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Roast pineapple, chilli and coconut ice cream

I love grilled or roasted fruit and vegetables on the barbecue, I find it brings out a sweeter, more intense flavour. There's also the element of smokiness too that adds a certain depth of flavour, an almost earthy back note. Pineapple is one that really benefits, great with savoury or in this case sweet dishes. I add a little hickory and pecan to the charcoal for a little extra flavour when cooking this.

1 pineapple, peeled, cored and left whole
10g chilli flakes
5g Maldon sea salt flakes
10g brown sugar
20ml lime juice
Zest of one lime
250ml coconut milk
250g sugar
100ml water

Mix the chilli flakes, sugar and lime zest together and sprinkle over the pineapple, leave to sit for 30 mins before cooking
Set your barbecue up for indirect cooking at 180c, add a handful of pecan and hickory chips to the coals, let the white smoke die down before starting to cook
Place the pineapple in a roasting dish or cast iron pan and cook for 45 minutes
Place to one side and allow to cool
In a pan heat up the sugar and water and boil until it reaches 108c on a sugar thermometer, place to one side to cool
Roughly chop the pineapple and place in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth
Pour the puree (you need roughly 300ml of puree) in a bowl and add the coconut milk and lime juice
Add 100ml of the sugar syrup and stir until well combined
Allow to sit in the fridge for at least four hours to cool completely and for the flavours to infuse
Set your ice cream maker for ice cream setting and churn until ready
Serve immediately

Slow roasted miso aubergine

This is my take on a Japanese dish, nasu dengaku with an Indonesian twist in the form of ketjap manis. I love slow roasted aubergine on the BBQ and it is a vegetable that takes on Asian flavours well. This has a mix of smokiness from the charcoal, saltiness from the miso and sweetness from the ketjap manis. I tried many variations on this recipe using a mixture of soy and sugar with miso but the ketjap manis seemed to work the best especially on the BBQ. 

2 aubergines sliced in half and flesh scored
50g red miso paste
50ml ketjap manis
1 clove garlic grated
1 red chilli thinly sliced
2 scallions finely chopped to garnish
5ml sesame oil to garnish

In a bowl mix together the miso, ketjap manis, garlic and chilli
Pierce the aubergine all over with a knife and then slice in half, make diagonal slits in the flesh to allow the marinade to penetrate
Baste the aubergine flesh in the miso mix and allow to marinate for 30 minutes
Set your BBQ up for direct cooking at 150c, add some pecan or oak chips to the coals and wait until the initial thick white smoke has died down
Place the aubergine on the BBQ skin side down and cook for 45 minutes until it starts to soften, if your aubergine is larger then it may need a little longer
Take off the grill and drizzle with the sesame oil

Red Curry duck burger with lime and chilli mayonnaise

Red curry with duck is a one of my favourite Thai dishes and I thought this burger might be an interesting way of combining the two. I use duck legs for this recipe as they tend not to dry out as much as the breast meat and keep the fat in for more flavour. 

2 duck legs meat removed and minced with fat on
20g red curry paste 
5ml fish sauce
5ml soy sauce
15g coriander leaves finely chopped

Fry off the curry paste and allow to cool
In a bowl mix the duck meat, coriander, soy and fish sauce together with the curry paste
Place in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavours to come together
Form into burger patties and allow to sit in the fridge for 3 hours to firm up
Cook for 4 minutes each side on a medium heat
Serve with a lime and chilli mayonnaise

Thai Red curry paste

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ tsp black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods crushed and seeds removed
10g coriander roots or stalks if you cannot get the root, finely chopped
1 shallot finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 clove garlic grated
2 stalks lemongrass grated
5 dried lime leaves or fresh if you can get them
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 red chillies or more if you like heat
2g sea salt

Take all the ingredients and place in a mortar and pestle and break down until it forms a paste.
You can also use a food processor, but the mortar and pestle gives better results flavour wise.

Lime and chilli mayonnaise
1 whole egg (room temp) for staff blender method or if making by hand use 1 egg yolk
110ml neutral oil such as sunflower oil  (or sometimes I will use half sunflower and half olive oil or rapeseed oil)
5ml Dijon mustard
5ml white wine vinegar
5ml lime juice
10ml red chilli sauce
salt and pepper

To make by hand
Place the egg yolk, vinegar and Dijon into a bowl 
You need to start whisking very quickly while you start to add the oil very slowly until the mixture starts to thicken
Season with salt and pepper and the lime juice
Stir through the chilli sauce at the end

To make with hand blender
Place all the ingredients as listed above (except the salt, pepper and chilli sauce) in a tall jug or beaker and allow to stand for 20 minutes

Ensure the jug or beaker is just larger than the hand blender head
Place the blender right at the bottom of the mixture and start to blend, once the mixture starts to thicken, you can then start to move the hand blender to ensure it is well mixed
Season with salt and pepper and stir through the chilli sauce

Food processor

Place the egg yolk, vinegar and Dijon into the smallest bowl your food processor has, start the machine and add the oil very slowly until it starts to thicken
Season with salt and pepper and the lime juice

Stir through the chilli sauce at the end

Stuffed courgette flowers with basil dressing

The courgette flower season may be very short, but it is worth trying this if you can get hold of some. I prefer to keep it fresh rather than the usual deep fried flowers. The pine nuts add a little bit of texture and the basil dressing just brings it all together.

