Perfect midweek one-pot wonder: Ottolenghi’s barley risotto

I didn’t think I’d get the chance to post this any time soon, since summer seemed to have arrived and cooking anything more than one’s own skin felt like far too much faff. But then the floods replaced the sunshine and, you know what, this is a perfect not-quite-hot-not-quite-cold one-pot dinner for such inbetween weather. Continue reading

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Posted in One pot, Vegetarian recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

My new granola, via Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

I first wrote about granola here in 2010, and for the last eight years this is the only one I have made. It remains delicious, simple and quick, all essential qualities for any recipe.

However, in recent months, thanks to a certain reluctance to eat quite so much butter I have been tempted by a new granola, which uses olive oil instead of butter and doesn’t even need a saucepan. It comes from the brilliant Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat, a book which I have only dipped into a little so far but, if this is anything to go by, I will be returning to it. Continue reading

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

The Modern Cook: Anna Jones’s baked ricotta with cannellini beans

Christmas is coming and, as is my wont, I like to recommend a few good cookery books for those who are short of ideas, for themselves or for their food-loving friends. I wear several work ‘hats’ and one of them is that of a freelance project editor, helping to pull the myriad parts of cookery books together to make them into whole beautiful objects. This year, I have worked on several, and loved many of them, which makes this task a real joy. And my first recommendation, Anna Jones‘s new book, The Modern Cook’s Year, deserves a home in everyone’s kitchen. Continue reading

Posted in Bean recipes, One pot, Vegetarian recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

All Sorrows are Less with Bread, but Nigella’s chicken helps too…

I’ve been rather busy for the last six weeks and both cooking, and blogging, have been very low on my agenda. Why? Well, if you have read this blog often, or for a few years, you may remember that about three years ago (oh yes, I am very much the tortoise…) I launched a tiny cookbook publishing company called Poach my Lobster. I bought the rights to a brilliant French cookbook, translated it myself, ran a Kickstarter campaign, which didn’t reach its target and then pretty much retreated from the whole idea, once I worked out that the costs were beyond me… Continue reading

Posted in Chicken recipes, One pot | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uyen Luu’s pork belly with coconut milk and greens

It’s rare that I make a recipe more than once in a year; I am renowned for reading new ones whilst eating something I have never tried before, and yet there are probably only twenty things that I repeat. Which means that half of the things I read, Post-it enthusiastically or turn the corners down on, are failures, either of my technique or in the simplicity/deliciousness of the dish. So the fact that I made this back in April and then, as soon as it turned cold again, started to hunt around for the recipe in my magazine pile, suggests that this is a bit of keeper. Continue reading

Posted in Pork recipes | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Giorgio Locatelli’s beef stew with peas and potatoes

Cold, isn’t it? I turned the heating on for the first time this week and I didn’t once feel guilty about how early in September it was. And, when the light dips along with the mercury, my thoughts turn to long, slow-cooked things. Like stew. Not a good word that, stew. It makes me think of school, and of stringy, gristly bits of meat in a thin sauce with lumpy and oversalted mash. Give me a spam fritter any day.

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Posted in Beef recipes, Giorgio Locatelli | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Nigel Slater’s Blueberry and Peach Cake

I’ve not been cooking, or baking very much recently. There was the small matter of having to move out of my flat for three weeks whilst it was redecorated, then there was a heatwave which never inspires me to go in to the kitchen then, in the middle of all that, the whole building nearly flooded, thanks to a broken stopcock downstairs. Oh, and the most recent terror attack in London happened in the street next to my flat. So, you know, exhausted by household and heat drama, and the state of the world, I pretty much left everything food-related to the barbecue king. More of him, and the summer joy of using charcoal outdoors, another time.

However, in the last few days, I’ve started to turn down the pages of magazines again, and think about who I might cook what for. And, since I am now back in an office five days per week, my afternoons need a sugar lift every day around 4pm and this cake has been fulfilling that role rather beautifully. I’ve made it three times already, served it as dessert for the first balcony dinner of the year, and today I am making it twice, once for us and once for the neighbour whose pragmatism saved my building of four flats from a disastrous flood and a massive buildings insurance claim. It is straightforward, summery and has been just the recipe to get me back into my kitchen mojo. It will take you about half an hour of prep, around an hour to bake and will, if you love a little treat every day, cheer you up all week. Continue reading

Posted in Cake recipes | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments