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Category Archives: Mains

Cedges Sushi – Crab Uramaki

For the first part of my series of Sushi recipes, I am starting with the biggest hit from my feast last year – Crab Uramaki. This is basically an inside out sushi roll with a tasty sweet chili and crab mix at its literal heart.

You could cook and pick a fresh crab for this – the recipe is about equal to one regular sized crab but the pots of mixed crab meat or a ready dressed crab are a very realistic option and the one I have used.

There are a few items of equipment that are helpful to have. This first is a sushi rolling mat like this one which are available in the major supermarkets and are no more than a quid or two.  The second is clingfilm. The third is a really good sharp knife. I have recently bought a knife steel and it has changed my knife game, I can’t recommend picking one up enough.

Makes 16 Pieces (2 bites each)

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Ingredients:

2 Cups of Cooked Sushi Rice
3 Spring Onions
100g Mixed Brown and White Crab Meat
3 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 Sheet Toasted Nori (Seaweed)
4 tbsp Mixed Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Shichimi Spice Mix (or Chili Powder)


Start by ensuring that your 2 Cups of Cooked Sushi Rice are totally cooled.

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Trim and very finely slice  3 Spring Onions and mix until evenly combined with 100g Mixed Brown and White Crab Meat, 3 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce and 1 tsp Ginger Paste.  

Using a sharp knife, halve 1 Sheet Nori and set aside one half. Lay the other half on your bamboo rolling mat and spoon half of the crab mixture evenly along one edge leaving a small border.

Wet the visible nori with a tiny bit of cold water using your finger. Using the bamboo mat to assist, roll the crab mix in the nori and ensure that the loose edge is sealed well. Try to make it as tight as possible without the crab mix spurting out the ends of the roll!

Set aside and repeat with the other half of the nori sheet and crab mix.

Cover the rolling mat in a generous sheet of cling film, trying to make sure that there are no big creases.

Take half of the cooked sushi rice and spread it evenly over about half of the rolling mat. Use the crab/nori roll to establish how wide it needs to be. I used the side of my large knife to neaten the edges and had several gentle test rolls to make sure my rice was the right size to roll all the way around in an even layer with no gap or overlap. I’m not the biggest advocate of precision in cooking but this is the time to relax and take your time – the finished look will be worth it. ‘Oh that’ll do’ won’t really end well!

Tip – Liberally wet your fingers before handling the rice. It will be stickier than any other substance you have touched in your life otherwise. 

Wrap the rice roll in the cling film and twist the ends to ‘burrito roll’ and tighten it. Set aside for a moment.

On a board or ideally, a lipped tray to contain the seeds, sprinkle 4 tbsp Mixed Sesame Seeds and 1 tsp Shichimi Spice Mix.  You can do this half at a time.

Carefully release the rice roll from its clingfilm and roll it in the seed and spice until evenly covered. I roll it every-which-way to ensure no gaps. Burrito roll it back up in its clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 60 minutes or in the freezer for only 15 minutes. Repeat with the second roll.

I like to take the rolls out and slice them about half an hour before serving. Sushi obviously isn’t something to serve warm but when it is fridge cold, the flavours tend to be dulled.  It is however easier to slice when very cold and firmed up.  I also like to slice the rolls while they are still in their cling film and unwrap each piece – it does just slip off.

Start but cutting  a little off of each end – don’t waste the trimmings – just eat them! Then cut the roll in half, each of those halves in half and then each of the quarters in half to make 8 pieces. Repeat with the second roll.

Serve with soy sauce to dip in.

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Sausage, Nut and Chutney Wreath

As I said in my this post, this recipe was first published on the Women’s Institute MyWI page as the main course for the ‘Menu of the Month January 2018‘.

Every single Christmas I have great intentions to make sausage rolls. Almost every single year, on boxing day, I end up shoving the sausage meat and pastry into the freezer as I’ve found that I didn’t have time and realistically didn’t need any more food. So come January, I always have sausage meat and pastry to use up. This recipe is a great way of jazzing up the meat and essentially making a showstopper sausage centrepiece! The bowl of whole nuts that everyone has lost interest in cracking can also be used up along with one of the many jars of chutney that languish from the cheeseboard or received as a well meaning gift. The clementine or satsuma clinging to life in the bottom of the fruit bowl can also be utilised. I’d suggest serving with roast or mash potatoes and some simple boiled veg with a light gravy of thickened stock.

