Cooking great food is simple and fun. Or at least it really ought to be. Anyone can do it - I really believe that.
My Approach To Cooking - Simplicity
Too many recipes are complex, contorted and ingredient-intensive - so that they're nearly impossible to follow and are prone to failure. I don't like that.
I don't really like even taking recipe books into the kitchen - they make it harder to enjoy the process of cooking. What's needed is:
- basic, versatile recipes upon which you can build
- a general understanding of how ingredients work and how to use them, individually and together
Simplicity - no mysteries or secrets - no pointless elaboration or pretence - no arcane instructions or jargon - no expensive ingredients used once, then left to languish in a cupboard
Just great food that anyone can enjoy making and enjoy eating.
Sweet Chestnut Biscuits
October 2014 - another great year for sweet chestnuts - too many for the squirrels and jays to cope with, so I was able to collect a large basket full of them.
Let's see what we can make with this wild bounty - starting with Sweet Chestnut Biscuits.
September 2014 - The blackberries seem a bit late this year, but now they're here, they're fantastic!
Let's make something that really shows off their delicious flavour and aroma - Blackberry Fool.
Experimental Duck Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
August 2014 - a bit of an experiment that I have been wondering about for a while - what happens if you make chocolate chip cookies using duck fat instead of butter?
Raspberry Jam Vodka
June 2014 - This is an experiment I've had in mind to try for a while now - a potentially very quick and easy way to make fruit flavoured liqueur, at any time of year.
Experimental Recipe - Pavlova Pops
May 2014 - This is a bit of an experiment to see if it's possible to make Pavlova in bite-sized form, on a stick.
Inside Out Pie
May 2014 - Another experiment with reinvention of my favourite food - pie!
Here is a pie made inside out - the crust is made from seasoned ground beef - filled with dumplings and gravy.
The All Meat Pie
May 2014 - Combining two of my favourite things: inventing stuff, and pies.
Here is a pie made completely from meat - even the crust! It's the All Meat Pie.
Blue String Pudding
April 2014 - This is an experimental dessert recipe, inspired by a fond childhood memory of The Clangers.
The Clangers were pink, mouse-like aliens that starred in a stop-motion animated series in the late 1960s to early 1970s - one of the foods they loved to eat was called Blue String Pudding.
Bacon Topped Lardy Cake
April 2014 - This is a recipe for Lardy Cake, with a difference - it's topped with a crunchy mix of sugar and crispy, salty bacon.
Steak And Kidney Pie - The Ultimate Pie!
February 2014 - I love pies, and the very best of pies (in my opinion) is a Steak and Kidney pie.
Here's how I make the perfect, rich, meaty filling for this, the King of Pies!
Pick And Mix Vegetable Soups
February 2014. Making your own soup to take to work for lunch is a great way to save money and maintain a healthy diet.
But making it in bulk means monotony, doesn't it? Not with this scheme - you can cook once, in bulk, then eat dozens of different varieties of soup.
Hot Cross Gingerbread Melon Pan
January 2014 - Japanese Melon Pan is a kind of sweet bread roll, with a crumbly, sugary cookie crust.
Here's a new twist - a fruited hot cross bun, wrapped in gingerbread - Hot Cross Gingerbread Melon Pan!
The first Saturday in January 2014 - too wet to go out and too cold to play ball.
So I consulted my lists of ideas and picked an experiment that's been at the back of my mind for maybe a year now - to make a waffle entirely out of bacon.
Sprout And Stilton Soup
December 2013 -here's a recipe that's perfect for the interval between Christmas and New Year - a delicious warming soup made from Stilton Cheese and Brussels Sprouts.
Asian Pear Tarte Tatin
December 2013 - here's a recipe for a Tarte Tatin topped with caramelised Asian pears, flavoured with brandy and star anise, on a delicious crumbly base made from semolina butter shortbread.
Cheese Wafer Cones
December 2013 - Here's how to make delicious, crispy savoury wafers that can be served as crackers, or curled into cones and filled.
