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Celebrate spring Midweek energy recipes O Fresh new-season menu O A new take on veggie meals O


Mary Berry

...with secret-ingredient foolproof pastry





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Spring, new shoots, fresh vegetables, everything bright green and fresh.


Sunny April days are the first proper opportunity to throw open windows and welcome in warmth, sunshine and a return to vigour. Walk, get some vitamin D, relax, eat, laugh… These are the things that herald the arrival of cherished longer days.

The quick recipe


Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Slice 3 large sweet potatoes into long thin chips (no need to peel). Toss them in 2 large non-stick roasting tins (the biggest you have) with 4 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp cornflour, splitting it between the tins. Scatter with sea salt and roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle over 4 tbsp maple syrup and scatter over 4 snipped rosemary sprigs, then return to the oven for 10 minutes. Grate over a generous amount of parmesan or vegetarian alternative, then cook for another 10-15 minutes, turning the chips occasionally. When caramelised, crisp and fragrant, scatter with more sea salt and serve immediately with griddled steaks, or as a snack.




Turn to p64 for this month’s special offer: subscribe to delicious. magazine and receive the new Mary Berry book, FREE!

Follow Karen on Twitter @deliciouseditor and on Instagram @editorkarenb

SPRINGTIME FORAGING If you stumble across a woodland carpeted with wild garlic it’s one of nature’s show-off moments – all white flowers and glossy, dark green lushness. The blooms are like clusters of little stars (though wild garlic is best for cooking before the flowers appear). The smell of garlic will tell you if you’re in the right spot. For cooking, treat the leaves like a garlicky spinach. Find fantastic recipes from Debbie Major at wildgarlic.

BINGE TV Author Michael Pollan’s food ethos is simple: cooking meals at home, from scratch, is the single most vital thing you can do to improve your health. If you’ve yet to see his docu-series for Netflix, it’s not too late. The four visually stunning episodes of Cooked, Fire, Earth, Air and Water, are a permanent fixture, so watch at your leisure.


That’s often the first thing that entices you to eat something, isn’t it? It’s the best welcome when you walk into someone’s house and your nostrils are teased with the aroma of a casserole cooking in wine, or the warm yeasty smell of baking bread emanating from the kitchen. It sells houses; it encourages people to abandon their shopping list and detour to the bakery counter at the supermarket; it can win you friends. I have good news… Between pages 66 and 67 of this issue you’ll find part two in our Collector’s Edition series. This time the entire pull-out-and-keep 16-page section is devoted to spectacular breads. There’s a glossy challah, a ciabatta rich with olive oil, fluffy rolls, simpler white and granary loaves and special breads to tear and share –I’m talking nuggets of cheesy bread and a jam-laden brioche. These are 10 recipes to treasure. There’ll be four more Collector’s Editions this year, so do look out for them. Aside from that, I was stopped in my tracks by three stories about people who’ve set up food businesses with something other than profit as their main goal. The trailblazers who run them are determined their work will benefit others in some way, and their dedication is as infectious as it is powerful. In one case it even led to a meeting with George Clooney. Intrigued? See p84. I’ll leave you with that and

delicious. moments


The best of


…For the RHS Malvern Spring Festival (5-8 May, rhsmalvern., a celebration of food and gardening, with national treasures Mary Berry and Alan Titchmarsh taking to the stage. There’ll also be show gardens and food producers. Thursday is Gold Day, when advance tickets cost £35 (£39 at the gate) but we have three pairs to give away, including – drum roll – afternoon tea with Alan T and a night at Tewkesbury Park hotel. Visit uk/ malvern to enter. Find Mary Berr s teatime recipess on p76


Pride and Pudding, by Regula Ysewijn (aka Miss Foodwise), is a work of art, from the images to the enticing (sometimes strange) sweet and savoury recipes within. But it’s much more than a pretty package. Alongside the dishes, there’s a wealth of fascinating history – some of it a little macabre. Did you know, for example, that jam rolypoly was known as ‘dead-man’s arm’ (it was boiled in an old shirt sleeve)? That aside, it bodes well when a book’s master recipes includes one for clotted cream… £20, Murdoch books; out 7 April


Merchants Tavern opened to great acclaim a couple of years ago in a former Victorian warehouse in London’s Shoreditch. The food, under the watchful eye of chef Neil Borthwick, is a) relaxed and b) excellent. Now, to make it even better, the Tavern has Vinyl Nights that add music into the mix. Guest DJs have included Lord of the Rings’ Elijah Wood; visit news to see the full line-up due to hit the decks. 5

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56 APRIL 2016




24 PRETTY AS A PICTURE Inspirational spring recipes – every one a masterpiece

32 STAR OF THE SEASON Hail the king of new potatoes: jersey royals rule!

36 ALWAYS A WINNER: CHEESE TARTS Three bakes with a secret-ingredient pastry

40 TREND INGREDIENT: ALEPPO CHILLI FLAKES They’re so hot, they’re cool

68 MEET THE PRODUCER Valentine Warner has just the tonic for his new gin – some cracking recipes

76 MARY BERRY’S UNBEATABLE AFTERNOON TEA The Queen of Bakes makes the best cakes to revive a great British tradition

82 TASTES LIKE HOME Australian food writer Rebecca Sullivan fondly recalls her gran’s lemon sugar cube scones

42 FELICITY CLOAKE’S DESERT ISLAND MENU Possibly the perfect three-course meal


Recipes and food styling Rebecca Woollard Photograph Toby Scott Styling Olivia Wardle

NEW! Our online shop is now open! Go to shop.deliciousmagazine. Look out for this symbol for items being sold in the shop

47 THE HERITAGE INGREDIENT Cooking with good old-fashioned creamy milk

54 ROAST OF THE MONTH Stuffed pork fillet with butter beans – ready in 50 minutes

56 THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE Travel down the spice route as curry goes global

62 THE IVY’S SHEPHERD’S PIE It’s the West End classic that every luvvie loves


LIGHTER E ATING 91 EATING FOR ENERGY MIDWEEK Power up with our healthy GI weekday dinners

105 HEALTHY MAKEOVER Chicken and bacon pie with less fat but all the comfort

V IS FOR VEGE TARIAN 100 HOLD THE CHEESE Meat-free recipes don’t need to be drowned in molten cheddar




recipe is rigorously tested by our food team, using state-of-the-art Electrolux ovens, so you can be confident they work every time.

INGREDIENTS We aim to use easy-to-find seasonal ingredients. We’ll tell you where to find any unusual ingredients and/or what to substitute them with. We use higher-welfare meat for testing, supplied by The Ginger Pig (



✪ This symbol next to an ingredient means there are more ideas for using it on our Loose Ends page.




9 INBOX What’s on your mind this month? 11 FOR STARTERS Events, trends and

Between pages 66 and 67 you’ll find 16 pages of bread recipes to pull out and keep

interesting nibbles of news

17 MY LIFE ON A PLATE Food memories from cocoa wizard Willie Harcourt-Cooze

18 WISH LIST This month’s best buys for food lovers, thoroughly tried and tested

21 TEST REPORT A fishy cookbook, field-tofork cookery school and crème fraîche

67 CHEERS! Susy Atkins finds the best buys

123 GREAT ESCAPES A quiet break in Norfolk 130 RANT What’s with nonsensical menus?


and discovers new wave spanish wines

84 WHEN FOOD DOES GOOD Three companies

tips and know-how from the team

115 THE CHALLENGE Do you fear your curd

that aren’t just out to make a profit

will curdle? Here’s how to do it right

88 THE SANE VIEW: DOES FAT MAKE US FAT? Sue Quinn has the skinny on lipids

118 HUNGRY TRAVELLER Beautiful Nice, the French city with an Italian soul

OTHER GOOD THINGS 8 JUST FOR YOU & COOK THE COVER Win a Sussex break and £500 Le Creuset pots

Put the kettle on: it’s teatime… Lemon scones, p82; Mary Berry’s bakes, p76; Chetna Makan’s pistachio cake, p110

64 SUBSCRIPTION OFFER Free Mary Berry book 106 124 128 129


Unlike many magazines, our timings include prep such as chopping. Hands-on time is when you’re chopping, stirring or frying. Oven/simmering time is when you can leave the dish in the oven or on the hob. Indicates a vegetarian recipe. Indicates a gluten-free recipe. Whenever you KNOW- see this symbol, HOW

you’ll find useful extra information about the recipe. This symbol means you’ll find an option to freeze or chill part or all of the recipe in advance. MAKE AHEAD

Indicates you can freeze all or most of the recipe. Unless stated, freeze the finished dish for up to 3 months. Defrost and heat until piping hot.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Recipes are analysed for nutritional content by an expert nutritionist. They’re calculated with precision but may vary, depending on the ingredients used. Calculations include only listed ingredients.

PRICES are correct at time of going to press. 7

just for you.

WORTH £1,035

WIN a luxury escape for two

A country house in Sussex, top food and wine, an idyllic setting… This month’s star competition is a special treat


f your ideal weekend involves wonderful food in luxurious surroundings, this competition is for you. We’ve teamed up with Best Loved Hotels to offer an indulgent break for two at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club in East Sussex, nestling in 186 acres of grounds and surrounded by the ancient Ashdown Forest. Our winner and guest will enjoy a two-night stay in one of the hotel’s plush, spacious suites. You’ll have full use of the country club facilities, including steam rooms and swimming

Wine, dine and chill out in Sussex

pool, to make your break even more relaxing. After breakfast, spend the day strolling through the grounds or teeing off at the golf course to work up an appetite ahead of the evening. Dinner – for you and your guest, on one night of your stay – will be in the hotel’s two-AA-rosette Anderida Restaurant. It could be a dream weekend away but you’ve got to be in it to win it… OTo enter, visit promotions. For Ts&Cs, see p129. For more information on Ashdown Park go to

WIN Le Creuset pots worth £511


t’s ever-covetable kitchenware that’s beautiful and built to last – and we have four Le Creuset pots and dishes to give away, including this large cast-iron casserole. An all-time classic in cool mint, it’s from the vibrant new Vida Brazil range, which celebrates the carnival colours of Brazil, host of this year’s Olympics. Are you feeling suitably competitive? Time to get cooking… For a chance to win… Make the tarts on our cover, take a picture and send it to us.



THE FEBRUARY COVER WINNER ∙ @francesbakes wins a foodie stay for two in Devon, after making these perfect-looking crumpets. Well done, Frances.

have your say.

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INBOX... SUBJECT: A gift with FROM : Rita Pickett

Or write to us at:

delicious. magazine, Eye to Eye Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT

My daughter’s best birthday present was a delicious. subscription, not only for her but for me. I read it and was hooked. An order went in and I received my first magazine this week. What a joy to look forward to each month.

See what other delicious. fans are talking about at deliciousmagazineuk Follow us at deliciousmag Follow us at instagram. com/deliciousmag


THIS MONTH’S STAR PRIZE! 24 bottles of Sho orn Marlborough Sauvignon Blancc Shorn sauvignon n blanc is a wine with character. Made in Marlborrough, the New Zealand d region renowned for its superior grapes, the Limited Black Edition won a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge 2016 and retails at £7 in Morrisons. Itss gooseberry and passion fruit aromas give wayy to a crisp finish. A top match for fiish.; @ShornWines*

WIN! £500


Great recipes need great ingredients. For your chance to win £50 Sainsbury’s vouchers, solve the cryptic clue on the magazine spine, then email your answer, with your name, full UK mainland address and phone number, to info@deliciousmagazine. Competition entry closes 30 April. Entrants must be in the Sainsbury’s delivery area – see p129 for Ts&Cs. Solution to February’s cryptic clue: speck


SUBJECT: Gluten-free FROM : Ellie Martin


is for life

Sue Quinn’s article about gluten intolerance [March 2016, p1002] was fantastic. I’m a coeliac and have long endured others complaining about their gluten sensitivity, comparing themselves to me. I look at them with disdain as they unn necessarily abstain from beautiful gluten-containing thin ngs. These people give us coeliacs a bad name when they suddenly decide they’ll be okay to eat gluten, simply because they don’t fancy the gluten-free option on offer. SUBJJECT: Pastry and plumbing FRO M : David Compston

I lik ked Kathy Slack’s ‘Do own with cooking sterreotypes!’ rant in the Feb bruary issue [p130]. I’m a big, burly plumber butt love to make pastry and d delicate puds. I’d like to ssee a change in food and lifestyle magazines to show the man at home. Keep up the good work… You’re publishing a great magazine. A plumber’s pastry (well sealed)

What YOU’VE been making this month...

Muscovado tart


Steak tagliata @nbenest

Moravian sugar cake @foodologistgirl

SUBJECT: Why I love Thursdays FROM : Sophie

My fiancé and I were thrilled to be given a subscription for Christmas. Having suffered from mental health difficulties in the latter half of 2015, which diminished my appetite, I was keen to do something positive for my wellbeing in 2016. Inspired by your ‘Stop, Cook, Listen’ campaign, we have decided to cook at least one new dish per week from the magazine on what has become ‘delicious. Thursday’. We’ve been taking it in turns to choose and cook recipes, using seasonal ingredients that we wouldn’t normally use, and I have gained a real sense of achievement and enjoyment from planning and cooking recipes. If we get organised, we plan to save the recipes with notes and pictures in a scrapbook, which will become our 2016 food diary and inspiration for future years. Thank you for providing a fun (and very tasty) start to 2016. 9

La Madeleine Bonne Maman. A traditional French recipe with fresh eggs and butter. Lovingly baked, individually wrapped, delicious to eat.

Available in supermarkets nationwide

in the know.





It’s our most precious natural resource, but look how much water it takes to produce our food and drink










Did you know…?








CALLING YOUNG FOOD WRITERS The Guild of Food Writers’ annual Write It! competition is back to find the best young talent in food writing. Entrants aged 11 to 18 need to submit a piece of about 750 words on any food-related subject. delicious. editor Karen Barnes will be judging, along with food writers Felicity Cloake (see p42) and Seb Emina. The winner will win the books shortlisted for the 2016 Guild of Food Writers Award and a visit to the delicious. offices. The winning piece will also be published on the delicious. website. It’s the perfect prompt to get writing – the closing date is 9 May. For more details, visit


In 1834 in the US, Dr Bennett declared that tomatoes had amazing medicinal properties. Soon ‘Compound Extract of Tomato’ was being peddled in pill form to ward off jaundice, diarrhoea, cholera and more. Now where did we put the tomato ketchup?


Head to Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road in London on Wednesday 4 May at 7pm for an evening with Sabrina Ghayour. It’s the first in a series of monthly talks as part of Octopus Books’ Cookbook Confidential festival in partnership with delicious. Sabrina will be spilling the beans about her new book, Sirocco (look out for exclusive recipes in next month’s delicious.). Tickets £12 from; price includes a glass of wine and a copy of delicious. → 11

in the know.


MONTH... 1633

Britain’s first bananas were thought to have gone on sale at Johnson’s herbalist shop in Holborn, London. However, a banana skin w was found in a Thames rubbish heap dating to 1560. No one can explain how it got there. STAYING IN IS THE NEW EATING OUT, FROM TOP Eat First’s shepherd’s

pie luxe; SE24 solves local pasta emergencies; Well Fed brings fresh grub to the City

TR ENDWAT CH services High-end deliver y This month, restaurateur JAMES RAMSDEN, our London food correspondent, sits back and lets the nosh come to him

Where New York leads, London follows. So when Maple, a high-end delivery service, launched last year in the Big Apple, it was only a matter of time before the Big Smoke caught up. Enter Supper (supper. london), which brings Michelin-starred grub (Benares, Randall & Aubin, Bar Boulud and many more) to your central London door. For less starry takeaways, Deliveroo ( has rather cornered the market, and I can only thank them for landing Patty & Bun burgers, Rosa’s Thai and Lardo Bebe pizza in my lap without me having to unglue my eyes from Netflix. There are excellent smaller operators, too. Eat First ( promises to deliver delights such as white miso sea bream and baby-back pork ribs within 15 minutes – you just need to pick up the food kerbside.


The last meal was served on the Titanic on 14 April. The first-class menu started with oysters, and finished – 10 courses later – with éclairs, ice cream, peaches in chartreuse, and waldorf pudding.

1937 One half

Order online and WellFed (wellfedfood. com) brings properly made lunches, such as rare beef with pad Thai, to near Liverpool Street station – more pick-up spots to come. I’m hoping Home Cooking SE24 (home expands its range so I can order some of its fab homemade gnocchi. It feels as if the trend is growing, so I predict more posh takeaways to come. I just hope folk keep going to restaurants...

of the Two Greedy Italians, Antonio Carluccio, celebrates his 79th 7 birthday on n 19 April. Buon com mpleanno!

1952 Who’d havee

thought, when Mr Potato Head first went on sale on 30 April (you needed a real spud to pin the parts to), the more toy would last for m than half a centuryy? →



Chef & co-owner of Wedgwood the Restaurant, Edinburgh

• Digital love DAFT PUNK • Poppiholla CHICANE • Lose yourself EMINEM • Redemption song BOB MARLEY • Chasing cars SNOW PATROL • In my heart MOBY 13


It’s no secret that Cauldron has been making delicious food for over 30 years. From veggie sausages, organic tofu and Great Taste Award ^PUUPUN MHSHMLSZ H ^VYSK VM ÅH]V\YZ H^HP[Z `V\ So start your Cauldron adventure today at

in the know.

MY LOVES AND LOATHES ROSE ELLIOT THE QUEEN OF VEGGIE COOKBOOKS ORGANIC FRUIT & VEG I love the feeling of joyful energy and freshness they bring.


It doesn’t matter whether it’s a roadside picnic, a kitchen supper or a birthday, it’s the love I feel for people close to me that motivates my cooking.



Where vegetarians are in the majority and not an afterthought. I found it a strangely liberating experience!

AGRI-CHEMICALS These substances can damage wildlife and the dear bees. Killing any living creatures to eat or abusing them in any way... don’t get me started. RUNNY EGG YOLK I’ve never been able to face it. THE QUICK-FIX CULTURE How difficult can it be to sell food in its simple, natural form, without preservatives or additives to make it more easy to use?

Claus Meyer


22-24 APRIL Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink Eat, drink and dance your way through the weekend as chefs and producers descend on Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle. Watch demos from Mark Hix and Michael Caines and others, then quiz the experts at Festival Question Time and book the kids into cookery classes. The fun continues at the Festival After Dark Party Nights. Tickets from £8; exeterfoodanddrink

“An important definitive and delicious book that belongs on your bookshelf or on top of your refrigerator now”


Anthony Bourdain



One year of family

HOT NEW FOOD BOOKS THE SAFFRON TALES Although she was born in London, Yasmin Khan’s Iranian heritage inspired her to write this personal book of recipes and travels. Her aim was to discover and share the food and culture from a land she loves – a land often misunderstood by others. The recipes are sumptuous and the photos of this seldom glimpsed country are stunning. £26, Bloomsbury, out 7 April

THE NORDIC KITCHEN: ONE YEAR OF FAMILY COOKING Author Claus Meyer is one of the most influential people in the world of food. The restaurateur and

academic co-founded Noma restaurant in Copenhagen and helped launch the New Nordic Cuisine movement, which spread its tendrils over the globe. The recipes aren’t tricksy restaurant set pieces but dishes that use foraged foods, with a Scandi flavour. £25, Mitchell Beazley, out 7 April

REAL FOOD In this book the famed photographer Martin Parr turns his Technicolor lens solely to the subject of food. His images could never be described as food porn. The hyper-real portrayals of everyday food – tins of Spam, buttered sliced bread and

so on – are honest but not exactly beautiful. The book is by turns sweet and sardonic, with a must-read foreword by chef Fergus Henderson. £14.95, Phaidon

RICE, NOODLE, FISH Matt Goulding, chief editor of the food, travel and culture website Roads & Kingdoms, is the guide here to the wilder shores of Japanese food culture, from kaiseki (multi-course haute cuisine) in Kyoto to okonomiyaki (fill-your-boots omelettepancake) in Hiroshima. The book’s a fun read and a good introduction for travellers to the Land of the Rising Sun. £16.99, Hardie Grant

28 APRIL TO 2 MAY Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, various locations, Scotland If it involves whisky, there’s an event or 20 for it. Distillery tours and tastings are ticked, as well as more unusual events such as whisky tumbler carving classes, whisky brunches and off-road whisky trails. Food pairing events and ceilidhs round off proceedings. Prices vary; 29 APRIL TO 7 MAY Food Connections, Bristol Talks, demos, masterclasses and panel discussions will be taking place all over the city. Find out how music affects flavour or how to make your own sauerkraut, while the kids hone their skills at cookery workshops. Plus you can tuck into plenty of feasts and banquets that challenge the way you think about food. Not to be missed. Prices vary; 30 APRIL TO 1 MAY Artisan Cheese Fair, Melton Mowbray Nibble your way through more than 300 UK cheeses before watching demos on making cheese, cooking with cheese and learning the history of (you guessed it) cheese. There’ll be wine and beer as well as the town’s famous pork pies. Tickets £3; 15




Pulled pork has taken the nation by storm, but did you know how easy it is to cook at home?

Pulled pork middle eastern flatbreads

-----Serves: 6, plus leftovers Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: Around 6 hours


To serve:

1.6kg (3lb 8oz) shoulder of pork, remove the rind


1tbsp paprika 1tbsp ground cumin 2tbsp dark muscovado sugar ON ƃ Q\ RCUUCVC 1tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 avocados, halved, stoned and sliced 1 small red onion, UNKEGF ƂPGN[ Small handful of torn mint leaves Yogurt Paprika, to season 1 lemon, cut into six wedges

-----1 . Preheat your oven to 220°C (fan 200°C), Gas Mark 7.

2 . Mix together the paprika, ground cumin, sugar,

passata and seasoning. Rub all over the pork. Roll the pork back up again (there is no need to retie the string). Place the pork directly in a roasting tin, cooking for 30 minutes so that it browns beautifully. Reduce the oven to 150°C (fan 130°C), Gas Mark 2. Pour 200ml (7fl oz) hot water into the roasting tin, cover the roasting tin tightly with a double layer of foil and let it cook for around 5 hours or until tender.


. Take the pork out of the oven and lift off the foil to release the steam. Cover again loosely with foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Griddle the flatbreads until golden.

4 . Leaving the pork in its cooking juices, use two forks to shred into chunky pieces.

5 . Divide the pork among the flatbreads. Top with the avocado and red onions then scatter the mint over the top. Spoon on the yogurt and sprinkle with paprika to season. Serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over.


-----Food farmed and prepared to independently inspected good standards. For more information:

in the know.


Just William; mussels and the wild Irish coast of his youth; Willie (left), his dad and sisters; the cookbook with his go-to chocolate soufflé recipe; he loves a Cornish pasty for lunch; with a pestle and mortar it’s all about mixing flavours


WILLIE HARCOURTCOOZE The chocolate maker whose TV show made him famous talks about childhood foraging and living off pasties

THE GOOD LIFE My family moved to a wild stretch of coast in southern Ireland when I was very small. We were largely self-sufficient – my parents farmed and my four sisters, my brother and I used to forage. The abundance of stuff was incredible – you could walk along the beach and within 10 minutes fill your bucket with gigantic mussels.

MY PHILOSOPHY I’ve done so many jobs in my time and the best piece of advice I’ve ever had is: if you’re going to do something, do it really well, throw yourself into it. And be aware that it’s possible to be a dreamer and a doer. THE JOY OF SHARING It’s comforting to sit down and eat with people you know well; there’s a feeling of security. It’s all about sharing and understanding, accepting people for who they are. INFLUENTIAL BOOK One of the first cookery books I bought was White Heat by Marco Pierre White, mainly because I knew him. I still make the chocolate soufflé from that book… It’s remarkably good.

GLOBAL PASTIES Whether I’m at my home in Devon


or our place in Venezuela, I like a pasty. In Venezuela I often have one for breakfast filled with black beans and cheese – they’re called empanadas. A traditional Cornish pasty is wonderful for lunch.

MY KITCHEN MUST-HAVE A pestle and mortar is a magical thing. It allows you to create an aromatic union of all sorts of different ingredients. My favourite pestle and mortar is one I bought in Thailand 25 years ago, but I have more recent purchases, including a huge one from Mexico made from volcanic rock. It’s about 50cm across and I’ve yet to have enough herbs to grind in it! ↗ FOR MORE ABOUT WILLIE’S CACAO, VISIT WILLIESCACAO.COM 17

These pages are about us doing the hard work so you don’t have to… Joy! We’re sent anything from 40 to 100 new products a month, and we really do try them all: tasting, smelling the aromas, testing gadgets. Only if they’re useful, goodlooking and value for money do they get the delicious. seal of approval. KAREN BARNES, EDITOR

GOOD FOR YOU We’re sent an abundance of so-called health drinks, many of which are disappointing – but that doesn’t stop a lot of money being charged for them (I’m tutting). Here’s one that tastes good, is worth the money and is easy to get hold of: Plenish Organic Almond Milk is dairy free and unsweetened. I like it in porridge, but it’s also great frothed in coffee. There’s nothing faddy here, just good ingredients and a rounded almondy taste. £3.49 for 1 litre, Ocado

GOLD-STAR cakes There’s no doubt bundt cakes are the new cupcakes – plus they look more impressive and have less sickly icing on top (always a good thing in my book). Nordicware, maker of the famous top-quality grooved cake tins, is celebrating its 70th birthday in 2016 with special-edition gold-coloured tins. The Crown tin costs £40 and is a stunner. Look out for it in UK cookware stores from the end of the month, then use it to bake one of the bundt recipes at




To celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday (on 21 April), Lyle’s has produced special limited-edition tins for its golden syrup (the only syrup for flapjackmaking, as far as I’m concerned). Plus I’m a sucker for the wonderful heritage design. Available until July, £1.15 for 454g, from stores nationwide 18


Is it a truckle of cheese? No, they’re crispbreads the size of a dinner plate. For a long time, this brand has onlyy been available in Ikea, but b now you can get a slightly different (but just as good) version from m Scandikitchen. (also available via Ocado for £3.95). It’s wonderfully crisp and a fine match with cheese.


This superb quality miso gets full marks from the delicious. food team. The organic cooking paste delivers a rich umami hit, and it comes in a re-usable Kilner jar. A little goes a long way, so it’s worth the price tag. Organic Shiro White Miso Paste, £8 for 250g,

in the know.


The Wasabi Company, based in Dorset, has branched out. Now, as well as growing and selling fresh UK-grown wasabi rhizomes (also called Japanese horseradish), it imports high quality vinegars, citr juices and citrus-base straight from Japan. Th come from a family-run a rural region to the sout made from rice grown on and fermented in Japanes casks. As well as tradition vinegar, there are vinegars with black garlic, kombu (ke bonito (dried skipjack), but m favourite is the subtle, gently smoky tosazu: ric with dashi (Japanese stock). A few splashes are grilled mackerel. It’s pricey, but it’s a handy way great flavour. £10.75 for 300ml, thewasabicompany

ANOTHER annıversary This time it’s Riedel Crystal, makers of the fine, simple glasses every wine expert I’ve met rates top for wine-tasting. The company (still family owned – a tale of tenacity and survival) is celebrating 260 years and has created special decanters to mark the occasion, among them the elegant Black Tie Occhio Nero. With a price tag of £175, it’s an investment, to be sure, but it’s remarkably beautiful. Available from

MUSIC TO COOK TO I was reticent initially, but I’ve grown to love this funky, jazzy album by Reole – especially when I’m cooking. It comes with a little recipe book, but that’s a bit of a throwaway extra (I he music that’s the r, it’s free to download u can go old-school from

KE A rves. s and apture vour ey’re

er of , ever makes batches off more than 20 jars? £4 a jar; send your order to, or see for stockists


Measuring jugs tend to be awkward to store in a kitchen cupboard. They don’t fit well among the saucepans and they aren’t quite at home with the baking trays. But the new OXO Good Grips Squeeze & Pour Measuring Cup, made of a soft material and available in a range of sizes, squashes to fit snugly. It’s great for all the usual measuring tasks, but I found the cup particularly useful for pouring liquid into a small container, as you can squeeze the edges to narrow the spout, reducing the risk of spillage. The cup is microwaveproof, too – and the stippled outside means you don’t burn your fingers when there’s hot liquid inside. Clever. £9.99 for a 500ml size; available from Lakeland 19

in the know.


