Light and moist scones with buttermilk and raisin, cut into triangles. You can replace buttermilk with yoghurt – but I’d strongly encourage giving a go as it makes for a nice crust and very moist crumb. These are a bit more cakey than the ordinary scones.
Vietnamese cabbage and prawn salad with nuoc mam dressing, layered on baked brown rice. The best salad bowls are a/ Asian and b/ contain cabbage.
Cabbage lasagne, a vegetarian dish of pasta layered with a filling of lightly cooked cabbage with tomatoes. Surprisingly flavourful and delicious!
Cabbage with bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms is a delicious main dish, served with plain pasta or potatoes. It can also be a hearty side dish, to go with fish or chicken.
Calamari rings pan-fried with chorizo and spring onions. Squid is a cinch to cook, it just needs a gutsy flavour to go with it - like chorizo. My view is this is a match made in heaven.
Homemade candied mixed orange and lemon peel is so gorgeous you might want to nibble on it instead of putting it into a fruitcake. So make twice as much!
Caramelised courgettes with basil and garlic: is it a sauce, a condiment, a side dish? All of those and more.
Caramelised fennel slices sautéed in a pan with maple syrup and white balsamic vinegar. The best way of cooking fennel, it makes an exquisite side dish, or a lovely starter served with a chunk of crusty bread.
Carbonara pasta bake, with bacon, Pecorino and egg yolks. No cream added and only a little cheese make the dish a little skinnier but just as delicious.
Carrot cake, simple and easy but unconventionally filled with apricot jam and decorated with chocolate ganache. Classic carrot cake with a zing!
Tom Kerridge’s carrot cake energy balls are no-bake, no sugar, no nonsense bites made from goodness itself. Sweet with no added sugar, satisfyingly filling and easier to make than mud cakes.
Celeriac, carrot and apple remoulade with creme fraiche and wholegrain mustard dressing is a seasonal winter salad and a great side dish for seafood.
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.
Fresh chanterelles sautéed in a little butter, piled on thick slices of toasted bread, make lunch, starter or a snack fit for gods. Scottish or French chanterelles, sunny yellow wild mushrooms, are autumn’s best.
Cheats sourdough or how to get close to sourdough taste in 24 hours. Crusty on the outside, chewy crumb, you might be easily fooled into thinking it’s the real thing.
Crunchy cheese and black pepper biscuits shaped like buttons. Crisp, peppery, with a hint of garlic. Only the button element arguably redundant, especially that it’s damn difficult to make these biscuits perfectly round and stay round whilst baking. I found the recipe in Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.
Cheese and mushroom omelette is a quick and easy breakfast or lunch dish. Beat the eggs well and work quickly for a perfectly fluffy omelette.
The best cheese biscuits with flaky, shortcrust pastry made from scratch, swirled around copious quantity of grated cheese. Much better with cream cheese pastry than puff pastry and not nearly as greasy.
Sweet potato tray bake with a lively topping of peppers, tomatoes, bacon and cheese. A one tray dish ready in under an hour.
Cherry and marzipan cake: a simple buttermilk cake batter with glace cherries and a layer of homemade marzipan. Result: stunning. Just try. And don’t you DARE use shop bought marzipan!
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.
Chicken Fiorentina, or petto di pollo alla fiorentina. Chicken Florentine style, with creamy spinach sauce, is an easy and incredibly tasty dish, ready in minutes.
Roast chicken with seared halloumi cheese and peach salsa is the perfect warm salad with sweet and spicy combination of flavours.
Chicken chow mein takeaway style with crispy noodles: 'chow mein' means 'fried noodles'. With stir fried chicken and a salty touch of smoked ham, it's actually much better than takeaway.
Chicken and melon salad with feta and avocado. Roasted sliced chicken breast is lovely paired with fresh melon, salty feta, filo crumble and a few seeds.
Chicken rarebit inspired by Welsh rarebit is chicken fillet with mozzarella and mushroom topping. An incredible chicken melt super easy to prepare.
Oven baked chicken rice pilaf is an easy dinner: a one pot casserole ready in total of forty-five minutes. Chicken never lets you down, right?
Chicken saltimbocca, thin escalopes of chicken fillet layered with sage leaves, Parmesan and Parma ham. Saltimbocca is classically made with veal but chicken is great cooked like this.
The best chicken soup made from whole chicken carcass, with my Grandma’s unique ingredient. It’s a cure for the cold, it’s the ultimate comfort, it’s a beautiful soup.
Chicken breast and vegetable tray bake – it’s good for a weeknight dinner and impressive enough for easy entertaining. Only one pan to wash up!
Roast chicken breast with butter fried spicy sweetcorn and crispy baked feta cheese crumbs, three great recipes in one wonderful dish.
Chicken with grapes and olives oven baked with a few chestnut mushrooms looks autumnal and tastes divine. Sweet and salty combo is not just for caramel ice cream, you see!
Chicken yu xiang, chicken breast pieces cooked in Sichuan ‘fragrant fish’ sauce which has seafood only in the name. With addition of dried cranberries for the sweetness and almonds for crunch.
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.
Chilli con corn – vegetarian sweetcorn chilli with beans goes well with tortillas, baked potatoes or nachos. Corn on the cob cooked with classic chilli flavours – the fresher ears of corn, the better!
Chocolate and glace cherry cake; my deconstructed black forest gateau. Cherries mixed into the batter, cream served on the side, it’s a mere hint of the black forest cake…
The easiest chocolate mousse dessert, whipped ganache flavoured with Grand Marnier. I’m offering the grownup version here: darkest chocolate, Grand Marnier; but it’s made just as well with milk chocolate and no alcohol, or even white chocolate (skip sugar in both cases).
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.
Easy chocolate cake with yoghurt, honey and shaved chocolate. The batter is ready in about three minutes and the cake is almost healthy – not much fat and not much sugar.
Dutch gingerbread biscuits, speculaasbrokken, thick and chunky. They are the easiest Christmas cookies, baked in a large slab decorated with almonds.
Chunky ratatouille with chicken pieces, a perfect wholesome and easy one-pot meat-and-veg dish braised in the oven. And it’s just as nice on the following day!
Chunky salmon burgers with capers, mint and dill, are best served with chilli yoghurt dip. The bun is optional.
Homemade clotted cream, thickened cream made by long and slow heating double/heavy cream in a shallow dish. The first time I made it, we had people staying for the weekend. We all went out for food, or I cooked, and at one or two occasions
Super easy coconut loaf made with shredded coconut. This must be the quickest cake in the world. I wish I could say it is also the finest but the two things rarely go hand in hand.
Cod and crisp, herby potato bake. This is awesome – deconstructed fish and chips without the need for vats of boiling oil, batter or the all-permeating smell.
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.
Fresh corn, bacon and avocado salad with crumbled feta and furikake seasoning, on a bed of iceberg lettuce: one of the best main course salads ever.
Cote de boeuf is a rib-eye steak on the bone, also known as tomahawk steak. This is a simple recipe for a sparingly seasoned, seared and roasted cote de boeuf, ideal for sharing.
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