Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2 1/2 tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat, then leave to cool slightly. Combine the soya or almond milk and cider vinegar. Add the melted coconut oil, then whisk in the flaxseed mixture. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined - do not worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the blueberries, then set aside. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add a ladleful of the batter to the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake), then add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they are nicely spaced out - you will need to do this in batches. Cook for around 2 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, then use a palette knife to flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes. Serve with a dollop of soya yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup and extra blueberries, if you like.
Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, then leave to cool. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl, then whisk in the milk to combine. Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, whisk until fully combined, then stir in most of the cooled butter. Remove the apple stalks, then grate the apples (core and all). Fold two-thirds of the apple into the mixture, but avoid stirring too much at this stage. Place a high-sided griddle pan (roughly 25cm x 30cm) over a high heat and brush with the remaining melted butter. Pour in the batter, tilting the pan so the batter spreads out evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for around 6 minutes, or until lightly golden underneath. Carefully flip it over (this can be tricky, but be bold and go for it!), then continue cooking for around 6 minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Slice into 6 pieces, then serve with natural yogurt the remaining grated apple, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dusting of cinnamon. They are also delicious with fried bacon, eggs and maple syrup - give it a go when you are feeling extra indulgent.
TOP TIP: Feel free to use a waffle maker if you have one - just make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions.
"The Mexican name for this dish is huevos rancheros eggs with chillies, tomatoes and peppers in burritos. It is absolutely great if you have got a few mates round, and even better if you have got a hangover you are trying to shake off. If you wanted to take this dish one step further, for a late brunch you could serve it with black beans, some steamed rice and a bottle of Tabasco or chilli sauce beside it. Give it a go. Get a large frying pan (make sure you have got a lid to go with it) on a high heat and add several good lugs of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, fresh and dried chillies, bay leaves and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 15 minutes to soften and caramelize the veg. Pour in your tinned tomatoes and use a spoon or potato masher to break them up a bit. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a medium heat and cook for a further 5 minutes so the sauce starts to reduce down. When you have got a nice thick tomato stew consistency, have a taste and add a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Lay your sliced tomatoes over the top of the mixture, then use a spoon to make small wells in the tomato stew, and crack in your eggs so they poach in the thick, delicious juices. Try to crack them in as quickly as you can so they all get to cook for roughly the same amount of time. Season from a height, put the lid on and let the eggs cook for around 3 to 4 minutes. Warm your tortillas while this is happening. You can pop them into the oven at 180°C/ 350°F/gas 4 for a few minutes, microwave them for a few seconds or even lay them over the lid of the pan so they heat up as the eggs cook. Take the lid off and check your eggs by giving them a poke with your finger. When they are done to your liking, turn the heat off and take the pan to the table with your warmed tortillas, your Cheddar and a grater so everyone can get involved and make their own. Personally, I like to grate a bit of cheese right on to a warm tortilla, spoon an egg and some of the wonderful tomato stew on top, wrap it up, and eat it right away. What a beautiful way to wake up!
Eggs are delicate and will continue to cook even after you have taken them off the heat, so it is really important to remove them just before they are ready, so that they will be just right by the time you come to eat them.
Crack the eggs into a measuring jug.
Add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, then use a fork to beat them together well.
Put a medium saucepan over a low heat and add the butter.
Leave it to melt slowly, then when it starts to bubble carefully pour in the eggs.
Stir slowly with a wooden spoon, or a spatula if you have got one, so you can get right to the edges of the pan.
Keep gently stirring until the eggs still look silky, slightly runny and slightly underdone, and then remove from the heat – the heat of the pan will continue to cook the eggs to perfection.
Serve with lightly buttered toast.
These American pancakes are great! Instead of being thin and silky like French crepes, they are wonderfully fluffy and thick and can be made to perfection straight away. Simple, simple, simple - my Jools goes mad for them. First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter - it is now ready to use. Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. At this point sprinkle your chosen flavouring on to the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden. You can make these pancakes large or small, to your liking. You can serve them simply doused in maple syrup and even with some butter or creme fraiche. Or if you choose to sprinkle with a flavouring, try one of these... fresh corn from the cob crispy bacon or pancetta blueberries banana stewed apple grated chocolate anything else you can imagine...
PS. Blueberry pancakes are great but you must try the corn pancakes. On one condition - you must use fresh corn. To do this, remove the outer leaves and carefully run a knife down the cob - this will loosen all the lovely pieces of corn - and sprinkle these raw over your pancake, before flipping it in the pan. I like to have some grilled bacon over my corn pancakes, drizzled with a little maple syrup. This sounds bloody horrid but it honestly tastes great!
There is nothing better than a nice bit of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. The best thing is if someone else makes it for you, so drop some hints!