THE COOKBOOK Nathan Outlaw’s Everyday Seafood (£20; Quadrille Publishing) TESTED BY Susan Low

If anyone can help the fish-fearful shed their anxiety about cooking seafood, it’s Nathan Outlaw. As well as having four restaurants to his name, the Cornwall-based chef is one of the UK’s top seafood experts – and an all-round nice guy. In the book’s foreword, Jamie Oliver describes Nathan as “a big softie”, and his generous spirit shines through every page. Nice guys or not, chefs – particularly ones whose restaurants have earned Michelin stars (Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, in Port Isaac, has two) – have a reputation for not quite understanding the meaning of ‘keep it simple’. Nathan does, so there are no unnecessary cheffy complications to his recipes. This is not a fish-prep manual; most of the recipes call for ready-prepared fillets, so there’s not much need to wield the boning knife. Nathan is also a champion of sustainable fishing, so many of his recipes use under-appreciated species such as gurnard, cuttlefish, sardines, mackerel and grey mullet – although more familiar fish such as salmon, haddock and prawns are in there as well, to provide a security blanket for those who might need it. QUALITY OF THE RECIPES There are chapters on starters and small bites, pickled dishes,


Pickled mackerel with red cabbage and, below, smoked haddock and curried lentils

bowl food, seafood salads, baked dishes, and grilled and barbecued dishes, as well as a few puddings (none, thankfully, are made with fish). Although ingredients lists can be long, the recipes are fairly short, so they’re not overly daunting. And Nathan does work magic with his ingredient combinations. Anglo-Indian flavours figured large in the first recipe I tried: smoked haddock and curried lentils with lime yogurt. The smoky fish, tamarind, ginger, chillies, coconut and lime worked brilliantly together. The recipe was foolproof and concise, and the finished dish tasted like a kedgeree crossed with a curry. Triumph. Scandi flavours were the theme for my second trial recipe: pickled mackerel with red cabbage, apple and cider. My bone of contention was that the recipe called for the apple to be grated straightaway, so by the time I put the salad together at the end, the grated apple was an unpleasant brown colour. Grating just before serving or using lemon juice to prevent oxidation would have helped. Still, the

final dish looked and tasted gorgeous. PHOTOGRAPHY David Loftus is the man behind the lens for the colourful, visually appealing food shots. SUITABLE FOR… True to the title, the recipes are well within the grasp of competent home cooks who’ve at least familiarised themselves with working an oven, grill and hob, and who aren’t afraid of trying something new. STAR RATING +++ + → 21

in the know.

THE COOKERY SCHOOL WHERE The Cookery School at Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Gloucestershire ( THE COURSE The Instinctive Cook TESTED BY Rebecca Almond

WHAT IT’S LIKE Arriving at Southrop Manor Estate, where the cookery school is based, I felt as though I’d stumbled across a secret hideaway. Miles of traffic-free country lanes lead to a gravel courtyard framed by old Cotswold stone buildings that blinker the countryside beyond. The Estate was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is thought to have been a monastic house and garden at one time. In 2002, the Hibbert family bought it and embarked on a lengthy restoration project. The end result is so atmospheric that I instantly decided I wanted to move here. And as I stepped inside the cookery school, staged in one of the old barns, I was set on keeping the décor, too. The kitchen is slick and vast, with room for 16 students at a time. On the island before me were baskets of fresh, seasonal ingredients – plucked partridges, walnuts in their shells, still-muddy onions… But course leaders Daryll Taylor and MasterChef champ Marjorie Lang (she won the show back in 2000) announced there were more

HOW WE TEST Our panel are taste experts. We conduct our tests without packaging, so our tasters don’t know who produced each product or how much it costs. And to prevent one tester influencing another, the panel isn’t allowed to confer during the tests, so the results are unbiased. WHAT WE LOOKED FOR An ideal crème fraîche has a thick, smooth texture, a bit like clotted cream. The flavour should be rich and creamy with a pleasing sour tang.

to be sourced. So, wellies on, we headed down to the kitchen garden (more of a smallholding really) to pull up leeks and harvest huge cavolo nero leaves. WHAT I LEARNED The day is an education by definition. Daryll and Marj know everything about the ingredients they use, from how to grow or rear them, when to harvest them, what to cook them with and how. “Generally, what grows together, goes together,” Marj told me – the ideal mantra for cooking instinctively with the seasons. And to confirm their ethos, the menu for the day’s course was decided only the night before. “We wanted to wait and see what was at its best,” said Daryll. We made mussels en papillote; taralli

(crunchy Italian pepper-spiced biscuits); partridge with chorizo, cavolo nero, rioja and white beans; and (hand-shelled) walnut, honey and cognac tart – then happily tucked into the lot with a healthy supply of quality wine THE VERDICT This is true field-to-fork cooking – and boy does it taste good. The tutoring, ingredients and resulting dishes are superb. Nearly half the class had attended a course at Thyme before. In fact, two women in my group travel from Connecticut in the US about three times a year to learn at Thyme, leading Daryll to joke about introducing loyalty cards. I’ve put my name down for one, just in case he’s serious.



Morrisons Crème Fraîche, 90p for 300ml This got the big thumbs up from everyone on the testing team for its thick, creamy texture and rich, just-sour-enough flavour.



Tesco Crème Fraîche, 90p for 300ml Creamy but not too thick and with a good tang. It was a close call with the winner, but the texture didn’t quite match up in the smoothness stakes.


Neal’s Yard Creamery Organic Crème Fraîche, £3.95 for 340g, nealsyard A smooth, clotted cream-like texture, and a great tang that doesn’t leave an unpleasant sour taste in the mouth.


Isigny Ste Mère Crème Fraîche, £1.45 for 200ml, from Ocado The panel was in raptures over the creaminess. It’s thick and silkysmooth with a nice gentle sourness cutting through.


Riverford Organic Crème Fraîche, £1.65 for 250g, It ticks the creamy and rich boxes, but some tasters found the texture to be a little too loose; others wanted the flavour to have more tang.




…you’re in good hands with MasterChef (and Thyme tutor) Marj Lang


what’s good now.

Twice-baked crab and chive soufflés with quick-pickled samphire, p26

It’s an exciting time to be in the kitchen: spring is in the air and it brings with it a wealth of cookery inspiration. Seasonal ingredients take on a whole new intensity this month, transforming any recipe they’re used in. Chickens seem plumper thanks to grazing on fresh grass, which nourishes their meat and eggs with extra goodness. Shellfish are enjoying a last hurrah before the breeding season, and green shoots are popping up everywhere watercress is more peppery, soft herbs are more fragrant. To show off the recipes on the following pages, we commissioned food writer and artist Rosie Ramsden to create some beautiful watercolours as a backdrop. REBECCA WOOLLARD, FOOD EDITOR

Twice-baked crab and chive soufflés with quick-pickled samphire SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 40 MIN, OVEN TIME 30 MIN, PLUS QUICK-PICKLING

This recipe is ideal for MAKE making in advance, as the AHEAD second bake is brief. Follow the recipe to the end of step 7 up to 24 hours in advance, then cover and chill. Remove the soufflés from the fridge 30 minutes before baking again (step 8). Make the quick pickle up to 24 hours ahead and keep in the fridge; drain just before serving. Cider vinegar’s appley FOOD TEAM’S flavour works well with TIP crab, but you could use white or red wine vinegar instead. • 40g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing • 250ml whole milk • 190ml double cream • 1 onion, chopped into wedges • 45g plain flour • ½ tsp English mustard powder • Scant ¼ tsp cayenne pepper • 100g brown crabmeat • 150g white crabmeat, flaked • 4 medium free-range eggs, separated • 15g fresh chives, snipped • Zest 1 lemon • 3 tbsp grated parmesan FOR THE QUICK-PICKLED SAMPHIRE

• 100g samphire, from large supermarkets and fishmongers • 3 banana shallots, finely sliced into rings • 175ml cider vinegar (see tips) • 125g caster sugar YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 6 x 175ml metal pudding basins or ramekins 1 Make the quick-pickled samphire: put all the ingredients into a non-metallic, wide container (to maximise surface area). Sprinkle with sea salt, then toss everything together and set aside for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours (cover and chill if you’re leaving it for longer 26

than an hour; see Make Ahead). 2 For the soufflés, generously butter 6 x 175ml metal pudding basins or ramekins. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Put the milk, 40ml of the cream and the onion in a saucepan and heat gently until the liquid is steaming. Set aside to infuse. 3 Melt the 40g butter in a large pan, then stir in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne pepper. Let it sizzle over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring, or until the mixture smells biscuity. Strain the infused milk into a jug, then add to the pan in a thin stream, whisking with a balloon whisk while the mixture thickens and bubbles. When all the milk is added, you should have a mixture that comes away from the sides of the pan and holds its shape. Don’t add the milk too quickly or the sauce won’t thicken properly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes. 4 Stir the crabmeat, egg yolks, chives and lemon zest into the thickened sauce. Taste and season – it needs to be on the slightly salty side to account for the egg whites when they’re added. Put on a full kettle to boil. 5 Put the egg whites in a spotlessly clean mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form when the beaters are removed. Using a metal spoon, gently fold a couple of tbsp of the whisked egg whites into the crab mixture to loosen it. Fold in the rest of the whites in thirds, being careful not to knock out the air. Once the mixture is incorporated, gently spoon it into the ramekins/basins, then put them in a roasting tin. 6 Pour the water from the kettle around the ramekins/basins, being careful not to spill any on the soufflé mixture, until the water reaches halfway up the sides. Carefully transfer the tin to the oven, then cook for 15 minutes or until the soufflés are golden and set but still with a slight wobble. Remove the soufflés from the water and leave to cool – they may sink a little, but don’t worry. 7 Once cold, run a knife around the edge of each soufflé to loosen, then

tip upside-down into an ovenproof baking dish in which they fit fairly snugly without overlapping (see Make Ahead). 8 Heat the oven to 220°/200°C fan/ gas 8. Pour the remaining 150ml cream over each soufflé so it puddles around it in the baking dish. Scatter with the parmesan, putting most of it on the soufflé tops and the rest in the dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is starting to crisp and the soufflés are heated through. 9 Let the soufflés stand for 2 minutes. Drain the quick-pickled samphire, then serve alongside. PER SERVING 505kcals, 32.4g fat (18.2g saturated), 20.1g protein, 32.4g carbs (26.1g sugars), 0.7g salt, 1.7g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE The buttery edge of chardonnay is terrific here. Make it a crisp, cool-climate chablis.

Roast jersey royal, spring herb, hazelnut and bacon salad with lemon brown butter dressing SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 60 MIN


You could use chunks of roast chicken or fried king prawns instead of bacon.

• 1kg jersey royals or other waxy new potatoes, scrubbed, halved if large • 1 tbsp olive oil • 200g (around 9-10 rashers) British free-range streaky bacon, chopped into thirds • 75g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped • 100g watercress • Small bunch each fresh basil, mint (leaves picked) and chives (snipped in half) • 150g radishes, quartered FOR THE DRESSING

• 75g unsalted butter • Large splash extra-virgin olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • Juice ½-1 lemon →

what’s good now.

Roast jersey royal, spring herb, hazelnut and bacon salad with lemon brown butter dressing

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Toss the potatoes in the olive oil and spread over the base of a large roasting tin so they aren’t crowded. Season well with salt and pepper, then roast for 30 minutes. Scatter the bacon over the top, then roast for another 20 minutes. Scatter over the hazelnuts and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. The potatoes should be shrivelled on the outside and fluffy in the centre, the bacon crisp and the hazelnuts golden. Leave in the oven, heat off, to keep warm. 2 Meanwhile, put the watercress, herbs and radishes in a large bowl. 3 For the dressing, heat a small, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, then gently melt the butter with some sea salt. Turn up the heat to bring the butter to a bubble, then cook until it turns golden brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat, then add the oil, garlic and the juice of ½ lemon – it will sizzle. Cool slightly, then taste – add the remaining lemon juice if it needs to be sharper. 4 Working quickly, tip the potato mixture into the salad bowl, then drizzle over the hot butter dressing (if you’d like a less pungent dressing, strain the butter to remove the garlic first). Toss well, taste one of the leaves and season if necessary. Serve immediately. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 454kcals, 32g fat (10.7g saturated), 11.6g protein, 27.8g carbs (21.1g sugars), 1.1g salt, 4.4g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Riesling, whether a floral German style or richer Aussie one.

Garlic-stuffed chicken with pistachio, sour cherry and herb pilaf SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 35 MIN, OVEN TIME 1½ HOURS

The inspiration for this dish KNOW- came from a list of Ottoman HOW dishes cooked for the Sultan in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace. Their chicken was set on a rotisserie, but I loved the idea of letting the juices 28

drip down into the rice, which is what I’ve done in this recipe. Preserved lemons are a North African staple: thin-skinned lemons are packed in a jar with water and salt, which removes the sharpness but intensifies the citrus flavour and imbues it with salt. I prefer to cut out the flesh inside as it can taste medicinal, but use it all if you want to. • 1 lemon • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed, to taste • 60g unsalted butter, softened • 15g fresh dill, finely chopped • 1.6kg free-range chicken FOR THE PILAF

• 300g long-grain rice, well rinsed • 350ml gold top, full-cream milk • 500ml quality fresh chicken stock • 60g dried sour cherries (we like Forest Feast), chopped • 100g shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped • 2 preserved lemons (see Know-how) • Large bunch each fresh coriander and mint, roughly chopped • Juice 1 lemon • Aleppo chilli flakes (see p40) or 1 red chilli, finely chopped, to scatter 1 Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. Grate the zest of the lemon into a small bowl, then set the fruit aside. Add the garlic, butter, dill and some seasoning, then mix with a fork. Loosen the skin around the neck of the chicken and, using your fingers, make two pockets between the breast and the skin. Work the butter into the pockets, as far back as you can reach. Put the zested lemon into the cavity, then scatter sea salt all over the outside of the bird and set aside. 2 In a large ovenproof dish, mix the rice, milk and chicken stock, then season with a little salt. Put the chicken in the top third of the oven, directly on the oven rack, then put the rice underneath so it will catch all the juices as the chicken cooks. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. The rice should be tender after this time

– remove it from the oven and set aside somewhere warm while the chicken finishes cooking. 3 Place a roasting tin underneath the chicken and continue to roast for 15 minutes. Check it’s cooked by pushing a digital probe thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (by the body) – it should read around 70°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, insert a metal skewer into the same place – if the skewer feels piping hot when lightly pressed to the underside of your wrist, the chicken is cooked. Put the chicken on a board, remove the lemon from the cavity and allow to rest for 15 minutes. 4 Meanwhile, scatter the cherries and nuts over the rice. Slice the preserved lemons into quarters. Cut away and discard the inner flesh (see Know-how), then finely chop the rind and scatter over the rice with the herbs and lemon juice. Gently mix everything together, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. 5 Carve the chicken into slices or joints and scatter the chilli over the rice. Serve immediately, with a green salad on the side, if you like. PER SERVING 621kcals, 23.4g fat (9.3g saturated), 50.8g protein, 50.8g carbs (9.6g sugars), 0.6g salt, 2g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A vivacious, juicy white works best here, so chill a South African chenin blanc.

Sherry-braised fennel with pretzel crumbs and goat’s cheese SERVES 4 AS A STARTER OR 6-8 AS A SIDE DISH. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 1½ HOURS

Braise the fennel for the MAKE first hour (step 1) up to 24 AHEAD hours in advance. Cool, then separate from the liquid and chill both separately, covered. Continue with the recipe from step 2. This recipe makes a lovely KNOW- starter on its own, but it HOW would also be good as part of a buffet or served as a side dish for grilled meat or chicken. →

what’s good now.

Garlic-stuffed chicken with pistachio, sour cherry and herb pilaf

Langoustines with pastis hollandaise

TEAM FAVOURITE Lottie Covell, deputy food editor “The fennel is my favourite dish right now. Soft-crisp pretzel crumbs are a perfect match for tender fennel, while the sherry adds richness and the goat’s cheese gives a tart zing.”

NEXT MONTH Tender baby veg take a star turn

• 3 large fennel bulbs, quartered lengthways • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 250ml dry oloroso or palo cortado sherry • 4 tbsp clear honey

30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. The fennel should be tender and beginning to caramelise, and there should be a layer of juice in the bottom of the dish. Once the fennel is done, if you’re not quite ready to serve, turn the oven right down and leave the dish inside to keep warm. 3 About 5 minutes before the fennel is ready, make the topping. Heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Once shimmering hot, add the pretzels and poppy seeds with some sea salt (unless the pretzels are covered in salt). Cook, tossing often, for 6-8 minutes until the pretzels are pale golden and crisp. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat’s cheese and dill, then scatter over the fennel. Squeeze over lemon juice to taste and serve immediately. PER SERVING (FOR 8) 258kcals, 14.5g fat (4.2g saturated), 5.8g protein, 16.6g carbs (7.1g sugars), 0.5g salt, 2.1g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Choose a dry sherry such as fino, or a modern Spanish white such as verdejo.

Langoustines with watercress and pastis hollandaise SERVES 4 AS A STARTER OR 6 AS A NIBBLE.


• 1 tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin or blended) • 2 large, soft pretzels (available from supermarket bakeries), torn into bite-size pieces • 2 tbsp poppy seeds • 120g ash-covered goat’s cheese such as rosary ash, chopped into small chunks • 15g fresh dill, finely chopped • Juice ½ lemon or to taste 1 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Arrange the fennel quarters top-to-tail in a roasting pan or dish so they fit snugly together. Drizzle over the 5 tbsp olive oil, sherry and honey, then season. Cover the tin tightly with foil and cook for 1 hour. 2 After this time, remove the foil, turn the fennel over and increase the temperature to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Roast, uncovered, for another



Hollandaise is best made to MAKE AHEAD order, so try not to let it sit for more than 30 minutes. If you are letting it sit, leave it on the pan of hot water, off the heat, with a piece of cling film directly touching the surface. Stir occasionally. If you’re buying fresh FOOD TEAM’S langoustines rather than TIPS ready cooked, steam them first for 5-8 minutes until the flesh is completely white, not translucent. If you cook fish or shellfish regularly, it’s good to keep a bottle of pastis in the cupboard. Its aniseed flavour works wonders stirred into buttery or tomato-based sauces. Freeze the egg whites to use in meringues. Lightly beat with a pinch of sugar and freeze for up to 3 months in a food bag labelled with the quantity and date. Defrost to use.

• 20 cooked langoustines (see tips) FOR THE HOLLANDAISE

• 1 small banana shallot, finely chopped • ½ tsp black peppercorns • 1 mace blade • 135ml white wine vinegar • 100g watercress, plus extra • Splash double cream (optional) • 4 medium free-range egg yolks (see tips) • 220g unsalted butter, melted • 1-1½ tbsp pastis such as Pernod • Squeeze lemon juice, plus wedges 1 Arrange the langoustines on a platter. Put the shallot, peppercorns, mace, vinegar and 130ml water in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce by around three quarters. Set aside in a heatproof bowl. 2 Meanwhile, put the watercress in a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Leave to wilt slightly, then pat dry between pieces of kitchen paper. Chop very finely or whizz in a food processor with a splash of double cream. 3 Put the bowl containing the vinegar reduction over a pan filled with hot water, set over a medium heat (don’t let the water touch the bowl). Using a balloon whisk, beat in the egg yolks until beginning to froth. Pour in the butter in a thin stream, whisking. The sauce should start to thicken after a minute; if it doesn’t, stop adding the butter and whisk the sauce for a minute to thicken up. If it starts to look greasy, whisk in a splash of cold water and reduce the heat. 4 Once all the butter has been added, the sauce should be smooth, glossy and thick. Stir in the watercress and pastis, then taste and add lemon juice if needed. Serve the sauce warm in a bowl alongside the langoustines, with extra watercress and lemon wedges. PER SERVING 401kcals, 34.7g fat (20.3g saturated), 19.3g protein, 1.2g carbs (1.2g sugars), 0.5g salt, 0.4g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Pick a cool, aniseed-tinged vermentino white from the South of France or Italy.

what’s good now.

Sherry-braised fennel with pretzel crumbs and goat’s cheese, p28



The arrival of spring is, for me, signalled by the arrival of jersey royals. Small in stature, grand in taste and named after their Channel Islands origin, these potatoes deserve the reverence bestowed on them by their protected designation of origin (PDO) status. Roasted or boiled, dressed or unadorned, they impart a rich mineral flavour that ordinary spuds can’t quite muster. ELLA TARN, COOKERY ASSISTANT

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR Buy jersey royals with the soil still clinging to them and take the time to clean them – they taste so much better than their pre-packed counterparts. Jersey royals can only be grown on the island of Jersey (if they’re grown elsewhere, they have to go by the less romanticsounding name, ‘international kidney potato’). Choose firm potatoes – the smaller the better.

what’s good now.



Jerseys make great roasties. No need to parboil; toss in a generous glug of oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast in a hot oven until golden and crisp. Once cooked, toss with fresh herbs, if you like – rosemary works particularly well. For a simple chowder, melt some butter in a large pan, then fry 2 chopped leeks until softened. Add 500g chopped jersey royals and around 2 litres veg or fish stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook until the potatoes are tender. Chop 2 smoked haddock fillets into large chunks, then add to the pan with 3 tbsp double cream. Cook gently until the fish flakes, then stir in some lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of paprika. Boil potatoes until just tender but still with a bit of bite. Drain and cool slightly, then cut into thin slices lengthways and layer in a baking dish. Fry some finely chopped garlic and onion in butter until soft and translucent, then stir in a small pot (about 150ml) of double cream and a small handful of chopped fresh rosemary. Season, then pour over the potatoes in the baking dish. Scatter grated cheddar over the top, then bake in a hot oven until golden and bubbling. For a simple side dish, boil potatoes until tender. Meanwhile, mix some lightly salted butter with chopped fresh mint, parsley and chives. When the potatoes are ready, drain, then mix with the herb butter until it’s melted and the potatoes are coated. Make an easy brunch hash: dice potatoes into 1cm cubes. Fry some chopped onions in a splash of oil until translucent (about 10 minutes), then add some lardons and fry until crisp. Add the chopped potatoes and cook until golden and tender. Stir through a handful of chopped fresh parsley and serve topped with a fried egg.





Turn the page for two recipes that put jersey royals centre stage →

Warm potato salad with green tahini and herb dressing SERVES 4 AS A SIDE. HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN

Make the potato salad a day MAKE ahead. Let it come to room AHEAD temperature, then keep covered in the fridge. Refresh it with a little olive oil to serve, if needed.

• 1kg jersey royals • 25g tahini • Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley • Small bunch fresh mint, plus ½ tbsp, chopped, to garnish • Small bunch fresh basil • Zest and juice 1 lemon, plus wedges to squeeze over • 1 garlic clove, crushed • ½ tbsp clear honey • 4 tbsp olive oil

1 Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for about 25 minutes or until tender, then drain and leave to cool slightly. 2 Blend the rest of the ingredients together (except the ½ tbsp chopped mint and lemon wedges) in a small food processor, or pound in a pestle and mortar, into a smooth paste. 3 While the potatoes are still warm, cut them in half, then toss with the dressing and a generous pinch of salt. Scatter with the extra chopped mint, then squeeze over a little lemon juice to serve. PER SERVING 336kcals, 15.1g fat (2.2g saturated), 6.4g protein, 40.9g carbs (4.9g sugars), trace salt, 5.6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE One of those simple, fairly inexpensive Italian whites with herby, almondy hints, such as gavi or soave.

what’s good now.

Garlic and sage smashed jersey royals with panfried sea bass SERVES 2. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 45-55 MIN

• 600g jersey royals • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle • 70g salted butter (we used Brittany salted butter, widely available) • Small handful fresh sage, chopped, plus 6 whole leaves • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 2 sustainable sea bass fillets, skin on (about 150g each) 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the potatoes and cook for 20-25 minutes until just tender. Drain, then transfer to a baking tray and allow to cool slightly. 2 Squash the potatoes with a potato masher until they are almost broken apart. Drizzle with a little oil, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes. 3 Meanwhile, in a saucepan, gently melt 50g of the butter. Let it cook over a low-medium heat until it just starts to turn brown. Add the chopped sage and cook in the butter for 1-2 minutes until the sage starts to go crisp, taking care not to burn it, then remove from the heat. 4 When the potatoes have been

in the oven for 15 minutes, pour over the sage butter to coat well, then roast for another 30-40 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of the cooking time, scatter in the garlic. The potatoes should be golden and crisp. 5 While the potatoes are in the oven, cut 4-5 slashes into the skin of each fish fillet, then season all over. Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the fish, skin-side down, for 3 minutes, pressing down gently with a spatula so the fillets don’t curl up. Flip and cook the fish on the other side for

2 minutes, then take off the heat. 6 Before serving, heat the remaining 20g butter in a small frying pan and fry the whole sage leaves until crisp (about 2-3 min). Serve the fish with the potatoes, topped with the sage leaves, black pepper and any leftover butter from the pan. PER SERVING 882kcals, 59.3g fat (26g saturated), 36.1g protein, 48.2g carbs (4g sugars), 1g salt, 5.6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE This deserves an elegant white such as sancerre from the Loire Valley or a premium dry English bacchus.

NEXT MONTH Asparagus – we have the choicest tips and best recipes 35


Cheese tarts

Whichever of the three spring bakes you make with our can’t-fail pastry, they’re all guaranteed to please, again and again. The secret to the pastry’s workability? It’s a suprising one: cream cheese… RECIPES THE DELICIOUS. FOOD TEAM PHOTOGRAPHS LAUREN MCLEAN FOOD STYLING LOTTIE COVELL STYLING SARAH BIRKS


Cream cheese pastry


Freeze the unbaked MAKE pastry for up to AHEAD 1 month, wrapped in cling film. Defrost to use. • 80g unsalted butter • 120g full-fat cream cheese • 50ml double cream • 250g plain flour, plus extra • ½ tsp fine salt

Pea, pesto and watercress tartlets MAKES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 25 MIN, PLUS CHILLING

• Cream cheese pastry (see above) • Plain flour to dust • 2 medium free-range eggs • 100ml double cream • 30g grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative) • 8 tsp fresh vegetarian pesto • 50g frozen peas, defrosted • Small handful watercress YOU'LL ALSO NEED…

• 4 x 10cm fluted tart tins 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until as thick as a £1 coin, then, using an upturned plate as a guide, cut out 4 circles about 15cm in diameter – you may need to 36

1 Have all your ingredients at room temperature. Whizz the butter, cream cheese and cream in a food processor until smooth. Pulse in the flour and salt in 2 batches until the pastry begins to come together, then remove to a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds or

re-roll the trimmings. Use the circles to line the tins, with an overhang. Freeze for 15 minutes. 2 Line the cases with foil and fill with baking beans/uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans/ rice and foil and bake for 5 minutes Pork cider more or until dry. Trim off the excess pastry, then set aside. Lower the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. 3 Mix the eggs with the cream and most of the parmesan, then season well. Dollop 2 tsp pesto into each tartlet case, then evenly divide the peas and watercress among them. Put the cases onto a baking sheet, pour in the egg mixture, then bake for 20-25 minutes until set with a slight wobble. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Leave to cool, then serve. PER TARTLET 660kcals, 47.6g fat (26.4g saturated), 14.8g protein, 42g carbs (2g sugars), 0.1g salt, 2.8g fibre

so to bring it together. (If you don’t have a food processor, beat the butter, cream cheese and cream in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, then stir in the flour using a wooden spoon.) 2 Shape the pastry into a fat disc, wrap in cling film, then chill for 1 hour before using.


