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17 May 2020

This is a favourite of ours when we stay with  our chums, Pierre and Daphne Lemoin, at their lovely home in the South of France. Up in the hills there is goat to be had in abundance. The same may not be true for the Home Counties but mutton more than suffices – you just need less cooking time.
Choose a good sized leg of mutton and rub it with salt. Marinade for a day and a half in rough white wine and lemon juice. Roast slowly for an hour. Baste and add vegetables and cook for a further hour and a half. Serve with Adieu Mon Pays by  Enrico Macias.

Picture of Roast Lamb

NEXT WEEK: Oeufs au Beurre Noir


22 Aug 2019

If you have some good rich beef stock or gravy in the fridge, this makes a great snack or brunch dish. Fry or poach your eggs in combination of butter and beef gravy. If you are feeling virtuous, serve the eggs on wholemeal toast but the truth is they are even better on fried bread. Serve accompanied by  Little Feat’s Dixie Chicken 

Picture of Roast Lamb

NEXT WEEK:  Garlic Jelly


14 Feb 2018

When Gerald and I stay with our dear chum, Hamish, Duke of Arbroath, his wonderful cook Mary  – an absolute poppet – always serves us this treat for breakfast in the winter months.  You need it. Dounrary is one very cold castle!

To your hot porridge add a little milk, quite a lot of cream, some  walnuts or pecans, yellow raisins, Muscovado sugar, maple syrup and a generous splash of whisky, brandy or rum. Yum!  Serve in elegantly hearty bowls accompanied by An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise by Peter Maxwell Davies.  Gerald, Bless him, prefers Hieland Laddie from Kenneth McKellar.

NEXT WEEK: Soupe en croute 

(All recipes taken from Jacaranda Finch’s High Cooking, the No-nonsense Book of Haute Cuisine Ravelin Books £7.99)


11 Oct 2018

This has been a fabulous year for apples with branches groaning with fruit.  This is how I deal with slightly bruised windfalls. Gerald always says that the pure whiteness of the cream makes the darkness of the apple look pleasingly evil. This dish is for those who like Tarte Tatin but don’t want to faff around making pastry.

NEXT WEEK:  Harrow Mess

Remove peel and bruised bits and chop into largish irregular shapes. Put into a saucepan of water and add lots of  Muscovy sugar, nuts and sultanas. Simmer for quite a long time over a low flame stirring occasionally. Allow to cool and then chill in the fridge. Just before serving splash and stir in some liqueur. Anything from the back of the cupboard will do. For a seriously sweet tooth use Cointreau, Disaronno or a sweet sherry. Gerald and I prefer something fiery (wouldn’t you have guessed it!)  like a slivovitz or vodka or  a tautologous Armagnac.

NEXT WEEK:  Clay pigeon stew


8 Aug 2018

Here is a lovely summer soup and a way of preparing it which suggests to any guests that you are prepared to go to great lengths to entertain them.
The secret is to use frozen peas – add some shredded lettuce to throw the more discerning palettes off the scent. Purchase a handful of fresh peas to add to the potage and leave the shelled pods left lying ostentatiously on your kitchen counter.
Serve in shallow bowls accompanied by 
Jimmie Rogers  An English Country Garden.

NEXT WEEK:  Jellyfish Pie


1 Mar 2018

They conquered nationals and built aqueducts  but the ancient Romans never managed to come up with fried bread. Legend has it that it was during Julius Caesar’s invasion of Gaul that they first encountered the concept of the artisan crouton which opened the way for the invention of Caesar Salad.  Gerald, who is a keen student of the classics – he has the boxed set of I Claudius – maintains that there is growing evidence for the claim by Professor Ted Peasely of the University of West Spalding – among others – that the dish was invented in around 1952 AD in the kitchens of Caesar’s Palace in Luton.

Chuck some lettuce, anchovies, Parmesan, mustard and the rest of the stuff into a wooden salad bowl – they say the Romans used to include smoked mouse legs – and serve with Zero Mostel’s rendition of Comedy Tonight from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.



5 Sep 2019

The special thing about this recipe is that  it actually uses plums!

Put quite a lot of plums in a saucepan with some  bayleaves, cloves, nutmeg and muscova sugar. Garnish with a combination of hot water and heavy red wine. Simmer for quite a bit and splash some cheap brandy over the fruit. Serve with lashings of cream in  plain glass bowls.

NEXT WEEK: Trevor Sorbet

(All recipes taken from Jacaranda Finch’s High Cooking, the No-nonsense Book of Haute Cuisine Ravelin Books £7.99)


’15 Sep 2019

First, a confession. I suggested a version of this in my very first cookery book, A Chef Named Sous, now sadly out of print. The robustness of penne – this is the cylindrical one that you have to chew like it’s an old piece of garden hose – makes it very much an autumn or winter pasta.  Gerald, Bless him, likes it when I brew up my special shitake mushroom sauce (I prefer the ones from southern Hokaido – they have that extra ‘something’).