They're made with just a single ingredient - cheese! - so they're suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Toffee Apple Tart
October 2013 - This is a recipe for a biscuit based tart topped with a fresh toffee-flavoured apple compote.
Fat-Free Carrot And Bran Cake
This rich, chewy carrot, apple and raisin filled cake doesn't contain eggs or added fat.
It's also a great source of dietary fibre, as it's based on wheat bran, soaked in cider.
Toasted Pumpkin Seed Ice Cream
This is a recipe for ice cream made with toasted pumpkin seeds.
That might sound like a strange flavour for ice cream, but the result is nutty and delicious.
Pease Pudding is a traditional dish made from yellow split peas, cooked with ham stock, salt and spices, then served as a spread on bread, or as an accompaniment to the gammon or bacon with which it was cooked.
Here's how to make it.
Preserved Citrus Peel
I bought myself a lovely little Italian citrus squeezer for a bargain price in a charity shop.
It's a sturdy, solid little gadget - a thing of beauty - probably intended for lemons, but works very well with limes and small oranges too.
But what to do with all the leftover rinds?
Double Malt Chocolate Sandwich Biscuits
February 24, 2013 - This is a recipe for chocolate sandwich biscuits - similar to (and based on) Bourbon Creams, but with a malty cream filling.
Toad In The Roll - Reinventing The Sausage Roll
February 10, 2013 - This is a recipe for a twist on a familiar British favourite - the sausage roll - except these are rolled up into spiral buns, with mustard baked inside them.
December 30, 2012 - This is a recipe for a tasty, crunchy-chewy gingerbread, presented as a huge party-sized slab for breaking and sharing - design inspired by fossils from the Jurassic coasts of Great Britain.
End Of The World Pickle
December 13, 2012 - The end of the world is nigh! Oh Noes!
Time for action - I thought I'd make something that can't be used until 2013 - to tangibly demonstrate how seriously I take these prophecies of doom.
This is End Of The World Pickle.
Home Made Yoghurt
Making yoghurt is an easy way to use up a surplus milk. With a little care and experimentation, you can tailor the end product to be exactly the way you like it.
Egg Yolk Cookies
A lot of recipes - including a few here at Atomic Shrimp - call for separated egg whites, but what are you supposed to do with the yolks?
How about some of these sweet little cookies?
Coconut Meringue Macaroons
These light macaroons are crisp and golden on the outside, with a chewy, marshmallowy centre.
Tomato Soup Cake
This is a recipe sent in to Atomic Shrimp by email - Tomato Soup Cake - that's right - it's cake, and one of the main ingredients is a can of tomato soup!
Baked Fondue Bread
It's just bread and cheese, but as you've never seen it before - this is an experimental recipe for baking a whole small soft cheese inside a loaf of bread.
Easy Cheesy Rarebit
Here's a quick and easy recipe for a delicious savoury rarebit - perfect as a light lunch, or suppertime snack.
Weigh-The-Same Fairtrade Fridge Bars
Here's a very quick and easy recipe for rich, fruity, nutty, chocolatey fudge-style bars.
Self-Organising Custard Pie
This is a baked custard pie with a difference - because it essentially makes itself.
All you do is mix all the ingredients and bake - and when it comes out, it has a soft pastry crust on the bottom, and a moist wobbly custard filling on top.
Spiced Apple Scones With Quick Blueberry Compote
These moist and crumbly apple scones are delicious just split and buttered, or spread with jam.
Even better, this recipe also includes a quick, simple blueberry compote that complements them very nicely.
Boil Bake Fruitcake
This is a recipe for a light and moist fruit cake - it's what's known as a boiled cake, which might not sound too promising, but it's an easy way of achieving a reliable result where the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the cake - it's Boil-Bake Fruitcake.
