Monthly Archives: April 2012

Nomni Burgers

Burgers are one of those super staple foods for family, make in bulk and use straight away or freeze for one of those awfully busy weeks! With the summer coaxing us into the garden, burgers are also handy once the BBQ is cleaned and ready to go. I am a big fan of big flavours and well seasoned burgers. There’s nothing worse than a poor quality beef ground into a paste and shaped – I like good fresh minced beef, lots of spices and some onion to give extra texture to the burgers.

Grab your mince and pop it into a bowl. Get 1-2 onions (depending on your love for onion) chop it up and brown in a little oil. Add one heaped tablespoon of mustard seeds to the browning onion.

Beat an egg and pop in on to the mince. Squeeze some tomatoe puree in as well. And don’t forget a good grind of pepper and a pinch of salt.

My personal favourites for the spices are cumin seed (ground works too), ground coriander  (I wouldn’t use coriander seed, too big and not nice to bite down on), fennel seed and some sort of hot spice; paprika or chili flakes. In this one I was cooking for friends, and one guest didn’t like hot food, so I added a teaspoon of Pimenton (a very mild smoked paprika).

Roll up your sleeves and get the hands ready to squish and squidge until the mixture is homologous (What’s the cooking terminology for that?). Uniform? Mixed well?

Shape and Cook. Serve as you serve burgers, homemade brown bread buns, chunky guacamole and spicy tomatoe salsa. It”s heavenly getting the odd crunchy mustard seed and a rare hint of fennel. Nom nom nom.

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The Best Breakfast Scones

Scones. One of the most delicious hearty warm breakfasts you can get, freshly baked, still steaming with some homemade raspberry or apricot jam. This is some serious noms. The main reason for making these is not just because they are delicious, but because the panda girlfriend is madly in nom with these little treats – and it appeases her noms very well. Whipped. Even food whipped. Nom nom nom.

What you will need for a batch to feed a small army is the following (half the small army batch to make a reasonable number of scones): 900g of self-raising flour, 230g of butter, unsalted if possible (but I wouldn’t make a fuss about it if you have none in the fridge), 2 eggs, 100g of sultanas soaked in water briefly, 100g of golden caster sugar and 200-300ml of milk.

Sieve the flour into a bowl, and if you want add a pinch of salt – some people do this, some don’t – chop the butter into small little cubes and pop them into the flour. Roll up your sleeves and dig those hands in there, rubbing the butter cubes into the flour, crumbling the whole time. Avoid letting the butter melt on your fingers, so constantly coat in flour again and again until you end up with a big bowl of yellowish flour crumbs. Nom.


At this point pop that oven on at 180 degrees Celcius (I suppose that’s around gas mark 4 maybe 5?). Beat the two eggs in a dish and whack ’em in to the bowl. Drain the sultanas, I just pop them in a bowl of water a little while ahead of them being used to make them a little juicier. Pour a little of the 200-300ml of milk on top of the crumb-egg-sultana mix and get your hands stuck in there again. Rolling and kneading it all very well, to get an even distribution of sultanas. Keep adding milk until the mixture has come together, is pliable enough, but don’t let it get runny.

Grab a chunk of it, a little flour on the edge and either roll out little circular blobs, or I cut them out with a very small cutter. I find small scones are much nicer to serve at breakfast – a little daintier if you will.

Once you have cut them out, place on a tray, paint a little milk on the top and a sprinkle of sugar, castor sugar is fine, we like to use a little demerera because it’s a darker golden colour on top then!

Pop into the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until you flip one over and the bottom of the scone is nicely browned. Serve with butter, jam or if you’re feeling naughty a dollop of cream.

Scone Om Nom Nom.

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The Glory of Fruit: Roasted Pineapple

Coming into the summer months deserts should definitely be fruitier and maybe, only maybe, a little lighter. This is one I had recently when friends were over and for some reason we just thought chocolate was a no-go that night. It’s delicious, different and über-nom!

Skin, peel, rip off, attack the pinapple until it’s clean. I used an apple core thingy or any other small scoopy-like utensil that could be found to take out all the funny little niggley craters that are found after you skin a pineapple. Once the pineapples were ready I popped them into a roasting tin.

Grabbing a pot on heat, add 200g of butter, 400g of brown caster sugar and a cup of water. Then add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, the real stuff. Or if you wanna be fancy some vanilla bean paste. Or scrape all the seeds out of one vanilla pod. Keep all the seeds in there. Basically keep stirring the sauce, which will become like  a thick toffee fudge syrup, add a little more water if needed but it should be fine.

Pour the syrup over the pineapples, and pop them in the oven. Cook for just over an hour, or until you can pop a skewer through them without too much resistance (remember the core will always be a little tough!) During the cooking time baste the pineapples with the caramelised vanilla sauce, turning them each time you baste!

Slice and serve with shortbread, vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche. Nom nom nom.

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