Archive | June, 2013

Sea Bream with 
a Sauce Vierge , fennel and asparagus

25 Jun

Sea Bream with 
a Sauce Vierge , fennel and asparagus

This dish I adapted from one of Rick Stein’s recipes , stunning and delicious , great for any occasion , and packed full of Mediterranean flavours.


Serves 4

olive oil
1 x 750g sea bream or dorado scaled gutted and cleaned
200g cooked unpeeled prawns


8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 baby fennel bulbs finely sliced lengthways
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 thin spring onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
250g asparagus carefully sliced in half lengthways


150g fresh garden peas
½ medium-hot red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced
6 mint leaves, finely shredded
Hand full basil finely sliced



1, Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil . Preheat grill to high. . Cook in a pan of boiling, lightly salted water the slices of fennel, asparagus and peas for 1½ minutes or until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well on kitchen paper.
2, Brush fish on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.Place on prepared tray. Cook under grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway during cooking
3, Meanwhile, place oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, peas,chilli, ½ tsp salt and 10 turns of the black pepper mill into a small saucepan, warm up on a low temperature but don’t cook!!
4, now for the tricky bit !! Transfer fish to a chopping board. Using a small, sharp knife, cut through the skin all around the outside edge of the fish, across the base of the tail and behind the gills, and pull away.
Run knife down the length of the fish between the two top fillets, and ease them apart and away from the underlying bones.
Slide a palette knife under each of the fillets in turn and carefully lift them away. Set fillets aside on a warmed plate.
Lift up the backbone of the fish by the tail and carefully ease it away from the bottom fillets, taking the head with it. Discard.
Slice down the centre of the bottom fillets and clean away any bones and skin from the outside edges.
Lift the bottom fillets away from the skin and add them to the plate.

5, To plate up .Add fennel and prawns to sauce vierge and cook further over low heat for 1 minute. Remove fennel and overlap 2 pieces in the centre of each serving plate, then scatter asparagus randomly over fennel. Place one fish fillet on top. Stir mint and basil into remaining sauce. Spoon sauce with the prawns over the fish and fennel , serve direct





If you’re still nervous about trying this dish I can come and cook it for you !🍴🔪
For mor info don’t hesitate to mail or call: 0031 (0)642297107

Spaghetti alle Vongole

24 Jun

Spaghetti alle Vongole

This is my version of the wonderful dish Spaghetti alle Vongole , this Venetian seafood classic is loved throughout Italy, and is one of my favourites , simple an quick to make.

Serves 4

1 kg small clams, from sustainable sources, I’m using Venus clams, scrubbed clean


1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic
10 cherry tomatoes
250 ml white wine
250g prawns

400 g dried spaghetti, for a more dramatic dish I’m using squid ink spaghetti
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 dried chillies
1-2 fresh chillies sliced

Oh and before we start cooking a glass of wine might be needed 😉




1,Place a large pan of water on to boil.
2, check through your cleaned clams and if there are any that aren’t tightly closed, give them a sharp tap. If they don’t close, throw them away.
3, Place a large pan with a lid on a high heat and let it heat up.
4,Finely slice the parsley stalks, then put them to one side and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and chop the garlic, quarter the tomatoes and get your wine ready.
5,Add the pasta to the boiling water with a good amount of salt and cook according to packet instructions until al dente.
6,Aprox 5 minutes before your pasta is ready, Put 4 generous lugs of extra virgin olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic, parsley stalks and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Crumble in the dried chilli and add the chopped tomatoes. Stir everything around constantly and just as the garlic starts to colour, tip in the clams, prawns and pour in the wine. put the lid on the pan , give a good shake After aprox 3 or 4 minutes the clams will start to open, so keep shuffling the pan around until all of them have opened.
7, Take the pan off the heat. Get rid of any clams that haven’t opened.
8, now the pasta should be just about perfect. Drain and add to the pan of clams along with the parsley leaves and an extra drizzle of olive oil. Stir or toss for a further minute or two to let juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta.
9,Serve right away in hot dishes


