Fine Food Specialist Blog
Cooking With Quail’s Eggs – Recipe Ideas
April 3, 2013
With Easter just over, my mind is still on eggs of all types, and today I wanted to look at one type of egg that we don’t use that often, or at least not often enough in my opinion; quail’s eggs.
What is Wagyu Beef?
November 20, 2012
Wagyu literally translates as 'Japanese cow'. Several breeds of cattle which originally came from Japan are Wagyu, including the black Tajima-ushi breed, which produces the famous Kobe beef. Kobe refers to the name of a Japanese city, and legal restrictions make it near impossible to buy authentic Kobe beef anywhere outside Japan, Macau or Hong Kong.
Courgette Flower Recipes - Summer Is Here!
July 17, 2012
I know that summer might be a misnomer at the moment, what with the weather we've been having, but thankfully summery dishes are still on the menu. It is summer somewhere after all, or at least that's what I tell myself! Today I bring you three superb courgette flower recipes that either make for an inspired lunch among friends or the perfect starter for a more elaborate dinner party.
Morel Mushroom Recipes - Three to Choose From
May 28, 2012
If you've been reading this blog or my newsletter for any length of time, you know that I have a special spot in my heart, and my kitchen, for morel mushrooms. Now, I'm a fan of pretty much all mushrooms, but morels are the king of the crop for me. It's partly about their texture, partly about their visual and versatile aspects, but most of all for me, it's about flavour when it comes to morels.
Soups For Spring
April 17, 2012
Spring has definitely sprung, but as always the weather remains changeable which means that while we're considering packing away the heavy jumpers, we're still looking for something a little warming for those evenings when there's more than just a chill in the air. Cue soups for spring!
Oca Tuber - Versatile, Healthy and Delicious
March 28, 2012
Unless you've spent much time in Latin America, this vegetable is probably not one you're overly familiar with, if at all. I'm here to rectify that situation as the Oca Tuber is one of the most versatile vegetables around, and not only that, it's a high energy one; providing carbohydrates, calcium, iron and fibre in one tasty little vegetable.
Dinner for Two - Romance and Decadence!
February 8, 2012
It's not like I need an excuse to whip up a romantic dinner for two, but when Valentine's day comes around every year, it's like I'm being given free license to be extravagant and say 'I love you' with food! Let's face it, we spend most of our time rushing around, working, playing...living, and we often forget to say those three little words.
Sensational, Seasonal Side Dishes
December 21, 2011
The hardest thing for me when I'm putting together my Christmas menu is deciding on what side dishes I want to make to accompany the main course; not because I can't think of anything, but because there's just too many possibilities. Side dishes are an afterthought for many people - the two veg you need to go alongside the meat - but for me they're often more important (unless it's a roast suckling pig, in which case the carnivore in me needs nothing else!) With that in mind, here are some of my favourite seasonal side dishes; perfect whether you're making a traditional turkey, a rib roast or a loin of pork or lamb.
Stuffing Recipes - Perfect for Christmas
December 13, 2011
Now I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you're probably planning to serve some form of poultry for Christmas dinner; be it a goose, a traditional turkey or even a humble chicken. With that in mind, here are a couple of wonderful Christmas stuffing recipes, that can either be used in your bird of choice, or cooked separately depending on your preference. Now the two stuffing recipes below while being relatively traditional, are a far cry from the perennial sage and onion stuffing; we're going gourmet with these, and really, would you expect anything else from us?
Starters for Christmas - The Sequel!
November 29, 2011
Last week I gave you a couple of delicious starters for Christmas; scallop, baby fennel and caramelized onion purée, and pan seared foie gras with a truffled potato millefeuille. This week, we're going to add a couple more starters for Christmas to that list, so that no matter how many dinner parties you need to give, you're prepared!
Starters for Christmas - Two Delicious Recipes
November 21, 2011
Well, this is it. We're officially in the countdown to Christmas with just over a month left! Have you got your decorations up? Probably. Have you bought all your Christmas presents? Probably not. Have you planned out your Christmas menu? Hopefully not, because I've got some amazing recipes coming your way in the next month! Today we're kicking off with these starters for Christmas; they're perfect for the eve, the main lunch, or any dinner parties you're throwing around the holidays.
