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Somerset Foodie recipes - let us inspire you...

Shawarma Chicken with Tahini Sauce

Shawarma Chicken with Tahini Sauce

Shawarma is up there as one of my favourites, it's so tasty and the hands down winner over the Turkish Doner or the Greek Gyros. Although it's traditionally cooked on a large skewer, rotisserie style, it's easily possible to recreate this fantastic street food classic at home.
Dan Dan Noodles

Dan Dan Noodles

These addictively savoury noodles, laced with fiery chilli oil and fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns do require a reasonably well stocked Chinese larder, but are relatively straight forward to make and will quite possibly become a regular on your weekly menu.
Khao Soi - Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Khao Soi - Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Khao Soi is a noodle soup from Northern Thailand, packed full of flavour. It's spicy, it's fresh, it's fragrant, there is so much going on - you'll love it. The base of the soup is pretty similar to a red curry so to keep things simple, I've just used our brilliant Thai red curry paste. 
Cochinita Pibil - Slow Cooked Mexican Pork

Cochinita Pibil - Slow Cooked Mexican Pork

Discovering Achiote Paste for me was an epiphany moment in Mexican cooking. It's deep red in colour and actually more of a solid block than a loose paste. The key ingredient is annatto seeds, which are extracted from an evergreen shrub native to Latin America. It has a slightly smoky, earthy flavour that is popular in Mexican cuisine as a marinade for meat and fish. You have to dilute the block to use it and Mexicans often use a particular bitter orange for this. Getting hold of this special variety can be a challenge but you can recreate a similar effect by using regular oranges with some added vinegar.

Chorizo, White Bean & Potato Stew Recipe

Chorizo, White Bean & Potato Stew Recipe

This recipe is my homage to an amazing 'menú del día' of soft chorizo sausages, potatoes and beans, enjoyed in the Rioja region of Spain, where we ate and drank the most fabulous food.
Spanish Fish Stew with Cod and Mussels Recipe

Spanish Fish Stew with Cod and Mussels Recipe

There is something quite magical about a good fish stew, it packs in so much flavour, yet is still fresh, light and healthy. A great fish stew doesn't need to be complicated - if you can get hold of some fresh white fish and a few mussels or clams, foodie greatness awaits with just a few key store cupboard ingredients and about 45 minutes of your time.
Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe

Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe

A good mole has layers of contrasting, rich sweet and savoury flavours in the sauce. Pasilla and Ancho chillies combine to give a lovely roasted fruitiness with mild chilli heat, whilst the cocoa and spices lend themselves perfectly to this unctuous, velvety sauce. There's good reason why 125 million Mexican's go nuts for it and they've made it their national dish.
Chicken Soup with Roasted Garlic, Pearl Barley and Saffron

Chicken Soup with Roasted Garlic, Pearl Barley and Saffron

Chicken soup is soul food in the purest form. It's simple, healthy and good for your very being. Poaching chicken meat has gone out of fashion here in the UK. Admittedly you do lose the gooey, sticky caramelised bits that are so good when roasting a whole bird - but there are real benefits that come from gently simmering a chicken. As well as soft, juicy, tender meat - you end up with a wonderful broth to use as the base for a hearty soup.

Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

This is a true storecupboard dish that's a real family favourite. It's effectively 'home-made' baked beans with proper flavours that will knock the socks off any canned version.

Jimmy's sate sauce - Somerset Foodie Ping Coombes

Jimmy's Chicken Satay Skewers

I love the way amazing food can conjure up vivid memories. I first tasted satay years ago at my mate Woody's 18th birthday party - his wonderful Malaysian mum had made chicken satay skewers. I can remember thinking that it was possibly the most delicious thing I had EVER eaten. 
Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad

It's sometimes hard to get excited about cucumber, particular when they are 'straight from the fridge cold' and sliced into slightly uninspiring rounds. Cucumbers are 96% water, they have a lovely clean, crunchy texture but need a little helping hand to bring out their best.
Noodle Salad with Sesame, Ginger & Soy Dressing

Noodle Salad with Sesame, Ginger & Soy Dressing

I just love the fresh vibrant flavours of a noodle salad, a riot of textures and flavours - brought together with a zingy, aromatic dressing. Year-round versatility, you can incorporate whatever fresh veg or salad happens to be in season at the time, or lurking in your fridge and needs using up.

Yakitori Chicken

Yakitori Chicken

Chicken Yakitori is a Japanese BBQ classic and so simple to cook, it literally means 'Grilled Chicken'. As with sushi chefs, you can train in Japan to become a 'Yakitori Chef'...
BBQ Lemongrass Chilli Pork Belly

BBQ Lemongrass Chilli Pork Belly

There is a fantastic chef called Samin Nosrat who talks about the basic elements of cooking - check out her book "Salt Fat Acid Heat" - it's won loads of awards. At the heart of good cooking lies good decision making and the primary decision regarding heat is whether to cook slowly over gently heat or quickly over intense heat. Cooking food over charcoal or wood on a BBQ can be a combination of both, the skill lies in deciding the perfect moment to start cooking. It is a brilliant way to introduce an extra layer of flavour...
Vietnamese Crêpes with Crispy Pork Belly & Prawns Recipe

Vietnamese Crêpes with Crispy Pork Belly & Prawns Recipe

Vietnamese cuisine is a real melting pot of flavours. It's heavily influenced by the French who occupied the country during the 19th Century so you'll see ingredients like French baguettes and pate commonly being eaten. Mix those up with more traditional South East Asian ingredients like noodles, chilli and coconut, add in wonderfully fragrant herbs and you have something remarkable. Vietnamese food is about fine-tuning your tasting skills to balance out sweet, sour, salty, umami, bitter and hot flavours. It's also about combining perfect textures, crunchy vegetables and silky meat or fish to create the perfect harmony of taste.

Rib Eye Steak with Chimichurri, Flat Breads, Tomato and Onion Salad

Rib Eye Steak with Chimichurri, Flat Breads, Tomato and Onion Salad

It's so exciting to think that one fifth of the way through the 21st century and here in the UK, we are still making new food discoveries. I was first introduced to chimichurri sauce by a friend of mine a few years ago. Beaming with excitement, he proclaimed, 'you're gonna love this', as he slathered the thick, herby sauce over a freshly cooked steak. Of course, like most new food discoveries, there is nothing new about chimichurri sauce. It's been an Argentinian staple for generations.