Blood Oranges in Caramel Syrup

Firstly peel the blood oranges ensuring that no pith remains and the slice.

This quantity of caramel sauce is about right for 4 oranges. Put 100g sugar and 3tbs of water into a saucepan and slowly heat until the sugar is dissolved – do not stir but you can shake the pan a little. Once the sugar is dissolved increase the heat and boil until the syrup becomes a dark amber/golden colour. Remove from the heat and immediately add 4tbs boiling water and stir. Best to have the water already measured and in a mug or something because the water and syrup combination will boil rapidly and splash up so take care! The syrup may need heating again if it’s not completely liquid. Once cool pour over the orange slices.

These oranges are great served with greek yoghurt but even better spooned onto cold rice pudding. Here’s my rice pudding recipe.

100g short grain pudding rice or risotto rice – don’t use any other type of rice.
500ml milk
2tbs sugar

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 30 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool.

Banana Loaf


This is a Mary Berry recipe which I love for it’s simplicity, no creaming butter and sugar, stirring in flour etc. I place the bananas in a mixing bowl give them a light bash with a potato masher. Add everything else in one go and let a handheld electric mixer do its work.

100g (4oz) butter, softened
175g (6oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about two minutes, until well blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon. Spoon the mixture into a 2lb loaf tin and level the surface. Bake for about one hour at 180C, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean. I like to add banana slices to the top and drizzle with caramel. However, only do this if you’re going to eat it quickly – the bananas will soon discolour. A nice twist is to add an espresso shot to the mix!

Pineapple Curry

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! This is one of my top favourites, plus it’s quick and easy to prepare.

Peel and dice a nicely ripe pineapple Not a hard green one as you so often see. Choose one going yellow and where one of the bottom leaves on the top pulls out easily. Sniff it, it should have a strong pineapple aroma. Find a perfect one and it will make all the difference. The best come from the Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius and Southern Africa all available in French supermarkets (at a small premium) while the UK offers no alternative to the inferior Costa Rican pineapple. Moan over, back to the recipe.

In a bowl mix:
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/3 tsp turmeric
1 – 2 tsp sugar (1 if the pineapple is nicely ripe, 2 if not)
Pinch of salt
Splash of water

Add the diced pineapple and stir thoroughly to coat and leave to marinate for 30 minutes if you have the time.

Heat your cooking pot, I use a kadai but a frying pan or wok would suffice. When hot add:
2 tbs cooking oil
Pinch of black mustard seeds, after they splutter add
12 Curry Leaves, stir then add
a few crumbled dried red chilli flakes.
Finally add the pineapple and cook for around 10 minutes

Meanwhile:
Dissolve 75g creamed coconut in 300ml boiling water
Stir in a very finely chopped green chilli 1/4 tsp mustard powder and 1/2 tsp salt

After the 10 mins add to the pineapple and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with boiled basmati rice. Naan, chapatis, parathas etc. don’t go well with this curry.

Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas

Firstly you’ll need a Nutribullet type blender in order to make the jerk paste quickly and easily.

For 4 pieces of chicken, thighs drumsticks or a mix put the following into the blender (for 8 pieces of chicken just double everything, for 12 pieces use triple etc.)

  • 3 chopped spring onions
  • chopped knob of peeled root ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli, chopped
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Blend everything into a paste.  Do not add any water!

Slash the chicken pieces a couple of times and then rub the paste into them very thoroughly and leave for several hours.  Finally cook in the oven at 180C for 45 mins.

To make the rice and peas put the following into a saucepan

  • 250g basmati rice
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 or 4 sliced spring onions
  • 300ml water
  • salt

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then add a drained and rinsed tin of kidney beans.  Stir the beans in and then turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.