Walnut pesto

A quick, healthy, cheaper spin on the usual basil & pine nuts version – this makes an ideal week-night dinner, and spare pesto will keep well in the freezer. This is a useful way to get healthy nuts into babies and young children, but don’t serve it to babies under six months of age. Makes…

Glossary

This post will be updated on-the-hoof as I find myself using terminology in recipes that could do with an explanation. Open Freezing The best way to freeze individual items, allowing you to grab one at a time without having to defrost the whole lot because they’ve stuck together. Useful for fritters, chocolates, slices of cake, sweet or…

The Easiest Way: To keep to government drinking guidelines

In January 2016, the government came out with the nerve-jangling announcement that there is no such thing as a ‘safe drinking level’ – any amount of alcohol can increase the chance of developing cancer. Terrifying though this thought might be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should all become teetotal – study after study has…

Coley en papillote with minted pea puree and roast tomatoes

This recipe would work with any white fish, but do please buy MSC-certified cod and haddock, and eat monkfish as a very occasional treat. Pollock’s much better if you can find it, or rock turbot (also known as catfish). This is an ideal dinner party dish: it’s quick to cook; can be prepared in advance; is…

Learn to Cook: how to make soup

Soup is an essential dish to become confident with for a number of reasons: It is quick and very easy to make; It is usually healthy; It is one of the cheapest possible meals; It is a great way of using up all sorts of leftovers, from vegetables to meat to pasta; It can be adapted…

Learn to Cook: How to make white sauce

White sauce, otherwise known as béchamel, is the basis of a catalogue of other dishes you’re going to want to make: lasagne, fish pie, pasta bake, macaroni cheese. It is easy. It is not something you want to buy in a pot. It is good exercise for the arms (whisk whisk whisk!). You only really…

Smoked mackerel pate

This is always a popular starter or light lunch. Pate is something that most people don’t think of making themselves, but as you can see it’s insanely easy. Don’t let it intimidate you: start with these measurements, then taste it – if you want more capers in there, put them in. More of a horseradish kick?…

Black pudding croquettes with caramelised pears

  This is a good ‘introduction’ to black pudding, particularly for children or people who feel a bit queasy about a straightforward fried slice. The mashed potato base is a fun way to use up leftovers and makes this a quick, make-ahead starter for dinner parties, or they’re a rich and nutritious weekday dinner, full of iron,…

Apple roses

Makes six roses Ingredients 3 crisp red apples 1/2 pack puff pastry 2 tablespoons of jam Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 tablespoon caster sugar A little icing sugar, to dust Method Pre-heat the oven to 190C / Gas 6. Thoroughly grease six holes of a muffin tray. Part-fill a microwaveable bowl with…

Leek, spring onion, olive and bacon filo quiche

Using (ready made) filo makes this quiche easier and quicker than the shortcrust version, and the egg/creme fraiche/milk mixture is more stable than most quiche custards. With no blind-baking required, this is quick enough for a week-night supper, and as versatile as any other tart – chuck in your leftovers and bring them back to…