Greek cheese and veg lattice tarts MAKES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, OVEN TIME 35 MIN, PLUS CHILLING

The cooked tarts will keep, MAKE wrapped in the fridge, for AHEAD 24 hours. Warm through in the oven before serving. • 2 drizzles extra-virgin olive oil • 1½ red onions, finely sliced • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 30g spring greens, shredded • 70g spinach • Juice ½ lemon • 100g mixture crumbled feta and grated halloumi • Small handful fresh dill, roughly chopped • Cream cheese pastry (see left) • Plain flour to dust • 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze 1 Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the onions and garlic for 6-7 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the spring greens and spinach with some salt, in batches if necessary, and wilt, tossing frequently. Add the lemon juice, stir well, then remove from the heat. Spoon into a bowl, stir in the cheese and dill, then taste and season again if needed. Leave to cool. 2 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until as thick as a £1 coin, then cut into 4 x 12cm by 8cm rectangles. Re-roll the trimmings, then cut into 32 x 12cm by 1cm strips. 3 Divide the filling evenly among the bases, leaving a thin border exposed, then brush the borders with beaten egg. Lay the pastry strips diagonally across the tarts in a lattice, then brush the pastry with beaten egg. Line a baking sheet with baking paper, put the tarts on the sheets and chill for 30 minutes or until firm. 4 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Bake the chilled tarts for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve warm from the oven or at room temperature. PER TART 678kcals, 44.1g fat (24.7g saturated), 15.4g protein, 52.9g carbs (3.4g sugars), 1.6g salt, 3.8g fibre


Balsamic glazed tenderstem & spring onion galettes with goat’s cheese MAKES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 25 MIN, PLUS CHILLING

• 200g tenderstem broccoli, halved (and sliced lengthways if thick) • 8 spring onions, cut into thirds • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • Cream cheese pastry (see p36) • Plain flour to dust • 150g soft goat’s cheese or ricotta • 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze • Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle 1 To make the filling, put the broccoli and spring onions in a pan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 2-3 minutes until nearly cooked. Drain and run under cold water until cool, then pat dry and put in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, toss to coat and season well. 2 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin, then, using an upturned saucer as a guide, cut out 4 rough 15-17cm discs. You'll probably need to re-roll the trimmings. Put 2 spoons of cheese/ricotta in the centre of each circle and spread a little. Divide the veg among the discs, so it surrounds but doesn’t totally cover the cheese. Leave a 2-3cm border. 3 Brush the pastry border on each tart with beaten egg, then fold it over in sections, crimping it at the pleats, working your way around the galette to partially cover the veg. Brush the pastry with more beaten egg. Line 1-2 baking sheets with baking paper, put the galettes on top, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. 4 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Drizzle the chilled tarts with olive oil, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. If the vegetables start to blacken, cover with small discs of foil. Serve the galettes warm or leave to cool to room temperature. PER GALETTE 743kcals, 48.2g fat (27.6g saturated), 20.1g protein, 54.6g carbs (6.2g sugars), 1.5g salt, 5g fibre

NEXT MONTH Fish pie made three ways

nobody squeezes more nuts in

More taste, more protein, more energy. At our very own factory here in the UK, we can squeeze a lot more nuts into our nut butters because we don’t add palm oil or sugar. Better for you, and better for the orangutans.

meridian: nuts about nuts



Not keen on the heat of regular chilli flakes but craving spicy depth? This smoky, salty, dried variety popular in Turkey has a more rounded, yet still vibrant and intense, flavour than its fiery counterparts – and its versatility knows no bounds

These sun-dried chilli flakes, ground without the seeds, inspire ardour among spice fans. They’re known as pul biber in Turkey, where a pot takes pride of place on the table next to the salt. The flakes have a rounded flavour and are a little salty and oily, with a hint of fruitiness too – a bit paprika-like. The flavour is a world away from the harsh, hot blast of most chilli flakes. In a Turkish market, you’ll see aleppo chilli flakes of different grades of heat, as well as a roasted and ground variety that has dark purple flakes and a smoky flavour similar to ancho chillies. If you buy aleppo flakes in the UK, you’re likely to find the postbox-red kind, which give a gentle heat to almost anything you feel like scattering them over – and make the dish look extremely pretty in the process.


Cook into recipes or use to season finished dishes whenever you’d like a hint of heat. Scatter over big warm salads of roasted veg and grains, knead through cheese biscuit or flatbread dough, or sprinkle over cooked pasta, pizzas and grilled meats before serving. Use to top shop-bought dips along with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, to make them look homemade. Scatter over eggs on toast instead of chilli sauce for brunch… The possibilities are endless.


Look out for aleppo chilli flakes in speciality Turkish or North African shops. They’re also available online at and (though they’re pricey), and (more affordable – find 100g packs from £2.39). Food editor Rebecca’s local Londis also sells them, so it’s worth checking out your supermarket spice aisle. And if you know anyone who’s going to Turkey, ask them to bring some back for you.


Aleppo chilli-marinated chicken kebabs with sweet shallot and chickpea salad SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, GRILL TIME 10-15 MIN, PLUS MARINATING

Marinate the chicken up to MAKE 6 hours in advance (step 1). AHEAD You can cook the chickpeas and shallots up to 6 hours in advance too; follow the recipe to the end of step 5. Cool, cover and chill; bring to room temperature to serve. FOR THE KEBABS

• 500ml natural yogurt • 2 tbsp aleppo chilli flakes, plus more to serve • Juice 2 lemons, plus wedges to serve • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 12 skinless and boneless British free-range chicken thighs, halved FOR THE SALAD

• Extra-virgin olive oil for frying and drizzling • 6 large banana shallots, quartered lengthways • 4 tbsp clear honey • 3 handfuls mixed seeds • 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs • 260g bag spinach • 3 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed • Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve 1 Combine the yogurt, chilli flakes, lemon juice, garlic and a generous



in the know.

amount of salt in a large mixing bowl. Remove quarter of it to a small bowl, then cover and chill to use later as a dressing for the salad. Add the chicken to the bowl with the rest of the yogurt mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour (or see Make Ahead). 2 Heat a glug of the oil in a large frying pan, then add the shallots and cook over a medium heat, turning often, for 20-25 minutes, adding 2 tbsp of the honey after 15 minutes. Once the shallots are sticky and golden, transfer to a large bowl. 3 Add a little more oil to the pan, then scatter in the seeds and thyme sprigs with some salt. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the remaining honey

and keep stirring until the seeds turn light golden. Tip them into a small bowl, then return the pan to the heat. 4 Wilt the spinach in the pan, moving the leaves around so they don’t burn. Once wilted, tip into a sieve, cool, then squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Add to the shallots. 5 Put the chickpeas in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain, toss with olive oil and tip into the shallot bowl. 6 When ready to eat, heat the grill to as high as it will go. Remove the thighs from the marinade, shake off the excess (discard) and thread the chicken onto 4-6 metal (or soaked bamboo) skewers. Put the kebabs on a grill rack lined with foil, then cook

for 5-8 minutes on each side until the chicken is blackened in places and completely cooked through. 7 Stir most of the honey-coated seeds through the chickpea mixture, with most of the parsley and the reserved yogurt dressing. Taste and season. Transfer the salad to a serving platter, scatter over the remaining seeds and add a drizzle of oil. Serve the skewers on top, scattered with extra chilli flakes and parsley, with lemon wedges. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 529kcals, 18.9g fat (3.7g saturated), 49.2g protein, 34.5g carbs (14.9g sugars), 1.2g salt, 12.4g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A juicy chenin blanc – one from South Africa’s Western Cape, ideally.

NEXT MONTH Yuzu juice 41



Scotch eggs, but not as you know them – curried, veggie and magic

book of the month.


For my new book, The A-Z of Eating, the challenge was to pick just 26 favourite ingredients for an alphabet of good food – not an easy task. ‘P’ at least was never in doubt. Few ingredients are as versatile as the spud, which pops up in the guise of my Indian-inspired scotch eggs. Breast of lamb is a woefully underused cut, and my British take on porchetta, the porky Italian classic, seems to sum up this time of year. The richness of the meat is balanced by a zesty, crunchy cauliflower and herb salad. Please save room for the grand finale, a showstopping trifle made with shocking pink seasonal rhubarb. My desert island dessert – I hope it brings you as much joy.

SPRING MENU FOR FOUR Aloo tikki scotch eggs



Lamb ‘porchetta’ with salsa verde Green herb cauliflower tabbouleh


Rhubarb and custard trifle with amaretto syllabub

A mash-up (forgive me) of two picnic classics from very different parts of the world, these are rich with spice, with a lovely fresh sweetness from the peas. The hen egg versions make a satisfying lunch on their own, so if you’d prefer to make them for a starter (as here) or as party food, use quail eggs. They’re good hot or at room temperature, and pair well with mango chutney or a coriander and mint raita. Make up to 2 days in MAKE AHEAD advance and keep in the fridge in a sealed container. • 12 medium free-range eggs (or 18 quail eggs and 2 hen eggs), at room temperature • 800g floury potatoes, such as maris piper, unpeeled • 50g fresh ginger, chopped • 2-3 small green chillies, chopped and deseeded (to taste) • 5 round shallots (or 1 red onion) • 2 litres sunflower oil for frying • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 2 tsp mustard seeds • 1 tsp garam masala • ½ tsp ground turmeric • 150g frozen peas, defrosted • 1 tsp salt • Small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped • 100g plain flour • 200g panko or crispy breadcrumbs YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Digital probe thermometer 1 Gently lower 10 of the eggs (or all the quail eggs) into a pan of boiling water and cook for 4½ minutes (2½ minutes for quail eggs). Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl or sink of iced water and, once the eggs are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to it to stop them cooking. 2 Cut the potatoes into large, roughly equal chunks, then add them to the same pan. Put the lid on to bring the

water back to the boil, then uncover, turn down the heat and simmer until tender. Drain and leave to cool, then peel off the skins and discard (doing it this way may be more fiddly, but I think the flavour is better). 3 Meanwhile, use a pestle and mortar to mash the ginger and chillies to a paste, then finely chop the shallots/ onion. Heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat in a medium frying pan and fry the shallots until soft, then add the ginger and chilli paste and fry for a minute. Turn up the heat slightly and add the cumin and mustard seeds. Fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the other spices, adding extra oil if they start sticking. Fry for 1 minute or so, stirring, then take off the heat. 4 Mash the potatoes until smooth, then add three quarters of the peas and mash roughly. Stir in the spice mixture and salt, then add the rest of the peas and the coriander. Distribute evenly, taste and season. 5 Peel the eggs. Take 80-100g (about 40g for quail eggs) of aloo tikki mixture and form into a ball. Poke an indentation in the middle, put the egg in it, then seal up to make a ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. 6 Put 3 bowls containing seasoned flour, the 2 hen eggs, lightly beaten, and breadcrumbs, next to the hob. Fill a large pan a third full with oil, then set over a medium heat until it comes to 190°C when tested with a digital probe thermometer. Meanwhile, roll each egg in turn in flour, egg and breadcrumbs (if using hen eggs, roll them a second time in egg and breadcrumbs). Put a plate lined with kitchen paper next to the hob and get a slotted spoon ready. 7 When the oil is 190°C, lower the eggs in with the slotted spoon, 2-4 at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t crisp up) and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden. Lift them out with the slotted spoon, salt lightly and drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest, making sure the oil comes back up to temperature first. PER EGG (FOR 18) 201kcals, 8.3g fat (1.6g saturated), 8.3g protein, 22.3g carbs (1.7g sugars), 0.4g salt, 1.8g fibre →

WINE PICKS By Susy Atkins, drinks editor For the scotch eggs, pour a white wine with plenty of crisp character: a young muscadet or Bordeaux sauvignon blanc would be ace. They’d also work well with a fresh, hoppy ale such as an IPA. The lamb porchetta needs a lively, mediumbodied red with plenty of succulent fruitiness. A red rioja crianza (crianza means young and oak-aged) would be a star match. For dessert, make it a pudding wine with fresh, lively acidity for the young rhubarb – a sweet riesling would dazzle. 43

Green herb cauliflower tabbouleh SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 40 MIN

BOOK OFFER These recipes are from The A-Z of Eating by Felicity Cloake (£25; Fig Tree). To order it at the special price of £19.99 including free P&P, call the Penguin Bookshop on 0843 060 0021. Quote the code ‘FCDELICIOUS’ and the book’s ISBN, which is 978-0241003138.*

Those ridiculously flavourful leaves we single out as herbs are the star of this dish. Inspired by both the Persian sabzi, or herb ‘salad’, and Middle Eastern tabbouleh, this recipe uses the bland, creamy sweetness of cauliflower as the ideal base for a plethora of zesty green flavours and sweet (and sour) dried fruits. This is an incredibly moreish addition to a selection of mezze, or a side dish for lamb or chicken, and looks even lovelier scattered with shiny ruby-red pomegranate seeds.


This will be time consuming but not impossible to make without a food processor – you’ll need to finely chop everything. It’ll do wonders for your knife skills.

Lamb ‘porchetta’ with salsa verde

• 1 large cauliflower (around 1kg untrimmed) • 4½ tbsp unsalted butter • 4½ tbsp sultanas • 1½ tbsp barberries (or, if unavailable, dried sour cherries or cranberries) • 4½ tbsp pine nuts • 6 slim spring onions • Bunch fresh chives • Bunch fresh tarragon, leaves picked • Bunch fresh dill • Bunch fresh coriander • Bunch fresh mint, leaves picked • Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley • Large squeeze lemon juice

You don’t see a lot of lamb breast around, so if you’re not familiar with it, the best way to think of it is as the ruminant equivalent of pork belly – fatty, yes, but cooked right, utterly melt-in-the-mouth delicious. I think the garlicky, herbaceous flavours of a classic rolled porchetta work even better with the sweet mellow flavour of lamb, especially when offset by a zingy green sauce. It remains extraordinarily good value, and any decent butcher should be able to get you some.


1 Cut the cauliflower in half and cut out the core. Discard the woody base from the core and roughly chop the rest, then break the head of the cauliflower into florets. Put it all into a food processor and pulse briefly until chopped into couscous-size pieces (see tip). 2 Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over a mediumhigh heat, then fry the cauliflower with a little salt for a couple of minutes until just tender. Scoop into a large salad bowl. 3 Put another tablespoon of the butter in the pan and fry the sultanas and barberries for a minute or so until plump, then tip into the bowl. Toast the pine nuts in the remaining butter, then tip into the bowl. 4 Trim and roughly chop the spring onions, then put into the food processor and whizz until more finely chopped. Add the herbs and whizz again until it’s all fairly finely chopped (see tip), then tip into the bowl with the cauliflower and toss everything together with the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 301kcals, 18.2g fat (6.6g saturated), 7.6g protein, 24g carbs (20.9g sugars), 0.3g salt, 5.4g fibre


Rubbing fatty meat with KNOW- bicarbonate of soda helps it HOW to brown and crisp up. The Maillard reaction – the flavourful browning – happens faster in an alkaline environment, plus the bicarb breaks down protein in the meat, tenderising it and also helping dry it, so it crisps up better. To swap the lamb with FOOD TEAM’S boned pork belly, cook at TIP 140°C after the initial browning, for 4 hours or until really tender. • 2 tbsp black peppercorns • ½–1 tbsp red chilli flakes (I use mild pul biber, or Aleppo chilli flakes – see p40; if you use regular chilli flakes, you may want to err on the side of caution) • 3 tbsp fennel seeds • 1.5kg boned lamb breasts (about 2 or 3); see food team’s tip • 6 garlic cloves, crushed • 4 tbsp chopped fresh thyme and rosemary • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda FOR THE SALSA VERDE

• Large bunch fresh basil • Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley • 6 anchovy fillets, drained and rinsed


Green herb cauliflower tabbouleh

book of the month.

• 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed • 1 garlic clove, crushed • Juice ½ lemon • 1 tsp dijon mustard • Olive oil 1 Between 16 and 48 hours before you want to eat the lamb, depending on how long you have to marinate it, put the peppercorns, chilli flakes and fennel seeds into a hot dry frying pan and toast for a minute or so or until aromatic. Leave to cool slightly, then crush in a pestle and mortar. 2 Lay the lamb breast(s) out flat on a board, fat side down, and salt generously. Spread over the crushed garlic (unfortunately, fingers are the easiest thing to use – rub them with lemon juice afterwards to help neutralise the smell), followed by the crushed spices and chopped herbs. Roll up tightly from one of the short ends, then tie with string in several places. Rub the skin with bicarbonate of soda and a little more salt, then refrigerate overnight or for up to 48 hours. 3 Take the meat out of the fridge an hour or so before you want to cook it, to bring it up to room temperature. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/ gas 9, then roast the lamb for about 30 minutes until golden. Turn down the heat to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½ and roast for a further 2-2½ hours, or until the meat is very tender. Rest the meat for at least 20 minutes in a warm place. 4 To make the salsa verde, whizz the herbs, anchovies, capers and garlic in a food processor (or roughly chop, then pound in a pestle and mortar if you’re feeling more energetic). Beat in the lemon juice and mustard, followed by enough olive oil to make a thick sauce – it doesn’t need to be super smooth. Taste and season or add more lemon juice if necessary. 5 Cut the lamb into thick slices, then serve with the salsa verde. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 486kcals, 28.1g fat (9.8g saturated), 53.8g protein, 2.9g carbs (0.5g sugars), 0.8g salt, 3.2g fibre →

Lamb ‘porchetta’ with salsa verde

book of the month.

Trifle – childhood memories with an adult boozy hit

Rhubarb and custard trifle with amaretto syllabub SERVES 8-10. HANDS-ON TIME 50 MIN,

• 5-7 boudoir or savoiardi biscuits (from large supermarkets) • 6 amaretti biscuits • 2½ tbsp amaretto liqueur


NEXT MONTH Only five ingredients: a low-stress, sharing-plates menu from John Whaite

I’ve never met a trifle I didn’t like; this one is inspired by that classic school dinner combination, rhubarb and custard, razzed up with a generous slug of almond liqueur. The natural sharpness of rhubarb acts as a delightful counterpoint to the gentle sweetness of the other layers. • 400g rhubarb • 2½ heaped tbsp caster sugar


• 100ml semi-skimmed/whole milk • 200ml double cream • ½ vanilla pod, slit in half and seeds scraped out • 3 medium free-range egg yolks • 1½ tbsp caster sugar • 1 tbsp cornflour FOR THE SYLLABUB

• 125ml double cream • 75ml amaretto liqueur • Juice ½ lemon • ½ tbsp soft brown sugar

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. De-string the rhubarb if large (much as you would celery, but no need if the stalks are slim) and cut into 4cm lengths, or smaller if thick. Put in a roasting tin, sprinkle with the 2½ heaped tbsp sugar and 4 tbsp water, then cover with foil and bake for 25-45 minutes (depending on the thickness of the rhubarb) until soft but still holding its shape. It will still taste quite sharp. 2 Meanwhile make the custard. Put the milk and cream into a heavy-based pan along with the vanilla pod and seeds, then heat gently to just below a simmer. Beat the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the heated milk and cream into this bowl, beating all the time, then turn down the heat and pour the custard back into the pan. 3 Stir until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, being careful it doesn’t overheat and turn into scrambled eggs (I often fill the sink a quarter full of cold water when making custard, just in case – if it just starts to scramble, plunge the pan into the sink and stir vigorously to rescue it). Allow to cool. 4 Arrange the boudoir/savoiardi biscuits over the base of a glass serving bowl (you may not need them all), then crumble over half the amaretti biscuits and sprinkle with the 2½ tbsp amaretto. Carefully spoon the rhubarb on top, along with its juices, making sure some pink is showing through the glass. Pour the cooled custard on top, then chill, covered, for 1-2 hours until set. 5 To make the syllabub, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks (that droop when you lift the whisk out) then, bit by bit, fold in the amaretto, lemon juice and sugar. Spoon gently on top of the rhubarb, then decorate with the remaining amaretti, crushed, just before serving. PER SERVING (FOR 10) 305kcals, 20.8g fat (11.6g saturated), 3.5g protein, 21.3g carbs (17.1g sugars), 0.1g salt, 1.2g fibre See Loose Ends for clever ways to use up leftover amaretto.

country cook.



The lush green grass of the Channel Islands provides wholesome grazing for Jersey and Guernsey dairy cows, who in turn produce some of the richest, best tasting milk in the British Isles. Debbie Major transforms the creamy liquid further, into recipes worth savouring


What’s so special about Channel Islands milk? Partly it’s the lush pasture on which the cows graze, but it’s also down to breeds. Milk from the mainland is produced from any number of breeds (such as the black-and-white Holstein Friesian), but in the Channel Islands the milk is produced from two breeds named after the island they hail from: the Jersey and the Guernsey. The milk these little cows produce has a higher fat content than milk from UK cows (5.4 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent). It’s rich in colour, creamy in texture and often has a layer of butter-yellow cream floating on top, just like the milk I had as a child. On the mainland, Channel Island milk has fallen out of favour in this age of low-fat diets – which is a shame. But opinions on fat seem to be changing again. It’s time to revive this very special product – even if only as a treat. There’s no better milk to drink straight from the fridge. Its creaminess also makes Channel Islands milk wonderful to cook with, adding a depth of flavour to milky drinks and white sauces. Glorious though it is in its liquid state, it’s easy to transform into soft cheeses in the style of ricotta, as I’ve done in the recipe on p50. Try these dishes and I’m convinced you’ll never again think of milk as a mere tea-whitener.


Vanilla blancmanges with orange caramel SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 40 MIN, PLUS INFUSING AND SETTING

Traditional blancmange was often set with cornflour, but I’ve used a bavarois-style custard set with gelatine. Make the blancmanges up MAKE AHEAD to 48 hours ahead and chill, covered. Bring to room temperature to serve. You could use a 1.5 litre jelly DEBBIE’S mould or dessert bowl, TIPS or individual glasses. Use a silver pan to make the caramel so you can see the caramel colour. Use the ground almonds for baking. Whisk the egg whites with FOOD TEAM’S a pinch of salt, then freeze. TIPS Defrost for savoury recipes. • 150g blanched almonds • 600ml Jersey, Guernsey or fullcream milk, plus extra to top up • 6 large free-range egg yolks (see food team’s tips) • 150g caster sugar • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract • 8 sheets leaf gelatine (we used Costa Fine Leaf – if using another brand, follow the instructions) • 300ml double cream • Vegetable oil for greasing FOR THE ORANGE CARAMEL

• 75g caster sugar • 2 tbsp orange flavoured liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 8 x 180ml jelly moulds (or see Debbie’s tips) • Ice (optional) and muslin to strain 1 Finely grind the almonds in a food processor. Bring the milk to boiling point in a pan over a medium heat. Pour half onto the almonds and whizz to a thick mixture. Slowly blend in the rest of the hot milk, then pour into a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to infuse for 2 hours. 2 Pour a third of the almondy milk

into a muslin-lined sieve set over a measuring jug, gather up the muslin and squeeze out all the milk. Tip the almonds into a bowl and repeat twice (see Debbie’s tips). Top the strained milk up to 600ml with more milk. 3 In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Return the almond milk to a clean pan and, over a low heat, bring almost to the boil, stirring to prevent it catching on the base. 4 Put the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, return it to the pan, then cook gently, stirring, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don’t let it boil. Lift out the gelatine and squeeze out any excess water. Stir the gelatine into the custard until dissolved, then pour into a mixing bowl and cool. To speed up the cooling, sit the bowl in a larger bowl half-filled with ice and water, then stir gently until cool. 5 Using an electric hand whisk, whip the cream in a separate bowl until it just begins to thicken. Gently fold the cream into the cooled custard. 6 Lightly oil the jelly moulds, then evenly pour in the blancmange mixture. Chill for 4 hours or until set. 7 For the caramel, put the sugar and 1½ tbsp cold water in a small pan (see Debbie’s tips) and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Boil rapidly, swirling the pan now and then as the syrup browns around the edges, until it becomes a brick-red caramel. Remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a larger pan of cold water to stop the caramel cooking (it will sputter). Add the liqueur and another 1½ tbsp water. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until smooth, then cool. Pour into a small jug and cover. 8 To serve, dip each mould briefly into warm water, then invert onto a plate, hold the two together and shake to release the blancmange. Serve drizzled with the caramel. PER SERVING 532kcals, 38.4g fat (16.8g saturated), 11.1g protein, 34.2g carbs (33.7g sugars), 0.1g salt, no fibre →

country cook.

Vanilla blancmanges with orange caramel 49


Fresh ricotta and spinach crespellini

• 100g plain flour, sifted • ¼ tsp salt • Olive oil for frying




• 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 medium onion, finely chopped • 1 fat garlic clove, crushed • 600g canned chopped tomatoes • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked • 2 bay leaves

Homemade ricotta is easy to make from fresh milk. Traditional ricotta (the word means ‘re-cooked’ in Italian) is made by reheating the whey left over from making cheese with a little citric acid, which turns the protein into small clumps. This alternative method works well at home.


World-beating hot chocolate SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 15-20 MIN

Warm 300ml Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk in a pan over a medium heat, then stir in 150g finely chopped 70 per cent cocoa solids chocolate and 65g finely chopped milk chocolate until melted. Stir in 600ml more milk, 150ml single cream and a pinch of salt, then continue to heat until nearly boiling. For a frothy mixture, whisk well just before pouring into warmed mugs or glasses. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 354kcals, 22.7g fat (14.1g saturated), 8.7g protein, 28.2g carbs (28g sugars), 0.3g salt, 1.1g fibre

GET CREATIVE WITH THE FLAVOURS MEXICAN Whisk in a scant ½ tsp ground cinnamon MAYAN Use orange flavoured chocolate

MALTED Whisk in 2 tbsp Horlicks powder VANILLA Add 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract


Make the ricotta up to MAKE AHEAD 48 hours in advance and keep covered in the fridge. Make the pancakes up to 24 hours in advance, or freeze them, wrapped in a double layer of cling film, for up to 1 month. The tomato sauce can also be made up to 48 hours in advance, kept covered in the fridge. The longer you leave the DEBBIE’S ricotta to drain, the firmer TIP it will become. After 8-10 minutes the curds are soft and can be eaten as a dessert, sprinkled with caster sugar. After 40-60 minutes, they will be firm enough to cook with. I like to use white pepper here as you can’t see it in the cheese sauce. FOR THE SPINACH AND RICOTTA FILLING

• 1.6 litres Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk • 125ml double cream • ¼ tsp salt • 3 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 500g fresh spinach, washed and large stalks removed • 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated • 1 medium free-range egg, beaten • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg FOR THE PANCAKES

• 300ml Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk • 1 medium free-range egg, plus 1 egg yolk


• 50g butter • 45g plain flour • 600ml Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk • 50ml double cream • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Large square of muslin and a digital probe thermometer 1 Start by making the ricotta for the filling. Pour the milk and double cream into a pan and add the salt. Put over a low-medium heat and cook, stirring now and then, until it reaches 93°C on a digital probe thermometer (it will be gently steaming, the surface will be shimmering and small bubbles will have appeared on the surface). Meanwhile, put a large sieve over a mixing bowl and line it with a square of damp muslin. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and continue to stir for a few seconds until curds begin to form (it will look like lumpy yogurt). Leave for 2 minutes, then, using a slotted spoon, gently ladle the curds into the sieve, taking care not to break them up too much. Leave to drain for 40-60 minutes (see Debbie’s tip), then cover and chill if not using straightaway. 2 For the pancakes, whisk the milk, egg, egg yolk, flour and salt (you can use a blender or processor) to make a smooth batter with the consistency of single cream. If you have time, set the batter aside for 30 minutes. Heat a 17-20cm non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Brush the base

country cook.

with a little oil, ladle in 2 tbsp of the batter and swirl it around so it thinly coats the base of the pan. Cook for about 40 seconds or until lightly golden underneath and just browned at the edges, then turn the pancake over and cook for about 30 seconds more until marked with light brown spots. Slide the pancake onto a plate, cover with a square of baking paper, then repeat with the remaining batter to make 12 pancakes. 3 For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion, season lightly, cover and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more. Add the chopped tomatoes and herbs, then simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring now and then, until reduced and thickened. Discard the bay leaves and season to taste. 4 To finish the spinach and ricotta filling, heat the 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and spinach and stir-fry over a high heat until the spinach has wilted. Tip into a colander and press out any excess liquid. Coarsely chop, transfer to a mixing bowl and leave to cool. Mix in the ricotta, parmesan (or alternative), beaten egg, nutmeg and some seasoning to taste. 5 For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the flour and cook gently for 30 seconds. Gradually stir in the milk,

Fresh ricotta and spinach crespellini

bring to the boil and leave to simmer gently over a very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the cream, most of the parmesan (or alternative) and some seasoning to taste. 6 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Spoon 2 slightly heaped tablespoons of the filling in a short line across the centre of each pancake. Fold the sides of the pancakes over the ends of the filling, then roll up into neat parcels. 7 Spread the tomato sauce over the

base of a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Arrange the pancakes in the dish, seam-side down, then pour over the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, then bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. PER SERVING 832kcals, 60.8g fat (31.6g saturated), 29.8g protein, 39.9g carbs (20.9g sugars), 1.4g salt, 3.1g fibre WINE NOTE Prosecco makes a (perhaps surprising) star match here. A still Italian white such as Gavi is great too. → 51

country cook.

