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MOTHER’S DAY Treats to make and books to give

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20/02/2018 18:14:58

My Mum’s ginger biscuits M A K E S 2 5 –3 0

Mum used to make these easy biscuits several times a week. Not only are they a doddle to make but they’ve got the right balance of being crispy and chewy. You can use butter instead of margarine if you like; they taste great either way.

110g margarine 110g caster sugar 110g golden syrup 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tsp ground ginger

Heat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment. Melt the margarine, caster sugar and golden syrup together gently in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add all of the dry ingredients to the pan and stir to combine and make a smooth dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, use lightly floured hands to roll into balls, each the size of a 50p piece. Place them on the baking trays, leaving enough room in between to allow them to spread during cooking. Mark the top of each ball with a fork. Put the baking trays into the oven and bake for about 10–12 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and firm up slightly on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


I call this my English breakfast omelette but really it has more in common with a meaty Spanish tortilla. As well as the bacon and black pudding, I’ve ramped up the spice a bit with chunks of chorizo and green chillies. For me, this is a go-to dish for Sunday brunches and midweek teas.


8 new potatoes (about 300g) 2–3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 100g good-quality black pudding, any casing removed, cut into 2cm slices 100g lardons, cut into 1cm dice 100g chorizo, the best quality you can find 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, grated 1 green chilli, sliced – seeds and all 6 eggs, whisked 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper

166 meat mains

Full English breakfast omelette Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until just soft – about 12–15 minutes. Drain in a colander, leave them to steam and cool, then halve them.


Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.


Warm a 25cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and pour in the oil. Fry the black pudding slices on each side until crisp, remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. In the same pan, fry the lardons until they start to brown and the fat renders (runs out into the pan). Add the chorizo and fry with the lardons. The smoky red paprika oil will start to come out of the chorizo. Remove the lardons and chorizo with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Once the chorizo is cool enough to handle, slice it thinly.


Add one of the sliced shallots and the garlic to the pan with all of the rendered oil still in it and cook for a few minutes over a medium heat until soft. Add the potatoes and stir so that they take on all of the flavours from the pan. Put the cooked meats back into the pan with the green chilli and stir again.


Reduce the heat under the pan to low. Season the eggs then pour them into the pan. Add the rosemary and half the parsley and stir slowly until the eggs start to firm up. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 5–8 minutes until the eggs have set and are puffed up – almost souffléd. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the remaining shallot and parsley over the top and serve.




Grilled piri piri chicken with potato crisps Frango na brasa com piri piri Serves 4

You’ll no doubt have heard of piri piri chicken, as it features on the menu of several international restaurant chains. Their

1 x 1.6kg whole chicken 2 bay leaves 40g butter 1 tablespoon brandy A large handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped Sea salt flakes and ground white pepper

reinvention of the dish has nothing on the real thing, which is spatchcocked and cooked slowly over charcoal, constantly basted with hot, fragrant butter. It originated in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, where the fiery piri piri or malagueta chillies were grown. If you cook it on a wood-fired grill you might be transported to this far-away tropical place – but you can also roast it in the oven! Freshly fried potato crisps are eaten throughout Portugal

For the piri piri paste 6 garlic cloves, crushed 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced 1 lemon, roughly diced 6 tablespoons olive oil Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

as a snack, or to accompany sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. Traditionally, the crisps are served salted, but there are many other flavouring options you can try. You can use salts, herbs and chilli oils to enhance your crisps – the sky really is the limit in terms of the seasoning.

Spatchcock the chicken, or ask your butcher to do it for you.

For the potato crisps 3 medium potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward Vegetable oil, for frying Your choice of chopped herbs, flavoured salts and oils, to taste (optional)

This involves removing the backbone so that the chicken can be completely flattened out, ensuring even and quick cooking. Put the chicken breast-side down on a board, its legs facing towards you. With strong kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the head to remove it. Spread the chicken out and turn it over, then press down on the breastbone firmly until you have flattened it. Make a few diagonal slashes along the breast on each side. Season the skin generously with salt and pepper and chill for 2 hours. This draws out moisture for increased flavour and makes the skin crisper during cooking. To make the piri piri paste — Pound the garlic, chilli, lemon and olive oil with sea salt and white pepper in a pestle and mortar or blitz them with a stick blender or small food processor. Rub the paste all over the chicken skin and leave to marinate for another 2 hours, if you have time. To make the potato crisps — Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as you can, using a mandolin. Rinse them under cold water to remove excess starch so that they don’t colour too quickly when frying. Pat them dry with kitchen paper, then put the slices in a clean tea towel and carefully wring it out →


