw Twists

These are an elegant and crowd-pleasing nibble, and just as suitable with a cold beer as with a glass of champagne. Make more than you think you’ll need – these are seriously addictive. Makes approx. 32 twists Ingredients 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry Cheddar cheese Parmesan cheese Pinch of cayenne pepper Salt 1 eggContinue reading “Cheese Straw Twists”

Spiced Cheddar Cheesecake

A showstopper, make-ahead appetizer, and addictive in the extreme. This would also make a really nice cheese course in lieu of dessert. To make this, you will require a 5-inch diameter springform tin, easily procured online. Make sure your cream cheese is very soft before starting, otherwise you won’t get a light, fluffy cheesecake. ThisContinue reading “Spiced Cheddar Cheesecake”

Refreshing Red Pepper Soup with a Shrimp, Chorizo and Fried Parsley Garnish

A cold summer soup in the right context is refreshing and really wakes up the taste buds. However, in the wrong context a cold soup is jarring and unpleasant. Pick your moment wisely. Serve as a first course on a hot day, in small portions, with this garnish. The hot and cold contrast is justContinue reading “Refreshing Red Pepper Soup with a Shrimp, Chorizo and Fried Parsley Garnish”