Debbie’s chowder is a creamy delight


Smoked bacon, leek and butter bean chowder


We liked this sprinkled with a little aleppo chilli (see p40) and a squeeze of lemon juice.


NEXT MONTH Debbie gets wise to cooking with sage

The chowder will keep in MAKE AHEAD a sealed container for up to 48 hours in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Defrost, then heat gently to warm through. Sprinkle with fresh parsley to serve. I like to make pillow-soft DEBBIE’S milk bread rolls to serve with TIPS this soup (see the pull-out bread section in this issue for a similar recipe) but a speedy soda bread, made with milk, would also be really good (see delicious.magazine. for a recipe).


• 50g butter • 350g leeks, thickly sliced • 200g British free-range smoked bacon lardons/strips • 1 tsp olive oil • 1 small onion, chopped • 1 litre Jersey, Guernsey or full-cream milk • 2 bay leaves • 50g plain flour • 200ml good quality chicken stock • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed • 100ml single or double cream • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 Melt half the butter in a large pan. Add the sliced leeks, stir well to coat with butter and season lightly. Cover and cook gently for 3 minutes until just tender and still bright green. Tip the leeks into a bowl and set aside. 2 Return the pan to a medium heat, add the bacon lardons and oil, then fry gently until the lardons have released some of their fat. Increase the heat to high and fry a little more briskly until lightly golden. Add the rest of the butter and the onion to the pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onion is soft but not browned. Meanwhile, gently heat the milk and bay leaves together in a separate pan. 3 Stir the flour into the bacon and onions, then cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the stock, then stir in the warm milk and bring almost to the boil. Add the butter beans and season to taste, then simmer for 5 minutes. 4 Remove and discard the bay leaves, stir in the leeks and cream, then bring back to a simmer. Stir in the parsley and season to taste. Serve in bowls with fresh homemade bread. PER SERVING 325kcals, 19.4g fat (10.4g saturated), 14.3g protein, 20.2g carbs (7.6g sugars), 1.1g salt, 6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A fairly rich, subtly smoky white is needed for the chowder – go for an oaked bordeaux blanc.



Most people associate a roast dinner with roast potatoes, but there are so many potential accompaniments to meat that it seems a shame to limit yourself to spuds every time. This is a simple yet wonderful dish for spring the stuffing and parma ham help to keep the tenderloin moist, while the creamed butter beans make a gorgeous alternative side dish. But the best thing is that the whole dish takes less than an hour from start to finish. LOTTIE COVELL, DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR

Stuffed pork fillet with creamed butter beans SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN, PLUS

• Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped • Squeeze lemon juice


Prepare the pork to the end MAKE of step 3 up to 48 hours AHEAD ahead. Wrap the stuffed meat tightly in cling film to help it keep its shape, then chill. Unwrap then continue from step 4. Next time, use dry sherry FOOD TEAM’S instead of the wine to make TIP the sauce (step 5). • Vegetable oil for frying • 400g British free-range pork fillet (also sold as pork tenderloin) • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 14 slices (2 packs) parma ham • 2 British free-range pork sausages, skin removed • Small bunch fresh sage, chopped • 30g fresh breadcrumbs FOR THE CREAMED BUTTER BEANS

NEXT MONTH Roast chicken with warming Pakistani spices

• 40g unsalted butter • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 tbsp plain flour • 150ml white wine • 400ml double cream • 2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed • 260g young leaf spinach


• A digital probe thermometer 1 Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7. Heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan and add the pork. Fry for 3-4 minutes over a high heat to sear all over, then set the pork aside on a board (leave the pan on the hob). 2 Lower the heat under the pan, then add a quarter of the onion and fry for 5 minutes or until it starts to soften. Meanwhile, lay out the parma ham slices on a work surface so each slice is slightly overlapping widthways, making a rectangle the length of the pork. Put the softened onion in a mixing bowl to cool; reserve the frying pan for later. 3 Once the onion has cooled, mix with the sausagemeat, sage and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the pork lengthways about three quarters of the way through, then open it out like a book. Top with the stuffing, then sandwich together, packing in the stuffing as best you can. Put the pork on top of the ham, then wrap the ham around to enclose the

pork and secure the stuffing. 4 Put the pork in a roasting tray, then roast for 20 minutes. After this time, turn the oven down to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6, then cook for 15 minutes more or until a digital thermometer pushed into the thickest part of the meat reads 72-75°C (the pork will feel quite firm). Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice. 5 Once you’ve turned down the oven for the pork, prepare the beans. Set the reserved frying pan over a medium heat and melt the butter with a glug of oil. Add the remaining onion and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and flour, then stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, then turn up the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Add the cream, then the spinach (adding it in batches, stirring until it wilts before adding more). Stir in the butterbeans to warm through, taste and season, then stir in the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with the sliced pork. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 567kcals, 35.8g fat (14.5g saturated), 31.5g protein, 21.7g carbs (5g sugars), 0.7g salt, 1.8g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Go for a white with depth of flavour, such as a French chardonnay or viognier.

weekend highlight.


Jamaican goat curry, p61


THE WORLD ON YOUR PLATE Although recipes from India and South Asia tend to spring to mind when you hear the word ‘curry’, concoctions of meat or veg simmered in a spicy, flavourful sauce are appreciated on every continent. I’ve scoured the world and, using typical spices and flavourings, created my take on classic curries – some hot, some mild. LOTTIE COVELL, DEPUTY FOOD EDITOR

global flavours.

Indian vegetable curry, p58 57

Indian vegetable curry SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 45-50 MINUTES

It’s not usual to find broccoli KNOW- in Indian curries, but we HOW love the flavour and texture it brings to this dish. You could use cauliflower or romanesco instead. This is best eaten on the day MAKE of cooking, but it will keep AHEAD in the fridge, covered, for up to 48 hours. Reheat thoroughly. • Sunflower oil for frying • 2 red onions, finely sliced • 5cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 tbsp garam masala • 1 tsp ground cumin • 2 large maris piper potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes • 1-2 green chillies, finely sliced (optional) • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 400g can chopped tomatoes • 500ml vegetable stock • 4 dried kashmiri/Indian chillies, soaked for 10 minutes in boiling water, then roughly chopped • 2 tsp caster sugar • 1 large head broccoli, cut into small florets • 250ml full-fat Greek yogurt • 200g baby leaf spinach • Juice 1-2 limes • Large handful fresh coriander • Flatbreads such as chapatis or rotis to serve 1 Heat a good glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan, then fry the onions over a medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then add the ginger and dry spices and fry for 2-3 minutes more. The onion should brown a little, but not get too dark. 2 Add the potatoes, green chilli/es (if using) and garlic to the pan, then fry for 8-10 minutes, stirring every

now and then, until the potatoes start to yield when pressed. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little more oil or a splash of water. 3 Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and the chopped, soaked chillies. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the sugar and broccoli. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then stir in the yogurt, spinach, half the lime juice and half the coriander. Taste and add the rest of the lime juice if you think it needs it. Simmer until the spinach has wilted. If you want the curry a touch thinner, add a splash of water. Sprinkle the curry with the rest of the coriander sprigs and serve with chapatis or rotis. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 255kcals, 10g fat (3.5g saturated), 10g protein, 27.4g carbs (10.7g sugars), 0.8g salt, 7.5g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A simple, subtle white wine, such as soave or Bordeaux sauvignon blanc, will marry with the gentler flavours here.

global flavours.

Malaysian slow-cooked beef curry SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 4 HOURS

Prepare up to 48 hours in MAKE advance and keep in a sealed AHEAD container in the fridge. Or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost, then warm through until piping hot. • 800g British braising steak, cubed • 50g plain flour • Rapeseed oil for frying • 1 onion, sliced • 1 lemongrass stick, bruised • 1 small cinnamon stick • 3 star anise • 4 cardamom pods, bruised • 5 kaffir lime leaves • 400ml can coconut milk • 500ml fresh beef stock • 50g grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut, lightly toasted • 30ml kecap manis (from the world food aisle of supermarkets) • Handful fresh coriander, chopped • Juice 1-2 limes • Jasmine rice, unsalted peanuts and dried coconut flakes, toasted in a dry pan, to serve (optional) FOR THE CURRY PASTE

• 4 bird’s eye chillies, plus extra to serve (optional) • 2 large shallots, halved • 4 garlic cloves • 5cm piece fresh ginger • ½ tsp hot paprika • ½ tsp ground turmeric • ¼ tsp ground cloves • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil or other flavourless oil 1 Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/ gas 2. Put the curry paste ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse to combine (or pound to a paste with a pestle and mortar). 2 Coat the steak in the flour, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a glug of oil in a large lidded casserole,

then add the curry paste and cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the onion and braising steak and fry for 5-10 minutes until the meat has browned. You may need to do this in batches. 3 Add the lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer, then put the lid on and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until the beef is fall-apart tender. 4 Remove the curry from the oven and stir in the toasted coconut, kecap manis, coriander and lime juice to taste. Serve with steaming hot jasmine rice, scattered with extra chilli, toasted peanuts and coconut flakes, if you like. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 485kcals, 32.1g fat (18.9g saturated), 33.4g protein, 14g carbs (4.5g sugars), 1g salt, 3.1g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A light red (a heavier one would clash with the coconut milk). Try a young, tangy, unoaked pinot noir or sangiovese. For more ways to use kecap manis, see Loose Ends

Malaysian slowcooked beef curry

Thai yellow fish curry SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 50 MIN

Make the curry paste up MAKE to 1 week ahead and keep AHEAD chilled in a sealed container. Taste as you go and add salt FOOD TEAM’S to taste. You may also want to TIPS add more fish sauce. • 3 tbsp sunflower oil • 2 onions, finely sliced • 100g brown crabmeat • 400ml can coconut milk • Juice 3 limes • 2 tbsp palm sugar • 2 tbsp fish sauce • 200g white crabmeat • 300g sustainable tiger prawns, shell on, heads removed • 350g sustainable cod or other white fish (skinless and boneless), cut into pieces • Large bunch fresh coriander, chopped • Steamed jasmine rice to serve →

Thai yellow fish curry

Brazilian coconut chicken curry

global flavours.


• 4 green bird’s eye chillies • 4 garlic cloves • 1 lemongrass stick, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped • 2 shallots, roughly chopped • 6cm piece fresh ginger, chopped • 1 tbsp Thai shrimp paste (from the world food aisle of supermarkets) • 1¼ tbsp medium curry powder • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 Whizz the curry paste ingredients with 150ml water in a mini food processor (or pound to a paste in a pestle and mortar). Set aside. 2 Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the curry paste and brown crabmeat, then cook for 10 minutes. 3 Add the coconut milk, half the lime juice, the sugar and fish sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the white crabmeat, prawns and cod. 4 Simmer for 5-8 minutes until the seafood is cooked through; stir gently and occasionally to avoid breaking up the fish. Add the coriander and remaining lime juice to taste, then serve with steamed rice, if you like. PER SERVING 351kcals, 19.8g fat (11.7g saturated), 30.9g protein, 11.1g carbs (8.6g sugars), 3.5g salt, 3g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE New Zealand sauvignon blanc: fragrant, mouthwatering and cool.

Jamaican goat curry SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 2 HOURS 35 MIN

Prepare the curry up to 48 MAKE hours in advance and keep AHEAD in a sealed container in the fridge. Or freeze for up to 1 month; fully defrost, then slowly heat through until piping hot. Although not traditional in FOOD TEAM’S Jamaican cuisine, coriander TIPS and yogurt work well here.

Jamaican curries are supposed to be hot, which is why we’ve used chopped scotch bonnets. However, if you don’t like too much heat, add the scotch bonnets whole instead, which will give flavour and warmth without knocking your socks off. Wear gloves when preparing the chillies. If you can’t find diced kid, use pork or lamb instead. • Sunflower oil, for frying • 1 onion, finely chopped • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 80g fresh ginger, grated • 2 tbsp mild curry powder • 1-2 scotch bonnet chillies, seeds and pith removed, finely chopped (see tips) • 800g British diced kid goat (from Ocado, Waitrose or good butchers; see tips) • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes • Large handful fresh thyme sprigs • 250ml chicken stock • 400g tin black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed • Juice 1-2 limes, plus wedges to serve • Rotis or steamed rice to serve (optional) 1 Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/ gas 2. Pour a glug of oil into a large lidded casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, chillies and goat. Season, then fry for 5 minutes, stirring, to brown the meat. 2 Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme and stock, then cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2½ hours or until the goat is tender. 3 Remove the curry from the oven, then stir in the beans and lime juice to taste. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve with lime wedges and roti or steamed rice, if you like. PER SERVING 540kcals, 23.4g fat (7.9g saturated), 50.3g protein, 27.6g carbs (10.9g sugars), 0.6g salt, 9.1g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE The heat of this calls for a crisp, cold lager, or a lime cordial, packed with ice.

Brazilian coconut chicken curry SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN

Freeze in a freezer bag MAKE for up to 1 month; fully AHEAD defrost, then slowly heat through until piping hot. If you like, stir in some FOOD TEAM’S spinach at the end of TIP cooking so it wilts into the sauce, to bulk out the curry. • Vegetable oil for frying • 1 onion, sliced • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 200g okra (from larger supermarkets and Indian food shops), sliced into 1-2cm pieces • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (we like Whole Earth) • 8 skinless, boneless, free-range chicken thighs, sliced into strips • 400ml coconut milk • Juice 2-3 limes, plus wedges • Bunch fresh coriander, chopped • Steamed basmati and wild rice, and unsalted peanuts, toasted in a dry pan, to serve (optional) 1 Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, okra and chilli, then fry for a further 2-3 minutes. 2 Stir in the peanut butter and chicken, then fry for 10-15 minutes over a high heat until the chicken changes colour and is nearly cooked through. Add the coconut milk, juice of 2 limes and half the coriander. Taste, season and add more lime juice if you think it needs it, then simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander, then serve with basmati and wild rice, and lime wedges. Scatter with toasted peanuts if you like. PER SERVING 469kcals, 31.4g fat (18.3g saturated), 36.1g protein, 8.4g carbs (5.8g sugars), 0.4g salt, 4.2g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Dry modern riesling, Chilean or Australian, with juicy citrus.




You can find even more excellent curry recipes online – visit delicious curries 61



Chef Gary Lee talks about the recipe diners ask for again and again at one of London’s most famous restaurants The Ivy has been serving London’s theatre district since 1917, and the famous shepherd’s pie is one of the recipes regular diners insist stays on the menu. What makes our version of this classic comfort dish stand out is that it’s a hybrid – a cross between a shepherd’s pie and a cottage pie, given that we use both beef and lamb mince to make it. This combination gives a little more complexity, and elevates a humble dish into something special. I also think that in the face of current food trends, where everywhere you turn there are foams and gels in place of recognisable ingredients, shepherd’s pie is something people feel safe ordering – something that doesn’t force them out of their comfort zone, as so many menus do these days. This dish is nursery food par excellence. As for the cheese: no, it’s not authentic. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure – you can’t beat the salty kick of a mature cheddar melted over hot mashed potato.


Chill the assembled pie, MAKE covered, for up to 48 hours, AHEAD or freeze for up to a month and defrost, then bake as in step 5. We serve the shepherd’s GARY’S pie with a side of buttered TIP peas and carrots. • 400g British lean lamb mince • 400g good quality British beef mince • Sunflower oil for frying • 2 shallots, finely chopped • 3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked • 200g button mushrooms, quartered • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped • 1 tbsp tomato purée • 400g can chopped tomatoes • 150ml red wine • 2 tbsp plain flour • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce • 300ml fresh veal stock (from some supermarkets; if you can’t find it use fresh beef stock) • 3 fresh oregano sprigs, leaves picked and chopped FOR THE TOPPING

A BIT ABOUT GARY He’s been head chef (now executive chef) at The Ivy since 2007 and has worked with such luminaries as Anton Mosimann and Mark Hix, developing a strong grounding in British and European cuisines. His love for Asian food bloomed while working at London’s Bam-Bou restaurant, and there’s a distinct Asian influence to some dishes on The Ivy’s menu. Gary’s mantra? “There’s no substitute for knowledge.”


• 1kg potatoes (king edward or maris piper), chopped into equal chunks • 50g unsalted butter • 50g strong cheddar, grated 1 Put the lamb and beef mince in a large bowl, drizzle with a little oil, then mix well with your fingers. Heat a large frying pan until smoking, then cook the meat, mixing continuously, for about 5 minutes

or until lightly browned. Transfer the meat and juices to a bowl. 2 In the same pan, heat a little oil, then gently cook the shallots, thyme, mushrooms and carrots for about 8 minutes. Return the mince and juices to the pan, then mix in the tomato purée. Cook for 5 minutes. 3 Add the chopped tomatoes and red wine, then bubble to reduce for about 10 minutes. Add the flour and mix well, then add the worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, taste and add more worcestershire sauce if needed. Add the oregano, then set aside. 4 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water, covered with a lid, for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain in a colander, then return to the pan and set over a gentle heat to remove any excess moisture. Take off the heat. Using a masher or potato ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes, then mix in the butter and season to taste. 5 Spoon the meat mixture into a 2 litre ovenproof dish or 6 x 300ml individual ovenproof dishes. Top with the mashed potato (you can pipe this if you want to be cheffy), then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and piping hot. PER SERVING 662kcals, 35.3g fat (16.5g saturated), 34.9g protein, 43.4g carbs (8.6g sugars), 1g salt, 6.4g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A richly flavoured red – best is a ripe Australian shiraz-cabernet blend.



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Four-strand challah


Flatbreads with herb butter


Fruit tea loaf




Herb and sea salt breadsticks


Breakfast pull-apart brioche


BREAD-MAKING TIPS • A wet dough is best when making bread, so we’ve included plenty of liquid in these recipes. If you’re kneading by hand, we recommend you add threequarters of the liquid, then see if it needs the rest (some flours take more liquid than others). If the dough really is too wet to knead, add an extra handful of flour. • A plastic dough scraper is useful when hand-kneading wet, sticky dough – find them in all good cookshops or on Amazon. • Find a step-by-step guide to making brioche (and most wet doughs) by hand, as well as some more expert bread tips, in This Month In Our Test Kitchen. For all these recipes, you can leave the dough to rise overnight in the MAKE AHEAD fridge. Bring it back to room temperature before shaping and proving. You can also freeze dough after kneading: freeze in an airtight freezer bag, easing out as much of the air as you can before sealing. Defrost completely, then let the dough puff up again before shaping and proving. After overnight rising or freezing, it may take a bit longer than usual to prove.


• 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting • 2 tsp salt • 1 tsp caster sugar • 7g fast-action dried yeast • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing • 300ml lukewarm water • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme • Fine polenta for dusting • Sea salt flakes to scatter 1 Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl, stir in the oil and water, then bring together into a dough, first with a palette knife, then your hands. Tip the dough onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (or knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 8 minutes). 2 Knead the herbs into the dough, then put in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 3 Knock the dough back in the bowl to distribute the air, then turn out onto a

surface dusted with polenta and roll out into a rectangle about 30cm x 45cm. Halve the rectangle widthways using a sharp knife, then cut into strips, around 30cm x 2cm wide. Roll into stick shapes, then put on 2 baking sheets, scattered with more polenta. Leave somewhere warm to puff up/prove for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. 4 Brush breadsticks with oil and scatter with sea salt. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Serve cool or warm with dips or cheese. PER BREADSTICK 117kcals, 2.6g fat (0.4g saturated), 3.3g protein, 19.7g carbs (0.4g sugars), 0.6g salt, 1g fibre


• 5g fast-action dried yeast • 10g caster sugar, plus a sprinkle • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting • 1 level tsp salt • 45ml warm milk, plus extra to brush • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten • 200g unsalted butter, very soft, cubed, plus 50g melted and extra to grease • Sea salt flakes to scatter • ½-¾ jar raspberry/cherry/apricot jam

• 900g wide loaf tin, buttered, and the base lined with baking paper 1 Mix the yeast, sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then pour in the milk and eggs. Mix with a palette knife (or dough hook in a stand mixer) to form a soft dough. 2 Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. If doing this by hand, you might need a dough scraper. Tip the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours). 3 Add the 200g butter, a piece at a time, using the pull-and-slap technique (see Test Kitchen). Put the dough on an unfloured surface, pull half of it up, then bury a piece of butter in the dough on the table. Slap the pulled dough down, then pull up a new section and slap this down. Repeat pulling and slapping until the butter is incorporated, then add another piece of butter. Don’t add it too quickly or it won’t incorporate. The dough will turn shiny and very soft. (Alternatively, do this in a stand mixer, still adding the butter a bit at a time.) 4 Put the dough to the bowl and leave to double in size again. Don’t leave it anywhere too warm, or the butter may melt and make the dough greasy. 5 Knock back the dough to distribute the air, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rough 30cm x 45cm rectangle. Brush the top with melted butter, scatter with a little salt, then spread jam all over. Using a sharp knife, halve the dough, then cut each half into 3 strips. Cut each strip into 4 rough squares. Put them in the tin to fill it haphazardly. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 40 minutes. 6 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Once the dough is puffed, brush with milk, then bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and cooked – cover with foil once the top is golden (after about 25 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then run a knife around the edge and carefully invert from the tin. Leave until lukewarm, glaze with more jam, then sprinkle with sugar and pull apart to eat. PER SERVING (FOR 12) 327kcals, 19.8g fat (11.9g saturated), 5.8g protein, 31g carbs (12.2g sugars), 1g salt, 0.5g fibre


• 75g caster sugar • 15g fresh yeast, from bakeries, large supermarkets and health food shops • 300ml lukewarm water • 3 medium free-range egg yolks • 60ml sunflower or vegetable oil, plus extra to grease • 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting • 2 tsp salt • 275g strong white bread flour, plus an extra 100g if needed FOR THE GLAZE

• 1 medium free-range egg, beaten • 1 heaped tbsp poppy seeds 1 Mix 1 tbsp of the sugar in a jug with the yeast and enough of the warm water to make a paste, then mix in the rest of the water, the eggs and the oil. Leave for 20 minutes, covered with a tea towel, until the mixture is frothy. 2 Put the plain flour and remaining sugar in a mixing bowl with the salt and make a well in the centre. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture, stirring with a palette knife until combined. 3 Mix in the bread flour to form a fairly wet and sticky dough (if it’s really too wet, you might need some/all of the extra flour). Tip the mixture onto a well floured surface and knead. Once the gluten starts to develop, the dough will start to lift off the work surface more cleanly – when this happens, put it into a clean, lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Alternatively, knead the dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 8-10 minutes on a medium speed. 4 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/

gas 4 and oil a large baking sheet. Push the dough down, then knead briefly in the bowl to evenly distribute the air. Tip out and cut into 4 even pieces (it’s best to weigh them). 5 Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to a 35cm sausage shape, then put on the baking sheet side by side, lengthways away from you. Pinch all the pieces at the furthest end to fuse them together. Take the far-right strand and pass it over, under, then over the others until it becomes the far-left strand. Repeat this from right to left until the whole loaf is plaited. Next, pinch together the ends nearest you, then tuck them under. Leave to prove (rise) for 30 minutes. 6 Brush the whole loaf very generously with the beaten egg, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and glaze generously all over again with the egg, making sure you cover any bits that have risen in the oven. Scatter with poppy seeds, then return to the oven for 15-20 minutes more. Remove, tap the base to make sure it sounds hollow, then cool on a wire rack. Slice to serve. PER SLICE 180kcals, 5.3g fat (1g saturated), 4.8g protein, 27.9g carbs (5.2g sugars), 0.7g salt, 1.1g fibre

Flatbreads with herb butter MAKES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN, PLUS RISING & PROVING


For variety, add your favourite cheese (crumbled) or 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds in step 2.

• 300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting • 7g fast-action dried yeast • 1½ tsp fine sea salt • 1 tsp caster sugar • 50ml soured cream • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling and frying

• 150ml tepid water FOR THE HERB BUTTER (OPTIONAL)

• 100g unsalted butter • Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped • Juice ½ lemon • Aleppo chilli flakes (available online and from good delis) 1 Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, salt, sugar, soured cream and oil using a wooden spoon, then add the water. Bring the mixture together, then tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. When the dough feels smooth and silky, put into an oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place. 2 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the air is completely knocked out (this is when you can add flavourings – see tip). Divide into 6 equal pieces (about 90g each), then roll into balls. 3 Using a rolling pin, roll the balls into flatbreads, roughly 15cm diameter. Oil 2 baking sheets, put the flatbreads on them, then cover with clean tea towels. 4 Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Put a couple of breads in the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes until they have some colour, then turn them over. Fry for a further 3-4 minutes, then remove to the baking sheet. When you’ve cooked all 6, transfer to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes until fully cooked and browned all over. Allow to cool until just warm. 5 While the flatbreads are cooling, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Line a small sieve with a piece of kitchen paper, set over a mixing bowl and pour the butter through to filter off the white milk solids and clarify the butter. (Discard the kitchen paper containing the milk solids.) Let the clarified butter cool slightly, then stir in the parsley, lemon juice and a good pinch of salt. 6 To serve, drizzle the butter over the just-warm flatbreads, then sprinkle with the chilli flakes. PER FLATBREAD 366kcals, 19.8g fat (10.5g saturated), 5.9g protein, 40g carbs (1.7g sugars), 1.2g salt, 2.3g fibre



This is great served with salted butter and a wedge of Lincolnshire poacher cheese.

