Orange and Almond Cake

A Gary Rhodes recipe

Makes : 3 x 2lb (900g) cakes

3 whole oranges
12oz (350g) ground almonds
12oz (350g) caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
9 eggs, size 3, beaten

The quantities here are quite large but using 3 oranges gives a stronger finished taste. If you cut the recipe down to a third, the flavour isn’t as good. This recipe also works well using 4 lemons instead of the oranges or a combination of lemon and limes. The cake freezes for up to a month.

Step One : Place the unpeeled oranges in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 1 hour, topping up with water when necessary. Remove oranges from the pan and allow any excess water to drain off.  Cut into quarters.  Remove all pips the puree the oranges, including the pith and the zest, in a food processor.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  To make the sponge, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder.  Whisk the eggs until the mixture trails off the whisk in thick ribbons.  Fold in the almond and sugar mixture, then add the cooled orange puree.  Pour the mixture into 3 x 2lb (900g) loaf tins, filling them by about two-thirds.  Bake for 40-45 mins.

Step Three : The cakes are ready when they’re firm to the touch and if pierced with a knife, it comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the tins. If the cakes sink in the centre once they have cooled, this will have no effect on the finished result – they are still delicious. They will keep for several days in an airtight tin.

British Spanish Omelette

A recipe by Gary Rhodes.

Spanish omelettes are just potatoes and onions blanched in oil, mixed with egg and cooked like a flat omelette – the texture is wonderful. This recipe is similar but gives you almost unlimited options.

Gary used a simple combination of cooked new potatoes (you could also use cold roast ones), onion, eggs and Cheddar. But this basic recipe can become a potato pizza using peppers, mushrooms, olives or whatever you like. The most important thing is to use a good omelette or frying pan.

Serves: 1 – 4

5 or 6 new potatoes, cooked
1 onion, butter for frying
3 large sized eggs
1 level tsp freshly chopped parsley, optional
Salt and pepper
2-3oz (50-75g) cheddar cheese, grated

Step One : Cut the potatoes into ¼ in (5mm) thick slices. Slice the onion.  Heat 6 in (15cm) omelette or frying pan, add a small knob of butter and allow it to melt.  Add the sliced onion and sauté for a few mins until golden brown.

Step Two : Beat the eggs together, adding the freshly chopped parsley, if using.  Add the onions to the egg mixture and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step Three : Reheat the omelette or frying pan, adding another small knob of butter and allowing it to melt.  Lay the sliced potatoes in the frying pan, so that they cover the base. Gently fry the potatoes on one side only, until they are a nice golden brown.

Step Four : Pour the onion and egg mixture on top of the potatoes and continue to cook on a medium heat.  You will notice the egg beginning to set. After a few minutes, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese evenly over the omelette. Place the pan under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown, which should take only about 1 or 2 mins.

Variation : Before grilling the omelette, thinly sliced tomatoes can be placed over the cheese.  Arrange tomatoes so that they overlap and completely cover the top.  The omelette can then be grilled until the tomatoes are cooked.

Step Five : Transfer the omelette to a serving plate and dish up immediately. This omelette can be for 1 or 4 people, depending on everyone’s appetite.

Some other Autumn / Winter recipes can be found in Gary’s book here

Thai-steamed Snapper

Brilliant for a dinner party, you can also use this versatile marinade for fish fillets.  This fish is ideal served with sticky Thai-style rice and a crisp green salad.

Thai Red SnapperIngredients:

11 whole red snapper or other whole sustainable white fish (about 2 kg), descaled, gutted and cleaned
4 limes (1 sliced)
1 bunch of fresh coriander
1 bunch of spring onions, topped and sliced (reserve tops for stuffing fish)
1 sweet potato, diced into thumbnail-sized pieces
2.5cm  / 1 in piece of ginger, sliced
5 garlic cloves, peeled
3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed and roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded (keep the seeds of half a chilli only)
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar

Serves:  4

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 200oC (400oF, gas mark 6).  Cut a piece of wide baking parchment twice the length of your fish.  Fold the parchment in half and then open it, placing one half on a baking tray.  Put the fish on the diagonal on the piece of parchment on the baking tray.

