Angel food cake, light as air and fat-free. It’s like eating cloud. Really sweet cloud. But surprisingly, it can be sliced and layered, filled with cream and fruit and curd without fear of collapsing. What it is basically is a butterless, fatless, egg yolk-less sponge. Airy-fairy.
Perfect apple pie with homemade pastry and apple and raisin filling. I have twisted the classic a little by making sweetened crust but if you use tart cooking apples and not a lot of sugar in the filling, it creates a nice balance.
Savoury breakfast muffins with bacon, apple and cheese. I adopted this recipe from Nigel Slater who uses ham in his muffins. Say what you will, bacon always wins over ham at breakfast time and these things are meant for breakfast.
Bagels with poppy and sesame seeds - as good as in New York or Montreal. Anyone who knows a thing or two about bread, dough and things yeasty will work out that if you stick a bit of yeast dough into boiling water...
Homemade baked beans with bacon and molasses, cooked for five hours in the oven. Baked beans from scratch? Soaked overnight and all? Instead of just opening a tin? Why not, if they can do it in Boston?
Baked oatmeal breakfast casserole with buttermilk and your favourite jam. Breakfast is so controversial these days that I don’t know if I dare post this recipe under the ‘breakfast’ tag.
Banana fried with bacon makes a great breakfast. Bacon fried banana slices, seasoned with maple syrup, are best served as a breakfast sandwich filling, on toasted sourdough.
Banana and chocolate chip cake with olive oil, spices, molasses and dark brown sugar. Super easy recipe, no mixer needed for this banana chocolate chip cake.
Banana scones made from just one overripe banana make excellent breakfast. Especially delightful toasted and buttered.
Blueberry buckle cake with wholemeal flour and quinoa and oats topping. That of course refers to the way the topping buckles on top of the fruit in a wavy manner. Very descriptive. I think I’ll adopt it now, especially that the blueberry kind is the most common buckle and that is my firm favourite.
Blueberry cookies, chewy and delicious, with fresh blueberries or bilberries (wild European blueberries), easy and quick to make as there’s no need to chill the dough.
Blueberry cornmeal shortbread tart from Alison Roman, slightly tweaked, is the best pie/tart/cobbler for the summer season. No soggy bottom!
Blueberry poppy seed cake, easier to make than a pie and delicious warm or cold. It is a pie of sorts or a tart, or flan, with the filling surrounded by a golden brown crust.
Beef brisket braised with onions, mushrooms and sweet wine. The choice of aromatics is free but I’ll say this particular selection made very good sauce.
Simple brine for juicy festive turkey, advice on roasting times and a recipe for the best gravy - that's all I want for Christmas.
Fluffy and rich brioche rolls made with Japanese milk starter, tangzhong, proved overnight for rich flavour. Well suited for fine dinner and for a bacon butty.
Buttermilk fried pork fillet cutlets seasoned with mustard and marjoram. Pork tenderloin brined in buttermilk and shallow fried in cornmeal coating.
Breakfast American-style buttermilk pancakes, with optional blueberries. I’ve been having a buttermilk week. It started off with these pancakes, proceeded to simply exquisite fried chicken marinated overnight in buttermilk; via salad dressing with lots of dill and garlic and finishing with buttermilk island cake.
Caramelised courgettes with basil and garlic: is it a sauce, a condiment, a side dish? All of those and more.
Cauliflower cheese with spices, garlic and creamy sauce. Interesting thing about comfort foods is that they usually tend to be quite bland. I guess when it's cold outside or you're feeling a bit down you don't fancy stimulating senses too much.
Celery salad with furikake, Japanese sesame and dried seaweed seasoning, is the best way to use that bunch of celery that looks at you reproachfully from the vegetable drawer.
Crispy cheesy chicken nuggets triple coated with yoghurt, cheese and cornmeal are a treat not just for kids.
Sweet potato tray bake with a lively topping of peppers, tomatoes, bacon and cheese. A one tray dish ready in under an hour.
Buttery cornmeal muffins with glace cherries, gluten free but wholly satisfying. Crunchy around the edges, and the jewelled glace cherries intersperse the rich yellow cornmeal crumb.
