Muddy Spuds by chef Shona Pollock

Muddy Spuds by Chef Shona Pollock

Every so often, I stumble upon a cookbook that really hits the spot as far as my style of cooking goes

Muddy Spuds by Chef Shona Pollock – Every so often, I stumble upon a cookbook that really hits the spot as far as my style of cooking goes.  Recently, I’ve been reading Muddy Spuds, by chef Shona Pollock, whose 30 or-so-year career has been spent cooking for weddings and private clients. With her expertise and passion for unpretentious, but delicious, food jumping from every page, Shona’s decision to bring her recipes together in a cookery book to hand down to her son and nephews have resulted in a recipe compendium that will inspire and entice you – irrespective of your cooking ability – to head to the kitchen and start cooking. Known by many as one of the best wedding caterers in the business, Shona now shares her recipe repertoire. From mouth-watering canapés to sharing the secrets of cooking games, or delicious veggie options and desserts to die for, Shona’s collection of 200 recipes will be a great addition to your cookbook library.

Shona has always championed seasonality in her recipes, bringing together the best ingredients available throughout the year, ensuring we make the most of our excellent UK-grown produce and save money too. Refreshingly different, this book isn’t penned by a chef whose celebrity outshines their recipes.   Muddy Spuds provides you with classic, unpretentious recipes that Shona prepared for her friends, family and clients over the years.

Interestingly, this lovely book doesn’t have any photos!  Don’t be put off though, there are fabulous sketches by artist Harriet Hodgkinson throughout the book, as you’ll see, with this taste of the contents of this lovely book below.

Published by Jersey Royals Publishing, Muddy Spuds – Rustic Recipes From My Kitchen is available in hardcover (£25.00) from the author’s website  

Sumac and Citrus Baked Salmon Serves 6

Sumac and Citrus Baked Salmon

“This dish is quick to prepare and nice with red or black rice with some walnuts and perhaps chopped coriander tossed through. You can have it hot, or it is equally good served cold with some lovely salads.  Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice – I think originally from Iran, made from dried and ground sumac berries. You can get it from most supermarkets and if not, from an Iranian shop, if you have one near you.”

6 salmon fillets

2 teaspoons sumac

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

grated zest and juice of 1 orange

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons of light olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the sumac, cumin, cinnamon, orange zest and juice and lime zest with the olive oil. Pour over the salmon fillets.

Season with salt and pepper and bake for 12 minutes.

Asian Slaw Serves 4–6

Muddy Spuds by chef Shona Pollock

“This is a lovely slaw and quite different from coleslaw – I like it with Slow-Roast Pork or even Citrus-baked Salmon.”

 1 red onion finely sliced.

500g white cabbage, finely sliced.

200g red cabbage, finely sliced.

2 yellow peppers seeded and finely sliced.

1 papaya or mango peeled and sliced.

1 tablespoon mint, chopped.


3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

100ml rapeseed or sunflower oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

3 tablespoons light soft brown sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients together and then mix with all the vegetables and papaya or mango, add the mint. All done now and yum! It is so good.

Fennel and Feta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac Serves 4

Muddy Spuds by chef Shona Pollock

“This is a lovely simple salad – goes with anything or just has a big bowl on its own. I think my friend, Fi Potter, gave me this among many other lovely recipes she has passed on to me. You can make it more substantial for a supper dish and add some slices of cooked chicken and some roasted pine nuts, should you wish.”

 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds

2 medium fennel heads

1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons sumac

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped.

100g feta, crumbled.

salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Remove the leaves of the fennel, keeping a few to garnish later, and trim the base, making sure you leave enough of it still attached to hold the slices together. Slice very thinly lengthwise.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil, sumac, lemon juice, herbs and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the fennel and toss well. Taste for seasoning but remember the feta will add saltiness.

Layer the fennel, then the feta and then the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with fennel leaves, sprinkle over some sumac and serve immediately.

Chicken Thighs with Oregano and Pomegranate Molasses

Chicken Thighs with Oregano and Pomegranate Molasses

This recipe was given to me by a client, Catharina Mannerfelt, for whom I cook regularly. You could serve it with a good Greek salad and some lovely new potatoes.

Serves 4

 8 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in

2 tablespoons light olive oil

sea salt

500g red onions, finely sliced.

4 garlic cloves, crushed.

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon runny honey

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 small bunch of fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

50ml water

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat oil in a frying pan and brown chicken thighs – 4 at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pan so they brown nicely and don’t stew. Once brown remove from pan and set aside.

Fry the onion until soft – about 10 minutes – add the garlic to the pan and fry for one minute.

Mix the garlic and onion with the chicken and then add the molasses, soy sauce, honey, ginger and oregano.

Add the water and then put the whole lot into a baking dish. Cover with foil, roast for 30 minutes and then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

The Seasoned Gastronome

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