Recipe: Baked Kenniford Farm Cranberry and Rosemary Sausages with Piri Piri and Thyme

This delicious recipe uses Kenniford Farm’s Taste of the West Gold Award winning sausages and is packed full of flavour – great for enjoying in the garden in the sunshine or for a warming supper in the cooler weather. Recipe from Love Pork –

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Cooking Skill: Easy

Serves: 4 People



450g (1lb) Gold Taste of the West Award Kenniford Cranberry and Rosemary pork sausages

3 large sprigs fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, peeled


15ml (1tbsp) olive oil

45ml (3tbsp) sweet chilli sauce

1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into large pieces

½ lemon, cut into wedges

2 large sprigs, vine on, cherry tomatoes



Preparation: Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC.

  1. Place sausages into a small baking pan or tin.
  2. Mix together in a bowl or jug the thyme, garlic, seasoning, oil and chilli sauce. Pour over the sausages and roll them to coat. Add the red chilli and lemon, squeezing and leaving wedges in the pan.
  3. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes, then add tomato sprigs and cook for a further 5 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Serve with mini roasted new potatoes tossed in thyme and drizzled with piri piri juices.
Wilde  460
Photo Copyright of Love Pork

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Heritage Tomato Salad courtesy of Timothy Kendall, South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2016

Timothy is the Senior Chef de Partie at The Idle Rocks Hotel in St Mawes, Cornwall, working under Head Chef, Guy Owen. At the time of entry into South West Chef of the Year, Tim was working at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

As South West Young Professional Chef 2016, Tim went on to compete in the semi-final of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Young Chef of the Year competition last month.

Of this delicious salad recipe, Tim says “this is a great recipe which transports you to the Mediterranean. The tomatoes are amazing this time of year as they are so sweet, the watermelon and cucumber give it freshness and the feta gives the dish a great fat coating. For someone who doesn’t like tomatoes I would eat this dish all day long with a nice Pinot Grigio!”

Heritage Tomato Salad – Watermelon, Pickled Cucumber, Shallot and Feta Pannacota


Mixed heritage tomatoes – skins removed

Watermelon balls

Pickled cucumber balls

Pickled Shallot

Sliced radish

Micro red basil


Feta Pannacota

100g Soya milk

100g Double cream

100g feta

½ lemon zest and juice


1 ½ gelatine leafs


  • Bring the soya and double cream to the boil
  • Take off the heat and add the feta, gelatine leaf and lemon
  • Place the liquid into a blender until smooth
  • Pour in to your mould and place into the fridge until set

Pickling liquor

50g white wine

50g white wine vinegar

50g sugar


  • Place all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and cool slightly
  • Pour over your ingredients


Tim Kendall Salad 3

Don’t forget! Entries for this year’s South West Chef of the Year close Monday 31st July – read more about it here and get entering!

Strawberry Roulade courtesy of Sue Stoneman, South West Home Cook of the Year 2016

Over the next few weeks we’ll be presenting a series of exclusive recipes from South West Chef of The Year past contestants.  The South West Chef of The Year is the competition to get yourself in to if you reckon you have what it takes to go up against some of the best in the region.  Entries close 31st July.

Previous winners have included Jamie Coleman, Simon Hulstone and Dean Westcar to name a few in the Professional Category.  Read our account of the 2015 competition.

We asked Sue Stoneman, winner of the 2016 South West Home Cook of the year, to give us a recipe to kick us off.  A perfect sweet dish for a summer’s day!

This recipe reminds me of my Mum who taught me how to cook and inspired me to follow my passion in cooking and it was also the start of the cooking adventure that has brought me to where I am now.

My Mum always made a wonderful pavlova, it was always crunchy on the outside and had that lovely marshmallow chewy middle. I made a meringue roulade for my first cookery competition a few years ago, using mango and passion fruit, making a passion fruit curd for the filling as well.  Making a roulade is quick as you don’t need to cook it for an hour in a very low oven like you would for a normal pavlova.  This only takes 20 minutes to cook. Everyone who has eaten my roulade says it’s the best they’ve ever tasted!  I then started making the roulade with seasonal fruits – strawberries go very well and are of course in season and taste delicious.  It’s quite quick and easy to make and is a great dessert to serve up for alfresco dining. It looks fantastic, it is lovely and light and tastes of summer. There is “always room for roulade!”

