Sea trout fillets oven steamed at low temperature. This works for salmon, trout and sea trout – the last in my experience particularly prone to drying out. Season ad lib, brown some butter and serve with samphire – or green veg if you’re not partial to seaweed.
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 blistered padron style green peppers.
Paella mixta, chicken and shrimp with crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan and incomparable flavour throughout. I am feeling quite pleased with myself as I’ve just read that paella is one of the top most difficult dishes to make at home.
Crispy pan-fried fish fillets served with creamed spinach. Skin-on or skinless, anything goes, but skinless will be more difficult to handle. Make sure you dust the where-the-skin-was side with flour. If skin-on, it needs to be properly scaled as the crispy skin is the nicest bit.
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.
Pan-fried calves' liver with red onions. I don’t get to eat liver and onions too often as I’m the lone offal aficionado in my house. So unless I’m cooking on my own...
Pan-fried wood pigeon breast fillets with orange caramel. I’m sure wood pigeon is much underrated. You look out of the window into your garden, and on seeing those puffed-up, bolshy bullies on the lawn you don’t think ‘FOOD!’
Pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. I love fresh tomatoes with good quality pasta. The question whether you should buy ’fresh’ supermarket pasta is a moot point – buy dry. Good.
Turnips roasted with thyme, rosemary and parmesan. They get a new line of life with this recipe, zinged with a dash of parmesan and thoroughly cooked through. Now I’m a hater of overcooked veg, but those babies, they need to be tender.
Chunky parsnip fries with spicy seasoning. Let me tell you: my parsnip chips are fried. Fried. In hot oil. Lots of it. And that’s why I call them fries.
Parsnip gratin, baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce with a hint of spice. Another way to zing up a boring vegetable – parsnip gratin. What to do with all those root veg when the sexy ones have all gone out of season?
Pan fried partridge breast fillets with grilled peppers, mushrooms and aubergine. This recipe has the partridge breasts coated in spiced flour and pan-fried for just 4 minutes in total.
Pasta fritta, fried orzo pasta with asparagus, garlic and mint. This really doesn’t require a list of ingredients as the truly essential are three – or two, at a push: cold pasta and fat of some description.
Pasta with crispy capers, bacon and breadcrumbs or pappardelle con pangrattato. Breadcrumbs are an age-old pasta dressing, poor man’s Parmesan. Textures are great here; everything is crispy and crunchy and salty
Pasta with asparagus and lemon butter, served with lots of Parmesan. Three tricks pasta and I’m pleased to announce that this is truly a pasta template, versatile as anything. I give you the pasta with lemon and any veg, plus Parmesan because pasta can’t be without it.
Baked peach with blue cheese and cinnamon crumble. I like a savoury take on a dessert dish. You expect a roasted peach, honey and pillows of whipped cream or mascarpone and here’s blue cheese with its sharp, salty sting.
Peach jam with a hint of vanilla, easy to make and very flavoursome. Peach jam fools everyone. You think (well, I did) it doesn’t even exist or at most belongs with those quaint outlandish preserves made by niche artisan hipsters in tiny quantities, like courgette or banana.
Pear and grilled haloumi salad with roasted parsnip and salty pumpkin seeds. Everything is there: the wholesome, the sweet, the salty and the crunch. A perfect salad?
Penne pasta bake with leeks and mushrooms. There is only one dish that’s nicer than pasta and that is pasta al forno, lasagne is clearly the tops – but it’s a bit of a chore. You can have a pasta bake the easy way.
Penne pasta with chanterelles and pied-de-moutons, and plenty of parmesan. A very simple dish – good ingredients don’t need elaborate processing, and fresh wild mushrooms are as good as it gets.
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...
Dos and don'ts of making the best roast potatoes you have ever eaten. The ultimate golden, crispy roasties that make you forget about the roast beef.
Persian baked rice with courgettes and mushrooms, and crispy tahdig layer at the bottom. I didn’t half struggle to achieve tahdig in my Persian style rice.