Still don’t fancy making it yourself ! I could come and cook it for you
For more info don’t hesitate to mail or call : 0031 (0)642297107

The Truffle & my Tagliatelle with Steak and Porcini in a Truffle & cream sauce and Truffle shavings

4 Jun

What is a Truffle?
Often called the diamond of the culinary world, a truffle is a rare, edible mushroom that is considered to be a delicacy due to its intense aroma and characteristic flavor. They have a firm texture and are most often shaven on top of food before serving, although they can also be used to infuse flavor into dishes. Though there are hundreds of different species, only some — mostly those found in the genus Tuber — are considered delicacies. Truffles grow underground in symbiotic relationships with trees and are difficult to find; as a result, they are usually harvested in the wild by trained pigs and dogs.

Types of Truffle

The black winter truffle

Also known as, “Périgord Truffle” or “The Black Diamond of Provence,” it is harvested mainly in Italy, Spain, and France, where it grows under the shade of oaks, hazelnut, chestnut elm and poplar trees, typically from November to March, peaking in January and February. Contrary to popular misconceptions, no country’s truffle is superior to the other. Fresh black truffles are by far the most highly sought-after variety of this mushroom, although they fetch extraordinarily high prices. The winter black truffle is actually more of grayish-brownish black on the outside, with white spidery veins on the inside that indicate maturity (the summer variety will be of a more brownish color, but are the same size). It weights typically between 2 and 3oz. The Winter Black Truffle is highly sought after for its earthy, subtle aroma, and a taste once described as mixture of “chocolate and earth”.

White winter truffle

The winter white truffle goes by a number of different names, including Italian white truffles and Piedmont truffles. The winter white truffle is known for its unique flavor, with a strong infusion of garlic. These winter white truffles are also distinguished by their intense musky aroma, and shoppers should look for this strong scent as they are selecting their truffles.

Keep in mind that white truffles are not truly white – in fact they will be more of a yellowish color. The best winter white truffles will also have a smooth exterior, so it is important to examine each one carefully. And although fresh white truffles do have a strong aroma, that aroma tends to fade more quickly than with black truffles, so it is important to use those fresh truffles as quickly as possible after they have been selected.

Black summer truffle

Although not held in such high regards as the winter variety, summer black truffles are still a delicious and versatile ingredient. Depending on weather variations, the season for this truffle goes from May to the end of August. They grow among oak, hazelnut, chestnut, elm and poplar trees, like the winter variety. From the outside, it looks pretty much like the Winter Black truffle, with a knobby, roundish shape and dark brown skin. The flesh or interior of the truffle is yellowish-grey, with spidery white veins webbing around. Towards the end of the summer, the flesh turns a darker brown. The summer black truffle is not as spectacularly fragrant and aromatic as the white truffle, but it does have a very nice aroma – much more subtle, but still quite appealing. They are better utilized by being cooked, to bring out the most of that subtly earthy chocolaty flavor.

White summer truffle

Also known as the Marzuili truffle, this would probably be your best bet when going for summer truffles. Although not as highly aromatic as the Winter White truffle, the Summer White still has most of that pungency characteristic of white truffles. It is found in the same regions of Italy as the winter variety, primarily Piedmont, Tuscany and Marches in Italy, and is the exactly same variety of mushroom, only harvested during the summer instead of the winter (black truffles, on the other hand, are a different species altogether in the winter and in the summer). They are much more affordable than the winter variety, so it allows for more experimentation and more quantity. The flavor is sweet and with hints of garlic, with a musky fragrance. It tends to look the same as Winter White truffles, with the interior going from a smooth yellow color to a dark brown with white veins as the season progresses. As with other white truffles, they are best used sliced or shaved over already cooked dishes, to maximize the aroma of the truffles.

