Recipes

Spiced, Grilled and Swaddled Chicken Thighs with the Works

Spiced, Grilled and Swaddled Chicken Thighs with the Works

A great recipe from US food writer Molly Baz's brilliant new cookbook Cook This Book which is full of clever hacks to help you become, as they describe it on the cover, 'a smarter, faster, more creative cook'

 Curry leaf mussels and fries

Curry leaf mussels and fries

I've been waiting excitedly for Ed Smith's new book Crave to be released. His book On the Side abour side dishes has a permanent place on my kitchen shelf and this is an equally ingenious way of approaching food by mood and the sort of flavours you're craving at any particular moment - fresh and fragrant, for example or rich and savoury.

Rosemary and basil aubergines in za'atar

Rosemary and basil aubergines in za'atar

One of the books I'm most enjoying at the moment is Mark Diacono's Herb which is perfectly suited to a man who is a great gardener as well as a cook (and the most engaging writer as well as taking all his own photographs. Sickening, really!)

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Lasagne

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Lasagne

I'm normally a bit daunted by chefs' books but Chefs at Home, a collection of recipes from some of Britain's best loved chefs which has been put together in aid of Hospitality Action, a charity that supports the restaurant industry, is full of the kind of food they actually make for their families.

Seasonal Veg Pakora

Seasonal Veg Pakora

With the new season's spring veg springing up in the garden and coming into the shops it's the perfect moment to make these delicious Seasonal Veg Pakora from Grace Regan's appetising new book, Spicebox.

Five-spice smoked tofu nuggets

Five-spice smoked tofu nuggets

Tofu has never been my favourite ingredient to be honest but these brilliant smoked tofu 'nuggets' from my friend Elly Curshen's book Let's Eat are positively addictive.

Jersey royal potatoes with peas, wild garlic and crème fraîche

Jersey royal potatoes with peas, wild garlic and crème fraîche

A recipe for one of my favourite ingredients (potatoes) from one of my favourite restaurants, Root in Bristol, whose chef, Rob Howell has just published a glorious cookbook of their food which is basically vegetable-based without being wholly veggie.

Spring vegetable tart with mustard cream and watercress

Spring vegetable tart with mustard cream and watercress

If you're looking for an impressive vegetarian centrepiece to a spring meal this lovely light recipe from Signe Johansen's and Peter's Yard's book Smörgåsbord, is perfect though if you serve it on its own I think it would probably only feed 4-6! (Only 4 in my family!)

Classic hot cross buns

Classic hot cross buns

The perfect Easter recipe comes from a lovely book called A Good Egg by Bristol-based cookery writer Genevieve Taylor who describes herself as an 'urban henkeeper'.

Roasted Italian sausages with borlotti beans and ’nduja sauce

Roasted Italian sausages with borlotti beans and ’nduja sauce

What nicer place is there to shop than an Italian deli and in Theo Randall's inspiring new book The Italian Deli Cookbook you can find out what to do with all those tempting ingredients you find there.

Berber breakfast eggs

Berber breakfast eggs

It's easy to get into a rut with egg recipes so why not try this delicious Moroccan egg dish from Nargisse Benkabbou's Casablanca: my Moroccan Food which gives a modern twist to traditional Moroccan cuisine.

Bacon sausage bread

Bacon sausage bread

If you like a bacon sandwich and/or a sausage sandwich what better idea than combining the two in a bread as Niamh Shields has done in her Bacon: The Cookbook. Stroke of genius!

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake with Turkish Delight, Halva & Dates

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake with Turkish Delight, Halva & Dates

If you're looking for a cake to bake for Mother's Day - or any other special occasion - I can't think of a more glamourous recipe than this one which comes from one of my favourite cookbooks of 2020, Claire Thomson's brilliant Home Cookery Year.

Fish in coconut milk (Macher Malaikari)

Fish in coconut milk (Macher Malaikari)

I don't always think of using fish in a curry but it takes such a short time to cook it makes a brilliantly quick meal.

Roasted cod with a coriander crust

Roasted cod with a coriander crust

The cookbook I've probably cooked most from this year is Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley's fabulous Falastin which is all about the food of Sami's Palestinian childhood together with some more contemporary recipes of which this is one.

 Burmese Mango Salad with Peanut and Lime

Burmese Mango Salad with Peanut and Lime

I've loved all of Meera Sodha's books but here new one, East, which includes vegetarian and vegan recipes from the Indian sub-continent to the far east may be the best yet. And I love the zingy fresh flavours of this mango salad.

Après-work tartiflette

Après-work tartiflette

With the first serious snow of the season you may be craving après-ski food but lack the time, energy or ingredients to rustle up a fondue or tartiflette.

Max’s (well, actually Felicity’s) chocolate pots

Max’s (well, actually Felicity’s) chocolate pots

One of the things that’s compensated for not being able to go to restaurants, as I explained here, is cooking with friends on Zoom.

Chipotle-spiced black bean soup

Chipotle-spiced black bean soup

Pulse-based soups like this black bean soup are super-comforting and warming in chilly weather. I rustled it up to use a batch of black beans my neighbour Jenny Chandler had given me and wouldn’t claim for a moment it's authentic but it is good!

Penne in walnut sauce

Penne in walnut sauce

If you've run through your pasta sauce repertoire several times during lockdown try this delicious penne in salsa di noci (penne in walnut sauce) from Christine Smallwood's lovely new book Italy: The World Vegetarian. It's really simple - as she says basically a walnut pesto.

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