January can be quiet for chefs - a welcome respite after a busy Christmas. I was lucky enough to see in the New Year cooking in a pizza oven by a bushcamp beside a hippo pool in South Africa (see my blog for details). It was a fun but challenging week; first, getting to grips with some foreign produce (kudu, wildebeest, king clip, kabeljou, milk plums and flying termites), second, resetting my mind to summer menus - although it was nice to see strawberries in December.
Now back, surrounded by cold, wet weather, I am back in winter mode. I am craving satsumas and blood oranges to ward off colds and satisfying myself with comfort food such as soups and Sunday roasts with yorkshire pudding. My breakfast toad in the hole even inspired Solita in Manchester (via Twitter, of course) to add it to their brunch menu.
Amuse bouche: Flaked mackerel, ginger pickled cucumber and horseradish
Starter: Turkey, sage and onion salad with potato skin crisps and savoury granola
Dessert: Mango and passionfruit pavlova cheesecake
Humble by Nature
I held the first of my cookery courses at Humble by Nature in December - Koj's Christmas Treats - where we made mincemeat and Christmas stuffing as well as homemade gifts such as chocolate truffles and cinnamon shortbread. I also kicked off our new series of pop up dinners last weekend with Burns Supper.
Upcoming courses include knife skills for vegetables, fish and butchery. Pop ups include a 70s night featuring Koj's versions of prawn cocktail, chicken kiev and Black Forest Gateaux with Cherry Angel Delight. For more details, please visit www.humblebynature.com