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a moderate heat until it is foaming. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add to the saucepan. Stir the eggs continuously with something flexible like a spatula to get right into the corners, and cook until little pieces of cooked egg are surrounded by soft, smooth and still quite runny egg. The egg will continue to cook even when the heat is turned off, so undercooked them slightly and leave them in the pan while you butter your toast. Season the eggs to taste and pour over the toast. Drape the salmon over the eggs and serve it with the lemon wedges. Add plenty of black pepper and serve immediately.
I like to serve eggy bread simply with a few strawberries and a little natural yogurt, but you can also try it with smashed avocado and grilled tomatoes, or stewed fruit with a dollop of yogurt(just make sure you leave out the salt and pepper).
1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.
2. Add the milk and season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Gently whisk the eggs and milk together with a fork, then put to one side.
4. Place the frying pan on a medium heat to heat up. Meanwhile...
5. Dip and push 1 slice of bread into the eggy mixture, turning it over a few times to make sure it is well coated and sucks up the mixture like a sponge.
6. Add 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and carefully swirl the pan around to evenly coat the inside.
7. Lift the soaked bread up in the bowl and allow the excess mixture to drip off, then carefully lower it into the pan, making sure it is facing away from you so you do not get splashed with hot oil.
8. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through, using a fish slice to flip it over.
9. Carefully lift the bread out of the frying pan and onto a serving plate using a fish slice.
10. Place the pan back on the heat and repeat steps 6 to 10 with the remaining ingredients.
Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, with a good pinch of salt. Meanwhile, add a good lug of olive oil to a frying pan and place over a high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for around 30 seconds, then add the beans and a pinch of salt and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes, or until crisp all over. While the beans are cooking, place the sliced chillies into a bowl with the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt, then put aside for later. Drain the quinoa well, then drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice and season lightly. Spread it out on a tray and leave aside to cool slightly. Transfer the cooked beans to a bowl, wipe the pan clean and return to a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Once hot, crack in the eggs and fry to your liking – for lovely, runny eggs, you only need a couple of minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving platter, layer the eggs on top and spoon over the crispy beans. Halve and destone the avocado, then scoop out and dot over the flesh. Scatter the tomatoes, spring onions and chillies on top, then drizzle over a little of the pickling juice. Pick and roughly chop the mint and coriander leaves and sprinkle on top, then add a drizzle of extra virgin olive and serve with plenty of hot chilli sauce.
This recipe makes the perfect Boxing Day breakfast to share with family or friends. Fire up the oven an hour or so before you are ready to cook. When the temperature has reached between 180°C and 200°C (check with your thermometer) and the smoke and flames have died down, you can start cooking. I have given you timings for a freshly fired up oven so just bear in mind that you may need to cook this dish a little bit longer if you are reigniting an earlier fire by throwing on a few extra logs. Always keep an eye on the fire and top up the heat source, if needed. Parboil the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Drain and leave to steam dry. Cut the chorizo into 2cm chunks and place in a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan. Cook in the hot oven for a couple of minutes to render out the fat and give it a bit of colour. Carefully pull out the pan, give it a jiggle and add the sliced pepper. Return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pepper starts to soften. Add the potatoes and tomatoes to the pan and give it a good shake so that everything gets coated in all the lovely chorizo oil. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until everything is cooked through and nicely coloured. Remove the pan from the oven and use the back of a spoon to make four wells in the mixture. Crack your eggs, one by one, into the wells. Season with salt and pepper, then return the pan to the oven for about 2 minutes (depending on how you like your eggs). Keep a close eye on the pan and pull it out as soon as the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with chopped parsley, then take the pan to the table for everyone to tuck in. Serve with hunks of crusty bread.
This cheeky little version of eggy bread is one of my favourite breakfasts - particularly if I have got a hangover! Brown sauce is great with the eggs but maple syrup is fantastic with the smoky bacon, so take your pick. I got the idea of adding some chilli from a scrambled eggs dish I had in Italy – delicious. Crack your eggs into a bowl and give them a little whisk with a small pinch of salt and pepper and most of the chopped chilli. Then heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the bacon in a tiny amount of olive oil. Let it crisp up on both sides. Meanwhile, get your crumpets and really push them into the egg and chilli mixture. Turn them a few times - they'll soak it up like a sponge. Push the golden bacon to one side and tilt the pan so the fat runs into the middle. Add the crumpets to the pan and fry them for a few minutes until golden, then turn them over and fry them on the other side. Serve the eggy crumpets topped with the crispy bacon, with a dollop of brown sauce or a drizzle of maple syrup. To finish, you can sprinkle over any extra chopped chilli, if you are a chilli freak like me. Perfect - heaven on a plate.