• 2 earl grey tea bags • 200ml boiling water • 250g prunes, pitted and finely chopped • 80g sultanas • 80g currants • 60g unsalted butter • 60g lard • 300g strong white bread flour • 300g plain flour • 7g fast-action dried yeast • 100g soft light brown sugar • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp ground allspice • 1 tsp fine sea salt • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten • Flavourless oil for greasing YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 20cm square cake tin, lightly oiled 1 Put the teabags in a mixing bowl and pour over the boiling water. Add the dried fruit and set aside to steep. 2 Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, rub the butter and lard into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast, sugar, spices and salt. 3 Remove and discard the tea bags, then stir the eggs into the fruit/tea mixture. Tip it all into the flour mixture and mix to bring it together into a dough using a wooden spoon or palette knife. Cover with cling film, then leave in a warm place for 10 minutes. 4 Turn out the dough onto a clean surface, then gently knead for 3-4 minutes. It will be sticky and very heavy. 5 Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled

bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours. 6 Tip the dough onto the work surface and gently knead to remove any large air pockets. Shape into a rough 20cm square. Drop it in the tin, then press it gently down. Leave to prove for 1 hour 10 minutes. 7 Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ gas 5. Bake the loaf for 55 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before serving. PER SLICE (FOR 14) 333kcals, 9.3g fat (4.4g saturated), 7g protein, 53.6g carbs (21.1g sugars), 0.4g salt, 3.6g fibre


Biga is an Italian-style starter KNOW- or pre-ferment. It’s a mix of HOW flour, water, yeast and sugar that’s left to develop and ferment before being added to the main loaf. The extra time involved adds flavour and helps give an open texture to the ciabatta. Knead in some pitted olives FOOD TEAM’S just before you leave the dough TIPS to prove. Sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary also work well. Visit slap-and-fold for a video of the kneading technique used in this recipe. FOR THE BIGA (STARTER)

• 12g fresh yeast, from bakeries, large supermarkets and health food shops • 150ml tepid water • 120g strong plain bread flour • 1 tsp caster sugar FOR THE DOUGH

• 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to grease

• ½ tsp fine sea salt • 130g strong plain bread flour • Polenta to sprinkle YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 900g loaf tin, lightly oiled 1 The day before you want to bake your bread, prepare the biga. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a comfortably warm room for at least 6 hours and up to 16. 2 The following day you should have a thick, bubbly, fermented mixture that’s very sticky and stretchy. Add the oil, salt and flour and use your hands to bring the dough together. It will be quite sticky and wet. 3 Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes on a clean surface. Avoid adding flour even though the dough will be very wet and sticky. You’ll need a dough scraper to help you stretch, slap and fold the dough (see video). The more you do this, the more the gluten will develop and the easier the dough will be to work with. The dough is ready when it’s smooth and elastic. 4 Shape the dough to roughly fit the loaf tin, then put it in the tin and leave to rise for 1-2 hours until very puffy and bigger by at least half. If you press the corner of the loaf with your finger it should leave a small indentation. 5 Lightly grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with the polenta. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9. Put a large roasting tin in the bottom of the oven and fill with freshly boiled water. 6 Carefully turn out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Be very gentle with the ciabatta to keep as much air as possible in the dough – invert the tin as close as possible to the baking tray and let gravity do the job. Dust with a little more polenta. 7 Bake the dough for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7 for a further 10-15 minutes. Tap the bottom to check the ciabatta is cooked – if it sounds hollow, it’s ready. Allow to cool before slicing. PER SERVING (FOR 10) 115kcals, 2.5g fat (0.4g saturated), 3.2g protein, 19.4g carbs (0.6g sugars), 0.3g salt, 0.8g fibre


Cheddar crown


Classic white loaf


Japanese milk rolls

golden and the loaf sounds hollow when gently tapped on the underside. Cool on a wire rack, then slice. PER SLICE 136kcals, 1.5g fat (0.7g saturated), 5.2g protein, 25g carbs (1.4g sugars), 0.5g salt, 1g fibre


• 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting and sprinkling • 1½ tsp salt • 1 tsp caster sugar • 7g fast-action dried yeast • 310ml lukewarm milk, plus extra for glazing • 1 medium free-range egg • Flavourless vegetable oil (such as sunflower) for greasing 1 Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir together well. Measure the milk into a measuring jug, crack in the egg, then beat together with a fork. Add the mixture to the flour, quickly stir it in, then bring the dough together. 2 Gently knead the dough in the bowl, then put in a stand mixer with a dough hook and knead on a medium setting for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, knead on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes until the dough springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. 3 Put the dough in a lightly oiled, large mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour until nearly doubled in size. 4 When the dough has risen, return to a clean surface and gently knead to knock out any large air pockets. Shape the loaf into an even round and put on a greased baking tray. Use the flat of your hand to flatten the dough a little. Slash the top 3 times with a sharp knife, then cover with a plastic bag or some lightly oiled cling film. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. 5 Leave to prove in a warm place for 45-60 minutes. Brush the loaf with a little milk, sprinkle flour over the top, then bake for 40-45 minutes until risen,


These rolls get their soft, light KNOW- and airy nature from their HOW roux-like starter (tangzhong). They’re best a few hours after baking. FOR THE STARTER

• 25g strong white bread flour • 100ml whole milk • 50ml double cream, plus extra for brushing FOR THE DOUGH

• 350g strong white bread flour • 25g caster sugar • 1 tsp salt • 15g fresh yeast, from bakeries, large supermarkets and health food shops • 210-230ml whole milk, lukewarm • 70g unsalted butter, well softened and cubed, plus extra for greasing YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 12-hole muffin tray, greased with butter 1 To make the starter, put the flour into a small saucepan. Stir in the milk and cream, then bring to a simmer over a low-medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens (like a loose roux) and comes away from the sides of the pan as you stir. Scrape out the starter into a bowl (use a spatula), cover with a piece of cling film directly touching the

surface, then leave to cool to nearly room temperature. 2 In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), combine the flour, sugar and salt. Crumble the yeast into the bowl, then rub it into the flour mixture until there are no big lumps. Add 210ml milk and the cooled starter to the flour, then stir with a palette knife (or the dough mixer’s hook) to bring together – add the remaining 20ml milk if the dough looks too dry. 3 Turn out and knead on an unfloured surface (or using a stand mixer) until smooth and elastic – it will be a very wet dough so if you’re kneading by hand use the pull-and-slap technique (see This Month In Our Test Kitchen). It will be messy at the start, but it will come together after a while (you might find a helper useful to ease tired arms). 4 Once smooth, you can begin to incorporate the butter – again using the pull-and-slap technique. Put a piece of butter in the middle of the dough, bring up half of it to enclose the butter, then pull it up high and slap it down until the butter is incorporated into the dough. Repeat until you’ve used all the butter – the dough will be smooth, glossy and very sticky. If using a stand mixer, knead in the butter, a small lump at a time, using the dough hook. 5 Lightly butter the inside of a large mixing bowl, scoop up the dough into a rough ball, then drop it gently into the bowl. Cover with a dry tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 50-60 minutes until doubled in size. 6 Tip the risen dough back onto a work surface and punch it down (knock back) to distribute the air. With oiled hands divide into 12 equal balls, then drop them into the cups of the muffin tray. Cover with a plastic bag or piece of lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes until puffed. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. 7 Once the rolls have proved, brush them all over with cream, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and shiny. Remove from the tin, leave to cool, then tear apart and eat. PER ROLL 207kcals, 8.6g fat (5.3g saturated), 5g protein, 26.9g carbs (3.5g sugars), 0.4g salt, 1g fibre


• 7g fast-action dried yeast • 100g wholemeal flour • 125g plain flour, plus extra for dusting • 1 tsp salt • Very large pinch cayenne pepper • ½ tsp English mustard powder • 120-130ml lukewarm milk, plus extra to glaze • 55g unsalted butter, melted • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten • Flavourless vegetable oil (such as sunflower) for greasing • 150g extra-mature cheddar cheese, grated

dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and put 7 of the balls in the tin in a circle, then put the eighth ball in the centre. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove for 25-30 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. 3 Once the rolls have puffed up, bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then brush with a little milk and scatter with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Leave the bread to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Pull the crown apart to serve PER ROLL 267kcals, 15.1g fat (8.5g saturated), 10.7g protein, 21.2g carbs (1g sugars), 1g salt, 1.9g fibre


• 20cm shallow cake tin, lightly greased


1 Mix the yeast, flours, salt, cayenne and mustard in a mixing bowl, then make a well in the centre. Stir in the 120ml milk, butter and eggs with a palette knife, bring the dough together (add the extra 10ml milk if dry), then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until just smooth. Put in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1-2 hours – don’t worry if it doesn’t rise very much; it will in the oven. 2 Once the dough has puffed, knock it back (knead gently to distribute the air), then tip out onto the floured work surface again. Knead most of the cheese into the dough, keeping about 30g back for the top. Lightly grease a 20cm shallow cake tin and divide the

• 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting • 100g rye flour • 100g wholemeal flour • 7g fast-action dried yeast • 2 tsp salt • 60g mixed seeds • 60g black treacle • 320ml semi-skimmed milk • Flavourless vegetable oil (such as sunflower) for greasing • 30g rolled oats

the treacle and milk in a saucepan and stir together over a very low heat until the treacle has melted into the milk (don’t let it boil). Take the pan off the heat and let it sit for a minute to cool slightly. 2 Pour the milk mixture onto the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir quickly with a wooden spoon. When the dough starts to come together, tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a smooth dough. 3 Either continue to knead by hand for 10-15 minutes until the dough springs back to the touch or put in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead on a medium speed for 5-10 minutes. 4 Put the dough in a greased mixing bowl, then cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for 50-60 minutes until the dough has almost doubled in size and springs back when pressed. 5 Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead to knock out any large air pockets. Shape into an oval and put in the prepared loaf tin, slash the top once lengthways, then sprinkle with the oats and a dusting of flour. Leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes. 6 Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ gas 5 and pour freshly boiled water into a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven. This will create steam, which helps give the dough a great rise and a crusty exterior. 7 Bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes until golden, fragrant and crusty. Check the bread has fully cooked by lifting it out of the tin and tapping the bottom – it should sound hollow. Take the granary loaf out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing. PER SERVING 219kcals, 4g fat (0.8g saturated), 7.5g protein, 36.7g carbs (4.8g sugars), 0.9g salt, 3.5g fibre


900g loaf tin, lightly oiled 1 Mix together the flours, yeast, salt and seeds in a large mixing bowl. Put

Look out for part 3 of the Collector’s Edition in the June issue of delicious.



Granary loaf



Susy Atkins picks her best buys for April and finds a new wine hotspot

GRAB A BARGAIN • Vignobles Roussellet Malbec, France (£4.39, Aldi) A greatvalue, brightly coloured red, soft and easy-going, with notes of cherry, plum and prunes. • Domaine de Beaurepaire Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013, France (£5.99, Lidl) Fresh, succulent and citrus scented, with

a hint of almond, this vivacious dry white is spot on with shellfish. • Extra Special Marques del Norte Rioja Reserva 2011, Spain (£5.48, Asda) One for new season lamb, a classic mellow rioja, oak-aged with the flavours of strawberry and clove, and very keenly priced.


New wave Spain


FRIDAY SPECIAL • Shorn Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand (£7, Morrisons) A new sauvignon blanc under a fun label (see p9) with lots of zesty passion fruit and gooseberry. Open a bottle with a green Thai curry. • Triade 2013, Puglia, Italy (£8.79, Waitrose) A smooth blend of local Italian grapes, tasting


TREAT YOURSELF • Gewurztraminer Vin d’Alsace Turckheim 2015, France (£9.99, Waitrose) With its peachy notes, melon scent and dab of rosewater, this soft, medium-dry white makes an exotic match for sweet-andsour dishes. • Thymiopoulos Xinomavro 2013, Naoussa, Greece (£11, Marks & Spencer)

A gorgeous biodynamic Greek wine with enough chewy tannins to partner red meat, and a core of plump damson fruit. • Passimento Bianco Pasqua 2014, Italy (£9.99, Majestic) Raise a chilled glass of this mouthwatering, tangy white, with its whoosh of crisp lemon, to welcome in the lighter evenings. A super spring aperitif.

of plump blackberries and cinnamon. Perfect with a beefy pasta sauce. • Taste the Difference Mudgee Chardonnay 2014, Australia (£8, Sainsbury’s) Here’s a chardonnay packed with sunny, rich pineapple and peach but with a fresh, youthful edge too. Made for roast chicken.

ans of Spanish wine already love its diverse range, from sparkling cava to rich rioja and all the sherries. Now there are new wines to explore, made from local grape varieties in the northwest part of the Castilla y Leon region, home to many progressive winemakers. To see what they’re up to, try the mineral crispness of whites made from godello grapes, and berry-rich reds made from mencía vines. Then there are the verdejos from around the town of Rueda – lime-scented whites, refreshing with seafood or white fish. Spain’s wine scene has never been more exciting. Here are a few to get you started: Taste the Difference Marques de Almeida Godello 2014, Bierzo, Spain (£8, Sainsbury’s) Lemon-fresh and mineral, even slightly salty, this is a typical dry young godello. Pizarras de Otero 2014, Bierzo, Spain (£7.99 each, or £6.99 multi-buy, until 25 April, Majestic) Tempting offer on a raspberry toned wine made from the trendy mencia grape. Good with beef. Marques de Alarcon Blanco 2014, Castilla, Spain (Marks & Spencer, £8) This is a blend of local macabeo and verdejo grapes that sauvignon blanc fans should try – it’s bone-dry, with a zing of crunchy pear. 67


“Mother Nature is our business partner” What happens when a chef and a landowner are in cahoots with a top mixologist and a talented distiller? They get creative and make a drink that’s quite special, that’s what. Julie Sheppard meets the guys behind the new Hepple gin, and Valentine Warner provides clever recipes to accompany a glass of the good stuff


meet the producer.


Gin lover Valentine; bog myrtle adds eucalyptus and bay scents; Baden, the Hepple still; juniper berries in the wild; the rugged Northumberland moors


ven if you know nothing about drinks, you’ll have noticed that gin is having a bit of a moment. There’s an ever-increasing number of bottles turning up on shop shelves, while classic and new gin cocktails – especially the negroni – are on the drinks menu in every bar. Gin’s fans are legion (and growing) and chef, food writer and outdoorsman Valentine Warner counts himself among them. “Gin is my absolute favourite spirit,” he declares. He likes it so much, in fact, that he’s gone and launched his own – Hepple. It’s named after the Hepple estate in Northumberland, owned by childhood friend Walter Riddell. I’m joining the pair on a chilly hike through the estate’s hills and bogs to see where the gin comes from, and to find out how the spirit is made. The rugged moorland of North East England is perfect for growing juniper, the essential ingredient in gin (the drink’s name goes back to the French word for juniper – genièvre). We stop to inspect a young juniper bush; the green (unripe) berries release a fresh, piney blast when I bite into them – but Walter explains that not all is well with juniper in Britain. “A fungus that attacks the roots has been wiping out plants all over the country. No one knows how it’s spread,” he explains. Extra juniper seedlings have been planted → 69

on the estate to help overcome the threat of disease. It took two years of planning before they started making Hepple, but what started as a vague idea soon grew into reality. “I had a chat with Walter about making a gin,” says Valentine, “and it resulted in a distillery.” We head to that tiny distillery, where we catch up with two more co-creators, Nick Strangeway and master distiller Chris Garden.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BOTANICALS Like all gins, Hepple starts life as a flavourless white spirit, which is distilled with botanicals for flavour. A botanical is the fancy name for any product obtained from a plant – leaves, seeds or roots – that’s put to use in the distillation process, and it’s these that give gin its characteristic aroma and flavour. Each brand has its own unique blend of botanicals, but mature juniper berries are a constant. “We use 13 botanicals, but the way we process them is different from any other producer,” says Chris. “We’re the only distillery with a supercritical fluid extractor.” This piece of techno-geekery freezes and pressurises carbon dioxide until it turns into a liquid, which is then used to extract what Nick describes as ‘turbo-juniper’ from the ripe berries. That green juniper I tasted is another botanical. “It’s used a lot in Scandinavian food, but no one else uses it in gin,” says Nick. It, along with mature juniper berries, bog myrtle and lovage grown at Hepple, are some of the others. When he was working on the early stages of product development, Nick was “stuck in a summer house in Denmark” with a small still, working on the botanicals there. Noma restaurant was his nearest source of organic lovage, but the boys now grow it themselves on the estate. Douglas firs also grow on the estate and behind the distillery is a drying room filled with the aroma of fir, where branches are left for two weeks. “It smells like Christmas,” sighs Chris, inhaling deeply. He explains that the drying process fixes a lemony freshness into the needles, which are also used as a botanical.

Meet the Hepple crew... VALENTINE WARNER Originally an art student, Valentine worked with chef Alastair Little and spent eight years in restaurant kitchens before landing his own TV show. He’s written books and often appears on TV.

WALTER RIDDELL He gave up being a merchant banker and returned to his family estate to take up the title of 14th Baronet of Riddell. He’s MD and chief juniper-picker of The Moorland Spirit Company, maker of Hepple gin.

NICK STRANGEWAY Having learned his craft from legendary ‘cocktail king’ Dick Bradsell, Nick set up the bars for the Hawksmoor steak restaurants in London and worked with Mark Hix. He now runs Strangehill, a drinks consultancy.

PRECISION IS EVERYTHING There are parallels between making gin and perfecting a recipe, but there are differences too. “Changing the tiniest percentage of a botanical affects the taste of a whole litre of gin,” explains Valentine. “That was hard for me because when I’m cooking I know exactly how much of an ingredient to use.” The resulting gin is seriously good. It’s got a supersilky texture that’s perfect for a martini, with a zesty citrus taste, plus intense herbal notes that remind me of walking on those rugged moors. “We make Hepple with Mother Nature as our business partner,” concludes Valentine. “I’m immensely proud of it.” You can buy Hepple from, £35.95 for 70cl 70

CHRIS GARDEN After getting his Master’s degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh, Chris became head distiller at London’s Sipsmith in 2009. Six years later he’s headed north to help create Hepple gin.

meet the producer.


development building; the supercritical fluid extractor gets the essence of juniper; the boys and Baden (the German copper still); ripe juniper berries; who’s on for a bit of practical chemistry?

Turn the page for the perfect recipes to pair with gin →

No boutique distillery is complete without a German still

The gin-match recipes P AWARDS UPDATE The inaugural delicious. Produce Awards have now closed for entries, and have reached the regional judging stage. Experts all around the UK are assessing the very best produce our nation has to offer. The aim of the Awards is to shine a light on the people who make Britain’s food scene great. Look out for the results later in the year…

Valentine has created three dishes that are great partners for good gin (he doesn’t use Hepple for cooking, though, as it’s a bit pricey for that). Could this be a new trend…?


Using milk as well as water CHEF’S to poach the haddock gives TIPS the dish added richness. Cooking the rice with a cloth beneath the lid absorbs steam from the rice, helping to make it dry and fluffy. • 200ml whole milk • 2 bay leaves • 400g undyed sustainable smoked haddock, smoked pollock or smoked coley (ideally use the wide end of the fillet to get bigger flakes)


• 60g butter • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 4 green cardamom pods, crushed and seeds reserved • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 1 scant tsp mild curry powder • 125g basmati rice (measured up to the 125ml mark of a measuring jug) • Pinch saffron strands (optional) • 4 free-range eggs • 1 tbsp Patak’s Lime Pickle (optional but highly recommended) • Handful fresh curly leaf parsley or coriander, finely chopped • Lemon wedges to serve 1 Put the milk, 150ml water and 1 bay leaf into a large saucepan with a lid over a low heat and bring it to a gentle simmer. 2 Put the haddock in the saucepan, skin-side down. Once it returns to a simmer, poach it gently with the lid on for 3-4 minutes, ensuring the fish doesn’t lose its translucence completely. Turn off the heat and lift the fish out very gently. The fillets should easily separate into

large chunks. Flake the chunks into bite-size pieces with a fork onto a plate. Discard any bones and skin, then set aside. 3 Pour the poaching liquid into a jug to cool, adding extra water to make it up to 250ml, if necessary. 4 Melt the butter in a medium pan with a lid over a medium heat, then add the onion with the remaining bay leaf and the cardamom seeds. Fry for 10 minutes or so, stirring regularly, until the onion is very soft and a deep golden colour. Sprinkle in the turmeric and curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a plate. 5 Tip the rice into the pan, pour in the 250ml poaching liquid and add the saffron, if using. Put a lid on the pan and bring it up to a brisk simmer, then turn down the heat so it’s barely simmering with the lid on. Cook the rice for 11 minutes without removing the lid. Turn off the heat, lift off the lid and put a once-folded napkin or tea towel over the pan before returning the lid as snugly as possible for 8 minutes (see tips). 6 While the rice is cooking, cook the eggs in a medium saucepan of water at a gently rolling boil for 6-7 minutes (for a soft set). Drain, then briefly rinse under cold running water before peeling. 7 Remove the lid and napkin/tea towel from the rice pan, then fluff up the rice gently with a fork. Put the pan over a low-medium heat. Add the onions and stir in thoroughly. Do the same with the haddock, lime pickle (if using) and chopped fresh herbs, taking care to keep the fish flakes as large as possible. 8 When everything is warmed through, season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the kedgeree among 4 plates, then crown each with a soft egg cut in half and well seasoned. Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge and drink a strong gin and tonic alongside. PER SERVING 450kcals, 21.2g fat (10.7g saturated), 32.6g protein, 31.2g carbs (5g sugars), 1.7g salt, 1.9g fibre →

meet the producer.


A good kedgeree needs a good G&T

the bacon begins to colour. 3 Add the grated apple and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or so until the onions are golden. Pour in the gin and allow it to evaporate completely. Add the sauerkraut, then cook, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes or until the sauerkraut begins to turn golden. Pour in the cream, stir, then bring up to a gentle simmer. Taste and season. Serve the chicken and creamy sauerkraut with potatoes and dijon mustard (plus a shot of gin, chilled for an hour in the freezer) on the side. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 611kcals, 37.3g fat (20.7g saturated), 44.7g protein, 14.2g carbs (12.5g sugars), 1.9g salt, 5.9g fibre

Campari and ruby grapefruit granita SERVES 4-6. HANDS ON TIME 10 MIN

Chicken, sauerkraut, potatoes and, of course, gin

Roast chicken with creamy sauerkraut

Make up to 48 hours ahead. MAKE If it sets too hard, take it out AHEAD of the freezer until it softens slightly, then scrape it up with a fork to loosen it. Refreeze briefly.

• Boiled new potatoes and dijon mustard to serve

• 400ml ruby grapefruit juice (not from concentrate) • 75ml Campari • 50ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained • 3 tbsp caster sugar

1 Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ gas 7. Put the chicken in a medium roasting tin, rub the 50g butter all over and season well with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and roast for a further 50-60 minutes, basting twice, until the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a sharp knife and the skin is crisp. Rest the chicken, uncovered on a board, for about 20 minutes. 2 While the chicken is cooking, melt the 30g butter in a large frying pan and fry the bacon, onions and carrots with the juniper berries and bay leaves over a medium-high heat until the onions are very soft and

1 Stir the grapefruit juice, Campari, lemon juice and sugar together in a large measuring jug or bowl until the sugar has totally dissolved, then strain the mix into a freezerproof container. Put on the lid and pop it into the freezer for 2 hours. 2 Scrape the mixture with a fork to mix it up a little, then freeze again. Repeat 2-3 times every 1–2 hours until the granita has a light, snowlike consistency (see Make Ahead). 3 Spoon the granita into chilled glasses and serve immediately with a good sipping gin at room temperature. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 81kcals, 0.1g fat (no saturated), 0.3g protein, 12.9g carbs (12.9g sugars), no salt, no fibre


NEXT MONTH Meet a knife-maker extraordinaire in south London

• 1.5kg free-range chicken • 50g unsalted butter, plus 30g for frying • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped • 100g British free-range smoked streaky bacon lardons • 2 medium white onions, halved and thinly sliced • 3 medium carrots, diced • 6 juniper berries • 2 bay leaves • 2 braeburn apples, peeled and coarsely grated • 75ml gin (see introduction on p72) • 410g jar sauerkraut • 200ml double cream


meet the producer.

It’s a granita for adult tastes

Mary Berry’s


There’s nothing quite like a late-afternoon foray into delicate cakes, cookies and scones, accompanied by a china pot of tea made just-so. These new recipes from the queen of baking offer the best excuse to revive a very special British tradition PHOTOGRAPHS GEORGIA GLYNN SMITH FOOD STYLING LISA HARRISON AND ISLA MURRAY STYLING LIZ BELTON

make it sweet.

Carrot and banana cake

I never tire of making a sweet treat to share with friends and family for afternoon tea or a birthday celebration (I especially love baking with my grandchildren). I’m so thrilled to share these tried and tested recipes with you, and I hope you’ll gain as much satisfaction cooking them for friends and family as I have in creating them. MARY BERRY


This combination may sound a little strange, but I always put banana in my carrot cake to give a moist sponge. The banana also makes the texture slightly denser rather than light and springy. The cake can be fully MAKE prepared up to 24 hours AHEAD in advance, then thoroughly wrapped in cling film. The sponges freeze well without icing, wrapped, in cling film for up to 1 month. Coarsely grate the carrot; MARY’S if it’s finely grated, too much TIPS water comes out of it when it’s cooking, leading to a wet cake. The icing is fairly soft but will firm up once chilled. • 250ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing • 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten • 275g caster sugar • 275g self-raising flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 2 small ripe bananas (about 200g), mashed • 2 medium carrots (about 150g), coarsely grated; see tips FOR THE ICING

• 280g full-fat cream cheese • 150g butter, softened • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 250g icing sugar, sifted


…for this sticky carrot cake


• 2 x 20cm diameter sandwich tins 1 Heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas 4. Grease the tins with sunflower oil and line the bases with baking paper. 2 Beat the eggs, caster sugar and sunflower oil in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the remaining cake ingredients to the same bowl and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared

sandwich tins and smooth the tops. 3 Bake for 35-45 minutes until the sponges are golden, firm in the middle and shrinking away from the sides of the tins. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack. 4 Meanwhile, make the icing. Whisk together the cream cheese and butter, either by hand or using an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar and whisk again until smooth.

5 Once the sponges are completely cold, use half the icing to sandwich them together. Sit the cake on a plate, then use the remaining icing to cover the top in a pretty swirl. Chill for at least an hour for the icing to firm up (see Mary’s tips and Make Ahead), then cut into wedges and serve. PER SERVING (FOR 12) 595kcals, 33.6g fat (12.7g saturated), 6.4g protein, 66g carbs (47.9g sugars), 0.9g salt, 1.6g fibre → 77


I prefer making two 450g loaf cakes, rather than one large cake baked in a 900g loaf tin, as the smaller cakes are less likely to dry out around the edges. These are perfect for preparing ahead as you can eat one and freeze one for another day. The loaves can be baked up MAKE to 48 hours in advance and AHEAD stored in an airtight tin. The cakes also freeze well, wrapped in cling film, for up to 1 month. Wash the syrup from the MARY’S cherries, leave to drain in TIPS a sieve, then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper – this helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the tins during baking. If the cherries are still sticky when you chop them, it’s worth rinsing and drying them again. Measure the ingredients carefully – the cake batter is meant to be quite firm. If it’s too loose, the fruit might sink to the bottom of the tins. • 150g butter, softened, plus extra to grease • 150g caster sugar • 200g self-raising flour • 200g glacé cherries, washed and chopped (see Mary’s tips) • 200g sultanas • 2 medium free-range eggs • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed or whole milk • Finely grated zest 2 lemons • 25g flaked almonds YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

One is good, two are better – especially when cake tastes as good as these fruit loaves


• 2 x 450g loaf tins (see Mary’s introduction) 1 Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. Grease the tins with butter and line with baking paper. 2 Measure all the ingredients (see Mary’s tips) except the flaked almonds into a bowl and mix together until combined. Divide the

make it sweet.

mixture evenly between the prepared tins and level the tops. Sprinkle with the almonds. 3 Bake in the oven for 1¼ hours or until the cakes are golden on top and firm to the touch. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into slices to serve. PER SERVING 250kcals, 9.9g fat (5.4g saturated), 3.2g protein, 36.6g carbs (17.9g sugars), 0.3g salt, 1g fibre


I love this classic biscuit with its delicate buttery flavour, offset by the currants and lemon zest.


The finished biscuits will MAKE keep in an airtight container AHEAD for up to 3 days. After it has been mixed and shaped into a ball (step 2), you can freeze the dough, wrapped in 2 layers of cling film. Work quickly in a cool area MARY’S of the kitchen so the dough TIPS doesn’t soften too much. If it’s too soft after mixing (step 2), chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes or until it’s easier to handle before continuing with the recipe. When rolling out the dough, be sparing with the flour you use to dust the surface, or the dough will take it up, become too dry and crack. Try not to twist or wiggle the cookie cutter in the dough, as you want to achieve a sharp, fluted edge to each biscuit. • 100g butter, softened • 75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling • 1 medium free-range egg, separated • Finely grated zest 1 small lemon • 200g plain flour, plus extra to dust • 50g currants • 1-2 tbsp milk YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 6cm round, fluted pastry cutter

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6 and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. 2 Measure the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy, either by hand or with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolk and lemon zest, sift in the flour and mix well to combine. Add the currants and 1 tbsp milk, then mix with a round-ended table knife to give a fairly soft dough, adding more milk if needed. When it starts to come together, bring it into a ball with your hands (see Mary’s tips). 3 Knead the dough on a floured work surface, then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 5mm thick and use the pastry cutter to stamp out 24 discs from the dough (see Mary’s tips). Re-roll as needed.