I have used shelled pistachios in the recipe but almost any nuts could be substituted, including a mix. I would however perhaps avoid anything too heavily honey roasted or sweet and the larger wetter nuts like brazils, walnuts, peanuts, cashews etc would be ideal. Salt can be rinsed off and the nuts dried if need be.

Any sausage meat can be used but it may be wise to reduce the extra added herbs is using a strong flavoured meat such as Lincolnshire or Cumberland.

Puff pastry is not actually that difficult to make, it is however a bit time consuming, not from time spent making it, but time spent waiting for it to chill between the rolling and folding of layers. Give it a go if you have a chance and if not, there is absolutely no shame in using the shop bought stuff as I did.  I went for a block of pre-made pastry rather than ready rolled as you ideally need a squarer/circle shape than the rectangle the pre-rolled comes in. It does only take seconds to roll out.

The instructions for making the 8-point pastry star sound very complicated when written – it isn’t really so please don’t be put off. Please refer to the step-by-step photos which are included for your reference.

Serves 4

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Ingredients:

1 Large Onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
150g Mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Olive Oil or Butter
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
450g Sausage Meat or Sausages with the casing removed
½ Leek, sliced into thin half moons
1 Large Apple, grated with the skin on and the juice squeezed out in kitchen paper
65g Pistachios or other nuts, quite finely but roughly chopped
1 Clementine, zested and 1 half juiced
1 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Dried Oregano
1 tbsp Dried Sage
500g Block Puff Pastry
1 Small Jar of Chutney
1 Egg beaten with a little salt
2 Ripe Figs, quartered length-ways


Preheat the oven to 190c fan oven or equivalent.

Add 1 Large Onion and 150g Mushrooms to 1 tbsp Olive Oil and 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes in a large frying pan. Cook gently on a low to medium heat until the onions and mushrooms are golden brown and caramelised.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine 450g Sausage Meat, ½ Leek, 1 Large Apple, 65g Pistachios, the zest and half the juice of 1 Clementine, 1 tbsp Minced Garlic, 1 tbsp Dried Oregano and 1 tbsp Dried Sage. I use my hands to make sure it is all well combined. Add the caramelised onions and mushrooms and further combine.

Roll a 500g Block Puff Pastry out into a large square – it needs to be about 50 cm across and about 1/3 cm thick. Use plenty of flour to ensure it doesn’t stick to the work surface.

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Lay a 30 cm diameter flan dish or plate in the middle of the pastry and gently score a circle into the pastry using a sharp knife. Make sure to not cut all the way through the pastry. Repeat in the centre with a smaller 10-12 cm diameter platter or bowl. Trim the square into a circle losing as little pastry as possible. You should now have a round of pastry with two smaller circles marked towards the centre – think of a bullseye and outer bullseye.

At this point it is a good idea to move the pastry to the baking sheet it will ultimately be baked on. I used a re-useable non-stick baking sheet on a cookie sheet. The outer circle will hang off the sides of the sheet.

Again using a sharp knife or even better, sharp long nosed scissors, cut the inner circle into 8 sections, like cutting a pizza. Leave the ‘slices’ fully attached to the middle circle. Now visually follow each of the lines towards the outer ring and mark where they would meet the outer edge. Cut 8 triangles out of the outer ring. Flip each triangle around and attach them to the remaining part of the outer ring to create extended points. You should have now created an 8 point star.

Spread 1 Small Jar of Chutney into the middle circle then top with the sausage mixture taking care to spread it evenly around the whole ring – I do this by splitting the mix into 4 ‘sausages’ and placing one in each quarter then squeezing them together at the ends.

Fold each of the outer points into the middle, tucking them in tightly and a little under the sausage meat ring.

Using 1 Egg beaten with a little salt, egg wash the inner circle and bring the inner points up and over the sausage ring. Press to seal as much as possible. Egg wash the entire surface of the pastry.

Take 2 Ripe Figs and place one quarter, cut side up in each gap where the sausage meat is still showing through the pastry. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp Olive Oil.

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Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It is ready when golden brown and there is no pink left in the sausage meat (use a sharp knife to check a little section, maybe under a fig).