4 courgette flowers (stamens removed)
1 200g ball mozzarella
2 tomatoes de-seeded and finely chopped
3 scallions finely chopped
5g fresh chives finely chopped
5g flat leaf parsley finely chopped
15g pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together (except the courgette flowers)
Season to taste with the salt and pepper
Spoon the mixture into the courgette flowers gently, taking care not to split and twist the top of the flower to close

20g basil finely chopped
20ml olive oil
20ml white wine vinegar
2ml honey

Place all the ingredients in a jar, close the lid and shake until well combined
Pour over the courgette flower

Seafood lasagne

Lasagne is traditionally associated with meat but I wanted something a little more indulgent than the usual meat ragu based dish. The bechamel has dry vermouth for extra depth and tarragon for a hint of anise. The saffron gives additional flavour and colour and the squid ink pasta adds another level to the dish. 

200g salmon fillet sliced into 1cm thick slices
10 king prawns sliced in half
200g cod fillet sliced into 1cm thick slices
70g gruyere cheese grated for the topping


50g flour
50g butter
Salt and pepper to taste
180ml milk
70ml dry vermouth
5g dried tarragon
1g saffron threads
5ml lemon juice
5 scallions finely chopped

Melt the butter, add the flour and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes
Take the pan off the heat and add the milk slowly, whisking all the time to ensure it does not get lumpy
Place back on the heat and continue to stir until it thickens
Add the vermouth 
Add the saffron and stir through
Season to taste
Add the scallions and stir through
You should have a pretty firm, thick sauce
Allow to cool slightly before adding to the dish

100g pasta flour or '00' flour
1 egg
4g packet squid ink

Mix the egg with the squid ink and beat together
Add to the flour in a bowl until it comes together into a stiff dough (or whizz it up in your food processor, if you have one) 
Knead briefly and then place in the fridge to rest for an hour
Once it has rested, roll out the dough either using a rolling pin or a pasta roller until the dough is about 1mm thick
Cut into sheets the right size for your dish and place in the fridge until needed.
Ensure that the sheets are either dusted with flour or use baking parchment to separate the sheets, otherwise they will stick together

To assemble the dish
Preheat your oven to 190c (fan), 200c (normal) or set your BBQ up for indirect cooking at 200c
Place some of the fish on the bottom of the dish and pour over some of the sauce, top with a sheet of pasta
Continue doing this until all the fish has been used
Top with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle over the grated cheese
Place in the oven/BBQ and cook for 40 minutes

Soy and lime Mackerel tartare

If you can get exceptionally fresh mackerel then this dish is ideal. The sweet and salty notes from the mirin and soy go really well with the mackerel. Combined with the sharpness from the lime pickled cucumber and heat from the wasabi it makes a wonderful flavoursome dish.

1 mackerel filleted, pin boned and skin removed
Juice of one lime
5cm piece of cucumber de-seeded and finely chopped into small cubes
15ml soy sauce
10ml mirin
10ml wasabi paste
5g nori flakes

In a bowl, pour the lime juice over the cucumber, keep back 5ml for the mackerel marinade and leave in the fridge for 1 hour
Dice the mackerel into small pieces about 1cm each
Mix the mirin, 5ml of lime juice and soy together, pour over the mackerel and leave for about 15 minutes to marinate
Before serving, add the lime pickled cucumber to the mackerel mix and stir to combine
Divide the mixture up between two plates, if you want it to look neater you can use a metal ring
Sprinkle over the nori flakes and dot with the wasabi

Pimms strawberry baked cheesecake

Baked cheesecakes are my favourite thing to make and I love to vary the recipe with the seasons. The strawberry and Pimm's flavour really comes through in this cake and every slice is like an indulgent hit of strawberries and cream. The trick is to macerate the strawberries in the Pimm's for 24 hours so you have a rich flavour. Don't throw away the Pimm's as you'll have a wonderful strawberry infused cocktail to drink afterwards.
Pimm's strawberries
You need to do these about 24 hours before making the cheese cake
150g fresh strawberries hulled and halved
300ml Pimm's

Place the strawberries in a bowl and pour over the Pimm's, place in the fridge for 24 hours
After 24 hours has elapsed, strain the strawberries and place on kitchen paper to dry out in the fridge
Keep the Pimm's for a Pimm's and lemonade cocktail


14 digestive biscuits 
20g porridge oats 
90g butter
50g brown sugar

Whizz the digestives, sugar and the oats together in a food processor until they resemble a sandy crumble
Melt the butter in a pan, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to incorporate
Place the mix into a lined cake tin and pat down well
Place in an oven at 190c (fan) 200c (normal) for 15 minutes
Allow to cool fully before adding the topping

150g Pimm's macerated strawberries
5ml vanilla essence
600g cream cheese (room temp)
125ml creme fraiche (room temp)
2 eggs
Juice of half a lemon
90g caster sugar
80g plain flour
Pinch of salt

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined
Pour the cheese filling into the baking tin with the base mixture 
Bake at 190c (fan) 200c (normal) for an initial 15 minutes and then at 120c (fan), 130c (normal) for a further 45 minutes until just set
Turn off the oven and leave in the residual heat for a further 30 minutes, with the oven door slightly ajar 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving