Sunday, 31 January 2010






Spinach and Pine Nut Tart
with wholemeal cheese pastry





For the pastry

50g butter
50g wholewheat flour
50g self-raising flour
40g grated cheddar cheese
Pinch of salt
1/2tsp mustard powder
cold water to mix

For the filling

1 large bunch spinach, trimmed
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
25g butter
2 eggs, beaten
110g double cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1tbsp cheddar cheese, grated
75g pine nuts, toasted


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4

Grease an 8in flan tin

To make the pastry, sift the flours, salt and mustard powder into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Stir in the grated cheese and add enough water to make dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry and line the flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry with a for and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the base with beaten egg and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

To prepare the filling

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, stir in the toasted pine nuts.

Place the onions, pine nuts and spinach on the base of the pastry case. Whisk together the eggs, cream and a little salt. Pour over the onion and spinach mixture, top with the grated cheese and return it to the oven for 30 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Serve just warm, with a crispy salad and new potatoes with a knob of butter.

Saturday, 30 January 2010






Baked Chocolate Cheesecake
with a Chocolate Crumb Base





Ingredients

For the base

200g dark chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed
50g butter
2 tbsp icing sugar

Melt the butter and mix it with the biscuit crumbs and icing sugar. Press it over the base of a loose bottom cake tin and place in the fridge to set.

Filling

200g cream cheese
3tbsp cocoa powder
60g caster sugar
1 egg
150ml double cream
75g dark chocolate, at least containing 70% cocoa solids, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
75g grated chocolate to decorate

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200C 400f gas mark 6

Reduce the oven temperature to 180C 350f gas mark 4

Beat the cheese, cocoa powder, sugar and egg until smooth, stir in the cream. Fold the cooled chocolate and orange zest into the mixture and transfer to the biscuit base. Bake for 20 minutes until just set, then leave to cool.

Decorate with grated chocolate and icing sugar

Serve with chilled double cream.

Friday, 29 January 2010






Treacle Tart

This soft sweet and sticky tart is a firm favourite in our house. It's very simple to make and can be served with pouring cream, whipped cream, ice-cream or custard. Traditionally it is filled with stale breadcrumbs and syrup but the addition of an egg and some cream in this recipe makes it soft and light. I also find it better to use fresh breadcrumbs.





Ingredients

For the pastry

100g plain flour
25g butter
25g white cooking fat
25g icing sugar

Rub the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the icing sugar and add enough cold water to make a firm dough (around 2 tbsp). Chill the pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C

Line a greased 20cm flat tin with the pastry and prick the base with a fork and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

For the filling

4 tbsp wholemeal breadcrumbs
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 large egg
50ml double cream
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Whisk the cream and egg together with a fork. Stir in the syrup, the breadcrumbs and the lemon juice.

Pour the mixture into the pastry case and return the tin to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes then turn the oven temperature down to 140C and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and bubbling. Allow to cool before turning out of the tin.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, 28 January 2010





Minestrone Soup
with Pesto Cheese on Toast

Minestrone makes a great midweek one-pot meal. This warming soup can also be made with rice instead of pasta and any vegetables you have depending, what is in season (leeks and parsnips are great at the moment) and herbs of your choice.


Ingredients

3 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
200g short macaroni
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Small bunch of basil
Freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the oil over a moderate heat, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened, add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the carrot and celery to the pan and sweat them for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and stock, bring to the boil and simmer, with a lid, for 40 minutes.

Add the macaroni and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Season to taste and add some torn basil leaves.

Serve in warmed bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

For the pesto cheese on toast

6 slices crusty bread, lightly toasted
125g medium Cheddar
1 dessertspoon ready made pesto
Cherry tomatoes

Mix the cheese and pesto thoroughly, spread over the toast slices and place a cherry tomato on top place under a preheated grill until the cheese is bubbling.

Serve hot with the soup.




Wednesday, 27 January 2010






Spaghetti with Tuna Olives and Chilli






Ingredients

400g spaghetti
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red chilli, finely chopped
12 olives, halved
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tins tuna, drained
4 tbsp olive oil

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions and drain.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, toss everything together, season and serve.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010






Sticky Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs




A pile of shiny roasted spare ribs looks and tastes delicious and are very easy to make. Serve them with rice or noodles or on their own as a first course.


900g pork spare ribs
1 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp marmalade
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sherry
1 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, juice only
Finely chopped spring onion to garnish

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas 4

Place the ribs in a roasting tin
Mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl and spoon over the ribs. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

Roast the ribs in the oven for 45 minutes basting occasionally and turning once.

Put the ribs into a serving dish and bubble the pan juices over a high heat until reduced and thickened.

To serve spoon the thick shiny sauce over the ribs and garnished with spring onion.

Tip:  To make the day before , just marinate the ribs in the sauce, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.  Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking and leave at room temperature.  The flavour should be more intense and the ribs tender.

Monday, 25 January 2010






Apple and Banana Crunch Pudding






For the filling

675g cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
4 bananas, peeled and sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
75g caster sugar

For the topping

100g butter
225g soft brown sugar
150g plain flour
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
75g walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ gas 4

Mix the apple and banana together in a bowl with the lemon juice and caster sugar then place in the bottom of an oven-proof dish.

Gently melt the butter. Put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour the melted butter on top of them. Stir to combine and spoon the mixture on top of the apple and banana.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, if the top starts to get too brown place a sheet of tin foil over it.

Serve hot with chilled double cream.



Sunday, 24 January 2010





Spicy Bean Soup




Ingredients

250g smoked bacon, finely chopped
2 leeks, Washed, trimmed and chopped
250 carrots, diced
1 x 400g can mixed beans
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and fry for 4 minutes, add onion and leeks and fry until softened, add the carrots, paprika and chilli and cook for a further 4 minutes.

Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, mixed beans, salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cook for 30 minutes over a moderate heat.

Serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread.

Saturday, 23 January 2010





Spicy Lamb Chops
with Mint and Coriander Raita






Ingredients


8 lamb chops
1" fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tbsp lemon juice
475ml natural yoghurt
2 tsp mint sauce
Pinch of sugar

Mix together the ginger, 1 tbsp coriander, garam masala, ground coriander, lemon juice and crushed garlic.

Trim a little, but not all of the fat from the chops and marinate in the spice mixture for at least 2 hours.

Mix together the yoghurt, pinch of sugar, mint sauce and 1 tbsp chopped coriander and cool in the fridge until needed.

Place the lamb chops under a hot pre-heated grill and cook for 5 minutes each side.

Serve with rice or salad.

Friday, 22 January 2010


Chestnut Cream Soup
with Crumbled, Goats Cheese

Don't worry about roasting and peeling chestnuts for this soup, they come ready cooked and peeled in a tin or vacuum packed and are available in most supermarkets.




Ingredients

450g chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
25g butter
1 medium potato, chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
1.4 litres ham stock, made with either a ham hough or stock cubes
Salt and freshly milled pepper
Pinch of brown sugar
2 tbsp medium sherry
Goats cheese to garnish
Flat leaf Parsley

All-in-one sauce made with 15g butter, 15g flour, 300ml milk

Place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan over a moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened.

Method

Cook the sliced onion in the butter until softened. Add the potato, celery, chestnuts and the stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chestnuts are tender.

Pass the soup through a sieve add the sherry and brown sugar and blend in the sauce.

Season to taste with salt and freshly milled pepper and reheat gently if necessary.

Serve in warmed bowls and sprinkle with a little crumbled goats cheese and a sprig of Parsley.

Thursday, 21 January 2010




Breakfast Pancakes
with Apple

Something warming and different for breakfast. Try these pancakes with grilled streaky bacon or good quality pork sausages.



Ingredients

175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 large cooking apple, finely chopped
330ml milk
A little butter for cooking

Method

Sift together the flour, Cinnamon and baking powder. Cream the butter and sugar, add the beaten eggs, flour and apple. Add the milk gradually to make a batter.

Heat a heavy based frying pan and melt the butter. Spoon 2 tbsp of the batter for every pancake, into the hot pan. cook the pancakes on one side for 1-2 minutes, turn them and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes keeping them warm until all the pancakes are cooked.

Serve hot with streaky bacon or pork sausages.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010







Betty Botter Bought Some Butter





Betty Botter bought some butter,
But, she said, The butter's bitter;
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter.
But, a bit of better butter
Will make my batter better.

So, she bought a bit of butter
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter
And the batter was not bitter.
So, 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

Or was it!

When this tongue twister was written, butter was probably regarded a healthy luxury. Nowadays, however, eating butter on a regular basis is not regarded as healthy and according to some sources, should carry a health warning.

"Ban butter to save thousands of lives" says heart surgeon. Daily Mail 18/01/2001

"Butter should be banned to protect the nations health" according to the same heart surgeon.

Heart attacks and blocked arteries are amongst the latest scares associated to eating butter and I am sure a lot of people reading the Daily Mail article have been frightened off butter for life. However this theory was dispelled many years ago when it was discovered that, far from killing you, butter as part of a balanced diet, has important health benefits, it contains minerals and fats that are essential for the health of our brains and nervous systems. Trans fats in many margarine's and spreads is more unhealthy than the saturated fat found in butter. A few margarine and spread manufacturers have removed the hydrogenated oils from their products but quite a few still contain trans fats. Look out for trans fats in shop bought pastry, biscuits, cakes, confectionery and crisps. The words "low in trans fats" denote their presence not absence.
(Trans fats raise the cholesterol in the blood, that increases the risk of coronary heart disease and raise blood insulin levels)

Ok over-eating butter every day and cooking with butter will not help your cholesterol levels but surely moderation is the key to all food consumption. We all know that olive oil is great in salad dressings and considered healthy as part of the Mediterranean diet and as such, is used to replace unhealthy fats in many recipes. I use olive oil to roast potatoes, potato wedges, Mediterranean and root vegetables. Butter however is irreplaceable and yes! I find it very easy to believe its not butter.

Butter is a pure fat with a distinctive flavour and in some recipes only butter will do, but surely things like butter shortbread are not eaten on a daily basis. As the saying goes 'a little of what you fancy does you good'.

I suspect that the rise in heart bypass operations on young adults is more likely to be down to the amount of junk food that is consumed on a regular basis and the increased consumption of kebabs after a night on the booze.

If you find, like Betty Botter that your butter is indeed bitter, KEEP IT IN THE FRIDGE! and of course watch the sell by date.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010



Spinach and Cheese Muffins







Ingredients

25g butter, plus extra for greasing

200ml milk

100g spinach

250g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Good pinch of cayenne pepper

50g fresh Parmesan, finely grated

1 egg, lightly beaten

200g rindless goat's cheese


Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Lightly grease 9 holes of a deep muffin tin with a little butter.


Allow the milk to cool a little before you add it to the dry ingredients, or the baking powder will start working before it gets into the oven. Don't be tempted to use goat's cheese with rind on – it doesn't melt nicely. These muffins taste best when eaten within 24 hours, but you can freeze them, wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to 1 month.

Place the milk and butter in a large pan over a high heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the spinach and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a liquidiser or food processor. Whizz until the spinach is finely chopped. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Add the cayenne and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the Parmesan. Add the egg and the spinach mixture, then beat with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Divide between 9 muffin holes, filling each about half full.

Add a little goat's cheese to each muffin hole. Top with the remaining mixture, followed by a little more cheese, pushing the cheese down into the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve hot or cold.

Monday, 18 January 2010



A delicious breakfast to set you up for the day. Add fresh fruit such as banana or grilled apple for a healthy start to the day.

French toast with Honey and Toasted Oats



1 thick slice crusty white bread

1 free-range egg, beaten

25g/1oz butter

2 tbsp icing sugar

honey, for drizzling

25g porridge oats, toasted till golden brown

Method

1. Dip the bread into the beaten egg, coating well all over. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the eggy bread and fry for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until lightly golden all over.


2. Sprinkle half the icing sugar over one side and flip over to fry for 1-2 more minutes, or until golden-brown. Sprinkle over the rest of the icing sugar and flip the toast over again and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the toast is golden-brown all over.


3. Pile the French toast onto a serving plate, drizzle over the honey and garnish with toasted oats.

Friday, 15 January 2010


Stovies


Adapted from the French classic "Gratin Dauphinoise" by slicing potatoes thinly and cooking them slowly, which is the basis of the Scottish dish stovies. The name probably comes from the Scottish and north of England word for stewing. There are many variations on the versatile recipe for stovies but the basic ingredients are usually potato and onions and some form of meat with good fat content. The quantities below are sufficient for four people.

Ingredients:
100g cold, diced lamb

750g potatoes, peeled and sliced.

2 large onions, very thinly sliced.

1 level tablespoon good quality dripping

Stock or water

Salt and pepper & nutmeg for seasoning

Chopped parsley

Method:
Melt the dripping in a large pan (preferably with a tight fitting lid), add a layer of sliced potatoes, then a layer of onion and next a layer of meat. Add enough stock or water to cover (though some prefer their stovies dry, in which case add only 2-3 tablespoons). Then repeat the layers once again and season the dish thoroughly - in addition to salt and plenty pepper, add some nutmeg.

Cover and cook over a low to moderate heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


Thursday, 14 January 2010





Quick Tuna Pasta



Ingredients

170g pasta shapes, cooked according to packet instructions

110g black olives, sliced

Large tin tuna, drained

55g Parmesan, grated

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

Method

1. Mix the hot pasta with the other ingredients, the heat from the pasta will heat the other ingredients to give you a warm pasta dish.

2. Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010





Chicken Tagine
with Spicy Lemon Couscous

Something hot and spicy to keep the winter chill at bay. For people who think they are not a fan of Couscous, wait till you taste this.



Serves 4-6

Spices

1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tbsp ground Ginger
1 tbsp Turmeric

Combine the spices in a small bowl

10-12 med chicken thighs, skin off
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 large onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 pint tomato juice
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
100g ready to eat apricots
50g dates
50g sultanas
100g flaked almonds
600ml chicken stock
1 tbsp clear honey

For the Couscous

250g Couscous
2 tsp Harissa paste
Juice of 2 lemons
300ml boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 150C gas 2

Place the chicken thighs in a bowl and stir in half of the spice mix. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours.

Heat 2 tbsp in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onions and the remaining spice mix and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft but not coloured. Add the garlic for the final 3 minutes.

Heat a heavy griddle pan and sear the chicken portions for 4 minutes each side. Remove from the griddle and place in the casserole dish.

Add half the tomato juice to the griddle pan and stir well, pour the contents into the casserole dish.

Add the remaining tomato juice, tinned tomatoes, apricots, raisins, sultanas, flaked almonds, honey and stock, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Place the Couscous in a large bowl and slowly pour in 300ml boiling water, cover and let it stand for 10 minutes, then stir with a fork to fluff up the grains add the Harissa paste and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Cover and keep warm till needed. Stir in the olive oil just before serving.

Serve the chicken tagine with spicy Couscous.

Monday, 11 January 2010





Cinnamon Banana Fritters with Lime






Serves 4

Ingredients

For the batter

100g cornflour
25ml milk
25ml sparkling water
1tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp icing sugar

2 limes, cut into quarters
4 bananas, halved length ways
Groundnut oil for deep frying

Method

In a bowl, blend the cornflour, icing sugar and Cinnamon with the milk and sparkling water, until smooth.

Heat the oil over a moderate heat and test the temperature by dropping in a cube of bread, it should float to the top and turn golden in around 30 seconds.

Dip the halved bananas into the batter and shake off any excess.

Deep fry in the hot oil until crisp and golden.

Serve hot with wedges of lime and vanilla ice-cream.

Saturday, 9 January 2010




Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Rice


Something warming for the cold winter weather. If you prefer a hotter curry just add another chilli pepper or 1 tsp chilli powder.



Serves 4

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts, cut to 1" pieces
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1" piece of ginger, grated
1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
2 tbsp ground almonds
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 dessert spoon Garam Masala
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 knob butter

Method

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan and cook the onions until soft. Add all the spices except the Garam Masala, stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Finally, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat in the onion mixture.

Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, gently for 20 minutes. Stir in the ground almonds, sprinkle the Garam Masala over the curry (don't stir in) and let it stand for 5 minutes.

Check for seasoning, it may not be necessary, and serve with a little basmati rice and steamed vegetables.

Friday, 8 January 2010





Chicken Noodle Soup






Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
A little olive oil + 1tsp roasted sesame oil
2 green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
120g dried medium noodles
2 litres Chicken stock, cubes are fine
3 spring onions, finely chopped

Method

Heat the olive oil and sesame oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the onion and cook gently to soften for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken strips and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil, simmer, with a lid on for 15 minutes. Add the noodles and spring onions, cook for 5-7 minutes until they are tender.

Serve in warmed bowls with strips of warm toasted seeded bread.


Thursday, 7 January 2010






Baked Salmon with Tarragon






Ingredients

4 salmon fillets
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 slice Parma ham, finely chopped
A little olive oil
1/2 tsp dried Tarragon
2 tbsp lemon juice
Creme Fraiche to serve

Method

Fry shallots gently in a little oil until soft and golden. Add the ham and Tarragon and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.

Oil a large piece of foil and place it in an oven-proof dish. Lay the salmon fillets on top of the foil and top with the shallot mixture.

Fold over the foil to make a parcel and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a teaspoon of Creme Fraiche on each fillet and fresh steamed vegetables.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010




Carrot and Orange Soup





Ingredients:
1 chopped onion

450g sliced carrots

2tbsp olive oil

40g plain flour

600ml chicken stock

600ml milk
, semi skimmed
1 orange (juice and rind)

Salt and pepper

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:
Heat the oil and add the onions and carrots. Cook gently (without colouring) then stir in the flour and cook for a further 1/2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, stirring
constantly, then simmer for 20/30 minutes. Liquidise before adding orange juice (including shredded rind) and reheat - but do not boil. Serve sprink
led with parsley.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010




Quick Roast Fish
with Broccoli and Spinach




Ingredients

4 white fish fillets (hake, haddock, cod, turbot)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flat leaf Parsley, chopped
1 lemon
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 225C/ gas 9

Place the baking tray in the oven.

Clean the fish and pat it dry with kitchen paper.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, Parsley, salt and pepper. Coat each fish fillet with the mixture. Cut the lemon into 4 thick slices.

Remove the tray from the oven and place the fish in its hot surface. Add the lemon slices and return to the top shelf of the oven, bake for 10 minutes.

Steam some broccoli and spinach.

Serve with a warm slice of lemon, squeezing the juices over the fish.

Saturday, 2 January 2010




One week of healthy post-Christmas recipes to get you through the cold wintry weather and revitalise you after the excesses of Christmas and New Year celebrations.





Chicken Soup with Brown Rice

Ingredients

2 litres chicken stock
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, washed, trimmed and sliced
Drizzle of olive oil
250g carrot, diced
60g wholegrain brown rice
2 sticks celery, finely diced
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Sweat the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until softened. add the carrots, leek and celery and sweat for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the stock and rice, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the rice is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in warmed bowls with strips of toast made with seeded bread.

Haggis and Clapshot Pie

Some hae meat and canna eat, And some would eat that want it But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the lord be thankit. By Robert Burns ...