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New Grain Vegetarian Cholent

Wednesday, 19th July 2017



Wheat, barley, oats, rice, corn, millet, quinoa and rye are just some of the grains available that can make your Shabbat cholent slightly different each week.

Including a colourful combination of root vegetables will enhance the ‘brown’ appearance which is typical of the traditional cholent recipes.  

NB: The dried beans need at least a few hours in advance to soak. You will also need the use of a slow cooker, an oven safe saucepan or Shabbat hot plate that is safe to leave on all night.

Preparation Time:  25 minutes            
Cooking Time: 12 hours – overnight
Serves:  8


150g dried chick beans


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 large red onions – peeled and sliced into large pieces

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

1 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon parev chicken/ vegetable stock


150g green lentils

600g butternut squash – peeled and cut into large batons

200g quinoa – mixed red, black and white ~if possible

4 cloves garlic – skins left on

4 large tomatoes  - cut in half

6 eggs in shell - washed


Garnish: sprigs of parsley



  1. Soak the beans in cold water for 5 – 8 hours, rinse several times and then drain. You may wish to use a variety or mix several kinds together.
  2. Heat a large saucepan with vegetable oil.
  3. Pan fry the onions, coriander, cumin and smoked paprika.
  4. Transfer to an ovenware dish or crockpot.
  5. Stir in the salt, lentils butternut squash, quinoa, garlic, tomatoes.
  6. Add water to cover plus 1 litre.
  7. Sit the eggs inside the mixture.
  8. Cook tightly covered and bake at 130C for at least 12 hours or overnight.


When ready to serve, dig out the eggs, shell them and slice in quarters.

Garnish with sprigs of parsley to lift the final brown appearance.

Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
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E : [email protected]
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Thursday, 13th July 2017





These are popular little puff pastry parcels that are filled with potatoes, mushrooms or spinach and cheese. I like to decorate the pastry by sprinkling sesame seeds on top. They are eaten as a snack with drinks or Kiddush or in the Succah during Succot or as part of your summer picnic.

Borekas are also known to some as "pastelles", They are a genuine Sephardic-Jewish creation, copied by others throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.

They make a great hot appetizer or a light lunch.  You can prepare them in advance and freeze, unbaked; pop into the oven when needed.


Preparation Time: 25 minutes  
Cooking Time: 35 minutes   
Makes: 20 borekas


Potato and Mushroom Borekas

For the Filling

450g (approx. 3 potatoes) – peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion – peeled and finely chopped

225g fresh mushrooms – finely chopped

1 egg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


900g puff pastry – ready rolled if possible

2 egg yolks – beaten – to glaze

3 tablespoons sesame seeds



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6.
  2. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Mash with a rice or fork. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. In a large frying pan, sauté the onions and mushrooms until soft and all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
  4. Stir in the mashed potato and egg. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  5. Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Cut the pastry in half. Roll out the pastry if not ready rolled into a 23 cm / 9 inch x 23 cm/ 9 inch square. Do this twice.
  6. Cut the pastry into a total of 20 squares of 8 cm/ 3 inch each.
  7. Transfer the squares on to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment paper.
  8. Place a tablespoon of the potato mixture in the centre of each pastry square. Fold the pastry diagonally over the filling.
  9. Press or crimp edges to seal.
  10. Glaze with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.


Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
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E : [email protected]
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Cherry and Chicken Salad

Thursday, 6th July 2017




Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved cherries. In fact my parents bought me a gold necklace with a charm in the shape of a bunch of cherries. So this salad is my idea of heaven; all the flavours of summer packed into a delicious fresh dish.

Cherries have a magical history - the Romans discovered sweet cherries in Asia Minor in about 70 BCE and introduced them to Britain in the first century. Although the fruit has always been popular for dessert and culinary purposes, cherries were used during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for their medicinal properties. Hot cherry stones were once used in bed-warming pans and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream associates cherries with love and romance.


Option: If the cherries are too expensive use large black seedless grapes instead!


Preparation Time: 20 minutes  Cooking Time: 30 minutes   Serves: 6 people


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

100ml white wine

450g fresh cherries – de stoned

250g mixed bag of lettuce

Bunch of spring onions – trimmed and cut on a diagonal


For The Dressing

1 - 2 tablespoons mild curry powder

1 teaspoon clear honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Bunch of fresh mint – remove the stalks

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 tablespoons Mint jelly

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/400 F/ gas mark 6.
  2. Place the chicken in an ovenware dish. Cover with white wine and 100ml water.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  4. Stone the cherries. Do this by cutting the cherries in half using a sharp knife and easing out the stones ( or use a cherry stoner if you have one!)
  5. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until the dressing is fairly smooth, but with flecks of mint, rather than a puree. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. Tear the cooled chicken into bite sized pieces.
  7. Spread the salad leaves over a platter, scatter over the chicken pieces, followed by the cherries and spring onions.
  8. Just before serving drizzle the dressing in thin lines over the prepared salad platter.

To serve the stylish way: Garnish with sprigs of mint



Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Smoked Haddock & Smoked Salmon Soufflé

Friday, 30th June 2017




This starter recipe is a great dinner party creation; prepared in advance, looks impressive and tastes amazing.   I like to serve it with mustard and dill sauce on the side.  Simply take from the fridge just before the guests arrive and bake.

NB: You will need 7.5cm ramekins, 3 cm deep and a deep roasting tin/ baking tray


Preparation Time: 35 minutes    Cooking time: 40 minutes   Serves: 8 people


275g cooked smoked haddock – skinned and pin boned


2 eggs lightly beaten

100ml double cream/ non dairy whipping cream

400g sliced smoked salmon

Whole nutmeg – for grating

2 tablespoons fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mustard dill sauce

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 egg yolk


150ml sunflower oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill


Garnish: Lemon Wedges and rocket leaves



  1. Flake the haddock and place in a food processor with 2 tablespoons fresh dill. Add the eggs, cream and season with a good grating of nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine well.
  2. Line the sides and base of the ramekins with cling film. Cover with slices of smoked salmon. Don’t worry if you are doing this in pieces as it will not show when cooked.
  3. Divide the fish mixture equally between the ramekins, cover and chill until required.
  4. To make the mustard and dill sauce, whisk together the mustard, sugar, vinegar and egg yolk, the gradually whisk in the oil. The sauce should have the consistency of mayonnaise.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the dill. This can also be made the day before and kept tightly covered in a bowl or sealed jar in the fridge.
  6. When you are ready to cook the soufflés, preheat the oven to 190C/ Gas mark 5 and place in a deep roasting filled with boiling water on the centre oven shelf.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes.  Can be cooked in advance and reheated – 10 minutes at 180C/ 350F.


To serve: Turn out each soufflé, holding the ramekin with a cloth and tipping it out quickly upside down onto your hand  and just as quickly flip it over on to a plate.  Spoon some mustard and dill sauce on the side of the plate.

Garnish with wedges of fresh lemon and rocket leaves.


Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Rosemary Lamb Chop Bake

Thursday, 22nd June 2017




Enjoy new season lamb chops with fresh rosemary and garlic. Good lamb chops should have light red, finely textured meat with smooth, white fat. The fat provides flavour and ideally it should be evenly distributed. If you have time to marinate them, a good splashing of olive oil, lemon juice and a little red wine is a great combination!

It is also suitable for a mid-week family meal during Pesach.      

Preparation Time: 15 minutes     Cooking Time: 30 minutes   Serves: 4 people                      



1 kg potatoes –skins on and cubed


8 – 12 lamb chops

3 tablespoons olive oil


8 sprigs of rosemary


1 whole bulb garlic – left whole

2 red onions – peeled and cut into large wedges


300g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Garnish: Sprigs of fresh rosemary

               Lemon wedges



  1. Parboil the potatoes so that they are just soft. Drain and transfer to an ovenware dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Brown the chops on both sides. Lift out of the pan and set aside. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 175 F/ 350 F/ Gas mark 4.
  4. Sit the chops on top of the potatoes. Add the rosemary, red onions and garlic. Season and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar; roast for a final 5 minutes.


Serve immediately with sprigs of fresh rosemary and lemon wedges.

Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Nutty Seed Salted Chocolate Bark

Friday, 16th June 2017





This is a recipe you will want to make time and time again…….. because it is so easy and the bought equivalent is incredibly expensive.  Make for gifts or enjoy when you need a chocolate fix. 

Vary the toppings with dried cranberries, pistachio nuts, chopped apricots, and shredded coconut.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 2 hours to set       
Cooking Time:   20 minute
Serves:   4-6 people



75g raw hazelnuts

2 tablespoons pumpkins seeds

3 tablespoons sesame seeds


1/4 teaspoon Saltneys salt.

225g chopped plain chocolate (at least 70% cacao)




  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F / Gas mark 6.
  2. Place the hazelnut and pumpkin seeds on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the sesame seeds on an oven tray and roast for about 5 minutes or until golden.
  4. Combine the seeds together and add the salt and stir.
  5. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment paper.
  6. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and completely smooth.
  7. Pour melted chocolate onto a parchment paper– smooth out into a thin even layer.
  8. Evenly sprinkle seed mixture over chocolate.
  9. Let stand at room temperature until set, 2 hours or more.
  10. Break into pieces.
  11.  Store airtight in refrigerator. 

Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Piquant Fried Chicken with Pickled Plum Slaw

Friday, 9th June 2017




This chicken salad combines both spicy and sour flavours together; a tasty winter dish. Can be enjoyed hot, cold or warm.


Preparation Time:  30 minutes plus marinating   Cooking Time: 20 minutes     Serves: 4 people



8 skinless & boneless chicken thighs

1-2 tablespoons chilli sauce

1 tablespoon clear honey

1 tablespoon olive oil


4 plums – halved and stoned and sliced

1 small red onion – peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 lime- juice and zest

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce/plum sauce


200g white cabbage – finely shredded

1-2 raw beetroots – peeled and cut into matchsticks or spiralized

½ cucumber – halved and thinly sliced or spiralized


4 tablespoons cashew nuts – toasted



  1. Whisk the chilli sauce, honey and oil, then add to the chicken thighs and toss.
  2. Leave to marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
  3. To make the slaw, mix the plum slices, onion, vinegar, lime, and honey and sesame oil and hoisin / plum sauce.
  4. Season, then leave to sit while the chicken marinates.
  5. Mix the cabbage, beetroot and cucumber together.
  6. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the chicken thighs and marinade and fry for 10 minutes on each side or until charred and tender.
  7. Tip the pickled plums and dressing over the rest of the slaw veg and mix well.
  8. Serve the slaw alongside the chicken and sprinkle with the roasted cashew nuts.

Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Nutty Chocolate raw ‘cheese cake’

Thursday, 1st June 2017



This makes a tasty alternative to a rich cheese cake.  If the chocolate spread is parev, this recipe is vegan too!  I love the two layer texture and is a cook’s dream as you have to make it in advance and there is no cooking involved!


NB. Soak the cashew nuts first.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes    
No cooking but needs 5 hours to soak cashew nuts and freezing time!                         
Serves: 10 - 12




280g raw whole cashews nuts

50g slithered almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

50g agave nectar or maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea salt


150g chocolate spread mixed with 3 tablespoons water.

50g almond butter/ peanut butter


Chocolate Base

300g slithered almonds

3 tablespoons raw cacao cocoa powder

100ml agave nectar


Garnish2 -3 tablespoons Cacao nibs



Chocolate base:

  1. Add almonds and cacao to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.
  2. Add the agave and pulse again until mixture clumps together and holds it’s shape when pressed together between your fingers.
  3. Take a 23 cm x 23 cm square baking tin and line with cling film hanging over the sides for easy removal later. Spray a little oil on the base- this makes the cling film stick!
  4. Press the mixture evenly around with your fingers, not forgetting the corners.



  1. Soak the cashews for 5 hours in a bowl covered with room temperature water. Drain, rinse and then proceed with the recipe.
  2. Add soaked cashews, slithered almonds, lemon juice, agave nectar, vanilla extract and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, a couple of minutes.
  3. Pour over the prepared base.
  4. Mix the chocolate and almond butter with 3 tablespoons water until smooth.
  5. Drop spoonfuls all over the cheesecake and pull with a knife to make swirls. Do not overdo it or you will lose the swirl effect.
  6. If desired, add almonds, cocoa nibs, shaved chocolate or chocolate chips on top. Place in the freezer for several hours or overnight until firm.
  7. Let sit at room temperature about 10-15 minutes before removing from the tin.
  8. Then slice and serve.
  9. Cover with foil and return to the freezer to keep.


Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Caramel Apple Cheese Cake tart

Thursday, 25th May 2017


Caramelised apples make a very impressive topping to a regular cheese cake.  Cooking the base ensures the biscuits don’t go soggy and there is a distinct separate layer between the two mixtures.    Choose a medium fat cheese for a good flavour and texture.  The low fat varieties often make the cake watery.


Preparation Time:  40 minutes 
Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes  -  Plus 8 – 12 hours chilling time.
Serves: 8- 10





200g finely ground gingersnap biscuit crumbs

75g finely chopped toasted pecans

50g butter, melted

Vegetable cooking spray



900g cream cheese

100g light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon mixed spice or cinnamon



800g Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 2 cm thick wedges

50g light brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons apricot jam  



  1. Prepare base: Preheat oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ gas mark 6.
  2. Stir together gingersnap biscuit crumbs and butter in a medium bowl until moist.
  3. Press crumb mixture on base and up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 22 cm loose based cake tin.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove and set aside.
  5. Prepare Filling: Whisk cream cheese, sugar, egg and mixed spice with an electric mixer until smooth.
  6. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared base and spread evenly.
  7. Bake at 170 C for 20 to 35 minutes or until centre is almost set.
  8. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 40 minutes). Chill 8 to 12 hours.
  9. Prepare Topping: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add apples and sugar and cook, stirring often, 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove saucepan from heat, and cool apples completely (about 30 minutes).
  10. Arrange apples on top of chilled cheesecake in a decorative fashion. (To achieve a rosette look, start by arranging apples in an overlapping circular pattern about 2 cm from the edge of the crust. Make a second small circular pattern inside the first. Thinly slice some of the cooked apples, curl them, and place in the centre of the tart.)
  11. Microwave apricot jam in a small microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 20 to 30 seconds or until melted and smooth.
  12. Brush apples with half of the apricot jam.
  13. Preheat grill with oven rack 15 cm from heat/ middle shelf.
  14. Grill tart 3- 5 minutes or just until apples begin to brown.
  15. Remove from oven, and brush apples with remaining apricot jam mixture. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
           T : 01923 836 456                 
E : [email protected]
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Salted Pretzels

Thursday, 18th May 2017


The story of pretzels, according to legend began in AD 610 when some Italian monks presented their students with a twisted shaped dough in the design of crossed arms as a treat for saying their prayers correctly.  The custom spread and now became known as a gesture for good luck, long life and prosperity and its 3 holes represented the Holy Trinity – father, son and Holy Spirit. Later on during the 17th century pretzels became popular during Lent when meat, dairy and eggs were prohibited.


The first pretzel were baked as soft similar to those of today.  Some say that they were originally called ‘ bracellae’ meaning ‘little arms’ in Latin. From here we get the German corruption to Bretzel. In time they spread through Europe and were often distributed to the poor as a way of providing them with both spiritual and actual nourishment.


In 1614 in Switzerland royal couples used a pretzel as part of their marriage ceremony to seal the bond of matrimony; which is perhaps where we get the phrase ‘tying the knot’!   During the 17th century children wore pretzel necklaces at New Year as a good luck omen.

The Jewish connection stems from the German migration from Eastern Europe to America.  There are numerous stories of vendors selling pretzels during the Great Depression on the streets of Lower East Side of New York, very similar to the bagel. They are also cooked alike, first in boiling water followed by a hot oven.


I have used a different type of salt, which is a 100% natural salt alternative that is made using an original secret recipe. It contains 0.2% sodium and has all the flavour of regular table salt and sea salt.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus proving   
Cooking Time: 50 minutes                   
Makes 15 -18


For the dough

500g strong white flour

5g ‘saltneys’ salt

1 tablespoon sugar

7g dried fast-action yeast

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

300ml warm water


Oil, for greasing

20g bicarbonate of soda


To finish

20g ‘Saltneys’ salt

50g sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds,





  1. Mix 100ml water with the yeast.  Mix together and leave for 3 minutes until you can see bubbles come to the surface.
  2. Add the flour, salt, sugar and oil to a bowl. Using a mixer ideally with a dough hook, add the yeast mixture and remaining 200ml water and mix until a dough is formed.  
  3. The dough should be stiff but not sticky. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and glossy.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas mark 4.
  6. Once proved, turn the dough out and divide into pieces about 65g each.
  7. Using your hands, take each piece, and roll the dough into a long sausage shape, tapering the ends, and creating a slight bulge in the middle. Each piece should be about 40cm long. As you roll out the ropes you should apply some pressure to the dough, working from the middle outwards, pushing out any air bubbles that may have formed in the dough.
  8. The traditional and quickest way to shape a pretzel is to take hold of each end of the strand and lift it into the air to create a U-shape. Then, without letting go of the ends, and in one swift movement, flip the centre of the U, propelling it to form a double twist.
  9. Lay it back down on the work top and lightly press the tapered ends onto the opposite sides of the pretzel, attaching them to each side of the central bulge.  A classic pretzel shape has three equally spaced sections. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment paper.
  10. Add the bicarbonate of soda to 7 litres of boiling water, and gently drop each pretzel into the boiling water for approximately 20 seconds. Gently remove and place on the baking tray. While the dough is still wet from the water, glaze with egg yolk and then sprinkle over the salt and sesame seeds.
  11. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are a deep brown colour and crispy.
  12. Place the baked pretzels on a wire cooling rack.

  1. Check the latest cookery classes and events for singles.

    Denise Phillips - Professional Chef and Cookery Writer
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    E : [email protected]
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