Spring Has Sprung!

Sven and I went for a little drive with Mr FF on Sunday; little lambs were gamboling and frolicking in the April sunshine. It was pastoral, beautiful. I remarked on this to Sven but he couldn’t care less having been gambling and frolicking himself this weekend. Lost his shirt, not on the Grand National, but, he says, after a particularly energetic zumba class with his new friend, a Brazilian whose name he can’t remember. Mr FF was most puzzled, he said he didn’t realise zumba could result in such extensive bruising. Oh well…boys will be boys; I digress…

Spring, when Mrs FF’s thoughts turn to:


Serves 6

Mrs FF’s Tip: Try to put the dish together a couple of hours before you want to put it in the oven, that way the potatoes soak up all the garlic, wine and stock. Use this time to contemplate becoming a vegetarian.

60g (2oz) softened Butter
2kg (4lb 8 oz) Potatoes, sliced about the thickness of a £1 coin.
(Desiree are good for this.)
1 large Onion, peeled halved and thinly sliced.
8 cloves of Garlic, peeled and halved lengthways.
1 rounded tablespoon roughly chopped fresh Thyme.
2 rounded teaspoons Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder.
150ml (5fl oz) White wine
(plus extra for drinking – say, 1 litre.)
1 ltr (1.75 pints) Water.
3 rounded tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard.
2.25 kg (5lb) Leg of Lamb (Organic, of course. Do you think I am some kind of fucking monster?)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

You will also need: A roasting tin 36×26.5cm (14.5” x 10.5”), 6cm (2.5”) deep.


Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. (Fan. No, not yourself, you’ve hardly done a stroke yet. The oven.)

Rub 10gms of the butter around base and sides of the roasting tin.

Add the sliced potatoes, onion and garlic, fresh thyme, 2 level teaspoon of salt and some pepper (to taste), toss together and flatten to make an even layer.

Mix the bouillion powder with 1ltr boiling water and the white wine, pour over the potato mixture. (Yes, yes, I know it sounds a lot, I thought so too; in fact I was so convinced it was wrong that I halved it on one occasion and ended up something you could have built the Idiot Boy Trump’s fucking US/Mexico wall with.)

In a small bowl mix the rest of the butter and the grain mustard, salt and pepper and spread generously over the topside of the lamb. (Sven really enjoyed this part, he kept whistling The Girl Fom Ipanema for some reason.)

Set the lamb over the potatoes and roast in the top of the oven for 15 minutes, until the meat is browned. If you want to be fancy, you could put the meat on a rack. (That made Sven laugh, he told me he calls our local nightclub ‘The Meat Rack’, no idea what he’s talking about. I started to tell him about the Meat Raffles that were held in pubs some years ago but he dropped everything and rushed off in a bit of a flap. All I said was that a bloke would come in to our local, show his meat to the customers and we’d all buy a ticket; winner take all. Poor lad, bit of a dicky tum maybe. Hmmm. Anyway…)

Now reduce the oven temp to 180 c and continue to roast for a further 2 hours for pink lamb. By this time, the potatoes should be richly golden and the cooking liquid should be reducing and slightly ‘soupy’. This is what we want – miraculous, self-gravying potatoes!

Remove the roasting tin from the oven, cover lightly with kitchen foil and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes before carving. (Don’t be tempted to try ‘Pulled Lamb’ and go at it with two forks like some Hoxton twat. Pulling meat is so last year – or so last week if Sven’s comments are to be taken seriously – they rarely are.)

I serve it with something green for contrast (get me, ‘contrast’! You can tell I went to Art School can’t you?) – Spring Greens, something boring and healthy like that.

And some wine, if liked.


I’ll leave you with this little quote from the blessed Margaret Atwood. I’m not quite sure what she’s referring to, gardening perhaps; I’m just hoping she hasn’t been hanging out with Sven:

‘In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.’











Take a Channa Rice on me.

Yes, I was stretching the Abba pun just a mite too far there… 

Channa is the Sunday name for Chickpeas, but you knew that didn’t you? Sorry, I am a patronising cow sometimes aren’t I?

Look! I managed to get two photos the same size! Fucking hell, is there no end to my talents? (Mr FF says ‘yes, actually, there is.’)

This serves 4 as side dish.

150g Basmati Rice (I use Tilda, Princess of Rices, not Swinton)
1 large tin Chickpeas (or, if you’re one of those who likes to soak things in water, you can use dried and wait for fucking ever, then boil them, stink out your kitchen, end up with bullets. Your choice.)
1 small Onion (finely chopped…. I’m saying nothing)
1 heaped tsp Garam Masala (I make my own from Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe, but you can buy it if you are not fussed)
1 Bay Leaf
2 Green Cardamoms (crack them)
1 tbsp of Butter and a splash of Vegetable Oil.

