Dinner a deux 7



ON THE MENU TONIGHT: Fresh Oysters; Braised Pork Cheeks with Celeriac Mash & Creamed Cabbage; Apple Charlotte with Creme Fraiche

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The stars of the show tonight, without a doubt, are the oysters. Unless you’re not an oyster fan, then you’re scuppered. But, fortunately, both AlphaMale and myself are huge fans, and these little beauties were spotted on Ashton’s Fish Stall in Cardiff Market, and were acquired forthwith for tonight’s dinner. So, armed with his trusty weapon, AM set to opening them.  This is easier said than done, and is definitely an acquired art. If you’re not sure, here’s a link to help you along:



Both the braised pork cheeks and the dessert can be frozen.


Fresh Oysters with Lemon


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Essentially simple: shuck (posh word for open) the oysters, and sit in a large, shallow dish filled with ice to keep them fresh, but eat them within two hours of opening. Enjoy with a chilled something, preferably of the fizzy variety.

Braised Pork Cheeks with Celeriac Mash & Creamed Cabbage

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This is a combination of a few tried and tested favourites.  The recipe for the pork cheeks can be found on #FoodyFriday April 5th, but if you can’t find it from the menu at the top of the page, please let me know. The creamed cabbage featured on #FoodyFriday January 18th. The celeriac mash is a relatively new one, which we are eating rather a lot of as it’s not as stodgy and heavy as a potato mash, and the celeriac flavour works really well with both rich meat, and also with fish. The recipe (for two)  is as follows.


half a small celeriac cut into chuinks

one fairly small potato, cut into similar size chunks

a dessert spoon of butter

black pepper



Gently boil the vegetables together until tender and drain.  Place a dry teatowel over the pan to absorb the steam, and leave for 5 minutes.

Mash with the butter and enough milk to make a fairly creamy mixture.

Add freshly ground black pepper.

Serve: this mash holds its shape well, so I use my trusty chef’s rings to help me create a nice tower effect. I know- posh.

Individual Apple Charlottes with Creme Fraiche

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This is the first ever recipe I cooked in school, and it’s still a family favourite.


85g fresh breadcrumbs

85g Demerara sugar

55g vegetable suet

juice of 1/2 lemon

grated rind of 1 lemon

25g butter

250g cubed cooking apple


4  buttered ramekins



Mix the dry ingredients together and add the lemon rind.

Divide half the apple between the ramekins, drizzle with half the lemon juice and sprinkle over half the breadcrumb mixture.

Repeat with the rest of the apple, followed by the lemon and then the breadcrumbs.

Do not press down hard, although any stray bits of suet might need a gentle push.

Dot with the butter and bake at 180c, Gas mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until the crumb is golden.

Serve with a dessertspoon of creme fraiche.