Saturday, 25 April 2015

15 – Your M&S Cookbook – Cooking the Books


Starter:   Spiced Beef and Orange Koftas with Sunshine Salsa

Main:      Sticky Spiced Duck with Apple

Dessert:  Gingerbread Squares with Lemon Drizzle

m&s cookbook

Starter: Spiced Beef and Orange Koftas with Sunshine Salsa

Easiness: 8/10, especially if you already have pesto

Taste: 9/10

Make again: 9/10

Cheats & Changes: leek and coriander seed instead of onion and coriander leaf

You could easily make a quick flatbread to serve these with if you’re not pushed for time, or else and toasted pitta would do the job. In fact, the pitta recipe is great and works every time, creating a lovely pocket inside to pop the kofta into.


The salsa is grated orange zest added to segmented orange, mixed with chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh coriander, olive oil and salt and pepper. For the kofta, add orange zest, finely chopped onions, minced beef, harissa, fresh chopped coriander, pine nuts, salt & pepper (all to taste) and egg and mix well. Shape around wooden skewers that have been soaked in water first to prevent burning. Pop under a hot grill, turning regularly, for around 12 minutes until cooked through. Serve with the salsa and warmed pittas. DSC_0554

When making, I found that the mixture was already quite sticky before adding the egg, but added it nonetheless to follow the recipe. This meant, however, that the mixture didn’t really stick to the sticks as it should have so just beware. If it’s already a sticky mixture, there’s really no need to add the egg.  As usual, I found myself beginning without the required ingredients, so substituted onion for finely chopped leek, and coriander leaf for crushed coriander seed, but the flavours were still good. These were truly delicious and something I’m looking forward to doing again in the summer months.

Main: Sticky Spiced Duck with Apple

Easiness: 7/10

Taste: 8/10 Flavours were good. The marinade was delicious

Make again: 4/10 (going up to a 7/10 with the right ingredients!)

Cheats & Changes: I used duck legs rather than breasts to save a bit of money!


4 duck breasts

4 tbsp dark muscovado sugar

4 tbsp cider vinegar

4 star anise

2 dessert apples

chunk of butter

egg noodles


Slash the duck skin in a diamond pattern and place in a bag or bowl with the sugar, star anise and vinegar. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Give it a good squish to ensure all the duck is coated

Heat a heavy based frying pan til hot and place the breasts skin down until the skin sizzles and begins to crispen. Turn down heat to medium and fry in each side for about 5 minutes. Remove and leave to stand for ten minutes.

Core and thickly slice the apple. Remove the fat from the pan but leave the sticky goodness. Add a chunk of butter and fry the apple slices, adding any leftover marinade, and bubble for a minute until sticky.

Cook the noodles, and serve everything, drizzling any leftover juice from the apple pan over the top.

First off, this would work much better with duck breast: if you’re going to use leg, I suggest a low, slow cook so the meat falls off the bone. I tried to combine the two and failed miserably. I also used rice noodles instead of egg which were disgusting. All in all, not a very successful meal but edible, just about. If you actually used the ingredients suggested, it would have been much, much tastier. The apples were yummy!


Dessert: Gingerbread Squares with Lemon Drizzle

Easiness: /10

Taste: /10

Make again: /10

Cheats & Changes: none



175g s.r. flour

1tbsp ground ginger

2 eggs

100g light muscovado sugar

4tbsp black treacle

4 tbsp milk

4tbsp sunflower oil


Grease and line a 19cm square cake tin and preheat oven to 180 degrees c.

Beat together eggs, sugar, treacle, milk and oil.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and ginger.

Make a well in the powders and beat in the liquids until thoroughly combined and lumpless.

Pour into the tin and bake for 25/30 mins. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack.

Mix some icing sugar, water and lemon juice to a thick paste that you can drizzle over the cake.


This was quite a runny mixture, but rose nicely and turned out well. Mine was a little bitter, probably due to the fact that the treacle I used had been half used and in the cupboard for a few years (!) but was good, especially with the lemon drizzle on top. I used real zest and a little juice rather than the extract as per the recipe and gave it a proper coating, not just a few lines. Once cut into small squares, it doesn't last too long so this is a cake for either sharing, or wrapping tightly and cutting one square at a time!

The recipe that lasts, and the one I’ll be making this summer, is definitely the koftas as you can play around with the flavourings according to what you’ve got in the cupboard at the time.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Lea & Perrins Lasagne

I was contacted by Lea & Perrins recently to see if I’d like to test out one of their recipes. Of course, I said yes as it sounded like a fantastic opportunity to have a go at something I think I’ve got down to a T … lasagne. I have a very simple but tasty version of this that I’ve developed over the years and it always works well, so I was interested to give a different version a try out, especially since it involved several ‘dashes’ of the Worcestershire Sauce itself.

Lea & Perrins Hamper

The hamper of ingredients arrived and I was excited to get cracking, although once I’d turned out everything, never have I seen so many ingredients in rode to make one lasagne. My version sticks to the mains – beef, tomatoes, puree and a basic cheese sauce with added wholegrain mustard. The Lea & Perrins version is based more on a classic Italian Ragu with small chunks of carrot and celery running through it, added pancetta and a combination of Parmesan and Mozzarella. You can find the recipe, and many others using Lea & Perrins here.

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Although I don’t usually stick to quantities, I followed this recipe exactly, despite the fact it left out the part where I actually had to add the diced carrot and celery to the pan…the cook in me thought this step might be needed though, so I threw them in anyway after dicing at Step 2.

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Essentially you fry off pancetta, minced beef, onion, celery and carrot. Add tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock and leave to simmer. Meanwhile, make the white sauce. Now, this is something I might do again, as the addition of a clove studded onion really lifted the flavours of the sauce.

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Once the ragu has been slowly simmering for at least an hour, layer up your lasagne beginning with the meat. Top each layer with lasagne sheets, white sauce, torn mozzarella, parmesan and basil leaves.

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The recipe suggests leaving the top layer of lasagne free of white sauce and just using cheese, but I had a little leftover, so spread a thin layer on top and well as cheese instead.

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It seemed to work as well. Bake in the oven until browned and bubbling.

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Although taking longer to prep. than my usual lasagne, it was tasty and we particularly enjoyed the pancetta cubes and, as I said, flavour of the white sauce. What the Lea & Perrins did was sweeten up the usual bitterness of the tomatoes and whereas I normally add a small teaspoon of sugar, the Worcestershire sauce really did the trick and added another layer of flavour besides.

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Would I be bothered with all the ingredients and quantities next time? Probably not, but I’d certainly use ideas from this, including the Lea & Perrins rather than the sugar and the cloved onion, in my own version.

Disclaimer: Although I was sent products to try for the purpose of this post, all views and opinions are entirely my own, truthful and honest.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

14–Carluccio & Contaldo–Two Greedy Italians–Cooking the Books

two greedy italians 

Starter:   Testaroli with Pesto 

Main:      Merluzzo in Crosta (cod with tomato crust) 

Dessert:  Lemon Granita

Whilst trying to find seem thing different in my recipe books this week, it appears I have far more than my fair share of Italian based ideas. One of these is from the Two Greedy Italians. Otherwise known as Gennaro Contaldo, Jamie's friend and mentor, and Antonio Carluccio. With the things I had in the fridge and the standard store cupboard staples, I found myself rather limited for choice this week. Rather than a starter, I've gone for a 'primo' plate, often a pasta plate or more substantial starter.

Starter: Testaroli con Pesto

Easiness: 8/10, especially if you already have pesto

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 4/10 – if you’ve got pasta, you may as well use that instead.

Cheats & Changes: none

This testaroli is a dish often made by the poorer Italian from the Lunigiana region, and it combines only water, flour and salt and ends up more like a pancake batter than a pasta as such. Let's call it a cross between gnocchi, pasta and pancakes. And since it's meant to be served with a plain and simple sauce, I did as suggested and used pesto, the same I used for Jamie's white risotto, as one jar goes a long way!

Sieve a pinch of salt and 350g plain flour. Whisk in 300 ml water little by little, then add 2 tbs olive oil. In a hot, greased pan, fry these in pancake type rounds, then slice. Pop into a pot of boiling, salted water until they rise to the top. Pour your chosen flavour over the top and serve sprinkled with a little cheese.

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If you have pasta to hand, you’d be as well using that, but this did serve as a quick alternative if the cupboard is bare.