Here’s a thing and it is a fucking miracle. A wonderful trick was taught to me by none other than Mr FF. And then we made the rice. For perfect rice do this (and do not listen to any small Vietnamese women who profess to know everything there is to know about cooking rice because they will lay your kitchen to waste and you may have to call the fucking Fire Brigade): measure the rice in a cup, when it comes to adding water, add double the volume of the rice. Does that make sense? Of course it fucking does. 1 cup of Rice, 2 cups of Water. Simple isn’t it?

Onwards dear reader…

Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan; add the chopped Onion, Cardamoms, Garam Masala and Bay Leaf and fry over a gentle heat until the Onion just starts to turn golden. If you let it go black, it is buggered and you will have start again.

Add the rice and salt; stir until it’s glossy; careful, you are just kissing it with the spices not frying the bastard life out it. Add the chickpeas, stir them in. It’s starting to look good now isn’t it? Add the water and some salt – twice the volume of the rice… you remembered didn’t you? Well done, you absolute fucking genius; have a beer.

Bring it to the boil, put the lid on, then turn it right down, preferably on a diffuser. Set a timer for 12 minutes. Not 10, not 13. 12. Do not be tempted to lift the lid; this is punishable by death. After 12 minutes, take it off the heat. Leave the bloody lid alone!! It needs time to get itself together; to settle. A little fresh Coriander is nice, but if you haven’t got any, never mind, I won’t tell anyone.

This recipe can be a meal in itself with some nice naan, or as a side dish to the Kashmiri Lamb Curry recipe I posted the other day. It also freezes very well; reheat thoroughly or… yes, you will die.

Sven is delighted with the Abba reference btw.



‘I don’t like fruit with my dinner.’

So says Mr FF. Idiot.

Fennel, Orange & Avocado (swoon!) Salad (V)


1 bulb of Fennel
1 large Orange (I’ll tell you about our orange experiment in a bit)
1 Avocado (a.k.a. Her Ladyship)
Half a Red Onion

1 small handful of Flat Leaf Parsley (leaves only – no fucking stalks okay? If you don’t know what a ‘small handful’ is; ask Donald Trump)
A little Olive Oil
A little White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Black Pepper

Half a pint of Pernod, if liked.
Maybe some Edith Piaf or Jacques Brel for background music (yes, I know he’s Belgian, but fuck it).

Fennel is a beautiful thing; nearly as beautiful as an Avocado. Together, they are spectacular – high praise indeed, I know. When you add the sweet notes of Orange to the mix, well, just trust me. Okay? Have I ever let you down? (Don’t answer that).

Finely slice the Fennel – I do not use a mandolin, but if you don’t give a flying fuck about your fingertips, be my guest. Sven, as we know, is marvellous with his chopper, he usually gets to grips with it without much encouragement. Whilst he’s at it, I ask him to finely slice the Red Onion.

You’ll need to segment your Orange. Peel it and take the pith off –  pith-taking is nasty, but necessary on occasion. Carefully, cut down each membrane until you are left with a sliver of pure, unadulterated Orange. No pips – we don’t want pips, they’ll get stuck under somebody’s dental plate and you’ll be to blame.

Don’t waste the juice from your Orange – put it in the bowl with your Fennel, Red Onion, and the Orange segments. Season with salt and black pepper.

Disrobe Her Ladyship, the Avocado, and take out the stone. Up to you how you prepare her; I like chunks for a bit of contrast but maybe you are OCD and have to have slices. Add to the Fennel, Red Onion and Orange.

Roughly rip the Parsley leaves and add them to the bowl. Add a splash of Olive Oil, a splash of White Wine Vinegar and give it a gentle mix. Check the seasoning and you’re good to go.

I said I’d fill you in on our Orange experiment. It did not involve auto-erotic strangulation much to Sven’s dismay (the whinging little bastard is still sulking). I substituted a Blood Orange for the ordinary Orange. Yes! How fucking radical is that?! There is no stopping me once those creative juices start flowing.

I am also pondering the addition of some finely chopped Red Chilli.

Fennel. What is good for?
Not ‘absolutely nothing’ to paraphrase Edwin Starr. It is full of antoxidants that will help with that 40 a day Gauloises habit you’ve just acquired after listening to Edith Piaf.
Je ne regret rien. And neither should you (except maybe that night you woke up in back of a Police van with no shoes on and asked them for a lift home. You know who you are.)



Vietnamese Baked Sea Bass

Sea Bass
1 large Sea Bass (**one is enough for two as part of a meal if you’re having other stuff – but one each is better if that’s the main event. I’ll give the quantities for one – then you can just double up; who do you think I am? Carol fucking Vorderman?)
1 stalk of Lemongrass (bash it a bit with a rolling pin – pretend it is someone you have a mild dislike of, not George Osborne)
1 inch piece of Fresh Ginger (shredded)
Small handful of Coriander (roughly chopped  – stalks and all!)
1 Red Chilli  (sliced)
Red Onion (2 thin slices)
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
½ tsp of Caster Sugar
Juice of half a Lime
Couple of slices of Lime

I don’t need to tell you that the Sea Bass should be gutted and scaled. It does. Of course, Sven is used to dealing with this for me but you can ask your fishmonger. You can take the head off if you don’t want it looking at you on the plate; I usually just cover it with a lettuce leaf, like a nice hat.
Mix the Fish Sauce and Soy together with the Caster Sugar and Lime Juice; drop the Lemongrass, Chilli, shredded Ginger and Red Onion in and leave it to stand whilst you do other stuff; maybe have a drink? A word of caution – do not attempt to buy Snake Wine in your local Lidl. They will call the police. Have a nice beer. Similarly, leave out the soundtrack to Miss Saigon and look up Phạm Duy on Spotify – Vietnam’s answer to Bob Dylan; he won’t be there, but it’ll give you something to do.
Stuff the cavity of the fish with the marinated Chilli, Onion etc ; douse the inside with some of the marinade. Tuck the Coriander and Lime slices inside the fish. Pour the remaining marinade over the fish. (It makes me crazy when TV chefs get ‘marinade’ and ‘marinate’ mixed up – fucking morons. How much do they get paid?)
Wrap the fish in greaseproof paper, fold it over like a little parcel, then wrap it in foil. Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Check that it is cooked with a skewer, you’re looking for raw bits. Don’t overcook it.
You can serve it as I do, just whole in its paper, or take it off the bone and pour all the juices over…up to you. Jasmine or Sticky Rice is what I usually serve it with – but you can have chips if you want to ruin it. I’m not bothered, you are a free agent and this is your dinner.

The picture is from Jamie Oliver’s website and used with love and educational licence – I am educating you, you might not fucking know it, but I am. My Sea Bass looks a bit like that, only better; I wouldn’t be scattering crap all over the worktop like Ainsley Harriot on crack for one thing. The recipe comes from a Vietnamese friend of a friend – she is lovely but very bossy and she can’t cook rice for shit.

Next, I’ll show you what to do with a Green Papaya……




Hot Stuff Baby Tonight!

Laal Mas (or: Fuck me, how many chillies?!)


A Kashmiri Chilli Lamb Curry

One of the most wonderful Indian chefs on the planet, in my humble opinion, is Vivek Singh. I love him, nearly as much as I love Mr FF and Nick Cave. This recipe is one he (Vivek Singh, not Nick Cave) uses, it’s based on traditional methods; what follows is my interpretation based on his… yeah, yeah you get the picture. I have made this many times because Mr FF can’t get enough of those saucy Kashmiri Chillies. This enough for 4 people, or 2 greedy buggers. It is not for the faint-hearted or bone-idle, but if you love Indian food, you will love this.

For our vegetarian readers – look away now; there will be meat. Lamb, to be precise. Go on, go get a tofu burger or something, nothing for you to see here…. Come back later, we’ll have salad.


25-35 Kashmiri Chillies

Yes, you read that right. 25-35; experiment, find your safe level. We are often experimenting here at FF Mansions. It is very important to get the RIGHT chillies. Kashmiri Chillies are the large, dried, red variety, not massively hot, in fact they taste a bit like spicy toffee in this recipe – your local Asian grocer will have them in abundance or you can get them online (see shit link at the end). Do not go to e.g. Waitrose and spend the GDP of a small country on ‘A Pinch of Chilli’ in a fancy tub; do this and you deserve all you get; and that will be derision. And, it will serve you right, arsehole.

1 small stick of Cinnamon or Cassia Bark
150g Ghee (or Vegetable Oil if you’re dieting)
250g Plain Yoghurt (whisked until smooth)
2 tsp Cumin Seeds (toasted in a dry pan)

1.5 tsp Cloves
20g Ground Coriander (this is not a misprint. 20g. 2.0. Yes, it looks a lot – just do as you’re bloody told.)
1 tsp Chilli Powder (I know…more?! Fucking hell that’s a lot of chilli)
2 tsp Salt
3 Bay Leaves
6 Green Cardamom Pods
5 Black Cardamom Pods
75g Garlic Cloves (finely chopped. I get Sven to do this, it’s  a bugger of a job)
250g Onions (Sven chops these finely as well – he is an absolute marvel. We don’t call him Sven with the Fantastic Chopper for nothing)
1kg Diced Lamb (do not be tempted to chuck in any old scrag-end, you need good Lamb: organic, free-range, spent a month at a health spa just outside Zurich)
750ml Lamb Stock or water. (Please don’t use one of those bloody awful stock cubes, they are just not right, not right I tell you. They bring all sorts of interlopers to the party that you just don’t need – like that pillock nobody knew who said he was Billy from Methley, who stole my friend’s shoes, and a camera, and some other stuff. Twat.)
30g Coriander Leaves (chopped)


See? Not a bought paste, not a pre-prepared sachet of ‘Laal Mas flavouring’. Nada. This is the real McCoy.

