The perfect Sunday brunch dish, easy to make, filling and delicious. This is my version of a Dutch Baby.
Sometimes known as a German pancake, a Dutch Baby is simply Yorkshire pudding mix sweetened with sugar and or vanilla. In this version, I've omitted the sugar and just added vanilla essence because of the maple syrup poured over the top.
For 4 people
A mug in which to measure equal quantities of
Eggs - roughly 6
1 teaspoon of Vanilla essence or paste
8 slices of bacon
Maple Syrup to serve
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6
Wipe a frying pan with butter and set to one side, make sure the frying pan can go in the oven
My Yorkshire pudding mix is equal quantities of milk, egg and flour.
Blend the eggs and milk together separately till smooth
Make a well in the flour and add 25% of the liquid, beat till smooth
Add another 25% of the liquid and slowly at first, beat till smooth
Add the rest of the liquid and mix till combined.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla paste or two teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Heat the frying pan till the butter is sizzling and add the Yorkshire pudding and put in the oven till done, about 20 - 25 minutes.
Whilst the Dutch Baby is in the oven (sorry!) cook the bacon and keep warm.
To serve, quickly cut in to 4, add the bacon and drizzle with maple syrup.
This meal is super easy and made in less than 15 minutes. I add whatever vegetables there are in fridge to the pasta cooking in the last 3-4 minutes. Tonight’s was courgettes. This is an incredibly rich dish so you’ll only need relatively small portions. Low fat it is not!
For 4 people, 15 minutes and very easy
Pasta for 4, any sort, cooked following the instructions on the packet
Tablespoon of salted butter
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
100ml of white wine (more if you fancy or none)
200ml of double cream
4 egg yolks
Heaped handful of grated cheddar – I’ve used cheddar here because it’s what most of us have in the house, Parmesan is authentic and Gruyere would turn this into a dinner party dish
Any fresh herbs like chives or parsley or basil, finely chopped
Get the pasta on, salt the water but do not add oil (where did that idea come from? It certainly wasn’t the Italians!)
Whilst the pasta is cooking:
Melt the butter
Add the garlic and chilli fry till soft
Add 100ml of white wine and reduce to half
Mix the yolks, cream and cheddar together
Take the pan off the heat and add the cream mix stirring all the time
Put back on very low heat and keep it moving till the cheese has melted
Drain the pasta and vegetables, add to the sauce and mix thoroughly
Add your herbs and serve
You can add almost anything to this dish to bulk it out. Chorizo would be delicious and fancy but equally you could make it on a Monday night and add in any leftover meat from the weekend. If you don’t eat meat then use vegetarian cheese and top up with more vegetables.
A random pomegranate in the veg box prompted this dish along with the urge to beat the crap out of an inanimate object (been that sort of day).
2 tablespoons of Harrisa paste rubbed into 2 lamb gigot and set aside
Cooked and cooled seasoned Couscous for 2
2 large bunches of flat leaved parsley finely chopped
Handful of mint finely chopped
3 tomatoes roughly chopped
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
Juice of 1 lemon
Equal amount of olive oil to lemon juice
Cook the lamb on a very hot grill till just cooked, about 3-4 minutes to each side, depending upon how well you like your lamb done and rest.
Whilst the lamb is cooking add all the other ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Taste, you might need more oil and salt.
Loved this supper, so quick to make and absolutely delicious, minimal washing up too which is always a bonus!
Tip - easiest way to get fiddly pomegranate seeds out is to cut the pomegranate in half, hold over the bowl cut side down and hit hard with a wooden spoon.
Half price lobster tails in the local supermarket made for a very indulgent lunch.
This serves 2, takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and is easy. Make sure everything is prepared in advance of cooking the lobster.
2 lobster tails taken out of their shells and each cut into 6 pieces
4 table spoons of shop bought mayonnaise
About a table spoon of finely chopped parsley and dill
A teaspoon of lemon juice
1 baguette sliced into 2 and 1 half sliced into 2 again, slice each quarter horizontally and set to one side.
1/4 teaspoon of Pernod
Mix the mayonnaise, herbs and lemon juice together and set to one side.
Heat a frying pan with a teaspoon of veg oil and a tablespoon of butter (the oil stops the butter from burning too quickly), add the lobster meat and let it colour slightly on one side then tossing it in the butter, keep it moving to stop it from over cooking. After about a minute, add a quarter teaspoon of Pernod and toss the lobster meat through the Pernod and butter mixture thoroughly coating it then add to the herb mayonnaise and mix.
Divide the mixture between the baguette quarters, pour over the left over sauce and get stuck in.
This would work equally well with prawns or scallops and if you want to be very greedy (unsurprisingly I was!) put the cut side of the baguette into the frying pan to properly soak up the buttery juices before adding the lobster mixture.
Sea Bass with a tomato and caper sauce
Serves 4, easy and 30 minutes prep and cooking time in total.
Incredibly simple and a pleasure to eat. Don't let a cheap, shop bought tomato sauce near it.
1 can chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cloves finely sliced garlic cloves
50ml of white wine (optional but adds another level, if you're using tarragon, go for a Chenin Blanc or similar)
tablespoon of capers
2 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs inc. parsley, thyme and tarragon.
gently heat the olive oil in a small saucepan, don't let it get too hot
add the garlic, you want it to soften not crisp and definately not burn!
add the tomatoes and let it simmer for 5 minutes
add the wine and again let it simmer for 5 minutes
add the capers
finally add the herbs and reduce the sauce by a third, you don't want it watery
taste, season, taste again and keep warm.
