What Jessie Did Next...

...being the inane ramblings of a mundane Yorkshire bird.

Tag: cdwm

Angie, Jake, Me & DonnaRight, that’s that then, I don’t have to keep it a secret any more! It’s been hard to avoid if you’re linked up with me on Twitter or Facebook but: this week’s Come Dine With Me from Wakefield featured yours-truly. You can get the episodes in the UK on 4OD here: Angie, me, Donna, Jake, Francesca (proper sorry about the rights restrictions, non-UK people).

The recipes on the Channel 4 website are similar to the dishes I cooked but for completeness here are my own versions: Pan-fried Thai Scallops Glazed With Lemon & Coriander, Woodland Venison With Blackberries, Roast Potato Stack & Chanteney Carrots, Chocolate Truffle Torte with Home-made Vanilla Ice-Cream. I’m not having you all round for tea so you’d better learn to cook them yourself, perhaps you can work out how to stop them being “bland and boring”. *cough*

There were a lot of people who helped me out on the whole thing but because I had to keep it secret most of them didn’t know. Regardless, I thought it would be only fair to acknowledge their general awesomeness here:

  • First off, my long-suffering wife Nicky who put up with the daftness of it all and just kept out of the way when she needed to.Β She was very tolerant, especially since “my” day was the day of our 13th wedding anniversary (which we still haven’t celebrated and N reminds me about that a lot). I also want to remind everyone Nicky weeded the driveway, lest she forgets to mention it for the umpteenth time πŸ˜‰
  • My kids Ben and Ellie, who managed to keep it all hush-hush at school (the daughter almost at the peril of losing her best mate), and who ate the dish when I invented it therefore qualifying as the first set of guinea pigs.
  • Our mates Jayne and Phil who mucked in so much with sorting the house out and were, frankly, utterly ace: Phil was the best handyman ever (he claims responsibility for the semi-permanent lights in the sunlounge and the disco ball which we fitted after a skinful). Jayne ironed my shirts when I had to go do work instead, then they kindly allowed me to experiment on them for test run #2.
  • Mum, who did a shedload of ironing so the front room didn’t look like a Chinese laundry, and made sure I ate properly on the Monday lunchtime when I was somewhere on the ceiling about the state of the house.
  • Ruby Macintosh who sang the same song over and over again in The Hop, looking photogenic while I got filmed waving a camera around. Lloyd from Cowshed who got drunk in the kitchen while waiting for Ruby to finish and enjoyed the smell of the balsamic as I did test run #3 – he didn’t give me any hints and tips, itΒ was all my own work πŸ˜›
  • Sarah at Ossett Brewery and Fish and Genevieve at The Hop Wakefield who let us use The Jam Inn and The Hop for filming.
  • People who supplied me stuff but (of course) didn’t know what it was for: the long-suffering lady upstairs at Peter Maturi in Leeds who tolerated me wandering around for an hour trying to work out place settings and destroying her display. Kitchen’s on Game & Fishmonger Row on Leeds Market who I bought out of venison several times and R Bethell fishmonger a few doors away who sold me lots and lots of scallops. My local greengrocer at Newton Bar who is very very good indeed. Dan from Choco House who wazzed me over some hand-made after-dinner mints. Butterflies school uniform shop on Northgate, Wakefield, who managed to find me a QEGS school blazer at the very last minute on Friday (and honourable mentions to the poor assistant in Asda who caught me trying on school uniforms and didn’t call security). Bierhuis Ossett for a selection of splendid ales as a prezzie for Jake. David Brown Engraving who did the Dad Dancing trophy and had the good grace to stop enquiring after what CDWM stood for. Last but not least Nice & Naughty Leeds (that’s a Facebook link so vaguely safe-for-work) who were the source of the gold disco pants and found me a fresh pair especially for t’telly (they’re these ones – warning the link features a man in pants).
  • The day itself: Mum (again) who rescued me the first time I locked myself out by bringing keys round and stopping about for half an hour to do some washing up while I gyrated in the sunlounge. The next-door neighbours who lent me a ladder the second time I locked myself out. Dad in Australia who brought me off the ceiling in the silly hours of Wednesday morning (thank goodness for family in different timezones). Tillybods sarnie shop up the road who were a total oasis on the Tuesday lunchtime when I was in a state of near-collapse – their sarnies are brill.
  • My bandmates in Obvious Pseudonym who were happy to be on telly again. You can get a copy of Dad Dancing on iTunes.
  • Alan the PD who stepped back when I got stroppy with him at a critical moment, and the rest of the production team who were pretty bloody ace from the first phone conversation right up to getting us out of the house on Friday intact.
  • My clients at the time who were very understanding and generous in their flexibility, especially my coworkers in Ossett who put up with me looking exhausted and wired.
  • …and finally, Lucy who bullied me into doing it in the first place – it’s all her fault.

I think I’ve got everyone in there. If I missed you out, sorry, I’m rubbish.

It was a fun experience of course (if a bit intense at times), the best host won (easily!) and I’ve made three great pals who it’s been lovely to compare notes with, and I’m sure we’ll continue going out for drinks together. If you’re after insights and Director’s Cut type stuff, the only bit it’s probably safe to mention is this short jingle which I penned for when Donna and Angie explored the studio on Tuesday. I don’t think the DAW behaved for it, which is probably a good thing really.

So what’s next, shall I do Bargain Hunt? Or shall I just let normal service resume for a while… πŸ˜›

I do a lot of different ice-creams, and you do need an ice-cream maker for this one (I love my Cuisinart one but any will do). Best place for vanilla pods is actually eBay where you can get shrink-wrap Madagascan ones for a lot cheaper than the Supercook ones you get in the supermarket. You can also cheat by using a sachet of vanilla sugar and leaving the vanilla pod stage out. My notes from the day tell me this is recipe #8 without the chill stage… πŸ˜‰

  1. Put the canister from the machine into the freezer a day before you want to make the ice cream.
  2. Next day, pour about 200ml cream and 300ml semi-skimmed milk into a medium heavy-based pan, and tip in 60g of golden caster sugar. Slit a vanilla pod down its length with a small sharp knife and scoop out as many of the tiny black seeds as you can into the cream mixture. Cut the pod into three and drop it into the pan.
  3. Heat the cream and milk over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost boils – you’ll see a few bubbles at the edge. Take off the heat and set aside for 30 minutes so the vanilla can infuse.
  4. Put 3 large egg yolks into a bowl with another 50g golden caster sugar and beat with an electric hand beater for about 2 minutes until the mixture has thickened, is paler in colour and falls in thick ribbons when you lift the beaters. Using a measuring jug, scoop out about 125ml/4fl oz of the cream mixture and beat into the egg yolks to slacken them. Reheat the cream until it just comes to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Return the pan to a low heat and cook, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, for 8-10 minutes, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Watch that it doesn’t boil – as soon as you see any bubbles about to burst to the surface, it should be thick enough, so take the pan off the heat so the mixture doesn’t curdle.
  6. Put a greaseproof circle on the mixture so a skin doesn’t form and put the bowl in the fridge for 3-4 hours, preferably overnight, so it gets really cold.
  7. Get the ice cream machine running, scoop out the vanilla pod pieces from the mix, then slowly pour in the cold custard. Leave it to churn for 10-30 minutes (depending on your machine). When it stops, it is probably too soft to eat, so spoon into a plastic container, cover with cling film, then a lid, and freeze for a minimum of an hour. (It will keep in the freezer for 3 months but don’t take it out, then refreeze.) Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.


Easily the recipe I’ve been asked about the most. The one on telly didn’t have the brandy in because I didn’t want Jake to explode…

  1. Break about 250g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) into small chunks in a large pyrex bowl. Spoon in 2tbsp of golden syrup and fold in about a quarter of a 568ml carton of double cream.
  2. Stand the bowl over (not in) a large-based pan of hot water over a low heat and leave until the chocolate has melted, and add in 2tsp of brandy (this needs mixing in quickly or it’ll curdle). Remove the bowl from the pan and stir again so it’s silky smooth. Leave to cool but do not refrigerate!
  3. Line your cake tin (an 8″ size is perfect) with greaseproof paper – you can do this while you are waiting for the chocolate to cool. I used a spring-loaded cake tin which made it a lot easier to get the torte out afterwards. Remember it’ll take the shape of the tin, wrinkles and all.
  4. Pour the rest of the cream into a very large bowl and add a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Whip until the cream will stand in soft peaks which disappear after about 1-2s.
  5. Fold the cream and chocolate mix together by pouring the chocolate into the cream, then use a whisk on a slow setting to beat it together properly.
  6. Pour it all into the tin and level the surface with the back of the spoon. Put the tin in the fridge and leave to firm up – you can get away with doing this in 2h but I prefer to leave it overnight.
  7. Before you serve, dust with cocoa on the top.
  8. Unclip and remove the side of the tin and remove the greaseproof. Slice and arrange and serve. Nom!