Penne Pasta

The trick is not to over-strain the pasta but leave it slightly moister than you think would be right.  Stir in a lightly-oiled pan over a medium heat.  Serve in  Tuscan potter bowls accompanied by  Dean Martin’s Volare. Fabuloso!

NEXT WEEK: Club Boar in Port


12 Nov 2018

Here is another good recipe which cuts out all that pastry nonsense. Contrary to ‘accepted wisdom’  I believe it is perfectly accptable to serve a fillet of beef without a pastry tourniquet.

NEXT WEEK:  Coq au pain


09 Sep 2018

Celery salt is a much underrated delicacy. Gerald likes to take it in the manner of snuff – sprinkling it on the back of the hand and sniffing but  there are other means of taking it. Try, for instance, oeufs de cailles  (quails’ eggs if you must) Boil these little dears for just a tad over three minutes, chill in cold running water, roll gently under you palm, peel and serve them in a plain bowl beside a white ramekin of sel de célery

NEXT WEEK: Bambi burger & mash


03 Jan 2018

The simple dish is my affectionate tribute to Carl Fabergé, celebrated jeweller to the Tsars,   (‘the Russe that laid the golden egg’ as one wit had it) – actually he was French, but there we are!

Cook eggs in the Mollet manner and serve with sour cream, a teensy bit of chopped onion and a generous dollop of caviar. If caviar presents problems for those with earning difficulties black lumpfish roe is a perfectly adequate substitute. I like to serve the dish with Sergei Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil aka ‘Vespers’. Gerald, bless him, when he gets his way, chooses  Kenny Ball’s Midnight In Moscow.

NEXT WEEK: Couch Potatoes

(All recipes taken from Jacaranda Finch’s High Cooking, the No-nonsense Book of Haute Cuisine Ravelin Books £7.99)


12 Jun 2018

An old idea with a new twist from Condie’s home city of Birmingham. Add to cooked rice: a sliced-up omelette, cooked peas, caramelised onions, lightly fried onions, raw chopped spring onion green stalks, chopped ham or bacon, chopped walnuts plus garlic, herbs and seasoning as you choose. Stir in a lightly-oiled pan over a medium heat.  Serve in shallow bowls accompanied by People Get Ready from The Blind Boys of Alabama. 

NEXT WEEK:  Foie Gras Jerky


14 Feb 2019

Now for some romance! Stuff two lambs hearts with bread pistachio onion and dried apricot or orange and bake in a  little red wine in small casserole pot. 
Serve with Charmaine by Mantovani and his orchestra (My dear Gerald reckons the 1958 recording to be the superior!)

NEXT WEEK:  Crow Tail Pie


21 Dec 2018

It is so easy to get confused about the correct names for cocktails based on sparkling wines.  So here nis my handy thumbnail guide for you.
Bucks Fizz:  fresh orange juice and Champagne   
Manchester Fizz: fresh orange juice and any  Cremant  
Berkshire Fizz: fresh orange and sparkling white  
Surrey Fizz: Fresh orange juice and prosecco  
Essex Fizz: tinned orange juice and Lambrusco  

NEXT WEEK:  Ice cream and Open Sauce


3 May 2018

Discarded prawn shells must never be thrown away. Our Chelsea fishmonger, the estimable David Toddle (a very dear friend) always sells the very best shellfish so one doesn’t want to waste a thing! 

Boil the shells in water with seasoning, white wine, sherry or brandy (or, indeed, sherry and brandy); tomato paste or crushed tomatoes and spring onions.  Allow to cool then boil it all up again, strain and add an extra splash of sherry or brandy and, of course, some cream. With this treatment, the shells provide just as much pleasure as their recently departed occupants. Gerald always requests that we have ‘Rodney’ Stewart singing Sailing By for this one!

NEXT WEEK:  Ox tongue posset

(All recipes taken from Jacaranda Finch’s High Cooking, the No-nonsense Book of Haute Cuisine Ravelin Books £7.99)


09 Oct 2017

This is an intriguing little variation on traditional scrambled eggs which our dear, dear friend Omar serves at his delightful boutique hotel in the Southern Atlas. He always insists on making it himself for us as we are his ‘favourite guests’.
Beat the eggs together in the normal way adding more than a good splash of vinegar and leave standing while you lightly brown some garlic in the saucepan with seasoning. Pour in the egg mixture and stir over a gentle heat until creamy. Serve on pieces of diagonally cut toast with the theme from Lawrence of Arabia Yes, I know it’s a long way from Morocco but I find it preferable to Jerry’s choice of Wilson, Betty & Kepple doing The Sand Dance.

Incidentally, if you have trouble scrambling the eggs Gerald suggests that you place the bowl in front of your television screen when the lovely Allegra Stratton comes on to clarify some complicated political issue. He finds that usually does the trick!

NEXT WEEK:  Foie Gras Jerky