Cooking Under Pressure

We’re all cooking under pressure these days, aren’t we? Energy and food prices are rocketing, we’re on the brink of another recession (some say we’re already in one) and the government is making a dog’s breakfast of the UK economy. Or a pig’s ear, if you prefer a different beastly metaphor. So it makes sense to cook with economy. Continue reading

A Coronavirus Christmas #1

Regardless of any lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic means few of us will be enjoying an extended family Christmas this year, and opportunities to meet up with far-flung friends and relatives ahead of the holiday are getting harder to organise safely. I suspect a lot of presents will be ordered online and delivered via mail or courier and it’s entirely possible that our Christmas dinner ingredients will be arriving the same way. 

What follows is pretty much what I’d love to be given as gifts if I hadn’t already cracked and bought them for myself because of my out-of-control web-based buying habit. (Many of us have explored new hobbies during lockdown and it seems this is mine.) Continue reading

Lock-down Reading List

The coronavirus lock-down has turned us all into home cooks, whether we want to be or not. We’ve seen large numbers of people embracing the joys of sourdough and posting social media pictures of cakes and cordials, pastries and pies. Long may it last, I say, though I suspect many new cooks will find they revert to old habits as the lock-down eases and the different rigours of ‘normal’ life ratchet up.

If you want to carry on cooking but make it fit around work and/or home schooling, here are some cookbooks I’ve found useful for easy but delicious meals, and a few more to provide inspiration for when you have the luxury of time. Continue reading

Eats Shoots and Leaves

Image of bees on lavender plants

You’d have to be colour blind not to notice the current fashion for edible flowers and micro greens. They appear in almost every posh restaurant and glossy magazine photo-shoot. And they are very enticing: the bright colours of the flowers and the tiny, delicate but sometimes pungent shoots. Continue reading

Risotto with Lemon

Image of risotto with lemonI’d been planning a broad bean risotto, to be honest, as we’re awash with them at the moment and they’re one of my favourite summer vegetables. Then my eye was caught by a recipe from Anna del Conte which described a risotto of a type I’d never made before, thickened and enriched at the end of cooking not just with parmesan but with egg yolk and cream. The clincher was that the key flavour was lemon. Continue reading

Parsee Chicken with Apricots

Image of A Bird In The Hand cookbookShe’s a wise bird, that Diana Henry. I know from my own experience here on Mrs P that chicken recipes are hugely popular. Maybe it’s because people try to avoid red meat, maybe it’s because it’s easy to knock up a quick supper with a couple of chicken joints you’ve picked up on the way home from work. Maybe it’s just because a good chicken is so very tasty and versatile.

Ms Henry has written an entire cookery book dedicated to chicken recipes and I imagine it’s flying off the shelves (sorry). Continue reading

Cheese, Sage and Onion Pithivier

Image of cooked pithivier

I was going to start by saying this is an hommage to Fromage Homage, but then I got bogged down in the etymological differences between homage and hommage and whether you pronounce it hommidge or om-ahj, so let me just say this post was inspired by FH, who has just made rather delicious-looking cheese pasties with elephant garlic and sorrel.

With neither giant garlic nor sorrel to hand, I made a different filling, then thought it would be excellent as the stuffing for a pithivier. Continue reading