Strawberry Roulade

3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream
Icing sugar for dusting
300g strawberries

Strawberry Roulade 1

  • Quantities above are for a standard swiss roll baking sheet
  • Oven on at 140C.
  • Line baking sheet with baking parchment/silicone sheet.
  • In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until doubled in size.  Slowly whisk in sugar until thick and shiny.  Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk again.  Spoon into the prepared tin and spread out with pallet knife.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. You are looking for a soft, marshmallowy meringue with a light, thin and crispy top. (While this is in the oven, get on with the filling).
  • Wash and cut the strawberries.  Leave some whole for decoration.  Whip the cream.
  • When the meringue is baked, remove from oven, place over a sheet of damp greaseproof paper. (Tear off a sheet larger than the baking tin, put it under the cold tap and wring it out). This helps to keep the meringue soft and cracks the top which gives a lovely texture and helps the icing sugar to stick to it later on. Leave for a few minutes.
  • Remove the damp greaseproof paper and carefully turn the tin (with the baked meringue still in it) upside down onto some parchment paper dusted with icing sugar.  Carefully peel off the paper you used to line the tin. This is the surface you are going to put the cream on – the marshmallowy side – spread over the whisked double cream, followed by the cut strawberries.  Then use the paper to help carefully roll up the roulade. (start rolling at the short side and make sure the join is on the underside).  Don’t worry if it cracks, this gives it the homemade look.
  • Carefully transfer onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and decorate with the leftover strawberries.
  • Serve with a strawberry puree – put a punnet of cut up strawberries into a saucepan with a tablespoon of caster sugar and a drop of vanilla exact. Cook over a medium heat until the strawberries are soft (about 5 minutes).  Cool a little and put into a blender or use a stick blender to puree.  Pour into a jug.  Serve this with the roulade and with extra cream if you like.You can use any seasonal fruit.

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All photos are courtesy of Sue

Recipe: Hanlons Port Stout Chocolate Cake

Our second recipe from Hanlons Brewery, using their Port Stout.

Hanlons Port Stout Chocolate Cake Recipe


250 ml Hanlons Port Stout

250 g Unsalted Butter

80 g Cocoa Powder – Green & Blacks is best

400 g Caster Sugar – Golden best for flavour

2 large eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – not Essence!

140 ml buttermilk – use the rest to make scones or tenderise chicken pieces

275 g Plain Flour

2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

½ tsp Baking Powder


50 g Unsalted Butter

250 g Icing Sugar, sifted

125 g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – Full fat

Preheat oven to 160 C Gas Mark 3.

Grease with butter and dust with flour a 9 inch / 23 cm spring-form cake tin and cut a circle to line the bottom with baking parchment.

Melt together the stout and the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder and sugar, stirring well until dissolved. In a jug, mix together the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix thoroughly with the above mixture.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and add to the mixture. Mix thoroughly so that everything is well amalgamated. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50 minutes or until the cake starts to pull from the sides of the tin and a skewer emerges with just a little stickiness from the centre of the cake. Set aside to cool and remove from the tin to your serving plate.

To make the icing, mix together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and smooth. Top the cake with the icing and enjoy!

If you want to find out more about their beers, events or foodie pop ups visit

hanlons Cake

Recipe: Hanlons Steak and Port Stout Family Pie


Our next couple of recipes are from the lovely Hanlons Brewery who are based in Newton St Cyres, Exeter.

A family brewery producing some fab ales and also having pop up foodie nights – if you want to know more you can read Chris’ review here.

Even though Summer is just about upon us, what more could you want than a hearty meal with family or friends after an active day out!

Hanlons Steak and Port Stout Family Pie

This is great to prepare ahead for a family feast, after a bracing walk or watching the Rugby. Go Chiefs!

1.5 kg lean braising steak, excess fat trimmed off, cut into fat cubes

2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

Rapeseed or other flavourless oil

1 large or 2 smaller onions, peeled, halved and sliced

200ml beef stock made from half a cube or homemade

150 ml Hanlons Port Stout – use the rest for the recipe below or Chef’s treat!

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

A 375 or 450 g pack of all butter puff pastry

1 small or medium egg, lightly beaten

Sea salt and freshly milled pepper for seasoning to taste

Preheat the oven to 160 C Gas Mark 3.

Toss the beef cubes in the seasoned flour. Heat a good slug of oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat in batches, adding oil as you go. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown. Transfer the browned meat to a large casserole dish.

Add some more oil to the pan and sweat the onions with generous seasoning until soft. Stir in any leftover flour and cook off for a minute or two, stirring from time to time. Slowly add the stock and the stout, stirring in any caramelised bits, until smooth. Add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. . Check for seasoning before pouring over the beef, stirring, covering and cooking on the oven for 2 hours. Transfer to a large pie dish and cool completely.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 220 C Gas Mark 7.

Roll your pastry out quite thickly to cover the dish with some overhang and bits for decorating if you wish. Place some dampened strips of pastry brushed with water around the rim of the pie dish. Lower the pie lid over the pie and stick down or crimp the edges to seal. Make a slit in the top for steam to escape and decorate with scraps of pastry if you wish. Just before placing in the hot oven brush on the beaten egg as an egg wash to make the pie shiny and golden. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes then lower the oven to 190 C Gas Mark 5. Bake for another 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling under the pastry.

Allow to stand for a few minutes and Enjoy!

Visit their website for events and beer sales:

hanlons pie

Chorizo Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Greens and Dirty Rice by Anna May

Our recipe of the week comes courtesy of Anna May from her fantastic blog, Anna May Everyday – All content and images belong to Anna.  It originally appeared on the 28th March 2017. Please subscribe to her excellent blog with some really delicious recipes!

