Pan Fried Mackerel

To me, this is a supper. An evening meal with white wine, a cold beer, or just some cordial. Try to get the mackerel filleted. I clicked on ‘’gutted’’ and my fresh fish had some gnarly bones.

A sea fish, so this needs flavours to counteract the salt in the skin, which will fall off during cooking.

I used lime juice as I had no lemons. I chopped banana shallots, and threw in some oyster mushrooms.

You will need

1 large skillet

Olive oil

Banana shallots (the flavour is nutty and warm

1 14’’ mackerel

Heat the olive oil and add the sliced shallots. They will separate into rings as the cook.

Place the mackerel in the pan. Wait one minute and turn over.

Reduce the heat.

Squeeze 1/4 of a lime over the fish and turn over, Squeeze more lime.

Keep turning, and watch as the flesh turns pale. This is an easy time to cut off the head and tail.

I find that roast asparagus and parsnip go well with this.

Published in Woodworkers of The World Unite


No Churn Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blackberry Cardamom Jam Ripple
2 cups blackberries
⅓ cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp cornstartch
1 tbsp of cold water
½–1 tsp cardamom (depending on taste)

Beat the softened cream cheese with the vanilla, condensed milk and lemon zest. Whip the cream until stiff and combine with the cream cheese mixture. Freeze for six hours. Make whatever flavour you like.


Cancelled hair appointment…

I had a hair appointment today. For some reason, I woke feeling like a brick is in my chest. I should be continuing to feel better.

I haven’t done much. I had a very bad night, but did not expect to feel so unwell today.

The recipe yesterday is meant to be flavourful, not spicy hot. Don’t overdo the ginger/chilli.

It seems that Quay Living have told my neighbours to ignore me. That I never did anything wrong is beyond their understanding. I had a man crash into my bedroom at three in the morning. Their tenant.


A day of two halves…

This morning I awoke feeling tired and regretting that I canceled my hair appointment on Tuesday. The weather is not much improved, although yesterday evening was beautiful. I now have one on Sunday.

I showered late and dressed, and felt much much better. I made coffee, and opened mail, and answered texts and emails.

For dinner I roasted some sweet potato and then poured over an egg and yogurt mix, with spinach and freshly ground pepper to make an oven omelette. I threw on some roast tomatoes and it was delicious. I had it with some Riesling, one of my favourite wines.

I have some ice cream with real vanilla, which I love. So I ate that, too.

I have a busy week ahead, socially. I need to pace myself. But I am feeling well.


Somali Beef Stew

I’d like to share this recipe with you. It’s warming delicious. You can adjust the spices to taste. If this turns out too spicy, just add plain yogurt. It takes about 1 1/2 hours from start serving.

  1. For the Xawaash Spice Mix:
    • 1/2 (3″) cinnamon stick, broken into 1/2″ pieces with the back of a chef’s knife
    • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
    • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 2 teaspoons cardamom pods
    • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  2. For the stew and rice:
    • 2 cups basmati rice
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 2 medium red onions, sliced, divided
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
    • 1 pound boneless beef steak, cut into 3/4″ pieces (about 3 cups)
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1″ cubes (about 3 cups)
    • 1 medium carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″-thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/4″ strips (about 2 cups)
    • 5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1 (3″) cinnamon stick
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 medium tomato, sliced (about 1 cup)
    • Green or red Somali hot sauce, such as BasBaas, coriander , lime wedges, and sliced banana (for serving)
  3. Special Equipment
    • A spice mill or mortar and pestle


  1. Make the Xawaash Spice Mix:
    1. Toast cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned and aromatic, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
    2. Grind cinnamon mixture in spice mill or with mortar and pestle until finely ground. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve back into bowl, then regrind any coarse spices. Stir in turmeric and transfer to an airtight jar.
  2. Make the stew and rice:
    1. Place rice in a large bowl or saucepan and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak.
    2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium. Add half of onion and half of garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. xawaash spice mix and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add beef and tomato paste, stir to combine, then pour in 3 cups water. Cover and cook until beef is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Add potatoes, carrot, and bell pepper and continue to cook, thinning with water if needed, until beef is tender and vegetables are cooked through, about 15 minutes more. Season with 1 Tbsp. salt.
    3. Meanwhile, drain soaked rice. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in another large saucepan over medium. Add remaining onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato and cook until tomato is cooked through and begins to break down, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook until lightly fried, about 5 minutes.
    4. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add boiling water, 2 Tbsp. xawaash spice mix, and remaining 2 tsp. salt to rice mixture and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff rice gently with a fork.
    5. Divide rice mixture among bowls. Spoon stew over, then top with hot sauce, cilantro, lime wedges for squeezing over, and bananas alongside.
  3. Do Ahead
    1. Xawaash spice mix can be made 2 months ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze up to 6 months. Stew and rice can be made 3 days ahead. Chill separately in airtight containers, or freeze up to 6 months.

A slow cooker roast pork

I thought I’d share another recipe…

  1. For the pork:
    • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
    • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 1 skinless, boneless pork shoulder, tied (about 6 pounds)
  2. For the sauce:
    • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    • 2 cups basil leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  3. Special Equipment:
    • A 6 litre slow cooker


  1. Cook the pork: Mix garlic, oil, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub all over pork, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag or slow cooker insert and chill overnight. Place the meat in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until meat is fork-tender but not yet completely falling apart, 7 1/2–8 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Mix shallot, basil, oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt in an airtight container. Cover and let rest up to 3 hours at temperature or up to 2 days in refrigerator. Stir in lemon juice just before using.
  3. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Slice and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve with additional sauce alongside.

Both the rub and the sauce can be made in a food processor if desired. To make the pork in the oven, cook at 300°F in a covered Dutch oven, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of pork registers 145°F (meat will be very tender but not quite falling off the bone), 6–7 hours. If you’re using a larger slow cooker, flip the meat at least once and baste occasionally to keep it moist.


Dairy Free Apple Cake…

I thought I would share a simple, quick recipe which is lovely to eat in autumn due to the mix of spices and olive oil which give it a warmth. I’ve used cups as measure as I wrote it down when I lived in the States, equal to 4oz.

It makes a loaf of 9”x 5”.

  • 1 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tin
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. (100 g plus 10 g) granulated sugar, plus more for tin
  • 2 sweet apples, such as Golden Delicious or Gala
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (185 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour about 1 Tbsp. oil into a 9×5″ loaf tin and coat bottom and sides with fingertips. Sprinkle granulated sugar onto sides and bottom of pan to lightly coat.

Grate apples, peel and all, on the large holes of a box grater. Gather apples in a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess liquid. You want them as dry as possible when they go into the batter

Whisk cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, and ginger in a medium bowl.

Transfer 1/4 tsp. spice mixture to a small bowl; set aside. Add flour and baking powder to remaining spice mixture and whisk to combine.

Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Continue whisking vigorously until lightened in colour and thickened. Whisking with one hand and pouring with the other, slowly stream 1 cup oil into egg mixture until combined.

Gently fold flour mixture into whipped eggs with a flexible rubber spatula just until combined, taking care not to overmix.

Fluff up grated apples and scatter over batter. Gently fold to incorporate.

Transfer batter to prepared tin; smooth top. Add 2 tsp. granulated sugar to reserved spice mixture and mix to combine. Sprinkle spiced sugar evenly over top of batter.

Bake cake until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, 60–70 minutes. Let cake cool in tin. Run a butter knife or offset spatula along edge of cake to loosen and invert onto a plate.

Cake can be made 3 days ahead (the flavour gets slightly more intense each day). Store in an airtight container at room temperature.