Baked jalapenos stuffed with cheesy herby filling, easy to prepare, healthier than deep fried peppers and tasty to die for. Make sure you use gloves!
Pork chops stuffed with salami and a sage, lemon and garlic paste. Pork chops are pretty boring and I’m not usually that keen on them because the meat gets dry, and you can’t really cook pork medium-rare.
Boneless turkey breast fillet butterflied, stuffed and rolled up to a perfect roast joint for Christmas. Did I say how easy it is to carve?
Summer berry ice cream, the easiest no eggs recipe for homemade ice cream. Yes, I know – proper ice cream involves custard. Contrary to what The Weather Man believes*, there are eggs in the best Italian gelati. You temper eggs, make custard and watch so it doesn’t come to the boil – fuss and bother.
Summer cherry cake with a hint of cinnamon and minimal effort involved. This cake mix is pathetically simple – it takes 5 minutes to prepare and always comes out well.
Toasted crunchy oats with summer fruit compote, perfect for breakfast. I call it ‘fruit compote’ but it most probably is a completely wrong term technically.
Swedish almond caramel cake, Toscakaka, is a lovely and easy cake to make ahead. Bake the base in advance, then add caramel topping and blast it under the grill just before serving.
Sweet and sour duck stir fry with pineapple and red peppers topped with duck skin scratchings. This recipe is a tasty sweet and sour stir fry - feel free to swap the duck for chicken.
Baked sweet potato halves loaded with spicy black beans and Cheddar cheese: vegetarian lunch, snack or dinner, blissfully comforting.
Sweet puff pastry straws brushed with jam and sugar glaze, twice baked and still the easiest biscuits there are. Shop-bought or homemade puff pastry sheet makes dessert ready in less than an hour.
Homemade Christmas dinner oven ready, the best Christmas food gift for someone on their own or an unexperienced cook. The perfect roast and trimmings made ahead and ready to slip into oven, complete with simple instructions.
Date cake with tamarind paste and lemon and cardamom icing. I'm sure it would go amazingly with a caramel sauce, served warm from the oven or heated up in a microwave but it’s really good just left at the ‘cake’ stage.
Tarta de Santiago, traditional Spanish almond cake. Three basic ingredients and no electric appliances required: that’s St James’ cake, or tarta de Santiago. It’s a Galician specialty going back to Middle Ages;
Tomato tarte tatin with caramelised plum tomatoes and shortcrust thyme pastry. Cut corners by all means and use puff pastry. But it’s so much more rewarding when it’s a proper tart: slicing into shortcrust base rather than the squishy puff which goes soggy much too soon is worth the effort of producing the pastry.
Tartiflette, the best potato and cheese dish ever invented; with bacon lardons and Reblochon cheese. Tartiflette is the definitive comfort food. Potatoes, bacon and cheese – you can’t go wrong with that. It’s a simple dish and like any recipe coming from the highlands of any country, it looks in the pantry, finds stale bits and bobs and puts them together for dinner both nutritious and satisfying.
Teriyaki chicken made with the best homemade teriyaki sauce. Goodbye, Kikkoman. Farewell, Blue Dragon. I won’t see you now unless for soy sauce.
Thai beef salad made with finely sliced seared bavette steak, aka flank or skirt steak. Perfectly flavoursome beef on a bed of crunchy vegetables, with classic Thai dressing makes a delightful dish.
Thai fish stir fry with mushrooms, beans and noodles, with cod or other firm white fish. The secret is to marinate it well, cook it on medium heat and handle it with care.
Thai style fish cakes with spicy cucumber dip. My original idea of fish cakes with Thai style flavours – cause I wouldn’t dream of calling my production authentic – was appealing.
Whole grilled trout, with Thai style marinade, oven or barbecue-ready. Asian flavours of ginger, chilli and coriander go well with trout's meaty flesh.
Vegetarian Thai noodles flavoured with cinnamon, star anise, ketjap manis and ginger. This was originally Nigella Lawson’s recipe which had been originally her Thai chef’s one while on holiday there; Nigella, not chef or me.
Thai tom yum soup with rice vermicelli noodles and fresh clams. I’ve concocted the recipe from an extensive search through various, more and less authentic-looking sources.
Aubergine and tomato pasta bake with mozzarella. Pasta - fusilli. Tomato sauce - from scratch. Aubergine - lightly fried. A great vegetarian pasta al forno.