And to drink? I reckon a six-pack of Kingfisher might just wash this little lot down. Fuck it. Get two, it takes a while to cook. Get the Bhangra on.

Put four or five of the Kashmiri Chillies aside, along with a few Cloves and a little Ghee or Oil. We’ll get to those in a while.

Do you have a broken coffee maker? I do; we are short of nothing here at FF Mansions. I am perfectly aware that this sounds like a daft question, I am full of them. But. You will need to soak 30 of your beautiful Kashmiri Chillies in boiling water, and like a cocaine-addled Hollywood starlet who ‘falls’ of a boat off Catalina Island, they just keep popping back up. I am a genius – I put them in the afore-mentioned coffee jug, add about half a pint of boiling water, and push the plunger down. Keep those suckers under. Now ignore them and get on with the rest. Do not make coffee in the broken coffee jug ever again.

In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, the ground coriander, toasted cumin seeds, chilli powder and salt together. The brown sludge that results is going to be wonderful. Trust me.

Get a big pan with a lid – a casserole-type, Le Creuset thing is good – and heat the Ghee/Oil (yes, in the pan, smart-arse). Add  the cloves, cinnamon/cassia bark, both lots of cardamoms and the bay leaves. Do not ignore these – if you do, the whole fucking lot is ruined. When they start to crackle, add the garlic. You want the garlic to just be turning golden – any more and it is as bitter as my ex-mother-in-law’s heart. Be careful. In now with the chopped onions, fry until golden. It’s all a bit ‘golden’ isn’t it? How lovely. Are you happy, stirring away, drinking your beer? Good.

Meat. I like meat. Good meat. Not bad meat. I will not get into an argument about eating it. It eats us sometimes.

Add the lamb – don’t cram it all in at once, give it room (something that woman in the supermarket should have thought of before going shopping in pale pink leggings and a tank-top). When the lamb is all sealed you need to drain those chillies. Do not, repeat, do not, throw that precious elixir of chilli-water away or I will find you and I will kill you. Add the chillies to the pan and give them a good mix so they spread their love all over the meat.

If you have bought ‘good meat’ you shouldn’t have a lot of liquid in the pan. There’s bound to be some – it’s meat, it has water in it, just like us, only I am more white wine than water it must be said. Just be a little patient and let it simmer away. Is your meat browning a bit? It ought to be by now, I’ve been here ages, I’m knackered. Add the spiced yoghurt and stir it in. Here we go again – I told you, it’s a fucking complicated recipe but it will be worth it. Let the yoghurt simmer away, right away, until there is barely a yoghurty dribble left. It should, if you have paid attention, be looking very rich and brown by now. You can add your stock or water now – but, hold on there, have you remembered something? You haven’t have you? Bleedin’ ‘ell, do I have to spell it out? The chilli elixir… yes, you dimwit. You’ve chucked it down the sink haven’t you? I fucking knew it. I don’t know why I waste my time. If you are one of the 5% who haven’t thrown it away, add it in place of some of the stock/water whatever. Waste not, want not, and all that.

Bring it to a gentle boil then turn it right down. Low. (Not my favourite Bowie album.) You can quite happily let this bubble gently away for a couple of hours, keep an eye on it though, don’t let it dry out. Check the seasoning, you might need more salt. I doubt you’ll need any more chillies because it is packed to the gunwales with them.

If you can bear it, you can leave it overnight and the flavours will develop (see previous recipes for my thoughts on this). Reheat thoroughly though or you will die.
Just before serving – make the ‘tadka’ with the saved chillies, cloves, ghee/oil. Heat the ghee/oil in a large ladle – or a small pan – until fairly hot. Throw in the saved spices and stir, you want them to crackle. Pour this over the hot Laal Mas. Add the fresh Coriander leaves; there you have it, Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt (although, in truth, Uncle Bob was never the same after the accident). Get it to the table, receive huge praise from the lazy bastards who’ve sat on their backsides and not lifted a finger to help. Have a beer, you deserve it.

FF Notes: You can serve this with Plain Basmati Rice, or Pillau, or chappati, or Naan, or all of these. Try and get hold of an industrial quantity of natural yoghurt as well – just saying. It’s a big, generous dish, great for parties – make double. God help your eyes with 70+ chillies cooking though.

