Maggie's Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is more about ratio in order to achieve that perfect balance rather than exact quantities. Once you have the right ratio you can easily scale this vinaigrette up or down depending on the size of the salad you wish to dress.


  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 4 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 part acidulant.
  • I do a mix of red wine vinegar and Vino Cotto to make up the acidulant aspect - 2/3 Red Wine Vinegar and 1/3 Vino Cotto.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Tomato Pizza Sauce


  • Cover the bottom of a medium sized saucepan with a couple of glugs of olive oil.
  • Throw in your onions and garlic, celery and carrots and place on a low heat with the lid on.
  • Sweat the vegetables till soft, this will take about ten minutes.
  • Turn the heat up, pour in your tin of tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer away for around half and hour to 40 mins, with the lid off.
  • You want a nice consistency for your pizza sauce, to spread easily without being too think or too runny.
  • With a hand held wizzer or a blender, wizz mixture and if you want it really smooth push it through a sieve.
  • Place back on the hob if you think it needs to reduce a little more.
  • Hey presto! You now have a really delicious pizza sauce.
  • This is also great on pasta or with fish and meat as a side sauce.
  • It freezes really well and can aslo be used as a soup base! 

Parsley Sauce for Bacon & Cabbage


  • Melt butter, add flour, mix, add 2 teaspoons of salt (it a lot but goes excellent with the bacon & cabbage)
  • Add milk until a creamy consistency is achieved.
  • Add Parsley (if using for anything else leave out salt)

Spiced Mint Oil


  • Mix ingredients together and allow too infuse.
  • Drizzle over soup just before serving  :-)

Tomato Chutney Myrtle Allens


  • In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and pepper.
  • Stir in both vinegar's and bring to the boil.
  • Add the tomatoes and scallions.
  • Simmer gently, uncovered for about an hour or until the mixture has thickened to a liquid jam consistency.
  • Cool and put into sterilized jars.
  • Should last for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
  • Perfect with cold meats, cheese, salads and in sandwiches! 

Grilled Chilli Dressing

Fantastic with crunchy root vegetable salads and strong-flavoured herbs.


  • Prick the chillies with the tip of a sharp knife – this stops them popping or exploding when they are cooked.
  • Hold your chillies, one at a time, with a pair of metal tongs in a gas flame until they’re blackened and blistered all over.
  • If you don’t have a gas hob, pop them under a hot grill instead.
  • Place the chillies in a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes.
  • This way they will steam in their own heat and the skins will peel off very easily.
  • Peel the chillies, open them up and scrape out all the white seeds.
  • Discard these, then finely chop the flesh of the chillies.
  • Put in a mixing bowl, add the oil, lemon juice and mint, and mix well.
  • Season to taste.

Mustard And Herb Dressing


  • Mix the lot together in the food processor.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Cook's Notes: The Mustard and Herb Dressing is also delicious served with cold roast beef and also excellent as a topping for grilled or barbecued steaks.
  • If you are catering for larger numbers, it is best to cook 2 joints rather than one very large joint.
  • Increase the ingredients accordingly.

Cucumber & Tomato Raita


  • Put a 250g pot of un-sweetened natural (Greek if possible) yoghurt into a bowl.
  • Dice half a cucumber and 4 tomatoes.
  • Add them to the yoghurt with 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander or mint and a pinch of salt & pepper to taste.
  • Stir.
  • Serve Chilled.

Cully’s Sundried Tomato Pesto


  • This gives any creamy dish a great hit of flavour, or even a sandwich!
  • Blitz in a food processor - until coarsely ground.
  • Keep sealed in the fridge covered in oil.

Pork and Fig Terrine


Loosely based around and Avoca Cafe recipe but this is simpler, easier and nicer!


  • Saute the onion, garlic and peppers in a pan with 25g of butter for 5 mins.
  • Add the chopped sage and the spices. Fry for two more mins. Allow to cool.
  • Mix the belly mince, back bacon, chopped figs, onion mixture, white wine, salt, pepper, and beaten egg in a large bowl.
  • Leave to marinade in a cool place (fridge!) for 24 hours.
  • Soak your streaky bacon in cold water for an hour (note, this is to ensure that the bacon is not too salty, but if you know the bacon isn't salty, there is no need to soak)
  • Drain and dry well. Grease two medium loaf tins with butter or lard.
  • Get the streaky rashers and place them on a falt surface.
  • Stretch each one out one at a time by sliding an angled knife along the length of the rasher, away from you.
  • This will stretch each rasher out by 50% or more. Makes the next bit easier!
  • Line the loaf tins with the rashers, making sure there is an over hang of about 1-2" on all four sides.
  • Fill the tins with your mixture to a max of 2/3 capacity.
  • Fold over the ends of the rashers.
  • Add two bay leaves to each tin.
  • Season with plenty of black pepper.
  • Pour over 30-50ml of white wine over each tin.
  • Place tins in a large roasting tray, fill the trays to 1/3-1/2 full with boiling water.
  • Cover the whole lot well in foil.
  • Place in an oven at 150 degrees.
  • Bake for 45mins.
  • Remove from oven, remove foil and drain away water.
  • Return to oven and brown off for 10-15 mins at 180 degrees.
  • Remove and allow to cool for an hour or two.
  • Now, get two more loaf tins and place them on top of each terrine.
  • Push down firmly so the crest of the terrine is pushed down and the juices come up to the edge of the tin, but not over!
  • Release the pressure and fill the tins with stones or weights.
  • This will keep the terrine just below the juices.
  • When cooled (12 hours or more in a cold room or fridge) remove the tins and now the terrine's should be set in the fat/jelly.
  • This is important as it preserves the terrine!
  • Keep in a fridge for a up to a week.
  • Best served sliced with wheaten bread, salad and a strong chutney such as apricot, beetroot or tomato.
  • Best bet is to eat away at one tin over the week, and slice and freeze the other terrine.