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Crab salad two ways, white crab meat and sweetcorn layered with creamy brown crab meat salad base. Use fresh dressed crab meat and bake corn on the cob for the best crab salad ever.
Leek and potato bake, or gratin, with creme fraiche and cheese. This is a vegetarian dish which resembles tartiflette or pommes dauphinoises in its levels of comfort.
Leek and potato soup, homemade is the best. Soup is the easiest, cheapest and quickest thing to cook at home. Especially if you are a proponent of Soup With Bits, like me – you won’t need a blender.
Warm salad of poached fish and raw samphire with lemongrass dressing. Samphire, or sea asparagus, is the salty marshland grass and not actually seaweed as some may think.
Lettuce and bacon salad with smoky dressing and crumbled blue cheese. To be honest, anything with blue cheese crumbled onto it has to be good, that’s the inherent quality of blue cheese.
Linguine with smoked salmon and homemade pesto - and lots of parmesan. This recipe uses, admittedly, fancy pasta from Carluccio. But to be honest, any good quality linguine will do, even if not sexily stripy pink, yellow and green…
Mac n cheese with leeks in cheesy béchamel sauce - the ultimate comfort food. Kraft introduced the quick and ready mac in a box in the 1930s during the Great Depression. But if you want to be posh you can call it pasta Mornay.
Mexican street sweetcorn salad, esquites, with sweetcorn cooked in the frying pan mixed with a salty, herby, spicy, cheesy dressing, is the second best thing after a holiday to Cancun!
Mini sausage rolls made with cream cheese pastry and pork and mushroom filling. Party food – or a perfect snack. The filling can be fashioned out of cooked or raw meat – using leftover Christmas turkey, Sunday roast chicken or pork, or raw meat like here.
Pan fried monkfish tail in spicy coating, with mushroom sauce and chorizo slices. Monkfish with paprika and chorizo complemented by spiced mushroom sauce makes a super tasty and still a healthy dish.
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.
Creamy mushroom ragu made to Heston Blumenthal’s recipe is a rich and flavourful dressing for pasta, gnocchi or polenta. With a hint of tomato, it's Umami Central.
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.
Oven baked arancini made with leftover mushroom risotto, filled with prosciutto and mozzarella. It’s the starter you wish was a main. It’s the leftovers dish that’s better than the original.
Oven roasted courgette with hot and sweet seasoning, a twist on Thomas Keller viral ‘scored zucchini’ recipe.
Pan-fried calves' liver with red onions cooks in 5 minutes, it's tender, juicy and delicious. And eating offal is a way to reduce waste and meat emissions.
Pan-fried wood pigeon breast is a great starter. It's an easy and quick recipe for very underrated, tasty, cheap and sustainable meat. Serve it with orange caramel and pomegranate seeds.
Pappardelle with chanterelles, the simplest pasta dish with the sunny wild mushrooms also known as girolles. A little butter, a little Parmesan and it’s an autumnal feast.
Pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. I love fresh tomatoes with good quality pasta. The question whether you should buy ’fresh’ supermarket pasta is a moot point – buy dry. Good.
Pasta alla pizza is this simple but genius thing: pasta that tastes like pizza toppings. Pizza pasta is also the easiest supper you could possibly imagine.
Pasta fritta, fried pasta with asparagus, garlic and mint; the best thing to do with leftover pasta. Any pasta shape can be made into pasta fritta without eggs, or frittata pasta – with eggs mixed in.
Pasta with crispy capers, bacon and breadcrumbs or pappardelle con pangrattato. Breadcrumbs are an age-old pasta dressing, poor man’s Parmesan. Textures are great here; everything is crispy and crunchy and salty
Pasta with asparagus and lemon butter, served with lots of Parmesan. Three tricks pasta and I’m pleased to announce that this is truly a pasta template, versatile as anything. I give you the pasta with lemon and any veg, plus Parmesan because pasta can’t be without it.
Pasta with red and yellow peppers cooked down to sweet and silky sauce, also known as pasta peperonata. Who needs tomatoes?