For the dipping sauce:
To make the dipping sauce, trim and finely chop the spring onion and chilli (scrape out the seeds if you cannot handle the heat), then finely chop the ginger. Place into a small bowl with the remaining sauce ingredients and 1 tablespoon of water, then mix well. Taste and adjust the flavours, if needed. Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain, then leave to cool. Cut away any tough stalky bits from the kale, finely slice and place into a large bowl with the cooled noodles and beansprouts. Peel and slice the carrot into thin batons, roughly 5cm in length, then add to the bowl. Finely slice and add the ginger. Cut the pomegranate in half, hold one half over the bowl, cut-side down, and bash the back of it with a wooden spoon so that all of the seeds come tumbling out. Repeat with the other half. Pick in the herb leaves and add the sesame oil, then toss well. Dip one of the rice paper wrappers in a shallow bowl of warm water. Allow to soak for around 10 seconds until soft and pliable, drain on kitchen paper, then place onto a board. Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling onto the wrapper in a rough line, about 3cm from the edge nearest to you (be careful not to overfill them as they'll be hard to roll). Fold the edge nearest to you over the filling, then tightly roll it away from you, tucking in the left and right edges as you go, then press down to seal. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, halve each roll at an angle, then serve with the dipping sauce - enjoy!
Start by cutting the potatoes into even-sized chunks, then placing them in a large pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil, then cook over a medium heat for 15–20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and steam dry, then mash the potatoes until really smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one). Season well and mash in a knob of butter. Now make the guacamole-style dressing. Scrape the avocado flesh into a medium-sized bowl, discarding the stones and skins, season with salt and pepper and squeeze over the juice of the 2 limes. Grate in the onion and tomato, then mash together to a chunky guacamole. Chop the coriander and add it to the guacamole with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, then leave to one side. Place the finely chopped red onion in a small bowl, add the juice and zest of the 1 lime, toss together and leave to one side for 5-10 minutes. Finely chop the prawns and mix together with the crabmeat and aji amarillo paste, seasoning well. Mix the onions into the bowl with the prawns, leaving behind the excess juice. Line up 3 bowls - one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs and one with the breadcrumbs. Place a scoop of mashed potato in your hand and roll into a ball (roughly 4cm in diameter). Press a hole in the middle with your thumb about 2cm deep and spoon in some prawn and crab mixture. Close the hole as gently as you can to conceal the filling, then repeat until you have used up all the mash and filling - you should end up with around 15 croquettes. Roll each croquette in the flour, dip it into the egg (letting the excess drip off), then coat in breadcrumbs. Next, pour the vegetable oil into a large pan and gently heat to 180°C (a cube of bread dropped into the oil will turn brown within 1 minute). Gently lower the croquettes into the oil with a slotted spoon and fry for around 4 minutes, or until golden and crisp – you will need to do this in batches. Drain the cooked croquettes on kitchen paper, then serve hot on a plate smeared with the guacamole.
Cooking oysters in the embers of a fire will completely transform these little beauties, but if you are cooking indoors, you can imitate the results in your trusty oven. It is not quite the same, but it will still taste delicious. If you are cooking outdoors, nestle the oysters in the ash of your fire for around 10 minutes, or until the oysters pop open (some might stay closed, but don't worry, you will just need to apply a little extra force to get these ones open). If cooking indoors, preheat the oven to full whack. Place the rock salt into an ovenproof frying pan, then pop in the oven to preheat for around 20 minutes, before carefully placing the oysters on top and returning to the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it turns a deep golden colour and starts to sizzle. Add a few drops of Tabasco to taste, then remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice, swirling the pan until combined. Put the pan to one side. Insert an oyster knife or a blunt knife into the oyster, then carefully lever it open - beware of the hot steam! Discard the oyster tops, then place the bottom shells with the oyster on a platter, drizzle over the burnt butter and serve straightaway.
Cut your fish fillets into 1cm cubes. Put these into a bowl with your chopped peppers and spring onions, then cover and place in the fridge until you need them. In a separate bowl or a jam jar, mix together the lemon juice, salt and chilli, then pop the lid on and place in the fridge to chill too. This may seem like a lot of salt but most of it gets drained off. Finally, wash and dry your herbs and cress and put them into the fridge as well. You can assemble the ceviche just before your guests are ready to eat. It is important that you do not leave the fish marinating for too long - you do not want the acids in the juices to cook the fish. Pour the lemon dressing over the fish mixture and immediately mix it up. Leave it to sit for about 2 1/2 minutes while you lay out the plates. Throw most of your herb mixture into the bowl with the fish and very quickly toss it together - I am talking no more than 10 seconds here. Divide the ceviche between your 4 plates, gently spoon over a little of the dressing (discarding the rest) and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs. Drizzle over some good-quality extra virgin olive oil from a height, sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper, and enjoy.