Cedges Learns – Dim Sum Class – 3 Steamed Dumplings

A couple of months ago, I attended a Dim Sum Course at London Cookery School – It was a 3 and a half hour session for the bargain price of £35 up in Highbury.  We learnt how to make Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor, both thin translucent skinned dumplings with fillings of prawn and pork including the dough and Sui Mai which has a pork and prawn filling but which used a shop bought skin. All of the dumplings were steamed and eaten at the end of the class – there were a lot of dumplings! I would have been wise to save some for later!

The set up wasn’t really what I expected which was essentially proper cooking work stations – instead we had a long table with chairs for 20 and each person’s seat laid out with a few Ikea plastic bowls, a place mat and a few ingredient items in the middle of the table. One wall of the otherwise empty shop front had tables with a row of electric steamers and a little sink area at the back. I felt a little underwhelmed but actually the set up worked well – it would have been nice to not have some of the ingredients quite so pre-prepared but for 3 hours, £35 and the overall outcome, I can’t remotely complain.

We started by making the three fillings, went on to make the translucent dough and then put together the dumplings themselves.  I have provided the ingredients and methods below but I’ve obviously missed out a whole list of tips and tricks we learnt on the day along with tips on the dumpling folding etc so I’d still recommend attending the course.

Most of the ingredients, including the more unusual sounding will be available from any decent chinese supermarket or are likely available online. The dough and fillings are actually super simple to make so don’t be put off by the ingredient lists.

Makes at least 30 dumplings


Ha Gau Filling:

80g Raw King Prawn (de-veined and shelled)
1 tsp Water Chestnut, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1/3 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Tiny Pinch White Pepper

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salted radish (finely chopped)
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Light Soy
1 tsp Sesame Oil
A Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Cornflour
2 tbsp Cold Water

Sui Mai Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
10g Minced Prawn
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Small Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough:
60g Wheat Starch
40g Tapioca Flour
40g Cornflour
1 tsp Sugar
A Large Pinch Salt
120g Boiling Water
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

10 Siu Mai Wrappers


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Ha Gau Filling Method:

Finely mince 80g Raw King Prawns (de-veined and shelled), 1 tsp Water Chestnut and 1/4 tsp Ginger. Combine in a small bowl with 1/3 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour and a Tiny Pinch White Pepper.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling Method:

Combine 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork and 1/4 tsp Baking Powder in a small bowl.  Finely chop 1/2 tsp Salted Radish and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and add to the bowl with 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Light Soy, 1 tsp Sesame Oil, a Pinch White Pepper, 1 tsp Cornflour and 2 tbsp Cold Water.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Sui Mai Filling Method:

Finely mince 10g Prawn and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and combine with 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/3 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour, a Small Pinch White Pepper and 1 tsp Vegetable Oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough Method:

Combine 60g Wheat Starch, 40g Tapioca Flour, 40g Cornflour, 1 tsp Sugar and a Large Pinch Salt in a medium bowl.

Add 120g Boiling Water, mix quickly for only 20 seconds then cover the bowl and leave for 2 minutes – this ‘cooks’ the flour.

Add 2 tsp Vegetable Oil to the dough and knead until very smooth – this doesn’t take long at all.  And it goes VERY smooth.

Divide the dough into two halves, roll each half into a thick sausage and then divide each sausage into 10 equal pieces to end up with 20 pieces in total. Keep the dough balls in a plastic bag with the top kept tightly wound to stop them from drying out.

Making the Ha Gau:

Roll out one of the dough balls to about 1/2 mm thick, then cut out a round with a 3 inch cookie cutter with smooth edge.  Squeeze the cuttings together and place back in the plastic bag.

Add about half a teaspoon of Ha Gau filling to the dough round and loosely fold the dough over the filling. Hold the dough in your left hand and use your right hand to create pleats whilst at the same time pinching the edges together. I can’t possibly describe this any better sorry!

Tip – Even the most gnarly folded ones dumplings looked pretty great after they steamed – and if they taste good who cares – if you want to make them more even, prettier and with longer pleats – I think the trick is just to keep practising it. 

Place the folded dumpling into a steamer basket and continue to repeat with the other 9 balls of dough.

There should be some filling left so squeeze together all of the off cuts and roll them out to form as many extra dumplings as you can get with the remaining dough and filling. I think I ended up with about 14.

