Caramelised fennel with goat’s cheese

There aren’t many vegetable dishes which make me want to lick the plate. This is one of them. I’ve made it twice in a week, once as a starter, once for lunch and I’m already craving a third instalment.  Continue reading

Posted in One pot, Vegetarian recipes, Wheat-free | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Apparently it’s going to be 26º later this week and though that should lift my spirits, you know what, it doesn’t. I’m bored with cold food (aka salad) and lighter clothes and have already started clearing out all the stuff I’ve not worn this summer and wondering if it’s indecent to start braising a few pig cheeks yet. I want to kick leaves, collect conkers and wear a jumper.

So, in the spirit of celebrating autumn, rather than hanging onto the dregs of summer (Christ, I must be getting old), here is my first cold-weather dish of the season: flammekueche, an easy Alsatian tart which requires very little prep or shopping. I first came across this, as I describe here, when I was a student in Strasbourg and, until recently, I had never found a decent recipe for it. Continue reading

Posted in One pot, Tart recipes | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Three Good Things: squid, roast potatoes, chilli

I am a little sceptical, often with good reason, about cookbooks that sell themselves on a gimmick (e.g. a certain number of minutes; a limited number of ingredients). And I therefore had a bit of an aversion to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things since ‘three’ didn’t actually refer to every ingredient used.

But, my, it was a very short-lived aversion because this book is stuffed with things I want to cook, things that suit a WTF-desire to minimise fuss but maximise flavour.

There are, for example, 20 recipes in the fish chapter and I want to make nearly all of them. This squid dish was the first one that I tried and, though devastatingly simple, it is bloody marvellous: fast (none of that peeling nonsense), one-pot and very short on shopping. My only criticism, and the only change I have made to it, is that 250g cleaned squid is not enough for the cat, let alone two adults. Double that to 500g and this is possibly the most perfect squid recipe ever. Continue reading

Posted in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, One pot, Seafood recipes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Italian blog: Locatelli’s sea bream with tomatoes, capers, parsley and garlic

Italy, unlike France, Spain and the States, has never been a place that has really tempted me. Especially not in food terms. This might have something to do with the fact that I am a tiny bit wheat-intolerant and can no longer remember the last time I ate pasta without feeling really unwell, a fact which makes me very miserable. Continue reading

Posted in Fish recipes, One pot | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday perfect: Peter Gordon’s Parmesan and pine nut scones

Once upon a time, there were three small children, my sister’s children. I loved making them food, even though that often consisted of serving them honey sandwiches (a true sign of my love for them, since I am a teensy bit phobic about touching honey), and pretending to be a French waitress, to make them laugh and distract them at mealtimes. These days those three children are either grown (21 and 18), or practically (15), and though I no longer have to make them honey sandwiches, I still love feeding them, because they are usually ridiculously appreciative and never leave any leftovers.

Continue reading

Posted in Breakfast recipes, Peter Gordon | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Perfect, never-bore-of-it, granola

If there is one thing I make all the time, one thing that I can, just about, do without a recipe, it’s this granola. I wrote about it four years ago, on my first food blog, and it suddenly struck me this morning as I made it again, for the millionth time, that I really should move it to here. Because it is very much a WTF recipe: easy, quick (okay, not on a weekday) and yet somehow still a treat. I’ve been off cooking and, er, blogging, for weeks and I wanted something straightforward and simple to get me writing again. So here it is. My sister’s three children (15, 18 and 21) can eat the whole recipe in one sitting but, for most people, this should last a few days. Nice to be back. Continue reading

Posted in Bill Granger, Breakfast recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Little Black Dress’ of roast chicken recipes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, at some point during the year, usually at Christmas, most women’s magazines will mention the need for, and the delight of a LBD, aka as a ‘Little Black Dress’. Though the repetition of the story is a bit annoying, there is plenty of truth in it. There are some outfits that you can wear and know exactly how you will look and how you will feel: they are reliable, consistent and easy. I have two, a posh and a less posh, both black though they don’t have to be and, yes, whenever I am stumped and, to a certain degree, whenever I need reassurance, I wear them. They never fail. And this, dear follower, is the culinary equivalent, at least for chicken-eaters. You will never want for another roast chicken recipe again, or for something to make on a weeknight whether for yourself (I am that greedy), your family or because you have friends coming round and no time to cook. Continue reading

Posted in Chicken recipes, One pot, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Wheat-free | Tagged , | 3 Comments