CHEF TONY SAYS: Northern Soul held its official launch party at Kosmonaut recently, a brilliant bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I provided some canapies for the event. I had to come up with something that I could make at home and put together quickly at the venue. Now you can make them too.

Home- roasted Spiced Nuts


250g mixed nuts or your preferred selection
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon olive oil


Place nuts in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
Toast until lightly browned.
While nuts are toasting, prepare spice mixture by combining all the spice ingredients in a small bowl.
Coat nuts with olive oil, then coat with spice mixture.
Once cold, place in an airtight container and eat within two weeks. If you like heat you can add more chilli powder, if you don’t like mixed spice don’t add it. And, if you make them and they’re too spicy for you, simply fry off more nuts and then add a little more oil. Then put the spicy hot nuts in with the unspiced nuts and stir around. The heat will disperse to the unspiced nuts so they won’t be as hot.

Peppered Goat’s Cheese Croutes


1 unbaked frozen baguette
Sea salt
Olive oil
5-6 peppercorns (you can use dried but peppercorns in brine give a different flavour, just rinse them first)
125g goat’s cheese


Pre-heat oven to 160c.
Slice the baguette while frozen – this helps maintain its shape. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sea salt then lay flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 mins till crisp but very little colour.
In a food processor, blitz the peppercorns till coarse or grind in a pestle and mortar. Dice the goat’s cheese into pieces, add to blender and blitz till smooth and incorporated.
Once the croutes are cool, spread or quenelle the goat’s cheese on top and serve as is.

Hot Smoked Salmon with Chilli Salsa Lettuce Cups


185g hot smoked salmon, flaked
2 chillies finely diced
1/2 red onion finely diced
1/2 a cucumber peeled, de-seeded and finely diced
2 spring onions finely sliced
2 tomatoes de-seeded and diced
1 avocado finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
Small handful of coriander, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
3 baby gem lettuces


Combine all the salsa ingredients and season to taste. Add as much or as little chilli as you like. You can make this a day in advance but the lime juice will mellow the chilli so you may need to add a little more the next day. Fill a bowl or sink with cold water, cut the bottoms of the baby gems and peel back the leaves being careful not to rip them. These create a natural cup for you to fill. Wash your leaves in the cold water. Drain your baby gem and lay on plates. Spoon in the hot smoked salmon and salsa on top.

Crispy Parcels filled with Lancashire-grown Peppers and Courgettes, with a Spicy Tomato Dip


For the parcels:
Spring roll pastry
2 courgettes finely diced
3 peppers, de-seeded and finely diced
Sea salt
Olive oil
2 eggs, beaten

For the dip:
2 chillies
1 red onion finely diced
200g tomatoes diced

Fry the peppers and courgettes in a little olive oil till soft and season with salt and pepper. Then drain though a sieve to get rid of any excess liquid. Make the dip by frying off the chilli and onion. Once soft add the tomatoes and reduce heat. Cook till the liquid is reduced by half and season to taste.

Lay out the spring roll pastry and cut into three strips. Doing one strip at a time, brush the pastry strip with the beaten egg. Place a teaspoon full of peppers and courgettes in the bottom corner. Fold the pastry left to right then bottom up, then right to left then bottom up. Repeat till all the pastry is folded and the filling is encased. Once you have completed all the pastry strips, turn your fryer to 180c and fry till crispy and golden brown, turning a few times. Serve immediately. You can make this the day before but fry on the day of using.


Main image by Craige Barker (


Next week: Red Wine Braised Blade of Beef and Shallots, with a Herb New Potato Cake and Baby Vegetables

Each week, discover recipes to nourish the soul, all compiled and concocted by Chef Tony, a gastronome with 15 years’ of experience cooking across the North West. Chef Tony has worked in some of the region’s best kitchens, including the award-winning Nutters in Rochdale and The Lowry at Salford Quays.