Step Two:  Make slashes in the fish on the diagonal through the skin down to the bone on both sides.  Stuff the cavity with a few slices of lime, half the coriander and the tops of the spring onions.  Scatter sweet potato cubes and spring onion chunks around the fish.

Step Three:  In a food processor, combine the rest of the coriander, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilli and blitz into a paste.  Add the sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the juice of the remaining 3 limes and blitz again.

Step Four:  Rub this marinade all over the fish and fold the other half of parchment over the fish, wrapping the edges over to close tightly.

Step Five:  Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.  To test if the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and take a peek inside a corner of the parcel, but be careful because the steam will escape.  If the eye of the fish has turned white, this means your fish is cooked.

Step Six:  Open the parcel and serve large chunks of fish on sticky Thai rice topped with a large spoonful of the cooking juices – that is where most of the umami is.

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2015) and taken from At Home with Umami by Laura Santtini.

Restaurateur and inventor of Taste #5 Umami paste Laura Santtini, is credited with making the ‘chef’s best-kept secret’ accessible to home cooks at all levels.  Umami is the savoury fifth basic taste; literally translating from the Japanese to mean ‘savoury deliciousness’, it is universal and can be used in food from every country and culture to make it extra tasty.

In Santtini’s words, umami is, ‘the ultimate expression of flavour; the extra mouthful-ness that makes us say “mmmmm”, the taste that keeps on giving long after its fellow basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour and bitter – are spent.’

In her book, At Home with Umami, Santtini talks about how she has always been fascinated by flavours and the feelings they evoke.  Chapters include ‘Fresh & Uplifting’, ‘Heady & Daring’ and ‘Mellow & Comforting’, so you can check into how you’re feeling and cook full-flavoured food to match your mood.

Cod Fish Fingers

A Gary Rhodes recipe

This delicious dish works just as well with salmon as cod. Once you’ve made it, you’ll see the humble fish finger in a whole new light.

These really are just fillet of cod cut into fingers. I normally take 4 x 6-8oz (175-225g) fillets and cut them in strips/fingers allowing 3 per portion. This recipe can also be used for canapés. Just cut the fish, cod or salmon (both work), into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes. Then crumb and deep-fry before sitting on cocktail sticks. These are good fun and very tasty with the sour tartare sauce.

Serves : 4
Ingredients: 1 tblsp freshly chopped parsley; fresh breadcrumbs made from 10-12 slices white bread; zest and juice of 2 lemons; salt and pepper; 2 eggs, size 2; 2-3 tblsp milk; 4-6-8oz (175-225g) cod fillets, cut into fingers; plain flour for dusting; 1 dsp each chopped shallots, capers and gherkins; 5-10 fl oz (150-300ml) sour cream; oil for deep-frying

  • In a large bowl, mix ¾ of the freshly chopped parsley with the white breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.
  • Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper and then lightly dust with flour. Dip into the egg mix then into the crumb mix. These are now ready for frying or can be re-dipped in the egg and re-crumbed to give a thicker, crunchier finish. Set aside.
  • To make a sour Tartare sauce to accompany the fish fingers, mix the chopped shallots, capers and gherkins with the remaining parsley and the sour cream. Season then add the lemon juice to taste. Pour into a small serving dish.
  • Heat the oil to 170oC/325oF in a deep-fat fryer. The fish fingers can now be deep-fried in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with the homemade Tartare sauce.

Black Pudding Fritters

A Gary Rhodes recipe.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients: Oil for deep-frying; 8oz (225g) self-raising flour; salt and pepper; 5 fl oz (150ml) lager or beer; 1 black pudding; flour for dusting; lemon quarters and fresh parsley to garnish.
Tartare Sauce: 4-6 tblsp shop brought mayonnaise; 1 tblsp finely chopped onion or shallot; 1 tsp chopped parsley; 2 tsp chopped capers; 2 tsp chopped gherkin

  • Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 150oC/300oF. If you don’t have a fat fryer, the fritters can be cooked in 1 in (2.5cm) of fat in a deep frying pan. Do take care not to overheat the oil.
  • To make the batter, sieve the self-raising flour into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper then whisk in the lager or beer. You should have a batter with a thick consistency. Cut the black pudding into ½ in (1cm) slices.
  • Lightly dust the black pudding slices with flour, dip them in the batter and deep-fry until golden. They should take about 4-5 minutes in total. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the fritters. Remove them from the fryer and place them on kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat. Garnish with lemon quarters and fresh parsley.
  • To make the tartare sauce, spoon the mayonnaise into a bowl. Add the chopped onion or shallot, parsley, capers and gherkin and mix thoroughly. Serve with the black pudding fritters.
  • There are plenty of optional extras to sharpen and lift the flavour of the sauce. A teaspoon of horseradish cream, mustard or cayenne pepper will fire it up a treat.

Sweet Sherry Apple Fritters

A recipe by Gary Rhodes from Sunday Magazine.

I’m sure you’ve eaten apple fritters before but not with a sherry-based batter. To make the flavour really strong, I also like to soak the apples in neat sherry for 30 minutes. You can imagine the wonderful rich flavour of the apples. I find that they go very well with pouring cream, vanilla ice cream or yogurt ice cream, which really lifts the sherry taste.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 2 eating apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 in (1.5cm) thick rings or 8 wedges; 4 tblsp sweet sherry; 2 eggs, size 2; 4 oz (100g) self-raising flour; 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, optional; 1 oz (25g) caster sugar; Oil for deep frying; 1 tblsp icing sugar, optional

  • Soak the apples in the sherry for 30 minutes. Drain off the sherry and put to one side.
  • For the batter, beat together the eggs, flour, cinnamon, if you’re using it, and caster sugar. Add the sherry. Dip and coat the apples in batter. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180oC/350oF and fry the fritters until golden. It’s best to cook 4-5 fritters at a time and then keep them warm in a pre-heated oven while the rest are cooking.
  • Sprinkle on icing sugar, if you’re using it.

In honour of it being a Gary Rhodes recipe, here is a recipe book of Gary’s

Beef in Beer

A recipe by Gary Rhodes

His tender braised beef with a boozy touch is staggeringly tasty!

Beef braised in ale gets my taste buds tingling!  The very rich gravy is his favourite part of the dish and he loves mopping up the last drops with crusty bread!  It is so easy to do – once prepared in the casserole dish, it can be virtually forgotten about while it braises, filling your kitchen with an appetising aroma.

Serves:  6

Ingredients:  2 lb (900g) silverside or chuck steak joint; salt and pepper; ½ oz (15g) beef dripping, or cooking oil; 4 onions, sliced; sprig of fresh thyme; 1 lb (450g) button mushrooms, washed; 15fl oz (450ml) strong beer (bitter); 10fl oz (300ml) beef stock (cubes can be used); 2 tblsp tomato puree; freshly chopped parsley, to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF, gas Mark 6.  Season beef with salt and pepper.  Heat dripping or 2 tblsp in a roasting pan and brown beef on all sides.  Set aside.  Heat 2 tblsp oil in an ovenproof casserole dish, sweat onions for a few minutes, along with the thyme.  Add mushrooms, beer, stock and tomato puree.  Then place beef in casserole dish and simmer, skimming off any impurities.  Once simmering, cover with a lid and cook in oven for 2-2 ½ hours.  The beef will be so tender, you could almost carve it with a spoon!
  • When cooked, remove beef from the casserole dish and wrap in foil.  With a slotted spoon, remove onions and mushrooms from the dish and set aside.  Reboil beer gravy, skimming as it boils.  Check flavour and consistency.  Once strong in taste, if the gravy is too thin, thicken with a little cornflour mixed with water.
  • Return onions and mushrooms to the gravy and reheat.  Carve beef into portions and spoon gravy over the top.  Garnish, serve.

Fried Pork With Ginger and Sweet and Sour Rice

A recipe by Gary Rhodes

Wok to it with this tasty, Chinese-style stir-fry and rice dish.

This is a great recipe that takes hardly any preparation.  And, apart from the fresh ginger, you’ll probably find all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard.  Boiled rice is ideal for the sweet and sour rice dish and I like to use pork tenderloin or fillet – when cubed or cut into strips, both these cuts fry quickly.  Vegetarians can use mushrooms, peppers and courgettes instead of pork.  Anything goes!