Do you ever wonder what to cook for supper?  Despite spending a considerable number of my waking moments thinking about food I do struggle to come up with new recipes to present to my family.  Just as I get bored of cooking the same things I’m sure they tire of eating they same old same old.  I have never been one for Monday means roast chicken, Tuesday means sausages etc although I’m sure it can make life easier to fall into such a routine.

So I made a list of all the things my lot love, took note of what some of them really don’t like (a list whilst not long, is certainly frustrating) and came up with various new ideas.  These chorizo meatballs are one such.  The whole family love meatballs but I wanted to jazz my usual recipe up and this was the route I took.  The spices add a pleasing warmth and the combination of the greens, pilaff and tomato sauce just work really well.  Blob a little yogurt and chilli sauce over the whole if you like and some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds are another welcome touch.

Make a big pile of this, however much I rustle up, it all goes everytime…


I stick with the two paprikas in this and add a little chilli sauce separately if the mood takes me but do by all means add some cayenne pepper or similar if your family like heat.  Should you have minced beef and pork left over may I point you in the direction of my Meatloaf, Sliders and Meatballs (November 2015).  You can use all pork mince if that is what you have, just as delicious.  I know this looks like a great long list of ingredients but many will be in your cupboard and remember, it is essentially, four different recipes – just make as many as you want (although the combination of all is fantastic!)

1 tablespoon olive oil plus a little extra
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
250g minced beef
250g minced pork

Tomato sauce –

1 tin chopped tomatoes or similar amount of passata
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
Kale or Spring greens finely shredded
Knob of butter
200g rice
400ml chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Chopped parsley/coriander, yogurt, chilli sauce or toasted seeds to serve (optional)

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and gently cook the onion until soft then add the garlic.  Stir for a couple of minutes but don’t let the garlic colour, tip it all into a bowl along with the breadcrumbs and milk.  Add  the mince, both the paprikas and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and mix well.  Divide into small balls approximately the size of a walnut.  Add a small amount of oil to a large frying pan and cook the meatballs, turning gently to colour all the sides.

Meanwhile for the tomato sauce put the second tablespoon of oil into a small pan with the garlic, heat gently and as soon as it sizzles add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and a good pinch of salt.  Let this simmer for twenty minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the rice, cumin and salt followed by the stock, stir well.  Simmer gently for 4 minutes then remove from the heat, put a tea towel under the lid to absorb the steam and leave for a further 20 minutes then fluff up with a fork and check the seasoning.

Wash the greens and put into a large pan, cover with a lid and cook gently – the water left from rinsing them will be enough for them to cook in.

When you are ready to serve tip the rice into a warm bowl, top with the greens followed by the meatballs, then the tomato sauce.  Finally sprinkle over some parsley or coriander if using and the yogurt and seeds.  Serves 4.

Get Spun with Easter Sugar Fun – Exeter Cookery School Recipe

Jim Fisher, head chef tutor and co-owner of Exeter Cookery School, shares his fail-safe method for creating show-stopping desserts adorned with spun sugar cages, baskets and springs – or for Easter, why not make an edible nest for mini chocolate eggs!

Spun Sugar Cages, Baskets and Springs

This is something I love teaching on our cooking courses: spinning sweet gossamer threads over the back of a ladle or around a sharpening steel to create a beautiful caramel cage or spring – pure magic!

A word of warning before we get on to the good stuff: caramel gets hot. We’re talking upwards of 185°C here, and, if it gets on your skin it’ll burn deep! So, make sure you have cold running water on standby because, if you do get any caramel on you, you’ll need to have ready access to it (thrust the wound under lots of really cold running water for at least five minutes).

Unusual Ingredients

Making caramel is easy, but, as in all things, you’ll need to prepare by gathering together the equipment mentioned below. Also, try and acquire some Glucose Syrup (sometimes called Liquid Glucose); this sticky clear syrup – obtainable at the chemist and most supermarkets – is actually a form of starch and is really useful for keeping your sugar syrup from re-crystallising.

Storing Caramel Shapes

Caramel doesn’t store well – it’s hygroscopic, meaning it will attract moisture from the air and quickly turn sticky – but it will keep for a few hours under Clingfilm. If you want to keep your work of art for any longer, pop a couple of silica gel sachets (or a small pot of baked and dried salt) in with them and seal tightly.

Makes at least 12 cages or 20 springs

spun sugar


  • Heavy-gauge stainless steel (i.e. colourless) medium saucepan
  • Heat-proof pastry brush
  • Sugar thermometer (not essential if you use white sugar and a stainless steel pan as you can judge the temperature by the colour)
  • Bowl of cold water (for cooling base of pan)
  • Several metal dessert spoons (preferably stainless steel)
  • Several sheets of silicon paper or mat
  • Heat-proof pan stand
  • Metal ladle
  • Large round-section sharpening ‘steel’ or similar size metal tubing


100ml cold water 500g caster sugar 1 tbsp glucose syrup


Put all the ingredients into the saucepan and place over a low flame until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t stir or shake the pan during this stage as you’ll get sugar crystals forming around the edge of the solution. If this does happen, brush down the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.

