Black Book Recipes

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Black Book Recipes


TB = tablespoon
tp = teaspoon




[1kg] good quality lean mince
A good handful fresh coriander or basil or parsley, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
Worcester sauce
Olive oil
Seasoning : paprika/ground coriander/cumin/etc
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


[Squares of greaseproof paper]
[10cm diameter cutter.The burgers shrink as they cook!]


[¼ cup measure]

The Mixture

For the amount of mince that you are working with, prepare and have ready the appropriate quantities of the other ingredients. The breadcrumbs and egg are for binding the mixture and it may not be necessary to use (say) three eggs
for 3kg of mince.

In a large-enough flat dish, mix the mince, onion, chopped herbs and beaten egg(s).

Add the salt and pepper, the Worcester sauce and the seasoning to taste.

Add the breadcrumbs; enough to keep the mixture from being wet.

Try not to overwork the mixture as this affects the texture of the burger/meatball.


On a clean surface, roll out / flatten the mixture to a thickness of about 2cm. Dip the 10cm cutter in a little olive oil and cut out the patties. (The olive oil prevents the mixture sticking to the cutter.)

Layer the patties inbetween squares of greaseproof paper, prepared earlier.

Chill the patties in the fridge for an hour or two before cooking.

Cook in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil; the first side approximately 5-6 mins, the other side approximately 3-4 mins. The desired result is a crisp, browned/charred ‘shell’, with the centre pink.

Allow the meat to rest for 5-10 mins before serving.


Lightly coat the inside of the ¼ cup measuring cup with vegetable oil.

After removing the mince mixture from the measuring cup, round the mince into a ball. Place on baking tray line with a lightly oiled sheet of tinfoil.

Lightly brush each meatball with a little vegetable oil.

Bake in oven (preheated to 180C) for approximately 12-15 minutes and allow to rest for about 5 mins.

Serve with pasta, tomato sauce (see below) and grated Gran Padano or Parmesan.


Recipe from The Cook Who Changed Our Lives (BBC) @ 26:20

Beef mince
Unsmoked pancetta
Onions, celery, carrots, garlic
2TB tomato paste
Nutmeg, bay leaf
Red wine
Olive oil, butter

– Brown whole clove in oil and butter; remove
– Add pancetta
– Add onion and a little salt
– Add carrots and celery; soften
– Add mince
– Add tomato paste; grated nutmeg
– Add glug red wine; glug of stock
– Add salt and milk; bay leaf
– Simmer for 2hrs+


1.5kg aitchbone (with a reasonable amount of fat)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
½ cup water
½ cup red wine
Fresh basil, thyme, marjoram, sage
1tp coarse salt
½tp freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh red chilli (optional)

Make a couple of slits in the fat of the joint and brown the aitchbone.
Place the other ingredients except the seasoning in the slow cooker and then the browned meat on top: sprinkle the seasoning on the top of the meat.
Cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours.



¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
Most of 1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 (14-ounce) cans white beans
4 thin-cut sirloin or entrecote steaks, about 5 ounces each



First get on with the beans: put the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a saucepan add in the garlic and the lemon zest and warm through.

Drain the beans and rinse under tap water, then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a wide, flat spoon so that the beans go into a nubbly mush. Season, to taste. Some beans are saltier than others.

Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of oil in a large frying pan or skillet and cook the steaks on high for about 1 1/2 minutes a side and remove to warmed plates, sprinkling some salt, to taste, over them as you do so.

Squeeze the lemon juice into the hot pan and let it bubble up with the meaty oil, then pour over the steaks. Serve immediately with the white bean mash.


  • 1.5kg soft shin [bone-in adds additional flavour], cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oli
  • 3 or 4 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 or 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 200g brown mushrooms
  • 100g tomato paste
  • 1 packet [Royco] minestrone packet soup
  • 3 or 4 bay leaves
  • 1x440ml can Guinness
  • 4tp smoked paprika
  • beef stock powder
  • salt and black pepper
  • slow cooker
  1. Step 1

     Brown the meat and place in pre-warmed slow cooker

  2. Step 2

    Sauté celery, onion, carrot and mushrooms and add to meat in slow cooker. Ensure onion is caramelised.

