Tom’s tasty treats

Tom's tasty treats
Michelin-Star Chef Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge – the man behind the South-East’s two Michelin-star restaurant The Hand And Flowers, and the Pub in The Park festival, which returns to Tunbridge Wells in July – has just published his latest cookbook, Lose Weight & Get Fit.

The tome, which also has an accompanying BBC Two TV series, concentrates on calorie-controlled meals that can support your exercise training (Kerridge is something of a cardio fan these days), as well as your day-to-day existence.

“I found myself facing the same everyday challenges that pretty much every other middle-aged bloke is,” he says wryly.

“You’re constantly trying to fight against what you like eating, what you want to do, trying to fit in family life, work life, and everything else, but at the same point trying to make sure you try and eat well, and get to the gym and get moving.”

In the book there are copious salads and multiple ways with salmon, but there are also dishes you wouldn’t expect to wrangle their way into the average diet book, like home-made chocolate hazelnut spread, tahini and honey pancakes, chickpea scotch eggs, peri peri chicken and steak tacos.

“It’s all about finding a balance and being motivated – physically and mentally – by the food you’re cooking and eating,” explains Tom.

“As you lose weight and get fitter, you see physical changes and you recognise and feel better when you do things.

“We all know that if you’re going to buy carrots, broccoli, new potatoes, cabbages, then that is way better than going to the frozen pizza aisle and buying oven chips!

“If you think that is the healthy option, you are lying to yourself.

“Taking responsibility is the biggest thing, and it’s no one’s responsibility except your own.”


Malaysian beef curry


(Serves 4)

  • 650g lean stewing beef
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 litre fresh beef stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 150ml tinned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spice paste:

  • 8 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 dried chillies, stalks removed
  • 2 long red chillies, deseeded
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, diced
  • 5cm piece fresh galangal, diced
  • 2 lemongrass stems, coarse layers
    removed, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric


To finish and serve:

  • 500g cooked brown rice (freshly cooked and drained or 2 pouches)
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced



  1. First, prepare the spice paste: Put all the ingredients into a food processor along with
    1 tsp salt and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed.
  2. Cut the beef into 2.5cm cubes. Place a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef and cook, stirring regularly, for
    5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the stock, cinnamon, star anise and lime leaves. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the beef is tender.
  4. Increase the heat, stir in the coconut milk and tamarind paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Meanwhile, if using pouches of rice, heat up according to the packet instructions. Season the curry with salt and pepper to taste and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise.
  5. Divide the rice and curry between warmed bowls and top with coriander leaves and chilli slices to serve.



Miso stir-fried greens with fried egg


(Serves 2)

  • 3 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, julienned
  • 125g tenderstem broccoli
  • 125g asparagus
  • 125g mangetout
  • 175g cavolo nero, ribs removed and roughly chopped (100g prepared weight)
  • 100g Chinese leaf cabbage, thickly shredded
  • 100g rainbow chard, roughly chopped
    into thirds
  • 1-cal sunflower oil spray
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp furikake (Japanese seasoning), to finish



  1. In a small bowl, mix the miso paste, soy sauce and mirin with two tablespoons water until smooth.
  2. Place a large non-stick wok over a high heat. When it is almost smoking, add the oils, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden – don’t let it burn.
  3. Add the broccoli and asparagus with
    1 tablespoon water. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then toss in the mangetout and stir-fry for a further 1 minute. Add a splash more water if the pan looks like it’s drying out.
  4. Add the cavolo nero, cabbage and miso mixture and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cabbage is cooked and wilted. Add the chard and cook for another minute, then remove the wok from the heat.
  5. Place a medium non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add a few sprays of oil, crack the eggs into the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Divide the greens between warmed plates and top each portion with a fried egg. Sprinkle with furikake to serve.

Raise a dram to Rabbie

Drinks Editor James Viner says ‘slainte’ as he recommends tipples for Burns Night Suppers, which will be held this Saturday to mark the 261st anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s most revered poet

Robert Burns, born on January 25, 1759, is widely deemed the national bard of Scotland. ‘Rabbie’, as he’s commonly known, lived 37 years and was a pioneer of Scottish Romanticism.

The eldest of seven children, who sired 12, he composed tunes including Ode to a Haggis, Auld Lang Syne and Scots Wha Hae, which long served as Scotland’s unofficial anthem.

But which drink should you pick as you tuck into the iconic haggis? Here are two bottles and a beer to enjoy on a late-January budget.


1) A Wee Dram to Address the
Haggis and Toast the Bard

Glen Marnoch Highland Single
Malt Scotch Whisky, Scotland

(£17.49, Aldi, 40%)

Whisky is traditional on Burns Night, and I recommend the lightly peaty and floral splendour of Aldi’s Glen Marnoch Highland Single Malt Whisky to sip with your haggis, tatties and mashed neeps. Hats off to Aldi, fresh from winning Supermarket of the Year and Own Brand Supermarket of the Year at the 2020 Icons of Whisky Scotland Awards, because it’s hard to beat this breezy, no-age-statement single malt whisky (which displays evident sherry cask influence) for the price. It is medium-weight but fabulously persistent on the palate, too. Have a nip on the rocks and/or pour a little over the haggis, enjoying the rest of it in a Bobby Burns cocktail, adding sweet vermouth, Drambuie and a couple dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. Grand value and an Aldi must-buy.


2) Sub £10 Gently Peppery,
Full-Bodied Red Wine

2017 Ventoux Remy Ferbras,
Southern Rhône, France

(£8.79, Waitrose, 14%)

For the non-whisky drinkers who still wish to commemorate the Bard of Ayshire with a haggis dinner, swap the Scotch for a full-bodied, grenache/syrah/mourvèdre (GSM) blend from the southern Rhône, Australia and elsewhere. This one is a spicy, herbal and peppery French country red from the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux with a big heart and a bold character. Lock and load for your happy haggis hour this Saturday.


3) Cheers to the beer that’ll heighten the haggis flavour

(£2.39, BeerHawk,
widely available)

This Wolf strong ale from Scotland’s Windswept Brewery makes a suitably robust partner for the gamey flavours of haggis.

Follow James Viner on
Twitter @QuixoticWine

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