Category Recipes

Squirrel anyone?

There’s a particular Guardian columnist worth reading occasionally. Intelligent and articulate whilst often pretentious and sometimes misguided, George Monbiot is keen on making contentious comment in order to keep his political and environmental views in the public eye. Well, just recently, his column caught my eye and, after wading through some fairly flowery prose, it […]


A Hindi dish of rice or lentils combined with meat or fish is known as khichri. As happened frequently at the time, the Victorian British in India came up with their own version of the dish and originally served it at breakfast so that, in the days before refrigerators, early morning-caught fish could be eaten […]

Ox tongue and wood pigeon terrine with toast

Pigeon breast, pigs trotters and ox tongues are not found in many people’s kitchens. And if you were to ask your butcher for the ingredients, he’d probably raise an eyebrow. Not necessarily because he doesn’t have them, rather that he rarely gets asked for them. Don’t be squeamish about the trotter. It’s there to add […]

North Sea lemon sole with dill butter and samphire

One of the most evocative of smells is that of the sea and I don’t think anyone’s managed to bottle it yet. But samphire’s a herb or vegetable with an aroma that when fresh, instantly teleports you to the seaside. Sometimes referred to as sea asparagus but more accurately called glasswort, samphire is found on […]

Blind Scouse with herb dumplings

When writing menus, you have to be careful not to put the diners off with the descriptions you use. I guess that’s why the flesh of a pig’s referred to as pork. So we debated long and hard before using the term Blind Scouse for this dish as it suggested a visually challenged Liverpudlian when […]

Smoked haddock pan haggerty

We’ve had pan haggerty on the menu in various guises for years. Traditionally, this Northumberland dish is vegetarian and simple to make by just baking together potatoes, onions and cheese with a touch of seasoning. Similar dishes exist in just about any country that has a history of eating potatoes including pommes Anna in France […]

Lamb with swede gratin

When it comes to turnips and swedes, you and I may differ about which is which depending upon the origin of our respective influences. The fact is we live in the region that straddles the change in the words’ meaning. Go further afield and the Scots consider the turnip to be the larger yellow round […]

Wild rabbit in cider

I’ve called this Wild Rabbit in Cider because I like the idea of using rabbits that have run free and lived a natural life prior to coming to the pot. However, being wild, the taste and texture of the meat can vary considerably from one rabbit to the next so it’s worth being prepared for […]

Pea and wild garlic flower salad with goats cheese

You may have noticed that we’ve had some sunshine recently and that temperatures have crawled  above freezing. This means spring is in the air and wild garlic is starting to show. And wild garlic is food for free. Excellent cooked like spinach but also great, raw, in salads. Also known as ramsons, wild garlic grows […]

Mackerel on toast with ramsons

You may never have heard of ramsons. But you might have heard of wild garlic and it’s the same thing. Purportedly named after being found on the banks of the River Irwell  that flows through Ramsbottom, it’s also occasionally known as bear garlic or boar garlic because of those animals’ liking for it. I’m lucky […]