  3. Step 3

    Add tomato paste, Guinness and paprika; top up with water to just cover the meat

  4. Step 4

    Cook on HIGH for three hours and then on LOW for three hours. Taste throughout and adjust the seasoning using salt, black pepper and paprika.

    Reciped adjusted from :

BREAD – WHOLEWHEAT (medium loaf) – revised 12/2022

1.33tp yeast
100g 00 flour
225g whole wheat flour
35g bran
1tp salt
1TB sugar
15g butter
1TB wheat kernels
2TB sunflower seeds
2tp treacle
300ml milk (slightly warmed)

If needs be, add 3.5TB (level) gluten powder

Panasonic bread maker menu 5 (3hrs); select medium loaf


  • Put the yeast in first and then the rest of the ingredients
  • A little olive oil on the teaspoon helps the molasses to slide off more easily
  • Covering the bread maker with a hand towel (being careful not to cover the air vents) seems to assist the bake by keeping in the heat and helping the bread rise
  • The ratio of cake flower and wholewheat flour can be varied but keep the total mass to 325g




1kg chicken thighs (or one tray of 15 pieces)

Pinch of saffron

2 cups plain, full cream yoghurt

For the almond onion mixture:

4 medium sized onions

4 cloves garlic

2 red chilis (or 1 if you prefer)

2tp freshly grated ginger

100g ground almonds

In addition:

4TB ghee / clarified butter

2 good pinches ground cardamon

1tp ground cinnamon

3tp ground cumin

3tp ground coriander

2 or 3 lime leaves

2 or 3 curry leaves

800ml (2 cans) unsweetened coconut milk



2TB chopped celery, to garnish



Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. (1 thigh = 6 pieces).

Dissolve saffron in 1TB hot water and mix with the yoghurt

Add the chicken pieces and marinade for 4 hours


Grate the ginger

Peel and roughly chop the onions and garlic

Trim (and deseed if desired) the chilis

In a food processor blend the onions, garlic and chillis. Mix this with the ground almonds to create a thick paste.


Melt the ghee / butter in a pan

Add the spice mixture (cardamon+cinnamon+cumin+coriander) and sauté briefly

Add the almond onion mixture and sauté briefly (adding a little more butter if necessary)

Add the lime and curry leaves and sauté briefly

Add the coconut milk and the chicken with marinade

Cook on medium or medium-low for approximately 1 hour to allow the mixture to reduce by about one third. Stir regularly. Season with salt (approximately 45 turns when using a salt grinder) and sugar (approximately 4 – 6 tp) during the cook.


Don’t rush the cooking process! Allow the chicken to poach, not boil. The sauce should be fairly thick and not watery. If you prefer a hotter curry, or did not add enough in the first place, stir in (½tp at a time!) some home made chili sauce. Be careful with the salt and sugar and add these ingredients little by little to achieve the right balance.


450g chicken livers
60g butter
1 small onion
2 bay leaves
Dried thyme
Salt and black pepper

Melt butter
Add finely chopped onion, bay leaf, thyme
Add chicken livers, cut into small pieces; cook over low heat for 5 mins
Remove bay leaf
Blitz the liver mixture
Pour mixture into ramekins and cover with melted butter
Chill for about 3 hrs


8 chicken thighs
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
12 dried apricots
1TB honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1 chilli
2tp dried mint (optional)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, grated
900ml chicken stock
1 tp cornflour, mixed with a little water
Salt and pepper

Enough ras al hanout to rub in to / coat the chicken pieces

1. Coat the chicken with the lemon juice, salt and pepper

2. Rub the ras into the chicken

3. Place the chicken in a suitable dish and add the onion, garlic, chilli and chickpeas. Cover with clingfilm and marinade overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 190C

5. Transfer the marinaded chicken into a tagine or casserole dish and cook (covered) for 1 hour

6. Remove the chicken from the oven and add the cornflour, apricots, honey and optional dried mint

7. Return the chicken to the oven and cook for a further 30 mins

CHICKEN – TEQUILA and LIME (Masterchef Australia, Nigella)

1 chicken, jointed or 4x thighs and 4x drumsticks – skin on
75ML tequila blanco
Zest and juice 2 limes
½tp chilli flakes
2TB olive oil
2tp salt

Place all ingredients in ziplock back and marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 220C

Put chicken pieces on a shallow baking tray with half of the marinade liquid and place in the oven for 25 mins.