Devilled Bean Cobbler
This is a substantial and hearty dish of succulent beans in a spicy sauce, topped with fluffy scones - Devilled Bean Cobbler
Here's a quick, simple recipe for light, delicate soft semolina cookies that melt in the mouth.
Billy No Mates Cake
Someone gave me a starter for German Friendship Cake - this is a sourdough culture that you feed for a while, then divide and use some, giving other portions of the live starter away to friends.
But what if nobody gives *you* the sourdough starter? Well, don't worry - you can make something very similar, called Billy No Mates Cake.
Breakfast Pie - A Full English Breakfast, in pie form! Can it be possibly true?
It certainly can - we live in an age of wonders!
This is a wild food recipe for something called Nettle Pudding. You could think of it as a vegetarian version of Black Pudding - it's ideal for slicing and frying to form the hearty centre of a cooked breakfast, or it can be sliced thinly and used in sandwiches.
Unsinkable Fruity Battenberg Cake
This is another Battenberg-inspired cake - this time including chunks of delicious fruits - A common problem with cakes like this is that the pieces of fruit tend to sink - but here's a clever trick to overcome it.
Croissants And Pains Au Chocolat
This was my first ever attempt at making croissants - I'd always thought it would be difficult, but it turned out to be quite easy - and the results were fantastic.
Chocolate And Pear Cakes With Cooked Flour Frosting
These chocolate muffins have two surprises in store - inside the moist chocolate cake, there's a nugget of juicy pear, and the cooked flour frosting is amazingly creamy and light.
Harlequin Battenberg Muffins
These Battenberg-inspired cupcakes are deliciously moist and tasty, with a colourful surprise inside.
Some of the ingredients might raise an eyebrow too.
Non-Calendar Date Slabs
January 2011 - Christmas has come and gone - and I've got some leftover dates to use up - so I made these chewy, oaty date slices.
Marmalade And Chocolate Tarts
Here's a recipe for crisp and tangy little bite-sized marmalade tarts, topped with bittersweet chocolate.
Easy Cheesy Puffs
Here's a quick and easy way to make cheesy puff pastry, then transform it into tasty party snacks.
Games Night Biscuits
I'm trying to start a new tradition in the Atomic Shrimp household - Saturday night is going to be family games night.
To add to our enjoyment, I've made these special biscuits with a games theme.
This is my recipe for a rich Christmas cake. It's packed with preserved fruits, making it naturally moist - and this will be enhanced by 'feeding' it with brandy.
Fruity Bread And Butter Pudding
This pudding is an old-fashioned British classic recipe and is a great way to transform the remains of a stale loaf into a delicious and comforting dish.
Whole Clementine Marmalade (Syrup - Preserved Clementines)
These clementines are cooked and preserved in a spiced syrup, making a sort of marmalade, but with the fruit left completely whole and intact.
They look fantastic in the jar - and the flavour is superbly intense and aromatic.
Red Chilli Jelly
This red chilli jelly is sweet and fruity, with a well-rounded chilli flavour and heat.
It's great with cheese and cold meats, for glazing hams and roasts, or, if you fancy something unusual, as a topping for ice cream.
Raspberry And Orange Meringue Pie
Here's a recipe for a dessert with a flavour and appearance designed to surprise.
It's a variation on the popular classic Lemon Meringue Pie, but this one is flavoured with raspberries and orange instead.
Steak And Kidney Pudding
Here's another classic British dish - much misunderstood and often under-appreciated.
But folks don't know what they're missing - it's steak and kidney pudding.
Fiercely Fishy Pie
Fish Pie is a classic British dish - but some examples of it will have you hunting for traces of the main ingredient.
This one is designed as the antidote to mediocre fish pie - so it's crammed with four different kinds of fish, and lots of it - I'm calling it Fiercely Fishy Pie
Weigh The Same Ginger Cakes
These little ginger cakes are rich and spicy. They're also easy to make because they're based on a weigh-the-same recipe.
Rhubarb And Custard Ice Lollies
This is an experiment to bring a fresh twist to an old traditional favourite - rhubarb and custard - I'm going to try to serve it in the form of ice lollies.
Mum's Chocolate And Raisin Jumbles
My mother used to make these cookies when I was a child - they're loaded with chocolate and raisins and they're crisp, yet soft and slightly chewy - called Chocolate And Raisin Jumbles - and they're altogether delicious..
Fully Loaded Rock Cakes
These are the rock cakes you have been looking for.
I've bent the rules a bit and heaped them full of fruit and chocolate - you won't believe how good they taste.
Hearty Bean Bake
This hearty bean bake is just perfect as a warming meal after coming in from the cold.
It's based on a substantial soup - it needs planning ahead and making over the course of a couple of days, but the end result is well worth it.
King Alfred's Pudding
King Alfred burned the cakes - it's probably just a legend, but let's not allow facts to ruin a good story...
So When I accidentally (slightly) burned some cakes, I decided to use them to create this recipe
Fruity Oaty Bar (Not Mandatory)
This idea grew out of a previous experiment to make energy bars - but this time, I wanted to try making them with white chocolate so as to show off the fruit.
Also, I've long wanted to make something I could label 'Fruity Oaty Bar'.
These delicious pancakes packed in a jar of syrup are perfect for picnics or parties, they can be prepared in advance and will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Chocolate Beetroot Muffins
OK, this is not an original concept - everybody has been talking about chocolate and beetroot cakes and brownies - and I was curious enough to give it a try...
These chocolate and beetroot muffins are made to my own recipe and I was very pleased with their light sponge texture and rich chocolate flavour.
Mum's Cheese And Onion Slice
This cheese and onion slice is a teatime favourite from my childhood - to make sure I got it absolutely right, I asked my mother to spend an afternoon recreating it with me.
While I was preparing acorns for cakes, I noticed their similarity to chickpeas in texture, flavour and consistency. I thought it would be interesting to try making them into a savoury snack - acorn falafel
Weigh The Same Carrot Muffins
These moist, yet light and fluffy carrot muffins couldn't be simpler to make - all the main ingredients weigh the same.
Spurred on by earlier positive results with edible acorns, I went back and picked a whole basketful - now to see what I can make with them - starting with a rich acorn gingerbread
Bavarian Apple Cake
Here's a recipe for a scrumptious apple dessert that can't make up its mind whether it's a pie, cake or crumble.
Harvest Celebration Loaf
October 2009 - we were commissioned to make a traditional harvest celebration loaf for the harvest display at a local primary school - here's how we made it
Honey-Glazed Fennel Seed Crackers - From Your Pasta Rolling Machine
If you've got a pasta machine, did you know it can do other things besides making pasta?
Here's one of them - you can make these sweet glazed crackers
Crispy Jacket Potato Wedges
These crispy spiced potato wedges make an excellent alternative to fries
This oven-baked recipe is low-fat, gluten-free and really simple to make
Gnettle Gnocchi - A Wild Food Recipe
Stinging nettles are normally a wild vegetable for the springtime and early summer, but you can sometimes find them out of season
That's what I did - and I used them to make nettle gnocchi
This is a recipe for sweet, delicious dessert empanadas - made from gingerbread and stuffed with chocolate, marshmallow and raisins
Toad In The Hole
Toad in the hole is a classic English dish of sausages baked in batter - served with a rich onion gravy.
No amphibians were harmed in the making of this meal.
These sweet little macaroons are deliciously nutty and chewy - the perfect accompaniment to a mid-morning coffee.
Rum And Raisin Chocolate Torte
This is a recipe for a dark chocolate torte with a luscious velvety texture, filled with rum-soaked raisins.
Baked Cheesecake With Oranges, Honey And Walnuts
This is a recipe for a rich baked cheesecake that can be eaten on its own or topped with fruit or other sweet things.
I topped this one with fresh orange segments, honey and walnuts - it was fantastic.
