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Leek and Potato Soup

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Friday, 14 March 2014
In need of some cheering comfort food? Leek and Potato soup never gets old...

Leek and Potato soup


  • 1 lt homemade chicken stock
  • 1 medium leek
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons double cream or 100ml milk (optional)


Chop the top off the leek and trim the roots. Chop the leek in half lengthways and wash under running water, fanning out the layers, to make sure all grit and mud has gone.

Wash the potatoes and chop into eighths.

Chop the leek roughly. Heat the olive oil in a soup pan and add the leeks and potatoes. Stir to coat with oil. Then cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop browning.

Add the homemade chicken stock and stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Remove from the heat and liquidise. For a bit of variety, you can leave this soup whole, if you prefer.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the cream or milk just before serving.


Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Wednesday, 26 February 2014
A tasty treat to tempt your tastebuds this Thursday...

berry and cherry flapjack recipe from Nigel Brown

  • 150g Unsalted butter
  • 75g Muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp Clear honey
  • 250g Porridge oats
  • 150g Mixed dried berries and cherries
  • 50g Hazelnuts, roasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Place the butter, sugar and honey in a medium-sized pan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and stir in the oats, dried fruit and nuts. Press the mixture into a lightly greased, rectangular, non-stick cake tin 20cm, 4cm deep) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes, then score lightly with a knife to make 12 bars. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting and removing. The flapjacks can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.

Chocolate Fondant Pudding

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 13 February 2014
Chocolate Fondant Pudding... the perfect Valentine's dessert!Nigel Brown's Chocolate Fondant Pudding

  • 85g caster sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 3 whole free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp plain flour


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease 4 small dariole moulds or ramakins.

Place the sugar, butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Heat very gently until the butter and chocolate have melted, then remove from the heat. Whisk together until combined.

Add the egg yolks and whole eggs and beat well.

Fold in the flour.

Pour into the dariole moulds or ramakins and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and place onto a baking tray. Put straight into the oven and cook for 8-9 minutes.

Allow to rest for a minute or two and then turn out onto individual serving plates and serve or serve hot in their dishes.


Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Wednesday, 05 February 2014
Fast food of the very best kind...Nigel Brown's breakfast bar recipe

Makes 14
  • 150g dried apricots
  • 150g Brazil nuts
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g muesli
  • 30g puffed rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4

Chop the dried apricots and Brazil nuts into small pieces of irregular size. Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Next, stir in the golden syrup and orange juice until evenly combined.

Line a swiss-roll tin (20cm x 30cm) with greaseproof paper and spoon in the mixture. Smooth down with the back of a spoon so the mixture is tightly packed and of even thickness.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, check after 15 minutes to ensure it does not burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour or two, then chill in the fridge overnight.

Cut into 14 bars and store in the fridge.

Whisky and Ginger Cake

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014
With Burns Night looming this cheeky little afternoon treat should get you into the spirit of the season...

Nigel Brown recipe

  • 75g butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs slightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons whisky
  • 25g ground ginger
  • 50g grated fresh ginger
  • 500g self-raising flour


Preheat oven to 170°C and grease a 9 inch cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth

Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Add whisky, ground ginger and the grated fresh ginger.

Stir in flour.

Pour into cake tin and bake in pre heated oven for 45min - 1hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 2 hours before serving or serve warm with toffee sauce and ice-cream.

Chicken & Ham Pie

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 16 January 2014
See off the chill with some classic comfort food...Nigel Brown's Chicken and Ham pie recipe


  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 65g/2½oz chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 65g/2½oz chilled lard, cut into pieces
  • 1½-2 tbsp cold water


Sift the flour and salt into a food processor or a mixing bowl. Add the pieces of chilled butter and lard and work together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the water with a round bladed knife until it comes together into a ball, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Roll out on a little more flour and use as required.