4 Sea Bass fillets, skin on and sliced three times to prevent it curling up during cooking, seasoned
200g of the tomato sauce
Oil for frying
Table spoon of salted butter for basting
Heat a frying pan, add a tablespoon of oil and place the fish in, skin side down - don't move it!
When the skin is crispy, add the butter and when it's foaming, continuously spoon over the fish till the top of the fish is just opaque. Remove from the heat.
Spoon the sauce onto a plate and using a fish slice, gently place the fish on top.
This would be great with boiled new potatoes and a salad.
If you haven't tasted our local Townhead Farm lamb then I urge you to do so, I've said it before, some of the best lamb I've ever had.
Heat the oven as high as it'll go.
6 lamb chops
2 grated garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of mint sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Mix it all together and leave to marinate for up to 30 minutes then place on a flat tray and in the oven for 10 minutes, take out and leave to rest of at least 5 minutes, preferably 10.
We had it with chips and cavolo nero.
Chicken Supper for the Terminally Lazy
For someone who is passionate about cooking I am, rather more frequently than I care to admit, occasionally adverse to preparing supper for my loving family. It's more begrudgingly thrown together than prepared with love, care and attention. However, because I am very greedy it has to taste good too.
Feeds 4, skill - easy, prep time 15 minutes, cooking time 75 minutes
Heat the oven 180 degrees
4 whole chicken legs jointed
8 small potatoes cut into 8 lengthways
1 lemon, juiced and cut into 8
1 yellow onion cut into 8
1 bulb of garlic, peeled and each clove lightly crushed
Large handful of thyme
Salt to season
Mix everything together in a bowl making sure the thyme gets really bruised, I tend to take the large stalks out at the end of cooking.
Season and mix again then put into your oven dish.
Cover with foil (this ensures the potatoes cook properly) and place in the oven for 45 minutes, uncover and return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes to crisp up the skin and give the potatoes some colour. Check the chicken is cooked properly by cutting along the bone and making sure the juices run clear.
You can also add a glass of white wine at the beginning too.
We had some sauerkraut from Dorset Charcuterie at Christmas and it was sublime, so good I was eating it neat out of the bag. This is my attempt to replicate it.
1 mason jar throughly sterilised
1 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded into a bowl.
Add three teaspoons of salt and rub into the cabbage, you'll feel,bit starting to break down as the salt draws the liquid out.
Add one teaspoon of caraway seeds and mix well.
Cram the seasoned cabbage into the jar really packing it in.
Leave for 10 days.
Serves 4, easy, 4 1/2 hours minimum
Heat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius
1 casserole dish with lid, it needs to be deep enough to layer up the potatoes and lamb with the lid on
1 boned and rolled leg of lamb
8 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a food blade on the food processor)
Handful of garlic cloves, peeled and cut in two length ways
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Large handful of fresh rosemary
Glass of white wine
Glass of water
Layer up the potatoes, garlic, onion and rosemary lightly seasoning each layer, pour in the wine and water, add the lamb on top, place on the lid and put in the oven of a minimum of 4 hours.
Gnocchi with Black Truffle and Olives (Tartafuta)
Supper for 2 or light lunch for 2. 20 minutes, Easy
500g of Gnocchi
250g of Chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
90 ml of Tartafuta
80 ml Creme Fraiche (half fat will work just as well in the recipe)
Large handful of Parsley finely chopped
2 tb olive oil (not extra virgin, this doesn't like to be heated to high temperatures)
*Using a wok for ease of frying, cook the mushrooms until they are dry, a little colour is good but don't burn them.
*Boil a pan of salted water. Add the gnocchi and they are done when they float.
*Whilst the gnocchi is cooking, add the Tartafuta to the mushrooms and heat (you'll smell toast, don't be confused by this, it's the olives). Then add the creme fraiche and 2/3rds of the parsley.
*Mix and heat gently, if there's a lot of liquid (because the mushrooms weren't cooked dry) don't worry, just let the mixture bubble away gently till reduced.
*The gnocchi should be done by now, drain and add to the Tartafuta sauce, mix, taste, adjust seasoning, taste again and plate up, add the rest of the parsley as garnish then serve.
Mushrooms are an optional ingredient, they bulk out the dish and add protein but are not necessary if you're not a fan. Toasted pine nuts would be a nice addition too if you have any to hand.
Bresaola with Truffle Carpaccio
Quick lunch, light supper or starter, 10 minutes and easy
4 slices of Bresaola per person - best you can afford
Handful of washed and dried watercress and rocket leaves - leave in iced water for 10 mins to pep up
Sliced Parmesan cheese crumbled - use a vegetable peeler and crumble in your hands
A lemon sliced into quarters
Black Truffle Oil
Lay the Bresaola out, liberally add the truffle carpaccio, the jars are packed so there's plenty to go around. From a height, to ensure an even spread, scatter the Parmesan crumbs, drizzle over the truffle oil and finally add a generous squirt of lemon juice. Don't forget to season the salad leaves, it makes all the difference.
This would be divine with beef carpaccio too.
Heat a pan up till smoking, add the filet of beef and sear on all sides. Cool and wrap tightly in cling film before putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it much easier to slice the beef thinly. In this house we don't bother slicing it too thinly, just as it comes and loaded with truffle carpaccio, truffle oil, Parmesan and lemon juice is enough of a treat for us.