Once everything has completely liquefied, crank the heat up to maximum and boil vigorously until the syrup reaches 185°C on a sugar thermometer or turns a deep golden colour.

Briefly, but gently, plunge the base of the saucepan into a bowl of cold water, stirring with a metal dessert spoon, in order to prevent the caramel from over-cooking.

Place the pan on a heat-proof pan stand and begin making your shapes:

Cages and baskets

Very lightly lubricate the convex side of the ladle with a faint smear of neutral cooking oil such as groundnut or sunflower.

Hold the ladle at arm’s length with the bowl uppermost and upside-down.

Take a spoonful of caramel and tip it until the excess runs back into the pan. As soon as you have a steady stream running off the tip, flick the thread of caramel in different directions over the back of the ladle in a lattice pattern.

Waft the ladle in the air until cool enough to handle, then cup the lattice in the palm of your hand and gently twist it away. Et voila!

sugar cage


Wait until the caramel is cooler and much thicker than before.

Get a nice thin strand going off the end of your spoon, then, keeping the steel pointing upwards at a constant 45° angle, wind the caramel onto it in a spring shape, but doing most of the work with your spoon hand.

Again, allow the caramel to cool sufficiently, then gently but firmly grasp the spring in the palm of your hand and slide it off the steel.

Practice makes perfect

Both these techniques take time to master, so definitely do not attempt to make them for the very first time the day of your dinner party!

However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll have access to a very impressive arsenal of dinner-party dessert garnishes.


About Exeter Cookery School

Exeter Cookery Courses for Easter

Polish up your cookery skills over the Easter holidays with Exeter Cookery School’s relaxed half- and one-day cookery courses taking place during the Easter holidays. Head chef and co-owner, Jim Fisher, offers a wealth of top cheffy tips and tricks to make your food look and taste better and ensure consistent results time and time again. He’ll also teach you some simple cook-ahead techniques to take the hassle out of entertaining at home.

All courses are held at a stylishly converted 1830s warehouse on Exeter’s buzzing quayside. It is also a stone’s throw from the Haven Banks Outdoor Activity Centre, so if you have children attending an outdoor activity there over the holidays, why not tie it in with some ‘you time’.

9th April    9.30 – 12pm

Half Day Ice Cream making Workshop

Get your taste buds going with this lip-smackingly good ice cream making workshop. Learn how to make delicious ice cream from scratch with Jim’s simple and quick method and explore a host of flavour sensations – anyone for basil ice cream? Suitable for every level of ability.

9th April    2pm – 4.30pm

Half Day Spun Sugar Workshop

Discover the fine art of spinning wonderful shapes on a half day spun sugar workshop. You will leave knowing how to create baskets, twirls, swirls, baskets and much more. Perfect for transforming desserts into show stoppers in no time.

Wednesday 12th    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Butchery & Meat Cookery Course

This is a comprehensive hands-on butchery and meat cookery course, which will take you through the process of jointing a chicken, preparing and roasting a rack of lamb. Finally, you will learn how to bone a rabbit and create a complex dish that includes the roasted rabbit loin, rabbit leg confit (fall-off-the-bone tender), a rack of tiny rabbit chops, the sautéed kidneys and a liver parfait.

Thursday 13th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Vegetarian / Vegetable Cookery Course

Vegetarian cooking can sometimes lack variety and even taste if not approached in the right way. However, on this one day vegetarian cookery course, vegetables become the star of the show. From a seasonal vegetable salad to filled ravioli or a risotto packed with flavour and the pick of the seasonal larder, your taste buds will be tantalised and you will leave with some sure-fire recipes for cooking for yourself and loved ones.

Friday 14th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One Day Chocolate Cookery

Well, quite frankly, need we say any more? You’ll get a whole day of cooking, and yes eating, chocolate! You’ll discover all about melting and tempering chocolate. And if you can resist a little bit of temptagionu might even come away with a special treat for a loved one for Easter.

Saturday 15th April    9.30am – 4.30pm

One day French Bistro Mains Cookery

Relatively simple to prepare and cook, French Bistro main courses make a great choice for a British dinner party. You’ll learn how to cook some delicious dishes, including classics such as Jim’s flavour-packed French onion soup, Confit d’Canard (duck leg preserved in its own fat), Gigot d’Agneau (leg of lamb) and the hugely popular, Steak Frites.

Or, if you’d rather wait until the children have gone back to school, then why not have a look at Exeter Cookery School’s full calendar of events to see what takes your fancy.

Visit or contact 07415783759 for more information.


Recipe: Baked Shellfish with Bucatini, Whole Roasted Garlic and Thyme by Mitch Tonks

The third recipe in a series from Mitch Tonks.