Serves:  4

Ingredients:  Sweet & Sour Rice:  Olive oil, for frying; 1 onion, chopped; 2 tsp brown sugar; 2 tblsp malt vinegar; 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce; ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce; 1 dsp tomato ketchup; 1 x 14oz (400g) tin chopped tomatoes; salt, black pepper; 4 fresh tomatoes, optional; 12oz – 1 lb (350-450g) boiled rice.

Pork:  1 – 1 ½ lb (450-675g) pork tenderloin or fillet; 2 tblsp olive oil; 1 garlic clove, crushed; 1 tsp freshly chopped ginger

  • To make the sweet and sour rice, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for a few minutes.  Take care that it doesn’t brown.  Add the brown sugar and the malt vinegar and bring to the boil.  Add the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
  • Stir in the tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Make sure you add all the juice from the tinned tomatoes, as it helps create the sauce.  Simmer until the liquid thickens and it has reduced in volume by about one-third.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • If you are using the fresh tomatoes, blanch, skin and dice them.  Add them to the sauce at this stage.  Add the boiled rice to the sauce and check seasoning.  Put to one side in a warm place.
  • Season the pork with salt and pepper and cut it into cubes or strips.  Heat the olive oil in a wok or frying pan until it’s very hot.  Add the pork, garlic and ginger.  Fry on a high flame until the pork is well coloured and tender.  To serve, dish out the rice on to plates and place a portion of the pork on top of each.
  • Tip:  If you add a splash of soy sauce and a pinch of caster cane sugar at the end of the cooking time, this gives the pork and rice even more of an authentic Chinese flavour.

Bacon and Apple Pie

A recipe by Gary Rhodes

This delicious savoury pie holds a combination of classic British flavours, the bacon going very well with the onions annd apple.  It makes a tasty and filling main course!  The flavours don’t just stop there.  I also add some freshly chopped sage to the onions, along with a drop or two of cider to the cooking stock.  For this recipe, I usually top the pie with puff pastry but shortcrust can also be used.

Serves:  4-6

Ingredients:  1 1/2 lb / 675g streaky bacon; 2 oz /50g butter; 3 onions, sliced; 1 dsp freshly chopped sage; 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced; Pepper; ½ pint (300ml) cider; ¼ pt (150ml) chicken stock; 8oz (225g) puff pastry; 1 egg, beaten

  • Cut bacon into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces.  Heat 1oz butter in a frying pan and fry onions until golden.  Mix in the sage.  In a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pie dish, layer the bacon, onions and apples.  Repeat until all these ingredients have been used up.  Season with a twist of pepper and pour over the cider and stock.  Dot the top with the remaining 1oz (25g) butter.
  •  Roll out pastry, then cut out narrow strips to put round the edge of the pie dish and a “lid”.  With beaten egg, brush the edge of the pie dish, the pastry strips and the edges of the pastry lid.  Press the pastry strips into position then sit the pastry lid on top.  Crimp the pastry edges together and trim off any excess.
  • Brush the pastry top with beaten egg and then refrigerate pie for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200oC / 400oF, gas mark 6.  Place pie in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Banana, Chocolate and Coconut Crumble

A recipe by Gary Rhodes

A crumble is probably one of our most traditional and easiest puddings to make.  This mixture of ingredients offers a totally different flavour – chocolate and coconut make a great combination and banana goes with both.  I serve this with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, both of which taste good with the rich flavours.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:  6 oz (175g) plain flour; 1 oz (25g) cocoa powder; 3 oz (75g) butter; 3oz (75g) caster sugar; 1 oz (25g) desiccated coconut; 6 bananas, cut into 1 in (2.5cm) slices.

  • Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF, gas mark 6.  For the crumble, mix together the flour and cocoa powder.  Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the sugar and coconut.
  • Arrange the banana slices in an ovenproof pudding dish.  Sprinkle the crumble over the banana and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins.  Serve with ice cream or custard.
  • For a special finish, grate fine shavings of chocolate over the cooked crumble.  Chocolate can also be grated over the bananas before you top with the crumble.  this gives you a chocolate banana sauce hidden under the crumble.