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Oak smoked chicken wings with whiskey glaze

To say I'm a huge fan of chicken wings is an understatement, throw in some smoke and sauce and I'm a happy woman. I've been playing around with various rubs and flavours over the years with this recipe as well as different types of smoking woods. 
Finally hit the nail on the head when my good friend (and award winning whiskey brand ambassador) Naomi Laurie gave me some whiskey staves from Teeling whiskey. I got an obliging friend and neighbour with a wood cutter to chop the staves into smaller blocks. These along with the wonderful Small Batch Whiskey that she gave me to play with were a great combination. 
The smell when cooking is fantastic as you get a vanilla oaky rich whiskey hit from the staves and then the whiskey glaze to finish the wings just tops it all off. The rub backs up the flavour profile in the whiskey sauce. Teeling Small Batch is a rum cask finish, with a little sweetness and spice on the palate so you need corresponding spice notes to back it up when cooking with. The chaat masala gives you the high note spices and sourness and the cinnamon gives you that rounded background note with a follow up of sweetness from the garlic, paprika and onion. 

Spice Rub
30g sweet paprika
10g smoked hot paprika
10g chaat masala
20g oregano (dried)
10g celery salt
10g onion powder
10g garlic powder
3g cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients together

Whiskey Glaze
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
4 shallots (finely chopped)
20ml chipotle in adobo
20g pork dripping or 20ml sunflower oil
70ml Ketchup
20ml Dijon mustard
60ml cider vinegar
50ml apple juice
190ml whiskey Teeling Small Batch and 10ml for finishing the sauce
10 dashes Worcestershire sauce
30ml soy sauce
30g brown sugar
30ml honey

I prefer to make this sauce the day before, it allows the flavours to develop and the whiskey is more pronounced.

Fry off the shallots and garlic on a low heat in the pork fat until soft and glossy
Add the chillies and chipotle and cook for a further 5 minutes
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine, bring to the boil briefly for 1 minute
Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened
Stir in the 10ml of whiskey when finished
Allow to cool before using

1kg chicken wings
20g pork fat or 50ml rapeseed oil

Coat the wings in the fat/oil and then sprinkle over the rub, ensuring they are well coated
You can either vacuum pack the wings or place in an airtight container in the fridge for 48 hours

Set your barbecue up for indirect cooking at 220c
I like to layer the charcoal with oak blocks and chips or you can place the chips/blocks on the coals once they have reached the right temperature
Place the wings on the barbecue with a drip tray underneath
Allow the wings to cook at 220c for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 180c and cook for a further 20 minutes
After the 20 minutes has elapsed, baste one side of the wings with the glaze and cook for a further 5 minutes
Turn the wings and baste the other side, cook for a further 5 minutes 
Take the wings off the barbecue and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before serving

Smoked eel pate

Eel wasn't something we ate much of growing up. Sometimes one of the neighbours would catch a few in the local streams and give us one or we'd find one in a plastic bag full of water tied to the doorknob still alive. It's a very rich oily fish and full of flavour, it takes on smokiness quite well. pairs well with punchy flavours such as horseradish or mustard. 

100g smoked eel fillet roughly chopped
10g finely chopped fresh chives
10 leaves wild garlic finely chopped (optional)
10g freshly grated horseradish (or 5g English mustard)
70g cream cheese
5ml lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the eel and cream cheese in a bowl and mash together with a fork until well combined
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
Season to taste with the salt and pepper
Place in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavours to come together
Serve on toasted brioche or crusty bread

Gochujang and lemongrass slow roast pork shoulder

Gochujang chilli paste has become a recent favourite chez kitchen exile. I love the flavour, sweetness of the chilli itself, coupled with a punchy hot hit, it adds so much to every dish. This recipe took a while to get the flavour profile just the way I wanted it. The pork goes so well with ramen dishes, I roasted a 700g piece of shoulder which after slow cooking is roughly enough for four people. I served this with simple ramen noodles using the meat juices to add flavour to the dashi broth and added a little of the rendered fat which had some of the chilli. 
I like to marinade this for up to 48 hours to get as much flavour from the aromatics as possible
When slow roasting for long periods, I tend to go by tenderness of the meat. I check to see if the meat is starting to give and pull away easy after about 5 hours for a 700g piece, if it does, I take it off the barbecue. Bear in mind if you are cooking a larger piece, then it will need much longer, so give yourself plenty of time for bigger joints of meat.