It’s impossible to just have one of these biccies…

Lift each disc with a palette knife and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 4 Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg white with a fork until frothy. Remove the biscuits and brush the tops with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle over extra caster sugar and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until pale golden and cooked through. 5 Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then use the palette knife to carefully lift the biscuits onto a wire rack to cool completely. PER BISCUIT 85kcals, 3.8g fat (2.3g saturated), 1.2g protein, 11.2g carbs (4.8g sugars), 0.1g salt, 0.4g fibre For clever ways to use up leftover currants, see Loose Ends →

BOOK OFFER These recipes are from Foolproof Cooking by Mary Berry (£25; BBC Books). To buy a copy for just £20 with free UK P&P, call 01206 255800 and quote the code ‘delicious’.* Or turn to p64 and get a copy FREE when you subscribe to delicious.

Gluten-free apple and coconut cake SERVE 8-10. HANDS-ON TIME 35 MIN, OVEN TIME 45-55 MIN, PLUS COOLING

Made without flour, this cake is good for anyone with a gluten intolerance, and ideal for using up any apples left for too long in the fruit bowl.

THE BEST AFTERNOON TEAS IN THE UK Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of The Good Food Guide, rounds up the top spots to enjoy a cuppa and cake, from ultratraditional to the decidedly on-trend



( All glass-domed magnificence, the Palm Court serves one of the grandest teas in Edinburgh.

( The Courtyard is a striking setting for a magnificent modern take on afternoon tea.


( Cleverly reworked country house where Nigel Haworth’s Lancastrian gutsiness shines through in his very fine afternoon tea.

(deanstreettown Bold as brass Soho eatery that’s a crowd-puller for straight-talking sandwiches and scones, or a high tea of ham, egg and chips.

THE DELAUNAY, LONDON ( Viennese-style café with old-school charm, from the patisserie counter to the cake stands.

HOLBECK GHYLL, CUMBRIA ( An indulgent tea by the fire in an Arts and Crafts drawing room: the makings of a perfect afternoon.

LEWTRENCHARD MANOR, DEVON ( Mullioned windows and age-deepened oak panelling make for a cosily enfolding atmosphere.



PERKIN REVELLER, LONDON ( With views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, and more than a hint of heritage to the tea menu, it’s a tourist’s dream.

TEACUP KITCHEN, MANCHESTER ( You can’t quarrel with the loose-leaf tea selection or the array of sweet treats at this freewheeling café in the city’s Northern Quarter.

YNYSHIR HALL, WALES ( It’s easy to fall under the spell of this gorgeously arty country house, where afternoon tea is served from noon.

The cake can be made MAKE AHEAD and iced up to 24 hours in advance, then stored in an airtight container. Keep the apple pieces small, MARY’S otherwise they may sink to TIPS the bottom of the cake batter. Coconut milk sometimes separates in the tin. Give it a good shake before opening and make sure the consistency is that of single cream. If the icing looks as if it has separated (perhaps if the coconut milk was added too quickly), add another tablespoon of icing sugar (sifted) to make it smooth again. • 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing • 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and finely diced (see Mary’s tips) • Finely grated zest 1 lemon and juice ½ • 225g caster sugar • 200g ground almonds • 6 medium free-range eggs, beaten • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut FOR THE COCONUT ICING

• 100g butter, softened • 200g icing sugar sifted • 3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (see Mary’s tips) YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Deep 23cm diameter loosebottomed tin 1 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Grease the tin with butter and line the base with baking paper. 2 Put the diced apple in a saucepan, add the lemon zest and juice and cook, stirring often, over a medium

heat for a 4-5 minutes. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the apple is soft. Set aside to cool. 3 Measure the sugar and butter into a mixing bowl with the almonds, eggs, vanilla extract and baking powder. Beat together with an electric whisk to combine. 4 Carefully fold in the cold apple mixture and 2 tbsp of the desiccated coconut. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for about 45-55 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool completely before removing from the tin. 5 To make the icing, measure the butter and icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Combine by hand or with an electric mixer, gradually adding the coconut milk a tablespoon at a time and mixing in carefully. Spread the icing over the top of the cold cake, then sprinkle with the remaining desiccated coconut. Cut the cake into wedges to serve. PER SERVING (FOR 10) 639kcals, 45.3g fat (22.2g saturated), 10.4g protein, 46.8g carbs (45.9g sugars), 0.8g salt, 1.1g fibre

NEXT MONTH If you only make one pudding in May, make it with rhubarb

make it sweet.

A moist, moreish cake for everyone to enjoy


Nan’s scones remind me not to take the simple things for granted When I was growing up, my nan Pauline was a feeder and her mum, my great-grandmother Lilly, was an award-winning baker (back in the 1920s and 30s, Woman’s Own magazine used to run cookery competitions…). It took Lilly’s death for me to find out about the awards she won. You know how it is: once they’re gone you have a mountain of regrets and ask the millions of questions you should have when they were still with you. As I was going through the belongings she left, my heart broke all over again thinking of the many baking recipes and skills I could have learned directly from her. So I took action. Now, every single time my nan bakes or is within scribbling distance of me, I ask her for her recipes – such as this one for her magic scones with a chewy, lemony top. I lived in London for nearly a decade and the first thing she would make for me on my visits home to Australia were these scones, always with her own apricot jam and freshly whipped cream. Back in London I’d bake them for a nostalgia fix. Not only did the scones remind me of her, but they also gave me a warning not to take the simple things for granted – like writing down that recipe or baking these scones with her. When she’s gone, they will be one thing I will make to get a much-missed dose of my nan. ↗ REBECCA SULLIVAN IS FOUNDER OF THE GRANNY SKILLS MOVEMENT AND DIRTY GIRL KITCHEN. FIND HER ON INSTAGRAM @GRANNYSKILLS


Lemon sugar cube scones MAKES 20. HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN, OVEN TIME 12-15 MIN

For soft scones, wrap REBECCA’S them in a tea towel as TIPS

soon as they come out of the oven and serve warm. If you prefer crusty scones, don’t wrap them, but leave to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. • 400g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting • 50g caster sugar • 1 tsp salt • 60g unsalted butter • 310ml buttermilk • Finely grated zest 2 lemons, juice 1 lemon • 20 sugar cubes • Milk to glaze 1 Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/gas 8 and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. 2 Pour in most of the buttermilk and mix with a butter knife. Add

the lemon zest and remaining buttermilk, then form the dough into a ball using your hands. 3 Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it a few times. Pat or roll out the dough to a 2cm thickness, then stamp out 3-4cm rounds with a scone/cookie cutter (or use the top of a round drinking glass). Bring the scraps together, then re-pat/roll and stamp again. You should have about 20 small scones. 4 Place the scones close together on the prepared baking sheet. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl, then drop in the sugar cubes. Turn them in the juice, then remove to a plate (discard the juice). Push one lemon sugar cube into the centre of each scone. Brush the tops with a little milk, then bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. The scones are best served on the day they’re made, with lashings of butter or jam and cream (see tips). PER SCONE 127kcals, 2.8g fat (1.7g saturated), 2.5g protein, 22.5g carbs (7.4g sugars), 0.4g salt, 0.8g fibre


For Rebecca Sullivan, an Aussie-born food writer and protector of ‘granny skills’, this recipe from her grandmother is one that will be immortalised – and cooked again and again

food memories.


Rebecca’s nan had a cake for bration

Henrietta knows the true value of business partnership


There’s a growing number of food companies putting more on the menu than just profit and growth. Alongside brands such as Innocent and Newman’s Own, the after-tax proceeds of which have poured millions into global charities, there are plenty of smaller, enlightened outfits injecting generosity into their business plans and soul into the food and drink they serve. Kerry Fowler meets three of them

food for thought.

“If you have an ethical angle to your job, it makes you feel proud enough to grin” HENRIETTA LOVELL, THE RARE TEA COMPANY ( Tea lady Henrietta Lovell set up The Rare Tea Company in 2004. She deals directly with responsible growers, personally knows the communities who are reliant on the harvest of the hand-crafted tea and regularly donates to charity.

When I started Rare Tea I was just thinking about bringing back great leaf tea to the UK. I was so naive… I hadn’t understood the set-up of the tea business, but working with the trade in India and Africa showed me how exploitative it can be. You see people living on £1 a day, with a life expectancy in their 30s, and it affects you. I realised there was a mission beyond bringing back great tea. I advocate strongly for direct trade – you’re less likely to practise unethically if you have one-to-one relationships with people. I’ve always visited our suppliers and like to know what’s happening in the regions they farm. I know if I guarantee a price for a harvest it will help the farmers thrive, put investment into their infrastructure and pay their workforce more. In the UK, Rare Tea created a breakfast blend for the Royal Air Force, RAF Tea For Heroes, with 10 per cent of the sale price – not just the profit – going to the RAF Association Wings Appeal, which raises funds to support serving and ex-RAF personnel and their families. We realised it was possible to build that into our structure. When you aren’t always looking at maximising profit, it’s far easier to follow through. I studied philosophy at university and believed people could change the world. Then I went to work for a corporate company and had money and a swanky apartment. But I felt I wasn’t doing anything apart from feathering my nest; I needed to make some changes. As you take smalls steps and gain confidence, you start to think more boldly about what you want to achieve. If we can get consumers to think about tea the way they do about wine, and buy it for quality, the farms we buy from can thrive like vineyards. This would have a ripple effect; the farm in Malawi that supplies Rare Tea employs 400-600 people but supports a community of 10,000. I first bought 40 kilos of tea from them – this year I bought four tonnes. Business is scaleable, and if you have an ethical angle to your job, it makes you feel proud enough to grin.

“Some of our homeless customers say our café is the only place where they know they’ll be treated like people” ALICE THOMPSON, SOCIAL BITE ( In 2012, Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson set up Social Bite: a Scottish café chain that donates its profits to charity, and where a quarter of the staff were formerly homeless.

When I was 19 and Josh was 24, we went to Bangladesh and learned about Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who designed structures for social business and micro-finance, where a small amount of money is given to people to, say, buy a sewing machine to earn a living. Then, in time, the loan is extended to others in the community. We were so inspired by the idea that we came back and set up a café based on those lines. At first we thought we’d simply be a social →


Alice meets George Clooney 85

food for thought.

Alice with Sonny (left) and Colin, both once homeless


Charity begins in the kitchen for Vietnamese chefs My Le (left) and Su Tran

“A small gesture has infinite worth beyond the cost” MY LE AND SU TRAN, MIEN TAY RESTAURANTS ( This husband-and-wife team own three Vietnamese restaurants in London, and donate a large percentage of their profits to help people back home in Vietnam, as well as in the UK. My Le explains why…

In Vietnam, food is special; we offer it to Buddha, and it brings people together. Charity and giving always start with food. I came to England in 2001 and met Su four years later. He was a chef, I was working as a cleaner, and we both loved the idea of setting up a restaurant that would bring authentic Vietnamese food to the UK. We borrowed money to set up and when we first opened we could only make a small offering, but as Mien Tay grew it was able to support people in Vietnam and also people who are struggling in the UK. We don’t give to charity, we give directly to those in need – we believe that this way the money has

greater value. When I go to Vietnam and I’m asked for help, I can give it immediately. Over the years we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to children living in poverty, and for building bridges, roads and schools for villages. When I visit Vietnam my bags are stuffed with clothes, toys and medicine. There, a family can survive on £50 a month and build a basic house for around £900, so money goes a long way. I’ve also worked with the Vietnamese Embassy to offer support to those in need who are alone or without family in the UK. And I offer food to British people who work for the community, such as social workers. A small gesture has infinite worth beyond the cost. The value of giving influences our employees because they’re proud of what we achieve together. But it’s also about being generous in spirit: it’s a good way to live.


business that gave all its profits away, but we’ve evolved into feeding and employing homeless people and supporting homeless charities. The profits we make (Josh and I take minimal salaries), go to a micro-loan foundation in Malawi, and we’re able to give money to other charities, too. We worked in events management before starting Social Bite and set up the Scottish Business Awards, where all of the proceeds go to a charity chosen by the keynote speaker (last year it was George Clooney). But it also gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of Social Bite. We now have two cafés in Edinburgh, two in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen. We also have a central production kitchen, which is good for staff who were once homeless and don’t have the confidence to work with the public. They’re taught how to cook and are able to build their social skills. We also run a Suspended Coffee and Food programme, through which customers can donate an amount of money so a person who is homeless can come and claim a sandwich and coffee later. In Edinburgh, customers who are homeless have said the café is the only place in the city they can turn up and be treated like people. If young teenagers can look at Social Bite and think, ‘I want to work for an outfit like that’… Well, that’s the whole point of what we’re doing.

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Does FAT make us FAT? For years we were told that dietary fat was bad for our health and our waistlines. But newer research shows that some fats are good for us, and that low-fat diets might actually cause us to pile on the pounds. Confused? Sue Quinn explores this weighty topic ILLUSTRATION KAVEL RAFFERTY


nce upon a time we were led to believe all fatty foods went straight to our thighs and clogged up our arteries along the way. But did they? It now appears the anti-fat message was vastly oversimplified, as today’s experts tell us small amounts of certain fats are good for us. Today, some doctors and dietitians go as far as to advise against low-fat diets for weight loss, arguing they may, in fact, have the opposite effect. But the evidence still isn’t clear-cut – health experts can’t agree on this line of thought, and while they’re at loggerheads, the food industry continues to market low-fat products as effective aids to shifting those unwanted


pounds. It’s no wonder many of us are scratching our heads in the supermarket aisle.

THE SCIENCE BIT What we do know is it’s essential to have some fat in the diet because it helps the body to absorb fatsoluble vitamins A, D and E. Cut it out and you may end up lacking in key nutrients. But we shouldn’t have too much, either – excess fat not used for energy is turned into body fat. Then again, so is unused protein and carbohydrate. Monounsaturated fats (in olive oil and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats (in vegetable oils and oily fish) are now known to be good for heart health. Saturated fats (in fatty cuts of meat and butter) are more

controversial; there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting not all types of saturated fat are as bad for us as previously thought, although the experts don’t all agree. It’s no surprise that fat in all its forms is a target for many people trying to lose weight. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. But according to some doctors and dietitians, there’s more to fat than just calories.

DOES EATING FAT MAKE YOU FAT? “It’s a myth that eating specifically high-fat foods makes you fat,” says Dr Walter Willett, chair of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

your health.

“Of course we can become fat by eating too many calories from fat or carbohydrates, but refined starches and sugar make it harder to control our intake of calories.” In a report in The Lancet last year, Dr Willett studied the effectiveness of 53 low-fat diets on weight loss and found they were no more successful than other diets. “Low-fat diets actually did worse than other diets for weight loss,” Dr Willett says, “probably because they leave us not satisfied and [still] hungry.” Not all the research is consistent, though. A study by the University of East Anglia last year analysed 32 separate low-fat diet trials and found participants consistently lost a small amount of weight. “But the weight loss might not have been due to the reduction in fat,” points out lead author Dr Lee Hooper. “It might have been due to an overall change in what people were eating, like cutting out burgers, for example. There might have been a similar result if they had cut back on sugar, but we don’t have the evidence to prove that,” she says.

INSIDE LOW-FAT FOODS Naturally low-fat foods such as fruit and vegetables are healthy choices, of course, because they’re full of essential nutrients as well as fibre. But do low-fat products such as yogurt, dressings and biscuits assist in weight loss? Dr Willet says no, because manufacturers add sugar and other

ingredients to low-fat or fat-free foods to make them palatable. “These products are often loaded with sugar and refined starch, and thus make it harder to control our calorie intake,” he says.

Cut out too much fat and you may end up lacking key nutrients Furthermore, a 2014 study by the Rotherham Institute For Obesity found 10 per cent of low-fat supermarket products contained more or the same calories as regular versions because of added sugar. Dr Aseem Malhotra, Londonbased cardiologist and adviser to the National Obesity Forum, argues that sugar, not fat, is the major cause of heart disease and obesity. “Full-fat foods tend to be more nutritious and satiating,” he says, “while sugar has no nutritional value [beyond carbohydrate] and actually promotes fat storage.” However, some dietitians say reduced-fat food can play a part in losing weight. “Ultimately, losing weight is about calories,” says Juliette Kellow, consultant nutritionist on delicious.’s sister title, Healthy Food Guide. “Foods high in fat tend to have more calories.” But she urges caution: “It’s important to read the nutrition labels because reduced fat doesn’t always mean reduced calories.”

THE BOTTOM LINE “Fat itself does not make us fat: excess fat and excess calories in any form make us fat,” says Anna Daniels, dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. “I don’t recommend a low-fat diet for overall weight loss – I recommend a balanced diet that includes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial to our health, and wholegrain carbohydrates.” So it seems the key to weight loss is not as simple as cutting out one type of food or heading for the lowfat aisle. It’s all about balance.

TRUE OR FALSE? Low-fat diets are guaranteed to help you lose weight T TRUE T FALSE

Foods labelled lowfat or fat-free can be loaded with sugar T TRUE T FALSE

Fat is not necessary for good health T TRUE T FALSE

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are generally better for health than saturated fat T TRUE T FALSE 89

Zero-calorie Truvia.® Leaves help make it sweet.

Being honest, we can’t take all the credit for our sweetener – praise is due in large part to those little sweethearts: the Stevia leaves. Thanks to all their hard work, you are now able to enjoy Truvia® with its sugar-like texture and calorie-free sweetness.

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Your guarantee for every recipe in this section: NO MORE THAN… • 10 ingredients • 30 min hands-on time • 650 calories per portion (but many of the recipes have fewer) • 10g sat fat per portion PLUS… • No unnecessary added sugar • Minimal washing up


There really are things you can eat that keep you feeling fuller for longer and give you more energy and it’s all about a food’s GI. Turn the page to find out what that means, along with 10 recipes that rate highly on the feelgood scale → 91

What is GI? A food’s GI, or glycaemic index, is a measure of how quickly it raises your blood sugar level when you eat it on its own. The index only applies to foods that contain carbohydrates. Foods that are broken down rapidly and send blood sugar levels shooting up, such as cakes, biscuits and white bread, have a high GI (56 or above). Beans, pulses and non-starchy veg cause only a gradual rise in blood sugar and have a low GI of 55 or below.

What are the benefits of eating low-GI foods? They can help stabilise blood sugar, help you feel fuller for longer and may help with weight control. People with type 2 diabetes can also eat low-GI foods to manage blood sugar levels. But don’t rely on GI alone. The way you cook foods, the ripeness of fruit/veg and adding fat/protein (which slow down carb absorption) also affect GI. So crisps have a lower GI than potatoes but aren’t necessarily ‘healthier’. Chocolate is high in sugar but has a medium GI because it also contains fat.


Beef stir-fry with cabbage and coconut SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN

• Sunflower oil • 2 British beef rump steaks (about 200g each) • 1 red onion, sliced • ½ red cabbage, shredded • ½ savoy cabbage, shredded • Juice 2 limes, plus wedges to serve • 3 tbsp soy sauce • 2 tbsp sriracha (or other chilli sauce) • 90g fresh coconut, in chunks • Bunch fresh coriander TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

• Drizzle toasted sesame oil 1 Heat a large frying pan or

Watch your portions It’s easy to include low GI food but you still need to keep an eye on portion sizes, as the amount of carbohydrate you eat is also important. Watermelon, for example, has a higher GI than pasta but contains less carbohydrate. So if you eat similar quantities of both, the pasta will have more impact on your blood sugar levels because it contains more carbohydrate.

Low-GI foods for a healthy diet • Dried or tinned beans, such as kidney beans, haricot beans and chickpeas • Lentils • Grainy breads: granary, pumpernickel, rye • Porridge/wholegrain cereals • Brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, pearl barley • Wholewheat pasta cooked al dente • Green leafy vegetables, salad vegetables, green beans, peas, carrots, boiled sweet potato • Apples and pears • Stone fruits, such as cherries, plums and peaches • Peanuts and cashew nuts

Foods to avoid/eat in moderation • White bread • Processed and sugary breakfast cereals • Cakes and biscuits • Sugary soft drinks

wok over a high heat with a splash of oil. When the pan is searing hot, fry the steaks for 2½ minutes on each side, then slice and set aside. 2 Add more oil to the pan and fry the onion for 2 minutes, then add the cabbages and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, chilli sauce, half the coconut and half the coriander to the pan. Add the beef and any juices, then stir in the remaining coriander and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. 3 Serve with lime wedges, the remaining coriander and a drizzle of sesame oil, if you like. PER SERVING 360kcals, 21.1g fat (9.8g saturated), 25.5g protein, 11.9g carbs (10.9g sugars), 2g salt, 8.4g fibre

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Baked salmon with pea and mint houmous SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 15 MIN

• 4 sustainable salmon fillets • Juice 2 lemons • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle • Bunch fresh mint • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 200g frozen peas, defrosted • 2 tbsp tahini • 50ml greek yogurt • 150g rocket • 100g radishes, quartered 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. Put the salmon fillets in an oven tray, then squeeze over half the lemon juice, add a drizzle of oil and a few mint sprigs, then season with salt and pepper.

Add 50ml cold water, cover the tray with foil, then bake for 13-15 minutes until the salmon is just cooked. 2 In a food processor, whizz the rest of the mint with the chickpeas, peas, tahini, yogurt and 2 tbsp oil. Season to taste and set aside. If you don’t have a food processor, coarsely chop the mint, then pound to a thick, coarse mash in a large pestle and mortar with the chickpeas, peas and tahini. Mix in the yogurt and oil. 3 Mix the rocket and radishes, then lightly drizzle with oil and the remaining lemon juice. Add salt and pepper. Serve the salmon with the pea and mint houmous and rocket salad. PER SERVING 609kcals, 39.2g fat (7.3g saturated), 42.8g protein, 17.2g carbs (3g sugars), 0.2g salt, 7.8g fibre →


Butternut and bean stew with cauliflower ‘rice’ SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN

• 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm dice • 1 cauliflower, quartered • Olive oil for drizzling • 2 red onions, finely sliced • 1 tbsp clear honey • 2 tbsp Henderson’s Relish (or Worcestershire sauce if you’re not vegetarian) • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes • ½-1 tbsp Tabasco (to taste) • 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed • Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped 1 Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the squash over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry on kitchen paper. Add the

cauliflower to the water and boil for 10 minutes until just tender, then drain and dry. 2 Meanwhile, in a large deep frying pan, heat a glug of oil and add the onions. Fry for 5 minutes, then add the honey, Worcestershire sauce and chopped tomatoes. 3 Turn up the heat and bubble the tomato sauce for 10 minutes, then stir in the butternut squash, Tabasco and kidney beans. Gently simmer until ready to serve. 4 If you have a food processor, whizz the cauliflower to a crumb texture. If you don’t have a food processor, chop it very finely, taking care not to burn your fingers. Put in a medium bowl and stir in the parsley, a glug of oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Serve with the bean stew. PER SERVING 341kcals, 7g fat (1g saturated), 13.5g protein, 48.3g carbs (28.6g sugars), 0.4g salt, 15.5g fibre 93


Wholewheat spaghetti with rocket and goat’s cheese pesto SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15-20 MIN

• 350g wholewheat spaghetti • 140g rocket • 2 garlic cloves • 60g walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan • Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon • 40g soft goat’s cheese plus 60g to serve (we used Chavroux) • 80ml olive oil • Chilli flakes to serve

1 Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente, or according to the packet instructions. 2 While the pasta is cooking, whizz the rocket, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, 40g goat’s cheese and some salt and pepper to a rough paste in a small processor, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running. (Or pound to a paste in a large pestle and mortar, then stir in the oil). 3 Drain the pasta, reserving 2 tbsp of the pasta water. Tip the pasta back into the pan and toss in the pesto, lemon zest and reserved cooking water. Serve topped with dollops of the remaining goat’s cheese and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. PER SERVING 643kcals, 33.8g fat (8.1g saturated), 20.9g protein, 58g carbs (4.1g sugars), 0.4g salt, 11.6g fibre


Leek and kale pearl barley with crispy lardons SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 15 MIN

• Olive oil for frying • 3 leeks, finely sliced • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 150g British free-range smoked bacon lardons • 250g pearl barley • 1 litre good quality chicken stock • 200g chopped curly kale • 3 tbsp crème fraîche • Juice 1 lemon • Finely chopped fresh parsley (optional) 1 Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leeks. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic, half the bacon lardons and the pearl barley.

Gently fry for a further 2-3 minutes, then slowly start to add the chicken stock. 2 As the pearl barley absorbs the stock, keep slowly adding more. When three quarters of the stock has been added (this will take 15-20 minutes), pour in the remaining stock, then gently simmer until the barley is cooked (another 10-15 minutes). 3 Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat a little oil and the remaining lardons, fry until crisp, then set aside. Stir the kale into the barley in batches and simmer for a few minutes. 4 Season to taste, stir in the crème fraîche and lemon juice, then serve sprinkled with parsley if you wish. PER SERVING 468kcals, 20g fat (6.9g saturated), 14.9g protein, 54.5g carbs (3.4g sugars), 1.9g salt, 5.5g fibre

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Warm butter bean salad with chorizo SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN

• 200g mixed salad leaves • 60g manchego cheese TO SERVE

• Lemon wedges • 4 banana shallots, finely sliced • 4 celery sticks, finely sliced • 2 tbsp olive oil • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced • 200g cooking chorizo • 30ml medium-dry sherry (or red wine) • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed • Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 In a medium pan, fry the shallots and celery in the olive oil over a medium heat until softened and translucent (about 8-10 minutes), then add the garlic and fry for another minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. 2 Slice the chorizo into 2cm rounds and fry for 7-8 minutes, then pour in the sherry or wine

and cook for 4-5 minutes until the chorizo is coated in a sticky glaze. Return the shallots, garlic and celery to the pan with the butter beans to warm through, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. 3 Arrange the warm mixture on a bed of mixed salad leaves, top with shavings of manchego, then serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the leaves. PER SERVING 460kcals, 28.3g fat (11.1g saturated), 24.6g protein, 19.4g carbs (4.1g sugars), 2.2g salt, 10.4g fibre → 95


Charred spring onion and sweet potato salad SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN

• 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing • 1½ tbsp za’atar (or, if you can’t find za’atar, an equal mixture of dried thyme and sesame seeds) • 250g spring onions, trimmed and cut in half • ½ garlic clove, crushed • 1½ tbsp cider vinegar • 150g lamb’s lettuce • 60g feta, crumbled • 60g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan 1 Put the whole

sweet potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes until tender but still firm. Drain, slice into 1cm discs and put in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and the 1 tbsp za’atar. Turn gently to coat. 2 Put a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Brush the spring onions with olive oil, then griddle for 1-2 minutes on each side until soft and marked with char lines. Set aside in a large salad bowl. 3 Put the cooked sweet potato slices in the griddle pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until char lines appear (you might need to do this in batches). Add the charred sweet potatoes to the bowl with the spring onions. 4 To make the dressing, mix 2 tbsp olive oil with the garlic, cider vinegar and ½ tbsp za’atar. Add the lamb’s lettuce, feta and toasted pumpkin seeds to the griddled veg, then toss together with the dressing. PER SERVING 497kcals, 20.7g fat (4.9g saturated), 11.5g protein, 60g carbs (19.6g sugars), 0.7g salt, 12.4g fibre

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Lentil, chicken, spring greens and broccoli soup SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN

• Olive oil for frying • 1 onion, finely chopped • 4 carrots, cut into small chunks • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped • 500g free-range chicken breasts, thinly sliced • 1 litre chicken stock • 250g pack Merchant Gourmet cooked puy lentils • 200g spring greens, shredded • Juice 1 lemon • Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley (optional), coarsely chopped 1 Heat a glug of oil in a large deep saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat, then add the carrots and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. 2 When the veg have a little colour and are starting to soften, add the chicken and fry for a couple of minutes with the veg, then pour in the stock. 3 Add the puy lentils and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the spring greens and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes more. To serve, stir in the parsley and season to taste, then ladle into bowls. PER SERVING 288kcals, 9.8g fat (1.8g saturated), 35.1g protein, 11.4g carbs (6g sugars), 1.3g salt, 7g fibre


Prawn and brown rice pilaf SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN

• 2 x 250g packs Tilda steamed brown basmati • 30g butter • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 tsp ground coriander • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 150g cooked sustainable king prawns

• 100g frozen peas, defrosted • 2 spring onions, finely sliced • 50g cashew nuts, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan • Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

• Lemon wedges and yogurt 1 Cook the rice in the microwave according to the packet instructions. Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and gently fry for

1-2 minutes. Add the ground coriander and turmeric, then cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add the hot rice and prawns, stir to combine, then cook for a further 2 minutes or until thoroughly warmed through. 2 Remove from the heat and stir in the peas, spring onions, cashew nuts and coriander. Serve with lemon wedges and yogurt. PER SERVING 348kcals, 15.7g fat (5.9g saturated), 14.5g protein, 34.7g carbs (1.9g sugars), 1g salt, 4.9g fibre → 97

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To roast your own peppers, scorch them under the grill until blackened. Cool in a freezer bag for 10 minutes, then peel off the burnt skin. Discard the seeds. You’ll need 4 peppers here. FOOD TEAM’S TIP

• 100g jumbo rolled oats • 100g walnuts, toasted in a dry pan • 1½ tbsp dried oregano

NEXT MONTH The hall of fame – your favourite weekday meals 98

• 4 free-range skinless chicken breasts • Olive oil for frying • 1 large onion • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 2 x 290g jars roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips (see tip) • 2 free-range eggs, beaten TO SERVE

• Lemon wedges and chopped fresh flatleaf parsley 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. Put the oats, walnuts and ½ tbsp oregano in a food

processor and pulse to a crumb-like texture (or chop very finely). Season well. 2 Put each chicken breast between 2 pieces of baking paper and flatten with a rolling pin until around 2cm thick. 3 Pour a glug of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, peppers and rest of the oregano. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste. 4 Meanwhile, put the eggs in a shallow bowl and the walnut/ oat mix onto a large flat plate.