Chicken and Ham Pie filling

  • 450g (1lb) Cooked Chicken
  • 300 ml (½ pint) Chicken stock
  • 110g (4oz) Cooked Ham
  • 1 Onion
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) Milk
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) Single Cream
  • 25g (1oz) Parsley Ground Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Black Pepper


Melt the butter and cook the chopped onion until transparent.

Dice the chicken and ham.

Mix with the chicken, ham, onions in an ovenproof pie dish.

Add the flour gradually stirring in the chicken stock.

Bring to the boil, stirring continuously and simmer until thickened.

Stir in the milk, cream, parsley and a pinch of bay, season and heat without boiling for 2 minutes.

Assemble your pie with the rolled out pastry and pie filling, decorate, egg wash and bake until golden brown.

Banana smoothie

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Friday, 03 January 2014
Nigel Brown Banana Smoothie recipe
Get 2014 off to a healthy start with this nice and easy Banana smoothie...

  • 1 whole large banana
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 450ml skimmed milk
  • 6 ice cubes


Peel and slice banana.
Add all ingredients to blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour and serve with a twist of lime juice.

Chicken Liver Parfait

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 12 December 2013
Nigel Brown recipeIn need of a great starter for those festive feasts? This should do it...  

  • 250g chicken livers
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 4 tsp madeira
  • 4 tsp port
  • 4 tsp brandy
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g butter, melted salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Line six ramekins with cling film.

2. Rinse and clean the livers, removing any veins.

3. Combine the shallots, Madeira, port, brandy and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer briskly until reduced and the liquid is almost syrupy. Remove the thyme sprig.

4. Once the livers and eggs are at room temperature, tip them into a blender or food processor along with the reduced sauce and melted butter. Whiz to a purée and season.

5. Press the mixture through a fine sieve.

6. Pour into ramekins. Place foil over each ramekin and place in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before chilling.

Tomato relish

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 28 November 2013
Christmas is creeping closer (Advent starts on Sunday after all) so now's the perfect time to make that tomato relish, ready for Boxing Day's cold meat and salad... Nigel Brown recipe

  • Rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 10 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 150g demerara sugar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • tabasco, to taste


Heat a little rapeseed oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the tomatoes and mix well, then add the sugar, vinegar and cinnamon and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper and set in sterile jars with tight fitting lids.

Store the relish in your fridge for 1 month for best results.

Slow cooked beef bourguignon

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Friday, 15 November 2013
This is a real winter warmer... the perfect recipe for when the mercury starts to dip.Nigel Brown's slow cooked beef bourguignon

  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 750 g stewing steak, diced in to large chunks
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 shallots
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 225 g mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cube of beef stock
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


1. Preheat the slow cooker to low. In a large frying pan, add the streaky bacon and cook until slightly crispy then place in the casserole dish. Heat the oil in the frying pan, and cook the beef in small batches to colour slightly, add to your casserole dish.

2. Lightly colour the shallots and carrots in the frying pan then add to the cooker along with the mushrooms. Mix together 400ml boiling water with the stock cube, red wine, tomato puree, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and pour over the meat.

3. Season well with salt and pepper and place the lid on to cook for 2 hours or until the beef is tender then serve.

Scotch Pancakes

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Friday, 08 November 2013
In need of some comfort food? Scotch Pancakes are always a winner... Nigel Brown Scotch Pancakes

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100g SR flour
  • 1 egg
  • About 100 ml of milk


Add the flour and sugar to a bowl.

Add egg and mix into sugar and flour using a whisk.

Smooth this mixture out by gradually adding and whisking in splashes of milk until you have a thick, smooth batter, about the same consistency as double cream.

Lightly oil a thick based frying pan. When the frying pan is hot, ladle in some of the batter.

The pancake is ready to be turned when bubbles start to form on the surface. Turn and cook until the surface is golden brown (in total about 2 minutes).

Remove from pan and serve with hot with your favorite fruits, syrups, cream or icecream.

Sweet spiced pumpkin bread

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 31 October 2013
nigel oct31Have a very happy Halloween with this delicious sweet spiced pumpkin bread recipe...