Making the Chui Chow Fun Gwor:

Prepare each of the remaining 10 dough balls in exactly the same way as with the Ha Gau.

Add a similar amount of filling to each round and fold in half. Squeeze the edges of the dough together to make a half moon shape – these are much easier than the Ha Gau!

Place each dumpling in steamer baskets and again use up any leftover dough with the leftover filling until all used up.

Making the Sui Mai:

This is the easiest of them all. Take the 10 Siu Mai Wrappers and lay them out of a flat surface. Split the filling mixture between the 10 skins.

Wet the edge of the skins with a little cold water using your finger.

Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger on your left hand. Balance the dumpling skin and filling over the hole in your hand then ease the whole thing downwards through the hole. This will wrap the dough around the filling leaving the top exposed. Firmly press the wrapper together until it keeps its shape.

Repeat with the other 9 dumplings and place them all in the steamer basket.

Steam all of the dumplings for 8 minutes over high heat.

Tip – You can freeze the dumplings on an oiled try before cooking – once frozen, throw them in a ziplock freezer bag.  They will take about 12 minutes to steam from frozen. I’d really recommend doubling or tripling the recipes and doing this for easy weeknight dinners. 

Fully Loaded Philly Cheesesteaks

I’m continuing my own great tradition of condoning the bastardisation of traditional recipes by bludgeoning the classic Philly Cheesesteak. (See also Carbonara and  Mac’n’Cheese). A ‘Great American Classic’ found on basically every menu in the US, it is of course best in its native Philadelphia. I’d personally go as far as to say its the only good thing about Philadelphia with the exception of the non-existent sales tax on clothes and the GAP outlet store. Its certainly a significantly improved cultural experience than going to view the Liberty Bell (it’s small, broken, made in the UK in any event and definitely not worth queuing up to see!).

The classic sandwich is comprised of a ‘Hoagie‘ roll, extremely thin sliced rib-eye steak and processed cheese. No veg, no actual cheese. Many places serve it with caramelised onion, mushrooms and peppers which is the route I’ve taken along with using a cheaper cut of steak (silverside) and cheese with actual cheese in it. You can use whatever steak your budget affords you – as I mentioned, the traditional cut is rib-eye.

I served two with this recipe – it was ridiculous and quite a lot went to waste (mostly bread and veg!). Realistically it serves 4 hungry people with a side such as roasted sweet potatoes.

Serves 4

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Ingredients: 

2 Onions
2 tbsp Butter
900g Steak
300g Mushrooms
2 Bell Peppers
4 Hoagie/Submarine Rolls
1 Avocado
1 tsp Lemon Juice
500g Grated Mozzerella/Cheddar
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight


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Finely slice 2 Onions into half moons and start to gently fry them with 2 tbsp Butter and Sea Salt Flakes on a medium heat. Once the are starting sizzle, add a little water to the pan, turn the heat down and cover with a lid. This is low and slow onion caramelising.

Whilst the onion are gently cooking, slice 900g Steak as thinly as possible. Use something heavy to bash each slice a little thinner. This will held tenderise the meat as you will be quick cooking it.

Tip – A good trick to doing this is you have time to plan ahead is to lightly freeze the steak which will make it easier to slice thinly.

Tip – Make sure to slice against the grain. Here is a handy guide to what that means. 

Finely slice 300g Mushrooms and gently fry with a few sprays of Frylight and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Add the cooked mushrooms to the now softened and lightly browned onions.

Repeat with 2 Bell Peppers.  Cover the cooked veg with a pan lid or foil and set aside.

To prepare the bread ready for the fillings, split 4 Hoagie/Submarine Rolls in half. Mash 1 Avocado with a fork and stir in 1 tsp Lemon Juice and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Spread a quarter of the avocado mixture over one half of each of the bread rolls. Set aside.

Tip – For guidance on how to remove the flesh from an avocado easily, check out my step-by-step guide

Take the largest frying pan you have and put it on the largest hob you have on full heat. Let ig get smoky hot then add slices of the beef to the pan.

Tip – Do not overcrowd the pan – this process is going to take several batches. You want to very quickly fry each slice of beef, not stew them.

When the underside of the beef is golden brown, turn the slices and cook until the second side is also a good golden brown colour.