Main: Merluzzo in Crosta

Easiness: 7/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 8/10

Cheats & Changes: none

The main is a simple cod which I'll serve with potato dauphinois and a green salad: merluzzo in crosta. You combine stale bread, sundried tomatoes, black olives and salt and pepper in a processor until it all resembles breadcrumbs. Splash a little white wine and olive oil over the cod fillets and bake at 150 for five minutes. Then add the topping and bake again for ten mins or until the fish is just cooked through. Serve with greens and whatever else you'd like.


This was a lovely spring / summer dish and had a fresh, healthy feel to it for once, especially after all those rich stews. It was really lovely and one I’ll definitely make again.

Dessert: Lemon Granita

Easiness: 8/10

Taste:10 /10

Make again: 10/10

Cheats & Changes: none


Dessert is more of a palette cleanser served in between courses but you can always serve it as a light, fresh dessert: lemon granita. Add half a litre of water and 300g sugar to the pan and heat until it's beginning to turn syrupy, about ten minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half a litre of strained lemon juice, about 6-8 lemons, then leave for at least half an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the grated zest of one lemon and stir again. Tip into a plastic tub and freeze, every half an hour, remove and mix with a fork to break up the ice crystals. Now, this is where you need to have planned ahead and made sure you'll be at home for a few hours as this should be done over the cruise of about four hours, every thirty minutes! Once finished, you can leave it in the freezer until ready to serve.

This was really, really nice. Much more so than expected. It gave an instant hit of sugar, so much so that you thought it was going to be too sweet. Then the sour zest hit you and the sweetness was replaced. You were left with a refreshed feeling! I’ll make this again for a quick between-courses refresher, but maybe use a little less sugar.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

13–Jamie Oliver, Jamie’s Italy – Cooking the Books

Starter:     Baked Mushrooms stuffed with Ricotta

Main:        White Risotto

Dessert:    Vanilla Ice-cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Jamie's Italian

Starter: Baked Mushrooms stuffed with Ricotta

Easiness: 9/10

Taste: 9/10

Make again:9 /10

Cheats & Changes: none


I do like a stuffed mushroom! And this was no exception. Again, you know the flavours are going to work before you begin and it’s one of those things that when you’ve made a few different versions of it, you sort of come up with your own version based on the ingredients you have to hand. Jamie mixed chilli, lemon zest, parmesan, salt and pepper with ricotta, stuffed the mushrooms, sprinkled a little more parmesan on top and baked until bubbling. We used little mushrooms as served as ‘canapés’ and just popped them into our mouths. The recipe is here but you can really do your own version.

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Main: White Risotto with Pesto

Easiness: 6/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 7/10 – but I’ll definitely make the pesto again

Cheats & Changes: none

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I came across this recipe whilst looking for a pesto sauce to have with some homemade ravioli – made in the KitchenAid but hand finished as I think the ravioli attachment just looks too clumsy to be worthwhile using it. Much easier to lay one sheet on top of the other and cut around by hand. Whatever you do, don’t bother buying the Kitchen Craft single ravioli cutter – it doesn’t cut and is absolutely useless. You’d be far better buying a ravioli wheel cutter instead.

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Anyway, I digress! I still have a jar of the pesto left, so this seemed the ideal recipe with which to use it. A simple white onion based risotto. The pesto is just blitzing the usual pesto ingredients and altering to you own to your own taste: pine nuts, basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, salt and pepper. Jamie’s recipe is here, but it really is a question of taste. The risotto is also a very simple combination of onion, celery and garlic, cooked soffrito (slowly until softening but not coloured). The recipe is here, but if you’re used to making your own usual risotto, you can use that. Once they’ve softened, ad the rice and leave for as long as possible before it starts to catch. Pour in wine and leave until it’s a,most bubbled away. Add the stock, ladle by ladle until it’s been absorbed. At the end, remove from the heat and stir in a large knob of butter and grated parmesan. Leave for a couple of minutes with a lid on to go all gooey. Dollop a large spoonful of the pesto on top and serve with toasted pine nuts sprinkled over.

If you’re going to make a risotto, and you have a jar of pesto at the ready, homemade or otherwise, this is really quick, simple and, more importantly, tasty.