Baked Shellfish with Bucatini, Whole Roasted Garlic and Thyme


Serves 3 -4, you will need 

8 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled

100ml olive oil


A splash of good white wine

A handful of mussels

6 raw shell-on prawns

3-4 langoustines

50g squid

A handful of clams

A handful of cooked bucatini pasta

A pinch of chilli flakes, or 2 very tiny hot red, dried chillies

250ml home-made tomato sauce or passata (use the rustic, chunky variety)

3-4 sprigs thyme

To Make

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.  Put the cloves of garlic into a roasting tray with the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in the preheated oven until softened, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Raise the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Lay out a square of tinfoil, large enough to hold all the ingredients and to be folded and sealed tightly into a parcel.  Cut a piece of baking parchment the same size as the foil and lay it on top so you have a double layer.  Add a splash of wine to the garlic in the roasting tray and add the shellfish, pasta and chillies.  Toss everything together, place in a heap on the baking parchment, pour over the passata or tomato sauce, and lay the thyme sprigs on top.  Fold it up to make a tightly sealed parcel, place on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

To serve, place the whole thing in the middle of the table, get your noses round the top of the parcel as you open it up, pull the sides of the foil apart, give it a mix around, put a few wedges of lemon ton top and get stuck in.

© Mitch Tonks

bucatini shellfish pete cassidy


Recipe: A Whole Oven Poached Brill with Tomatoes, Thyme and Saffron by Mitch Tonks

Our second post in a series of recipes from Mitch Tonks.

A Whole Oven Poached Brill with Tomatoes, Thyme and Saffron

 Serves 4 – you will need 

Olive oil

1 brill weighing about 1.5 kg / 3lb

4 ripe tomatoes

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 small dried birds eye chilli – optional

Good pinch of saffron

A splash of Pernod or aniseed flavoured alcohol – optional – but if you are worried about the flavour of aniseed, don’t.  It doesn’t take over the dish but really adds a wonderful depth.

A glass of dry white wine

A small handful of finely chopped parsley

To Make

Pre heat the oven to 200c.

In a roasting dish large enough to take the fish and a pint or so of liquid add a few tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the shallot and the garlic until softened.  Squeeze in the tomatoes, add the thyme, saffron and crumble in the chilli.  Mix all those flavours together well, then add a splash of Pernod and allow to boil until the all the liquid has evaporated.

Then add the wine and boil for a further minute, then lay the fish into the pan and a cupful of water.  Sprinkle in some sea salt and place in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Check regularly to ensure there is still enough liquid in the pan and baste the top of the fish which will be starting to roast, if you think you need more liquid add a little water.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle in the parsley and taste the juice.  You should be able to taste everything separately within the sauce but all at once.  I find that proper seasoning helps to bring these flavours out.  I think this dish is fine to serve from the pan in which it was cooked.

To  remove the flesh from the fish just take a spoon and cut the soft fish from the head to the tail down the middle, you can then with 2 spoons lift the fish off in chunks when all the fish from the top is gone simply lift out the backbone and you’ll be left with the boneless underside of the fish.

If you are a shellfish lover you could add a few mussels, or clams or cockles during cooking.  A good accompaniment with this would be some aioli, some good bread and some spinach.

© Mitch Tonks

brill with tomatoes

Recipe: Mussels with Chilli, Wine and Bay by Mitch Tonks

As well as dining out and attending events to see what local restaurants, suppliers and businesses have to offer, we do cook at home. Some nights are simpler affairs, with repetitive or traditional favourites like anyone enoys. Occasionally, some inspiration is needed!

With spring showing it’s face (sort’ve)  and the fact we are surrounded by beautiful coastlines, we thought something a bit lighter and fishy would give enough inspiration yet still a bit of comfort in the seasonal transition. So we asked Mitch Tonks for a couple of recipes and here is the first of 3 which will be live on a Wednesday for you to enjoy and perhaps plan a suprise meal for yourself or a loved one, or even take the pressure off entertaining some weekend guests. Enjoy – LH

Mussels with Chilli, Wine and Bay

A huge favourite at The Seahorse and Rockfish. I’m not a fan of cream in mussels just their own juices and a splash of wine is good for me. Try mussels from a few different places you will be amazed at how different they can taste and eat depending on the environment from which they are harvested. I prefer those grown at sea with small shells and big silky meats.

Serves 2 to start; you will need – 

Allow 350gm per person, ensure they are washed and beards pulled off

2 bay leaves

2 small dried birdseye chillis

1 shallot very finely chopped

Good knob of butter

Handful finely chopped parsley

Splash of wine

Clove garlic finely chopped

Tablespoon of Olive oil

 To Make

Melt the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the shallots and garlic to soften. Add the parsley and bay and crumble in the chilli.

Add the mussels and toss in a pan to coat the shells well. Add the wine, cover and allow the mussels to steam open, discard any that don’t. Pour into a bowl and serve with crusty, grilled or fried bread.

© Mitch Tonks


Season’s best… Recipe inspirations from Exeter Cookery School

Located on the city’s picturesque quayside, Exeter Cookery School courses take great inspiration from south west France, where founders Jim and Lucy Fisher used to run a residential cookery school. For a tempting seasonal treat, try out the following classic recipes from the Dordogne.

Confit de Canard

Sarlat, a beautiful medieval town near to where we lived in the Dordogne, SW France, has around 60 or so restaurants. Confit – a dish of salted duck legs cooked and preserved in duck fat – is served in every single one of them.