10 truffle facts

1.Truffles grow in harmony with a host tree, enabling the tree to take in phosphorus while in return the truffle receives sugars enabling it to grow.
2. The ancient Greeks thought truffles were made when lightning hit damp soil
3. Truffles are mushrooms which are believed to have started growing underground to beat forest fires, drought and severe cold
4. Italians consider the white truffle (tuber magnatum) to be superior in taste to the black truffle (tuber melonosporum)
5. Pigs, trained dogs and goats are used to sniff out truffles which produce a chemical almost identical to a sex pheromone found in male pig’s saliva. Men secrete the same chemical in their underarm sweat

6. The truffle has been described variously as a diamond of cookery, fairy apple, black queen, gem of poor lands, fragrant nugget and the black pearl.
7. The Collins family of Wiltshire held the only Royal warrant to hunt for truffles in the UK until 1930 since when anyone has been allowed to seek them out
8. A rare Italian white truffle sold for £28,000 at a charity auction in 2004
9. France is the largest producer of truffles, harvesting up to 30 tonnes a year. At the end of the nineteenth century production was over 1,000 tonnes
10. A fabled aphrodisiac, the black truffle’s penetrating aroma led the Epicureans to liken the scent to that of the tousled sheets of a brothel bed. In the Middle Ages, monks were prohibited from eating truffles for fear they would forget their calling.

Tagliatelle with strips of Steak and Porcini in a Truffle cream sauce and truffle shavings

Serves 2 preparation & cooking +/- 30 mins

250g good quality tagliatelle
250g filet steak sliced into 1cm thick strips
200g fresh porcini mushrooms sliced , if not available shiitake can be used as an alternative
1 clove garlic crushed
200ml double cream
20g fresh truffle
Olive oil
Knob of butter
A large sprig of thyme
Handful fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
Handful grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to season


1. For the truffle cream place 10 grams of the truffle into a blender of magimix pulse for a few seconds to break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .


break up , now add the cream , pulse to combine .
2. Bring a pan os salted walter to the boil and cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions until all dente .

3. In a sauté pan or wok heat oil on a medium to high heat add crushed garlic ( don’t let it burn!) add strips of beef and the sprig of thyme , cook for 2/4 mins .
4. Add the porcini mushrooms and the knob of butter cook for a further 2/4 mins until perfectly tender.
5. Add a tablespoon of the pasta cooking water to the steak & porcini ( the starch in the water will help bind the sauce together )

6. Drain the tagliatelle and add to the to the steak , now add the truffle cream and chopped parsley , toss or stir to heat up , ready to serve.


7. To serve divide between hot dishes , top with grated parmesan cheese, thinly slice rest of the truffle and skater all over .

Boun appetito 😊🍴



Boun appetito 😊🍴

For mor info , questions or query s mail or call: 0031 (0) 642297107

And of course I can come and cook it for you🔪🍴


Tagliatelle con asparagi, pomodori ciliegia e rucola. Tagliatelle with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and rocket.

3 Jun

Tagliatelle con asparagi, pomodori ciliegia e rucola. Tagliatelle with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and rocket.


It’s coming to the end of the asparagus season , so I’ve another delicious recipe for you to try.
Fast, Simple and packed full of flavour a perfect dish for any occasion 😊

Serves 2 and suitable for vegetarians
Prep and cooking time +/- 20 mins

250g good quality tagliatelle De Cecco or Bariila are my favoured choice , for vegetarians you can use an egg free pasta
150gr cherry tomatoes or baby pomodori halved
200g green asparagus chopped

1tbl spoon capers drained and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic crushed
1 big handful rocket or 2 if your feeling greedy 😜
1 hand full grated Parmesan cheese
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to season


1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil ( while waiting for water to boil it a good time to chop the veggies ) cook the tagliatelle until al dente, or according to packet instructions

burn or it will become bitter , just let it infuse the oil .
3. Add the chopped asparagus and cook for 3 mins
4. Add the tomatoes and capers and continue to cook for 2 mins , you don’t want the tomatoes to break down too much .

5. Drain cooked pasta and add to the veggies , toss or stir , add lemon zest and the rocket , season to taste , toss or stir again to combine , ready to serve 🍴

6. Serve in hot dishes , drizzle with olive oil and top with parmesan cheese
Buon appetito


Any questions , queries or you just some help mail or call me: 0031(0)642297107
Or if you like you can have me come an cook it for you😊🍴

%d bloggers like this: