Leek and potato bake in creamy cheese sauce. A little like Tartiflette but onions replaced with leeks, no bacon, and I didn’t try to resource Reblochon but cleared out the post dinner party cheeses.
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.
Leek slaw, a simple salad of raw leeks with cucumber and radish, seasoned with black pepper and honey. Leeks are incredibly healthy when eaten raw, did you know?
Creamy leeks sautéed with wild garlic. Wild garlic aka bear’s garlic or ramsons turns up in April in woody, wet, marshy lands and down in the overgrown part of my garden.
Lemon and blueberry flapjacks, easy to make and much healthier than off-the-shelf bars, naturally flavoured with lemon juice and zest, with freeze-dried blueberries.
Lemon drizzle cake with poppy seeds. The kind of cake that can make you hum when eating it. It’s the one-slice-is-never-enough cake. It’s the how-come-there’s-none-left? kind of cake. And it’s easy, easy-peasy, even my nephew could whip it up.
Lemon whoopie pies with vanilla buttercream – the classic whoopie pies invented in New England, remade in old England with a recipe from an Aussie. Those cookies travel, eh?
Lemon butter cake, soft and spongy, made with condensed milk and flavoured with lemon zest. I love this recipe: it calls for 125g condensed milk which is about two thirds of a tin. And what with the remaining milk, you don’t want to waste it, do you? And the cake is quite nice too.
Lemon chilli chicken in creamy sauce, zingy and lemony, made with chicken breast strips, ancho chillies and whole lemon quarters. Best served over pasta or plain rice.
Pound cake with lemon syrup drizzle and light icing glaze. This was a super-disappearing cake – only a few crumbs were left by Sunday afternoon.
Lemon polenta cake, tender and not too sweet; wonderfully crunchy on the bite. It’s gluten free, easy to whip up and it looks like a round of delicious sunshine on the plate.
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?
Lemon and smoked paprika roasted potato wedges. This is definitely one of those dishes that look hugely better before cooking. Decorative lemon slices, pale yellow potatoes with a red dusting of paprika, glistening oil and the green sprigs of rosemary – pretty as a picture.
Lemon ricotta cake Italian style. This is a very good baked cheesecake, not overly cheesy and not too sweet. I’ll say whack in even more lemon – it doesn’t come through that much.
Lemon sole fillets cooked in creamy Parmesan sauce are an easy and elegant dish. Serve them with simple greens and new potatoes for an exquisite but quick supper.
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.
Lentils and spicy chorizo casserole with fresh tomatoes. Spicy, hearty, tomatoey and earthy with cheese on top – a perfect autumnal dish you might say, except it tastes as good all year round.
Lentils baked with porcini mushrooms, red peppers and spinach. I insist – use porcini in this recipe. Since it is next to impossible to get hold of the fresh porcini or ceps in England the dried ones will do, even better...
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.
Condensed milk cake with vibrant lime flavour: easy, tender and buttery like a good pound cake. You can put that tin from the back of the cupboard to good use!
Lime marble cake with lime syrup drizzle. Limes both smell and taste gorgeous. The best bit in making this cake was grating the lime zest. Well – almost the best bit. Eating it isn’t bad either.
Lime yoghurt pistachio cake with lime and rosewater syrup drizzled all over it: I swear there isn't a better cake made with yoghurt. Or lime. Or pistachios.
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…
Linzer torte, hazelnut shortcrust tart with raspberry filling. Linzer torte is the flagship Austrian tart/pie: my grandmother was brought up near Linz so it’s close to my heart. Hazelnuts are obligatory; toasting them isn’t, so if you can get hold of ready-ground nuts, I’ll forgive you.
Lumberjack date and apple cake with caramelised coconut topping. Try as I might, I can’t trace the origin of lumberjack cake or why it is called thus.
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.
Mouchous, traditional macarons basques, easier to make than the Parisian variety but just as delicious though presented individually and quite rustic compared to Paris macarons.
Classic French madeleines, buttery and melting. The cookie is lovely – and don’t listen to the evil people who tell you it’s all right to make madeleines with whole eggs.
Smooth mango ice cream without eggs, churned in an ice cream maker. Make sure the fruit is as ripe as it can be; apart from the insufficient sweetness, unripe mango smells a bit off-putting.
Maple and spice roasted nuts made with raw or blanched nut selection. Better than any you buy, and you can make them differently flavoured every time.
Pancetta wrapped meatloaf with a maple syrup and mustard glaze. Use pork and beef and plenty of fillers so it keeps its shape and slices well!
Maple shortbread bars with almonds and pistachios. I like nuts but pecans and walnuts are probably my least favourites so I replaced them with what I like best: almonds and pistachios.
Thinly sliced fennel lightly wilted with salt and sugar is gorgeous, but the homemade ranch dressing with chives and dill is the star of the salad.
As homemade brownies go, they don’t come any better than my marshmallow brownies, with marshmallow made from scratch or, more sensibly, marshmallow fluff.
Muffin-shaped buns made from rich yeast dough, filled with home made marzipan. I baked them in a bun tin, a muffin tin will work just as well but they can be simply placed onto a baking sheet and will keep their shape.
Marzipan and shortbread biscuit chocolate coated bars, made from scratch. Like Twix, only better; like Ritter Sport’s all best bars combined into one.
Marzipan loaf cake based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe, using homemade marzipan. That’s a simple plain cake with marzipan in the mix but there’s nothing plain about the way it tastes.
Marzipan truffles, chocolate covered balls of homemade marzipan, and the chocolate is also homemade! Vegan, easy and utterly delicious.
Mascarpone blueberry cake, rich and velvety with a tangy flavour from the blueberries. Adding mascarpone to the cake mix makes it rich, moist and tender and no, it doesn't taste like a cheesecake!
Mast o khiar is Persian yoghurt and cucumber dip with fresh herbs, walnuts and raisins. Samin Nosrat’s recipe suggests using labneh, strained yoghurt cheese, and that is a complete winner.
Matcha (green tea) sponge cake with lemon and bay leaf scented whipped cream frosting. It’s a beautiful dessert, beautifully simple to make (but nobody will believe you how easy it is).
Matcha and white chocolate creamy eggless ice cream. More ice cream; this time it’s the creamiest, softest ice cream as claimed by Heston Blumenthal, published a good many years ago in one of the weekend supplements.
Homemade mayo, so rich and smooth you can eat it on its own. Patience in dripping oil into the mixer drop by drop pays off tenfold.
Meatball casserole with courgettes, red peppers and tomato sauce. So okay, wait until you’ve made so many meatballs for one dinner you’ll have a pile left over for a casserole for another.
Pork and smoky bacon meatballs with tomato flavoured bulgur wheat, a variation on Swedish, Italian and Moroccan meatball classics.
Mini meringue kisses with chocolate ganache filling. Pretty pink coloured meringue drops, filled with the nicest white and dark chocolate ganache.
Metre-long cake, Polish metrowiec, is a two-tone plain and chocolate cake puzzle: sliced and then put together again! With jam! And chocolate glaze! Even though it’s a bit shorter than one metre.
Mexican rice, arroz rojo, with peas and carrots. Pilaf is a cooking method and Mexican rice is cooked that way. It’s basically giving the rice a head start in hot oil with aromatics of choice, before you deluge it with water, stock or milk and leave to its own devices for half an hour or so.
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