On the menu – a packet of ham hock and some fancy coffees


Waitrose had been taunting me with an adapted version of John Whaite’s Ham Hock & Smoked Cheddar Grilled Sandwich, on Twitter, all weekend, you can find their version here. They adapted it from a recipe in John’s latest book, Comfort, which I have, so I worked from that version but both versions are pretty similar and I adapted my sandwich quite a bit anyway. In my version I replaced the fried onions (which would have been nice, especially with the balsamic vinegar, drool) and pickled cucumbers with some sliced leek, first fried in a little butter. I used English mustard instead of Dijon (because that’s what I had) and normal cheddar instead of smoked, plus I used some Waitrose Ham Hock (so well done Waitrose’s Twitter people, you sold at least one pack of ham hock off that recipe) and the whole thing was absolutely delicious. I do have an old school toastie maker, which I love and use regularly but sometimes, as with this recipe, it’s nice to make a toastie in a frying pan instead.

The next recipe is probably a bit pointless to read about if you don’t have a Nespresso machine or one of their frothy milk things but if you do, did you know that Nespresso have a whole bunch of recipes on their website (not sponsored)? Now I’m normally a straight up, don’t do absolutely anything to it, Linizo Lungo girl because I like my coffee to go with my breakfast of choice in the morning, ie toast (Linizo Lungo has a lovely cereal taste) but I’ll do fancy coffee sometimes. This one is Honey Ginger Coffee and I will admit, when I did the last stage and poured the coffee into the glass cup, I went “ooh” out loud (easily pleased, me). You can’t see the different layers too well in the photo because I didn’t put in quite as much honey as the recipe suggested, I don’t usually put anything sweet into my coffee and besides, it was the dregs of my honey bottle but you can just about see the three layers. As for the taste, the majority of the coffee is really nice, not too sweet, you can taste the honey and I think it would be an excellent recipe to show off a particularly nice jar of honey (my honey was from Co op, which was okay but I usually use it pretty much exclusively just for cooking). You can’t really taste the ginger though ….. till you get to the end of the drink and all that honey and ginger at the bottom of the glass, it’s like drinking cough syrup, which is probably good if you’ve got a cold like I’ve got at the moment but for someone who doesn’t usually put any sugar in their coffee, it’s a little off putting, still I drank it all, my cold feels temporarily at least, slightly better and I may well make this again, next time I fancy a medicinal coffee.


The problem with buying a packet of ham hock, is that you need to use it up, so I thought I’d give this recipe, Welsh Rarebit and Ham Hock Macaroni Cheese, from Delicious magazine, a try and ….. it was okay, I’ve had nicer macaronis basically but it was edible. The highlight of this actually, was the ale I bought for the rarebit, since trying to make actual rarebit more often, instead of just cheese on toast, I’ve got a bit in to my craft beers. I’d always been aware of the massive display of them, in my local Waitrose and all the different weird names, the nicely designed labels and well, just the sweet shop level of choice, was always quite attractive but I don’t drink that often, so I just admired from afar. But rarebit changed that, so if I’m making rarebit, which isn’t that often, I’ll buy myself a bottle and drink whatever doesn’t go into the cheese sauce. It’s certainly cheaper (and less alcohol!) than doing the equivalent, if I decide to cook with wine (which is even more rarer). Anyway, so today’s ale was Butcombe Gold (not sponsored, as usual) and ooh it was nice, really buttery – caramelly, I can certainly see a repeat purchase of that!


This is a Turmeric and Honey Latte from the Australian Nespresso site (its a bit weird that they haven’t all got identical recipes on each country’s site, a lot are the same but not all of them). Anyway, it’s quite nice, I think I prefer the Honey and Ginger coffee from earlier on in the week but both make nice treats at the end of long days.

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