Ubiquitous to the point of obsession, it just happens to be one of the tastiest and most gratifying dishes of the region. Packed into sterile jars along with its cooking fat, Confit will keep in a cool place for up to a year.

We serve Confit, as the Dordogne locals do, with Pommes Sarladaises, a dish of sliced potatoes and garlic fried in – surprise, surprise – duck fat! 


Ingredients (Serves four)

  • 4 duck legs, skin on
  • 4 tbsp sea salt
  • 1.5 ltrs duck or goose fat (use lard or even vegetable oil at a push) 


Rub the salt into the duck legs. Place them in a glass or stainless steel bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to cure overnight in the fridge.

Drain the legs, discarding the liquid left behind, and rinse well in plenty of clean water.  Pat dry.

Gently melt the duck or goose fat in a large saucepan and immerse the legs in the fat. Simmer very, very gently for three hours, checking them every hour to make sure they aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. When fall-off-the-bone tender, turn off the heat and remove the legs (at which point you can pop them under the grill to crisp the skin and serve straight away) allowing them to cool to room temperature.

When cool, place in plastic containers. Keep in the fridge for up to a month or freeze them.

To serve, allow the Confit to soften to room temperature, then remove them to a roasting tray. Re-heat gently in a medium-hot oven (170°C), then grill the skin until brown and crisp.


Pommes Sarladaises
(pronounced “Pom Sarladez”)

The ‘mashed potato’ of south west France, Pommes Sarladaise is served in every one of Sarlat’s sixty or so restaurants.  Ubiquitous to the point of exhaustion this filling local staple is, nevertheless, fantastic if made well.

Basically, the dish is just potatoes and garlic sautéed in duck or goose fat, but of course you could use olive oil for a healthier alternative.

My version contains sautéed onion and some parsley, or basil.

Ingredients (Serves four)

  • 1 to 1.5kg potatoes, peeled and sliced to the thickness of a Pound coin
  • 1 onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of roughly chopped parsley or basil
  • 3 tbsp duck or goose fat or olive oil


Heat the olive oil in a roomy non-stick frying pan, then throw in the potatoes, onion and garlic. Fry over a low to medium flame for between twenty and thirty minutes, tossing every five minutes or so until the potatoes are tender.

Season well, then toss with the parsley or basil.

Now let the potatoes sit in the pan on the heat until brown and crisp on the bottom.

Serve spooned into a warmed serving dish with the browned bottom uppermost.

Inspired to find out more? Why not book onto one of Exeter Cookery School’s fab cookery courses, many of which take inspiration from Jim and Lucy’s time in the Dordogne. You can learn how to make the confit duck dish – as well as a melt in the mouth leg of lamb and sensational steak frites – on their French Bistro Mains cookery course.

Hornbrook Kitchen’s Venison Ragu

Life is busy at the moment for Hornbrook Kitchen, but Chef Tom Allbrook has brought us another delicious Recipe Of The Week!  I love venison, and this recipe really brings out of the best in this rich meat.

Ingredients: (Serves 5 people)

1x carrot
1x red onion
3x garlic cloves
2x celery sticks
½ beef tomato
120 ml cooking red wine
Good grating of fresh nutmeg
1x tin of plum tomatoes
300ml beef stock
400g venison mince
Splash balsamic
75 ml extra virgin olive oil



Finely dice the carrot, onion, garlic and celery and sweat them off in a little oil on a medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Whilst you are doing this you will want to add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

After the veg is nicely sweated and has become transparent it’s time to turn up the heat and add the mince. Fry this off until golden brown before adding the wine and balsamic to de-glaze the pan; cook this out for a couple more minutes before turning the heat right back down. Add your stock, tin tomatoes and beef tomato and allow this to simmer away for about 25 to 30 mins.

You can serve this dish with whatever pasta you like best. For this recipe I have chosen penne as it has to be one of my favourites along with pappardelle. I cook my pasta for about 7 mins with a pinch of salt and then drain it and leave to stand for 1 minute before adding the ragu.

Simply mix the ragu through your pasta serve in a deep pasta dish with a grating of parmesan and a few crispy breadcrumbs and you will be well away.

Serious Citrus Sea Bass from Hornbrook Kitchen

This week’s recipe of the week is a fishy affair with Hornbrook Kitchen’s Seriously Citrus Sea Bass.  I can’t wait to give this a try with the citrus fruit adding an extra dimension to the palette!

For more information follow HornBrook Kitchen on Twitter and Instagram.  Tom recently answered a 10 Questions Interview for Eating Exeter, read it here!

You can also follow Tom’s personal accounts on Twitter and Instagram too.

Serves 2

Cost: £5.65

Great as a light lunch to impress a friend.



1xwhole sea bass
½ orange
½ lemon
½ lime
25g chopped parsley
25g chopped chives
25g unsalted butter
4 Tbsp.olive oil
8 x new potatoes
Salt & Pepper


Start by putting on the new potatoes on to boil as these will take the longest, they will
need about 20-25 minutes in salted boiling water.

Slice the citrus fruits into rings and leave to one side.