Homemade pesto - the classic with basil and a hint of garlic. Grab a handful of pine nuts, toast them in a dry pan, grate some parmesan, tear up a lot of basil leaves and that’s it – you’ve embraced the Italian in you.
Pimm's special for the summer, with a secret ingredient. Let’s have a Pimm's this summer, rain or shine (the former more likely). The worst that can happen is we’ll have to run inside sheltering the jugs and the strawberries!
Piperade is the Basque take on ratatouille with the heat of espelette pepper. This recipe is easy and simple, like a lot of best things in life.
Pissaladiere Provençal, a simple savoury tart on pizza dough with onion, anchovy and olive topping. And that is one of the best snack/street food/ starter/nibble in the world.
Pistachio and chocolate chip cookies - chewy inside and crunchy around the edges. No brainer how to make them, is it? Mix the brown with the white sugar, add enough butter and just a little flour and you’re in business.
Pistachio and lime loaf cake, with apricot and honey topping. So there we have it – health in a loaf tin. Well okay – there is a bit of sugar and flour added, plus a generous amount of butter...
Pistachio and cherry tart based on Ottolenghi’s recipe, with pistachio paste frangipane filling studded with glace cherries. It’s bliss. It’s the queen of tarts.
Hawaiian poke bowl with yellowfin tuna, seasoned with shichimi togarashi. Originating from Hawaii, it’s a salad/starter/appetiser of raw fish, sliced (which is what ‘poke’ literally means in Hawaiian).
Pomegranate jelly, mega flavoursome stuff and not so very difficult to make. I’m a pomegranate fiend. It is an addiction, obsession, guilty secret – call it whatever, I can eat pomegranates for England and any other country I might call home.
Pomegranate molasses made using fresh fruit. It is powerful stuff and works a treat as meat glaze, acidity provider in dressings and sauces, dropped on cereal and dribbled over ice cream. Even if calling it molasses is a thorough misnomer.
Pork and mushroom pie in a crust made from scratch, with gravy and chunky tender pork and girolle filling. Pork pie as the English know it is a sort of a twist on pâté in pastry, a wellington with mince or a sausage roll in the shape of a pie, only not quite as nice as any of the above.
Slow roasted pork belly glazed with soy sauce, honey and black bean paste. A bit like gammon, it should ideally be boiled first or - like I’ve done - steamed in the oven under a foil tent. Only the last hour or so the proper roasting should take place.
Pork griot, a much loved Haitian dish, is twice cooked pork chunks, seared in a frying pan after cooking with scotch bonnet chilies and a mix of citrus juice and vinegar.
Greek pork gyros served with tzatziki and pita bread. Another street dish impossible to replicate at home? Wrong: you can cook it in the oven.
Tonkatsu, Japanese fried pork in crisp panko breadcrumb coating. Between you and me, these are pretty much the same thing as schnitzel, escalope Milanese or cordon bleu without the cheese.
Pork loin roasted at low temperature, served with blueberry sauce. There are two things worth mentioning about this recipe: it’s pork, but not as you know it; and it comes with the dressing that usually hangs out with pancakes.
Pork parmigiana, with pork tenderloin cutlets fried in breadcrumbs, then baked in tomato sauce and mozzarella. My reservations were all blown: pork will be tough? Meltingly tender if you mallet it into behaving.
Pork schnitzel, the German classic, gets an Italian makeover: lean pork loin flattened and covered with Parma ham, sage leaf and a little Parmesan.
Pork shoulder steaks with sage and mushroom butter. Pork shoulder is probably my favourite bit of pig. It needs to be marbled with nice, white, clean fat shaping eyelets of pink meat without any nasty veining around.
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.
My best porridge: pinhead oats soaked overnight, served with creme fraiche and honey. Pinhead oats are tougher, with more bite, but thanks to that also more satisfying - and actually keep you going for longer: I guess all those pinheads in the stomach take more time to be digested.
Potato, chorizo and cauliflower traybake; a one pan dish seasoned with cinnamon and smoked paprika. A traybake – or a sheet pan dish – is not very often successful in my view.
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