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Beetroot, celeriac and butternut squash dauphinoise

This is one of my favourite winter dauphinoise dishes. Great on it's own as a dish or as an accompaniment to a Sunday roast. 

1 medium sized beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced 
100g celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
100g butternut squash peeled and thinly sliced
200ml double cream
Sprig of thyme
Small sprig rosemary
1g grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
10g salted butter

In a pan place the cream thyme and Rosemary and bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 mins to infuse
While the cream is heating start to layer a deep baking dish with the sliced vegetables. 
As you layer season with the salt, pepper and grated nutmeg (go easy on the nutmeg as it can overpower).
Once you've finished layering pour over the cream
Cover the baking dish with foil and place in an oven at 150c (fan) or 160c (normal) for 45 minutes
After 45 minutes take the foil off, add the butter and cook at 190c (fan) 200c (normal) for a further 30 mins
If cooking on the BBQ, cook on indirect heat at 160c, covered in foil for 45 minutes and again with the foil off, adding the butter at 190c for another 30 minutes

Suya grilled goat chops

I was introduced to West African cooking many years ago by a Nigerian friend of mine. We collaborated at some barbecue events and on a cook book (Vibrant West African Cooking) and she taught me lots of delicious recipes. She developed her own spice brand and I would use these quite a lot when barbecuing. A few years on and I decided to try and replicate the spice blend myself. I like to make my own rubs from scratch, so why not suya? Suya is traditionally used for grilled meats, particularly chicken, goat or beef. The main basis for suya is peanut powder, not easy to come by, but can be found in some health food shops. Peanut powder has the oils removed from it. If you do try and make it yourself, then slow roast the peanuts for 60 minutes and then pulse in a spice grinder, the peanuts need to be cold before you grind them.

8 kid goat chops (you can also substitute lamb chops, if you cannot get goat)
30ml peanut or rapeseed oil
Salt to taste, my preference is maldon sea salt

Suya Spice rub
70g peanut powder
50g Smoked Paprika
45g Ground Ginger
30g Ground Cayenne Pepper
30g Garlic Powder
45g Onion Powder
10g Chicken Bouillon powder

Mix all ingredients together

To Grill
Set your barbecue up for direct cooking at 200c
Coat the chops in the oil and then sprinkle over the suya spice ensuring they are well covered
Allow the chops to marinate for at least 30 minutes, if you can, overnight is even better
Grill the chops for 2 minutes each side for medium rare, longer if you wish for medium or well done
Season to taste with the salt

What's in season - January

It's that time of year when we're all partied out from the festivities and indulgences of Christmas and thoughts turn to healthy eating. There's still plenty of veg and fruit available if you want to go vegetarian for the month. Try and stick to whats in season as it will be at it's best and of most nutritional value. For the rest of us who have no such intentions, there's still plenty of good fare to enjoy.

Beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, salsify, shallots, swede, truffles, turnips

Apples, blood oranges, clementines, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, rhubarb, satsumas, tangerines

Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts

Meat and Game
Duck, guinea fowl, hare, mallard, partridge, turkey, venison


Clams, cockles, dab, dover sole, gurnard, haddock, halibut, hake, langoustine, lemon sole, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, red mullet, scallops (queen), sea bream, skate, turbot, winkles

For more information visit Eat the Seasons

Wishing you all a fantastic festive season!

2021 has been a strange year for all of us. We can only hope that 2022 brings new hopes and cheer for everyone. Thanks for supporting Kitchen Exile and I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful festive season wherever you may be. 

See you all in 2022, with lots of new recipes and inspiration.

Cajun rub and cocktail sauce for a grilled prawn cocktail

Prawn cocktail is one of the dishes I like to make as a starter for Christmas. Naturally I like to jazz things up a little, it being the festive season. The rub takes no time at all to put together and easily made from store cupboard ingredients. This Cajun Rub is based on the one from the fabulous Queens of 'Que;  Sam Evans' and Shauna Guinn's "The Hangfire cookbook" which is one of my favourite BBQ books. This makes enough for 20 king prawns.
The cocktail sauce is one I've been making for years, normally I would use my own home made mayonnaise and ketchup, but shop bought works as well. I use an Irish whiskey in this recipe but you can also use bourbon or a light peated whisky too. The Whisk(e)y or bourbon will need to have some sweetness to it.

