Bannock | Scottish Girdle/ Griddle Oatcakes

Bannock, or Scottish Girdle (aka Griddle) Bread, is cooked in on a griddle or in a skillet from a simple dough. They can be cooked on the stove, on the BBQ or on a campfire! It is similar to a griddle baked scone – it has a fluffy centre that is slightly crumbly – and is best eaten with lashings of butter and jam. It can be cooked cut into circles, squares, wedges or left as a whole “bread”.

The word bannock comes from a Latin word that means “baked dough”. It originated in Scotland, where it was first made as a quite heavy and dense loaf with a barley or oatmeal dough and no leavening. As leavening agents were introduced, they began to be added to these skillet breads, making them fluffier. We keep somewhat traditional and make them with oatmeal and a little plain flour, but you will find modern recipes that use only flour.

So easy to make, so delicious, good weekend food.

Similar recipes include Griddle Scones, Singin’ Hinny, and Home Made Crumpets.

Browse all of our Oat recipes and all of our Griddle cooking recipes . Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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English Mashed Potatoes

When I need comfort food, mashed potato it is.  Reminiscent of childhood — large plates of mashed potato, buttery and herby, steaming hot from the pan and piled with other vegetables — it takes me back to days of large gardens, lazy days, and few cares.

As simple as mashed potatoes is to make, some care is needed otherwise a gluey mash or a dry flavourless pile of potatoes is the result. Here are some tips that might help you to find the perfect mash.

We have three different mashed potato recipes for you:

Similar recipes include Crushed Potatoes with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant, Indian Mashed Potatoes and French Mashed Potatoes.

Browse all of our Potato recipes and some other Mashes. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. See the Retro Recipes series of recipes which contain some of our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Butter Braised Turnips with Rosemary

Brassicas. Both of our quintessentially winter vegetables – turnip and swede (aka swede turnip and rutabaga) – belong to the brassica family. But they have quite different attitudes. The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The flavour mellows on cooking. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow – more so than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. But mostly they are described as being strongly flavoured. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.

Today, a simple dish with turnips. They are braised quickly in butter and rosemary before being salted and served. A gentle, understated flavour, and delicious.

Similar recipes include Turnips in Coconut Milk, Turnip and Swede Gratin, Turnip Salad with Capers, Turnips with Quince Molasses, and Turnip Soup with Yoghurt-Coriander-Walnut Cream.

Browse our other Turnip recipes, and Swede dishes. Or explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Creamy Winter Bake of Carrots and Parsnips

Carrots and Parsnips are a classic combo in English cooking and they do go well together. Two roots, side by side, creamy white and rich orange, they certainly are a picture.

In this dish the two vegetables are grated, sweated in butter, mixed with cream and topped with breadcrumbs and cheese. So English! But so very good too as an accompaniment to a main meal, or on its own with some flatbreads for a late supper.

Similar recipes include Turnip and Swede Gratin, Carrot and Parsnip Soup and Carrot and Parsnip Mash.

Browse all of our Baked dishes and all of our Gratins. Carrot dishes are here and Parsnip recipes here. Or explore our collection of Late Winter recipes.

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Vegetables with Indian Flavours

How quirky the British can be at times, especially when it comes to all things Indian. British Indian cuisine is a food genre all to itself, with little relationship to the food of India. The famous Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, is British, not Indian. Vindaloo is a term used for any hot curry in England, not the specific and terrifyingly hot pork curry of Goa on the coast of West India, with its roots in the Portuguese occupation.

And there is another dish – Indian Ratatouille. Yes, my friends, it is a thing. Throw a few spices at a ratatouille and you have Indian Ratatouille. The French food masters must be turning in their graves.

And then Ottolenghi takes this (perhaps somewhat arrogant) British invention and makes it even more Indian – throwing out some of the the traditional vegetables, adding potatoes and okra, beans and tomatoes, and incorporating Bengali spices, tamarind and curry leaves. Has he insulted the French, the Indians and the British? Probably not, because the result is divine – let the food speak for itself, despite its name.

“A great ratatouille is one in which the vegetables interact with each other, but are still discernible from each other. The trick is to cook them just right: not over, not under.”

I cannot bring myself to call this dish Indian Ratatouille, so for me it is Vegetables with Indian Flavours. Panch Phoran is an Indian whole seed mix – it is available at Indian groceries, or you can make it yourself by mixing equal amounts of fenugreek, fennel, black mustard, nigella and cumin.

This Ottolenghi dish is from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Okra with Sambal and Coconut Rice, Caponata and Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa.

All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes. Browse all of our Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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Aussie Scones | Egg Free

Scones, those English and Australian afternoon-tea essentials, slathered with strawberry jam and whipped cream, are often the star of our afternoon snacks. From a young age, I would make scones for visitors. As soon as I could, I would slip away and leave them to chat with others in the house. I would head for the kitchen and whip up a batch of scones, bringing them out still hot from the oven to the delight of everyone who happened to be there at that time.

In fact, it takes only 15 minutes to produce a basket full of lovely hot scones that are feather light.

Sometimes you can eat them just with butter, or without sugar but with cheese mixed into the batter and sprinkled over the top before baking. Jam and cream is very traditional. Sultanas can be added to the dough. Pumpkin scones have a reputation in Australia but they are not something that I make more than once a decade. Or omit the sugar and add a little black pepper, and serve them with a large bowl of soup.

These favourites are not, take note, *not* the American scone, pronounced scoh-n, more like our biscuits than this light and fluffy delicacy. Ours is pronounced sco-n, a short “o”, as in pond.

Similar recipes include Bannock, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Oatcakes and Griddle Cakes.

Browse all of our Biscuits (there are not many, we don’t have a sweet tooth), and our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Griddle Scones | Egg Free

Have you heard of Girdle Scones? (BTW, Girdle is another name for a Griddle.) These scones are perfect for lazy weekends and camping holidays. They can be cooked inside, in or on a BBQ, or over an open camp fire (as long as you can hang or support a griddle).

These scones are delicious eaten warm from the griddle, slathered with butter or spread with jam. They are a lot of fun to make too, and the kids can watch them rise as they cook. Eat them for Breakfast, Snacks or Dessert! They are good at any time.

Similar recipes include Bannock, Australian Quick and Easy Date Slice, Singin’ Hinny, Home Made Crumpets and Bannocks.

And check out all of our Griddle cooking recipes and read an article on Griddles and Griddle cookingAll of our Breakfast recipes are here. Or browse our Late Winter collection of dishes.

This is a vegetarian recipe from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can browse other recipes from this blog in our Retro Recipes series.

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English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Are you after other Carrot Recipes? Try Carrot Rice, Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Why not browse all of our Carrot recipes, or explore our English/British recipes. Or take some time to check out our easy Winter recipes.

Also, feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Stilton Cheese

Stilton, the English village, lies 70 miles north of London on the Great North Road, around the distance that a speedy horseman can travel in one day.

En route from London to Edinburgh, a horseman was fortified there by ale, bread and cheese, which was made by the local dairy farmers and stored in the cellars of Stilton’s main hostelry, the Bell Inn. Here it naturally developed its distinctive blue strain. The original recipe for Stilton is attributed to Mrs Frances Pawlett from Wymondham, a little village “near” Stilton.

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