The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Inspiration'

Pimm’s Summer Jellies- Perfect for hot summer days
Pimm’s Summer Jellies

Serves 4


125 g (4oz) caster sugar
200 ml (7 fl oz (⅓ pint)) water
Pared zest of 1 lemon
Pared zest of 1 orange
5 gelatine leaves
200 ml (7 fl oz (⅓ pint)) Pimm's No 1 cup
200 ml (7 fl oz (⅓ pint)) lemonade
Chopped strawberries, cucumber and orange
Mint leaves to garnish



  1. In a small pan, gently dissolve the caster sugar in 200ml water with the pared zest of a lemon and orange, simmer for 2 minutes.

  2. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.

  3. Strain the contents of the saucepan into a jug, squeeze the excess water from gelatine leaves and stir into the liquid until dissolved.

  4. Add the Pimm’s No1 Cup and lemonade; pour into 6 serving glasses, cool then add the chopped strawberries, cucumber and oranges, chill until set and then garnish with fresh mint leaves.

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Sesame and Soy Seared Tuna
Sesame & Soy Seared Tuna

 Two ways to prepare tuna in a Japanese style.  Either allow it to marinate in a sauce and serve it thinly sliced in a Sashimi style or sear it in a pan.


1 loin of yellow fin tuna – sushi grade recommended

Marinade ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic

  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes

  • 1/8 th tsp Himalayan salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 3 finger of pinched fresh coriander

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds garnish towards the end

For a side salad or a garnish

Handful of rocket or salad leaves

4 Sugar snap peas, or mange tout (cut into julienne strips) or edamame beans

¼ red pepper cut into thin julienne strips

Three finger pinch fresh coriander

1 tbsp pickled ginger cut into strips

Drizzle in remaining marinade mix over the salad

 Cooking Instructions:

 Mix all the ingredients for the salad in bowl and set aside.

  1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and season to taste.

  2. Now place the tuna into the marinade and coat the tuna generously. Allow the tuna to soak up as much of the spice blend as possible and leave to rest at ambient temperature for 20-30 minutes.

To serve as Sashimi

  1. Take the tuna out of the marinade and slice thinly. Serve with the salad.

To pan fry

  1. Heat a frying pan until it is smoking hot, place the tuna in the pan and sear on two sides for 1 minute, or longer depending on your preference.

  2. Sprinkle with a little sesame over the tuna on both sides towards the end of cooking on each side.

  3. The tuna should be cooked on the outside and be pink on the inside. When cooked, remove from the pan and allow it to rest for 1 minute before slicing like ham.

  4. Meanwhile add a drizzle of any remaining marinade over the salad and transfer to the serving plate. Put the tuna to the plate and serve at once.

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Chilli Con Carne, Mexican style dish
Chilli Con Carne, this easy Mexican style dish to make ahead and freeze so you can spend more time with family and friends.  Serve with rice.

Chilli Con Carne


2 tbsp of oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 onions, chopped finely

4 garlic cloves crushed or 2 heaped tsp if already finely chopped

250g minced lamb or beef

¼ tsp hot chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp mustard – powder or wet mustard

1 tsp rich Hungarian paprika

½ tsp salt or to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

120g drained weight cooked red kidney beans – half a can

200g chopped tomatoes (half a can)

1 tsp tomato puree

200 ml beef stock

½- red pepper, cored deseeded and cut into 1 cm cubes

For garnish & serving

1 tbsp Greek yoghurt – for serving

Chilli seeds & cheddar cheese


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds, onions and garlic and gently fry until soft.

  2. Add meat and fry until just brown, cooking for about 10 minutes.

  3. Now add the chilli powder, ground cumin, mustard, paprika, salt & pepper, stir well and cook with the lid on for 5 minutes.

  4. Now add the kidney beans, tomato puree & canned tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat with the lid on.

  5. Add the stock, stir well.

  6. Bring to boil, then cover lower heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Five minutes before the end of the cooking process add the red peppers, so they remain al dente.

Cook rice as per rice recipe.

*The picture is for presentation purposes only
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Chimichurri sauce, perfect for BBQ
Ideal for the BBQ, Chimichurri is traditionally served with grilled steak in Argentina but it goes very well with chicken and fish too.

Chimichurri sauce

1-2 long red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

½ small red onion, very finely chopped

1 large handful finely chopped curly-leaved parsley, leaves only

2 heaped tsp dried oregano (optional)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

3tbs red wine vinegar

5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs cold water


  1. Finely chop the red onion. Test the heat of the chillies, deseed and finely chop one or two depending your taste.  Put these ingredients in a bowl.

  1. Chop the parsley and crush the garlic.

  1. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir well until combined.

  1. Cover the bowl with cling film, then, set the mixture aside for up to 6 hours or preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to infuse.

  1. Use as required.

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Chicken Tagine with Dates and Almonds
Tagine is a traditional dish of Morocco and the blend of spices and fruits come together to make a delicious meal, which will also taste good, if not better, the next day.  Serve with rice or couscous.

Chicken Tagine with Dates and Almonds



400g chicken thigh de boned cut into 4 pieces (use chicken breast if preferred)

3 tbsp oil (1 tbsp + 2 tbsp)

1 large onion finely chopped

3 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tsp fresh ginger

1 tsp ground roasted cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp Hungarian paprika

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt or to taste

400ml chicken stock

40g dates pitted

20g blanched whole almonds

3 finger pinch fresh coriander


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, place the chicken into the pan and seal the outside edges until golden. If there is too much chicken for the pan size, cook in small batches to prevent the chicken from boiling rather than browning. Remove from the pan and set aside, leave any remaining oil in the pan.

  2. Add the additional 2 tbsp of oil to the pan and add the onions, cook on a low heat until they have softened.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli powder, paprika, nutmeg and salt and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat so that the flavours infuse and release.

  4. Now add the chicken stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Place the chicken back into the pan with all the juices, add the dates and almonds, put the lid on and simmer on a very low heat for 35 minutes stirring only occasionally. The aim is to cook the chicken very slowly so that it caramelises, melting in the mouth. Check the levels of the sauce in the pan from time to time to ensure that it hasn’t thickened too much, add a little hot water if necessary.

  5. Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh coriander

*The picture is for presentation only
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