Remove from oven and add the rest of the marinade. Bake for another 25 – 30 mins.

Remove chicken from tray and keep warm. Add a little warm water to pan juices to make a slightly thick sauce.

Serve with chilli ginger sauce (see below).



200ml full cream milk
200ml cream
6 cardamon seeds
50g caster sugar
2 gelatine leaves

Add milk, cream, cardamon and sugar to a heavy-based pan and bring to boil. Set aside for 30 mins to infuse.

Soak gelatine in cold water for about 5 mins until pliable.

Rewarm milk mixture until almost boiling.

Squeeze out excess water and add gelatine to milk mixture; stir until dissolved.

Strain mixture through fine sieve into a bowl. Place first bowl into a bowl of ice/water to cool milk mixture rapidly.

Pour into panna cotta moulds and chill for 4 hrs.

Serve with :

grilled peaches [sauté peaches in butter over medium heat for 30 secs] and

toasted almonds flakes / caramelised almonds [heat 20 almonds with 4TB brown sugar; tip onto baking paper; separate nuts and cool]

white chocolate rabdi
300ml full cream milk
100ml cream

Bring to boil, reduce heat and reduce to one third

Remove from heat and stir in 40g chopped white chocolate; cool and then chill thoroughly.


1 large avo, mashed with:

2TB lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½tp Worcestershire sauce
Approx one third cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1tp salt
Dash of cayenne pepper

Blend and chill.


2 – 3 lemons, zest and juice

4TB sunflower oil

2TB white balsamic vinegar

2 – 3TB grainy mustard

About 4TB honey (add 1TB at a time, to taste)

Salt and ground black pepper


1.5L water
4 green tea teabags

Brew for 5 mins and add
3TB sugar
3TB lemon juice
Pieces of fresh ginger

Serve cold






200g / 1 can chickpeas

2TB lemon juice (more if necessary)

2 cloves garlic

100ml tahini

1tp ground cumin


4TB water

2TB olive oil

1tp paprika

Blend in a food mixture

Add a little water if too thick



The Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need

  • Yield About 1 1/2 pints [approx 700 ml]
  • Time 20 minutes plus several hours’ cooling, chilling and freezing


  • 2 cups heavy cream[approx 475 ml]
  • 1 cup whole milk [approx 240 ml]
  • cup sugar [approx 160 ml]
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (see note)


  1. In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.


  • This recipe for ice cream base may be churned on its own, but it is meant to have flavors added. See the chart below for flavor options and directions for incorporating them into the base recipe
  • Flavor chart

Acknowledgements The New York Times






1 cup chopped red onion
½ cup olive oil
½ rice wine vinegar
6TB lemon juice
3TB harissa paste
2TB Demerara sugar
2TP fresh ginger
1tp salt


Use with tenderised steak, pregos; marinate overnight.


¼ cup each : olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce

1tp each : chilli powder, ground coriander, onion flakes

½tp ground black pepper

2tp sugar

2tp lime or lemon juice

Marinate the steak overnight



The yolks of two jumbo eggs

Approx ¾tp mustard powder

Approx ½tp salt

Approx 2 – 3tp white balsamic vinegar

250ml sunflower oil


Beat together the two egg yolks, mustard powder and salt

Add the oil in a very fine stream, mixing all the time

Continue until the oil is finished (The mixture will become thick and almost dough-like)

Very carefully add the vinegar, ½tp at a time. Taste to get the right acidity.

Very carefully add a little water, 1tp at a time, if the mixture needs diluting

MAYONNAISE (Delia Smith)

– Place 2 whole eggs in a food processor or liquidiser.

– Add ¾ to one heaped teaspoon dry English mustard powder. This helps to achieve the emulsion that gives mayonnaise its smooth, silky texture, as well as providing flavour.

– Season with about ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt and a few twists of freshly milled pepper, and mix well together.

– Then with the processor switched on, pour in 225 ml sunflower oil in a steady stream.
(Strong flavoured oils are not advisable as they will make the mayonnaise too harsh, but if you want a slightly stronger taste you can include a little olive oil in the amount.)

– Add about a teaspoon or two of white wine vinegar to thin the mixture down (never use malt vinegar as it is too harsh).

– Taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and, if it needs it, a little more vinegar. The amount can never be exact because it depends on your own taste and how much acidity you require.

The changes to Delia’s recipe are highlighted in bold. Be careful with the salt and add the vinegar in ½ teaspoons to achieve the desired acidity.

Using less oil produces a thicker mayo and this allows a little more leeway when adding the vinegar.


NIGEL SLATER – selected recipes




4 punnets gherkin cucumbers
4 or 5 onions
2 TB salt

6 cups cider vinegar
3 cups + 4TB castor sugar
8tp yellow mustard seeds
8tp coriander seeds
good pinch turmeric

Slice the cucumbers and onions in a food processor; mix with salt and rest in the fridge overnight.

Next day: gently squeeze out excess water from the gherkin/onion mix and rinse thoroughly in a colander.
Next day: prepare pickling jars by adding a little cold water to each then filling with just-boiled water.

In a large pot mix the vinegar, sugar, mustard and coriander seeds. Bring to a simmer.

Add the gherkin/onion mix. Bring to a simmer. To avoid the pickle becoming too soft do not overcook.

Bottle, adding a bay leaf or two. Invert the bottles for a couple of minutes.

Ready to serve in a day or two.


Oil and salt joint; rub salt in well
Roast for 45 mins per kg : the first 30 mins at 220C, thereafter at 180C

Rest for 30 mins



RECIPE – 20 recipe ideas for using up leftover roast meat




– 2 or 3 yellow (or red) chillies

– one can Italian tomatoes

– ½ small onion

– 1 jalapeno pepper

– 1 bunch fresh coriander

– 1 clove garlic

– 1tp lime or lemon juice

– ½tp ground black pepper

– ½tp salt


  1. Take the stems off the peppers and throw away the stems.

  2. Place the peppers and seeds in a blender. Blend well.

  3. Add the tomatoes with juice, 1 jalepeno (sliced), 1/2 onion (quartered), 1 garlic clove, handful of coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend til you have the consistency desired.

  4. If you feel the salsa looks too white from the onion this just means you need to add more coriander.

  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving


½ cup dry cider
½ cup finely diced brown onion
½ cup pouring cream
1TB Dijon mustard


Add onion to cider over a medium heat; reduce by half Add cream and mustard


3 or 4 red chillies
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 cm / 50 ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1tp salt
4tp sunflower oil
2tp sugar
juice of 1 lime


1TB unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced onion
½tp finely chopped garlic
250 – 300g sliced mushroooms
1TB smoked paprika
180ml sour cream
2tp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Heat butter and sauté onion, approx 3 – 5 mins
Add garlic, mushrooms, ¼tp salt and ¼tp pepper
Stir continually until liquid has evaporated
Add paprika and sauté for about 2 mins. Do not boil.
Thin sauce with up to ¼ cup water if necessary.


4TB mustard powder
4TB honey
1TB soy sauce
1TB wine vinegard


Combine ingredients and baste gammon


1 cup fresh coriander
1 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
80ml olive oil
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper



Makes 300ml

4 large free-range egg yolks
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ lemon

1. Put the yolks, butter and 2 tbsp water in a heavy-based pan and heat very gently, whisking all the time. As the butter melts, the sauce will begin to thicken; don’t be tempted to hurry things along by turning the heat up, the sides of the pan should be cool enough to touch at all times. Do not leave your post at any time: this sauce will brook no postmen or tea-making.

2. Once the butter has melted, turn up the heat to medium-low and whisk vigorously until it thickens: if it begins to steam, take it off the heat, but do not, under any circumstances, cease whisking.

3. When the sauce is thickened to your taste, stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice and season. Taste and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately, or store in a warm place or a vacuum flask until needed: it doesn’t take kindly to reheating.

From The Guardian


¼ cup mayonnaise
1TB prepared mustard
1TB honey
½TB lemon juice



2 onions
1 clove garlic
2TB oil
1tp sugar
250ml red wine
2TB red wine vinegar

2 sprigs fresh mint
Ground black pepper

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds.
Sprinkle with sugar and sauté until translucent.
Add red wine and vinegar.
Strip the mint, chop coarsely and add to the sauce.
Simmer for 10 mins
Remove for heat, season with salt and pepper; allow to cool to lukewarm.


  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1TB flour

  • 1TB butter

  • 3 – 4TB mustard powder

  • 1 cup water veg stock

  • ¼ cup vinegar


Cook flour in butter, add mustard powder and then water from corned beef and vinegar, simmer, then beat together egg and sugar, whisk to thicken over heat.

Mustard, sugar and vinegar may need adjusting

Do not boil once the egg is added.


Serves 2


  • butter

  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots

  • 100ml white wine

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 75ml each sour cream and cream*


– Lightly crush about a tablespoon of black peppercorns

The finer you grind the pepper the hotter (though smoother) will be the sauce. You probably don’t want it too hot.

– Fry the onions or shallots gently in butter until soft.
– Add the wine and the black peppercorns and reduce by half.

– Stir in the cream
– Season.

* add a little cream at the end if the sauce has become over-reduced

If you’re making this to go with steak, then make it in the pan you used to fry the steak while it’s resting.


25g butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1tp black peppercorns, ground
1tp white peppercorns, ground
200ml cream
Salt, good pinch

Soften the shallot in the butter
Add the ground peppercorns and salt
Deglaze with about 75 – 100ml Muscadel; reduce
Add cream; reduce

Tweak with more salt, Muscadel, cream as needed.


16TB olive oil
juice of three lemons
2TB paprika

1TB cayenne

1TB cider vinegar

1TB honey

3 red chillis

Optional :

5TB garlic powder

1TB parsley

1TB green coriander



½ cup butter

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

4 cloves of garlic (grated)

Salt and pepper

Two or three chillis, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a wok.

Heat prawns until fully cooked / pink


For six kebabs

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup Demerara sugar

Juice of one lemon (approx)

1tp crushed red pepper (approx)

Olive oil

Mix first five ingredients and brush onto kebabs

Brush with olive oil

Marinate for 2 hours +

Cook on griddle on medium heat – 4mins to start – thereafter turning every 3mins, for approx 13 mins


100g brown sugar
100g malt vinegar
150g ketchup
150g tomato paste
½tp ground ginger
¾tp green chilli paste
2TB soy sauce

Simmer for 5 mins



1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
2tp grated palm sugar (or caster sugar)
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup very finely chopped coriander leaves
2 bird’s-eye chillies, de-seeded and very finely chopped

Adjust sugar and coriander to taste. Serve with grilled prawns.



2 cans Italian tomatoes

1 pkt tomato paste

1 cup veg stock

Grated garlic and ginger

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Fresh oregano and basil

A small pinch of cayenne

Star anise

4 or 5TB smoked paprika

Sugar, to taste (to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)

A little olive oil


Simmer over a gentle heat for at least an hour


100g chopped dried tomatoes
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin tomato paste
1 tp black pepper powder
1 tp ground coriander seeds
1 tp dried dill
1 tp ground cumin
1 tp fennel seeds
1 tp fenugreek seeds
1 or 2 pkts dashi powder
Muscovado sugar

Dry fry the spices in a pot.
Add 1.25L water and the dried tomatoes.
Add the dashi powder.

Balance with sugar and cook slowly for a minimum of one hour.


