Anchovy braised vegetable medley, Provençal style aubergine, courgette and mushrooms gently cooked in anchovy sauce with garlic and a touch of lemon.
Rustic apple galette with shortcrust pastry base and sliced raw apple filling. No blind baking, no precooking apples – and no soggy bottom!
Apricot frangipane tart, fresh apricots on a frangipane layer, with Italian shortcrust pastry base. There are three recipes in this one. The tart base is made from pasta frôlla, the Italian equivalent to sable or shortcrust; not really very different but less flaky and crumbly than their Anglo-French brothers
Autumn vegetable tian, a cheesy bake of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and other root vegetables, easily made ahead.
Baguettes made with white French type 55 flour, cold fermented overnight. The best thing for me about holidays in France is going to a boulangerie to get fresh baguettes, coming back proudly brandishing the crusty sticks, pretending I’m a proper French person.
Basic sourdough bread made with ‘old dough’ or pâte fermentée. This method uses a reserved chunk of dough instead of a starter and it makes for a tasty, long lasting, flavoursome new sourdough loaf.
Victorian Savoy cake, or biscuit de savoie, is the lightest butterless sponge cake. Fuller taste than angel food, more forgiving than genoise and far more sophisticated than Victoria sponge.
I thought I’d make blanquette de veau with some diced English rose veal from my butcher’s. How haute cuisine and poncey that sounds, eh? Two things have transpired this morning however: one – when I opened my veal vacuumed pack...
Blueberry cornmeal shortbread tart from Alison Roman, slightly tweaked, is the best pie/tart/cobbler for the summer season. No soggy bottom!
Buttery and barely sweet brioche, home baked breakfast fit for a king. Paper-thin glossy crust and the softest, meltiest crumb hiding inside, waiting only for a lick of good jam.
Yule log, or buche de Noel made with chocolate sponge and chocolate whipped cream filling. This is DEFINITELY the best dessert on Christmas day. It rides onto the table when everyone is in deep gluttonous stupor after third helpings of turkey and just one more last spoonful of stuffing, and suddenly they perk up mumbling ‘this is a bit of all right’ and ‘I might have room for the thinnest slice more’.
Camembert en croute: baked Camembert wrapped in homemade shortcrust pastry. A divine cheese parcel in cornmeal shortcrust with Cheddar and thyme. Who doesn't love baked cheese?
Caraway and parmesan pain de mie - soft crusted sandwich loaf with fantastic flavour. Pain de mie means a soft crust loaf, ideal for sandwiches, and it’s traditionally baked in a loaf tin closed with a lid.
Cassoulet - the ultimate comfort dish, with duck and pork. Pork belly provided the fat, a little bacon a little smokiness; and I sprinkled breadcrumbs over the casserole as well as the serving bowls.
Celeriac, carrot and apple remoulade with creme fraiche and wholegrain mustard dressing is a seasonal winter salad and a great side dish for seafood.
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 fondue, smooth as velvet and comforting as a blanket. This tastes absolutely fantastic. And so it should – it’s Heston’s recipe from the book ‘Heston Blumenthal at home’.
Cherry cream dacquoise is an exquisite cake which is far easier to make than you’d think. Almond meringue dacquoise layers filled with fresh cream and homemade candied cherries – and you can make ahead and freeze the dacquoise.
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!
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
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.
Croissants made with overnight proving dough laminated with butter. If you’re lucky enough to be living in France you get them from your boulangerie, but actually there's nothing like the homemade thing in terms of flavour. Is it difficult?
Recipe for croquants aux amandes, French almond cookies. ‘Croquant’ means ‘crunchy’ and these biscuits are wonderfully brittle, softening a little though as they keep. Hazelnut croquants are just as lovely.
Financier cakes, French almond biscuits made with brown butter are deliciously moist, light and tender, quite similar to madeleines and really easy to make.
Carrots fondant are carrots cooked in a water and butter emulsion, with carraway and cinnamon. Similar to carrots Vichy, except my recipe is all about lots of butter!
Celeriac fondant makes a great side dish. Recipes featuring celeriac are usually for mash or puree, but dicing the celeriac root and cooking it in butter brings out the great flavour.