Cajun rub
5g each of
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Dried thyme
Dried oregano
Sea salt flakes ground
Cayenne pepper
Chilli flakes (I used ancho)
10g of paprika
And some freshly ground pepper

Mix together and marinade your prawns for a couple of hours before grilling
Set your barbecue up for direct cooking at 200c and cook the prawns for a couple of minutes each side

I like to add a bit of booze to my cocktail sauce and with the Cajun rub this one works really well

15ml of
Tomato ketchup
Crème fraiche
10ml whiskey (I used Teeling Whiskey pineapple rum cask)
5ml lemon juice
Mix together

Chipotle macaroni and cheese with leftover bbq meats

Macaroni and cheese is one of the many household favourites chez Kitchen Exile. It's a real comfort food dish, great on its own but it's always nice to add extra flavours to jazz it up a little. I love to add leftover barbecue meats to it sometimes instead of having them cold in a sandwich. Some of you are now asking "what is leftover barbecue meat????" Since there are only two of us in our house there might occasionally be some lurking the next day. With Christmas approaching this would also be a great dish for leftover turkey, ham or stuffing too!

70g butter
70g plain flour
200ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Tablespoon of dijon mustard
20g crème fraiche
5g chipotle in adobo paste
200g macaroni  pre cooked
100g cheddar or strong cheese, grated
50g parmesan grated
100g leftover brisket, ribs or chicken wings
Salt and pepper to season

Pre-heat the oven to 180c (fan), 190c (normal)
If cooking on the BBQ set it up for indirect cooking at 180c, throw in some apple wood chips about 15 minutes before it is ready to go on, wait for the thick white smoke to die down
If cooking on the BBQ ensure your baking dish is suitable for use or use a cast iron pan
Next make the roux sauce, in a saucepan melt the butter and then add the flour stirring all the time
Cook the flour out for at least 5 minutes on a low heat
Take the pan off the heat and add the milk gradually, still stirring, and then put back on the heat stirring until it thickens
Add the Dijon, chipotle paste and the cheeses, stir to incorporate
The sauce will thicken considerably after adding the cheese, if it is too thick then add some more milk to loosen it slightly
Add the crème fraiche and stir through, season with the salt and pepper
Stir in the macaroni and mix through, ensuring the pasta is well coated
Lastly add the meat and stir though
Place in the oven or BBQ and cook for 20 minutes

Apricot, date, fig and pistachio mince pies

I came up with this recipe as my other half and I aren't huge fans of the traditional mince pie mix. We're not fans of raisins or sultanas or "dead flies" as I like to call them. I like the idea of a festive pie and it's nice to have a sweet treat at Christmas. The mincemeat in question is not made with meat but with dried fruits and spices and beef or vegetable suet. In the past it used to be made with meat as well as dried fruits and spices such as mutton, veal, goose or venison. In the UK and Ireland where they are most popular its just a fruit based pie. 
Though there are versions in the US called New England mince meat pies which are made with dried fruits, spices and beef and is a large pie as opposed to the traditional smaller versions. Ideally the filling needs to be made about two weeks in advance of baking as it allows the flavours to develop further. I like to use a mix of Pedro Ximinez for it's rich sweetness and bourbon which has a subtle spice and compliments the citrus element. Instead of a  straightforward sweet short crust pastry I also use almond flour which adds a wonderful depth of flavour to the pies. This makes 12 mince pies. 
50g dried apricots finely chopped
50g dates finely chopped
50g Dried figs finely chopped
1 apple peeled, cored and grated
30g beef or vegetable suet (optional)
50g pistachios finely chopped
Zest of one clementine or mandarin
40ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
30ml bourbon
2g cinnamon
2g ground ginger
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together and place in a sterilised jar with a lid
Or you can place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined
This can now be kept in a cupboard for a couple of weeks to let the flavours mature

80g plain flour
30g almond flour
90g butter
10g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
50ml milk for brushing the pastry

Place all ingredients in a food processor except the egg yolk and pulse a few times
Add the yolk and continue to pulse until the pastry starts to come together, don't pulse too much as you don't want the oils to come out of the almond flour
Form the pastry into a flat round, cover and place in the fridge to rest for 1 hour

To assemble the pies
Preheat your oven to 180c (fan), 190c (normal), barbecue set up for indirect cooking at 180c
Roll the pastry to 2mm thickness
Using a 10cm pastry cutter, cut out 12 rounds
Place the rounds into a muffin tin, ensuring there are no air gaps
Using a star shaped cutter, cut out 12 pieces for the top, re-roll out the pastry if necessary to ensure you have enough for the top
Fill the tarts with the mincemeat mix and then top with the star pastry
Brush the pastry tops with the milk
Bake for  20-25 minutes