Recipe: Lamb chops cooked with dill

turkishAs it’s well-known that I love cooking and cookbooks, and so I am fortunate to be given interesting publications from time to time. Including one called simply Turkish Cookery which can be an inspiring start to finding a new recipe.

There’s only one problem, the 1992 book from Net Turistik has its own style of English to work around. The pictures of the food always look very authentic Turkish food even if the names of the dishes may be lost in translation – how do you fancy an egg dish called woman’s thigh for example?

As you’d expect, there’s a good number of lamb (mutton) dishes and a recipe for ‘meat with bones cut from the loin’ caught my eye as it included pairing the meat with dill. More usually associated with fish, dill is a lovely soft herb and, hoping that this wasn’t simply a mistake, I was interested to see how it went with the new season lamb.

A quick google search revealed that this combination is quite common in other parts of the world including Sweden where lamb, lemon and dill seems popular. So, translating ‘3 salads’ to handfuls of baby spinach, and adding in some potato to make this a one pot dish – I cam up with a whole new recipe.

Lamb with dill

You can see the full recipe at my Farmers’ Choice page here.


Two recipes for a Mother’s Day lunch

salmonmousseIf you’re thinking about what to do next weekend and fancy giving your mum a home-cooked treat, I’ve done a coupl eof recipes which are very simple and use pretty ordinary ingredients but that cook up a treat.

For a fresh and luxurious starter, there’s a salmon mousse and then for the main the traditional favourite Homity Pie.

The recipes really are as simple as child’s play.

Please do let me know how you get on – tweet me a snap! – and you can see my other recipes for Farmer’s Choice here.

Recipe: Japanese-style chicken stew

Japanese style chicken stew
Japanese style chicken stew

I came up with this simple one-pot recipe that’s inspired by the clean tastes of Japanese cookery and uses surprisingly few ingredients for such a big flavour. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Japanese or Chinese food store then there are broth products available although I used an well-known basic consume powder from a major supermarket which worked just fine and gave the dish the slightly glutinous texture you’d expect.

It’s an easy and complete meal with no need for accompaniments – check out the ingredients and step-by-step instructions on my page at Farmer’s Choice here.

Recipe: Pan Haggerty

Katys Pan Haggerty

Guest blogger Katy Runacres has cooked up a treat with this recipe for famous northern dish Pan Haggerty.

She says: “This is a recipe originally from Newcastle and the Northumberland region. It is thought to be originally made by Geordie coalminers to warm the belly and fill you up! It is a one pot meal which is similar to a potato gratin but a true British Northern recipe.”

According to the Information Britain website,  the addition of bacon marks the start of some luxury for “a dish that tells a story of poverty and ingenuity, and also of the close links that Northumberland had and has with Scotland – the root of Haggerty is said to be the same as haggis , both derived from the French hache, meaning chopped.”


It’s a very easy and simple recipe with not too many obscure ingredients. This recipe makes for two hungry people.


  • 4 potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 carrot (peeled)
  • 1 onion (peeled)
  • 4/5 rashers of bacon chopped up
  • 4 handfuls of good cheddar cheese or similar hard strong flavoured cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable or meat stock (get one pint ready but may use less)


  • Thinly slice carrots, potatoes and onions.
  • Fry your bacon in a little oil in a pan.
  • Empty the bacon from the pan and take off the heat.
  • Start layering the thinly cut potato, carrot, onion and the fried bacon in the same pan, layer by layer.
  • Once you have done this, add vegetable stock so it just covers up and over the top layer.
  • Let the whole thing simmer at medium heat for approximately 30 minutes with a lid on. It will bubble away!
  • Add grated cheddar cheese to top, and a little salt and pepper.
  • Put your grill on in oven then place the pan under the grill until the cheese is all melted and golden.

Once all is ready tuck in with a fork or spoon and have some bread on hand too to soak up all the juices.

Katy Runacres offers more recipes or news at her blog:

Do you have a northern food recipe to share? Let me know.

Five stocking filler books for the foodie in your life

I’ve picked out the following five food related books as they all have some sort of northern connection and have been featured here on the blog. The links go to pages where the books can be ordered. Any suggestions for more? I’d love to compile a wider list of books so please do feel free to get in touch with more.

At the top of the pile is Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking
which has some easy to follow recipes and is a must-have for curry lovers unable to visit the Bradford restaurant.

2. Fancy a Cuppa?Written by a north Yorkshire duo, the continuing adventures of the cuppa series could be the ideal stocking filler for the travelling tea tippler.


3. If you’d rather read about cooking that do it, try Manchester’s Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to Westto understand more about the journey of those behind the Northern Quarter eaterie.

Get a glimpse of what inspires some of the dishes with another Manchester restaurant, Ning with this colourful cookbook – Malaysian Food: A Collection of My Favourite Dishes and the Inspiration Behind Them

and finally…..The Thrifty Kitchen: Wartime Lessons for the Modern Cook
which is sold to raise cash for the charity Independent Age and includes a donated recipe from your truly!

The Patels launch a veggie cookbook

prashadBradford’s Patel family have have branched out and today publish a vegetarian cookery book with recipes from their high-profile restaurant.

The Patels, who run Prasha in the city, were the surprise stars of the popular TV show Ramsay’s Best Restaurant in 2010 and many of the recipes have been developed by Kaushy Patel who learned to cook as a child on her grandmother’s farm in northern India.

Bobby Patel, operations director at Prashad said: “Prashad means blessed food, and Kaushy has a clear belief that her feelings and love are very much part of the food.

“The Prashad team is determined to show that vegetarian cuisine can be interesting, exciting, and innovative and, above all, taste great!

“We are delighted that we are now able to share our favourite recipes and encourage more and more people to enjoy the flavours and tastes.

“Kaushy challenges even the most committed carnivore to tell her, and mean it, that they missed the meat.”

Published by Saltyard Bookson today, the hardback book will include over 100 Indian vegetarian recipes from simple pickles, dips and street-food to sumptuous family feasts.

Prashad is the only restaurant in Bradford with an AA Rosetter and played a key role in the team that secured the title of Curry Capital of the UK for Bradford.

The book will be available at all Waterstones stores (£25) across Yorkshire and will be the Book of the Month in October. It will also be available from Amazon and other download retailers as an e-book – buy it here Prashad Cookbook: Indian Vegetarian Cooking

Three free food apps

If you want to take your food planning mobile, you could pay for celebrity tips or give some of the free iPhone and iPad apps a whirl. Taking a look at The Sunday Times top apps today it seems that celebs are cashing in with apps which will cost you – Jamie’s 20 minute meals (£4.99), Nigella’s quick collection (also £4.99), and River Cottage every day at more modest £1.79.

But the list also highlights some worth a try out for free. Here’s three that caught my eye if you want to shun the slebs;

  • VeganYumYum mobile; lets you search, view, and organize veggie recipes from the award-winning food blog,
  • Boskoi; The only android app to make the list is also open source and helps users map wild food available for a bit of foraging. Made by the foragers at Urban Edibles in Amsterdam Boskoi is an Ushahidi-based app that comes with a few foraging guidelines. If you don’t have an android smartphone, the service is also available on the web.
  • All dinner spinner;  Like the website, this iphone app lets you search for recipes by ingredient or time allowable or by popularity and makes the recipes sharable.

Cullen Skink recipe for new charity cookbook

I’ve recently been asked to contribute a recipe for a new cookbook which will be sold to raise cash for the charity Independent Age .

They provide friendship and financial support for older people on low incomes to help them remain independent in their own homes and I’m delighted to be able to help out in this small way.

The cookbook isn’t due out until September but will contain contemporary recipes which learn the lessons of wartime cooks as the book’s publication will coincide with the 70th anniversary of WWII.

With limited ingredients in mind I’m going to pass them this recipe for a traditional Scottish soup which is essentially fish and potato.

I first tried Cullen Skink when I was working in Aberdeen and it is a traditional favourite along that north east stretch of coastline.

Made of “finnan haddie” it’s also the sort of simple, warming dish visitors might find at my (very independent) granny’s croft on Orkney and so it seemed fitting entry.

I’ll be bringing more news about the book as it nears completion later in the summer but for now, please do enjoy some Cullen Skink.

Cullen, named after the town in north east Scotland, and Skink, meaning stew, is one of those sustaining soups best suited to windswept coastal locations.

The fish used should properly be the lightly salted and smoked undyed variety – which is much more delicate than the orangey coloured version we’re used to encountering in English fishmongers – and definitely worth seeking out to get the full flavour of this dish.

What you need
450g undyed smoked haddock
1 finely chopped onion
750ml of milk
200g of buttery mashed potato
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf.
Salt and white pepper.
Small handful of chopped parsley to garnish.

What you do
1. Skin the smoked haddock and cover with just enough boiled water to cover it.
2. Bring to the boil and then add the chopped onion and bay leaf.
3. Remove the haddock once it’s cooked and remove the bones but continue boiling the stock with the bones added for an hour.
4. Break up the fish into a dish.
5. Strain the stock and put back to the boil. Boil the milk in a separate pot and then add to the stock along with the fish.
6. Add the salt and boil for several minutes then add the mashed potato to a smooth consistency.
7. Add pepper and parsley to serve.