eggs

Haddock Mayonnaise and Russian Easter

Haddock Mayonnaise and Russian Easter

Russian Easter has always been one of my, and my family’s, favourite times of the year. Unlike Christmas, we eat the same dishes every year, and there is something so comforting about that, anticipating flavours embedded in my memory, and quite possibly my DNA. We make Paskha, a pyramid of cream cheese impregnated with dried fruit and toasted almonds to be eaten with Kulich, a domed cylinder of sweet bread and dried fruit. I boil eggs, and then dye them the colours of the rainbow.

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Honeyed Carrot Tart

Honeyed Carrot Tart

I came across a recipe a couple of years ago when I was browsing through Stephanie Alexander’s wonderful book The Cook’s Companion that intrigued me. It was for a carrot tart that she had adapted from an eighteenth century recipe of the English cook, Hannah Glasse.

I tried it, omitting the sugar, and found that it became neither savoury nor sweet, but oh so delicate and a joy to eat, each mouthful a discovery of beautifully balanced flavours. We ate it, not even bothering to sit at the table, but at the kitchen bench, greedily devouring each morsel. Joy.

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Summer Eating and Beautiful Vegetables

Summer Eating and Beautiful Vegetables

This summer has been an unusually hot one, and I’ve sort of lost my appetite for anything that needs time to cook, even the barbecue has lost its appeal, there’s only so much charred food that I can take. I fluctuate between wanting to eat food with gentle flavours, a little something poached in a flavoursome broth, or perhaps a spiced dish that will tickle my taste buds and wake up my palate, but without fiery heat – there’s enough of that happening outside. I’m finding we’ve been eating more vegetable based dishes, accompanied by some sort of grain. They fit the mood right now, and the vegetables around have been gorgeous, particularly from organic Moonacres Farm.

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My Favourite Chocolate Mousse: an American Recipe.

My Favourite Chocolate Mousse: an American Recipe.

I have to start this post off by saying this recipe isn’t mine. Like the recipe for Crème Caramel, (in the recipe section) I can do no better, this chocolate mousse, is simply the best. For someone who’s not a chocolate lover, I make this mousse a lot, one of my daughters will eat it for breakfast, (it covers all the food groups, doesn’t it), and every time I post it on Instagram, I have several requests for the recipe, so, for those of you who don’t have Thomas Keller’s fabulous book Bouchon, here it is. He also uses it in a tart, with the most delicious hazelnut crust (see below): a gorgeous crumbly, nutty pastry with a lovely saltiness to it that compliments the mousse perfectly. 

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Deida’s Butter Biscuits, Crisp Cheddar shortbread and Hazelnut Meringues

Deida’s Butter Biscuits, Crisp Cheddar shortbread and Hazelnut Meringues

I want to start with an explanation of how from week to week I decide what to write about. Sometimes it’s about an event I’ve done, occasionally about somewhere interesting we’ve been, but mostly it’s about food. What I cook is dependant on a number of things; seasonal produce from the market, as I’m always inspired by what’s available now; recipes for my children, who often ask me how to make something; memories from my childhood; and you, who sometimes ask me for specific recipes, to which I’m always happy to oblige. This post though, is inspired by my childhood memories, and the need to write family recipes down for my girls, so they won’t have to wonder, as I sometimes do, how the hell did my mother do that?

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Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Fresh blueberries are so good, with such a unique flavour, that even though sometimes tempted, I really don’t like to put anything in this pie that would take away from their flavour. So, my blueberry pie, never a tart, is just blueberries, with a little sugar, some flour for thickening the juices, and a bit of butter for lusciousness.

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Anytime Hash

Anytime Hash

I really don’t like to waste food it’s just not in my nature, so when I find myself with a few odds and ends in the fridge I throw it altogether and make a kind of a hash – this time literally. I like it for dinner with some Greek yoghurt drizzled on top, and with a sprinkling of my homemade Dukkah. The secret is to cook it evenly.

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Crème Caramel and New Year's Eve

Crème Caramel and New Year's Eve

It’s New Years Eve, the end of another year; and the beginning of a bright new one full of hope and promise. We are usually away with friends at this time, but this year it’s just the two of us at home. So, I have planned a simple, yet elegant dinner for two, finishing with our favourite dessert, Crème Renversée au Caramel

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Borough Market

Don’t you just love food markets – for me, these are my art galleries. If you live, as I do, for the pleasures of the treasures found within you just can’t help it.

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Russian Easter 2013

Russian Easter is the most important religious celebration in the Russian calendar, more important even than Christmas, and as such is accompanied by a table groaning with wonderful traditional Russian dishes. Not just a feast for the tummy but a feast for the eyes as well.

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