Tip – The whole process should take about 3 minutes depending on the effectiveness of your hob and pan.

Remove the beef to a chopping board and repeat with the rest of the slices.

Once all the beef is cooked, gather it together on the chopping board and using a large knife run through it a couple of time, chopping it into smaller pieces.

Tip – you can go as small as you like – the smaller the pieces, the easier they will be to eat. The bigger the pieces, the more texture they will have. 

Put the chopped beef back in the frying pan in one even layer, this time on a lower heat.  Sprinkle 500g Grated Mozzerella/Cheddar over the beef and cover with a lit. Leave for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has mostly melted.

Assemble the sandwiches by layering a quarter of the beef/cheese mix on top of the avocado layer on each roll then top with one quarter of the veg mixture.

Tip – The veg will still be warm but if you would prefer it to be piping hot, put it back on heat for a couple of minutes whilst the cheese is melting. 

Serve and marvel at the fact that I thought two of these constituted one portion!!

 

15 Minute Meal – Pan-fried Haddock with Butter Beans, Kale and Chorizo

My Dad’s girlfriend’s daughter works for one of the fish processing plants in Grimsby. Processing has pretty much replaced actual fishing as the major industry in the area but whichever way you look at it, the fish is damn fresh and super tasty.  A perk of working in the processing plants is often getting sent home with some of the spare product and we recently benefited from this with three massive haddock fillets arriving for our Saturday tea. My father naturally went down the fried fish, mash and parsley sauce route but I went a little alternative with this light bean and chorizo stew and paprika coated fish.

Obviously I had a massive fillet of fish which would have bankrupted me to buy so I’ve written this recipe for smaller portions. You could also substitute haddock for any fish or even chicken or pork – whatever tickles your fancy.

Serves 2

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Ingredients:

1 Medium Onion
1 Bell Pepper
100g Chorizo
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
50ml Sherry
1 tsp Concentrated Liquid Chicken Stock
1 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
1 Tin (240g) Butter Beans in Water
500g Haddock Fillet
2 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp Garlic Salt
50g Kale
Sea Salt Flakes
Frylight


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Dice 1 Medium Onion and 1 Bell Pepper and fry these gently with a few sprays of Frylight in a large frying pan.

Once the onion and peppers have softened, dice 100g Chorizo and add to the pan.  It is already cooked so I just char the edges a little before adding 1 tbsp Garlic Paste and 25ml of Sherry.

Let the sherry and garlic cook out for a minute or so then add 250ml of water and 1 tbsp Concentrated Liquid Chicken Stock.  Bring the stock to a gentle boil.

Meanwhile make a slurry with 1 tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch and a little cold water. Add a little of the slurry at a time to the pan until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Drain and add 1 Tin (240g) Butter Beans in Water and leave the dish to gently simmer while cooking the fish.

Put a medium frying pan onto a medium high heat,

Meanwhile, sprinkle 2 tbsp Paprika and 1 tbsp Garlic Salt over 500g Haddock Fillets and add, skin side down, into the frying pan.

Cook the fish on each side for 2-3 minutes.

As the fish is nearing finishing cooking, add 50g Kale to the veg pan and stir until the kale has wilted a little. Add the remaining 25ml Sherry and check the seasoning – add Sea Salt Flakes if needed.

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Serve the bean and chorizo stew with the haddock resting on top. Lovely.

Baked Camembert with Garlic, Maple & Thyme and ‘Things to Serve it With’

First up, I’d going to recommend buying a Camembert and eating it fairly swiftly. You should certainly not buy it, leave it in the fridge for 3 weeks wondering why the fridge stinks every time you open it then pack it into the car boot, spend the day driving to Ikea, back again and then driving to Oxfordshire.  Because by the time you get to Oxfordshire, your car will reek riper than ripe. And you probably will to. This may or may not have happened to me! It is however worth it because whilst rather decadent, a whole baked cheese treated as a fondue is bloody delicious.

My Camembert was sold as a ‘baking camembert’ and came with a little ceramic dish to bake it in. More often than not, they come in flimsy cardboard boxes – simply dispose the lid then line the box with tin foil. The box/dish will stop the cheese from spreading as it bakes.

