Smoked Scotch Eggs

Smoked scotch egg served with cider and sunshine

I’ve made Scotch eggs in numerous guises, the most recent adding BBQ rub to enhance the taste sensation. This incantation of the popular pub snack was deemed by my wife to be the pinnacle of Scotch egging (if that’s a phrase).

All this changed however when I added smoke into the mix.

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Green Eggs and Ham Crumpets

Green eggs and ham crumpet with vine tomatoes

Whilst on holiday, we discovered The Crumpet Shop in Seattle. A charming little breakfast joint, it backs onto the famous Pike Place Market, serving up a cornucopia of crumpets (sweet and savoury) to kick-start the day. We tried a few, the stand out being green eggs and ham, a clear nod to the classic Dr. Seuss book.

On returning home, we gave this a go … it’s now one of our go to breakfast dishes.
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Truffle and Parsley Chips

Truffle and parsley chips with a truffle and mayonnaise dip

Bored of having the same chips/fries every time? Try kicking it up a notch … or three … by adding some tasty chopped parsley and truffle oil, along with a mayonnaise dip on the side. Delicious.
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Simply Zensational Vietnamese Banh Mi

Simply Zensational Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich

What do I enjoy most about cooking? Bread, Vietnamese food, fresh flavours and cooking gadgets … mostly the Big Green Egg. So how could I bring all of those elements together into a single meal, throwing in a good dose of tasty flavour enhancing rub?

Step forward the Simply Zensational Banh Mi roll.
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Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Beer battered fish with tomato sauce, peas and chips

Crispy, tasty and a true British comfort food, fish and chips can be mouth-wateringly delicious. Add some beer into the batter mix, and it’s truly sublime. Make chippy quality fish and chips at home with this simple recipe.
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Chicharron – Crispy Pork Scratchings

Chicharron sprinkled with smoked paprika

Tired of popcorn, looking for a new snack for movie night? I was, so decided to try something different and make crispy pork scratchings (or chicharron). Served with apple sauce or sprinkled with paprika, they are delicious and tasty.

And watching them cook in a deep fat fryer is up there with the top weird and funky cooking experiences I have had.
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Banh Mi Panini – A Vietnamese Sandwich

The ingredients to make a Banh Mi Panini

Banh mi is to Vietnam what a sandwich is to the western world, and along with Pho Ga is a contender for Vietnam’s national dish. Packed with tasty pork, fresh herbs and mouth-tingling pickled vegetables, it takes the lunch experience to a whole new level.

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English Breakfast Scotch Eggs

English Breakfast Scotch Egg

The rustic pub scotch egg, when made using Cumberland sausage infused with black pudding, has a few of the ingredients for a traditional English breakfast.

After the last article, I was challenged by a Facebook correspondent to see if I could work bacon into the recipe … after all, everything is better with bacon. Well why stop there? Let’s throw some mushroom in for good measure. And thus it was born.

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Ras El Hanout and Maple Syrup Popcorn

Ras-el-hanout and Maple Syrup Popcorn

Popcorn has been going through a bit of a resurgence lately. Tastes and flavours from salted caramel through white cheddar and even Worcester sauce and sun-dried tomato are now readily available at supermarkets and online.

With the addition of an inexpensive popcorn maker to the kitchen, these can mostly be made at home. Our standard popcorn comes in from left field, using Ras el Hanout and Maple Syrup to add a spicy kick to movie nights. Or … writing a blog post :).
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Rustic Pub Scotch Eggs

Rustic Pub Scotch Eggs with Tamarind and Date Dipping Sauce

I’m a sucker for a really great scotch egg. Add in a kick-ass dipping sauce, a cool cider and a sunny beer garden and that’s a great afternoon.

On a trip to a rustic pub in the sleepy village of Cartmel, I discovered the finest scotch eggs I had ever tasted, along with an outstanding taramind-based dipping sauce. My wife, who normally cannot stand scotch eggs, was instantly converted.

The chef, Gareth Webster, was kind enough to share the recipe for both eggs and sauce. They can be made at home and well worth the effort.
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Triple Cooked Duck Fat Chips

Triple cooked duck fat chips and t-bone steak

On most pub and steak joint menus nowadays you’ll find triple cooked chips (or fries), served as either a standard side dish or bar snack.  This incarnation of the humble chip is a relatively new phenomenon, devised by Heston Blumenthal in the early 1990s and served at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, in 1995.

The standard recipe does work but takes a while, and the chips can fall apart sometimes. So I created a simpler variation, adding in a duck nuance for extra flavour.

The result … triple cooked duck fat chips.
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