Dip the chicken breasts into the egg, followed by the walnut/oat mix, then put on a baking sheet. 5 Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden (in 2 batches if need be). Return them to the baking sheet, then bake for 10 minutes, turning once. Slice the chicken, then serve with the peperonata. PER SERVING 578kcals, 27.5g fat (4.2g saturated), 50.7g protein, 28.2g carbs (10g sugars), 1g salt, 7.4g fibre For more ways to use jumbo rolled oats, see Loose Ends


Walnut and oat crusted chicken with peperonata


HOLD THE CHEESE... When meat and fish are no-gos, it’s all too easy to reach for the cheese to add protein and an umami hit to vegetarian meals. But along with that flavour comes a lot of richness and calories and predictability too. These creative recipes are defiantly cheese-free, yet there are flavours in abundance to savour and share

Spiced spinach and potato cakes with poached eggs and stir-fried kale, p102


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Stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce, p102

Spiced spinach and potato cakes with poached eggs and stir-fried kale SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 35 MIN

Make the cakes up to the MAKE point of frying in step 4, then AHEAD keep covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. You can use leftover mashed FOOD TEAM’S potato. When poaching eggs TIPS use very fresh ones as they’ll hold together better than older eggs. • 600g desiree potatoes, chopped into large chunks (see tips) • 4-5 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds, toasted in a dry pan • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 200g spinach • 4 very fresh, large free-range eggs (see tips) • Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped FOR THE STIR-FRIED KALE

• 1 tbsp olive oil • 200g kale • 2 garlic cloves, very finely sliced 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with boiling water from a kettle, then simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. 2 Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium frying pan and fry the onion until soft and translucent. Add the mustard seeds, cumin and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes more, then set aside. 3 When the potatoes are cooked, drain well, return to the pan, then mash until smooth. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over boiling water from a kettle to wilt it. Press the spinach into the colander with the back of a spoon, squeezing out as much water as possible. 4 In a large mixing bowl, mix the mashed potatoes, spiced onions and spinach with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then form the mixture 102

into 8 even-size cakes. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the cakes, 4 at a time, for 3-4 minutes on each side until they have a bit of a crust, then carefully lift onto a baking tray in a single layer. You may need to add more oil to the pan. When all are fried, put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 5 Meanwhile cook the kale. Wipe the pan clean, then heat 1 tbsp oil over a high heat and fry the kale, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes until the kale is tender but still has a slight bite. Add the garlic for the last 2 minutes, then taste and season. 6 For the poached eggs, fill a large saucepan or large deep frying pan with water and bring it to a very gentle simmer – the water should barely be moving. Crack the eggs into the water and poach without touching for 3-4 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Serve 2 cakes per person topped with an egg and some coriander, with the stir-fried kale alongside. PER SERVING 444kcals, 25.7g fat (4.4g saturated), 16.9g protein, 32.6g carbs (4.9g sugars), 0.5g salt, 7.6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A light, juicy red such as a beaujolais – or even a strong cuppa – would hit the mark.

Stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN

• 50g butter • 4 large red onions, finely sliced • 2 tsp light brown sugar • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 10 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked • 8 whole outer leaves from a savoy cabbage • 250g cooked basmati rice (you can use a pouch of ready-cooked rice to save time) • 400g tin green lentils, drained and rinsed • 100ml vegetable stock, hot • Small bunch fresh basil, chopped, plus extra leaves to serve


• Olive oil • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes • 100ml red wine • 1 tbsp caster sugar • 2 tbsp dried oregano 1 To make the tomato sauce, heat a large glug of olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion for around 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, sugar and oregano, then simmer over a medium heat for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 2 For the filling, heat 30g of the butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the onions with the sugar for about 15 minutes until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and thyme for the last 2 minutes, then spoon onto a plate. 3 While the onions are frying, prepare the cabbage. Set a steamer (or colander) over a large pan filled with 5cm simmering water. Put the outer leaves of the cabbage in the steamer (colander), cover and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove the leaves, let them cool slightly, then cut out the thick part of the stem at the bottom of each one in a V-shaped notch. 4 Heat the remaining 20g butter in the same pan used to cook the red onions. When melted, stir in the rice and lentils until well coated. Pour in the vegetable stock and bubble for 2-3 minutes until well reduced. Season liberally with salt and pepper, then stir in the basil, followed by the reserved onions. 5 To assemble the dish, lay a cabbage leaf flat on the work surface. Put an eighth of the filling mixture along the centre spine of the leaf, leaving 3cm uncovered at each end. Fold in the ends over the filling, then fold over one side of the leaf to cover the filling and the folded-over ends. Roll the →

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Smoky sweetcorn fritters with tarragon yogurt SERVES 4 (MAKES 12 FRITTERS). HANDS-ON TIME 35 MIN

• 90g self-raising flour • 100ml milk • 1 large free-range egg • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika (also called pimentón dulce) • 2 x 340g tins sweetcorn in water, drained • 5 spring onions, finely sliced • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped • 6 tbsp vegetable oil for frying


• 150g natural yogurt • Small handful tarragon, roughly chopped • Juice ½ lemon, plus wedges to serve • Green salad to serve 1 Put the flour into a medium mixing bowl, then add the milk slowly, mixing it in using a balloon whisk. Add the egg and stir until fully incorporated, then stir in the paprika, sweetcorn, spring onions, crushed garlic and chopped red chilli. 2 Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Spoon 3-4 ladlefuls of batter into the pan at a time, to make 3-4 fritters, then fry for 3-4 minutes on each

side, flipping them over when they’re golden underneath. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper while you make the rest, adding oil to the pan each time. 3 Mix the yogurt with the tarragon and lemon juice in a bowl and serve alongside the fritters, with a green salad and lemon wedges for squeezing. PER SERVING 401kcals, 22.4g fat (3.2g saturated), 10.6g protein, 36.8g carbs (12.8g sugars), 0.4g salt, 4.8g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Chill a torrontés from Argentina – the spicy lime and fresh kiwi fruit flavours will cut through the richness of the fritters perfectly.


• 200g barley couscous • Finely grated zest 1 lemon • 250ml vegetable stock, hot • 150ml boiling water FOR THE HERBY DRESSING

• Juice 1 lemon • 3 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp tahini • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 50g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan • 50g sultanas • Large handful fresh mint, chopped • Small handful fresh coriander, chopped • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped • Yogurt and chilli flakes (optional) to serve

Spiced roast cauliflower with barley couscous

NEXT MONTH Vegetarian main courses worthy of a dinner party

now-covered part of the filling onto the other side of the cabbage leaf to complete the parcel. 6 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Put the stuffed leaf in a deep serving dish with the seam of the roll facing down. Repeat with the remaining 7 leaves, working quickly. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover, scatter with basil leaves and serve 2 per person. PER SERVING 630kcals, 18.7g fat (7.9g saturated), 14.6g protein, 88.4g carbs (28.9g sugars), 0.7g salt, 15.5g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE These taste best of all with a cool, peppery, dry white such as a picpoul de pinet. For ways to use up leftover savoy cabbage see Loose Ends


Spiced roast cauliflower with barley couscous SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN, OVEN TIME 25 MIN

The couscous can be made MAKE ahead and kept covered in AHEAD the fridge for up to a day. FOR THE CAULIFLOWER

• 1 medium cauliflower, outer leaves and thick stem removed, cut into florets • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges • 3 tbsp olive oil • ½ tbsp ground cumin, • ½ tbsp ground coriander • 1 tsp chilli flakes – preferably aleppo (see p40)

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Put the barley couscous in a large mixing bowl, add the lemon zest, then pour over the stock and boiling water. Stir gently, cover the bowl with cling film, then set aside for 5 minutes. Once all the water has been absorbed, fluff up the couscous slightly using a fork, then set aside to cool. 2 Put the cauliflower, peppers and red onion into a large baking tray and toss in the olive oil. Mix all the spices together in a small bowl, then sprinkle them over the vegetables, tossing well to coat. Season well, then roast in the oven for 25 minutes, turning halfway, until the edges start to blacken. 3 For the dressing, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and garlic in a small bowl, season well with salt and pepper, then gently stir into the couscous along with the almonds, sultanas, herbs and the roasted vegetables. Serve with yogurt on the side and, if you like, an extra sprinkling of chilli flakes. PER SERVING 588kcals, 28.7g fat (3.6g saturated), 17.4g protein, 60.1g carbs (19.8g sugars), 0.6g salt, 9.7g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A refreshing French sauvignon blanc from Touraine or Bordeaux.

lighter eating.



Our slimmed-down bake goes easy on the fat but still serves up a hearty portion of comfort Lighter chicken and bacon pie SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, OVEN TIME 45 MIN

By using olive oil in the HOW WE pastry topping instead of DID IT butter, we cut down on the saturated fat, and grating the pastry over the top uses less pastry than a rolled lid, further cutting calories. Rather than the usual white sauce, made with butter and milk/cream, we used a lighter, velouté sauce, made with stock and cider, and enriched with a little cream. FOR THE PASTRY TOPPING

• 250g plain flour • 120ml olive oil • 1 tsp salt • 1 medium free-range egg, beaten



• 1-2 tbsp olive oil • 4 leeks, finely sliced • 150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered • 80g British free-range smoked bacon lardons • 6 British free-range skinless and boneless chicken thighs, sliced • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • A few fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard • 4 tbsp plain flour • 100ml dry cider





44.3g fat (21.9g saturated)

24g fat (5g saturated)

35.6g protein

26.7g protein

39.8g carbs (5.2g sugars)

42.9g carbs (2.7g sugars)

1.8g salt

1.5g salt

4.7g fibre

5g fibre

• 250ml chicken stock • 2 tbsp single cream • Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped 1 Begin by making the pastry. Put the flour, oil, salt and egg in a large bowl and mix well, first using a wooden spoon, then your hands, until the pastry comes together. Shape the pastry into a disc, then wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge until needed. 2 Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/gas 6. To make the filling, heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring to prevent the leek from burning. 3 Add the bacon and chicken pieces and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, mustard and plain flour, then cook for 2 minutes more. Add the cider and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the stock. Taste and season, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and parsley, then pour the chicken mixture

into a 1.8 litre or 2 litre pie dish and leave to cool slightly. 4 Coarsely grate the chilled pastry to a breadcrumb texture, then sprinkle over the pie filling in an even layer. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes until the topping is golden and crisp. Stand for 5 minutes before serving with green veg. 105


LOOSE ENDS Don’t let this month’s special ingredients linger in your kitchen – make the most of them with these smart and easy ideas

BUBBLE AND FROM STUFFED SQUEAK CABBAGE ROLLS WITH Roughly shred TOMATO SAUCE, P102 leftover cabbage and boil for 3-4 minutes, then drain. Heat a knob of butter in a large frying pan. Fry 2 chopped onions and a garlic clove until soft, add the cabbage and fry for a few minutes longer. Add leftover (or shop-bought) mashed potato, mix well, then leave for 3-4 minutes to form a golden crust on the bottom. Turn the mix over and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden on that side, too. CREAMY SAVOY CABBAGE Boil finely shredded cabbage for 2 minutes until just tender, drain and pat dry. Gently heat a knob of butter in a medium pan with a splash of double cream. When the butter has melted and the cream is steaming, stir into the cabbage with 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg.

KECAP MANIS ASIAN STIRFRIED CHICKEN Cut boneless chicken breasts into strips and lightly coat in kecap manis, a squeeze of lime juice and a splash of soy sauce. Stir-fry with sliced veg over a high heat. Drizzle over toasted sesame oil and serve with noodles. PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE Mix 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, 2 tbsp kecap manis, 1 tbsp warm water, 1 tbsp FROM MALAYSIAN SLOW COOKED BEEF CURRY, P59


honey and a generous squeeze of lime juice in a small bowl. Use as a sauce to serve with pad thai, or as a quick satay sauce for chicken skewers.

PISTACHIOS PUNCHY PESTO Put a large handful each of basil and parsley, and 1 garlic clove into a mini food processor with a generous squeeze of lemon, then whizz, adding 1 tbsp water if needed. Add 2 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios and pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, pour in extra-virgin olive oil until the mixture resembles a wet paste. Season well and serve tossed into pasta, or as a dip. FROM PISTACHIO, CARDAMOM AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CAKE, P110

AMARETTO LIQUEUR AMARETTO SOUR Mix amaretto with lemon juice and sugar to taste, and serve over ice in a tumbler with a twist of lemon. Coat the rim of the glass in sugar if you like it sweeter. BROWNIES WITH AMARETTO CHERRIES Put drained maraschino cherries from a jar into a bowl and pour in 2-3 tbsp amaretto. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes. Prepare a brownie mixture (find a brownie recipe at and, in the final step before baking, drain the cherries, then stir them into the brownie mix. FROM RHUBARB AND CUSTARD TRIFLE WITH AMARETTO SYLLABUB, P46



ORANGE AND CURRANT PANCAKES Make some pancake batter (find a recipe at delicious, then stir in a handful of currants, 1 tbsp orange liqueur and a grating of orange zest. Fry the pancakes as normal. SUN-DRIED TOMATO, FETA AND CURRANT COUSCOUS Add a handful of currants to uncooked couscous in a heatproof bowl. Following the packet instructions, pour over hot stock to cook the couscous. Stir through chopped coriander and parsley, sun-dried tomatoes with some of their oil, crumbled feta and steamed green beans.

APPLE CRUMBLE Put sliced cooking apples in a dish, scatter well with caster sugar and add a sprinkling of cinnamon. Rub 2 parts flour into 1 part butter, then mix in 1 part brown sugar and a handful of jumbo oats. Scatter over the fruit, then bake in a medium oven until the juices are bubbling through and the topping is golden. LIGHTER BIRCHER MUESLI Put 250g jumbo oats in a bowl with 300ml water, the juice of 1 lemon, 2-3 tbsp greek yogurt, 1 tbsp clear honey and a small handful of sultanas. Leave overnight, then stir in chopped apple and pear or other fruit.







A PRIL 2016


LOTTIE COVELL Deputy food editor

TECHNIQUE: BEAT BUTTER INTO BRIOCHE DOUGH p109 If you’re planning to make brioche (see our special 16-page bread pull-out) and you don’t have a stand mixer, it’s time to roll up your sleeves…

ELLA TARN Cookery assistant


LUCAS HOLLWEG Chef and food writer

It may be the staff of life but things can go wrong when you make your daily bread. Follow these troubleshooting tips and you’ll be fine.

XANTHE CLAY Chef, writer, and preserves & freezing queen

THE CHALLENGE: FRUIT CURD p115 CHARLIE TURNBULL Cheese expert & owner of Dorset deli Turnbulls



It’s a favourite that takes us back to childhood tarts, yet so few people make their own. Here’s how to do it, avoiding the pitfalls. As well as classic lemon curd, find recipes for lime and passion fruit versions.

THIS MONTH IN OUR TEST KITCHEN... As the delicious. food team cook and test recipes, there’s constant tinkering and fervent discussion: timesaving ideas; new tricks we’ve heard of; some technique we’ve dreamed up and want to try… Then there are the questions and input we get from colleagues as they come to see what On these pages, our aim (with help from our regular experts) is to reproduce that test atmosphere, sharing the most useful ideas and tips we’ve discovered. It’s cookery gold!







1 PART MEAT For a richly flavoured stew or casserole, use roughly the same volume of mirepoix (the French culinary name for a mix of chopped onions, carrots and celery) as cubed meat. The veg will give you your base, which you can build on later with other flavourings. For each bowl of cubed stewing beef, you’ll need a bowl of mirepoix, cut about 1cm square. Using 1 medium onion for every medium carrot and large stick of celery will give a good balance of flavours. You can also add some chopped leek and chopped garlic. Season the meat, brown in oil in the


1 PART VEGETABLES casserole on the hob, then remove. Gently fry the mirepoix and any robust herbs (such as bay leaves, thyme and rosemary) in the casserole with a good pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes until soft. You can stir in a bit of tomato purée at this point, then get the browned bits up from the base of the pot – a technique known as deglazing – with a few glugs of wine (cider and beer also work). Simmer until the liquid thickens a little, then return the meat to the pan. Season, add stock to cover the meat, then cover and cook in a 150°C/ 130°C fan/gas 2 oven until tender.

True or f THE CLAIM FRESH PASTA I BETTER THAN ANSWER FALSE They’re both equally go but they have different u Fresh pasta goes best wi dairy-based sauces, whil dried works with oil-base rich or meaty sauces. It’s about texture – dried pasta holds up better against a heavy, robust sauce than the more delicate fresh stuff.

DO I NEED A... GRANTON EDGE KNIFE? Ne ever heard of it? Granton is a British knife manufacturer w whose name has become s ynonymous with a particula k kind of scalloped blade desig S Similar designs by other c companies are often referred t as ‘granton’. to The indentations are meant t prevent whatever you’re to c cutting from sticking to the b blade. On original Granton k knives, the scallops alternate o either side of the blade and on g to the edge. go This type of knife is available in many designs, but a long blade – for slicing ham and smoked fish – is probably the best. Deputy editor Susan Low recommends the Raymond Blanc 8 inch carving knife (£25;


NETTLES Eating these weeds seems less weird when you know they’re from the mint family. Now you can get your revenge on the prickly beasts by cooking them. Small shoots from spring nettles are best, so pack your Marigolds next time you take a country walk and pick the top 15cm or so of plants. Avoid any next to busy roads or that have tassel-like flowers. A carrier bag full will be enough to get you started.

Make nettle tea the nettles into and hanging own to dry. the leaves (the will render tingless), le, then pack rs. Infuse oonful in ot water for a soothing drink.

WHY DO SOME JELLIES J FAIL TO SET? Did you know it’s easier to make jelly with som me fruit than with others? A ny fruit juice or pulp can be turned into jelly using gelatine, but some need a little help. Raw pineapple, papaya, m mango, melon and kiwi all contain c enzymes that break k down the structure of the gel atine, but cooking them first solves s the problem. Poach in a syrup made from equal qu uantities of sugar and water, with a little lemon or lime juice added in.

How to beat butter into brioche dough by hand Making brioche is a tricky job, made far easier if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook. But it’s possible to do it by hand. Here’s how...



vibrant green nettle sting your nettles, emoved, into a pan of water – this kills the 1 minute, then drain iquidiser. Freeze in ost, season, then to eat with fish ost the flavour of a and potato soup.





Once the dough has been made and has risen, knock it back, then transfer to a work surface. Put one lump of butter at a time in the dough, bury it, then pull the dough up and slap it down on itself repeatedly until the butter has been incorporated. Keep repeating this process until the butter has been used up. Don’t add more butter until the last lump has been completely incorporated. The dough will stretch further the more butter you work in. Once all the butter has been added, pull the edges up and over into the centre a few times (to disstribute the air), then hape and prove or roll out, sh de epending on the recipe.





Want a brioche recipe? Try the sticky breakfast brioche in our Collector’s Edition bread recipes

DRIED FRUIT RESCUE Got any wizened old dried fruit that needs rescuing? Cover it with water, fruit juice or booze, then simmer in a pan (or microwave) briefly. Leave to cool, drain well, then put the plumped-up fruit to good use. → COOK’S TIP 109



HOW TO MAKE THE LIGHTEST OF CAKES Chetna Makan was a popular contestant on the 2014 Great British Bake Off, where her inventive flavour combinations, often referencing her Indian heritage, won over both judges. This recipe is from her book, The Cardamom Trail: Chetna Bakes with Flavours of the East, out 21 April (£20; Mitchell Beazley).

Pistachio, cardamom and white chocolate cake


2 x 20cm round cake tins


Keep the cake in an airtight container MAKE for up to 4 days. Freeze the un-iced AHEAD sponges, wrapped, for up to 1 month. To remove seeds from cardamom FOOD TEAM’S pods, crack them open using a TIPS rolling pin, then pick out the seeds. • 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing • 225g caster sugar • 4 large free-range eggs • 250g self-raising flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed to a powder in a pestle and mortar (see tip) • 100ml milk • 50g shelled, unsalted pistachios, plus a handful extra, all roughly chopped • 50g white chocolate chips FOR THE ICING

• 150g white chocolate, broken in pieces • 150g unsalted butter, softened • Few drops vanilla extract

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease the tins, then line with baking paper. 2 Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring each one is incorporated before adding the next. Add the flour, baking powder, cardamom and milk, then whisk for 1 minute. Fold in the 50g pistachios and white chocolate chips, then fill the tins with the batter. Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins. 3 For the icing, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of just steaming water until melted, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water. Set aside to cool slightly. Cream the butter with an electric mixer, then beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla until light and creamy. 4 Remove the cooled sponges from the tins. Spread half the icing on 1 sponge, top with the second, then spread the rest of the icing on top. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios, then leave for 20 minutes before slicing. PER SERVING 530kcals, 35.5g fat (20.5g saturated), 7.7g protein, 44.5g carbs (28.7g sugars), 0.4g salt, 0.8g fibre

Most herbs, spices and citrus flavours can be infused into oil – either olive oil or one with a more neutral flavour. Once the flavouring has been prepared (see below), the basic method is the same: add the flavouring to the oil and heat for a few minutes until just bubbling, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse until completely cool. Strain out the aromatics through a muslin-lined sieve, without pressing, and pour the oil into sterilised bottles. Keep chilled and use within 2 months. Please note: you need to strain out the fresh herbs and chillies as, once they’re immersed in oil, they could become a breeding ground for botulismcausing bacteria. HARDY HERBS Wash herbs such as rosemary and thyme, then leave to dry thoroughly. Crush lightly before heating in the oil. SPICES Toast lightly in a dry pan until fragrant, grind coarsely, then add to the oil. CHILLI Use dried whole chillies or dried chilli flakes. CITRUS PEEL Pare off carefully.



Whipping cream: how to identify the peak stage



MARINATING FOOD? It depends what you’re hoping to achieve... MEAT If you want to tenderise meat or poultry, most marinades won’t help much. Although acidic marinades do break down the structure of meat (by ‘denaturing’ the proteins), they only penetrate a few millimetres, so most of the meat will still be tough, even if you marinate for days – and by then the outside will probably have turned to mush. Nor, generally speaking, do the flavours of a marinade soak deep into the centre of the meat. The real reason for marinating meat is to add flavour to the outside (by getting it into the crevices on the surface), then using the marinade and any juices to cook the meat in. Depending on the ingredients, a marinade can also help create a good crust on grilled and roasted meat – sugary marinades are particularly good for this as they will help caramelisation on the outside. FISH AND SHELLFISH Because of their smaller aller size – e – shellfish greater ratio of surface area to volume and certain open-textured fish work well with marinades – although they shouldn’t be marinated for too long or acid in the marinade can start to ‘cook’ the fish, turning it mushy. VEGETABLES Porous vegetables, such ass ms, aubergines, courgettes and mushroom will suck up flavourful ingredients quickly and greedily.





Soft peaks are achieved when the cream is thick enough to form soft shapes/ peaks just firm enough to hold briefly as you lift the whisk, then fall back into the cream. This is the best consistency for folding cream into other mixtures, such as the blancmange on p48. Medium peaks are the best consistency for sandwiching sponges together – the cream holds its shape well but is still soft and hasn’t started to become grainy. When you lift out the whisk, peaks will form but they will bend over at the end. Firm peaks This is when the peaks stand proud and don’t fall over when the whisk is lifted. You need firm, but not too firm peaks for piping, as firm-peak cream is liable to split when it warms up a little in the icing bag.




FREEZE NUTS TO STOP THEM GOING RANCID Nuts go off because of their high fat content. Almonds and brazil nuts last longest but most m other nuts go off in a few months – and how long weree they hanging around before you boughtt them? Freeze in the packet, or toastt in the oven for 8-10 minutes untill golden, then cool and freeze. Marrk with the date of freezing and storre for 6 months. Add to dishes frozen – they’ll defrost in seconds – or warm w in an oven before using. → COOK’S TIP 111


STALKS There’s more to broccoli than just florets. The stalks m may have a different texture, but the flavour is pretty much the same. Thee secret is to slice it thinly. • Cook sliices of the stalk with the florets and serve together • Steam slices until soft, whizz with butter and d parmesan to make a purée, th hen dollop into soups • Chop fin nely to use in risotto or stirfries, or to o add to a creamy pasta sauce • Shred finely to make a crunchy raw broccoli slaw, dressed with punchy A sian flavours such as chilli, lime, ginger, garlic and soy THROW IT

THE PERFECT CHEESE MATCH What to try… Pecorino sardo or pecorino romano with a homemade pecorino wild garlic pesto (find a recipe at wildgarlic). Why does the match work? Pecorino is a generic Italian word for sheep’s cheese – sardo and romano refer to the regional style. This is a cheese that needs company to be at its best. It’s wild garlic season, and when it’s made into a pesto the aromatic woodland flavours match pecorino’s nuttiness extraordinarily well.


DECORATIVE ICE CUBES These pretty additions can make summer drinks look stunning. Add washed herbs, edible flowers, spices, berries and citrus slices, either on their own or in combinations and layers. Cucumber and mint work well for Pimm’s or mojitos; lemon, lime or edible flowers for soft drinks; fresh thyme sprigs or juniper berries for G&T, and star anise with dark rum and ginger beer for a dark ’n’ stormy. To make crystal clear cubes, it’s best to use filtered water that has first been boiled, then left to cool in the fridge. Pour the water into an ice cube tray so each compartment is about a third full, then add the flavouring ingredients. Freeze until set, then top up with more water and freeze again. (If making large ice cubes, freeze the ingredients in 2 or more layers for the best effect.) Remove from the freezer a minute before the cubes w any surface frost to disappear disappear. are needed to allow

1 2 3

WELL-DRES SSED SALAD Have you ever had a sho opbought pasta/couscous salad and wondered what the bitter flavour is? We’ve found that if you put an acidic dressing on ar in pasta or couscous too fa advance, it gives the same aftertaste to homemade dishes. TO PREVENT IT Dress withh vinegar or citrus juice no more than t 10 minutes before serving. Oil, on the other hand, adds ricchness, so drizzle over when the food is sttill warm – that way it can soak in and flavour yourr dish from the inside out.

NEW VIDEOS ONLINE NOW See delicious. expertise in action! Want to improve your skills in the kitchen? Visit and find a collection of new videos to guide you through your cooking.

Discover how to… • cook the perfect steak • make meringues • ice cakes • make pastry • cook a perfect chicken – and lots more.





