RANTS & RANDOMS

My Favourite Recipes on Food Stories in 2016

December 31, 2016

Yesterday, in the pub, a group of friends and I sat around and talked about the best things that have happened to us this year. There’s been so much talk about how awful 2016 has been that it felt fantastic to listen to some positive memories. So, I refuse to write anything about all the crap because loads of good stuff happened to my taste buds and that’s presumably what you’re here for anyway. Here’s a roundup of my favourite recipes and also the most popular posts of 2016. Happy new year!

Donald’s Adana Kebabs

This was the year that Donald came up with what is, frankly, a brilliant kebab recipe. They’re full of spice and are basted with a sweet-sour pomegranate molasses glaze while cooking. I was really pleased with the Lebanese spin on smacked cucumbers I made to go with, too.

Pink Gooseberry and Gin Sorbet

This pink gooseberry and gin sorbet was one of those recipes that was just way more brilliant than expected, first time around. It also saved us when the temperature was in the 30s, which for London, a place without air conditioned houses, is pretty damn hot.

Crab Fried Rice


Crab is my favourite food, probably of all time, ever and with no returns. Usually, I’m a purist and I like my crab served whole with just bread and good mayonnaise but there are exceptions, and this fried rice is now one of those. It’s better even than crab linguine, which is saying something. Get the recipe here.

Curry Goat

Something of a love letter to ‘old Peckham’, this one. It’s a very different place nowadays, and although I’m not against developing an area in many ways, there’s a lot of style over substance, too much temporary stuff and not nearly enough restaurants you actually want to visit. Anyway, the recipe for curry goat is banging.

Chipotle Goat Tacos with Sour Creamed Corn

Chipotle Goat Tacos with Sour Creamed Corn

We cooked up leftover roasted goat meat with chipotle and ate it on fresh tacos with sour creamed corn which was just about one of the tastiest things ever. Well worth doing with leftover roasted beef or lamb, too. A shout out for the dish which preceded it, because why not? A shoulder of goat braised in retsina and served with whipped feta.

Gozleme with Sprouts and White Cheese


Oh hello, Turkish carbs. They really do so many exciting, fattening delicacies over there. I loved using sprouts in these stuffed, pan-fried flat breads, as I think seasonal greens are the way to go with these things. See also: my cavolo nero and cheese borek recipe on Great British Chefs.

And now for the most popular posts of 2016, beginning with…

My Food and Drink Confessions

vol au vents

This hugely popular post seemed to strike a chord with so many of you, and indeed with some journalists, who promptly nicked the idea to write their own, staggeringly similar articles. I wasn’t annoyed, more flattered.

What I’ve Learned from Being a Blogger Turned Full Time Writer

Again, this seemed to strike a chord with loads of you, with freelancers in many different professions getting in touch to say they could relate to what I’d written. In many ways, I am living the dream but it hasn’t been an easy path.

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

This is now one of the most popular recipes on my site because I think it ticks a couple of important boxes, in that it’s fairly simple to make and super comforting. The fried capers are a great addition to loads of things, to be honest.

Review: The Royal Oak, Paley Street


This was a very popular review, unusual for an out of town-er. Fabulous meal, though, and some thoughts from me on the annoying hype around new restaurants.

The Cheese Toastie that took a Week to Make

Ah, so glad to include a sandwich in this list (top photo). I’m glad you liked it too – you’ll be seeing plenty more in 2017.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Sally - My Custard Pie January 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Happy New Year Helen – this gave me the excuse to go back and reread many things that I’d enjoyed the first time round. Your honest, no nonsense writing and love of un-fancy great flavours strikes a chord with me and so many others. Looking forward to more in 2017

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves January 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Sally! That’s such a lovely thing to say. A very happy new year to you too 🙂

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