Tomato and fig salad with blue cheese and balsamic dressing. This is a particularly well-matched couple: tomatoes and figs. The blue cheese adds a salty touch – otherwise it would be too much of a Mills & Boone book cover.
Tomato butter: a creamy spread with incredible flavour, super easy to make. It’s not really butter in terms of texture but it’s a miracle product. I lifted the recipe from Matt Tebbutt, didn’t like the skins floating about so I passed the lot through my newly purchased food sieve – I pass anything I can since I bought it - and that turned out to be the thing to do.
Tomato crostata with honey and thyme flavour on flaky pastry made from scratch, with a sneaky cheese addition. Crostata or galette is a sweet or savoury open, rustic pie.
Tomato nun, la religieuse de tomate, is an exquisite appetiser of cold, uncooked tomato stuffed with pesto-flavoured burrata cheese.
Very easy, basic tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic, only to warm it up. Add the chopped tomatoes (or the contents of a tin), season generously...
Tomato and cheese scaccia, Sicilian flatbread filled and folded, is as much fun to make as delicious it is to eat. See the video showing how to fold thinly rolled out pizza dough.
Savoury tarte Tatin with confit tomatoes. Tomatoes are generally rubbish through three quarters of the year in the non-Mediterranean part of Europe. Tasteless and watery, with thick skins and not much flavour.
Traditional lasagne with ragù sauce and white béchamel sauce, between four layers of dried pasta sheets. Make sure you make a batch for the freezer!
Homemade German pretzels, or Laugenbretzeln sprinkled with salt crystals, soft and chewy inside and brown glossy outside thanks to a dip in lye or baking soda solution before baking.
Traditional panettone made on sourdough starter known as lievito madre or pasta madre in Italian. Step-by-step recipe for classic panettone with gorgeous sugar glaze.
Traditionally Simnel cake was a rich yeast cake, with marzipan layer inside and marzipan topping. This adapted Victorian recipe is made with yeast dough nad homemade marzipan.
Chewy and crispy chocolate chip cookies with white and brown sugar. These are triple choc, but you can add the chocolate chips of your choice: dark or white or milk.
Triple chocolate profiteroles, made with choux pastry filled with Chantilly and chocolate mousse, glazed with white and dark chocolate sauce.
Triple cooked chips, exactly by Heston Blumenthal's recipe. And they are the best chips - fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside chunky English-style wonders. Cooked religiously by the book, ‘In Search of Perfection’ part one.
Tuna tartare with chopped gherkins, red onion and a splash of soya sauce. ‘Tartare’, contrary to popular beliefs, originally meant a dish served with tartar sauce. I am fond of the popular belief relating the origins to the Tartar people of Central Asia...
Turkey breast fillet steaks with wild chanterelle mushroom creamy sauce, this is an easy-but-impressive dish. Cook these simple turkey escalopes with wild mushroom sauce for the next special occasion!
Twice baked cake with filling of lightly roasted fresh apricots – an ingenious idea of a sponge pie, cake with baked-in filling, all-baked layer cake. And it’s as easy as it is delightful.
Twice cooked pork fillet with mushroom sauce, inspired by Mark Bittman NY Times. Pork tenderloin is seared whole then browned again in slices; simple and brilliant.
Twice roasted beetroots with figs and pomegranate seeds. Crimson central – this is a dish of red, red and more red, suitable for the season of flaming gold on tree branches and misty mornings.
Upside-down cherry cake with fresh cherries and buttery sponge, baked in a tart or flan case. That way the ratio of fruit to batter is more balanced!
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.
Vanilla chocolate cupcakes with meringue buttercream frosting. These are good though for a dinner party dessert: you dish out individual items which is neat and stops people from devouring the whole large cake in one sitting.
The best vanilla ice cream: no eggs, full fat cream and milk and real vanilla pods make totally luscious vanilla ice cream. Vanilla is really expensive at the moment but there’s no question that no extract matches up to the genuine article.
Pojarski is a super tasty cutlet made of steak partly chopped and partly minced. My veal pojarski is an authentic dish unlike the cheap breaded chicken patties pretending to be the Russian classic.
Rose veal topside with simple salty and sweet glaze, roasted to medium rare. It needs only 15 minutes per pound in the oven after a 20 minute blast at high heat.
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