Week 76: Scallops with Thai-scented pea puree

I have no idea what a baby leek is. I’m assuming it’s a really really young one, but I can’t seem to be able to buy one. So I cracked open half a kilo of frozen peas and cooked this instead. Take that Jamie Oliver.


Week 46: Gammon Steaks with Parsley (and peas)

Week 46! Welcome to my lovely new followers!  Not party-ish food this week, but I hope you like it all the same 🙂

So this week my lover took a trip out of town for a few days, and as the saying goes while the cat was away this mouse played.  Not with the strumpets of Hammersmith, no this mouse plumped for much more forbidden fruit – pork! My lovers a pork-dodger so I never get it at home 😦

And I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a year. A YEAR!

Gammon is hands down my absolute favourite meat ever – I prefer it to bacon any day of the week – and I think that not being able to cook it makes me yearn for it even more.  This delicious looking dinner is the ultimate in speedy after-work scran, from cooker on to the table in 10 minutes – without using every single utensil and pan you use.

Nigella recommends serving the gammon with marrowfat peas, and then gives alternatives if you can’t bring yourself to eat them. This got me intrigued as I had no idea what a marrowfat pea was, so I got a tin, I’m not proud.  Imagine my delight when I opened the can and found they’re mushy peas before they go mushy! Hurrah! I cooked the peas as instructed on the side of the can, on a low heat with all the juices that come in the can.  I put the pea pan on when I put the frying pan on for the gammon, and kept an eye on it so the peas didn’t boil (but did get piping hot).


For the gammon you will need: garlic oil, 2 gammon steaks (approx 200g each) white wine vinegar, honey, freshly ground pepper, parsley, and a big juicy tin of marrowfat peas.


Heat 2tsp of garlic oil in a largish frying pan (big enough for 2 gammon steaks) and turn the peas on low, and when the oils hot out the steaks in and cook them for 3 minutes each side.  While the steaks are frying mix 2tbsp of white wine vinegar with 4tbsp of water, 2tsp of honey and a load of freshly ground pepper in a bowl of something. Also roughly chop up some parsley.


When the steaks are done take them out the pan and put them onto warmed plates (and turn the peas off) and then pour the vinegary mix in to the hot steak pan, with a load of parsley. Stir and scrape the mix around for a bit until it’s hot-ish and gammon-y and pour it over the steaks. Then drain the peas and serve the illicit gammon-y deliciousness, and for once it looked just like the picture in the book! Hurrah!


This is a genuinely delicious and speedy dinner! The peas might not be the finest of fine dining but they compliment the gammon to a tee, and the vinegar-iness of the glaze goes really well with the natural saltiness of the gammon in a really sly fish-and-chipish way. Did I mention it was delicious?!?



Anyhoo, gammon comes in packs of two and I really want to make it for my lover, cos I just know he’d love it… he’d better!


Nigella Express, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2007 ISBN 9780701181840)

nigella express

Week 28: New Season’s Lamb with Crushed Peas

I’ve had this book on my shelf for years and I’ve never been able to use it.  Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food – it’s even written in an angry font…

This year Easter has crept up on me, but I’d had my eye on this recipe for a while; waiting for this season’s lamb.  In New Zealand that season is autumn.

I’ve only ever done lamb twice before, first was lamb shanks, the second time was the lamb lollipops a few weeks ago ( so I was intrigued by the idea of poaching it.  I’d mastered eggs, how hard could a bit of sheep be?

Pretty hard actually.

To cook this for four you will need: 4 rumps of lamb (about 140g each), 800ml chicken stock, thyme, a bay leaf, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 300g fresh peas, olive oil, chopped oregano, salt and pepper.  As usual I was just cooking for me and him so halved the amount of lamb, peas and olive oil; but I used the same quantities for the stock.

First put the lamb in a cooking pot/pan in the stock with the peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf or thyme.  Listen up ‘cos this is where I went wrong.   Bring it just to the boil and turn it immediately down and simmer for 8 minutes.  If you take your eye off it –  like I did, and accidentally let it boil for longer then the meat will turn white and go rubbery.

A big draw to this recipe wasn’t just being able to swear like a trooper, I got to use my whizzy new processor while cussing in the kitchen.  Boon!  Blanch/thaw the peas (blanch the fresh, thaw the frozen) and put them in the blender.  Pulse the peas to crush them slightly, not too much.

Fish the lamb out of the stock and place on a warm plate to rest for 10 minutes.  I need a warmer plate, because mine was pretty much cold by the time I came to eat it, even wrapped in tin foil.

Put the peas in a pan with some olive oil and the chopped oregano and warm it through, then spoon the peas onto the plates.  Gordon suggests spooning them into a ring so you can pretend to be eating somewhere posh… so I whipped out a pastry cutter and gave it a bash:

Chop the lamb, sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil, rude words, and more oregano and serve.

Would I make it again? Yes I would, just to see if I could get it right.  I’d have to make it for myself, my lover was put off by the cold, rubbery, white meat and told me I could do the peas again but not the rest.


Gordon Ramsey’s Fast Food, by Gordon Ramsey (Quadrille Publishing 2007, ISBN 978 1844004539)