Green beans with pine nuts

Green beans should have a bright, strong colour, with crisp pods with a satin-like sheen. They should not look wilted, discoloured or brown. They are best eaten when young and tender. To More »

Lamb koftas in yogurt with cinnamon and chilli

Lamb koftas are one of the classics of Indian cuisine, well adopted by Westerners around the world. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, More »

Deep-fried zucchini flowers

Deep-fried zucchini flowers are Italian speciality and it becoming recently much wider popular. The flowers have a subtle flavour, reminiscent of young zucchinis, and can be eaten even raw. The flowers can More »

Croque senor

Croque senor is actually sandwich of Cheddar cheese and ham given a Mexican flavour with salsa of tomatoes, chilli and red pepper. It is a version of the croque-monsieur, that originated in French More »

Courgettes on garlic bread

Courgettes on garlic bread are delicious choice for quick lunch or light dinner, or even a party bite. Easy to make and with ingredients that may be found in any shop, this More »

 

Linguine with rocket

Linguine with rocket

Linguine with rocket can be a very nice, fashionable lunch, that is so quick and easy to make at home. Rocket has an excellent peppery flavour that combines beautifully with the Parmesan cheese. Linguine is an egg pasta and looks rather like flattened strands of spaghetti. Spaghetti, fettucine or pappardelle could be used instead. Dried pasta cooks in 10-12 minutes, but an even faster result can be obtained by using fresh pasta. Simply add it to a large pan of boiling, lightly salted water, making sure that all the strands are fully submerged, and cook for 2-3 minutes. The pasta is ready when it rises to the top of the pan and is tender to the taste, with a slight firmness in the centre. Fresh Parmesan keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a month, if wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Vanilla layered cake

Vanilla layered cake

This vanilla layer cake is one of our bakery staples that we are frequently asked for and if you make it in a food processor it takes no time at all. As with most vanilla cake recipes, the list of ingredients is fairly standard, but factor in good-quality ingredients, careful measuring and weighing and setting the correct oven temperatures, and the result is fantastic. We use this as the basis of many a birthday cake, not least because it can be iced and decorated to any effect. Vanilla layer cake is a fairly simple dessert to make, and it is certainly cake that will be popular in your family. What makes this vanilla layer cake our favourite is the fact you can use different fillings, different tastes and adjust the recipe to any season to use fresh products.

Homemade vinegar

Homemade vinegar

Vinegar is one of the most important and underrated store-cupboard ingredients. It has the ability to totally transform your cooking, so use it with confidence and authority. That contrast of rich and fatty flavours with vinegar and pickles is amazing. That’s why having pickles in a kebab, and vinegary mint sauce with lamb, is so good. Vinegar is also a wonderful stomach settler, and helps you digest rich foods. Give it a go. Make your own vinegar. There are two main, easy ways you can have a go at making your own vinegar. To start off with, you need a bacteria called a vinegar ‘mother’ to essentially spoil wine and turn it into acidic vinegar. These spores are floating around in the atmosphere invisibly all the time.

Lobster bisque

Lobster bisque

Lobster bisque is a soup recipe that is not cheap, but it is well worth the effort and cost. Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Bisque is a method of extracting flavor from imperfect crustaceans not good enough to send to market. In an authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Valentines day for 2 or New Years Supper, this bisque is never out of place and so mild on the seafood taste that even the most difficult guest will be very pleasantly surprised.

Green beans with pine nuts

Green beans with pine nuts

Green beans should have a bright, strong colour, with crisp pods with a satin-like sheen. They should not look wilted, discoloured or brown. They are best eaten when young and tender. To tell how fresh they are, snap one in half. The ‘snap’ should be clean and clear. Don’t buy them if the ‘snap’ is lacking, and if the insides do not seem juicy when you break them open. Home-grown green beans are in season from June to September. Thin green finger-length beans that are also called French beans or haricots verts. They also include the fatter snap or bobby bean, and the yellow wax bean. Confusingly, green beans are not always green; some varieties you might find at farmers’ markets and farm shops are yellow or purple – but all are delicious.