Fougasse with grated Emmental cheese, chewy and crispy French flatbread, the cousin of Italian focaccia. Make it with sourdough starter or bakers’ yeast – equally delicious and not at all difficult.
Fougasse au Roquefort - flat bread with blue cheese, quite like focaccia. Fougasse can be salé or sucré, with lardons, olives, both, Roquefort – or covered with a thick layer of crisp, almost caramelised sugar. All strictly Provençal.
Fragrant fish stew with mixed fish chunks and seared scallops, crunchy vegetables and herbs. Easy, healthy and incredibly tasty.
Pain the campagne, sourdough bread made with wheat starter. Sourdough starter I find fickle – I know it can live for ever, only refreshed every now and then, but my best results have been with fresh, four days old leaven so that’s the approach I suggest here. Veteran sourdough makers though – please use whatever wheat starter you have on the go.
Galette des rois, an elegant treat for the night of Epiphany, or any other time during the twelve days of Christmas. There are some lovely traditions associated with the galette: a ‘fève’ is hidden inside the cake - a tiny china figurine or an almond - and the lucky person to find it (and not choke on it) is crowned a king or queen for the carnival.
Galettes made with buckwheat flour (gluten-free), with a classic topping of ham, cheese and a few spinach leaves. Galettes are pancakes – only better. The hardcore version has them fried only on one side, toppings put on top (as you would with toppings), and the sides only nonchalantly folded over.
Gâteau Basque is a traditional pastry from the Basque region of France. A buttery tart, plain or filled with cherries or pastry cream, it is similar to gateau Breton and just as gorgeous.
Dover sole is the best grilled. On the bone but skinned, brushed with plenty of butter and served with caper and lemon butter - it's fish dish perfection.
Mokonuts-style jewelled cookies with chopped pistachios, dried apricots, cherries and dates. So tasty you’ll want to visit the Paris bakery instantly. Or make double the amount.
Authentic French almond macarons with dark chocolate ganache and lemon curd filling – the most exquisite dessert you can possibly make.
Classic French madeleines, buttery and melting. The cookie is lovely – and don’t listen to the evil people who tell you it’s all right to make madeleines with whole eggs.
Crusty and chewy French dimple rolls with whole grains and malted wheat flakes. A recently refreshed sourdough starter, malted flakes or powder, some whole grains and a dimple.
Mini gateaux bretons, individual breton butter cakes with jam filling. Breton butter cakes are the wonderfully buttery, shortbread-like cakes from Brittany.
Mokonuts’ cranberry, chocolate and rye cookies are a revelation. If you thought you knew all there was to know about cookies – you were wrong.
Ottolenghi inspired fondue filo pie, with butternut squash swapped for mushrooms. It’s a combo of Savoyarde raclette experience and a Greek or Middle Eastern filo pastry, and it’s excellent.
Moules marinières with cream, fairly standard, but this recipe has a tiny twist. The usual spiel is to cook mussels with wine, take them out and then add cream – what a waste of time. I added the cream beforehand, turned up the heat full whack and threw the shells in...
French onion soup with toasted bread slices loaded with cheese. The best thing to eat on a cold winter’s day is soup. Something so comforting about a good bowl of soup – better than a stew, much better than a salad and it even beats cheese on toast – sometimes. Not that much beats cheese on toast in my view.
Orange dacquoise biscuits, chewy almond cookies made with egg whites, are like a meringue that changed its mind at the last minute and turned into sponge batter.
Pain de mie, French sandwich loaf baked in a Pullman tin with a lid. This is fantastic bread by the way, tasty, even more so by replacing all-white with a little wholemeal flour in the mix and using, of course, fresh yeast which does make a difference to the rise and the taste.
Petit beurre biscuits: the childhood throwback and a plain and simple accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. Easily made with a special stamp cutter.
Pissaladière Provençal is a simple savoury tart from Nice, with onion, anchovy and olive topping on pizza dough. In other words, salty fish on pizza!
Pistachio morning buns, a treat for breakfast, with cardamom scent and toasted pistachio and sugar crunch. Made from enriched bread dough on tangzhong milk starter.
Cookies and privacy.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions.