When I was a little girl, my dad cooked a roast dinner every Sunday. Gradually, he stopped – maybe roasts got too expensive, or family schedules too complicated, I don’t know. But I do remember years where Sunday night meant The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, roast beef, and bath-before-bed.
We were a meat-and-four-veg family – typically potatoes, beans, corn and carrots, but sometimes squash, peas, beets, broccoli, spinach or chard featured instead. Whatever the vegetable, it was always boiled or steamed.
But I couldn’t have cared less about roast meat or boiled veg – for me, that dinner was all about the Yorkshire pudding. Never mind that dad’s Yorkshire puddings were often the size and density of hockey pucks – they were utterly delicious, and capable of holding a generous splash of gravy.
While I now know that airy puff is what you’re aiming for with Yorkshire puddings, I retain a fondness for the dense little numbers of my childhood. (I’ve noticed many recipes call for twice the number of eggs dad used, which would no doubt make a difference to the rise.) Continue reading
This lovely, slightly damp and sticky ginger cake is fast becoming a staple in our house. I love how the sharp lemon icing cuts the sweetness of the sponge.
The cake keeps really well, and is even more delicious the following day. It could well be even better the day after that, but we’ve never had one last long enough to find out…;-)
The original recipe is from the BBC Good Food website. Continue reading
Chicken tikka masala is one of Britain’s favourite dishes. Believed to be a local adaptation of India’s butter chicken, chicken tikka masala is such a part of the British culinary fabric, it goes by the acronym CTM.
Usually eaten in restaurants, or as a takeaway, I had never actually made chicken tikka masala myself. Continue reading
Before moving to the UK, I’d never eaten summer pudding. I was dead impressed the first time my mother-in-law served one up for dessert.
As she’s a very accomplished cook, I assumed summer puddings required patisserie skills I’d never possess. Turns out she’s a canny cook as well – and summer pudding couldn’t be easier to make. Continue reading
Barmbrack is a traditional Irish bread made with dried fruit that has been steeped in tea. Often served on Halloween, I chose it to represent Ireland in our Euro 2016 food challenge.
There are both yeast and quick bread versions of barmbrack – I decided to make a yeast one using a recipe I’d clipped from a magazine years ago.
I soaked my fruit in the morning, planning to bake mid-afternoon, in time for the Ireland-Sweden match, but the dough had other plans… Continue reading
Along with champ, the Ulster fry is Northern Ireland’s main claim to culinary fame. What sets it apart from the usual British fry-up is the griddle breads – soda bread and potato farl – that are cooked along with everything else in a single pan, absorbing flavour (and fat) from the meat. Continue reading