Recent Posts

Nut Butter

Nut Butter

It’s been a while since I tried making my own peanut butter, and so the other day I thought I’d give it another whirl. It really is incredibly simple to make, and as I have just rediscovered, the results are delicious. I really don’t know […]

Home-made Tonic Water

Home-made Tonic Water

A well-made Gin and Tonic has to be one of my all-time favourite drinks. Gin is surging in popularity at the moment and there are very many varieties on the market, each with their own qualities. Different varieties of good quality tonic water are rather […]

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

A little while ago, I bought myself a cold smoker, or more specifically, a ProQ Cold Smoke Generator. It’s quite an ingenious little device, and consists of a spiral channel which is filled with fine wood chips. Once lit, the wood chips slowly smoulder away, burning along the spiral path, generating the smoke as it goes. I’ve been eager to try it out, but summer kept hanging on, and it was best to wait for the temperatures to drop a little and for autumn to settle in properly. The temperature has finally started to drop and so I felt it was now time. But what should be the target of my inaugural smoke? Well, it didn’t take too much thought. It just had to be smoked salmon.

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Prawn Crackers

Prawn Crackers

Many visits to Chinese or Thai restaurants start off with a bowl of prawn crackers to nibble on while you browse the menu. The local Chinese takeaway throws a bag of them in with each takeaway order. They make for a pleasant light and fluffy […]

Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes

Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes

A few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for marshmallows. It proved to be quite a popular post, and a good few people have sent me messages about it. Recently, Lauren from CoffeeMuffins commented on the post, and mentioned her previous not-very-successful experience of making […]

Fermented Black Soy Beans

Fermented Black Soy Beans

A few years ago, I bought Preserved by Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton. It’s a great book and contains details and recipes for a wide variety of preservation techniques – salting, air-drying, pickling, fermenting, smoking – the lot. One of the recipes is for fermented black beans – as used in many Chinese dishes. The recipe itself is extremely simple, but the thing that always put me off was the fermentation time: one to two years. I didn’t want to have to wait that long in order to sample the fruits of my labours!

A couple of weeks ago, I picked the book up again and leafed through it. I quickly spotted the black bean recipe and it struck me that if I’d actually been bothered to make that when I first bought the book, they’d be ready by now. So why hadn’t I made them! It’s not like they are high maintenance – you just leave them on a shelf at the back of the pantry for a couple of years. So, I decided that was a wasted opportunity, and I wasn’t going to do that again. This time, I was going to make them.

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Marshmallows

Marshmallows

I love marshmallows, but the synthetic pink and white cylinders we most commonly see aren’t really the best of examples. Really good marshmallows can be quite hard to find – they should be pillowy soft and melt into your mouth as you bite. They should […]

Perfect Fries

Perfect Fries

First, let’s clear up the inevitable confusion over terminology. I’m British. ‘Chips’ are pieces of potato, cut into chunky fingers (more than 1cm wide) and then deep-fried. ‘Fries’ are pieces of potato, cut into slender fingers (less than 1cm wide) and then deep-fried. Those snacks […]