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”

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”

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”

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”

Caesar Braised Beef on a Bun

For the uninitiated, a Caesar is kind of like a Bloody Mary but with a briny, salty hit. The flavours are bold, rich and spicy, and work amazingly in a beef stew. I can think of no better way to celebrate Canada Day (albeit from afar, in southern England) than with this patriotic interpretation ofContinue reading “Caesar Braised Beef on a Bun”

Black Olive Tapenade and Goat’s Cheese Crostini

Together, tapenade and goat’s cheese are a match made in heaven. Obviously you can eat the elements separately, but do encourage anyone you’re feeding to spread them on their crostini together. A couple notes on anchovy. As long as everyone you’re feeding loves olives and isn’t a vegetarian, just put them in and don’t tellContinue reading “Black Olive Tapenade and Goat’s Cheese Crostini”

Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo

The contrast between the hot, crisp chorizo and the smooth, lemony dip is delicious. Perfect for a warm evening with friends. If you’re feeding vegetarians, my cannellini crostini is an easily adaptable alternative. Feeds 4 as a nibble Ingredients 1 x 400g (14oz) tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 large clove of garlic, mincedContinue reading “Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo”

Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell

I have written previously on the merits of mussels. This is a fun party dish that combines the elegance of steaming in white wine with the fun of a crisp canapĂ©. It works best with large mussels because you are cooking them twice, thereby reducing the risk of overcooking. But of course, you don’t alwaysContinue reading “Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell”

Oven-Baked Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

A lighter, make-at-home version of the classic Middle Eastern street food. Whip this up on a weeknight, or save and make for a party snack. Either way, you’ll have some pretty excited eaters on your hands. The suggested accompaniments may seem like a strange combination, but they really work together so please give it aContinue reading “Oven-Baked Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce”

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

Slow-roasting tomatoes really concentrates their flavour and makes them much sweeter than the sundried tomatoes you get from a jar. A taste of summer even in colder climes. Feeds 2 – 4 Ingredients 200g cherry tomatoes Olive oil Salt and pepper 4 slices of sourdough or other rustic Italian-style bread 1 clove of garlic, unpeeledContinue reading “Roasted Tomato Bruschetta”