Pour a few good lugs of olive oil into a small pan over a medium heat. Gently fry the garlic slices until they are lightly golden crisps; do not let them burn. Remove them to some kitchen paper to drain. Pick 8 coriander leaves and put them to one side in a little cup of cold water. This is best served right away while the flavours are all super fresh, so when you are ready to eat, put half your bunch of coriander, half your spring onion and half your chilli into a liquidizer and blitz with the juice of 1 lime and about the same amount of olive oil. Season and balance so it is got attitude and a kick. If it needs to be loosened, add a tiny splash of water. Finely chop the remaining half of your coriander, spring onion and chilli on a board with the tuna until the mixture is as chunky or fine as you like. At this point you're nearly ready to go, so lay 2 or 3 of your orange slices in the middle of 4 little plates and spoon your blitzed green sauce around them. Toss the tuna mixture in a bowl with the juice of the second lime and the same amount of olive oil. Have a taste, season it really well, then spoon your tuna tartare over your orange slices. Top with a few tomato quarters and a dollop of soured cream, then sprinkle over some of your garlic chips and your pretty coriander leaves. Serve right away with wedges from your third lime. If you want to add some more sliced chilli or a pinch of paprika, rock on!
Halve the aubergine and courgettes lengthways and score the flat side of each half. Place the pieces flat-side down on the barbecue and cook until golden brown. Wrap the aubergines and courgettes separately in double layers of foil with a good drizzle of olive oil, half the lemon juice, all of the zest and a good sprinkling of parsley (make parcels that look like Christmas crackers). Place them both on the cooler coals and, using long tongs, cover them completely with hot coals. Cook for 20 minutes until soft and slightly blackened. (Alternatively, brown the veg on a hot, dry griddle then cook the parcels in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/gas 6, for 20 minutes until soft). Meanwhile, prick the chilli all over with a knife so it does not explode. Blacken it on all sides over the barbecue (or directly over a gas hob) then wrap in clingfilm until cool. Peel, deseed and chop. Unwrap the foil parcels and place the veg on a board. Remove the stalk and skin from the aubergine, top and tail the courgettes, then chop the veg and add to a bowl. Dress with a lug of oil and the remaining lemon juice. Add the peeled and chopped garlic to the bowl, along with most of the chilli and mint. Toss and season. Lightly toast the ciabatta slices, then rub them with the cut sides of the remaining garlic clove. Drizzle with oil. Spoon over some of your lovely, smoky veg and sprinkle with chilli and mint.
Make the sauce by whisking the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl, then add the oil drop by drop. After blending in a quarter of the oil, add the rest more quickly, whisking all the time. Season with sea salt, pepper, a dash each of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brandy and a squeeze of lemon juice. Heat a large pan of salted water and add the lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler to get big strips) and remaining juice with the chilli and the herb stalks. When the water is boiling, cook the prawns and langoustines in 3 batches for 2-3 minutes, until they turn pink, curl slightly and are cooked all the way through. Drain well and allow to cool before chilling in the fridge. Discard the chilli, lemon zest and herb stalks. Pile the prawns and langoustines into 4 pint glasses and serve with the sauce, crusty bread and butter, lemon halves, finger bowls and pints of bitter!
The bread is best sliced 1cm thick and toasted on a barbecue, but it can also be done in a griddle pan for ease at home. After that it should be lightly rubbed a couple of times with a cut clove of garlic, then drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. The toppings can be as humble or as luxurious as you like, from chopped herbs or a squashed tomato with basil, to marinated vegetables or beautiful cheeses, to lovely flaked crabmeat. The only rule is that whatever goes on top of a bruschetta should be nice and fresh and cooked with care. Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, remove their cores and carefully squeeze out the seeds. Place in a bowl, tear in the basil, season with salt and pepper, then toss with a good glug of olive oil and a good swig of vinegar to balance the flavours to your taste. You can serve the tomatoes either chunky or finely chopped, or you can scrunch them between your fingers before putting them on your basic bruschette - really tasty.
Quarter the potatoes, halving any smaller ones, then place in a large pan and cover with cold salted water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, then cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, roughly chop the bacon into chunky lardons, roughly ½cm thick. Score the scallops in a criss-cross fashion about 1cm deep on one side, season with a pinch of salt, then set aside. Drain and allow the potatoes to steam dry, then return to the empty pan with the milk, a knob of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until smooth, then cover until needed. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the bacon and fry for around 2 minutes, or until golden. Move the bacon to one side of the pan, then pick the sage leaves into the space. Cook for 1 minute, or until crisp, then move to the side of the pan along with the bacon. Add the remaining butter and the scallops, cut-side down, to the empty space. Cook for around 2 minutes, or until golden, turning halfway. Remove from the heat, add a squeeze of lemon juice and toss to coat, allowing the scallops to cook in the hot pan for a further 30 seconds. Divide the creamy mash between plates, then spoon over the scallops, bacon, sage and any lovely juices from the pan, then tuck in.
