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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Feeling peckish? Try eatthechef, with fries

Chef Simon Rimmer likes to be kept busy, you can tell. It’s not enough to star in a weekly TV show, run two restaurants, write books, give demos and be father of two.

Simon Rimmer photo
Simon Rimmer

Now he is involved with a new website called www.eatthechef.com.

It’s a community site where anyone can upload their vlogs, (video logs) of themselves cooking.

Simon hopes to create a database of free videos created by the users themselves.

When he’s not filming vlogs for the website, coming up with recipes for BBC2’s Sunday morning show Something For The Weekend – “I write four a week, and we’re on week 165!” – or running his restaurants, Simon says he somehow finds time to see his family.

“I have two restaurants, two kids and one wife,” he says frankly.

“And I try and give a little bit of everything to all of them, but I’d hate to be married to me.”

Simon admits that working pretty much seven days a week can be hard on his wife, Ali, and two kids, Florence, 12, and Hamish, aged six. But he’s about to make it up to them.

“Next week, Ali and I are off to St Lucia where I’ll do cookery demonstrations and she’ll get to sit by the pool. It’s the first time I’ve been offered such a glam gig – normally they happen in Wigan and Coventry.”

“My mum will look after the kids, which is a holiday for them, and it’ll get me a few brownie points,” he admits with a chuckle.

“But I’m very thankful for all these opportunities. Let’s face it, I could be making burgers in McDonald’s.”

Try out some of Simon’s recipes from his book, The Accidental Vegetarian.



50g/2oz butter

1 onion, finely sliced

200g/7oz waxy potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

75g/3oz mature Cheddar cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Heat half the butter in an oven proof pan and fry the onion until soft, then remove from the pan.

2 Put a layer of potato in the same plan and fry for a few minutes until golden.

3 Now layer up onion, potato, onion, seasoning each layer and finishing with potato.

4 Melt the remaining butter and pour over the pan. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until soft.

5 Before serving, grate the cheese over the top and put under a hot grill until the cheese bubbles, then serve.



400ml tin of coconut milk

100ml stock

225g cooked fine beans

225g cooked broad beans

1 bunch of spring onions, finely


2 tomatoes, chopped

Lime wedges and fresh coriander leaves, to serve

For the curry paste

10 black peppercorns

2tsp cumin seeds

2tsp coriander seeds

10 red chillies (deseeded if you


5 shallots

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Piece of fresh ginger

6 stalks of lemon grass

12 kaffir lime leaves

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1/2tsp turmeric

Splash of vegetable oil

Splash of chilli oil

1tbsp palm sugar

2tbsp vegetable oil for frying


1 To make the curry paste, dry-fry the peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant, then grind them in a mortar and pestle.

2 Put them with all the other paste ingredients except the oil into a blender and blitz until smooth – it takes 5-10 minutes.

3 Warm the oil in a pan and add four good spoonfuls of paste (one per person). Cook on a low heat until it becomes fragrant.

4 Crank up the heat, add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes.

5 Add the finer and broad beans, onions and tomatoes and simmer for about 4 minutes.

6 Divide curry between bowls and garnish with lime wedges and coriander and serve with rice.


Ingredients for the pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra for

the dusting

75g unsalted butter, cubed

Pinch of salt

100g sifted icing sugar

50ml milk

2 egg yolks

1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Icing sugar, to server

For the Filling

350g cater sugar

150ml water

Pulp and juice of 12 passion


9 eggs

300ml double cream


1 To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, salt and icing sugar into a food processor and pulse until ’crumby’.

2 Then add the milk and the egg yolks and pulse until it forms a dough.

3 Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, then cover and chill for at least one hour.

4 Turn the pastry out onto your floured surface and roll out 5cm/2inches larger than a 28cm/11 inch tart case.

Push the pastry into the base, leaving the excess hanging over the sides, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

5 Preheat the oven to 180C/Mark 4. Line the pastry case with foil and rice or baking beans and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

6 Remove the rice or beans and oil, brush with the eggwash and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Leave to cool.

7 Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then add the cream. Using a slotted spoon, add all the passion fruit pulp to the cream mixture with a little of the juice, probably about 1 tablespoon. Reserve the remaining juice to use as extra sauce.

8 Pour this custard into the cooked and cooled tart case (fill the tart case while it’s sitting on the oven shelf, with the shelf pulled out to avoid spills).

9 Reduce the oven to 170C/Mark 3 and bake the tart on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes.

10 It should still be a little wobbly, but it will carry on cooking and will set. To serve, dust the tart with icing sugar and a spoonful of extra sauce.


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