Sliced ham recipe

SLICED HAM RECIPE :  Just back from a great weekend in the English countryside. I was visiting Kip & Elise, my Aunt & Uncle and managed to fit in a spot of cooking. There is something about their kitchen that leads to cullinary experimentation and this time it was trying my hand at making pressed ham for sliced cold meats (luncheon meats).

Kip has made it for us in the past and we agreed that the taste, texture and reduced salt content will convert you in a heart beat. You can really taste the bay leaves, juniper berries and cider in the ham, which shaves perfectly into paper thin slices, just wonderful in a sandwich.

Not only does it taste better but making your own sliced ham is far more economical than buying it at the supermarket or butcher and stays fresh longer without that nasty oxidised taste, as you slice it as needed. Kip even keeps the stock and uses it to make wonderful green split pea soup, which will post in the future.




21 April 2009


Rice Pudding


It is funny how you grow up believing that certain foods should be made in certain ways. It is hard to break the mould of family tradition, especially for tried, tested and true recipes.

My English grandmother always made rice pudding in the oven, with butter, nutmeg, sultanas and fresh full fat milk, delivered in glass bottles to the house each day. As children we adored having the responsibility of leaving the small green token for the milkman, along with the empty bottles for him to collect and replace with filled ones. When you peeled back the thin aluminium cap, there was a thick layer of cream that had settled on the top.  Who ever was in charge of the tokens was in charge of the cream!

Thus for me this recipe was made in the oven, baked until a nice golden crust formed on top. It was only recently that I changed my tune and now enjoy stirring a steaming pot of this creamy desert on the stove top. One advantage I found to making rice pudding this way, is that you can better control its consistency, avoiding the disappointment of the desert drying out. And if you do not like nutmeg or cardamom, as mentioned in my recipe, you can replace these spices with half a vanilla bean!



30 August 2007


{KIP’S GARIBALDI BISCUITS} What’s in a name ….. While my uncles birth certificate reads ‘Nicholas Alliston’, very few people know this, and even fewer call him anything but Kip. A nickname he was given by my grandfather – a true gourmand, who had a weakness for Kippers (a smoked fish of either salmon or herring)

As the story goes, my grandfather was at home in bed with the flu. Impatient as he was when it came to food, he couldn’t wait for his breakfast, so he shouted downstairs ‘where’s my Kipper?’ At which point my uncle jumped out from behind the door and shouted ‘here I am!’ – and the name has stuck ever since. As a child he couldn’t pronounce nor spell ‘Kipper’, and so, as children do, he changed it to Kippa, which turned into Kip –  but the route is there as is his love for food and cooking.

When visiting his house in the country your nose is invigorated by delicious smells that come wafting from the kitchen…. pork pie, roasted balsamic tomatoes, soufflé, homemade bread…. However, I have generally been a passive observer, an eager taster but rarely his sou-chef in such creations. That was until this summer when I was indoctrinated into the ‘Alliston Garibaldi kitchen of fame’.

The following is the recipe my uncle taught me, one that he had perfected over time, in a quest to keep up with my Aunts love of biscuits and cups of tea. They originate from England and are named after the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), who enjoyed eating these biscuits when he visited the UK. The small personal touch I added, was to use only currents (no raisins) and to reduce the quantity from 400g to 300g.

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