→ to squeeze out all the moisture. One-third fill a large, heavybased pan with oil and heat it to 165°C. Fry the potatoes in small batches for 3–5 minutes, or until cooked but still pale. Remove the crisps with a slotted spoon and increase the oil temperature to 180°C. Fry the crisps again briefly in batches until golden and crispy. (Do not overcrowd the pan, and take care that the oil temperature does not rise too high.) Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and whatever flavourings you wish to use. To cook the chicken — Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas 7. Put the bay leaves on a baking tray and place the chicken on top. Roast for 45 minutes–1 hour, or until cooked through, basting regularly. Remove and transfer to a warm plate to rest for about 15 minutes. Pour all the cooking juices from the dish into a pan, including the lovely fat. Warm the juices, adding the butter and brandy. Simmer gently for 1–2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Pour over the chicken and serve immediately with the crisps.




e o c mo e

Serves 4 1kg sweet potatoes 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil Sea salt and black pepper FOR THE GUACAMOLE

200g cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters 4–5 plump spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped A small bunch of coriander (25g), leaves picked from the stems Juice of ½ lime, or more to taste 2 large or 3 medium ripe avocados 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish

The rich flavour of sweet potato is fantastic offset with this chunky, bashed-up version of guacamole, which is tangy with tomatoes, lime juice, spring onion and chilli. Together, they make a colourful, fresh-flavoured centrepiece for the table. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Peel the sweet potatoes then slice into discs, 5–8mm thick. Put them on a large baking tray, trickle over the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then mix with your hands, making sure all the sweet potato gets coated with oil. Spread the potato slices out as evenly as you can on the tray. Roast for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, then use a spatula to turn them over carefully (they’ll be quite soft). Give them another 20–30 minutes, until the potatoes are browning in places. When the sweet potatoes are nearly done, make the guacamole: put the tomatoes, spring onions and chilli into a bowl and add the coriander leaves, keeping back a few to finish the dish. Add the lime juice and some salt and pepper and toss to mix. Halve and stone the avocados. Scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon and drop it into the bowl with the tomato mixture. Add the olive oil then use a fork to roughly mash and crush the avocado into the tomato mixture. Taste and add more salt, pepper and lime juice if needed. Transfer the roasted sweet potatoes to a warmed large serving plate and spread them out in a shallow layer. Heap the guacamole in the centre. Give everything a final trickle of oil, sprinkle on the reserved coriander leaves, and serve.


Avocados are a tricky topic at the moment – our growing appetite for them has led to deforestation and excessive use of both chemical pesticides and irrigation water in some of the regions where they are grown. Fairtrade and/or organic avocados are the best options.



Persian love cake This enchanting cake reminds me of a Persian garden in the late spring, adorned with the floral scent of rose water and citrus, and decorated with bright green pistachios. If it is not devoured in one sitting, the oil in the ground almond base ensures a moist, densely textured cake that will keep well for a couple of days, covered in foil. A sprinkling of dried rose petals looks ever so pretty for special occasions, but don’t worry if you can’t get hold of any. It’s still a cake to win hearts.

200g unsalted butter 150g caster sugar 4 medium eggs 12 cardamom pods 100g plain flour, sifted 275g ground almonds Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon 1 tbsp rose water 1 tsp baking powder A generous pinch of fine sea salt

For the drizzle topping: 2 tbsp caster sugar Juice of ½ lemon ½ tbsp rose water For the icing: 150g icing sugar Juice of ¾ lemon 2 tsp cold water To decorate: 2 tsp sliced pistachios 2 tsp dried rose petals (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Grease a 22cm cake tin (one with a removable base) and line it with baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, beat in the eggs. Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and work with a pestle to get the seeds out of the pods. Discard the pods and grind the seeds to a fine powder. Add them to the cake mixture, along with the flour, ground almonds, lemon zest and juice, rose water, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. To check if it is ready, stick a fork in the middle of the cake – it should come out dry. Towards the end of the cooking time, make your drizzle topping. Place the caster sugar, lemon juice and rose water in a small pan over a low heat and heat until the sugar melts. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Poke holes all over the top of the warm cake and drizzle over the syrup. When the cake is completely cool, make the icing by combining the icing sugar, lemon juice and a few teaspoons of water until you have a smooth, thick icing. Spoon the icing over the cake and finish with a sprinkling of sliced pistachios and, if you like, rose petals. Serves 6–8



COOKBOOKS Recipes taken from our delicious range of cookbooks Browse online at to find the perfect gifts for your Mum

Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes £26

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A Baker’s Life Paul Hollywood £26

River Cottage Much More Veg £26


Saffron Tales

Nuno Mendes £26

Yasmin Khan £26

06/03/2018 17:01:40

Profile for Bloomsbury Publishing

Mother's day recipes  

Mother's day recipes