Braised Beef Short Ribs Asian Style

While the nights may be getting longer, the miserable weather which fills them calls for slow cooking. Now with a recipe which is best done over two days, the climate may have improved by day two, but it’s a risk worth taking. While in St Andrews recently I popped into Balgove farm shop. Their prices…

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Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onions

I’d rather be a horse than a rat. But deep down I secretly envy my as yet unborn grandchild. If all goes well in April, he or she will be a dragon. Now who wouldn’t want that? As you may know, tomorrow (Saturday) marks the Chinese New Year. I discover I was  born in the…

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Chicken, Pheasant & Black Pudding Stew

This has to be the ultimate example of a what do I have in the fridge dish. I had made a sweet and sour chicken a few days earlier and had a batch of chicken thighs. The plan was to make a sort of chicken chasseur, with red wine, beef stock and mushrooms. There were a…

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Barbados Rum Punch

What do you mean, this isn’t cooking?  Who said that? Hands up. Listen, matey, in this house cooking is any combination of foods to produce a routine masterpiece. Ice is food; rum is food; so are the other ingredients. So that’s you told. I have to say that as so many rum based cocktails are…

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Bajan Macaroni Pie

When arriving in another country, it’s never too early to get started on food. So in the taxi from the airport I had two early and important questions for the driver. Where is good to eat, and what are the national foods? I can reveal that in Barbados there are two or three dishes with…

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Paradise Pudding with Isabella Beeton

For this, the last Tom Cooks! this side of Christmas, I felt something festive was in order. And following on from Annie Gray on Wednesday I thought something with a bit of history would be appropriate. While Annie did get in touch with me to say that this Christmas she would be having ramen, not…

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When is a Coulibiac not a Coulibiac?

Despite Wednesday’s column, I’m not advocating a boycott of farmed salmon, just urging everyone to be careful about what they buy. It must be said that many chefs are now in the former category, as reported in a fairly recent edition of The National.   Campbell Mickel Just after I went to press, I heard from my…

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Cotechino with Braised Lentils

E, my Italian teacher, and I were having a laugh the other week. The subject of our hilarity concerned Italian salami. Not, I hasten to add, one of those smutty jokes about the size or firmness of sausages. Quite the reverse. We were talking about the lesser known soft, not to say floppy one, the…

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Zap My Sole

L, my T & S*, spoils me on a regular basis. She knows I’m very partial to lemon sole, whose texture she dislikes: she also knows (as do most of you by now) of my love of dressed crab. At a recent visit to McPhersons the fishmonger, bless her soul, she bought both. It transpired…

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Granny Gray’s Clootie Dumpling

My sister recently celebrated a birthday of some significance. I suppose you could argue that at our age, getting through another year is a milestone, but we’ll let that pass. She told me that for her birthday our Aunt Agnes (not related, but that’s what you called your parents’ friends in those far off days)…

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Yellow Fish No: Cullen Skink Yes

Here in Johnston Towers we are big fans of smoked haddock. L is happy having hers poached and served very simply with oatcakes. For me it needs mash. For really filling comfort food, top it with a sauce made using the poaching milk, and perhaps a poached egg as well. But whatever we’re doing, we…

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Partridge with Mushrooms, Madeira and Spinach

Autumn. The game season. The gift that just keeps giving. On a regular basis we toddle out to Castle Game and fill our shopping basket. Then and only then do I start thinking about how I’m going to cook it. Today’s dish worked exceptionally well. Partridge has a delicate flavour. You have to be careful…

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Spaghetti with Prawns, Crab, Garlic and Chilli

At heart this is just a posh version of that simplest of Italian classics, spaghetti oglio, aglio e peperoncino,  ie with oil, garlic and chilli. It’s so easy as to defy belief. For today’s dish, the quality of your ingredients will make all the difference, though I did improvise. A few pointers. Use your very…

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Teriyaki, Tamagoyaki, Dashi

Mielko Itadakimasu! The customary saying before eating in Japan. It’s more than just bon appétit: it literally means I will have the food respectfully. For this, the last article influenced by our jaunt to Japan, I’ll say thank you (arigato) to Mielko, the lady who taught us to make sushi, and who sent us away…

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Make Your Own Sushi

For the first cook of the post Japan period, it’s surely appropriate to start with what is probably the best known Japanese food, sushi. As we alluded to on Wednesday, there are about five varieties. I exclude sashimi from that, as no rice is involved. Today’s version, makizushi, is so called because you use a…

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Boeuf à la Ficelle (Poached Beef with Vegetables)

With Wednesday’s French influences still ringing in my ears, we had to go to France for today’s recipe. In fact, to France via New York. There are many versions of this classic, but this one comes from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Brasserie Les Halles in New York City was where Bourdain was Executive Chef…

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Spiced Apple Cake

Well, if Wednesday’s On The Side column got you in the mood for coffee, I thought you might like a slice of cake to go with it. With apples coming into season, why not try this terrific recipe from the celebrated Sarah Mellersh of the late lamented Let’s Cook Scotland? Thanks as ever to Sarah…

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Andrew McCall’s Apple Chutney

Yes, I know we had a chutney recipe a week or two ago; however, this is the first batch we’ve made here this season. Since word got around that we make the stuff, kind souls have taken to donating apples. Two large bags in the space of a few days. Not only did nephew Andrew…

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Lesley Johnston’s Chicken Liver Pâté

In today’s review of Tipo (don’t miss it, the restaurant, that is, not the review – oh come to think of it, sample both) I expressed surprise that a top chef would be featuring pâté. My, how food snobbery seeps into our bone marrow. Once, of course, it featured on every menu, hence the backlash.…

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Sarah Mellersh’s Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

Even by their standards, Scottish raspberries have been superb this year. If you are pondering the relevance of this thought in an ice cream recipe, allow me to enlighten you. I often serve this with rasps and coulis and balsamic, and truly wonderful it is too. I wrote about that combo three years ago. You…

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Jan Bentley’s Old Doverhouse Chutney

I laugh more than I used to. A thing called retirement was largely instrumental. One thing which does make me chuckle is when someone asks me for my chutney recipe. Since I let it be known that I was in the market for unwanted apples in the season, I usually make at least one batch each…

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Lime Chicken Part 2 (Thai Style)

After last week’s classical Claire Macdonald recipe, I thought you might like a change, This is a Thai style recipe of which I’ve picked up various versions. It seems to have been made famous by the blessed Delia, but at heart it’s a Thai go to. Very simple, but first, a few pointers. Don’t get…

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Lime Chicken Part 1

As I wrote on Wednesday, inspiration can come from strange sources: but sometimes it doesn’t come at all. Struggling a little for this week’s Tom Cooks! I remembered a lemon chicken recipe sent to me by my excellent friend, licensing lawyer extraordinaire, JH. Rereading it, I remembered why I had left it to one side. I…

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Lobster Bisque from Leftovers

Professionals, look away now. Serious cooks who have created this lovingly from a classic text, do likewise. This is a true mongrel of a recipe, born of improvisation on my part, and vague memories of seeing folk on the telly doing bisque-y type stuff. All I will say in my defence is that the end…

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