Dessert: Vanilla Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Easiness: 10/10

Taste: 10/10

Make again: 10/10

Cheats & Changes: none

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I think this is the first ‘full house’ 30/30 I’ve given! Jamie himself admits to this being an unusual combination and one you have to try to believe it can work. What you do need to make sure is that all your three ingredients are superb quality. I’m using Carte D’Or vanilla ice-cream, a delicious Abel and Cole extra virgin olive oil and Maldon sea salt. Very, very tasty. No more standard vanilla for us!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

12: Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book- Cooking the Books

Starter:     Scallops au Gratin

Main:        Chicken Pilaff

Dessert:    Vanilla Slices


This has been a ‘home’ family favourite for years, particularly the orange chicken tarragon recipe, but I can no longer source frozen concentrated orange juice! Sainsbury's used to sell it many, many years ago but, alas, no more. And neither does anywhere else, so if you have an alternative, please comment below and let me know, or bring me back some from the US or Australia!


When I flicked through the preface in the book, I was rather surprised! Staring back at me was a much younger, but still very recognisable Mary Berry! She has created many of the recipes inside, and the starter and main I have chosen are both hers. From the three chefs, she’s the only name I recognise!Also, just for a giggle, I’ve included some of the original photos and recipes, many of which simply combine ingredients, rather than require any cooking. Not sure they’re recipe ideas which I’ll be trying any time soon: cold chicken smothered in mayonnaise, jellied turkey with mandarins, and stripy–tie salmon!








Starter: Scallops au Gratin

Easiness: 8/10

Taste: 4/10

Make again: 2/10

Cheats & Changes: no quantities, pan fried scallops, own cheese sauce!

I admit it … I  didn’t follow this recipe at all. I looked at it and made the components in my own way. It’s a very old fashioned scallops au gratin with a cheese sauce served in the shell. It is suggested that you cook the scallops in milk first but to add flavour, I browned mine in a frying pan. Pop one in each scallop shell. Make a cheese sauce – a roux béchamel with added cheese, pour over the top. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over the top and pop under a hot grill till bubbling.


Let’s just say, there are better ways to eat scallops where the gentle, sweet flavours aren’t masked by a thick, gloopy cheese sauce. I’d suggest trying these recipes instead: Scallops on Leek Puree, Scallops with Chorizo & Minted Pea Puree, Seafood Linguine


Main: Chicken Pilaff

Easiness: 6/10 – lots of chopping

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 8/10

Cheats & Changes: none

I haven’t even bothered searching for this recipe online, so will abbreviate it here!


Fry of your chicken joints until browned, then cover and leave to cook on the hob for 20 minutes. Remove from pan. Add chopped onion, celery and peppers. Fry until they are soft, add rice and fry for a further few minutes. Pour in water chopped tomatoes, stock cube, garlic, curry powder, mixed herbs and chilli powder, bring to the boil, stir, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Fry mushrooms, then stir everything together and add a handful of frozen peas. Reheat till everything is hot.


In terms of spices, add what you like, I didn’t add more than a teaspoon of anything, but it depends on the heat of your powders. To serve four, use 4 joints, 8oz long grain rice, 8oz can tomatoes, 1.25 pints water. Again, once you’ve done the chopping, it’s really easy. I put the mushrooms in the with the chicken at the beginning rather than dong after and added the herbs, pieces, stock and tomatoes to the water in one jug so it was all ready to just pour in.


In theses times, I used a basmati rice which needed a much shorted cooking time, so make sure the veg are cooked to your liking before you add the rice. This was really tasty though and I’d make it again with ‘bottom of the fridge’ ingredients as you can throw in any leftovers that need using.

Dessert: Vanilla Slices

Easiness: 8/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 4/10

Cheats & Changes: none

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This is really easy, and is definitely a more English version cream cake than a French. Crème Anglaise (custard) version of Mille Feuille. Cut your shop bought, ready rolled puff pastry into 3x12 inch strips, place on a damp baking tray in a hot oven until well risen. Allow to cool. Mix icing sugar with water until it a coating consistency and colour it whatever colour you fancy. Spread one slice of pastry with jam, the other with icing sugar coating. Spread whipped cream, flavoured with vanilla, over the jammy one, top with the icing coated one and cut into slices.

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I found that I cut narrow strips, which meant the pastry really did rise, leaving me with a little problem when it came to jamming and creaming them! If I’d have stuck to the recipe's measurements, I think they’d have ended up a little flatter. My own suggestion would be to cook one as per the recipe for the top, but the bottom layer cooked under a tin – place a piece of greaseproof paper then a roasting tin on top of the pastry and cook for slightly longer to ensure a crisp, flaky but flat base on which to layer the jam and cream.