My take on chicken Caesar salad has chicken fried in breadcrumbs and the best dressing. Purists and critics might comment that it’s a Chicken Nugget Salad, not Caesar. So be it. Damn tasty. Might be a hit with kids if you stick to that name.
Easy chicken Creole with chicken breast chunks and homemade Creole seasoning; best served with rice or plain tortilla chips.
Slow cooked chili con carne with beef and red and white beans. This is one hell of a contentious dish. First off, the name is wrong: purists call it just chili. Second, the provenience.
Double chocolate muffins, wonderfully gooey in the centre and a doddle to make. These little things will surely be firm favourites with whoever you make them for, builders or not. Incredibly easy to make it must be said - you needn’t even take care not to overmix like usually with muffins.
Chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow frosting. The classic is chocolate but they come in other flavours: vanilla, raspberry, red velvet or pumpkin. The filling should be marshmallow (made with Marshmallow Fluff if you’re in New England), but cream cheese, buttercream or chocolate all acceptable too.
Giant cinnamon roll scone cut into wedges is a cross between scone and cinnamon roll. Shall we call it cinnamon scrolls?
Classic Caesar with chicken, bacon, Parmesan croutons and anchovy dressing. Anyway – nice and not too anchovy dressing, best ever croutons, meaty fresh lettuce and good quality roast chicken.
Coconut angel food cake, with a zesty touch of lime flavour. Angel food cake base, whipped coconut cream filling and toasted coconut flakes to decorate.
Soft cookies made with condensed milk, with added chocolate chips and cranberries. These things are truly disgustingly nice (there should be a Disgustingly Nice category on Fiend, don’t you think?), unbelievably easy to make and keep, if you let them.
Savoury muffins with sweetcorn and bacon, with plain flour and polenta in the mix. A little bit like old fashioned corn fritters except baked into muffin shapes. The recipe comes from Dan Lepard’s ‘Short and Sweet’.
Corn ribs from the oven, with homemade dukkah, just like the ones served at Ottolenghi’s Rovi. It’s totally a snack du moment – and de toujours, I hope.
Savoury sourdough couronne bread, crusty French round bread made from San Francisco-style sourdough. Sourdough starter sponge in the evening, crown shaped bread early next afternoon!
Cranberry and walnut bread made with fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped walnuts and orange juice and zest, it has intense flavour, gorgeous cranberry tang and crunchy sugar topping.
Sticky cranberry gingerbread cake with molasses and maple syrup. Easy to make, sweet, spicy and tart, it's just perfect for the festive season.
Simple and easy cranberry sauce to serve with your turkey. It can be made well ahead of time as it stores well in the fridge. If you prefer it a little tarter, reduce the amount of sugar.
Creamed corn with blue cheese and fresh ripe tomatoes. Creamed corn in fact is now my number one method of cooking corn and that’s how I’ll continue until the end of the summer and beyond – it’s gorgeous.
Crème fraiche pound cake flavoured with vanilla, baked in two mini loaf tins. Simply adorable – with crème fraiche icing too.
Date and nut squares, with chunks of Medjool dates and a mix of almonds, pecans and pistachio in rich, chewy batter. There’s a reason why these are called ‘food for gods’.
Deli bread - slices beautifully, moist and flavoursome thanks to the addition of onions and mashed potatoes. This is a perfect loaf for salt beef or pastrami sandwiches. Chop up some gherkin on top and mazel tov!
Deli style rye bread with caraway seeds, great for sandwiches and excellent for toasting. Leave out caraway if you don’t like it!
Devil’s food cake with hazelnut praline and mascarpone cream is unbelievably good. Just the recipe for the next birthday occasion.
Easy dirty rice with minced pork and homemade Creole seasoning, a bomb of flavours and a healthy main course ready in about 40 minutes.
Flash pickles made with cucumber and carrot slices. These quick refrigerator pickles are ready in 3 hours and keep more nutritious elements than ordinary pickles.
Garlic fried chicken marinated in buttermilk. If I was a KFC fan, I’d be really happy with this garlic fried chicken. Of course it’s a southern American classic, but they tend to fry chicken on the bone.
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