Archive for the 'English traditional' Category

Bangers and mash recipe – with video


* Go to the Bangers and mash recipe

Our cooking method for sausages adds extra flavour to the sometimes ho-hum “bangers and mash” by creating a chunky onion and tomato gravy out of the pan juices. Along with the obligatory mashed potato, this dish really does need some greens as well – green beans or broccoli, plunged into boiling water for just a few minutes. Perfect.

This is a reasonably quick dish – suitable for a weeknight dinner. It’s easy to scale up the recipe for extra guests – say, two sausages minimum per person. Continue reading ‘Bangers and mash recipe – with video’

Panettone pudding recipe – a twist on bread and butter pudding


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Go to the recipe for Bread and butter pudding

Our friend Anthony brought round one of those panettone things on Christmas Day. In the end not a lot of it got eaten – we had a decent spread lined up already, and the panettone was kind of a last-minute whim on Anthony’s part.

For those not familiar, panettone is a kind of domed bready cake, often containing dried fruit and other goodies. It’s usually risen with yeast as opposed to baking powder. Panettone is a centrepiece at Italian Christmas tables and seems to be becoming more popular in other countries.

So Christmas came and went, as did Boxing Day, New Year’s, and the thing was still sitting there in its box, with only a few slices taken off. Continue reading ‘Panettone pudding recipe – a twist on bread and butter pudding’

How to cook with truffles

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Go to the recipe for Pasta with white truffle
Go to the recipe for Eggs in cocotte with white truffle

On “schoolnights”, when everything happens at helter-skelter pace, it’s always a rush to get home from work, throw a meal together and do the day’s housekeeping before crashing into bed. If I’m lucky Waz has been on an early shift and we can share the evening duties.

So on the weekends we really like to give a lot more time and attention to creating lovely meals that we can enjoy eating at a slower pace.

I thoroughly respect the ideology of the Slow Food Movement – begun in 1986 to celebrate and enjoy local and regional cuisines. So when time permits I love to create meals that embody the Slow Food philosophy of creating the simplest of dishes, with the highest quality ingredients.

Chef Michelle and I recently treated ourselves with a whirlwind weekend trip to the centre of the white truffle universe – the Alba truffle festival in Piemonte near Turin, Italy. We ate a fantastic truffle meal at a Slow Food restaurant with some luscious local Barolo wine. We couldn’t believe our luck the following day when, while roaming the Alba hills, we ran into a local truffle hunter who sold us some white truffles that his little dog had just dug out of the ground. Continue reading ‘How to cook with truffles’

Let the jelly roll: Swiss roll recipe from Waz’s Nana

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Go to the recipe for Swiss roll, aka jelly roll

Swiss roll – or jelly roll to the Americans and Canadians – is what Lenny likes to call a store cupboard cake. Like my Mum’s teacake, this is baking at its easiest. You’ve probably got most of the ingredients already, and the results are sure to win you a disproportionate amount of praise from your guests. Continue reading ‘Let the jelly roll: Swiss roll recipe from Waz’s Nana’

Uncle Kev’s sausage rolls

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Go to the recipe for sausage rolls

This is my Uncle Kev’s sausage roll recipe, and it’s fantastic for parties. Or you can even make a double or triple batch before Christmas, Thanksgiving or local festive holiday and freeze them, then heat them up in the oven for a really quick finger-food for a big group of people. Continue reading ‘Uncle Kev’s sausage rolls’

No-fuss fish pie

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While it’s nice to experiment in the kitchen and try exciting and slightly scary things like soufflé and partridge, it’s equally nice to build up a stock of really easy, favourite recipes that you can cook any day of the week. You know, the kind of recipes you don’t even a shopping list for, because the list of ingredients is in your head.

This fish pie recipe is like that for me. It’s fairly quick, easy, tasty and you can substitute different kinds of seafood or vegetables, depending on what you’ve got in the fridge or what’s available at the fishmonger (or, let’s face it, the supermarket). Continue reading ‘No-fuss fish pie’

Partridges with bread sauce


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Autumn is game season, and in years past I’ve indulged in wild meaty delights such as pheasant and woodcock (I think it was). I’ve fantasised about getting out in the woods with my wellies and peacoat, dogs yapping along the muddy tracks while I take a few shots at the woodland foul as the beaters scare them out of the brush. But I never really thought it would happen.

And it didn’t, exactly. But this did: our friend Richard was lucky enough to be taken on a game shoot recently and, lucky for us, his kitchen was being refurbished at the time, so we ended up with two lovely, bright-eyed fresh partridges trussed up in a plastic bag to do with what we would.

Continue reading ‘Partridges with bread sauce’

Blackberry crumble with short ramble


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Although we haven’t had a brilliant summer here in the UK, and it looks like what we did have is pretty much over for the year, we did manage to bid a sad farewell to the summer by taking a lovely walk in the Kent countryside.

I love the public footpaths here in the UK: there is a network crossing public and private property that anyone can walk along and enjoy what the countryside has to offer. We often take a day-trip down to Kent to wander across the rolling green dales, through the fields, woodlands and orchards, taking in the fresh air.

On this particular sunny Saturday our route took us through numerous apple orchards where crisp, pink apples shone on the trees and the hedges were thick with fat, juicy blackberries.

Continue reading ‘Blackberry crumble with short ramble’

Tickety-Boo Tipsy Trifle (part 2)

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Preparing and gathering together the component parts of a trifle is only half the job – it is also necessary to give some thought to assembly.

Because even though trifle is ostensibly a slapdash co-mingling of separate (and according to Waz, perfectly edible separately) bits and bobs of sweetness, sharpness and creaminess, the presentation is all-important.

In fact, the appearance of trifle is probably the only thing I have liked about this traditional English pud in the past. Continue reading ‘Tickety-Boo Tipsy Trifle (part 2)’

Trifle Part 1: The Spongeblob Redemption

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Remember Sponge Blob Square Pan? The absolute debacle where we tried to cook a sponge cake?

It was back in the very early days of Crash Test Kitchen. We’ve learnt a few things since then, but the idea of cooking a simple sponge still gives us the collywobbles.

But then Lenny went and decided she wanted to make a classic English trifle – and of course that involves a sponge cake sliced into fingers. This time we armed ourselves with Allegra McEvedy’s “Never Fail Victoria Sponge” recipe, as handed down by her mum and published at the Word of Mouth food blog of the Observer Food Monthly, where we do some cameo appearances. Continue reading ‘Trifle Part 1: The Spongeblob Redemption’