A Greek twist on Eton mess: fresh blueberries or strawberries, lightly whipped cream and filo pastry shards. You’ll never want the Eton version again!
Beef fillet stuffed with porcini mushroom duxelles: it's a keto Wellington or filet de boeuf sans croûte. Beef tenderloin opened up like an envelope, spread with mushroom filling and roasted beautifully pink.
Blueberry flavoured frozen yoghurt, made without ice cream maker. And yes, you can make very good one at home. Here’s how.
Burger wellingtons with mushrooms and shallots wrapped in puff pastry, an easy version of beef Wellington. It’s a fancy dish for dummies, it’s your Valentine’s Day dinner this year.
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?
Vegetarian Wellington, with mushroom and spinach layer around baked celeriac centre. Easy to make ahead, even easier to make it vegan: just use vegan pastry and skip the butter.
Chicken alla Fiorentina with fresh spinach and creamy sauce. I know - it should all be cooked in separate dishes, the chicken cut in escalopes, spinach just tossed with butter, and the sauce should not mix with it. But isn’t life too short to wash three different pans when you can wash just one?
Chicken saltimbocca - thin escalopes of chicken fillet layered with sage leaves, parmesan and prosciutto ham. Saltimbocca means ‘jump in the mouth’ and it does. Classically made with veal escalopes hammered down thin.
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).
Crab salad with spring onions and radishes, served with acocado slices - the classic. The alpha male approach to crab is to grab a live crustacean and plunge it into boiling water, claws waving.
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.
Pink guava cake with pink buttercream frosting, made from concentrated guava juice. It looks like a six years old girl’s dream. It tastes like heaven.
A rack of lamb, roasted with a herb and parmesan crust. I believe in simple seasoning of this arguably best cut of lamb, but the coating of mainly herbs and parmesan - without too much breadcrumbs - really works.
Lemon posset, the easiest and the loveliest dessert, served with crunchy biscuits. Posset in medieval times was a spiced, rich milky-wine concoction, served probably more often as a remedy than a dessert. They did mix their drinks in the olden days didn’t they?
Marzipan truffles, chocolate covered balls of homemade marzipan, and the chocolate is also homemade! Vegan, easy and utterly delicious.
Meringue kisses: pink coloured mini meringues, filled with white and dark chocolate ganache. It’s not all fun making them though – meringue has the tendency of going its own ways, clinging to everything but the inside of the piping bag.
Mini Pavlovas - individual meringues with whipped cream and fruit toppings: passion fruit, pomegranate and raspberry. Simple – and gorgeous. Any time of year. And what’s more important – small meringues are much easier to bake than a whole big Pavlova.
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...
King Oskar II cake - almond macaron style cake filled with buttercream. Apparently they sell them in Ikea, frozen, and tasty to boot, alongside the meatballs and pickled herring. I adore Swedes and Swedish food but detest Ikea.
Perfect beef fillet steaks cooked medium rare, served with anchovy butter. Smoking hot pan still holds, no question, but to ensure the meat is cooked evenly through even with thickish cuts, and even at cuisson bleu, you need to flip the steak...
Pork shoulder steaks with clementines and crispy sage leaves. This recipe is for shoulder steaks, my favourite cut. Loin is too lean, flavourless and boring; it’s best fit to be turned into lonzino; sliced thinly and savoured on a charcuterie platter.
Pork and mushroom stroganoff: perfect for when you want to cook an easy but special dish and can’t afford to spend a small fortune on the ingredients.
Sponge cake roll with cream and raspberry filling. A Swiss roll, jelly roll, or cream roll – it can be filled with buttercream, mascarpone or whipped cream plus any seasonal or frozen fruit. Truth be told, it’s lovely even rolled around good jam.
Raspberry meringue roulade: the perfect dessert recipe by Ottolenghi, with raspberries and whipped mascarpone cream filling, decorated with rose petals and pistachios. It can be made ahead and frozen.
Roast goose breast with apples and raisins, best seared in a skillet to render fat, then finished off in the oven. With apple and raisin topping to cut through the rich flavour of the meat.
Rose and raspberry heart-shaped biscuits just for Valentine’s Day. Instead of a Valentine card bake a batch of these dainty cookies, tender, sweet and fragrant.
Fresh scallops, flash fried, with discs of fried chorizo. Fantastically healthy chunks of pure protein, they are easy to cook but just as easy to overcook and turn rubbery. A minute on each side in a very hot pan.
Oven baked spinach and mozzarella balls, coated in breadcrumbs. Healthy baked spinach and cheese balls go well with a steak as a side dish but also delicious as an appetizer.
Strawberry fizz cocktail with prosecco and grenadine. Let’s try this at home – I didn’t have any cassis or Chambord; I didn’t want to waste champagne on unknown quality and I wanted fruit in. It’s not exactly a sunrise but it’s rather excellent – and very summery.
Mini heart shaped sponge cake for Valentine’s Day. A cute and easy Valentine Victoria sponge sandwich filled with jam and whipped cream, made with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
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