Almond cake with fresh raspberries, flavoured with cinnamon and lemon zest. It’s flourless, dairy and gluten free, yet wonderfully airy and soft.
Anchovy braised vegetable medley, Provençal style aubergine, courgette and mushrooms gently cooked in anchovy sauce with garlic and a touch of lemon.
Angel food cake, light as air and fat-free. It’s like eating cloud. Really sweet cloud. But surprisingly, it can be sliced and layered, filled with cream and fruit and curd without fear of collapsing. What it is basically is a butterless, fatless, egg yolk-less sponge. Airy-fairy.
Scones made with grated raw apple and cheddar cheese. So this is a quick, rewarding, minimum effort recipe for apple cheese scones. They spread, rather than rise skywards, which seems to be the effect of cheese content in pastry.
Cider braised gammon joint with apples and garlic, slowly cooked in the oven. The best cooking method for a great ham roast or sensational ham sandwiches.
Rustic apple galette with shortcrust pastry base and sliced raw apple filling. No blind baking, no precooking apples – and no soggy bottom!
German apple Kuchen with roasted apples and breadcrumb and nut topping. Kuchen, I recall, is what my Grandmother used to bake on Sundays, to be consumed, still warm, after lunch with a coffee.
Perfect apple pie with homemade pastry and apple and raisin filling. I have twisted the classic a little by making sweetened crust but if you use tart cooking apples and not a lot of sugar in the filling, it creates a nice balance.
Cheat's apple strudel with apple chunks and raisins wrapped in sweet tea bread dough. This is a cheat’s recipe. There’s no stretching and stretching and stretching and reading love letters through the dough involved.
Christmas pork, apricot and fig stuffing for turkey, duck, goose or chicken. This stuffing has a wonderful flavour, sweet with the dried fruit and spiced with nutmeg and mace. but is very easy to make.
Apricot frangipane tart, fresh apricots on a frangipane layer, with Italian shortcrust pastry base. There are three recipes in this one. The tart base is made from pasta frôlla, the Italian equivalent to sable or shortcrust; not really very different but less flaky and crumbly than their Anglo-French brothers
Asparagus risotto with Parmesan crackers. Making a good risotto is tricky: the proportion of liquid to rice; when to add on the add-ons; how to score the precise result between tough grains and a slop bucket; whether to use a wooden spoon or a whisk in the absence of the magical girariso and how much butter it REALLY needs.
Raw asparagus salad with lemon and olive oil dressing. This is a simple salad and of course you can choose not to bother with the peeling, but it makes for a good contrast of textures. The dressing marinates the asparagus a bit and the Parmesan complements them nicely. As fresh green shoots as you can get – and it’s spring by the mouthful!
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!
Aubergine parmigiana in homemade tomato sauce, with mozarella, Parmesan and basil - the classic. It's a delicious standalone dish but also a good side to a steak.
Autumn vegetable tian, a cheesy bake of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and other root vegetables, easily made ahead.
Creamy pasta with bacon and Parmesan made irresistible with a blast under the grill. It is not carbonara but it’s incredibly gorgeous.
Cheesy bacon and sweetcorn enchiladas with red salsa, made with crisp, toasted corn tortillas. Assemble and bake them straight away, so they don’t get soggy standing around.
Savoury breakfast muffins with bacon, apple and cheese. I adopted this recipe from Nigel Slater who uses ham in his muffins. Say what you will, bacon always wins over ham at breakfast time and these things are meant for breakfast.
Bacon wrapped chicken chunks, grilled and served with pan fried mushrooms, are a wholesome main course. On their own, bacon chicken bites are a classic appetiser.
Bagels with poppy and sesame seeds - as good as in New York or Montreal. Anyone who knows a thing or two about bread, dough and things yeasty will work out that if you stick a bit of yeast dough into boiling water...
Baguettes made with white French type 55 flour, cold fermented overnight. The best thing for me about holidays in France is going to a boulangerie to get fresh baguettes, coming back proudly brandishing the crusty sticks, pretending I’m a proper French person.
Baked ziti, penne or rigatoni with bacon and roasted aubergine: it does not drown in cheese, there is no tomato sauce, and it is not a million calories like your usual pasta bake.
Homemade baked beans with bacon and molasses, cooked for five hours in the oven. Baked beans from scratch? Soaked overnight and all? Instead of just opening a tin? Why not, if they can do it in Boston?
Baked oatmeal breakfast casserole with buttermilk and your favourite jam. Breakfast is so controversial these days that I don’t know if I dare post this recipe under the ‘breakfast’ tag.
Baked fennel with tomatoes and plums: three ingredients and what a burst of flavour. It makes a good vegetarian lunch or an interesting side for meat or fish.
Perfect chips with a crunch: first baked then double-cooked in oil. Blanching in the oven gives the chips a lasting crunch with tender fluffy interior.
Oven baked haddock goujons in crispy panko breadcrumbs, served with tzatziki, Greek cucumber and herb yoghurt sauce.
Roasted balsamic shallots, baked with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Sweet and tart glaze and rosemary fragrance makes these an irresistible side, condiment or a snack.
Baked meatballs with sweet and salty glaze, flavoured with Korean barbecue-style seasoning. With old fashioned Ritz crackers to bulk out the beef mix!
Orzo pasta baked in the oven with porcini mushrooms and pancetta. Those Italians! Not enough for them to make pasta in the shape of radiators, ears, bow ties, wagon wheels – they also make pasta that masquerades as rice.
Baked scamorza with grilled bruschetta, the simplest way to eat Italian scamorza affumicata – smoked, aged mozzarella cheese.
My baked rice pilaf is a veggie dish, with three kinds of mushrooms just for variety; and because there aren’t many things that can’t be improved with dried porcini flavour.
Bakewell tart with a smudge of raspberry jam, soft and chewy frangipane filling, almondy crust and a cherry on top. Gorgeous textures and flavours in a classic English cake.
Banana fried with bacon makes a great breakfast. Bacon fried banana slices, seasoned with maple syrup, are best served as a breakfast sandwich filling, on toasted sourdough.
Banana bran muffins with raisins and cinnamon - perfect for breakfast. Most pastries can be frozen when baked and just cool and they will be good as fresh after an hour on the kitchen top. The only problem is they can never, ever win with the competition from a bacon butty…
Banana scones made from just one overripe banana make excellent breakfast. Especially delightful toasted and buttered.
Beef and shiitake mushroom fried rice is the best dish you can make with the smallest piece of beef fillet or sirloin. Make sure you use fridge cold rice for any fried rice dish.
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.
Beetroot gratin, thinly sliced beets baked in garlic and dill infused cream, a gorgeous side to a fish course. No need to pre-cook the beetroot.
Victorian Savoy cake, or biscuit de savoie, is the lightest butterless sponge cake. Fuller taste than angel food, more forgiving than genoise and far more sophisticated than Victoria sponge.
Caribbean Christmas black cake with rum soaked fruit and burnt sugar flavour. It is the Jamaican or Trinidad cousin of British Christmas cake and it stands tall in comparison!
Nigella’s black forest brownies, with sweet dried cherries soaked in kirsch or orange juice, is the brownie recipe you didn’t know you were missing.
Black forest gâteau, rich and dark chocolate base layered with pillows of cream swathing fresh, lightly roasted cherries. A luxurious idea for the next birthday or celebration bake.
I thought I’d make blanquette de veau with some diced English rose veal from my butcher’s. How haute cuisine and poncey that sounds, eh? Two things have transpired this morning however: one – when I opened my veal vacuumed pack...
Blueberry Victoria sponge cake, with layers of lightly roasted blueberries and whipped cream. Sponge cake, as the name cleverly suggests, is supposed to soak up the filling/syrup/drizzle/jam/cream.
Blueberry buckle cake with wholemeal flour and quinoa and oats topping. That of course refers to the way the topping buckles on top of the fruit in a wavy manner. Very descriptive. I think I’ll adopt it now, especially that the blueberry kind is the most common buckle and that is my firm favourite.
Blueberry cookies, chewy and delicious, with fresh blueberries or bilberries (wild European blueberries), easy and quick to make as there’s no need to chill the dough.
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