Here’s a nice thing – a veritable poem to the mysteries of the spice box. I feel exactly like this when I open up my Tupperware:

“Inside, the box was divided into tiered chambers, each with a lacquered lid, and these held a selection of ground and whole spices: sage, turmeric, cumin, ginger, mustard, cinnamon, asafoetida, mace, cayenne, and cloves. I felt like an emperor receiving the treasures of a new country. The odour rising from the box was like a clambering vine wrapping itself thickly around my head, musky with the deep minerals of the earth and dusting my shoulders with a rainbow of pollen.”Eli Brown, Cinnamon and Gunpowder

That link I mentioned for Kashmiri Chillies: http://www.amazon.co.uk/WHOLE-KASHMIRI-CHILLIES-CHILLI-CHILLY/dp/B00CX39KB2/ref=sr_1_6?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1458149427&sr=1-6&keywords=kashmiri+chillies+whole

Look, sorry, I am not bloody Bill Gates right?! I do not (yet) know how make these bastard links more elegant. I will learn. Sven will teach me when he gets back from his ‘Wax Yourself Thin’ evening class.

Sven’s back – very shiny. And thinner. Here you go. Isn’t he just fabulous?

Kashmiri Chillies


Nachos with Salsa and…. Avocado!

Nachos just died and went to Heaven.


I have developed quite a passion for the little Green Goddess. She is a beautiful thing. Think about it…Guacamole; stuffed into sushi rolls; or smashed with Lime & Chilli; tossed with thinly sliced Fennel and Orange; smeared on the lower portions of Sven, the houseboy…. I could go on (better not, Mr FF might fire his ass when he finds out what ‘recipe-testing’ consists of).

What I cannot comprehend is why this ‘vegetable’ (or is it a ‘fruit’? It is isn’t it? Fuck. I hate fruit.) is packed to the brim with FAT! Yes, fat. That’s is just not fucking fair, they grow on trees. We all know fat grows on bacon. Your average Avocado has 47% Fat; one of these little darlings weighing at a reasonable 200gms has about 247 calories made up of FAT!! The rest is made up of Paradise, so fuck it. Let’s roll….

Anyone who makes their own Nacho (tortilla) chips has too much bastard time on their hands. Buy them, and pick up a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc whilst you’re at it; better still, some Jose Cuervo Gold. Stay right away from the Dorito-type shit. These are not nice and should, if all was righteous and fair, be confined to the deepest bowels of Hell. El Paso Nachips* are pretty good – not too salty and they are round – now there’s original. Round. A Nobel Prize for Innovation will be turning up on their doorstep sometime soon I’ll wager.

A word of warning – you can get these* in a box with ready-made ‘Salsa’. Don’t. Just fucking don’t. Okay? I found a packet in my store-cupboard, thrown to the back in disgust; the sell-by date was June, 2019. The ‘Salsa’ is vile, there’s more chemicals in it than they found at Sid Vicious’ autopsy. Leave it.

Okay, where was I? Nachos… yes.

1 pack Nachips (any accompanying ‘Salsa’ – you know what to do)
1 x Small White Onion (finely chopped – I get Sven to do mine, he’s very good you know)
2 x Green Chillies (finely chopped, seeds in or out, whatever floats your boat)
3 x Tomatoes (the bigger and juicier the better)
1 x small bunch of Coriander (or ‘Cilantro’ if you are about to be taken over by a Fascist coup)
Tomato Purée (just a little squeeze)
2 x Limes (Juiced. You can use Lemon if you want – I think Limes are better but himself likes the acidic kick of Lemon – philistine)
Grated Cheese  (lots, about 150gms. Or more, cheese freak.)
1 x Avocado (aka Her Ladyship. Peeled, de-stoned, sliced or broken gently into chunks)
Salt and Pepper


Most of the work is in the chopping. You definitely need a good chopper. Try and get everything (except Her Ladyship) about the same size – not too big, not too small. I’m not measuring it for you, you’re not a blithering idiot.

When you are satisfied that the onions, chillies, and tomatoes are the optimum size, throw them in a bowl with the juice of the limes and squeeze of Tomato Purée (alright, you can use a teaspoon if you are a ham-fisted twat). Mix it up. You can be quite rough here, get that tomato juice and citrus working.

Now, normally, I would never advocate using a knife on soft leaves – they bruise easily don’cha know – but here, it works. Chop the coriander leaves into fine shreds. You can also add some of the finely chopped stalks too, but not that fucking slimy bit at the bottom, bleurgh! The stalk is where the flavour is really, so why they should go like sump water if you try keep a bunch fresh in a glass of water mystifies me.

Season with salt and pepper (I don’t have to tell you that I mean freshly ground Black Pepper do I? I do? Fuck me, how long have you been cooking for yourself?)

Have a taste.
Does it taste nice?
Excellent. Leave it alone and stop dipping in with the dry Nachips. Stop it! Have a drink; a small Tequila perhaps, and put some Gypsy Kings on, have a dance. Let the salsa just sit a while and ponder the miracle of life and the chances of Donald Trump ever sitting behind a desk in the Oval Office.

If, in your (by now, expert) opinion, it tastes like crap, add more chillies, more lime. Maybe add a touch of Chilli Powder, a pinch of Paprika. Hey, what about a splash of that Tequila you’re gripping like a vice and refusing to share?

Set the oven at 180 fan.

You have squeezed some lime juice over the Avocado*  haven’t you? No? You heartless fuck. You only ever think about yourself don’t you? She is is gasping for it. Go on, do it; do it now.

(*she will always have a capital letter, it’s only right.)

This is the really hard bit: put the Nachips (or equivalent – you bought Doritos didn’t you? You bloody did. You utter bastard. What did I tell you?!) into an oven-proof dish or small roasting tin. An even-ish layer, don’t be getting a slide-rule out. Spoon over your, by now, delicious salsa. Try not to get carried away, you don’t want to drown the poor bastards. Gently, lovingly, with great care, add your chunks/slices of loveliness that is the Avocado. Get the grated cheese and sprinkle on top. I like to leave some of the chips naked around the edges – they get nice and crisp in the oven and add texture. Get me with my ‘texture’! Gordon Ramsay… eat your heart out baby – no, I mean it, fucking do it; I’d buy a ticket.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese bubbles a little – check it’s hot right through.

Serve immediately with soured cream and a poncey scattering of Coriander leaves.
Remember that Tequila? It’s in the kitchen, half-empty, you lush. Go get it.

Luke B’s Avocado & Almond Salad

This is extremely healthy and tastes absolutely fucking marvellous.

100gm of Blanched Almonds
Pinch of Dried Red Chilli
Olive Oil (just a splash, don’t go fucking bonkers, you’re not making chips)

Heat the Olive oil in a small pan, when it’s warm, chuck in the almonds and Dried Chilli. Watch them like a bastard hawk because they will burn the moment you turn your back. Whilst they are warm, season with salt and pepper.

Have a Tequila, if liked.

2 x Avocados
1 x Habanero chilli (finely chopped)
2 x Spring Onions (finely sliced)
Small bunch of Coriander (rip the leaves off)
I x Lime (juiced)

Get to work on the salad.

As an aside; I get a great deal of satisfaction from my big, sharp, cook’s knife – a quick whack, a little twist, and it comes clean out. Job done. No mess. You can do this with an Avocado stone as well.

Scoop out that lovely green flesh from the Avocados. Chop it a bit – I like big bits, but you can please yourself, I don’t care. Why not go Shoreditch rustic like that fat-tongued twonk, Jamie Oliver? Get some Lime juice on the bastard – do it quick or you will have brown mush and your reputation will be in shreds; you will not be able to hold your head up at the next ‘Marxism for the Middle-classes’ evening soiree.

Chuck in the green chilli, coriander, and spring onion. Now get those almonds and sling them in. Give it all a gentle mix – I said gentle – do not go at it like Kanye West pissed up on a Saturday night.

Dressing? Don’t mind if I do…

2 x tbsp Dijon mustard
1 x tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
1 x tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to season

Mix it all together. Add to the salad just before you serve or you will regret it. I am toying with splashing a bit of Calle 23 sipping Tequila in this motherfucker, I’ll let you know how that goes…if I remember.

You will have your own likes/dislikes/idiosyncrasies so knock yourself out – this isn’t set in stone you can always add other salad to it. Or, possibly, grilled Chicken (free-range, organic, been on a two week holiday to The Seychelles). Pervert.

From the FF font of knowledge:

Avocado is a well-known source of mono-unsaturated fat; good for the heart and circulation. Did you know that men with heart disease are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction? Me neither, I put it down to three bottles of Merlot. Who knew? Anyway, Omega-3 fatty acids found in almonds are good for, you know, blood flow; so you may want to bear this health stuff in mind. On the other hand it’s rumoured that Jerry Hall-Murdoch has banned all Avocado and Almond-based dishes from her multi-million $ lair in The Bahamas. Can’t imagine why…..

With undying thanks and love to Luke B. for the recipe. I didn’t even know he could cook – I thought he spent all his time singing one R.E.M. song over and over again and shaving his head. xx

Spice Up Your Life


These are fucking fabulous and you can make them spicier if you want by adding a bit more green chilli and chilli powder. Whatever floats your boat, baby.