Makes: 2

  • 2 loaves
  • 425g pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 150ml water
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 450g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.

Grease and flour two 20x10cm loaf tins In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.

Pour into the prepared tins.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven.

Loaves are done when skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Fillet steak with red wine balsamic reduction

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 03 October 2013
Nigel Brown recipeDazzle at dinner with this superb steak recipe...

  • 2 fillet steaks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • 50ml red wine


Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of each steak.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine.

Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.

Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 26 September 2013
Nigel Brown Chocolate Brownie recipeThere's nothing quite like an indulgent chocolate brownie as the days get colder and the evenings darker...

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 225g butter, melted
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60g walnut halves


1. Mix all ingredients in the order given.

2. Bake at 180 C / Gas mark 4 for 20 - 25 minutes in a rectangular 23x33cm greased baking tin.

3. Cool, and slice into equal square portions.

Dinner party cheat

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Tuesday, 17 September 2013
I’m a big fan of chocolate. And dinner parties. But I’m not a natural born cook. As such I’m always looking for ingenious ways to cheat my way to new culinary heights.

So I was delighted to be invited to spend an afternoon with Sweet Treat baker Lily Vanilli, learning how to create a cheeky – and super easy - dessert.

Lily Vanilli

The Cadbury Crispello Tower is the perfect party piece (I guess it’s so long to the profiteroles!)

Requiring minimal effort for maximum reward it’s almost impossible to get this one wrong.

Lily Vanilli said “A whole tower of chocolate is surely everyone’s dream! Simply assemble, choose your topping (dark, milk or white chocolate) and watch your friends look on in awe.”

At Lily’s East London Bakery she took me step-by-step through the tower creation. Here’s what we did...

Lily Vanilli


  • Approx 60 Cadbury Crispello pieces (approximately 6 sharing bags)
  • 150g milk or dark chocolate
  • Decorate with wafer or edible flowers

Step 1 Dip the base of a Cadbury Crispello in melted chocolate and start to stick the pieces in place in a pyramid shape.

Step 2 Drizzle your Cadbury Crispello pieces in melted milk or white chocolate.

Step 3 Add the finishing touches with some wafer pieces, edible flowers and crushed Cadbury Crispello pieces.

PS Edible glitter is a great addition I discovered. Lily also showed us how to roll some cherries in egg-white and then coat them in edible glitter. They looked almost too good to eat!

Cadbury Crispello has teamed up with Lily Vanilli to create a show-stopping centrepiece for any cheeky get together; The Crispello Tower. Made of individual wafer shells filled with creamy mousse and covered with Cadbury Milk Chocolate, the recipe can be downloaded at

Words by Katy Pearson

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 12 September 2013
What to do with an abundance of vine ripened tomatoes in the greenhouse? Make some Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup, of course... Nigel Brown recipe


  • 600g vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 30g butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of fresh chopped basil
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • 100ml double cream


Quarter the tomatoes and place them in a buttered oven-proof baking dish. Mix in celery, garlic and red pepper. Cover and bake at 190 C for 25 minutes.

In a large thick bottom pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook and stir for about 5 minutes.

Slowly stir in flour. Add chicken or vegetable stock, basil and thyme, stirring until soup comes to the boil. Add the contents of the baked tomato dish from the oven and bring to the boil.

Cover and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes and then place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve with a drizzle of double cream and chopped parsley.

Apple & Blackberry Pie

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 05 September 2013
Nigel Brown's Apple and Blackberry PieAutumn is on its way... so make the most of the fruits in your garden (and hedgerows) with this delicious dessert!


  • 500g shortcrust pastry
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 300g fresh blackberries
  • 225g apples
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg


Preheat oven to 180 C

On a floured surface, roll out 2/3rds of shortcrust pastry, and place in a 23cm pie dish. Roll out the remaining 1/3rd of shortcrust pastry to top the pie, and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, blackberries and prepared apple . Toss gently to coat without mashing the berries.

Spoon the filling into pastry lined dish. Dice and sprinkle the fruit filling with the butter. Moisten the edge of the pastry with eggwash. Cover with top pastry sheet; trim and crimp edge.

Cut a slit in the top to allow steam to escape during baking and decorate with the reformed pastry trimming.

Bake the pie in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve hot or cold with custard, cream or icecream.

Salad Niçoise

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 29 August 2013
Salad NicoiseThe sunshine has made a brief return this week - so there's still time for a salad...


  • 450g of tuna tinned in olive oil
  • 8 anchovies 30g black olives
  • 4 eggs, soft-boiled
  • 1 baby gem lettuce
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
  • 8 radishes, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 beef tomatoes
  • 12 fine green beans, sliced and blanched

  • 180ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 60ml of balsamic vinegar
  • 80g of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper


For the dressing, chop the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves really fine, then add the oil and balsamic vinegar and mix to combine all the dressing together. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large salad bowl, mix together the anchovies, tuna, eggs, olives, tomatoes, spring onion, cucumber, beans, radishes and lettuce. Drizzle the salad dressing over the top and serve with crusty bread

Lancashire Hotpot

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 22 August 2013
Lancahsire HotpotThe long summer evenings starting to draw in its time to dig out the casserole dish and try this tasty treat!


  • 55g beef dripping or lard 8 lamb chops, on the bone
  • 225g onions, skinned and finely sliced
  • 55g butter, melted
  • 900g potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 litre of beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce


Pre heat the oven to 200°C

In a large frying pan, melt the dripping or lard and heat until hot but not smoking. Quickly colour the chops on both side, remove from the fat, and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the sliced onions to the hot fat and cook quickly, stirring constantly until softened but not coloured. Remove from the fat and drain on kitchen paper.

In a large oven proof casserole pour half the butter in to the bottom then cover with a layer of sliced potato, cover with half the onions, season with salt and pepper. Lay the chops on the top of the onion. Add the carrot, cover with the remaining onions and season.

Pour in enough stock to come two thirds way up the casserole dish, don’t worry if you have some left over you can always top up during cooking. Add the Worcestershire sauce.

Cover with another layer of overlapping potatoes, ensuring the surface is completely covered. Brush the potato with the remaining melted butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4 and cook for a further 1½ hours. Check from time to time to make sure the casserole isn't drying out, top up with stock or water as necessary.

Remove the lid from the casserole and cook until the potatoes on the surface are brown, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve on hot plates with fresh, seasonal vegetables.

Chicken Jalfreizi

Posted by Nigel Brown
Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 08 August 2013
Spice up your evening with this curry...

Nigel Brown's Chicken Jalfreizi


  • 1/2 a large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 pint of water
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts, diced up
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a large onion, sliced
  • 2 red chillis (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • a handful of fresh, chopped coriander leaves


1. Take the chopped chicken and coat it in the cumin, ground coriander and turmeric then leave it to marinade in the fridge while you make the sauce.

2. To make the sauce, fry the roughly chopped onions with the garlic and green chilli in a large pan until browned. Add the water to the onion mixture and simmer this for around 20 minutes.

3. While that is simmering, put the plum tomatoes in a food processor and give it a good whizz - aim for a smooth consistency. Heat another large pan and gently fry the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric in a splash of oil for about a minute. Add the tomato 'sauce' to this pan and simmer for around 10 minutes.

4. Next give your onion mixture a good whizz in the food processor and add it to the spiced tomato sauce. Give it a stir and simmer for 20 minutes. You can make large batches of this sauce and freeze it for later use.

5. Fry the marinaded chicken in oil and stir continuously. After a few minutes, turn down the heat and add the other half of the chopped onion, the red pepper and chillis. Stir this until the onions and pepper soften (and the chicken is cooked, of course).

6. Add the earlier prepared sauce to the cooked chicken and simmer for around 10-20 minutes. Just before you dish it up, stir in the garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

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