Nightingales and Roses

… possibly the most romantic title for a cookery book I’ve come across and what a joy it is to read. Maryam Sinaiee won the Guild of Food Writers’  First Book Award this year and she deserved it. This is clearly a labour of love. I’m a pushover for Persian/Iranian dishes at the best of times and Maryam’s recipes are so enticing. Continue reading

Freekeh with Hot-smoked Salmon

Less a recipe, more a fridge and cupboard raid, but a godsend when you want a summery supper with minimum effort. If it’s still raining where you are, put a woolly on and pretend you’re at the British seaside. A flask of stewed tea helps the illusion but a glass of wine would probably be preferable. Continue reading

Easy Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Image of newly sealed pots of pateThis is an absolute gift in the run-up to Christmas (see what I did there?) because it can be whizzed it up in advance, wrapped and frozen. Then hey presto, you can magic up a quick starter or light lunch when you’re busy doing other things.  Continue reading

Seafood and Sweetcorn Chowder

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Our family loves potatoes. My late father-in-law was a distinguished physician but it was remarkable how many of the sympathy letters we received after his death, regardless of whether they were talking of his career or his kindness, also recalled fond memories of  going down the garden with him to dig potatoes. Continue reading

Lobster Tagliatelle

Image of Mike WarnerI know, lobster is expensive and not everyone is lucky enough to have a friend like Mike Warner of EastCoastAvocet, a self-confessed salty sea dog who has his own boat, a stash of lobster pots and a generous nature.

I woke up the other day to find a message saying ‘there’s a lobster here for you if you want it’. Daft question. Continue reading

Gravlax with Elderberry and Vodka

Image of elder treeThe elder tree is a remarkable thing. It doesn’t look like much – it’s more of a weedy shrub or a shrubby weed than a tree – but it gives us fragrant elderflowers early in the season, and deliciously winey elderberries at this time of the year. Continue reading

Home-made Fish Fingers

I’ve always wondered why the ready-made breadcrumbs you can buy in the UK are a lurid orange, as are many of the pre-breaded food products on display in the shops, such as fish fingers and chicken. This is not the case in other countries. Japanese panko breadcrumbs are beige and so are the Spanish ones sold for croquetas. Continue reading

Seafood and Asparagus Lasagne

I’m usually a thrifty cook although my husband, who (bless him) does the household accounts and gets to see my shopping bills, might not agree. Once in a while, though, you have to push the boat out and I have to confess that when it comes to two of my favourite ingredients – seafood and asparagus – I go a bit wild. Continue reading