Blog Archive


Not every experiment ends perfectly…

Some recipes come off perfectly first time, others take a few tweaks, and some just fall flat on their faces. I find that the process and the failures don’t get enough mention, so here’s a glimpse into ideas  I try but aren’t quite ready!

With the wood fired oven roaring, photographing a recipe I had already perfected, I found I had some spare cranberries to play around with. In experimenting, the best policy is sticking to what you know and changing just one element.

Cranberries are a classic accompaniment to turkey, served at Christmas (and Thanksgiving if you’re a Yank). These meals are often large extravagant affairs which, in every case I’ve witnessed, involve roast potatoes. Cranberries have already made their way into stuffing recipes, so we know that we can do better than just a standard sauce.

Cranberry Roast Potatoes

Cranberry roast potatoes – halfway through the cook

So I thought, why not try adding these festive favourites to my soon-to-be-published Ultimate Roast Potato recipe?

The result wasn’t amazing, but then it wasn’t horrendous, either. The cranberries withered away in the heat of the wood fired oven and left a crispy red coating to the roasties. This unusually coloured but attractive coating has potential, though it tasted on the bitter side. With some additional ingredients and sweetness to help deliver a more rounded flavour, I think this could be a winner in the future! This is certainly fruit for thought.

Sometimes you need to experiment. It’s fun to do and occasionally you’re left with more ideas than you first started.

But don’t try this one at home just yet – it needs some tweaking 🙂

My wood fired oven, roaring away.

A Roaring Wood Fired Oven

Cold Smoking Experiments


An assortment of produce ready to be cold smoked


I do love experimenting when I get the chance and here was a perfect opportunity! I wanted to cold smoke some sloes for another post (coming soon) and thought it the perfect time to maximise the space in the BBQ by including some other items. Some are tried and tested (salt, garlic) while are others entirely unknown (cooking apples, pinhead oats and potatoes).

I set up my Pro Q Cold Smoker Generator with birch dust which produces a light smoke and left for 10 hours.  Some of the produce will be used soon, some stored for later.   Check back soon, as I’ll provide updates as I use these, describing what effect the smoke has had!