Now it is time to clean and gut your fish. Remove the guts from the bass by cutting down the middle of the belly and pulling them out. Cut off the fins with a pair of scissors and use the back of the knife to remove any scales, then wash the bass under a tap. If you are not happy about doing this then ask your fish monger to do it for you.

When the fish is clean, stuff with half of the fruit and herbs. Then place the fish on to
the remaining fruit on a grease proof oven tray. Season with herbs, salt, pepper and a good glug of olive oil. Use 12.5g of butter split in to small knobs, and dot this around the fish. Cook for around 10-12 minutes at 200’c.

Drain of the potatoes and add the rest of the herbs, butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the whole fish on a plate, with the potatoes and a few dressed leafs.

Flatbread Cous Cous and Spiced Lamb

Well the weathermen keep telling us we’re in summer, but with the grey clouds sitting outside and the distinctively wintry air, I’d beg to differ.  When we do get some sun, our resident Menu Master, Recipe Ninja, our tame chef Chef Tom Allbrook has another stonking recipe of the week which would be a perfect BBQ idea.

food lamb


For the flatbreads

300g bread flour

5g yeast

Tsp. paprika chilli ginger garlic salt and pepper

220ml cold water or sparkling water

For the cous cous:

1 cup of cous cous

2 cups of boiling water

11 pieces dried fruit chopped

A mixture of char grilled vegetable’s

2 tbsp. spices of your choice for the lamb & 500g lamb mince

For the dressing:

2tblsp. Cream fraiche

1 BBQ cooked lemon

Sprig rosemary

Smoked paprika

Salt & Pepper

For this recipe I like to cook the veg and the lemon on the ashes of the BBQ to really bring the flavours out, but you can roast them in the oven or on a gas hob to burn the outside of the skins of the veg.

To make the cous cous, pour one cup of it in to a bowl with two cups of boiling water with the roughly chopped charred vegetables and fruit and leave to stand for about 12 minutes.

Fry the lamb off in all the spices and a little oil until crispy and cooked through. Should take about 10 minutes whilst, doing this make up the flat breads by mixing all the flour, spices, yeast and water together.  Roll them out and either cook in a floured pan on a medium heat or over the BBQ for a couple minutes each side.

Make up a tangy dressing to cool the dish down by mixing together 2 tbsp. cream fraiche, the juice of the lemon, sprig of rosemary and 1 tbsp. smoked paprika and serve this all on a nice board and enjoy with a cold beer in the sun, perfect for when you have friends around as it is quick and super tasty.

Spaghetti Carbonara from Chef Tom Allbrook

dish of the day  (1)This has to be one of my favourite dishes and if done well, is truly a great dish that can be whipped up quickly for an evening meal, or for a bit of comfort food.

This dish is a favourite at Hornbrook HQ, I’ve played around with a few different ways of making it and it is so simple and quick, I know you’ll love it.


4x egg yolks

4 slices prosciutto

2 tbsp. of smoked lardons

100g spaghetti (preferably good quality)

Small handful of lemon thyme. I find this helps cuts through the dish and really adds a little zip.

Method: Place a pan of salted water on the hob and bring it to the boil, once boiling add the pasta and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remember to stir the pasta so that it doesn’t stick together – I find tongs are the best for this job.

In a hot frying pan cook off the lardons, garlic, thyme and prosciutto until crisp. You won’t need any oil for this as there is a lot of fat in the meat that will render out whilst cooking.

dish of the day 2  (1)

After cooking the meat leave it to stand off the heat. Once the pasta is cooked put it into the frying pan removing it from the water with a pair of tongs; this way you keep some of the cooking liquor in your pan which will make up the sauce. Let this stand for about a minute before adding black pepper, egg yolks, and a tiny knob of unsalted butter if you have some to hand, as I find it adds a little more flavour and richness. Mix it all together and serve in a nice pasta bowl with a healthy grating of Parmesan, a pinch more pepper and some good quality extra virgin olive oil.

For more information follow HornBrook Kitchen on Twitter and Instagram.  And keep posted for a 10 Questions from Tom soon too.

You can also follow Tom’s personal accounts on Twitter and Instagram too.

The Ultimate Hornbrook Brunch – Ham, eggs and black pudding.

One of my favourite flavour combinations has to be Ham & Egg.  Chef Tom Allbrook has come up with this scrumptious recipe with these two elements and with the added loveliness of Black Pudding.  Another exclusive Recipe Of The Week for Eating Exeter!



  • Slices of good quality bread (better if homemade)
  • 2 Slices good quality ham (I buy a piece of ham at the butchers and then cook it at home with honey and mustard. This then gives you ham for a couple of dishes and is a great way of doing it.)
  • 4 Pack Black Pudding

Prep time 5 minutes Cook Time 8-10 minutes

Place the black pudding in a bowl and crumble it with your hands, then add it to a frying pan set on a medium heat, to cook through and go crispy and crumbly. Whilst you are doing this put a pan of water on to simmer but not boiling. Slice your bread and place it under the grill. This, when grilled, I brush with half a garlic glove which really adds to the taste, though you can of course use butter.

