The croque monsieur is a French café classic. Done well, it’s a toothsome delight of crispy, cheesy deliciousness – too often, it’s a tepid, limp disappointment.
All the more reason to make croque monsieur at home, using good bread, good ham and good cheese, for a great weekend lunch. Continue reading
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about chocolates is the element of surprise. Shapes can be a giveaway – square toffees, dome-shaped cherries and so on – as is the printed guide when it exists. But until you commit and sink your teeth into a chocolate, you don’t really know what’s inside.
The acute disappointment of biting into a strawberry cream with its cloying taste of cosmetics. The outrage of a square chocolate unpardonably filled with fibrous coconut. The double delight of getting whatever chocolate you and your brother both favour after he went first and chose wrong…;-) Continue reading
The Great British Bake-off signature bakes seem to be increasing in complexity as the weeks go by – which is as it should be I guess.
Still, I find myself watching in trepidation, wondering what challenge I’ll be inflicting on myself next…
Crème brûlée is – without a doubt – my favourite dessert. I love the moment when you crack the crust of caramelised sugar, and the shards shift apart to reveal the creamy custard waiting beneath. I’m already happy before I even raise the first spoonful to my mouth…
Until now, all my crème brûlée moments have occurred in restaurants. But the fourth Great British Bake-off signature bake was crème brûlée, so it was time to give it a go. Continue reading
Celeriac is generally considered to be a winter vegetable. Velvety celeriac soup, sausages with celeriac mash, beef stew simmered with carrots, celeriac and shallots – comfort food at its best.
Celeriac remoulade has opened my eyes to its warm weather possibilities. A fresh, lighter alternative to potato salad, we’ve been eating it all summer long. Continue reading
This seafood soup recipe has evolved from a straightforward tomato-based broth, making its way south to Provence with the addition of fennel, orange juice and a splash of Pernod. It now occurs to me that with a can of chickpeas, a half cup of couscous, and a dash of hot pepper sauce, it could easily hop the Mediterranean and land up in north Africa… Continue reading
October 21st is my mum’s birthday. After she died in 2003, my brothers and I established a tradition of preparing her favourite dish – coquilles St Jacques – on October 21st each year. It’s become a way of marking the day – and of connecting with one another. It isn’t always possible, but more often than not, we all sit down to this meal on her birthday. Continue reading