All posts tagged “gordon ramsay

Homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Spicy Baked Beans

Heinz baked beans have always been a little guilty breakfast pleasure of mine. Although my days of weekly fryups with eggs, hashbrowns, sausages and beans are over, I still occasionally indulge in a spoonful or two of the orangey gloopy Heinz beans on fresh Sunnyside eggs. They remind me, along with tinned spaghetti, of breakfast on school camps, where the only food apart from cereal (and you know how much I detest cereal) would be the lukewarm scrambled frittata eggs, toast and confusingly piping hot beans and spaghetti. Although the orangey syrup is always comforting to a degree, the tinny aftertaste doesn’t necessarily gel with the gourmet Persian fetta that suddenly you’re addicted to as an adult.

I’ve never made my own baked beans before since I don’t eat a lot of it, but after some inspiration from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking, I decided to give it a go. And for something so ridiculously easy but OH MAI GAWD TASTY!!! I’ve been kicking myself for the past 2 weeks for not making it…oh I dunno…like 15 years ago.

homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Baked Beans

Homemade Spicy Baked Beans

(serves 3-4 as a side)

50g pancetta (diced)
1 small brown onion (diced)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 sprigs thyme
1 chilli (chopped finely)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1  1/2 cups passata
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can (420g) cannellini or haricot beans (although I used four bean mix since it was in the house)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a cast iron pot on medium heat, add in olive oil and the pancetta. Fry off the pancetta until brown, then add the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme. Sauté for a few minutes, and once the onion starts to become a little translucent, add the brown sugar, and allow the ingredients to caramelise in the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, making sure to scrape up the lovely caramelised bits from the bottom. Add in the passata, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste. Cook the sauce for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid down a little.

Add the beans into the sauce then cover the pot and simmer on low for 5-7 minutes, depending on how mushy you want your beans. Serve with sunny side eggs and good toasted bread.

I find a batch like this usually lasts for 3-4 breakfasts for me over the week. The flavours of the baked beans are even better once they are allowed to rest on the fridge overnight.

homemade Baked Beans

homemade Baked Beans



It’s Summer! Things I’m loving right now!

There’s something wonderfully pure about summer, the incessant sunshine (at least in Australia) and copious amounts of daylight really tends to lift the spirits in the most morose of people. The combination of Summer and the festive season means an extra extra relaxed December down under. I’ve jetsetted overseas the past couple of summers but this year I’ve decided to spend it at home, chilling out, catching up on everything I’ve missed during the year and finally…working my way through my much-ignored bookshelf. Often I feel on one hand overwhelmed by holidays and yet complacent about them as well. I always feel like I need to accomplish things but then the other side of my brain goes, “Whatchyoo talking about? It’s summer, kick back and CHILLAX”. Well here’s a bit of both.


A bowl of sweet fresh summer berries is something that’s hard to culinarily top. I’ve been dealing with a foot injury recently so I’ve limited myself to swimming these couple of weeks for exercise (the no running rule is killing me though!). Swimming always makes me ravenous but the heat means I don’t really look forward to coming home to a steak or something heavy. I found chopped strawberries, handful of blueberries, some mango and other additions really do the trick. The following is Strawberries & Blueberries, macerated in vanilla sugar, mint & butterscotch schnapps. It’s insanely good!!!

Summer Berries


Gordon is the sole reason why I have killer knife skills. I remember been back at uni and getting into cooking seriously for the first time and his F-word series for Channel 4 was really what taught me the basics. No matter his business failures or his somewhat embarrassing mugging for the American market (See Hell’s Kitchen & Kitchen Nightmares US), this guy is still one of my heroes. He’s the classic working class lad made good through hard work and the dude can freaking cook. So I was delighted to find a new series he’s done for Channel 4  recently (Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking) which includes cooking with his 4 awesome kids. I mean I’m already a sucker for well shot and produced food shows (Anthony Bourdain & Co, I’m looking at you). But the additional upside to this show is you get to see Gordon being a funny and goofy dad. Awwwww, something to keep in mind the next time he calls someone a donkey for using a non-stick pan. I’ve watched all 20 episodes in the last few days, that’s how good this show is!!!, WATCH IIIIIIIIIT!!!


My book shelf these days is fast running out of room, the good thing is that I’ve got a pretty awesome food and photography collection at the moment, bad thing is there are always more awesome books I want to purchase. I probably approach buying food/cook books a little differently to a lot of people. For me, photography comes first and foremost. If I flip through a bookstore and the pictures strike an arrow through my heart then that’s it.

The photography of Donna Hay’s New Classics, struck me well and truly in the solar plexus as I was browsing in the bookstore. Hay is an ubiquitous name in the international as well as Australian food scene, but what strikes me most is that the photography which accompanies her many publications is just FREAKING TECHNICALLY PERFECT. The styling, the photography, you just can’t fault any of it. Usually when I see really commercial food photography there’s a insipid blandness that comes across with the perfection but not here.  Her new book, New Classics, actually also contains some brilliant easy and timeless recipes amongst the gorgeous photography. It’s a dense, thick, heavy and beautifully bound book highlighting multiple photographers and stylists, so it’s a great tool for picking different looks. This is actually my first Donna Hay publication, and I fear it might not be my last.

Nathan Mhyrvold is a freak. There’s really no better way to put it.  He’s 5 volume Magnus opus, Modernist Cuisine weighs in at a hefty 24kg and costs around $500 and although tempting at first, I really couldn’t justify purchasing it (I gather my poor bookshelf was thankful for that decision). But when The Photography of Modernist Cuisine was announced I put it on my Amazon wish list immediately and waited for the right price to pull the trigger. Although at first I was a little disappointed in the actual photography and styling compared to Donna Hay’s book, this book is nothing short of a nerdy achievement in the best of ways. Firstly it’s big, like bigger than a Britannica Atlas, big (yeah remember those?). I have trouble carrying it between the bedroom and living room, that’s how big and heavy and cumbersome it is. When pictures are blown up that big…well most photos would look impressive. The book is mostly a collection of studio shots of food, a combo of microscopic, macro, cutaways (where they literally cut food vessels in half) and minimalist styled shots. Although minimalist styling can still work wonders (See Ditte Isager’s work from NOMA book), the photography here however feels a little commercial and outdated, due to studio only lighting. It’s not a style that I’ve always liked or wanted to emulate but I see myself trying it out as a challenge. Luckily diagrams are included…nerdy awesome!

I do like how different both publications are, it’s always good to get a variety of photographic inspirations. Both will have coveted places on my very full bookshelf (although Modernist Cuisine unfortunately doesn’t fit).