Place the sugar, vodka, 3 heaped tablespoons of salt, the orange zest and the zest from 1 lemon into a bowl. Pick the dill leaves and reserve in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, then finely chop the stalks and stir into the mixture so well combined. Pop the salmon fillets into the bowl, turning them over in the marinade until well coated, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours. Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce. Add the soured cream, grated horseradish and the juice from ½ a lemon to a small bowl. Mix well, season with a pinch of salt and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then place in the fridge until needed. Add the beetroot (including the juices) to a bowl with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt, then mash with a fork to a rough paste. Have a taste and add a splash more vinegar if you think it needs it, then set aside until needed. After around 5 hours, remove the salmon from the bowl, then wipe off and discard any excess salt. Drain and finely chop the reserved dill leaves and rub all over the salmon. If you are not serving straight away, sandwich the salmon together, with the skin-side outside and wrap in cling film, then return to the fridge, until needed. To serve, remove the cling film and peel away the salmon skin, then transfer to a board and finely slice. Snip over the cress, then serve alongside the horseradish sauce, balsamic beets, rye bread and lemon wedges for squeezing over. I sometimes like to serve it with a shot of vodka on the side too. Enjoy!
For the tomato sauce:
For the topping:
For the tomato sauce, peel and finely slice the garlic, then fry in a good amount of olive oil until lightly coloured. Pick and tear the basil leaves, then add to the pan with the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can. Season to taste. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using the spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic left in the sieve, but scrape any tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl. Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cook until it is the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza bases. For the pizza dough, sieve the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into 650ml lukewarm water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. When it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out. You can use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into 6 to 8 balls. Timing-wise, it is a good idea to roll the pizza bases out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Stack the pizza bases, with a square of oiled tin foil between each one, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge. Now is the time to get your wood-fired oven, or conventional oven, heated up to full whack. Place a couple of heavy baking trays in the oven to heat up, too. Meanwhile, click off the broccoli florets and roughly chop (using the stalk, too). Blanch in boiled salted water for 1 to 2 minutes, then drain. Tear the anchovies into small pieces, then deseed and finely chop the chilli. Squeeze the sausage meat out of their skins, then roll into small, rough meatballs. When you are ready to assemble your pizzas, remove a tray from the oven, put a pizza base on it and assemble it quickly - smear tomato sauce on the base and dot with broccoli, torn up anchovy fillets and sausage meatballs. Tear over the Taleggio cheese and sprinkle with chilli. Crush and scatter over the fennel seeds. Place in the oven immediately while you prepare the remaining pizzas. If you are using a wood-fired oven the pizzas should cook, one by one, in about 3 to 4 minutes - you want them to be puffed up, crispy and delicious. In a regular oven, they will take 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Line a shallow baking tin (roughly 22cm x 32cm) with greaseproof paper. Carefully halve the squash, scoop out and discard the seeds (there is no need to peel it), then chop into rough 3cm wedges. Place into a large roasting tray with a splash of olive oil, the chilli flakes and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bash and add the garlic cloves to the tray, then pop in the hot oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the almonds, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden (keep an eye on them!), then bash well in a pestle and mortar. Take the squash out of the oven (keep the oven on for later). Scoop the flesh into a food processor and discard the skin. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, add to the processor, then whiz to a smooth puree. Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two large bowls. Grate the Parmesan over the yolks, then stir in the squash puree, flour, a good grating of nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl then carefully fold it into the squash mixture. Transfer to the lined tin, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until set and springy. Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the spinach and cook for around 2 minutes until wilted. Leave to cool, squeeze out the excess moisture, then finely chop. Turn out the roulade onto a large piece of greaseproof paper. Carefully peel away and discard the top layer of greaseproof paper. Crumble the goat's cheese into a bowl, then add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice. Deseed, finely chop and add the chilli, stir well, then season to taste. Spread the mixture over the sponge, leaving a rough 2cm gap along one of the longest edges. Scatter over the spinach and one-third of the almonds. Starting at the longest edge with no filling, carefully roll up the sponge, using the greaseproof paper to help you. Scatter over the remaining nuts, then carve into thick slices and serve straight away with a fresh green salad.
You can make this with fresh or dried pasta, so if using fresh Royal pasta dough, cut the sheets into linguine, then dry for an hour before cooking so it is more al dente. Place the white crabmeat in a large bowl, then tear over any fennel tops from the bulb (often when you buy fennel from supermarkets the herby fronds will have already been removed, but if you have got any - great). Trim the base of the bulb and remove the outside layer if it is got any blemishes, then, using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the bulb into the bowl with the crab. Using the fine side of the grater, add just the yellow zest from 1/2 a lemon to the bowl. Deseed and very finely chop the chillies, then add half to the crab, reserving the rest for sprinkling later. To make the dressing, mix the brown crabmeat, the juice of both lemons and the oil together with a little splash of water. Mix with the white crabmeat and season to taste, if needed. Put a large pan of salted water onto boil for the pasta. Transfer the dressed crabmeat to a large pan on a low heat to gently warm through, while you cook the pasta. If you have made fresh, the pasta will only take 2 minutes to cook - if you are using dried, simply cook according to packet instructions, but obviously do not put the crab on the heat until halfway through. Meanwhile, pick your fennel herbs or basil leaves. Drain the pasta, reserving a cupful of cooking water, then toss the pasta through the sauce, adding half the picked herbs and loosening with a splash of reserved water, if needed. Divide between four warm bowls, sprinkle over the remaining chilli and fennel or basil leaves, and serve. I love it with a nice, cold glass of Soave or Riesling.
