Muffins with orange curd and chocolate ganache filling. Muffin mix is dead simple, I’ve made this mix with blueberries, raspberries, chocolate, orange zest and it works. Orange curd was organic and not too sweet – what could go wrong?
Muhammara, roasted red pepper and walnut dip, flavoured with pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper flakes. This should be a firm fixture in your next meze!
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.
Wild or exotic mushroom ragu, perfect to serve over pasta or gnocchi. It is, truly, a masterly recipe and the addition of tomato ketchup a stroke of genius.
Mushroom risotto made with dried, rehydrated porcini and masses of Parmesan and butter is a royal feast. I love it just with a green salad.
Mushroom sauce, creamy and fragrant, with a few dried wild mushrooms that make all the difference. The sauce for pasta, steak, chicken, meatballs and whatever you fancy.
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...
Corn tortilla chip nachos with easy homemade beef chilli, sweetcorn and cheese. Homemade nachos are the perfect recipe for a crowd-pleasing supper or snack.
Negimaki-style veal escalopes, marinated in teriyaki and sliced across like sushi rolls. A party snack with a wow-factor or a dish for the special dinner à deux.
Norwegian apple cake, eplekake, is plenty of apple slices on sponge batter enriched with milk. This recipe is from NY Times but cross-referenced with Norway!
Boller - Norwegian raisin buns with cardamom flavour and a shiny glaze. What can be nicer for breakfast than a fresh from the oven – or toasted – buttered bun? Okay, a scone. Or a croissant. Or a full fry-up. Let’s leave it there.
Oatmeal biscuits, the healthiest cookies, sprinkled with pinhead oats. They are gluten-free and only contain three spoonfuls of sugar. Definitely good for your gut with all the fibre, but oatmeal apparently also lowers bad cholesterol levels while providing bags of nutrients.
Oatmeal raisin cookies, buttery, chewy and delicious. I recently realised I’ve been obsessed with oats. Porridge and I go back to before anyone else was interested in cooking oats first thing in the morning.
Oatmeal and banana smoothie with chia seeds, dairy and gluten free but not free of taste. Briefly – the epitome of what I usually sneer at. Vegan. Gluten free. Dairy free.
Healthy homemade cereal bars made with oats and plenty of dried fruit and seeds. Cereal bars or granola bars? Either way they are much better than shop-bought bars.
Old fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting. We used to have two apple trees in the garden: one eating, one cooking, fruiting every other year each, in alternative years – a perfect arrangement.
Olive, caper and seaweed crackers, savoury biscuits with a unique flavour. Savoury biscuits are always such a hit. Forget crisps – they’ll just give you a guilty feeling as they are the Top Villain of The Unhealthy.
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.
Sour cream cake with orange flavour and raw cacao nib crunch is like a sophisticated pound cake with chocolate chips.
Orange and ginger flavoured flapjack, soft and chewy, buttery and slightly sticky. Make it plain as it is, or add a handful of dried fruit or coconut flakes.
Orange and lavender quatre-quarts cake - great combination of orange and a strong unusual flavour of lavender. One of the easiest cakes to bake. Four quarters: there are only four basic ingredients and they are mixed together in equal parts.
Orange flavoured ciambella with dark chocolate glaze is Italian ring-shaped breakfast cake. This one is made without butter but with olive oil; serve it for an indulgent breakfast or for dessert.
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.
Orange macaroon cake with dessicated coconut and orange liqueur. This is a glorious cake. Just the right moisture (wet), orange flavour fantastic (no, can’t be less), and slightly chewy on account of the coconut.
Orange and spice muffins with candied citrus peel. These smell lovely while they’re baking – orange-and-spice, Christmas-just-around-the-corner aroma.
Tartlets with ricotta and almond filling, topped with candied orange slices. I can’t honestly say which filling is nicer – the bonus about the ricotta one I guess that you can stick the leftovers into a buttered and floured ramekin and bake for a mini cheesecake.
Dan Lepard’s orange and walnut loaf cake with cinnamon and fresh ginger, a wonderful combination of flavours. One saucepan, a loaf tin and zest from five oranges!
Easy cheesy oregano cheese straws from homemade shortcrust pastry; flaky, buttery and melting in a mouth. Everyone’s all-time best ever favourite snack.
Steamed whole sea bass oriental style, with coriander and spring onions. Wok’s shape makes it possible to simply prop up a plate against the sides so it’s beautifully suspended over the water, no rack or even steaming basket needed.
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.
Osso buco - shin of veal, slow cooked with porcini and tomato sauce. The shin of veal is a delicious cut, actually much better than a lamb shank, equally cheap, cooks all by itself and is a joy to eat – just leave the marrow to me.
Oven baked fish in panko breadcrumbs with baked string fries - a healthier version of fish and chips. The baked fish and chips is all right, plus you’re not stinking out the kitchen or splattering everything in grease and plugging the sink with oil. But don’t expect it to for ever replace your deep fried haddock or cod in crispy batter.
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 braised racks of baby back pork ribs with Creole seasoning and maple syrup glaze, cooked for 4 hours into tender perfection.
Oven roasted duck breast fillet with chilli flavoured pineapple slices, charred on the griddle. Served on a pile of green lettuce, it’s an outstanding warm salad dish.
Sea trout fillets baked in oven with lots of steam, at low temperature. This is definitely the best way to cook these delicate fillets, often prone to drying out if overcooked.
Overnight oats with homemade yoghurt and fresh fruit, the healthiest breakfast. You don’t have to make your own yoghurt to enjoy this breakfast but it’s so amazingly easy that I challenge you to try.
Baked oyster mushrooms with garlic and blue cheese. This makes almost a sauce – if you want proper sauce, chop them smaller and add more cream. I like to bake them whole though and pile the unctuous, blue cheesy morsels on top of a perfectly cooked steak.
Padron peppers, pimientos de padron, a Spanish dish of pan-blistered padron style green peppers. A delicious snack from the tapas menu, they can be eaten whole.
Pan fried skin-on fish fillets with creamed spinach. It’s simple: all you need is for the fish fillet skin to be perfectly dry and the pan to be really hot.
Crêpes, or wheat pancakes, with spinach and blue cheese filling. The batter is a doddle to make and it annoys me so to see the dry mix sold in supermarkets. Mix eggs with flour and milk – a toddler can do it, no? The art of pancake is tricky, but the difficulty lies in tools rather than ingredients.
Pandoro, Italian festive 'golden bread', the sweet buttery panettone's rival. Come on, Italians - just have both. I’m having both this year, although my pandoro is baked in a panettone tin - and my recipe is a somewhat hacked version of an Italian one.
Panettone - classic Italian Christmas sweet bread. Yes – it’s doable. A word of warning though: it’s a fickle, capricious beast in the truly Italian style, la donna è mobile and so is panettone.
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.
Classic creamy panna cotta, the simple and exquisite Italian dessert. Vanilla flavoured, with whole milk and cream and only enough gelatine to keep it in the cup, served with passion fruit puree.
Panpepato, Italian classic Christmas dessert from the province of Siena, is the ancient version of panforte di Siena, Italian biscuits packed with fruit and nuts. Panpepato is spicy, peppery and very chocolatey.
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.
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