Pork Cheeks Recipe (melt in the mouth delicious!)
October 24, 2011
I know I often talk about the weather, and while that might be partly because I'm British, and well we're conditioned to talk about it, it's also because the outside temperature dictates what I'm going to cook for dinner more often than not!
On that note, it's getting cold out there, and while part of me yearns for sandy beaches and warmer weather, another part of me relishes it because it means I can cook rich, warming, hearty meals again! Today is a prime example of that; a pork cheeks recipe that marries the finest Iberico pork cheeks with the kick of horseradish mash.
Rib Recipe - Perfect For Autumn!
18 October, 2011
As the weather cools I start to crave warm, comforting dishes again. While a fine, delicate gourmet dish is a joy, there are few things better than a hearty, homemade comfort style dish, and topping the list for me right now have to be ribs. I love ribs in all their forms; barbequed, braised or deep fried, and seeing as I just got a batch of Wagyu beef short ribs in it was the perfect time to experiment with my favourite rib recipe!
Breakfast Recipes - Simple and Delicious!
October 04, 2011
Breakfast is the most underrated meal of the day. It's all too easy to run out of the house without breakfast, and in doing so miss one of the best meals of the day (it's also considered to be the most important meal, but this is a food blog not a health blog as evidenced by the vast quantities of delicious ingredients in my recipes, all of which do nothing for my waistline, but wonders for my happiness-line!)
Delicious Recipes for Autumn
September 22, 2011
I've been running around the Fine Food Specialist kitchen like a mad man for the last few weeks. Why? Well, you could put it down to excess of energy, or maybe it's simply because some of my favourite foods are coming back into season, and for a man who loves food so much he made it his career, that's cause for celebration and the creating of new recipes for autumn!
Chocolate Recipes - Luxury, Gourmet, Decadent
September 5th, 2011
There are days when nothing but chocolate will do. You know the days I mean; days when no matter what you do it's going to feel like Sod's Law is following you around like you were a glass of water on a boiling hot day. A glass of water with ice in it. On those days, you're (or at least, I'm) going to need something to take the edge off, and there are few foods better suited to that than chocolate. So to the rescue come these chocolate recipes; decadent, gooey, chocolaty goodness that will smite Sod down, and leave you feeling a lot better!
Pasta Recipes - Rustic, Easy and Delicious
It's the weekend, and you want something delicious and easy to make, and while many people think that 'quick' means 'bland' that really doesn't have to be the case; it's all about the ingredients you're using! Seeing as we all like quick dishes that pack a punch, I thought I'd bring you some wonderful and easy pasta recipes today.
Seafood - Four Simple Summer Recipes
August 4, 2011
When the weather's nice, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving over a hot stove while everyone else is out in the back garden chilling out! Seafood is the perfect answer in this situation; it only needs to be cooked for a few minutes (otherwise it's inedible!), it's light, simple to make and healthy. What more could you ask for?
Salad Dressing Recipes, The Sequel!
July 26, 2011
A while back, I brought you a few salad dressing recipes that I love, and as the weather just keeps getting better, and I keep making salads, I thought you might be too! If you are, here are a few more exceptional dressings that could take the "boring" out of a leaf of iceberg lettuce!
Fruit Juice Recipes, From Fresh!
July 16, 2011
I'm bringing you something a little different today; some fresh fruit juice recipes to keep you cool in this warmer weather. Summer fruits are a real treat, and although more often than not I'll eat them as they are (and by the pound!), sometimes it's nice to do something a little different and while I have many recipes that call for them, today it's about drinking, not eating!