Fresh and dried yeast are more or less interchangeable. Dried yeast is widely available and comes in two forms. Fresh yeast is harder to find but you can get it in some health shops, bakeries and supermarkets (or from supermarket in-store bakeries). Fast-action dried yeast is a dry powdery beige substance: it can be added directly to your dry ingredients. Dried active yeast is long-lasting and comes in small, dry beige pellets that need to be activated in warm water before adding to the dry ingredients. Fresh yeast is a crumbly beige paste but it will only keep for about 2-4 weeks in the fridge. Either mix it with liquid in a jug and leave to froth or, for some recipes, rub it into the flour. Ratio 7g dried yeast usually equates to 15g fresh.


Bread dough rises as the yeast feeds on the flour’s starch, releasing carbon dioxide, which forms bubbles in the dough. Warmth helps this process. RISING (in our recipes) refers to the time the dough is left to expand after kneading. It should more or less double in size (some heavier/richer doughs won’t expand that much). PROVING usually refers to the rise before baking, after the dough has been shaped. Prove dough either lightly covered in an oiled sheet of cling film or in a tented plastic bag (Lakeland sells elasticated ones) – look for one big enough to enclose a whole baking tray or tin. To test if your dough is proved and ready to bake, press the underside/ surface of the loaf gently with your finger. The indent should stay put – if it springs back, leave it a little longer.


This is a brief kneading of the dough after the first rise. It gets rid of any large air bubbles and distributes the other bubbles evenly throughout.


THE PROBLEM The loaf collapsed during baking. WHAT WENT WRONG Olt was proved for too long, letting it rise too much, weakening the structure of the loaf. If you think you’ve over-proved the dough, bake it immediately, without slashing the top – though it may still collapse.

baking (solution: make sure it’s properly covered when rising and proving). OThe oven was too hot and dry, so the crust formed before the loaf had fully expanded, causing it to burst. OThe loaf was badly shaped, so it burst through in an area of weakness. THE SOLUTION One way to ensure your crust doesn’t split is to put a shallow tray of hot water in the bottom of your oven and to spray a mist of water into the oven before you put your dough in. This creates a humid atmosphere that heats the dough rapidly, giving good ‘oven spring’ (the quick rise of the dough when it first comes into contact with heat). The steam also helps to keep the exterior of the loaf soft for longer, allowing a longer rise and resulting in a thicker, more crunchy crust.

THE PROBLEM The crust split in odd places during baking. WHAT MAY HAVE GONE WRONG OThe dough was under-proved, so it expanded unevenly during baking. OThe dough was slashed unevenly before baking. The slashes encourage the loaf to open up and expand in the right place. OThe dough had formed a hard skin before

THE PROBLEM The loaf has a big air bubble below the crust WHAT WENT WRONG This is called a ‘flying crust’. It’s often combined with a dense texture at the bottom of the loaf. It can happen to dough that’s been under or over-proved. It can also happen to dough that’s been kneaded too harshly when it was knocked back.

THE PROBLEM The dough didn’t rise properly. WHAT MAY HAVE GONE WRONG OThe yeast was old and had lost its power. OThe water was so hot it killed the yeast. OThe dough didn’t contain enough liquid so it was too stiff. OThe dough was too cold to rise fully, it needed more rising/proving time, or it needed to be in a warmer place. 113


If you’re not already an old hand at homemade bread, the recipes in this month’s 16-page pull-out Collector’s Edition bread recipes will inspire you to get kneading. But here are a few things that are good to know – and a few ways to fix things if they go wrong





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Lemon curd is an old favourite for good reason. When the balance is right, it’s a perfect harmony of sweet and tart but when it’s wrong, it can end up being a bitter mess. Fruit curd has an unfair reputation for being difficult to make but it’s really just custard made with fruit instead of milk or cream. The sunshine yellow of lemon curd brightens up breakfast, but it doesn’t have to be lemon any punchy flavour is good, and the method is the same for all curds. Bake with them or slather them on toast. ELLA TARN, COOKERY ASSISTANT

→ 115

HOW WE CRACKED IT Common problems we addressed when perfecting the recipe, and how we fixed them. As with all recipes, read it all the way through, including the tips, before you begin



The mix curdles

The curd is too sharp, or too sweet

using a THE FIX By bowl set over a pan of just simmering water, the heat is much gentler, preventing the eggs from cooking too fast and scrambling – just don’t let the water boil. If you end up with lumps of cooked egg in the curd,

fear not. As long as there’s more curd than egg, just strain out the lumps through a sieve at the end.

PROBLEM 2 The curd is too thin Most curd recipes use just egg yolks, but our lemon curd (and variations) uses whole eggs. The egg whites add volume and texture to the finished curd.



Ginger curd, lime curd and classic lemon curd


It’s important to bear in mind that curd tastes sharper while it’s cooking. Once the curd is chilled, the flavour mellows. So if the mixture tastes slightly too intense while you’re making it, don’t worry. These recipes have just enough sugar to give a glossy finish but still keep the wonderfully tart note that gives fruit curd its moreish edge.


Lemon curd MAKES 250ML. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

The curd will keep chilled in a sealed, sterilised jar for up to a month. Freeze in small bags for up to 3 months. Curd is a zingy alternative to FOOD TEAM’S jam in a sponge cake, or you TIPS can swirl it into vanilla ice cream mix (or softened ready-made ice cream) before freezing. MAKE AHEAD

• Grated zest and juice 2 large lemons • 175g caster sugar • 3 large free-range eggs • 35g unsalted butter, cubed 1 Put the lemon zest and juice in a heatproof glass or metal bowl over a medium pan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and warm for 3-4 minutes [A]. Add the sugar and gently stir until dissolved. Strain into a heatproof jug. 2 Whisk the eggs into the juice until just combined [B], then pour the mixture back into the bowl set over gently simmering water. Stir the mixture for 10-12 minutes [C] in a figure-of-eight motion, scraping the bottom of the bowl so it doesn’t stick and curdle. Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat down slightly. It’s ready when the curd drops off the spoon leaving a little peak on the spoon and a trail in the bowl [D]. 3 Remove the bowl from the heat and let the curd cool for 1-2 minutes before stirring in the butter [E]. Put cling film on the surface of the curd so it doesn’t form a skin [F], then leave to cool to room temperature. Decant into sterilised jars (see video link) and store in the fridge. PER 10ML SERVING 50kcals, 1.9g fat (0.9g saturated), 1.1g protein, 7.1g carbs (7.1g sugars), no salt, no fibre Find a video on sterilising at









TWO VARIATIONS These are made using the same basic recipe as for the lemon curd, but with a few tweaks Lime (or mojito) curd MAKES 250ML. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

• Juice 1 lemon • Grated zest and juice 2 limes • 200g caster sugar • 3 large free-range eggs • 35g unsalted butter, cubed • 1 tsp white rum (optional)

but don’t strain out the zest as it gives it an extra kick. Stir the rum into it once cooled, if you like. PER 10ML SERVING 53kcals, 1.7g fat (0.8g saturated), 1.1g protein, 8.1g carbs (8.1g sugars), no salt, no fibre

Ginger curd MAKES 250ML. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

Make the lime curd using the same method as the lemon curd, combining the lemon juice and lime zest and juice as in step 1,

• Juice 1½ lemons • 70g fresh ginger, coarsely grated

• 3 large free-range eggs • 160g caster sugar • 35g unsalted butter, cubed The ginger curd also uses the same method as the lemon curd. Add the grated ginger to the warming lemon juice (step 1), then strain it out at the very end to prevent the curd being too fiery. PER 10ML SERVING 49kcals, 1.9g fat (0.9g saturated), 1.1g protein, 6.7g carbs (6.5g sugars), no salt, no fibre


Step-by-step salt cod croquetas 117

NICE The French city with Italian soul Cook and writer Rosa Jackson fell for the distinctive cuisine and beguiling character of Nice a decade ago – and she still can’t get enough of the city. Follow in her footsteps, taking in everything from street food stands to natural wine bars

hungry traveller.

It’s 10am and an expectant queue is forming in front of Marie Thérèse Pisano’s stand at the Cours Saleya food market. On display is an array of local specialities, including the caramelised onion tart known as pissaladière, and petits farcis: stuffed vegetables no bigger than a golf ball. The loyal customers, however, have something else in mind. Eventually it appears, hoisted by muscular arms – a giant copper tray bearing a deep golden pancake with crisp, almost blackened edges. Marie Thérèse begins, with dexterity, to tear off pieces using a small, widebladed knife and piles them into paper cones, which she hands out to the hungry crowd clustered round. This is socca, a beloved street food snack made with chickpea flour that reveals much about the local character of France’s fifthlargest city. Nice might have a glamorous reputation epitomised by the rococo Hotel Negresco – a pink-domed wedding cake of a building filled with the works of artists who were drawn here by the brilliant year-round light – but its traditions run deep in the rocky soil of the nearby mountains. Based on modest ingredients such as lentils, swiss chard, sardines and stewing beef, the food here was designed to sustain farmers and manual labourers, and the merenda – a mid-morning workers’ snack – remains a popular tradition. It was this lack of pretension in such a stunning setting that led me to fall in love with Nice 12 years ago and settle in the narrow streets of the Old Town, learning everything I could about the local cuisine. Dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, Vieux Nice (as the Old Town is known) has a distinctly Italian feel, with buildings in shades of terracotta and ochre, and ornate baroque churches. For much of its history, Nice and the surrounding → 119

STREET FOOD AND SNACKS • Chez Pipo ( is a local’s haunt that turns out the crispest socca from its wood-fired oven. There isn’t much else on the menu, yet people are willing to queue to eat here. • At La Fougasserie (5 rue de la Poissonnerie, +33 4 9380 9245), you can taste the local flatbread with toppings that range from fresh artichoke to bacon, potato and cheese. • I go out of my way for the organic loaves at Mama Baker (13 rue de Lépante, +33 6 2391 3386), where I also love the madeleines with figs and honey. • Just when I thought Nice would never get its own speciality coffee shop, along came Brasilia (8 rue Bonaparte, +33 6 5883 3839). It’s where I go for a perfect cappuccino made with brazil nut milk.

countryside (called the County of Nice) belonged to the Kingdom of Savoy, whose rulers were based in Piedmont and Sardinia. Only in 1860, a year before Italy was unified, did Nice become part of France. Although Nice was never truly Italian, the influence of its neighbour can be felt in the fresh pasta shops selling ravioli, gnocchi and polenta, and in the sing-song local dialect still spoken by the older generation. But Nice has its own identity that comes through in its food. Here, Genoese pesto becomes pistou, made without pine nuts and occasionally with the addition of

French emmental cheese. Socca is thinner and crisper than its Ligurian cousin farinata, and vegetables are often stuffed with a ham-based filling rather than the sausagemeat that might be used in Piedmont. Ratatouille, a local invention, makes use of all the summer vegetables that grow in the hills, cooked separately to preserve their qualities before being united in a tomato coulis. Rarely have I seen people more attached to their cuisine, and I’m often interrogated by elderly women, the keepers of Niçois tradition, who want to be sure this foreigner is respecting the rules. And yet Nice is changing, at its own relaxed pace: a new generation of chefs is reinterpreting the local repertoire, whether with subtle personal touches or with a blast of liquid nitrogen, as in David Faure’s “R”évolution menu at Aphrodite (, which also serves traditional Niçois dishes for more conservative diners. The

past few months have seen the opening of two vegan restaurants, a speciality coffee shop and an organic bakery that puts its own twist on the local bread-based classics. As attached as it is to its past, it seems that this ancient Greek and Roman city has its eyes on the horizon.

THE OLD GUARD An exploration of traditional Niçois cuisine wouldn’t be complete without a visit to La Merenda ( Chef Dominique Le Stanc left his high-profile position at the Negresco many years ago to take over this small bistro with checked tablecloths and stools. Here, you’ll find the best pâtes au pistou (pasta with local pesto) in town, as well as daube (beef slow-cooked in red wine), fresh sardines stuffed with chard, and fried courgette blossoms. Another restaurant upholding Nice’s traditions is the rustic

hungry traveller.


The gang at Chez Pipo; carrot cake with roasted banana sorbet at Restaurant Jan; Niçois rooftops; shady pool at Hôtel Windsor; smart, local fare at Le Canon; drinks from cool café Brasilia; Le Bistrot d’Antoine; ‘snails lost in the mist’ at Aphrodite



Chez Acchiardo (38 rue Droite, +33 4 9385 5116). The younger generation of the Acchiardo family recently took over, enlarging the restaurant but retaining its homely character and menu of affordable classics. This is a great place to try soupe de poissons, the local fish soup full of Mediterranean goodies, as well as meatier dishes such as daube (it’s popular in these parts) with beef-and-chard-filled ravioli Niçois. Some people come just for the perfect hand-cut frites. La Cantine de Lulu (26 rue Alberti, +33 4 9362 1533) has a handwritten sign on its door warning customers not to look for ‘pizza, pasta, chicken, soup, breakfast, hamburger, hot dog, ketchup, soy sauce, etc’. Instead, this friendly bistro serves harder-tofind dishes such as stockfish stew (a pungent concoction made with dried cod and its innards) or poitrine de veau farcie (stuffed veal breast). Don’t miss the tourte de blettes

sucrée, a pie with a sweet filling of chard, raisins, pine nuts and rum.

THE NEW WAVE Le Bistrot d’Antoine (27 rue de la Préfecture, +33 4 9385 2957) sets the standard for modern bistros in Nice, with its affordable menu of seasonal dishes drawing on ingredients from the nearby Cours Saleya market. During summer you’ll find one of the best salades Niçoises in town, made here with fresh tuna instead of the usual tinned, and a dish of stewed pork cheeks served in a cast-iron pot is an enduring favourite. Some of the best food in Nice can be found in wine bars that double as bistros, putting as much care into their ingredients as they do in selecting their natural and organic wines. In the Old Town, Le Bistro du Fromager (29 rue Benoît Bunico, +33 4 9313 0783) brings a modern touch to cheesebased dishes, pairing the finest

• Hôtel Windsor has rooms decorated by local artists and a jungle-like garden complete with a small swimming pool (above). Doubles from about £95 room only. • Matisse fell in love with Nice during his stay at the Beau Rivage in 1917, and many others have done since. It’s now a boutique hotel with pebble-shaped sofas in the lounge. Doubles from around £93 room only. hotelnice

local produce, hand-selected at the markets, with unusual wines from small producers. Everything is made on the premises, from the naturally leavened bread to the sensational chocolate and caramel éclairs. Named after the noon cannon that goes off every day at the top of the Château Hill, Le Canon (23 rue Meyerbeer, +33 4 9379 0924) focuses on the finest ingredients from hills behind Nice and the sea, which are prepared simply and served with natural wines. Owner Sébastien Perinetti spends his spare time searching for treasures such as orange flower water or organic pork from → 121

Greece is the word: why Paxos is for food lovers

MEET THE PRODUCERS • Pierre and Anne Magnani sell their organic produce, including rare citrus fruit and heirloom tomatoes, at the Cours Saleya market on Saturdays. They also host laid-back lunches (above) at their farm in the Nice hills ( most Sunday afternoons, April to November. Featuring guest chefs and musicians, the events are held in French, but some English is spoken. “This kind of initiative helps keep agriculture alive in the region,” says Pierre. • Inspired by the microbrewery trend in the US, last year Olivier Cautain (left) revived the local beermaking tradition by opening La Brasserie Artisanale de Nice ( “The idea is to use what’s locally available,” he says. For example, there’s Blùna, a white beer flavoured with oranges and coriander. The beers are sold in local restaurants.



This recipe is adapted from a classic cookbook called La Cuisine Niçoise d’Hélène Barale. Prepare the batter up to MAKE 24 hours in advance and AHEAD keep covered in the fridge. • 200g chickpea flour (also sold as gram flour, from large supermarkets or Asian grocers) • 1½ tsp finely ground sea salt • 500ml water • 80ml olive oil 1 Heat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/gas 7. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the salt. Add the water gradually, whisking with a balloon whisk to remove any lumps. Set the batter aside to rest for at

least 1 hour – the longer, the better (see Make Ahead). 2 Heat a large (20-23cm diameter) ovenproof frying pan in the oven for a few minutes. Remove, then pour in half the olive oil. Add half the batter (it should be no deeper than 0.5cm in the pan) and whisk it gently with the hot oil. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until deep golden. After 10 minutes, use a spatula to loosen the socca around the edges to make it easier to remove at the end of cooking. 3 Turn the socca out onto a plate, then repeat with the remaining batter. Serve immediately, cut into rough wedges and sprinkled with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. PER SERVING 214kcals, 11.6g fat (1.6g saturated), 7.5g protein, 18.1g carbs (0.7g sugars), 1.2g salt, 3.4g fibre



Puget-Théniers in the nearby Alps. South African chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen runs the most romantic restaurant in Nice, with deep teal walls and antiques from the weekly flea market. Each plate at Restaurant Jan (restaurantjan. com) is like a tableau, inspired by his travels and drawing on local and exotic ingredients. The success of the airy café Paper Plane (14 rue Gubernatis, +33 4 9362 1305) since it opened late last year shows that some locals, at least, are willing to forgo their daube for mostly vegan dishes. Nearby, Vegan Gorilla ( is also working to overcome scepticism about meatless fare. Whether the approach is classic or adventurous, a common thread of Niçois cuisine is its attachment to seasonal produce. There’s always something fresh to celebrate. Rosa runs market tours and cookery classes through her company Les Petits Farcis, in her adopted city of Nice

hungry traveller.




WHY IT’S GREAT At the edge of the RSPB salt marshes on this wild stretch of the north Norfolk coast, BriarďŹ elds Hotel is an ideal spot for a seaside holiday without the arcades and candyoss stalls. Take a stroll along sprawling Brancaster beach to the nearby estuary and you may be lucky enough to spot a colony of seals basking on the banks. Once you’ve had your ďŹ ll of sea air, head back to base for an Adnams gin and tonic on the deck or, if the weather turns, on the squishy leather sofas. THE FOODIE BIT The large, beamed restaurant has a wall of oor-toceiling windows looking out onto the marshes and sea beyond – nab a window seat if you can. The space is a tad communal, but I imagine that once ďŹ lled with diners the

atmosphere can be festive. A few cosy nooks and a dimmer switch wouldn’t go amiss, though. The menu offers simple dishes, smartly done (think ďŹ sh and chips with air). An effort is made to showcase local produce: Norfolk chicken and lamb, Brancaster crab, binham blue cheese, ďŹ sh caught daily‌ Highlights on our visit included warm homemade bread; a seafood platter of smoked mackerel, tiger prawns, crayďŹ sh tails, crabcakes and smoked salmon with mayo; and darned good chips. If you don’t have much space for pud, there’s the option to go mini with the dessert menu. Breakfast was a little uninspiring: a spread of variety-pack cereals, fruit salad and yogurt. Gone was the rustic loaf from the night before (it’s possible we’d

scoffed it all) – my single poached egg was served on an under-toasted slice of supermarket bread. But these are aws that can easily be remedied. THE ROOMS They’re modern with a country-chic ďŹ nish – light and airy (some have skylights and/or a juliet balcony), with quality furnishings and a bed so large I had a job to ďŹ nd my way out of it in the morning. The bathroom had a walk-in drench shower and separate deep bathtub, with candles to heighten the spa-like relaxation. COST Doubles cost ÂŁ140-160 B&B (ÂŁ190-210 dinner B&B). Enjoy dinner B&B staying SPECIAL in a superior room from OFFER Sunday to Thursday for ÂŁ210 per night, and enjoy a complimentary Briarfields Posh Afternoon Tea For Two*.


The north Norfolk coast is the perfect place to clear the mind with a seaside walk; refuel on good locally sourced grub, then relax in light and airy comfort 123



Midweek hall of fame: the 10 recipes every cook needs O Exciting new dishes from Sabrina Ghayour O John Whaite’s easy menu O Cheese toastie wars: who makes the best?



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Editor Karen Barnes Trifle Deputy editor Susan Low Anything with marie rose sauce or salad cream Editorial assistant Daisy Meager Mussels Food editor Rebecca Woollard Fresh salmon Deputy food editor Lottie Covell Tinned tuna Cookery assistant Ella Tarn Anything with aniseed Art director Jocelyn Bowerman Oysters Art editor Martine Tinney Smoked artichokes... Don’t ask! Managing editor Les Dunn Oysters Deputy chief sub editor Hugh Thompson Sea urchin Senior sub editor Rebecca Almond Cheese Food consultants Matthew Drennan, Debbie Major Wine editor Susy Atkins Gadget tester Aggie MacKenzie Contributors James Ramsden, Lucas Hollweg

See how much you really know about the world of food with Hugh Thompson’s culinary conundrum. Answers next month

ACROSS 1 9&6 7 10 12 14 17 18 19

Italian garnish of chopped lemon zest, garlic and parsley (9) West country dish; cooked, cured pig’s cheeks (4,5) US salad dressing made with buttermilk, garlic and herbs (5) Chinese tea produced from partially oxidised leaves (6) White tropical fruit wrapped in a nobbly red skin (6) Preserve meat and fish by smoking or salting (4) Chopped fruit or veg with yogurt and herbs, served with curries (5) Molluscs often used in chowder or with spaghetti and parsley (5) It’s what gives chilli peppers their heat (9)

DOWN 2 3 4 5 6 8 11 13 15 16

To cook by convection and/or radiation, especially on Sunday (5) The fallen fruits and nuts of the forest, eaten by foraging pigs (4) French term for a slice or cube of bacon (6) Portuguese and Spanish term for ‘red’ when referring to wine (5) Sweet/savoury baked dish with a scone-like topping (7) Domestic sheep between one and two years of age (7) Nuts from a hickory tree, most popular in North America (6) Get out your best set if you want to impress guests (5) African staple, a mush of ground starch and boiling water (5) Black-purple South American berry – a popular health food (4)

Solution to no. 27 ACROSS: 1. Fish paste 6. Snail 7. Tonic 9. Skyr 10. Argyll 12. Injera 14. Sago 17. Ikura 18. Latke 19. Refectory DOWN: 2. Iraty 3. Hull 4. Afters 5. Tansy 6. Sashimi 8. Calzone 11. Grease 13. Jaune 15. Attar 16. Glut


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APRIL 2016


• Aloo tikki scotch eggs 43 • Green herb cauliflower tabbouleh 44 • Langoustines with watercress and pastis hollandaise 30 • Maple, parmesan and rosemary sweet potato chips 3 • Sherry-braised fennel with pretzel crumbs and goat’s cheese 28 • Socca 122 • Twice-baked crab and chive soufflés with quick-pickled samphire 26 • Warm potato salad with green tahini and herb dressing 34

MAIN COURSES LAMB AND GOAT • Jamaican goat curry 61 • Lamb ‘porchetta’ with salsa verde 44 • Shepherd’s pie 62 BEEF, VEAL AND GAME • Beef stir-fry with cabbage and coconut 92 • Malaysian slow-cooked beef curry 59 PORK • Leek and kale pearl barley with crispy lardons 94 • Roast jersey royal, spring herb, hazelnut and bacon salad with lemon brown butter dressing 26 • Smoked bacon, leek and butter bean chowder 52 • Stuffed pork fillet with creamed butter beans 54 • Warm butter bean salad with chorizo 95 POULTRY • Aleppo chilli-marinated chicken kebabs with sweet shallot and chickpea salad 40



• Brazilian coconut chicken curry 61 • Garlic-stuffed chicken with pistachio, sour cherry and herb pilaf 28 • Lentil, chicken, spring greens and broccoli soup 97 • Lighter chicken and bacon pie 105 • Roast chicken with creamy sauerkraut 74 • Walnut and oat crusted chicken with peperonata 98

• Greek cheese and veg lattice tarts 37 • Indian vegetable curry 58 • Pea, pesto and watercress tartlets 36 • Smoky sweetcorn fritters with tarragon yogurt 103 • Spiced roast cauliflower with barley `couscous 104 • Spiced spinach and potato cakes with poached eggs and stir-fried kale 102 • Stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce 102 • Wholewheat spaghetti with rocket and goat’s cheese pesto 94

FISH AND SHELLFISH • Baked salmon with pea and mint houmous 93 • Garlic and sage smashed jersey royals with pan-fried sea bass 35 • Kedgeree 72 • Prawn and brown rice pilaf 97 • Thai yellow fish curry 59

VEGETARIAN • Balsamic glazed tenderstem and spring onion galettes with goat’s cheese 38 • Butternut and bean stew with cauliflower ‘rice’ 93 • Charred spring onion and sweet 96 potato salad • Fresh ricotta and spinach crespellini 50


• Campari and ruby grapefruit granita 74 • Carrot and banana cake 77 • Fruitcake loaves 78 • Ginger curd 117 • Gluten-free apple and coconut cake 80 • Lemon curd 116 • Lemon sugar cube scones 82 • Lime (or mojito) curd 117 • Pistachio, cardamom and white chocolate cake 110 • Rhubarb and custard trifle with amaretto syllabub 46 • Shrewsbury biscuits 79

50 • Vanilla blancmanges with orange caramel 48 • World-beating hot chocolate 50


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a good rant.

Deciding what to order when you’re out for a meal shouldn’t require a degree in semiotics or the interrogation skills of a special forces agent. Why can’t a menu just describe the food?


If I learned anything from Horsegate 2013, it’s that I really don’t like the wool being pulled over my eyes when it comes to food. I want to know exactly what I’m eating. So why is the task of decoding contemporary restaurant menus akin to a stint at Bletchley Park? Some have become so opaque, they’re not even menus any more – more like word association games. My biggest bugbear is menus that are essentially a list of ingredients, without a clue as to how they may have been prepared and how they’re served. I realise budgets are tight and every penny counts when running a restaurant, but surely it wouldn’t break the bank to pepper the menu with a few adjectives here and there, to help diners understand what the dish actually is? I recently saw a menu that offered as a main course ‘Beef, tomato, pickle, textures of potato’. You’d be forgiven for thinking it would turn out to be an elaborately cooked beef dish – but no, it was a burger and chips. When did it become necessary for diners to play a game of 20 Questions with the waiter, just to find out what might end up on their dinner plate? Chefs, take note: a terse list of ingredients does not a menu make. Another approach I’ve come across is to provide the customer with an uninterrupted list of dishes, without those 130

boring, passé subheadings: starters, mains, side dishes and puddings. Radical, huh? To its credit, the menu I’m recalling did include some adjectives, but there was no discernible order to it. The jumble of prices (vogueishly pound-

Chefs, take note: a terse list of ingredients does not a menu make


Pork surprise 8 A SIDE DISH Might be a OF KALE YOU pudding 6.5 PROBABLY A load of DON’T EVEN pollock 12.5 NEED 3.5

Beef, tomato, pickle, textures of potato 17.5



Leghorn, crispy sauce 10

Do you think Ella has a valid point, or do you take a different view? Email us at info@delicious and we’ll print the best replies.


Why are so many menus written in code?

sign free and accurate to one decimal place, of course) gave no indication of the size of each dish. I had no idea what to request – or in what order. Had I missed something? Should I have known which were the smaller plates? Concerned I’d be judged for asking too many questions, I ordered what I thought would make a decent dinner – and ended up with a starter of bangers and mash (bewilderingly described as ‘pork, whisked potatoes’), followed by a light salad. Let’s just say there was no question of my dining partner having plate envy. Adding to the diner’s general confusion are the Machiavellian tactics restaurants often use to skew our judgement, such as crowding all the cheaper dishes together and giving the more expensive options extra space. A properly designed restaurant menu should do two things well. It needs to have the kind of dishes on it that attract the customer in the first place, and it needs to present them in a way that’s tempting – and accurate. It doesn’t have to describe every single element in the dish (it’s often nice to have some surprises) but you need to know roughly what you’re getting. When I go out for a meal, it’s for pleasure – I don’t want to be made to feel intellectually inferior for not understanding the menu. We may have moved on from the days of menus being written in French to intimidate us, but that’s been replaced by something just as bad: the new intimidation caused by wilful culinary obscurantism. I don’t want to be tricked into ordering something I didn’t want. And I certainly don’t want to have to interrogate the waiter before placing my order. My wish is a simple one: to understand what’s on offer, to be served what I expect and to enjoy the food before me. Surely simplicity isn’t too much to ask for? The current trend isn’t big or clever. It just upsets customers – and we are, after all, the ones footing the bill.

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