Get your butcher to very finely slice the cooked turkey breast for you - it will save you a lot of time and trouble. Prick the chillies with a knife, then hold them over a direct flame on the hob (or place under the grill) for around 5 minutes, or until blackened and blistered all over, turning occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool for around 10 minutes. Halve the anchovies lengthways, then add to a bowl along with the capers, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Scrape off and discard the blackened skin from the cooled chillies. Halve, deseed and finely slice them lengthways, then add to the bowl. Mix well. Mash the tuna in a pestle and mortar to a smooth, creamy paste. Stir in the mayo, a pinch of cayenne, a squeeze of lemon juice and roughly 1 tablespoon of the dressing from the anchovies and chillies. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it. Arrange the turkey slices on a large platter, then drizzle over the tuna-spiked mayo. Now it is time to get retro - lay over the anchovy fillets in neat vertical lines, then place the chillies horizontally on top so you've created a pattern, a bit like a checkerboard! Sprinkle over the capers and the rocket and drizzle over the remaining dressing. Finish with a sprinkling of cayenne and a good grating of lemon zest, then tuck in.
For the butter:
For the broccoli mash:
Fry the bacon in a pan on a medium heat with a tiny drizzle of olive oil, until golden and crisp, then remove. For the butter, peel the garlic, then finely chop with the parsley leaves and mix into the softened butter with the cayenne. Firm up in the fridge. Working one-by-one on a board, stuff the chicken breasts. To do this, start by pulling back the loose fillet on the back of the breast – put your knife in the opposite direction and slice to create a long pocket (watch how-to video below). Open the pocket up with your fingers, cut the chilled butter into four and push one piece into the pocket, then crumble in a rasher of crispy bacon. Fold and seal back the chicken, completely covering the butter and giving you a nice neat parcel. Repeat with the 3 remaining breasts. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Place the flour in one shallow bowl, whisk the eggs in another, and put the breadcrumbs and a pinch of seasoning into a third. Evenly coat each chicken breast in flour, then beaten egg, letting any excess drip off, and finally, turn them in the breadcrumbs, patting them on until evenly coated. Shallow-fry in 2cm of sunflower oil on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes on each side, or until lightly golden, then transfer to a tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. You can bake them completely in the oven and skip the frying altogether, you just need to drizzle them with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes - they want not be as golden, but they will be just as delicious. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the potatoes and cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Chop up the broccoli and add it to the potatoes for the last 8 minutes. Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan and mash with a knob of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the mash between your plates and place a Kiev on top of each portion. Lightly dress the spinach leaves or rocket in a little oil and lemon juice, then sprinkle over the top as a salady garnish. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.
Preheat the oven to 170° C/325° F/gas 3. In a snug - fitting high-sided roasting tray, rub the lamb all over with a little oil and a good pinch of sea salt and pepper. Add a splash of water to the tray, then roast for 4 hours, or until the meat is tender and will fall away from the bone. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray, then lift the lamb out onto a board, take all the meat and crispy skin off the bone and roughly chop it, reserving the bones. Skim away any fat from the tray and pop it into a clean jam jar. Add a splash of boiling water to the tray and stir around to pick up all the lovely sticky bits from the bottom. Keep it all to one side. For the filling, peel and roughly dice the onions, carrots, celery and swede, then put them into your biggest pan on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of reserved lamb fat. Strip in the rosemary leaves, then fry the veg for 20 minutes, or until lightly caramelised, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, lamb, bones and tray juices, then pour in 1.5 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on and reduce to a gentle simmer for 40 minutes, or until you have got a loose, stew-like consistency, stirring occasionally. To guarantee intense gravy and a tender but dense filling, remove and discard the bones, then place a large coarse sieve over a pan and, in batches, spoon the lamb stew into the sieve. Let the gravy drip through, and after a couple of minutes, when you get a dense pile of meat and veg in the sieve, transfer that to a bowl, leaving the gravy in the pan. Separately freeze half the cool meat and gravy for another day. For the topping, sides and bottom, peel and roughly chop the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to steam dry, then add the butter, grate in half the cheese, season to perfection with salt and pepper, mash well and cool completely. Preheat the oven to 200° C/400° F/gas 6. Use a little reserved lamb fat to grease the inside of a large pie dish (25cm x 30cm), then pick and tear over the rosemary leaves and sprinkle with half the breadcrumbs - they will stick to the fat and add an incredible crunch. A handful at a time, press the cooled mash into the dish, covering the bottom and sides with a 1cm - thick layer. Spoon in the filling and a couple of spoonfuls of gravy, smooth out, then top with the remaining mash, pat it flat, scuff it up with a fork and pinch it at the edges. Grate over the rest of the cheese, scatter with the remaining breadcrumbs and drizzle lightly with oil. Importantly, bake on the bottom of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Warm your gravy through (reducing if desired), then serve the pie with loads of seasonal greens or peas and lots of condiments.