Ingredients (for two)

Two thirds cup finely chopped onion

One cup chicken stock

½ cup white wine

4TB white wine vinegar

4TB butter

4tp chopped fresh chives




1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Using a little butter, sauté the onion (approx 2 mins), stirring frequently

2. Stir in the chicken broth, white wine and white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil. Season moderately with salt, to taste.         Add sugar in moderation to taste to balance the acidity of the wine and vinegar

3. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about a half;. Add the butter and chives just before serving

Serving suggestion

Spoon the sauce over pan-fried flattened chicken breasts on a bed of baby spinach, with heated and crushed buttery chick peas, seasoned with a little chili salt.


Cook 3kg mussels in 1L veg stock for approx 8 mins


2TB oil
1 chilli
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
Pinch of cloves
½tp ground ginger
½tp turmeric
Pinch crushed cardamon seeds
Pinch caraway seeds
Pinch mace
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch paprika
Fresh coriander (topping)
200ML pineapple juice
1 can coconut milk
2TB lemon juice
Salt to taste


1. Sauté onions, chilli, garlic
2. Add spices. Fry briefly
3. Add pineapple juice
4. Add coconut milk

Add mussels and cook without lid for approx 10 mins

NB to balance salt/sugar/stock/lemon juice


Prawns mix well with spinach. The curry tastes best when freshly cooked and served with rice or hot chapattis or Nan. A small bunch of fresh methi leaves (fenugreek) or 1 tbsp. of dry methi can also be added along with spinach. Serves 3-4
  • 200-300 gm. prawns (you can use other seafood/fish), fresh or frozen
  • 200 gm spinach
  • 200 gm. onions
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 200 gm. chopped/tinned tomatoes. I mostly use tinned.
  • 1 large potato, boiled, peeled and cut into medium sized pieces or a handful of peas
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala


  1. Wash and chop spinach finely. Or use frozen, as shown in the pictures.
  2. Wash, peel and slice onions and ginger thinly or chop together in a food processor.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add onion and ginger mix and fry until dark brown.
  5. Add tomatoes and fry until oil separates.
  6. Add ground spices, sugar and salt, fry for 10-15 seconds.
  7. Add spinach cook for a 2-3 minutes minutes.
  8. Add peas or chopped potatoes and fry for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Add prawns, stir in thoroughly & cook for 5 minutes. Do not overcook prawns or they will get tough & stringy. If using fresh prawns, cook until they turn orange.
  10. Add garam masala, stir it in and close the lid for the flavours to infuse.
  11. Serve hot & freshly cooked with Chapatties or Boiled Rice.


1kg mussels in shells
1 large / 2 medium onions
1TB sunflower oil
1 large carrot
2 large celery stalks
2 medium potatoes
50g butter
½ cup plain flour
2 cups milk
2 cups fish or chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley or dill

Boil 2 cups of water in a large pot, then add a third of the washed mussels, cover and heat until shells open 5mm, then lift promptly, with tongs, into a large bowl. Repeat until all mussels have opened. Save the liquid. Cut onion(s) in 1cm cubes.

Heat the oil in a covered non-stick pan, then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Chop the carrot, celery and potato into similar sized cubes and add them to the pan. Strain the mussel cooking liquid into the pan of vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender. Take the mussels from shells, discarding beards.

Cut the mussels in 1cm cubes, saving any liquid, and put aside. Melt the butter in the cleaned mussel pot, then stir in the flour. Add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking constantly, then add the stock and boil again, still stirring. Take off the heat. Add the cooked vegetables and their cooking liquid and season carefully to taste.

Cool, then refrigerate up to 24 hours if necessary. When ready to serve, heat, stirring constantly, until very hot. Add two thirds of the mussels and any liquid, then pour into large bowls. Top with remaining mussels and chopped parsley or dill and serve with hot rolls, garlic bread, crackers or toast.


500g broad beans
2TB (heaped) mild (Durban) curry masala
2tp veg stock powder
2L water / chicken stock
small hock or eisbein
one onion

Soak beans overnight: rinse
Add all ingredients to water and bring to the boil
Simmer gently for about 4 – 5 hours

Season to taste


When reheating, add water if desired


1TB olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
6 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch kale
1 bunch spinach
some fresh thyme
some fresh parsley
2L water or chicken stock
½ cup Greek yoghurt
salt and pepper

Sauté onion, celery, garlic in olive oil
Add kale and spinach, bit by bit, to wilt

Blend veg mixture with the water / chicken stock
Add yoghurt and season to taste

Makes a thick / condensed base so add water + cream (to taste) when reheating – approx two portions soup base + one portion water + one portion cream

SOUP – PEA AND HAM (Nigel Slater)

The recipe

Soak 400g of dried, split peas overnight in cold water. The next day, drain them and bring them to the boil with a bay leaf or two, 1.5 litres of stock and a couple of onions, each stuck with a clove or two. When the stock starts to boil, turn down the heat so that it bubbles at a languorous pace for a good hour. When the peas are soft, remove the bay leaf and onions and purée the soup in a blender, then season it with salt and pepper and add about 200g of cooked ham torn into shreds. Serve piping hot.

The trick

When the peas first come to the boil, scoop off the froth that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon and then discard it. Add a ham bone to the broth as it cooks – it will deepen the flavour of the ham. Check that the ham stock isn’t too salty. If it is, then water it down with half the volume of water. Make sure you don’t add salt to the soup before you purée it.

The twist

You could use pieces of chorizo in place of the ham. Dried broad beans, soaked overnight, make a good alternative to the peas. Add tarragon or mint leaves to the soup directly after blending. A big knob of butter added at the end will give the soup a rich gloss. Keep the soup really thick and serve it as a side dish to baked pork chops or gammon steaks.


Large pot.

2L water
1 pkt minestrone (etc) soup
1 can bortoli (etc) beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can Italian tomatoes
1 pkt tomato paste
1 tub (approx 600g) veg soup mix (rinsed) #

2tp veg stock powder
4tp (heaped) smoked paprika
2tp veg stock powder
Dried mixed herbs
A little olive oil
Approx ½tp each smoked chili and ground black pepper
1 tp ground coriander
salt, pepper, sugar

Bring to boil.
# Add the veg mix last of all to avoid overcooking and the veg being too soft
Turn down to a gentle simmer to reduce;
Simmer for approx 45 mins
Skim off foam from time-to-time.

Adjust salt and sugar to taste.


1TB coriander seeds
1TB mustard seeds
1TB black peppercorns
1TB juniper berries
¼TB cloves
2cm cinnamon stick
Bay leaves

Roughly grind with pestle and mortar.

Add to:

[1 cup] vinegar
[2 cups] water
[Two thirds cup] + 4TB sugar
4TB salt


2TB each
ground ginger
ground coriander
ground cumin

1tp each
black pepper

½tp peri peri

A little
ground nutmeg
ground cloves


1½tp peri peri
3tp smoked paprika
2tp onion powder
1tp salt
1tp garlic powder
1tp ground cumin
1tp oregano
½tp black pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch red pepper flakes

Mix with 1kg mince while browning.

Add ½ cup stock or water







½ cup butter

½ cup flour

1L milk

1tp each mustard and salt

Ground black pepper

Approx 2 cups strong chedder cheese


  1. Melt butter in pan

  2. Stir in flour

  3. Add salt, pepper, mustard

  4. Add grated chedder (not all at once)

NB to stir continuously and over a moderate heat


Serves: 2

This is a garlicky, lemony, ultra-fabulous, utterly addictive bean mash. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the flash-fried steak.

Photo by Lis Parsons.


  • 60ml olive oil (plus 2 teaspoons)

  • most of 1 clove garlic (crushed)

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)

  • grated zest 1 lemon

  • 3 cans white beans 

  • salt (to taste)

  • pepper (to taste)


  1. Put the 60ml / ¼ cup of olive oil in a saucepan, and mix in the garlic. Add the whole rosemary sprig, if using, and the lemon zest and warm through.

  2. Remove the rosemary, but do not throw away.

  3. Drain the beans and rinse under a tap to get rid of the gloop and then add to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing with a wide, flat spoon so that the beans go into a nobbly mush. Season to taste; some beans come saltier than others.