Picnic Hampers - Food Ideas For Gourmets
July 08, 2011
Picnic hampers are easy enough to throw together; grab some cheese, bread a couple of bottles of wine are you're off! When you're looking to do something a little special however, it can become a little more daunting. How well will that fresh asparagus quiche keep? How about roasted meats and charcuteries; what can you have on the side other than the perennial coleslaw? I have a few simple rules when I'm putting together a picnic hamper for a special occasion (say an anniversary or my better half's birthday):
Canapé Recipes - Perfect for Your Next Party
July 4, 2011
Deciding to have a party is all well and good, but when it comes to food, it can get a little more complex. Should you serve finger food? Maybe have a barbeque? How about a seated dinner? You've got a lot of options open to you, and while it'll come down to the type of party you're having, chances are you're going to want to serve 'something' before the main event (or maybe, like me that 'something' becomes the main event!).
Food Gifts for the Gourmet in Your Life!
June 24, 2011
There are some people in all of our lives who are impossible to buy for. They either have everything they could want or they are simply the sort of person that no matter how hard you try, no suitable gift springs to mind when it's time to go shopping. I have a couple in my life, and as much as I adore them, when it comes around to birthdays or other 'gift giving' times (sometimes just because I feel like doing something nice for them; they are lovely people), I'm stumped, so I turn to what I know best; food!
A Sauce Recipe For Every Occasion
June 17, 2011
All too often I'll eat something that while being perfectly good is missing a crucial element to make it mind-blowing; sometimes it's simply the right level of seasoning, occasionally a poorly thought out accompaniment, but more often than not it's how the dish is sauced that lets it down.
Terrine Recipes - Game, Foie Gras, Chicken - The Options Are Endless!
June 10, 2011
Whether it's a pate, a simple vegetable one or something a little more complex, chances are you've tried a terrine or two throughout your culinary journey! The thing with terrines is that they can be spectacular; full of flavour, layers and contrasts or they can be just as spectacularly bland with about as much flavour as a boiled chicken breast! The terrines that I stock belong in the former category as do the two recipes below, but before we dive in let's look at some basics.
The Egg - Fried, In Cakes, In Sauces - We Use It In Everything!
June 08, 2011
The egg has to be one of the most versatile ingredients out there; we poach it, fry it and scramble it, we make cakes with it, pastas and pancakes, it can be the centerpiece of a dish or an essential ingredient within one and no kitchen can do without it. As with most ingredients we use on a daily basis, we tend not to think of eggs as something to be adventurous with but rather a staple, almost a condiment if you will, so today I thought I would look at a few recipes where eggs take center stage if you're willing to be a little adventurous!
Marinade Recipes - Add a Burst of Flavour to Your Food
June 03, 2011
I think we can agree that we're all fans of flavourful food, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this and you wouldn't be reading it! Flavour is good; it's even better when you don't have to slave over a hot stove to get it and an easy way of getting bags of it into a dish is through the use of marinades. To me marinades also have another advantage; they are like having my own personal assistant in the kitchen who does all the hard work of getting the flavour I want into the food I've chosen, and then all I have to do is cook it!
Four Chicken Recipes (AKA Using the Whole Bird!)
May 31, 2011
When it comes to food I am what would be considered a frugal cook; that's not to say I don't use expensive ingredients (because as you know I do!) but rather that I make the most of every ingredient. I keep the skin on potatoes when making chips, I add the fronds of radishes to soups (they give a great peppery kick!), I reserve the fat when I'm frying off bacon and I always use up as much of every ingredient as I can.
Speciality Fine Foods and How to Use Them
May 26, 2011
I thought it was about time I talked about some speciality fine foods; after all I'm the Fine Foods Specialist for a reason! While everything I carry is of the highest possible quality, there are some ingredients that are a little more unusual than others and may not be something you've come across before.
Salad Dressing Recipes - Easy, Delicious and Full of Flavour
May 24, 2011
Salads can be boring; there I've said it.
They're not supposed to be boring, they're supposed to be crisp, fresh, tangy and full of flavour, but more often than not they're just a few wilted leaves and a dollop of mayonnaise on the side of the plate masquerading as a salad.This is so wrong I don't know where to begin! Salads should be a meal unto themselves, or a bright, crunchy, fresh burst of flavour alongside a larger dish.
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