The Winter Garden

King Henry I is said to have died from a surfeit of lampreys. I can’t eel out of the fact that I’m suffering from an overdose of Christmas. Delicious though the mince pies, clotted cream and chocolates were, I’m beginning to look like a galleon in full sail. Continue reading

Pork, Beans and Chorizo

Not perhaps the most obvious recipe to offer for the holiday period but a real belly-warmer. It’s one I like to have handy in the freezer, ideal for those days when you want something comforting and a lot more satisfying than defrosting a supermarket pizza.

This one-pot is one of my autumn/winter standbys, in fact I’ve made it so often I can almost do it blindfold and with one hand tied behind my back. It was a bit of a surprise, therefore, to realise I’ve never really shared it with you properly before. Continue reading

Mushroom and Chestnut Strudel

Crammed with mushrooms, chestnuts and festive cranberries and wrapped in shatteringly crisp filo, this works as the centrepiece for a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner. It’s also a useful addition to a bigger spread if you’re trying to cater both for omnivores and those who prefer a plant-based diet. Continue reading

Devilled Crab Pasties

For an island nation we’re curiously uninspired when it comes to buying fish. Apparently the seafood us UK shoppers are most likely to sling into our shopping trolleys is salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and warm water prawns.

Nothing wrong with that, you might say, except that a good deal of it is imported (and in the case of the prawns fairly tasteless) yet we have so much amazing seafood available from our own waters. It’s madness not to take advantage of what’s on our doorstep and with coronavirus impacting our fleets’ exports it’s virtually a moral duty. Continue reading

Beef, Quince and Prune Pudding

This is the best sort of comfort food, the flavours bursting out of that glorious suet crust with beefy, fruity bravado. I think I’m in danger of over-egging this particular pudding but honestly, give it a go before the quince season slips through our fingers, it’s really good. Continue reading

Thai-style Mussels

I don’t have a lot in common with Nigella Lawson, sad to say, but from what I recall from one of her TV programmes, like her, I always keep a tub of Thai curry paste in the fridge. I am also fortunate in having a fishmonger who will deliver to my door, which during lock-down is an absolute boon. Continue reading

Mummy Sausage Plait

I’ve never met a child who didn’t like a sausage pie and this Hallowe’en plait is a cheap and easy addition to a spooktastic table. To be honest, it makes me laugh every time I look at it, so it wouldn’t be out of place at a grown-ups’ supper either. Childish grown-ups, anyway. Continue reading

Confit Duck Potato Cakes

Now that summer has slipped through our fingers it’s time to line up a few comforting autumnal recipes. These confit duck potato cakes can be made small enough to serve as a starter or big enough to enjoy as a main course.

I wanted to eat them with my plum and ginger chutney so the spicing is Chinese-influenced, but frankly you could make them plainer and slap a fried egg on top and they’d still be good. Continue reading