Baked peach with blue cheese and cinnamon crumble. I like a savoury take on a dessert dish. You expect a roasted peach, honey and pillows of whipped cream or mascarpone and here’s blue cheese with its sharp, salty sting.
Pear and grilled halloumi salad with roasted parsnip and salty pumpkin seeds. Everything is there: the wholesome, the sweet, the salty and the crunch. A perfect salad?
Leek and mushroom penne pasta bake with mascarpone and mozzarella. It's easy, it's cheesy; it's veggie, it's crispy - it's an ultimate comfort pasta bake.
Penne pasta with chanterelles and pied-de-moutons, and plenty of parmesan. A very simple dish – good ingredients don’t need elaborate processing, and fresh wild mushrooms are as good as it gets.
Persian cucumber and radish salad, sabzi khordan, is the healthiest plate imaginable. Sabzi khordan means 'eat your greens' and it's piled high with fresh herbs over the cucumber and radish.
Piperade is the Basque take on ratatouille with the heat of espelette pepper. This recipe is easy and simple, like a lot of best things in life.
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!
Pizza bianca, traditional Roman flat bread, with prosciutto crudo and provolone cheese. There are some very complicated instructions as to make the bianca dough but I figured that Romans wouldn’t bother to make special dough, separate to the rounds and rounds of pizza that the forni di Roma churn out.
Hawaiian poke bowl with yellowfin tuna, seasoned with shichimi togarashi. Originating from Hawaii, it’s a salad/starter/appetiser of raw fish, sliced (which is what ‘poke’ literally means in Hawaiian).
Porchetta, classic Italian pork roast, prepared with the easiest cut to handle: pork collar, also sold as neck or shoulder. Served usually cold in bread rolls, it is also gorgeous as a roast.
Greek pork gyros served with tzatziki and pita bread. Another street dish impossible to replicate at home? Wrong: you can cook it in the oven.
Learn how to make this classic Filipino breakfast dish with my easy-to-follow recipe for pork tocino. Marinated in a sweet and savoury mixture, this thinly sliced pork is pan-fried to caramelized perfection.
Potato salad with pancetta and asparagus, delicious warm or cold. I’m really not sure what the deal with the ‘only three ingredients!’ recipes is. Or only four or five for that matter - the authors of those seem to take pride in putting together as few foodstuffs as possible
Simple potato soup with mushroom flavour is as warming and comforting as easy it is to make. Chunky, waxy potatoes, carrot and celery in a fragrant, clear broth flavoured with wild mushroom – gorgeous.
Prawn burgers with spicy slaw. Fried but briefly, loaded with crunchy slaw scant on mayo, made of the best source of protein in the discovered universe – who says you can’t have the best of all worlds?
Homemade gyoza are much easier to make and cook than you’d think and are perfect served with a simple dipping sauce and a quick cabbage salad with oriental dressing. They make a fantastic snack, starter or main course.
Prawn pasta bake with frozen prawns and a handful of spinach. I seem to be cooking just one pasta dish all the time: boil the noodles, throw a handful of greenery into the boiling water by the end, drain the lot and stir in some cheese/sauce/butter.
Prawn tacos with dried fruit salsa, something a bit different for a taco night. Fresh or frozen prawns cooked quickly in a spicy sauce just beg to be loaded into tortillas.
Prawns with stewed tomatoes. The other night I went out for dinner (a respite from all this cooking, shooting and Fiending) and had a very decent red mullet served with tomato and raisin stew. The stew was simply AMAZING.
Provolone pasta bake with homemade tomato marinara sauce. The best vegetarian pasta casserole recipe, with the tastiest sauce; topped with provolone which is the best melting cheese for pasta al forno dishes.
Roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato foldovers in simple granary bread dough. They are also known as ‘slippers’ because of their shape.
Roasted red peppers, soft cheese and basil salad. The peppers actually will keep very well in oil or the type of dressing I suggested below; you can jar them and they will keep even longer.
Roasted sweet potatoes with chorizo and bacon are the perfect blend of sweet, salty and spicy.
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