Macaroni and cheese: the ultimate comfort food

When the nights begin to cool, and autumn takes hold there is nothing more wonderful for Sunday night supper than macaroni and cheese. It’s oozy and creamy and warming, and almost universally loved. My recipe includes pieces of crisp bacon, fresh chives and a crunchy topping of cheesy sourdough crumbs. Best of all the sauce…

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Slow roasted pork belly with apples

Rich and unctuous, with a crispy crackling, pork belly is a spectacular dinner party dish and the pan fried apples and spiced sauce are wonderful partners. It’s important to cook the pork long and slow to help render out most of the fat, and end up with meltingly soft flesh. But then the last part…

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Rich beef stew with winter vegetables

In my part of the world it is wintry, with cool, bright days, and chilly nights. This rich stew is perfect for this time of year. Tender beef and root vegetables, with undertones of smoky paprika, garlic and onions, and finished with the freshness of gremolata sprinkled over the top, it is only made better…

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Pork with creamy leek and mustard sauce

This is a perfect week-night night dinner. Simple, fast and fuss free, but delivering delicious flavour and a great serve of comfort. My friends at Symphony Hill asked me to develop some recipes to pair with some of their wines and this pork matches beautifully with their 2006 Viognier. Sacrifice half a glass to use in…

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Gingerbread cake with blood orange caramel

“Oh my dear. When has cake ever been for hunger? It’s for flavor, and, in this case, comfort.” Meena van Praag This cake is very dark and rich, spicy and sweet, and with a slight undercurrent of bitterness from the use of treacle and rapadura sugar, a dark brown, unrefined sugar from Sri Lanka. The blood…

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Chocolate self-saucing pudding (best ever)

Chocolate self-saucing pudding is the ultimate winter comfort food – fudgy and rich and warming. There are lots of recipes available for this pudding, as it is an Australian staple. My recipe however, has a little more cocoa than the standard ones, because I love the chocolate to predominate. Try to get some dutch process…

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Grilled portabello mushrooms with polenta

Earthy, richly satisfying, and deeply warming on a windy winter’s day, these marinated and grilled portabello mushrooms with polenta are simply delicious. I love the almost meaty flavour  of the portabello mushroom, and because they are robust in texture, they respond well to grilling. The marinade is greedily soaked up, and prevents the mushrooms becoming…

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Potato, leek and apple soup

In a couple of weeks two colleagues of mine are walking 100 kilometers non-stop in the Oxfam trailwalker challenge. They need to walk the 100 km within 48 hours as a team of four, and the money they raise will help to overcome poverty and injustice around the world through Oxfam’s programs and services. Their team…

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Sweet potato soup – winter joy

Pumpkin soup is ubiquitous as a winter time meal in my part of the world so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and try a sweet potato soup instead. Lots of spices and a bit of heat make this soup a little different and it would be a good introduction for the uninitiated…

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