Butter Shortbread Hearts
These crisp shortbread biscuits are simple to make and are delicious on their own, or topped with yoghurt and fresh fruit or crumbled over ice cream.
Savoury Cheese Straws
These cheese straws are good with dips or salads, or just as a tasty snack.
Pear Brioche Tart With Anise Syrup
Here's a simple recipe for an outstandingly moist and delicious brioche tart - drenched with spiced syrup.
Box-Baked French Cheese Fondue
This is a meal based on really simple preparation of a few quite modest components, yet the result is an eating experience that seems truly luxurious - Box-Baked Cheese.
What's The Fastest Cake?
Get it? Scone - 's gone.
Never mind. Here's a recipe for light and crumbly scones - the perfect centrepiece to a traditional Cream Tea.
Easter Lemon Meringue Biscuits
March 2009 - Easter is on its way - here's a recipe for crumbly lemon-flavoured Easter biscuits, topped with soft, marshmallowy meringue.
Yet another bread-related experiment - I wanted to try baking a loaf of bread using plain natural yoghurt as the main liquid ingredient.
Christmas is nearly here! - It's the 21st of December 2008. Nearly everything is ready, but there's just time to make one more treat - a gingerbread house.
Festive Almond Sponge Slice
Christmas is coming! - fancy a change from mince pies? Here's a recipe for a delicious festive slice - crammed with fruit and topped with soft almond sponge.
Here's a great recipe for a good old traditional Christmas Plum Pudding. I made this one with prunes I dried myself.
Toffee apples, also known as candy apples, are something I always associate with fairgrounds, but I thought it would be fun to try making my own
Apple Juice Bread
Another bready experiment - I was curious about how a loaf of bread would turn out if fruit juice was substituted for all of the water in the recipe.
This is a recipe for delicious soft, oaty, cake-like cookies that are incredibly easy to make.
They're easy because all of the main ingredients in the recipe weigh the same amount - the only thing to remember is the ingredients list, but that's pretty simple too.
Blackberry And Apple Crumble
I went out for a stroll and in a few minutes, picked a couple of kilos of the biggest, juiciest blackberries I've ever seen. I decided to use some of them in a good old favourite pudding - blackberry and apple crumble
Cheesy Oaty Crumbly Crackers
A simple recipe to make tasty cheesy crackers that are crumbly, oaty and delicious - great with cheeses or dips, but nice enough to eat all on their own.
Feast Bread - To Tear And Share
Another recipe making use of my basic bread dough recipe - this time transforming it into Feast Bread - filled with bacon, cheese and onion - and designed for tearing, sharing, and eating with your fingers.
Mac N Choc
The classic dish of Macaroni Cheese - re-imagined as a dessert! - richly flavoured with dark chocolate instead of cheese.
Orange And Lemon Drizzle Cakes
Just a really simple recipe for tasty, light cakes flavoured with orange and lemon zest, and topped with a sugary citrus glaze.
Paneer is Indian-style curd cheese - it's similar to ricotta or cottage cheese and it's very easy to make.
Real Macaroni Cheese
Here's how to make Macaroni Cheese - the real thing, with real ingredients. No packets required.
Stuffed Crust Pizza
Edible Bread Bowls
Garlic And Herb Focaccia
Raspberry And Pear Sponge Pudding
Here's a recipe for a quick and easy hot dessert that's sure to impress: Raspberry And Pear Sponge Pudding
Treacle Spice Cookies
Another easy recipe - this time for crunchy biscuits flavoured with cinnamon and black treacle. Treacle Spice Cookies.
Hot Cross Buns
Traditionally made and eaten at Easter - here's my recipe for Hot Cross Buns - they're really good!
Cinnamon Bun Cookies
They look like little cinnamon buns, but they're cookies - easy to make - and they taste great too.
I have some friends who don't eat pork and they happened to mention one day that the one thing they really miss, since they gave it up, is a pork pie - this seemed to me more of a challenge than an obstacle, so I set about trying to create the Pork-Less Pie