They were delicious, but rather fiddly to ‘build’. I’d have preferred it without the jam, but you could always change the flavour. Maybe use a lemon curd instead of the jam and add some grated zest to the icing on top?

So the ideas are a little out-dated, and generally, the presentation is hideous, BUT, many of these recipes work and are great stand-by classics, The pilaff was great, and if I can ever find a frozen can of concentrated orange juice again, I’m sure the chicken tarragon will be a regular favourite.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

11: Jamie Oliver, Happy Days with the Naked Chef - Cooking the Books

Starter:     Onion Baguette

Main:        Chicken in Milk

Dessert:    Pancakes – USA stylie (Jamie’s words, not mine!)

jamie happy days

Starter: Onion Baguette

Easiness: 6/10

Taste: 6/10

Make again: 6/10

Cheats & Changes: I used my own basic bread recipe

I see bread boards on the starter menus time and time again now, so here’s one you could add to yours! Jamie doesn’t use a typical French Baguette recipe, so rather than use his basic bread, I used mine which I know works well.

Make your bread as per the recipe until you’ve finished the first prove.

While it’s proving, make your onion mixture. Finely slice white onions and garlic, pop into a pan with olive oil and cover until beginning to soften. Once they are turning translucent, remove the lid and let the water evaporate. When soft but not coloured, remove from the heat, add a splash of white wine vinegar and leave to cool.

Ready for the Oven


Once the dough has had its first prove, shape into baguettes on a well floured flat tin and rub the onion mixture into the top of each one. Leave until doubled in size then slide the tray into a hot oven for about 20 minutes or until they sound hollow. The onions will burn a little, but it doesn’t hinder flavour. For a crispier crust, sprinkle with water too. They are good, but would be improved even more by adding some of the onion mixture to the dough itself before shaping, just make sure there’s very little moisture left in it.


This is the perfect sort of bread for dipping into the juices from today’s Chicken in Milk post too.

Main: Chicken in Milk

Easiness: 9/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 8/10

Cheats & Changes: none

Now, I know this doesn’t sound appealing; certainly not as tasty as slow cooked ham in cola, or something stickily similar, but I had a whole chicken, so…


The recipe's here but it’s a fairly simple combination of ingredients: sage, cinnamon, lemon, garlic and milk. You brown the chicken on a snug fitting lidded casserole, tip out excess fat, shove in the rest of the ingredients and cook. I left mine for a slightly shorted time than the recipe as I didn’t want dry chicken. I had a 1.6kg chicken that I left in for 1hr20m. Then removed from the heat, and left to sit with the lid on for about 10 minutes before serving. The meat fell off from the bone and was incredibly juicy. And although the milk sauce splits due to the lemon zest so you end up with curds and whey, which don’t necessarily look very appealing, the taste is really lovely, especially if you dip the onion baguette!

Dessert: Pancakes

Easiness: 5/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 5/10 much simpler recipes out there with the same basics and flavour

Cheats & Changes: none

This is a great recipe to whip up for pudding, although is more convoluted than the usual American pancake recipes as you whip the egg whites to create volume and air to help the pancakes puff up. I’d never choose to make this recipe as I think pancakes should be quick and easy, without having the pre-whip egg whites, etc. This also means it’s more difficult to use the mixture the next day as the whites are flat again by then. I’d normally just make a big jug of my usual one thicker with less liquid, that way it stores well in the fridge for a couple of days, but do cover it up. You can the add fruit as you go to whatever taste you fancy that day, and it makes for a super-quick and easy breakfast, especially if the frying pan is left out from the night before!

American pancakes with blueberries

Photo courtesy of

The recipe is online here and I chose to add blueberries to the mixture before cooking, then sprinkle cooked cakes with icing sugar and drizzled syrup. You can never have too much sugar! I ate mine before taking pictures but they did look fairly similar to the Jamie ones above! If you’re looking for a more ‘fun’ idea for pancakes, have a look at my Peppa ones.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

10: Delia Smith, How to Cheat at Cooking–Cooking the Books

Starter:     Calamares Fritos (that’s squid to you and me!)