For the sauce:
For the paratha breads (optional):
Put the cloves, cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala into a small pan and toast for 1 minute to bring them back to life, then tip into a large bowl. Finely grate in the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze in all its juice, crush in the garlic, peel and finely grate in the ginger, and add the yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cut the chicken breasts into 5cm chunks, then massage all that flavour into the meat. Skewer up the chicken chunks, interspersing them with lemon wedges and chunks of green or yellow chilli, but do not squash them together too much. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. For the sauce, peel the onions and garlic, then finely slice with the red chillies and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves for later). Put it all into a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with a lug of oil and cook for around 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring regularly. Add the ground coriander, turmeric and remaining 1 heaped teaspoon each of paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes, then add and toast the almonds. Pour in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube and add 300ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a final 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then season to perfection. When you are ready to cook the chicken, drizzle it with a little oil, then grill on a hot barbecue, in a screaming hot griddle pan or under a hot grill, turning until it is very golden and gnarly on all sides. Slice the chicken off the skewers straight into the sauce, reserving the lemons. Simmer for 2 minutes while you use tongs to squeeze some jammy lemons over the curry, to taste. Swirl through some more yoghurt, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve with parathas or fluffy basmati rice.
For the white sauce:
For the pangrattato:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. In a tray, rub the duck all over with oil, sea salt and black pepper, then roast for 2 hours, or until golden and crisp, draining off the fat into a jar. Leave to cool, remove all the skin and fat from the duck and place in a food processor, then strip all the meat off the bone into a bowl. Peel and finely slice 2 cloves of garlic, then put into a large non-stick pan on a high heat with a little duck fat and the marjoram leaves. Cook until the garlic is lightly golden, then stir in the spinach and a good grating of nutmeg and cook for 15 minutes, or until the spinach has cooked right down and all the excess water has evaporated. Leave to cool while you make your ragu. Peel the onion and carrots, trim the celery, then roughly chop it all. Place all in a large pan on a medium heat with a little duck fat (keep any leftover fat in the fridge for making great roast potatoes) and crush in the remaining garlic. Fry for around 20 minutes, or until the veg are starting to caramelise, stirring regularly. Pour in the Chianti, turn up the heat and cook it away. Add the shredded duck meat and tinned tomatoes, along with 1 tin is worth of water, the bay leaves and cloves. Give it a good stir, simmer for around 1 hour, then season to perfection. Meanwhile, make your pasta dough. Next make your white sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat, then stir in the flour to form a paste. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and continue to heat until you have a thick white sauce. Remove from the heat, grate and stir in the cheeses, season to taste and add a grating of nutmeg. To build your lasagne, start by rolling out the pasta dough into sheets. Cover the base of a baking dish (25cm x 30cm and 8cm deep) with a good layer of spinach, then cover with a single layer of pasta sheets. Stir a good grating of Parmesan into the ragu, then cover the pasta sheets with a layer of ragu, a thin layer of spinach, a layer of white sauce and another layer of pasta. Repeat twice more, finishing with a layer of white sauce. Top with a good grating of Parmesan, then bake at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Leave to rest for around 20 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, add the bread and rosemary leaves to the food processor with the duck skin and fat and pulse into fine crumbs. Fry in a large non-stick frying pan until golden and crisp, then serve on the side and let everyone sprinkle over their own portion.