700g pork shoulder
2 sticks lemongrass bashed to release the oil
40g Korean chilli paste
30ml soy sauce
20ml ketchap manis
6 lime leaves
2 shallots sliced into rounds
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
50g ginger sliced
400ml water

Mix together the chilli paste, soy and ketchap manis
Smear all over the shoulder
Place the ginger, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves and garlic in an airtight container and place the meat on top
Marinate for a minimum of 24 hours (my preference is 48), turn the meat every 6 hours to ensure the flavour permeates both sides or you can vacuum pack the meat ensuring that the aromatics are evenly distributed on each side in the bag
Set up BBQ indirect at 140c, add the water to the tray with the meat and cook for 6 hours basting every half hour
If you are using a larger piece of meat then you will need to cook for longer
Rest for one hour before serving

Oxtail and stilton pie

Oxtail stew is one of my favourites, it has a rich deep flavour. I like to make a large batch of the stew just so I can make these pies. Beef and blue cheese work really well together,  it just adds another layer of indulgence to the dish. This recipe makes enough for two six inch pie dishes. I've used beef suet and butter in the pastry but if you cannot get hold of the suet then using all butter will be fine. 

Oxtail stew filling
700g oxtail
1 onion finely chopped
1 celery stick finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
10g tomato puree
200ml red wine
200ml beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown off the oxtail in a heavy bottom casserole pot (or Dutch oven) on a medium heat and render down the fat
Remove to one side and keep the fat that has rendered down in the pan
Lowering the heat, fry the onion, celery and carrot in the beef fat until soft, strain off the excess fat
Add the tomato puree and cook out for 1-2 mins
Add the wine and beef stock and stir through
Place in the oxtail and the herbs in the pan 
Cook on a very low heat on the hob or in a low oven at 120c (fan), 130c (normal) for 3 hours
For those of you cooking on the BBQ, set the BBQ for indirect heat, 130c and cook for 3 hours
Allow the stew to cool slightly before removing the oxtail and pick the meat off the bones, it should come off relatively easily
Strain the casserole juices into a bowl and put the vegetables to one side
Place the bowl with the juices in a freezer and after a couple of hours you will be able to remove the fat that has risen to the top as it will have solidified
Place the juices and meat back into the casserole pot with the vegetables and stir through
Season with salt and pepper

170g plain white flour
40g butter
45g beef suet grated
45ml iced water
Pinch salt
Beaten egg yolk or milk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs
Add the water and bring the mixture together until it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply whizz the flour and butter mix until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the water until it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the pie dish as a guideline, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Next cut out rounds for the top of the pie, again using the pie dish as a guideline
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be
Place the dish and the pastry tops back in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes

400g oxtail stew filling
100g stilton cheese cut into cubes

Preheat your oven to 190c (fan), 200c(normal)
Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf

To finish the pies
Place a layer of stew filling on the base of each pie, then a layer of cheese
Continue with the layering until the pie has been filled to the top
Wet the edges of the pie and place the pastry lid on top
Push the edges of the top and bottom together to ensure it is sealed 
Cut a small hole in the centre of the top to allow steam to escape
Brush the top with egg wash of milk 
Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the filling reaches at least 75c

Smoked haddock Fish cakes with a grain mustard aioli

This is a great way of using up leftover fish and potatoes. If you like you can use Salmon or cod instead of the haddock and if you do so, then best to omit the mustard when making the aioli. I've kept this recipe deliberately simple as you have a strong flavour of haddock to contend with and the mustard aioli complements the smokiness nicely.

Fish cakes
200g smoked haddock
150g potatoes, mashed but with no butter or seasoning
3 scallions finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Sprig thyme
200ml milk
Salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
Breadcrumbs or coarse polenta to coat the outside of the cakes
oil for frying

Place the haddock fillets in an oven proof dish 
Pour over the milk and add the bay leaf and thyme, cover with foil
Poach the haddock at 160c (fan), 170c (normal) for 7-10 minutes
Put aside and allow to cool
Place the fillets in a bowl with the scallions, beaten egg and potato, mix together well, but try not to break up the fish too much
Assemble the fish cakes by rolling into a ball and flattening to form a round like you would with a burger or you can use a cooking ring to shape them if you find this easier
Coat the fish cake in bread crumbs or polenta and place to one side until ready for cooking

To cook fry on each side for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat to get a good colour 
Next place in the oven at 150c (fan), 160c (normal) for 10 minutes to heat through

For the Aioli
1 egg yolk
150ml olive oil
Tablespoon grain mustard
10ml white wine vinegar
10ml crème fraiche
salt and pepper to season
squeeze of lemon juice

In a bowl add the egg yolk, vinegar and mustard, mix together with a whisk
Start to add the olive oil very slowly and whisking very quickly the yolk should start to thicken as you add the oil
With this sauce you're not looking for mayonnaise consistency but a very thick sauce so you may not need to add all the oil
Add the crème fraiche and stir through
Season to taste with salt and pepper and lemon juice

Harissa spiced lamb burger

Lamb has always been a favourite meat of mine, paired with harissa it makes a wonderful combination. The sweet punchy hit of the harissa perfectly compliments the heady lamb flavour. I also like to use spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cumin which give that extra earthy base note of flavours bringing the taste level up a notch for this burger. 

300g lamb shoulder finely minced, ensure there is some fat in the meat otherwise the burgers will dry out
30g harissa paste
15g finely chopped fresh coriander
10g finely chopped spring onion
1 clove garlic grated
3g ground cinnamon
5g roughly ground cumin seeds
2g freshly ground black pepper
3g ground ginger
3g celery salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined
Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight for the flavours to infuse
Form into burgers, this mix should make enough for four
Set your barbecue up for direct cooking at 210c, cast iron griddle if you have one
Grill, flipping every minute or so until the burgers reach 54c internal temp
Serve in flatbreads or pita breads with cumin cheese, red onion and tzatziki

Tandoori spice rub and tandoori grilled lamb steaks

While this recipe sounds simple enough, the effort is in the making of the spice rub. For years I was using a ready made packet mix, which was all well and good. But since I started making my own spice rubs, I decided it was time to tackle a tandoori one too.
This has a lot of whole spices in it and requires some elbow grease in the way of grinding the spices, but yields fresh results. It did take a while to get the rub exactly the way I wanted it, but the hard work won out in the end. This rub goes well with lamb, goat, chicken and fish, it is pretty versatile. 

Whole spices
5g yellow mustard seeds
5g cumin seeds
5g coriander seeds
5g cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
Half a whole nutmeg
4 cloves
10g methi (fenugreek) leaves
4 green cardamon pods
1 black cardamon pods
1 blade of mace
15g paprika
5g black pepper
2g chilli flakes
5g celery salt

Place all the whole spices in a cast iron or heavy bottomed frying pan and toast on a medium heat for 10 minutes
Allow to cool and transfer to a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder

Fresh Ingredients
5g turmeric root, peeled and grated
1 small red onion grated
2 cloves garlic grated
5g ginger root peeled and grated

You can also substitute, the above ingredients with their dried equivalents, 5g dried tumeric, 5g onion powder, 5g garlic powder, 2g ginger 

To finish the rub
Add the fresh ingredients to the ground spices and mix together well
This will keep for up to 2 months in an airtight container in a cupboard using just the dried dried ingredients 
It will keep for up to 2 weeks if using fresh ingredients in a jar in the fridge, if using dried, it will keep for up to a month in an airtight container in the cupboard

Grilled lamb steaks

Serves 2 people
6 lamb steaks or lamb chops if you prefer
30g spice rub
10ml oil
70ml greek yoghurt
Juice of half a lemon
1g maldon sea salt

Mix the rub with the yoghurt and rub over the steaks, 
Place the steaks for 6-12 hours in the fridge
Allow the steaks to come up to room temp before cooking
Season with salt and lemon juice
Oil the steaks before putting on the BBQ
Set your BBQ up for direct grilling at 250c
Cook the steaks for 1- 2 minutes each side, I like mine rare, if you prefer yours a little more well done then cook a little longer