Well, after 14 years of writing this column I'm sadly leaving you. I wanted to write a formal goodbye to everyone who's followed me over the years and pulled out the recipes for future use. It's been a lot of fun and there have been lots of recipes so hopefully you have stuffed them all in a safe place.
I have to say huge thanks to Jason Lowe, who has done the superb photography that's appeared on the food pages during my time, and whose work accompanied the words of my predecessor, Simon Hopkinson. And of course huge thanks to all my editors on this magazine over the years – Caroline, Madeleine, Will, Sam and Simon.
Well that's all for now. Here's a great starter, main course and pudding to go out on, and maybe see you somewhere else soon, who knows.
Prawn and asparagus fondue
This is most certainly not a traditional fondue and if you ask a Swiss person you may well get an odd look. You can have a lot of fun with a fondue set, so if you haven't got one then go out and buy one and start having joyous dinner parties.
12 or so large cooked prawns with the shells on, or you can buy raw prawns and cook them yourself
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
100ml fish stock (using a good cube)
50ml white wine
1tsp tomato purée
200ml double cream
1tsp English mustard
1tbsp cheddar cheese, grated
1tbsp freshly grated parmesan
Salt and cayenne pepper
A medium bunch of asparagus with the woody ends removed, cooked
Remove the heads and shells from the prawns, leaving just the actual tail attached. Put the shells and heads in a pan with the shallots, fish stock, wine, tomato purée and mustard, and simmer until almost completely reduced.
Add the double cream, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by two-thirds and thickened. Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan, then stir in the two cheeses until melted and season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
Serve the sauce in a heat-proof pot on a table warmer or in your fondue set with the prawns and asparagus arranged around the base for your guests to dip in the sauce on skewers.
Roast suckling pig with honey and oranges
I love roasting a whole suckling pig; it looks fantastic and is a great special occasion roast and a real treat for your guests. A good butcher should be able to order a suckling pig for you, or try Pugh's Piglets (pughspiglets.co.uk).
A standard domestic oven may be too small to fit a whole pig into, but you could cheat and chop it in half and just join it back together when you serve it.
As this has something of an Asian influence I've quickly stir-fried some snow peas with some ginger and spring onions to serve alongside the meat.
1 suckling pig weighing about 5-6 kilos
2 blood oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
For the glaze
100ml Chinese black vinegar
100ml soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Flatten the pig by pushing down on its back so that it sits flat on a baking tray. Cook for 30 minutes, meanwhile mixing all of the ingredients together for the glaze. Brush about a third of the mixture all over the pig and return to the oven for another 30 minutes, brushing every so often with the glaze. Arrange the orange slices overlapping down the back of the pig, and return to the oven for a final 30 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and glossy.
Present the pig whole on a large board or tray, then chop it into pieces through the bone with a heavy knife.
Perry and Hix Fix cherry jelly
One of my favourite producers, Julian Temperley, certainly deserves a mention in my last column , and here I've used his cherries and fantastic perry. If you haven't got access to Julian's products though, use any good-quality perry, with morello cherries in alcohol.
4 gelatine leaves
75g caster sugar
12-16 morello cherries in eau de vie (drained)
A few shavings of gold leaf (optional)
To make the jelly, immerse the gelatine leaves one at a time in a shallow bowl of cold water and leave for a minute or so until soft. Bring 100ml of the perry to the boil in a medium saucepan, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Drain and squeeze the gelatine leaves, then add to the hot perry and stir until the leaves have melted. Remove from the heat, add the rest of the perry and stir well. Put the pan of jelly somewhere cool, but do not let it set.
Divide half the cherries and gold leaf among four individual jelly moulds, or use one large one if you prefer. Pour in half of the cooled jelly. Chill for an hour or so to set, then top up with the rest of the cherries and gold leaf and the unset jelly. (This ensures the berries stay suspended and don't float to the top.)
Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until set. To turn out, dip the mould in hot water for around 10 seconds then carefully turn upside down on to a serving dish and serve with thick cream.Reuse content