Trifle

22 Dec

I make trifle only once a year – over the Christmas holiday, when a big creamy, custardy, boozy bowl of indulgence seems like just what Santa ordered…;-)

This is a very different trifle to my Grandma Ivy’s, which calls for red and green jello, candied fruit and optional coconut macaroons(!).

(If I’m to realise my ambition of cooking every family recipe in Fern’s Food, I’ll have to give it a go some Christmas, but we’re keeping it classic this year.) Continue reading

Endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad

19 Dec

Endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad

This is one of my favourite winter salads, especially at this time of year.

Fresh and light without being worthy, endive, pear, walnut and blue cheese salad is nice counterpoint to the the rich food we’ve  been indulging in.

It’s also delicious, with each ingredient bringing something to the party. Continue reading

Onion-tahini sauce

31 Oct

Onion tahini sauce is a legacy of my student days, when I would make this dish most weeks.

And not just because it was dirt cheap. The tahini, cumin and soy sauce come together in an unexpectedly delicious, savoury, satisfying way, delivering a wallop of what I now know to be umami. Continue reading

Fake soufflé

13 Oct

Fake soufflé was one of mum’s dinner party staples in the 1970s, but I remember she found the name embarrassing.

As if she was cheating her guests by not providing a “real” soufflé instead of this light, fluffy, delicious concoction.

I think fake soufflé could do with a rebrand. Continue reading

Salmon with crab apple jelly and horseradish glaze

9 Oct

salmon with crab apple and horseradish glaze

Coating salmon in a sweet-tart glaze before baking in the oven is one of my favourite ways to cook it.

And this combination of crab apple jelly and horseradish is probably my favourite glaze to coat it with.

Crab apples were plentiful where I grew up. They’re not much good for eating, so my mum either pickled them whole or cooked them into a lovely tart jelly.

I occasionally see crab apple jelly for sale in the UK. Whenever I do, I always buy a couple of jars. It also works well with apricot jam.

Continue reading

Japanese hot dogs

5 Oct

Japanese hotdog
On our trip to Vancouver last summer, Japadog was on my list of things to do/try while we were in town.

For various reasons, I didn’t manage to eat one until we were at the airport, about to fly home. Probably just as well…

Japanese hot dogs are delicious, extremely moreish, and could definitely see myself working my way through their kurogoma kimuchi dog (turkey sausage with kimchi and black sesame seeds), ebi tempura dog (prawn tempura on rice) and yakisoba dog (“popular Japanese noodles and aribiki sausage”).

Continue reading

Pita bread

1 Oct

pita bread

Despite doing a science degree at university (or maybe because of it), I find regular moments of magic in cooking.

Egg whites stiffening into peaks, eggs and oil transforming themselves into mayonnaise, sugar melting into caramel – these things bring me genuine, uncomplicated pleasure.

Watching pita breads blowing themselves up like little balloons through the glass door of the oven is another one.

Continue reading