1  x egg from a chikkin
Half a medium onion, finely chopped
Half a Green Pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 x Green Chillies (you can leave the seeds in and live a little)
2 x teaspoons Fresh Ginger, grated (you can buy this is in a jar now – fuck me, that’s lazy)
3 x cloves Garlic
½ lb minced Lamb (if you have a tame butcher get him/her to mince it finely – don’t buy that fucking rubbish from the supermarket with noses and arseholes)
1 teaspoon Salt (or less if, like me, you taste salt over everything else, damn.)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala (I’m such a purist, I make my own, I’ll give you a swear-free recipe soon, promise)
Little bit of Red Chilli Powder (depends how much you like, I like it hot, hotter than Hell)
Small handful of fresh Coriander, chopped

The Method (after Stanislavsky):

Mix the egg, onion, green pepper, chillies, ginger and garlic together, using a liquidizer or one of those hand-held thingies. (Granddaughter calls it a ‘Mazjuzha’ but she’s from Yorkshire not Azerbaijan, so I don’t know where she got that from… oh, me.). Or chop ’til you drop. Your choice; I’m not judging you. You have to live with it, not me.

In a bowl, mix the egg mixture with the minced lamb. Get your hands in there and give it good bash about until everything is evenly mixed through. Feel that mixture going through your fingers… go on, you know you want to.

I let it stand for about an hour to let the spices mingle but you can use it straight away if you want. Impatient fucker.

Get a handful of the mixture and manipulate into a sausage shape, about an inch or so thick maybe four inches long. If you have read (or, God Forbid, seen – I swear I went blind right then and there) 50 Shades of Grey you might just be able to manage this. Do this until you have used it all up. Avoid leaving behind a dried husk of what was formerly a meat-based appetiser.

If you want to be extra swanky, like say, Samantha Hameron, wrap the kebab mixture around skewers. Or, have your slave do this for you and take all the credit.

If you’re having a party which calls for small hand-held nibbles, you can make little ones, but they will take less cooking time and you have to keep an eye on them (them and the guests – last time they nicked your best cutlery, remember?) (yes, I do.)

FF Tips:

If you wet your hands a bit (with water, tssk.)  the kebab mixture won’t stick. There’s nothing worse is there? Well, yes actually, there is – Global Warming, the rise of Fascism; but we’re making kebabs. Fuck it.

If using wooden skewers, soak them first. Use water, not petrol. Otherwise your back patio will resemble a KKK Meeting and Donald Trump will turn up and eat the fucking lot.

Pre-heat the grill and cook as you would ordinary sausages, turning every now and again. If indeed, that is how you cook your sausages. I make no comment; I don’t pry, it’s not ladylike.

You can also stick these on a BBQ. Poncey sod. If you take this route, avoid the hockey puck/carbon stage as this will result in a massive row and break your teeth. (Summer 2014).

Thought for the Day:

We’re not just any star stuff, most of which is humdrum hydrogen and listless helium. Our bodies include fancier ingredients like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and a few other herbs and spices. Seth Shostak
Not forgetting the chillies….

Souper Soup



1 x large Onion (finely chopped)
2 x cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
1 x large, mild Red Chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped – or leave the seeds in, you fucking pussy)
1 x small Green Chilli (ditto)
1 x large Courgette (cut lengthways then sliced 1 or 2 cm chunks; thing is, what else are you supposed to do with these fuckers? They are relentless. I think they want to take over the planet.)
1 x large Carrot (small chunks)
1 x Green or Red Pepper or both, doesn’t really matter, please yourself (small – but not too small – chunks)
2 x Sticks of Celery (finely sliced)
1 x small Aubergine (small chunks – I hate the stuff so I leave it out, it’s not missed I promise you – vile fucking sponge, that’s not a vegetable, it’s a thief and it’s rank.)
2 x Bay Leaves
400gm tin of whole plum tomatoes (don’t use ready-chopped, that’s what they sweep up off the floor.)
500mm Vegetable Stock (Marigold is good for this; it’s also good for a hangover: big tsp Marigold, mug of boiling water and stir, plus 2 x Paracetamol, if liked.)
250gm tin of Butter Beans (use Haricot/Cannellini if you like. Or none, if you hate beans; bean hater.)
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Fennel Seeds (toasted in a dry pan gently – watch these bastards because they will burn)
Salt & Black Pepper
A Pinch of Sugar (cuddles the tomatoes)
A small handful of Basil leaves (torn)
1 tsp Dried Oregano
A Glug of Olive Oil to sauté

White or Red wine and a glass.

Put some Vegetarian music on. Morissey maybe.

