Bran bread

15 Nov

bran bread

I love the simplicity of this bran bread recipe. All Bran, dried fruit and milk is left to soften before being mixed with some flour and baked for an hour.

It is essentially a baked bowl of soggy cereal, but what a difference that baking makes.

The resulting loaf is toothsome, moist and flavourful. “It’s like a cross between malt bread and Christmas cake,” my daughter said, and she’s spot on.

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Beef borscht

26 Oct

Beef borscht

My mother’s borscht was a vegetarian, austere affair. It was “cheap as chips” as the British say and the recipe made gallons. In my student days, I could live on a pot of borscht for a week.

This beef version is a richer, rib-sticking affair, more akin to goulash. Continue reading

Spiced plum muffins

21 Oct

spiced plum muffins

I make bran muffins most weekends, but occasionally I mix things up with lemon poppyseed or spiced plum muffins.

Plum and ginger always work well together. I love the extra hit the preserved ginger brings, but they are also nice without it. Continue reading

Cabbage and corn slaw

15 Oct

cabbage and corn slaw

Cabbage and corn slaw is an excellent accompaniment to Mexican dishes like enchiladas and burritos, providing a welcome crunchy contrast. Continue reading

Pork and cabbage gyoza

8 Oct

pork and cabbage gyoza

Gyoza are a family favourite, and the four of us can easily get through a large panful for dinner.

They are both steamed and pan-fried, resulting in a juicy interior, silky soft sides and a crisp, golden bottom.

I usually go with the classic pork and cabbage filling, but they are also very good with minced raw prawn substituted for the ground pork.
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Warm cannellini bean salad

6 Jun

This warm cannellini bean salad is of those happy marriages of ingredients that are just meant for each other.

The combination of colours, textures and flavours – floury beans, silky rocket and salty pancetta, loosely bound in a lemony crème fraiche dressing – is a delight. Continue reading

Chicken cacciatore

31 May

chicken cacciatore
Despite transcribing it faithfully from my mother’s spattered recipe card when I was compiling Fern’s Food, chicken cacciatore is one of those 1970s mainstay meals that I’d completely forgotten about.

Braised chicken thighs simmered slowly in a rich, garlicky tomato sauce until falling-off-the-bone tender – no surprise it was a big hit with the family.

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