Fresh cucumbers with feta cheese and honey are a minimalist version of Greek salad and all the better for skipping tomatoes – mainly for your digestion.
Cupcakes with smashed blueberries and lemon zest. Whatever you call these, and I decided in the end to rechristen them ‘cupcakes’, they are damn nice.
Cured duck breast meat, tonnes of umami flavour produced over three days with just salt and sugar. Homemade prosciutto, and it’s lean and healthy if you discard the skin.
Cured salmon, homemade gravlax, flavoured with fennel, caraway and lemon zest. Three minutes work, four days wait and you have an astonishing party starter or a sandwich filling. Good value too, obviously.
Dabo - traditional Ethiopian honey and milk bread. To make the Ethiopian yemarina yewotet dabo, which means honey and milk bread, beat the honey with the egg, salt and spices.
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’.
Date and walnut nougat meringues, the most exquisite sweets for all meringue, nougat, marshmallow and turrón lovers. Meringue never tasted better!
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.
Dome cake made with genoise sponge filled with raspberry mousse and buttercream, for a very special occasion. You don't need a special tin - it's shaped in a bowl after baking.
Easy cherry sponge cake with fresh cherries lightly roasted; the base is gently prebaked and the end result is pure, gorgeous summer dessert.
Duck pastilla, a Moroccan pie made with filo pastry layers encasing leftover roast duck mixture filling, with onions and peppers.
Easy chocolate brownie, intense and fudgy but unbelievably quick to make. My best to date recipe for brownie is quite intricate, with beating eggs to a fluff and then folding and folding.
Ebi fry, Japanese style breaded and deep fried shrimp with tonkatsu sauce. Ebi-furai can fortuitously be pronounced ‘ebi fry’ and that’s what it is: shrimp fry. It’s not katsu - I’ve spent some time around various websites featuring katsu, tonkatsu and such, only to find that there is no ebi katsu.
Fennel and gorgonzola fettucine - I love pasta. I could eat pasta every day, if it only didn’t contain carbs. Since it does (hell, what other reason it tastes so good?), it’s an occasional treat.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Fideua, Spanish pasta dish with fish and seafood, is cooked exactly like paella: in an enormous pan, only with short vermicelli pasta replacing rice.
Filipino beef tapa with brown rice, sweet and sharp marinated beef strips, stir fried and served as part of a breakfast dish of tapsilog.
Filo wrapped asparagus with Parmesan are a crunchy, golden, irresistible vegetarian snack or appetiser. Asparagus filo parcels rolled up like cigars - a must before the asparagus season ends.
Financier cakes, French almond biscuits made with brown butter are deliciously moist, light and tender, quite similar to madeleines and really easy to make.
Creamy fish pie with layered sliced potato topping. No need to pre-cook the fish for fish pie, and a crispy layer sliced potatoes is better than a mash topping.
Five spice duck is an excellent dish. The duck is nice and pink (or so it should be to my liking, feel free to cook it a bit longer) and one good size fillet serves two easily.
Five spice shrimp with greens and crispy noodles. This is different to your usual stir fry: it’s a warm stir fried salad. The crispy noodles are totally optional: you can do soft noodles or no noodles.
Flat iron mushrooms, a mix of cultivated mushrooms pressed flat whilst cooking, to concentrate and wonderfully enhance their flavour.
Mixed flavoured meringue kisses, mini meringues with lemon, raspberry, chocolate and pistachio flavour. The quickest, burnt sugar meringue recipe.
Flutes, similar to baguettes but not as crusty and a bit heavier are made of soft and chewy dough generously flavoured with sage and Parmesan.
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!
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.
Fragrant fish stew with mixed fish chunks and seared scallops, crunchy vegetables and herbs. Easy, healthy and incredibly tasty.
Fresh, raw porcini salad with minimal seasoning is an epic treat. Sliced porcini, aka ceps or penny buns only need a sprinkling of salt and a drop of olive oil.
Fried sliced mushrooms, cooked in butter and a little oil, perfect for breakfast or as a side to steak. Cook them for 10-15 minutes until caramelised and crisp.
The best pizza made at home is born between the frying pan and the grill. Easy dough, basic toppings, thin crust; no pizza stone, no wood fired oven. Beats takeaway every time!
Roasted gammon hock with cabbage and plum sauce. Ham or gammon hock is a cured pork shank, easy though long to prepare: soaked, boiled and then roasted makes meat falling off the bone.
Homemade garlic bread with dough made from scratch. You don’t have to. You can buy your French stick. But just think how many calories you’ll burn doing all the kneading?
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.
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.
Gateau Breton is French butter cake, Brittany's finest. It's an enormous shortbread, a gigantic jammy dodger, the impossibly buttery double tart.
This is a genoise sponge cake with mascarpone and blueberry filling. Before my last birthday (oh yes, I make my own birthday cake in this house, no respite for the wicked) I thought I’d make something restrained. Elegant.
Ginger cake with candied ginger pieces, jam filling and maple syrup icing. I always thought ‘gingerbread’ referred only to cookies until I saw the cranberry gingerbread cake in NYTimes Cooking.
Gingerbread biscotti spiced with Christmas flavour, crunchy and dunkable, with mixed nuts and cinnamon sugar coating. Honey and spice and a festive spirit twice cooked!
Quick and simple glace cherries recipe: make your own candied fruit. They will last for a couple of weeks in a jar. Joking, of course – they’ll never last that long…
St. Louis gooey butter cake made from scratch, with the best gooey buttery topping. The gooey butter is sold as breakfast pastry and there are two variants, fiercely defended by the respective factions. One: ready cake mix and a cream cheese topping sounds lovely and easy but the yeast base and buttery sugary goo on top appeals to me with the force of the original.
Gooey butter cake bars with raisins and almonds, chewy sticky topping on an Italian pasta frolla shortcrust base. Inspired by St Louis gooey butter cake!
Greek lamb, spinach and feta filo pastry pie, using leftover roast lamb, is better than the original roast.
Green papaya salad with sweet and sour dressing is crunchy, juicy and incredibly full of goodness. Plus, it helps digest meat!
Grilled asparagus with flaked almonds and Parmesan, an exquisite side dish or starter ready in 10 minutes. It can be cooked in oven grill or on a barbecue.
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.
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