Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

Celeriac gratin and Hugo the sage




I’m thinking about leaving home. Bossy would obviously try to stop me  because I’m quite a catch as dogs go. It’s not that I don’t like it here; the food’s not bad most of the time, the scenery is pretty enough, I’m more or less allowed to do whatever I like (except kill hens, which is very frustrating for me – to the point that I may even be psychologically damaged). I’m just getting a bit fed up of all the baby animals that keep popping up. There have been rabbits, kittens, hedgehogs, birds, foals and now a damned puppy of all things! I suppose I must have been a puppy once, but I’m sure that I would have been an extremely well-behaved one. It stands to reason. Secretly I have to admit that Java’s really rather sweet, but her shenanigans are beyond me. For example, why would you plunge into a ditch that you know you have absolutely no hope of getting out of on your own? It’s just silly of her to try to copy me because I have a magnificently muscular male physique and she is, frankly, just a silly slip of a girl. Maybe I’m going to have to stay after all because someone’s going to have to show her the ropes and I can just imagine the chaos if I leave it to Bossy. One thing is certain: Java’s not going to be helping me to write my column anytime soon because she doesn’t even know how to read and write yet!

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Thank you Hugo! I very much hope you decide to stay.

Just as I make use of a large variety of grains, I also try to vary the root vegetables we eat as much as possible. We eat potatoes, for example, quite rarely as there are so many other things to chose from – sweet potatoes, swedes, turnips, parsnips and one of my favourites: celeriac.

Celeriac is very rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin K. It also provides essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper and manganese, as well as B-complex vitamins.

This recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into 1cm slices

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm slices

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, finely sliced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

400ml cream

200ml vegetable stock

4 anchovy filets

75g hard cheese (I used Comté), grated

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the celeriac, potatoes, garlic and chilli pepper in a large ovenproof dish and season. Add the cream, stock, anchovies and most of the cheese. Mix everything well and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on top.

Cheesy cornbread and downwardly mobile dogs



by Hugo,
Canine Correspondent

I’ve been chewing something over for a while now: Why are humans the only race that don’t automatically stretch when they get up? Dogs stretch, horses stretch, cats stretch and even hens who, let’s face it, aren’t the brightest, stretch. Humans like to think they rule the roost, but they’re not always very clever when it comes to basic body-maintenance. Bossy often complains (loudly and at length) about her hurt back and she sometimes goes to the bone doctor. What a lovely job that must be, specialising in bones. I must look into that – I’m sure it would be a good job for me.

Bossy has also taken to lying on a soft blue mat (which makes very satisfactory chewing material) and bending her body into most unhuman positions; she looks a bit silly actually. Apparently it’s called yoga. At first I thought it was just a phrase, but she does it quite regularly. When I have time, I show her how it should be done properly. Usually the Tall One or the Noisy One interrupts to try to talk to her and they get very short shrift indeed. I like to lie on the soft blue mat with her, but she doesn’t seem to like that either. All in all, she’s not very easy to please *desolate doggie sigh*.


Thank you Hugo, not only for writing today’s blog, but also for the invaluable ‘tips’. This cornbread is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Ingredients (serves 10)

60g butter

2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained and rinsed

4 large free-range eggs, beaten

325g polenta (or cornmeal)

250ml full-fat milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons spelt flour

sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

140g hard cheese (I used Cheddar and Parmesan), grated

Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a 22cm cake tin with olive oil. Gently fry the onions in melted butter for about 15 minutes until golden and sticky. Add the sweetcorn and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Mix the eggs, polenta, milk, baking powder, flour and seasoning in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese and mix well. Stir in the onion and corn. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Bake for 35 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top and return to the oven for ten minutes. Delicious served still warm from the oven or cold.