All posts by thomgill

Feijoas with Riesling and vanilla

The feijoa is an unusual fruit originating in South America and grown in southern Russia, Iran and New Zealand. Their distinctive aroma comes from the chemical compound methyl benzoate and the taste divides opinion sharply – either you gag or find it ambrosiac. This dish takes them to the next level. Perfect for preserving too.

Continue reading Feijoas with Riesling and vanilla


Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons and olives

Something that often frustrates me with roast chicken is all the juices that go to waste, and modern chickens have a lot of water in them. This Moroccan dish collects all that into a more-ish stew of lightly assembled flavours to great effect. Continue reading Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons and olives

White rice

I have a permanent dispute with my wife over how to cook rice. This method from The Guardian collates the best advice.

Take 450 g basmati rice, rinse briefly and soak in cold water for 30 minutes, drain well.

Place in a wide pot over medium heat with 585 ml cold water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes.

Remove from heat, stand 5 minutes.

The amount of water is likely different for Jasmine (Thai) rice. I will update the post when I’ve worked that out.


Put 3 tbsp coconut, peanut, or canola oil in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Put 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.

When the kernels pop add 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds.

This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.

Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper).

Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops serve immediately with salt or melted butter as you please.