Main:        Grilled (Cornish) Mackerel with Salsa Verde

Dessert:    Cheat’s Eton Mess

delia cheat

When this book first arrived, telling people they could use shop bought jars, sauces, bases and frozen stuff, it caused quite a stir. This was Delia, after all, Queen of Cooking, saying it was ok not to start from scratch every time. She even goes so far as to say that television programmes ‘persist in ridiculing and humiliating people who can’t cook … perpetuating the myth that cooking skills belong to the privileged few’. Now, this book is copyrighted 2008 and I believe much has changed since then. Hugely popular programmes, such as Bake-Off and Masterchef, whilst they have their opportunity to share a giggle with the cooks’ mistakes, also celebrate the cooking skills of  the general public. Well known chefs, and indeed farmers, such as Jamie and Jimmy (love or hate them) have brought cooking back the everyday masses and made it quick, simple and fun…but most importantly, tasty.

When I looked through Cheat to choose recipes, however, I struggled as I found I didn't have many of the ingredients needed. Now, I could have prepared a 'How not to Cheat' version of the recipes, but instead picked more simple ones, and have since bought some frozen mash, you know, just in case!

Starter: Calamares Fritos

Easiness: 6/10

Taste: 8/10

Make again: 7/10

Cheats & Changes: none – but I did batter and fry the little tentacley bits too!

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“It’s very nice, the squid, isn’t it?”


“I said the squid, the octopus, it’s really quite nice.”

Comment below if you know the film! My bet’s on my mum being first (if only she could comment successfully!)

Something I never make at home is squid rings. Now, Delia suggests using a frozen packet of these whole baby squid, but, not bothering to go to the supermarket, I've ordered fresh, so it will be the first time I've actually prepared these slippery little creatures!

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The main body is easy – check it’s empty, then slice into rings. The tentacles needed a little but more grit! I spread them out, then chopped off the little hard knobbly bit at the top and the one long, middle trailing tentacle thingy. Then sliced the remains in half long-ways so each ‘part’ had a few legs!

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The recipe is online, but it’s so easy: they don't even require a batter making up. Prep., slice, season, dip into flour, then whisked egg white and shallow fry. Serve with some delicious sweet chill sauce. Either make your own, or cheat and buy a jar!  Delia suggests Tracklements.


These were delicious, but it would have been just as quick, and [probably more tasty and crunchy, to make a quick light tempura batter, rather than just using the egg white, as it didn’t really stick!

  Main: Grilled (Cornish) Mackerel with Salsa Verde

Easiness: 9/10

Taste: 6/10 (too salty)

Make again: 7/10

Cheats & Changes:  fresh mackerel

Oily fish tends to be slightly neglected in our house. When weaning F, I read that girls should have no more than three portions a week, but she's lucky to get that. She often has white fish, and 'good' oils from nuts and olives, but rarely the fish. So this week, one of the recipes chosen is mackerel. A quick classic I usually do is buy the peppered, cooked mackerel fillets, break up into a blender with some lemon juice and crème fraiche, and whizz up into a pate purée. This is a brilliantly quick starter or simple lunch. This time, however, I'm using fresh mackerel and serving it with a green salsa. The recipe is online, as per usual for Delia, and is fairly simple. The salsa is just combining then blitzing the ingredients, and the fish is simply brushed with olive oil and grilled. It really is a quick one!

Another quick and easy one this, once the salsa is made, but I’d suggest only using one anchovy rather than two as it was very salty. And only pepper the mackerel. I served with rice, but a large salad and some pasta would work well.


Dessert: Cheat’s Eton Mess

Easiness: 10/10 (Frankie did all the chopping and crushing, not me!)

Taste: 8/10 (would have been more if I’d used red berries)

Make again: 8/10

Cheats & Changes: I used whatever fruit was to hand: kiwi, tangerine, apple, etc. I chose the book’s Greek Yoghurt rather than the Double Cream required in the online recipe.

The online recipe here differs slightly from the one in the book, as it uses double cream rather than Greek yoghurt I’ve chosen to use a tub of Greek style natural yoghurt with honey. It’s a very basic idea of breaking up the shop-bought meringue nests, adding the fruit and folding in the yoghurt. Delia also used some of the fruit to make a puree to give a sort of marbled effect, but you could leave this out if you wanted and cheat even more by pouring over a shop-bought coulis.


Obviously, this is going to taste nice, especially if you like the fruit you’ve used! It’s just sugar and fruit after all…but using shop-bought meringue, which is virtually as good as home made (much better in my case!) , and if you choose Tesco’s or M&S is even chewy in the middle, which I like best.


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