I cooked this as a lunch to share between two but it would equally make a great starter with some lighter ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 2 or with heavier ‘Things to Serve it With’ for 3 or 4.

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Ingredients:

1 Whole Camembert
1 Garlic Clove
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Things to Serve it With:

 1 Red Onion
2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread
6 Baby Potatoes
6 Cherry Tomatoes
Leftover Roast Chicken
2 tbsp Olive Oil


Turn the oven on to 200c or equivalent. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

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Slice 1 Red Onion into chunks and lay in a lined oven tray and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a small pinch of Sea Salt Flakes. Pop into the oven and keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven when soft all the way through and crispy around the edges.

Prepare 1 Whole Camembert by carefully slicing off the top layer of rind trying to keep it in one piece.

Tip – This will be much easier if the cheese is fridge cold.

Finely slice half of 1 Garlic Clove. Using a sharp knife, poke slits in the top of the cheese and poke the slices of garlic into the slits.

Sprinkle 1 tsp Dried Thyme, 1 tbsp Maple Syrup and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes over the cheese then replace the lid and press down.

Put the cheese in the dish or foil lined box and pop into the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.

Cut 6 Baby Potatoes into quarters and put in a small saucepan, cover with some of the boiled water and put on a high heat to boil.

Meanwhile slice 6 Cherry Tomatoes in half and warm some Leftover Chicken in the mircrowave or small pan.

Toast 2 Thick Slices ‘Cutty’ Bread, rub the remaining half garlic clove over the toast and drizzle over 1 tbsp Olive Oil. Cut into soldiers.

When the potatoes are cooked through, drain and toss with 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil and a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes.

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Once the cheese is cooked, serve in the centre of a plate with all of the other elements presented around it.

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To eat, remove the rind lid (make sure to eat it or scrape of the gooey cheese!) and dip away.

Have a rennie on standby.

10 Minute Meal – Mozzarella in Carozzoa with Parma Ham

This recipe is, like a vast majority of my repertoire, adapted from a Nigella recipe many years ago – primarily with the addition of meat! It is basically a mozzarella and ham filled eggy bread sandwich. Crispy on the outside and soft (slightly soggy even – in a good way) on the inside.

This is not a healthy recipe. Counting the calories is not advised nor is using anything other than cheap white sliced bread – like with my Triple Decker, save the sourdough for another time. You need the bread to be press-able together for the whole thing not to totally fall apart on you. I’d also recommend the kind of mozzarella that comes quite dry in a block for slicing rather than the balls sitting in liquid or the slightly soggy interior may well become too much.

I like to serve this with either Marks and Spencers Caramelised Onion Chutney and some peppery salad leaves or baked beans – different levels of classy – equally tasty.

Serves 1

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Ingredients:

4 slices Thick White Sliced Bread
4 slices Parma (or Serrano Ham)
150g Mozzarella
2 tbsp Plain Flour
80ml Milk
1 Egg
Sea Salt Flakes
Butter for frying


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Cut the crusts off 4 slices Thick White Sliced Bread.

Lay 4 slices Parma (or Serrano Ham) over the bread with one slice of ham over each slice of bread. Leave a border of bread around each slice.

Slice 100g Mozzarella into 4 rectangles and lay 2 slices over 2 slices of the bread and ham.

Place a cheese-less slice of bread and ham over each slice with cheese to make 2 equally filled sandwiches. Using your thumb and forefinger, press around the borders of each sandwich to squidge the edges together to seal them. Reinforce the seal using the edge of your hand (like in a karate chop position).

Tip – Its ok – you can make the requisite noise as you’re doing this, I won’t judge.

Pour 80ml Milk into a small (lipped) plate. Put another large plate next to it.

Whisk 1 Egg with a pinch of Sea Salt Flakes and put in another small lipped plate.

Dip each sandwich in the milk VERY briefly, coating both sides. Put each sandwich on the large plate.

Coat each side of each sandwich with around 2 tbsp Plain Flour and gently shake of any excess.

Put a large knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and put onto medium heat. Once the butter is just melted, take your plate f sandwiches and plate of egg right next to your hob. Dip each sandwich into the egg on both sides and place into the buttery pan.

Tip – Some mozzarella may escape – shove it back in or allow it to go a bit crispy in the pan. Don’t cry.

Gently fry until golden brown on each side and serve immediately.