This serves about 8 portions because it’s so rich, and goes really well with fresh raspberries and vanilla ice-cream (which is how I served it on the show). The camera crew had quite a bit later on in the week πŸ™‚

The full title for this was Woodland Venison With Blackberries, Roast Potato Stack & Chanteney Carrots but I guess there’s a space issue with that.

I can’t remember on timing, but experiment a bit. You can get excellent venison shoulder steaks from Leeds Market (the farm shop up Fishmongers Row is where I got mine) and it’s less expensive and tastier (in my daughter’s opinion anyway) than beef.

  1. Chop the spuds into Jenga blocks and season with Herbes De Provence, and soak in salt water
  2. Roughly chop rosemary needles and garlic and set aside to go in the spuds when roasted.
  3. Wash the carrots and place in cold water.
  4. Get a small saucepan for the jus, and add in about 4tbsp of balsamic. Add beef stock (about a pint), redcurrant jelly, pepper, a handful of blackberries, and heat gently. Leave it simmering but not boiling – the aim is to reduce it to bring the flavours together. Will take an hour or so.
  5. Parboil the spuds (about 20 minutes).
  6. Heat oven to as hot as it’ll go (warp factor 9 Mr Scott!) and prepare a roasting tin with goose fat. Put the tin in the oven.
  7. Take the venison out of the fridge – it needs to reach room temperature.
  8. Parboil the carrots.
  9. When the spuds are parboiled, put them in the goose fat and sprinkle with chopped garlic (about half a bulb) and roughly chopped rosemary needles. WEAR PROTECTION, HOT FAT HURTS πŸ˜› Turn the oven down to 240C.
  10. The spuds will take about 30-40 minutes to roast. In this time you’re doing the venison.
  11. Season the venison with pepper and Herbes De Provence.
  12. Prepare a frying pan to searing hot and wang in a small knob of butter.
  13. Place the venison shoulder steaks in the pan and turn after about a minute to seal both sides. Do not cover the pan!
  14. Now sear the venison until it is cooked but still pink in the middle and then set aside under tinfoil to rest for a few minutes. Pour the jus in the frying pan to deglaze and leave it on a low heat. This is the point where you can go eat your starter πŸ™‚
  15. (optional dependent on timing) Just before serving, sear for approx. a minute again while you pass the jus through a sieve.
  16. Slice each piece of venison and arrange on plate.
  17. Throw the rosemary and garlic into the roasted potatoes and shake, then empty out onto a plate with kitchen roll to de-grease.
  18. Plate up with the jenga spuds in a stack, three carrots per person, three (warm) blackberries and dribble the jus over, being careful to throw it over the side of the plate and onto the work surface.
  19. Go next door and stress about what your guests think of it while you hit the wine.

Enjoy πŸ™‚

And now, a song courtesy of Tenpole Tudor:

(thanks Chris ;))

As the recipes on the C4 site aren’t the ‘real’ ones, I’ll post what I actually did – here you go…

  1. Prepare the glaze, mixing together chopped fresh coriander, a small amount of rice wine, groundnut oil, a chopped red birdeye chilli (leave the seeds in for a bit of heat), sesame oil, juice of two limes, juice of one lemon, and a teaspoon of soy sauce. Refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Fry the king scallops in a frying pan (3 per person) with a little bit of hot groundnut oil for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through. Just seal them, you don’t want them to be rubbery do you?
  3. When the scallops are almost done, add the glaze to the pan and leave to reduce for about 2 minutes. They’ll bubble a bit, don’t let them go dry.
  4. Drain off the excess into a small bowl, fry the scallops a little longer so they’re drier, and then plate up.
  5. Drizzle a tablespoon of the excess juice over the scallops and serve with chopped coriander, lemon wedge, and wilted pak choi.

I prefer to leave the coral on the scallops, but you may want to chop them off.