Stir the water and add a drop of cider vinegar which I find helps the eggs to set and then crack the eggs into the water. Cook for around 4 minutes and you will have the perfect poached egg. For the best results use fresh free range eggs. Assemble the dish, by placing the sliced ham on top of the toast, add the egg and scatter over the black pudding. Season and drizzle with a little oil.

Rosemary, Onion & Potato Pizza from Chef Tom Allbrook


Ingredients for the white pizza sauce:

1x tbsp. Plain flour
4x Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
300ml Milk
150g Parmesan
25g Unsalted butter

Method: In a saucepan place the milk, sliced garlic, butter, salt and pepper. Bring this up to a simmer then add the flour, mix well, and leave to stand on one side for use later. It may thicken a little so if this does happen. thin it down by adding a little warm water.

Ingredients for the Pizza dough:

500g Strong white flour
7g Instant yeast
320ml Tepid water
10g Salt
10g Sugar
Glug of oil

Method: In a bowl add the flour, salt, sugar, oil and yeast, and mix together slowly whilst pouring in your water. Once all ingredients are mixed to a dough, tip it out on to a floured surface and need for a couple of minutes. Break into individual balls about the same size as an egg, roll them in your hands until perfectly round, place on a floured tray and leave for about 40 mins to rise. Once they have risen scatter some flour on your work top, flatten out the dough with your hands and finish by rolling into any shape you like, with a rolling pin.


1tsp. Finely grated parmesan
½ Mozzarella ball, torn up
1 X Thinly sliced cooked potato
2 X Sprigs of rosemary
Caramelised onions (The equivalent of one red onion)

Cook Pizzas at 240C (or as high as your oven goes) for about 10 – 12 minutes. This will make 8 small pizzas or 4 large ones.

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie from Chef Tom Allbrook



  • 1x Sweet potato (Large)
  • 1x Normal potato (Large)
  • 2x Banana shallot
  • 3x Smoked garlic gloves
  • 1x Tin flageolet beans
  • 1x Small tin butter beans
  • 1x Tin Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1x Veg stock cube
  • 1x Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1x Tsp. Smoked paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 50g feta
  • 70g gruyere cheese
  • 30g butter


Peel the sweet and normal potato and chop them into small chunks. This will help them cook quicker. Then places in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 20 25 mins.

Finally dice your shallots and garlic and put place in a medium sized saucepan that is hot with a glug of oil and sweat them down add your spices, and rest of your ingredients, plus a ½ a glass of boiling water and leave to cook out for 15 to 20 mins.

Now return to your spuds and strain them off go in with a good couple of knobs of butter a glug of oil 50g of crumbled feta and same of gruyere cheese a pinch of salt and pepper and mash well.

In an oven dish pour the mixture in and top with the mash now grate the rest of the cheese over the top and place in a hot oven at 190.c for about 30 to 35 mins or until bubbling and cheese is golden.

I like to serve this proper comfort meal with buttered kale and peas.

Broadbean Pea & Courgette Crostini’s from Chef Tom Allbrook

I am chuffed to bits to be able to present a series of recipes from the talented North Devon based Chef Tom Allbrook from HornBrook Kitchen who will be offering a ‘recipe of the week’.

HornBrook Kitchen is a new venture that is set to take the Devon food scene by storm! They love vegetarian and smokey foods, and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the foodie table in the future.

The first recipe is for delicious Broadbean Pea & Courgette Crostini’s which I might have to have go at myself!  Perfect for starters or a light summer appetiser.  Broadbeans and courgettes most certainly in season at the moment.


Image courtesy of Tom Allbrook


Half a courgette peeled
150g Frozen or fresh broad beans (defrost them)
120g Frozen peas (defrost them)
Small handful of mint plus extra for presentation
Rape seed oil
Feta 50g crumbled
1 lemon
Salt & Pepper
Soft Cream Cheese 2tblsp
Double Cream 2tblsp
4 slices of Ciabatta


Chop the mint finely and peel the courgette. Place in a bowl with the defrosted peas & broad beans; make sure you shell the broad beans, you can do this by holding them over a bowl and popping them out of their jackets with your thumb and fore finger.

Slice your ciabatta and drizzle with a little oil then place in a hot griddle pan. Make sure your pan is red hot, having it too cold is often a common mistake and you will find your bread sticks and doesn’t cook as quick as you would like.

In a jug make a dressing to pour over your courgette bean and pea mixture. To do so whisk together the juice of half a lemon, a good glug of rapeseed oil and salt and pepper.  Leave to one side and when ready to serve pour it over the greens and mix together.

For the spread beat together the cream cheese, salt and pepper and the other half of the lemon juice.

Now it’s time to assemble and eat! Spread the cheese mixture on the bottom of your crostini top with your dressed greens. Place on a platter or board and crumble over the feta, finally top with a sprinkling of baby mint leaves and a drizzle of rapeseed oil.

For more information follow HornBrook Kitchen on Twitter and Instagram.  And keep posted for a 10 Questions from Tom later next week.

You can also follow Tom’s personal accounts on Twitter and Instagram too.