Carrot cupcakes with orange buttercream frosting. Best cupcakes ever – adopted for Halloween because carrot cake mix is a/ comforting, b/ easy to make with kids...
Cassoulet - the ultimate comfort dish, with duck and pork. Pork belly provided the fat, a little bacon a little smokiness; and I sprinkled breadcrumbs over the casserole as well as the serving bowls.
Cauliflower cheese with spices, garlic and creamy sauce. Interesting thing about comfort foods is that they usually tend to be quite bland. I guess when it's cold outside or you're feeling a bit down you don't fancy stimulating senses too much.
Celeriac gratin - thinly sliced celeriac baked in cream, garlic and Gruyère cheese sauce. Adding cheesy sauce to most veg transforms them into something delishhh so celeriac gratin will work even for people not that keen on the knobbly brute.
Vegetarian Wellington, with mushroom and spinach layer around baked celeriac centre. Easy to make ahead, even easier to make it vegan: just use vegan pastry and skip the butter.
Fresh chanterelles sautéed in a little butter, piled on thick slices of toasted bread, make lunch, starter or a snack fit for gods. Scottish or French chanterelles, sunny yellow wild mushrooms, are autumn’s best.
The best cheese fondue, smooth as velvet and comforting as a blanket. This tastes absolutely fantastic. And so it should – it’s Heston’s recipe from the book ‘Heston Blumenthal at home’.
Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bough dough is OKAY.
Indulgent cherry jam with preserved chunks of cherries. The best thing about eating cherries is spitting out the pips, right ahead, no matter where.
Pork, chestnut and mushroom stuffing for turkey or goose, perfect Christmas trimming. But don't stuff the bird - cook the stuffing separately to ensure both cook evenly.
Chicken Fiorentina, or petto di pollo alla fiorentina. Chicken Florentine style, with creamy spinach sauce, is an easy and incredibly tasty dish, ready in minutes.
Roast chicken with seared halloumi cheese and peach salsa is the perfect warm salad with sweet and spicy combination of flavours.
Chicken and mushroom pie with cheddar and thyme homemade crust. I think I’ve achieved almost perfection here, below, with my cheddar thyme pastry packed with chicken and porcini mix cooked from scratch.
Chicken saltimbocca, thin escalopes of chicken fillet layered with sage leaves, Parmesan and Parma ham. Saltimbocca is classically made with veal but chicken is great cooked like this.
Roast chicken breast with butter fried spicy sweetcorn and crispy baked feta cheese crumbs, three great recipes in one wonderful dish.
Chicken with grapes and olives oven baked with a few chestnut mushrooms looks autumnal and tastes divine. Sweet and salty combo is not just for caramel ice cream, you see!
Traditional recipe for chocolate covered lebkuchen or gingerbreads. Chocolate coated and with jam filling, they are soft and indulgent. And the fun of dipping cookies in melted chocolate is the spirit of Christmas!
Double chocolate hot cross buns with sticky glaze and white chocolate crosses are messy to eat, difficult to toast and absolutely irresistible this Easter!
The easiest chocolate mousse dessert, whipped ganache flavoured with Grand Marnier. I’m offering the grownup version here: darkest chocolate, Grand Marnier; but it’s made just as well with milk chocolate and no alcohol, or even white chocolate (skip sugar in both cases).
A different take on a Christmas pudding, with carrots and dates, baked instead of steamed. A cross between a carrot and date cake, a lighter sticky toffee pudding, baked not steamed, sauce still served – this is the one to try.
Christmas Stollen with homemade marzipan. Stollen tastes absolutely divine when still warm from the oven but it keeps very well. The German Christmas bread symbolised baby Jesus swaddled in clothing
Chunky ratatouille with chicken pieces, a perfect wholesome and easy one-pot meat-and-veg dish braised in the oven. And it’s just as nice on the following day!
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
Cinnamon twist star bread, a variation on the kanelbullar, Swedish cinnamon buns, theme. A giant kanelbulle twisted into a star bread shape, with cinnamon, apple and chocolate fillings.
Cold brewed delicious coffee for a smooth iced drink. Cold brewing works, the coffee is tasty and slightly less bitter than hot-brewed; it’s damn refreshing on a hot day and it miles healthier than any iced concoction bought from Starbucks or Costa.
Colomba di Pasqua, Easter Dove is the traditional Italian cake baked for Easter in cases shaped like a dove. A gorgeous, almond studded and orange flavoured panettone equivalent for Easter.
Slow roasted tomato confit. It brings out the flavour hidden deep when it comes to those plasticky looking imported fruits. It’s a slow job – the longer the better. They should still retain their shape but become very soft and quite a bit darker in colour.
Savoury courgette wheat and rye bread with Parmesan, it is perfectly good for slicing, buttering, and turning into ham sandwiches.
Crab salad with spring onions and radishes, served with acocado slices - the classic. The alpha male approach to crab is to grab a live crustacean and plunge it into boiling water, claws waving.
Cranberry and walnut bread made with fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped walnuts and orange juice and zest, it has intense flavour, gorgeous cranberry tang and crunchy sugar topping.
Cranberry gingerbread cake, sweet and tart, spiced and festive. Totally perfect for those freaks like me who detest Christmas pudding and fruit cake.
Cranberry ketchup is a sweet, sour and salty condiment with a festive tang, excellent with roast meats instead of the usual cranberry sauce. Tomato ketchup is what springs to mind these days but it wasn’t always so - fish as above, mushroom in 18th century and even walnuts here and there.
Simple and easy cranberry sauce to serve with your turkey. It can be made well ahead of time as it stores well in the fridge. If you prefer it a little tarter, reduce the amount of sugar.
Jerusalem artichokes cooked in cream with garlic and tarragon, then baked au gratin style. This dish is supposed to be made with potatoes: sliced thinly, accompanied with herbs and garlic, a bit of onion, a bit of leek and – wait for this – cooked in cream. Literally. Boiled in copious quantity of double cream. Decadent or what?
Creamed corn with blue cheese and fresh ripe tomatoes. Creamed corn in fact is now my number one method of cooking corn and that’s how I’ll continue until the end of the summer and beyond – it’s gorgeous.
Creamy mushrooms, lovely on toast, on pasta or as a side dish, paired with steak. An easy recipe for velvety creamy and garlicky shiitake mushrooms.
Homemade Easter creme eggs with filling made from buttery icing. Just like Cadbury's mini creme eggs, with white and yellow filling, made from milk chocolate melted into egg moulds.
Tomato rice with crispy cheese topping can be made with leftover rice. Spiced up with tomato and chilli, flashed under the grill, ready in 40 minutes even boiled from scratch.
New potatoes, lightly crushed to release the flavour, with sour, spicy and herby topping. Just boil them until tender, serve with plenty of butter and some dill – a must, marriage made in heaven. Tarragon or mint as an alternative.
Cupcakes with smashed blueberries and lemon zest. Whatever you call these, and I decided in the end to rechristen them ‘cupcakes’, they are damn nice.
Curried mussels with saffron and ginger, steamed in light creamy sauce. No, I still don’t like curries. One of the very few dishes that revolt me, out there with mushy peas, kale, barley and any veiny, tendony, gelatinous meat.
Dabo - traditional Ethiopian honey and milk bread. To make the Ethiopian yemarina yewotet dabo, which means honey and milk bread, beat the honey with the egg, salt and spices.
Easy cherry sponge cake with fresh cherries lightly roasted; the base is gently prebaked and the end result is pure, gorgeous summer dessert.
Bunettone by CuisineFiend, Anglo-Italian Easter cakes with the lightness of Italian panettone and flavour of English hot cross buns. The best Easter cake recipe, in sourdough and yeasted versions.
Savoury tart with fennel and taleggio filling; a vegetarian version of a classic British pie. My offering to vegetarians who like pies, this is actually better the next day at room temperature, if there’s any left.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Fideua, Spanish pasta dish with fish and seafood, is cooked exactly like paella: in an enormous pan, only with short vermicelli pasta replacing rice.
Fig confit with fresh fig chunks in madeira syrup, great with cheese or charcuterie. Something with figs but not jam was the objective. Why not jam?
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