Porridge Pancakes

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If, like me, you never get the porridge quantities quite right in the mornings, these are a great solution to the problem of what to do with the leftovers. Credit where it’s due: the idea was Allegra’s initially – one day, looking at all the porridge still in the pot, she mused out loud, “I wonder if you can make […]

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Silver Dollar Pancakes

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The recipe for these tiny, American-style pancakes was in my book, A Year In 120 Recipes. I like mine with traditional maple syrup and crisp bacon, but have them as you will. Makes around 20 mini-pancakes,to serve 4 plain flour 200g baking powder 1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp salt a pinch eggs 2 butter 30g, melted, plus extra for frying […]

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Choux pastry hearts

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I first made choux pastry last summer, in the kitchen at Blackfoot, in Exmouth Market, ad hoc and accidentally. I did a few shifts to fill in some gaps in the rota and learn some new skills in a restaurant environment, rather than pottering around at home, and it was quite the baptism of fire. Recipes were scant lists of […]

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This week’s Guardian recipe: Black pudding hangover hash…

There’s a thing that happens when your better half runs a pork restaurant – you start to incorporate all things piggy into all meals of the day in the same way that you used to use onions, or garlic, with gay abandon and without question. It starts with lardo on toast, bacon sandwiches for lunch, porchetta for dinner, bacon in ice cream (you’ll have to pop down to Blackfoot for it if you’re curious), and emergency sausages in the meat drawer for the kids, the pasta, the ribollita, the essential top-up of the ‘Vitamin P’. The meat drawer that might as well be called the pork drawer, because it sees nary a sniff of anything else. And then – once you have a reputation as a pig obsessive – people shower you with porcine presents: where they might have once bought flowers, or a card, you get a packet of sausages or a fennel rub instead. A particularly memorable piggy gift recently was from my German friend Lea, who left London a few weeks ago with a trail of Blutwurst in her wake. Soft, dense, meaty and delicious, Blutwurst is black pudding for black pudding obsessives – and so the morning after her boozy leaving lunch-into-dinner the night before, this happened. Hangover food at its finest, with no more foggy-headed incompetency required than to grate some stuff, blearily mash it together, and dollop it into a frying pan. Bliss. And […]

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Cauliflower Pasanda

Over the past few years, I’ve hosted regular all-you-can-eat charity curry nights at my place. It is based on the home restaurant concept – people pay a set price, turn up, I cook huge bowls of curry and the money goes to neighbourhood charities, such as our local food bank and homeless shelter. This was one of the most popular dishes I ever made. You can pan-fry the cauliflower, but roasting it brings out a deep, earthy flavour that’s just too good to miss… (Serves 4) 1 head of cauliflower Oil for cooking (I like sunflower or groundnut) 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated 1 tsp turmeric 2 large onions, finely sliced 4 fat cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 1 red chilli, finely chopped 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp garam masala 300ml natural yoghurt 300ml double cream Fistful of fresh coriander A handful of sultanas Chopped almonds (optional) Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark four. Get your thumbs into the middle of your cauliflower and prise it apart. It falls into florets, looks better, makes less mess and is faster than chopping. Put the pieces in a roasting tin, splash with oil, scatter with ginger and turmeric, and roast in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes, until slightly crispy and browned around the edges. Put the onions and garlic into a large pan with another splash of oil. Add the chilli, cumin seeds and garam masala, and […]

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OVEN ROASTED SARDINES ON SOURDOUGH TOAST

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Behold the humble sardine, one of the staples in my store cupboard for a quick lunch or light snack. I love sourdough for this recipe, although a nice brown or wholemeal bread will work nicely. Serves 2: 3 sardines or pilchards 400g tinned tomatoes 1 onion, cut into rings Salt and pepper Fat clove of garlic 3 slices sourdough bread, […]

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KERALAN AUBERGINE CURRY

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One of my favourite restaurants in Southend specialises in Keralan cuisine – and when I couldn’t afford it but really wanted a rich, spicy curry, I decided to make my own version. Aubergines are comparitively expensive to buy individually, so look out for the bags of three or four, and eat them all week! Serves 2: 2 aubergines a pinch […]

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SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA

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My take on spaghetti alla puttanesca is a little different – I prefer tinned sardines to the more traditional anchovies, and I like to add some of the preserved oil for a distinctive flavour. This dish is a hot, fast joyride for your tastebuds with its fiery chilli, soft chunks of fish, vinegary capers and salty aftertaste. (Serves 2) 4 […]

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PRAWN ETOUFFEE

Photography by Graham Turner for The Guardian.

Etoufee is traditionally made with shrimp, but I’m more likely to have a bag of prawns in my freezer, so this is my version. The trick to a good etoufee is not to rush the sauce, which should be the consistency of a good gravy – not too thick, not too thin. Be generous with the salt and pepper, too. […]

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MACKEREL WITH HOT & FAST RHUBARB

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Healthy, tasty and inexpensive, mackerel is one of my favourite fish. It’s sublime if you can get it really fresh, but it is, of course, widely available smoked, and pairs brilliantly with acidic fruit such as rhubarb (technically it’s a vegetable, but in the eyes of the US legal system, it’s also considered a fruit), which is happily coming into […]

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PORK & PRUNE BURGERS

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These little beauties started off as meatballs when I had friends over for dinner and only had some sausage meat and sad little prunes with which to make a miracle meal. I liked them so much, I made them again as burgers. (Makes 6) 87p each 6 dried prunes, sliced, 30p 1 onion, diced, 9p 400g free-range pork mince, £4.50 […]

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DAGAA

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On a recent trip to Tanzania, I came across dagaa in almost every household I visited. We’d often eat tiny fish with stewed greens, home-ground peanut butter and ugali (soft maize), served in small bowls, with our fingers. Here is my British take on it… (Serves 2) 48p a portion 150g rice, 6p 2 tbsp oil, 6p 200g sprats, 40p […]

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CAULI, FENNEL & GARLIC SOUP

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This wholesome, earthy soup is packed with flavour from the sweet roasted onions and unmistakable taste of fennel. (Serves 2) 49p a portion 400g cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen, 60p 1 potato, diced, 9p 1 onion, quartered, 9p 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 6p Scant teaspoon of fennel seeds, 5p 2 tbsp oil, 6p 500ml vegetable stock, 2p Preheat the […]

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BLUE CHEESE TATTIE SCONES

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These simple but hearty scones are ideal for any time of day. I serve mine for breakfast with a runny egg on top, or for dinner with buttery cabbage and succulent chicken thighs. (Serves 4) 38p per person 500g potatoes, diced, 14p 25g butter, 12p 1 onion, finely chopped, 10p 1 egg, beaten, 22p 50g blue cheese, crumbled, 35p 2 […]

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PEACH CRUMBLE

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For this dish I’ve combined honey and peach with a generous squeeze of lime to cut through the sweetness. (Serves four) 200g flour 100g sugar 100g oats 150g butter 400g tinned peaches in syrup 1 tbsp honey 1 whole fresh lime Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in a […]

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