Basics: Pavlova

Image of pavlova

I once tried to make a strawberry pavlova and it was such a disaster that I broke up the meringue and turned it all into an Eton Mess. Pavlovas … those big meringue nests you fill with cream and fruit to spectacular effect … can be a bit tricksy. They conspire with your oven to make you look like a bad cook. Then all your friends tell you how easy they are and how theirs work perfectly every time. Pah. Time for a fight-back. Continue reading

Basics: Chicken Stock

When I first launched this ‘basics’ series I asked for suggestions from readers. Quite a few people asked how to make stock. I must admit I’ve been postponing a response as it’s a thorny subject.

If you’d like to know how to make a restaurant-standard demi-glace, or a bone broth that’s simmered for 24 hours, you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t have the patience for the first or the inclination for the second. Continue reading

Basics: Tomato and Basil Sauce

Image of peeled, chopped tomatoes

Tomatoes peeled and chopped and ready to be made into sauce

This is an enormously useful and versatile sauce to have in your arsenal: eat it simply stirred through pasta, serve it with meatballs, chops or sausages, cook it until it’s thicker and use it as a pizza topping, thin it down and eat it as a soup. Continue reading