• Joined July, 2009
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  My name is John I am 61 years old and have been married to Maureen for 40 years; we have lived, worked and kept each other company for most of that time. For over 10 years we worked for Lord and Lady Hanson here in the UK at Their town house in London and country cottage in Berkshire and in Palm Springs, California I was Chef & Butler and Maureen was Senior Housekeeper. I suppose you could say that I can cook a little and know something about wines, etiquette, Butler’s & Chef’s tips and tricks.  For Lord Hanson's 70th birthday in Palm Springs I cooked (believe it or not) Lancashire Hotpot for about 50 guests which included Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Kirk Douglas and so many more, and every time a dinner party was coming up everyone asked for it. In this our first recipe book we are trying to include the recipes we have used from the years we have both been cooking, this could be recipes that we have cooked from early age learning from our parents and grandparents. Maureen (Molly) will include the basic and classic dishes from her time at college and I wish to integrate the essential, classic, and traditional recipes from my days with the Army Catering Corps School of cooking to all the hotels, restaurants, and private clubs we have been involved with. Especially from the times, that Lord and Lady Hanson used to ask the great and good chefs of London’s kitchens to teach me how to prepare cook their favourite dishes. Establishments such as La Gavroche where under the guidance of Albert and Michel Roux I learnt so much and had a great time, and being instructed by Anton Mossiman at his restaurant, especially his Christmas pudding. Other restaurants included Santini’s on Ebury Street where Gino Santini made sure that I learnt how to cook Lord Hanson’s favourite dishes to perfection. And my culinary education would not have been finished without a few days instruction at San Lorenzo on Beauchamp Place, these journeys into a culinary dream were only from half a day to one day sometimes 2 days at a time but I did learn many things.

We like so many cuisines it is somewhat easier said than done to select just one that we couldn't live without, but if I have to it would be seafood, I can’t speak for Maureen she does like her meat though. When working in country house hotels I specialised in seafood and game and Maureen was always at the front of house we have been very lucky to have worked in some of the most stunning parts of the United Kingdom. The cuisines of China are among our favourites as are the regional foods of Lancashire and Yorkshire. We like the cuisines of Europe especially the foods from the Mediterranean in fact as with many things it would be easier to list what we don’t like.

My Most Recent Ratings

Potato Pie

Potato Pie

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 6/18/2010
Beef Pot Pies with Yorkshire Pudding Crust

Beef Pot Pies with Yorkshire Pudding Crust

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/25/2010
Shrimp Remoulade

Shrimp Remoulade

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/25/2010
Tiger Prawns with Asparagus

Tiger Prawns with Asparagus

Shao hsing wine, Usually, you shouldn't cook with any wine you wouldn't drink, and you should never ever buy cooking wine in the supermarket. Yet, here I am, telling you to do just that, to buy Chinese shao hsing (or shao xing) wine, for the reason that without it you will certainly not be able to recreate genuine Chinese dishes. According to The Encyclopaedia of Asian Food, shao hsing wine, also called "yellow wine", is named for the town in the northern Chekiang province of China which produces it. Blended from glutinous rice, millet, special yeast and local mineral spring waters, the best shao hsing (not whatever is in the bottle in my food cupboard) is fermented for at least 10 years, and is used both for drinking and for cooking. Shao hsing comes in three varieties: shang niang, which is robust; chu yeh ching, which owes its pale green colour and delicate flavour to young bamboo leaves added during fermentation; and hsiang hsueh (fragrant snow), which is sweet and pale. What I b — Astro-Chef 1/24/2010
Shrimp (prawn) Creole (quick and Easy)

Shrimp (prawn) Creole (quick and Easy)

Other "Creole" dishes may be made by replacing with some other meat or seafood for the shrimp, or leave out the meat completely. Creole type dishes incline to resemble the combination of a gumbo and a jambalaya. They are characteristically thicker and spicier than a gumbo, and the rice is prepared separately and used as a bed for the Creole combination, rather than cooked in the same pot as with a jambalaya. Creole recipes also do not contain broth or roux; instead, the Creole mix is simmered to its desired degree of thickness. Apart from the base ingredients of onion, celery and bell pepper, creole recipes are commonly used as improvised dishes, as the basic recipe may be altered to include whatever ingredients the cook has readily available. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/24/2010
Mediterranean Lamb (quick and Easy)

Mediterranean Lamb (quick and Easy)

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/24/2010
Spicy Beef Stir Fry

Spicy Beef Stir Fry

Instead of the vegetables listed here, you can use a pack of stir-fry vegetables. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/24/2010
Fajita Seasoning Mix

Fajita Seasoning Mix

Serves / Makes: as many as you like it makes the equivalent of about 3 packets of commercial Fajita Seasoning Mix. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 1/15/2010
Lancashire Meat and Vegetable Pan Pie

Lancashire Meat and Vegetable Pan Pie

What I can tell you is that almost every household in the Hodder valley area seemed to have a version of it and it is reet tasty and filling and just reet on a cold winter?s day. Chuck is one of the more economical cuts of beef and here in the United Kingdom, this cut is generally referred to as "braising steak". It is on the whole well liked for use as minced/ground beef, due to its richness of flavour and balance of meat and fat. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 12/4/2009
Haddock and Prawn Fish Cakes with Tartare Sauce

Haddock and Prawn Fish Cakes with Tartare Sauce

The fish cakes will freeze beautifully for up to 4 weeks. To cook the fish cakes from frozen, place them on a lightly oiled tray, then drizzle with a little more oil. Cook on the middle shelf under a medium grill for 12 to 15 minutes until golden, flip over, then cook the other side for 5 minutes. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 11/23/2009
Steak and Kidney Pie

Steak and Kidney Pie

I used to put this Kate and Sidley pie on the menu at The Whitewell Hotel, the Willow Tree Restaurant and the Great Tree Hotel and all points in-between and after. John Tovey of the Miller Howe used to make a special trip to the Willow tree for some and Lord Hanson even admitted that it was just about equal to his mothers pie, such praise indeed. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 11/17/2009
Pan Fried Breast Of Partridge

Pan Fried Breast Of Partridge

We get our partridge breasts from Abel and Cole and they get them from Chris Chappel and Stephen Crouch who describe themselves as conservationists. The pair are passionate about the stunning Hampshire woodland where they manage deer, pheasant, partridge, pigeon, mallard ducks, and hare that roam and forage wildly. It's a family affair that started back in 1967 because, they say, "we needed to do something to feed our hungry children!" They sell game locally at farmer's markets and to some of the country's top restaurants. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 11/16/2009
Potato Crisps (potato Chips)

Potato Crisps (potato Chips)

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 11/16/2009
Megrim Sole with Brown Butter, Capers, Lemon, and Parsley

Megrim Sole with Brown Butter, Capers, Lemon, and Parsley

Pan frying fish, The French call it "saut?,? it's a great way of cooking most types of fish fillets as well as some whole fish. Pat the fish dry with clean kitchen paper and make 3 or 4 shallow slashes across the skin side of the fish and portion the fillets if necessary. Heat a non-stick frying pan or skillet until hot, add a little olive or sunflower oil. Lay the fish into the pan away from you skin side down so that any oil that might splash from the pan doesn't burn you. Allow the fish to start to crisp up, turn the heat down and allow it to cook until almost finished cooking; then leave the fish in the pan for a couple of minutes to finish cooking. If you are cooking fillets, turn them over on to the flesh side and immediately turn the heat off. There will be sufficient residual heat in the pan to finish the cooking process. If you are cooking a whole fish, place the pan into a hot oven (200C / 380-400F) and leave until cooked; this will depend on the thickness of the fish. Squ — Astro-Chef 11/7/2009
Bacon and Egg Salad Sandwich

Bacon and Egg Salad Sandwich

[I made edits to this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/29/2009
Pan Haggerty

Pan Haggerty

The ingredients are potatoes and cheese, Lancashire, or if you must Cheshire, onions sliced a bit thicker than the potatoes, and plenty of seasoning, with some beef dripping or lard, or for the health conscious some oil. Use firm fleshed potatoes such as Desiree, or Maris Piper as they will keep their shape and not disintegrate into mash at the end of the cooking time. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/29/2009
Scalloped Potatoes with Goats Cheese and Herbes De Provence

Scalloped Potatoes with Goats Cheese and Herbes De Provence

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/29/2009
Rumbledethumps

Rumbledethumps

[I made edits to this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/28/2009
Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

With practically no preparation time or hard to find ingredients, this roasted asparagus recipe goes from the fridge to the table in less than twenty minutes. [I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/28/2009
My Blueberry Muffins

My Blueberry Muffins

[I posted this recipe.] — Astro-Chef 10/28/2009

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Thanks, John for posting in Metric, your my now favorite cook on B O, they do not do Metric right here, thou they try, even on phone app.

3 years ago    MetricCook

Hi Astro-Chef. I don't know what happened on the "Mushy Peas" recipe, but many of the characters were displayed as question-marks. I think that's because of the copy & paste process that was used to put the recipe into the text boxes. Please make sure that no special characters like special single-apostrophes, control characters, etc. are there when the recipe is posted... thanks!

5 years ago    stevemur

Welcome to big oven! Looking forward to some of your great recipes!

5 years ago    weckle

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