Method in the madness:

Heat the Olive oil in a large saucepan, gently sauté the vegetables until soft and have a little colour – I said ‘a little’ not fucking charcoal, okay? Add the toasted Fennel Seeds and Smoked Paprika and, over a low heat, gently stir until the vegetables are coated in the oil. If you have a stick blender, put the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar in a jug and blend, if not, be patient… just chuck them in the pan as they are and wait – they’ll break down eventually.

Drink some wine, sing along. (Which reminds me: I gave my old mum a lift to the doctor; I had The Smiths on the cassette player – yes, that long ago, Old School. She said ‘Who’s this miserable bugger?’ and ejected it. She liked Bowie though. And Gin.)

Add the tomatoes and Bay Leaves to the pan and stir.
Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Turn it down and simmer for about 10 -15 minutes.
Are the vegetables tender?
Add your bean of choice.
Simmer a bit more, then add your bean of choice. Or no beans, I don’t care.

Season with salt and pepper to taste – at this stage you can add more Smoked Paprika or even throw in some dried Chilli Flakes if you want; it’s your soup after all, who’s fucking looking? If it starts to look too thick, throw in a bit more stock and drink some wine.

Cook on a low simmer for about half an hour. I put it on one of those diffuser things.

Taste it.
Does it taste nice? Yes?
Throw in the torn Basil leaves and turn the heat off; it’s good to go.
Leave it a bit longer, add more of what you fancy – spices, salt, black pepper, whatever – until it does. Beat that fucker into submission.
F&F Notes:
I have this with really nice toast (Sourdough or Ciabatta are great) and grated Parmesan – ooh! and a bit more Olive Oil. If you want, you can throw in Orzo or bits of broken up spaghetti 10 minutes or so before the end of cooking (or even… now, this is drastic…small cubes of potato, which, when they’re cooked in that spicy, tomatoey sauce are lovely, but be careful because they are sneaky pillocks and if they break down they turn your soup into glue. Cunts.).

No, repeat, NO, fucking bastarding Quinoa or any of that chicken food hipster shit. It is very forgiving and doesn’t mind in least if you fuck about with it, but I suspect it would revolt and you’ll end up with wallpaper paste or something that looks like brains. So… step away from the Quinoa. Have some wine.

I devised this from a Ratatouille recipe because I like the idea of this French Classic but it is often disappointing and I don’t like being disappointed, especially by vegetables. They often promise so much but leave you deflated, confused, and upset. Bastards.

I make it in big batches for the freezer, then I ignore it for six months or longer because I love cooking for others but I generally avoid eating if I can get away with it – but I do honestly love this when it is put in front of me and I am force-fed. It will warm your cockles; promise. A friend told me it cured her ‘flu, so there, what do you think of that?!

You can vary almost everything here – I have tried it with all sorts of different spices and herbs, it’s versatile so you can bugger about with it:

Don’t like Fennel? Fuck it, don’t put any in; nobody is calling the cops. Try Cumin seeds instead, that worked. Not Caraway though – I had a go and it was fucking awful.

You like more heat? Put more Chillies in. Less to none? Leave ’em out all together.

It’s also good if you can bear to leave it overnight for all the flavours to come together (I can; I can leave it for weeks on end or forever). It’s good for a pasta sauce as well if you reduce it down a bit.

Let me know if you make it and what you think of it in the comments.

Thought for the Day: “So what is the best vegetable? Well, we all know that: it’s the potato. The vegetable you can’t screw up. You can throw a potato into a bonfire, run away from it – and, an hour later, it’s turned into a meal. Try doing that with broccoli, or a trifle, and it will laugh in your face.”
Caitlin Moran, Moranthology

Ms Moran has a point – but there are some vicious potatoes out there – as is plainly obvious because there’s talk of ‘running away’ from one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Welcome to Fayre and Foul.

Welcome to Fayre and Foul.

I fucking love cooking; I should have been a chef but I got side-tracked by movies. I love Philosophy: I should have been a Philosopher but there’s no bloody money in it.  I also ought to mention that I  love the creative application of our Mother Tongue.

So… my little blog aims to bring these passions together and present some ideas for spicing up the ordinary; hopefully in more ways than one. I may veer off on tangents occasionally, but I will get back to the cooking.  All my recipes are tested within an inch of their lives, you have my word that I won’t poison you or present anything that isn’t 100% delicious and life-affirming. In our extensive research facility here at FF Mansions, Mr FF is a willing guinea pig, he may chip in from time to time, just ignore him. He hasn’t a fucking clue, he just eats it and says it’s ‘nice’. Bastard.

You can still follow the recipes even if you don’t swear or think too deeply about the existential aspects of our place here on Earth – they will still taste good. Promise.

If you are offended by profanity, off you pop, back to Nigella with you. Go on! Clear off…


“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W.C. Fields