For the burger sauce:
For the best burger, go to your butcher's and ask them to mince 800g of chuck steak for you. This cut has a really good balance of fat and flavoursome meat. Divide it into 4 and, with wet hands, roll each piece into a ball, then press into flat patties roughly 12cm wide and about 2cm wider than your buns. Place on an oiled plate and chill in the fridge. Next, finely slice the red onion, then dress in a bowl with the vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Slice the gherkins and halve the buns. Finely chop the lettuce and mix with the rest of the burger sauce ingredients in a bowl, then season to taste. I like to only cook 2 burgers at a time to achieve perfection, so get two pans on the go – a large non-stick pan on a high heat for your burgers and another on a medium heat for the bacon. Pat your burgers with oil and season them with salt and pepper. Put 2 burgers into the first pan, pressing down on them with a fish slice, then put half the bacon into the other pan. After 1 minute, flip the burgers and brush each cooked side with 1/2 a teaspoon of mustard and a dash of Tabasco. After another minute, flip onto the mustard side and brush again with another 1/2 teaspoon of mustard and a second dash of Tabasco on the other side. Cook for one more minute, by which point you can place some crispy bacon on top of each burger with a slice of cheese. Add a tiny splash of water to the pan and place a heatproof bowl over the burgers to melt the cheese - 30 seconds should do it. At the same time, toast 2 split buns in the bacon fat in the other pan until lightly golden. Repeat with the remaining two burgers. To build each burger, add a quarter of the burger sauce to the bun base, then top with a cheesy bacon burger, a quarter of the onions and gherkins. Rub the bun top with a teaspoon of ketchup, then gently press together. As the burger rests, juices will soak into the bun, so serve right away, which is great, or for an extra filthy experience, wrap each one in greaseproof paper, then give it a minute to go gorgeous and sloppy.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted boiling water. Meanwhile, peel and halve the onion, then place in a small pan over a medium heat with the milk. Slowly bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Pick out and discard the onion, then set aside. Melt the margarine in another pan over a medium heat, then add the flour, stirring continuously until it forms a paste - this is the roux. Gradually add the warm milk a little at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Bring to the boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the mustard and nutritional yeast flakes, grate and stir in the vegan cheese (if using), then season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain and add the macaroni to the sauce, then toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish (roughly 20cm x 30cm), then set aside. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the thyme leaves, discarding the stalks. Add to a medium pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, then transfer to a food processor with the breadcrumbs and a splash of oil. Blitz until combined and roughly chopped, then sprinkle over the pasta. Place the dish in the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Leave to stand for around 5 minutes, then serve with seasonal greens.
For the flatbreads:
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Put the carrots, fennel and onion in a roasting dish and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the garlic cloves. Stir everything thoroughly and return to the oven for 20 minutes more, until the vegetables are soft and browned. Remove the papery skins from the garlic cloves. Put the roasted veg in a large pan with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then liquidise with a stick blender, until completely smooth. Now make the flatbreads. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Crush roughly with a pestle and mortar, then pour into a bowl with the flour and ½ teaspoon of salt. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 100ml of hand-hot (not boiling) water, then add it to the flour mixture with the oil and 60-75ml of hot water and mix until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead for 5 minutes. 4Pop the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and set aside to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Then, with oiled hands, divide the dough into 8 and roughly roll each one into a thin oval. Stack them up, separating them with baking paper to stop them from sticking together. Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking hot and add the flatbreads (you will need to do this in batches). Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until charred and puffed up. Keep warm in a tea towel while cooking the rest. Gently reheat the soup, and serve with a swirl of cream, a scattering of fennel tops and the hot flatbreads.
Wash 2 of your carrots and 2 of your celery sticks and roughly chop them. Add them to a large saucepan with the onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, a pinch of sea salt and the chicken carcass. Fill the pan with cold water so that everything is covered, then place on the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface from time to time. About 20 minutes before your stock is ready, crack on with the base for your soup. Peel your remaining carrots, wash your remaining celery, and slice them nice and evenly, about 1/2 cm thick. In another large saucepan on a low heat, melt your butter with a good lug of olive oil. Add the garlic, shallots and chopped parsley stalks and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes. When your stock is ready, remove the chicken carcass, pull off any remaining pieces of meat and leave to one side, then discard the carcass. Strain your stock through a sieve into the pan with your softened veg. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Add your seasonal greens and cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the spinach for the last minute. Finish the soup by squeezing in the juice of your lemon, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Divide between bowls and top with any leftover shredded chicken, a sprinkling of parsley leaves and a good bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Place a large saucepan (with a lid) on a medium heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the bacon. Fry slowly until the bacon has started to release all its tasty fat and goes crispy, then add the dried thyme, dried chilli, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, then add the lentils and 1 litre water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft. (Check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you are mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly). Add the tin of cannellini beans and, if the soup is a little thick, some more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. Serve with hunks of bread.
Peel off any tough outer skins of the mushroom caps and throw them away, then slice the mushrooms finely. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms, place a lid on top and sweat gently until softened. Spoon 4 tablespoons of mushrooms out of the pan and put to one side. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then whiz with a hand - held blender until smooth. Pour in the cream, bring just back to the boil, then turn off the heat. Toast the slices of ciabatta in a hot griddle pan, then top with most of the reserved mushrooms and drizzle with olive oil. Spoon the soup into deep, individual bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and remaining mushrooms, and serve with the ciabatta crostini.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. If using the shoulder of lamb, rub it all over with salt and pepper, place on a baking tray and cover with tin foil. Cook in the oven for about 3 hours, until the meat is lovely and tender, and falls off the bone. Pull all the meat off, reserving the bone, and put to one side. Put the leek, celery, onions and carrots into a large saucepan, add a splash of olive oil and sweat them on a low heat for about 20 minutes, until they are softened and starting to sweeten. Add the lamb stock and, if you have it, the lamb bone, too. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the swede, potato and pearl barley, then simmer slowly for a further 50 minutes. You do not want the heat too high - it should just be ticking along nicely. Take the pot off the hob and whisk the broth quite hard to break down some of the potato and bind the soup together. Stir in the pieces of roast lamb and season well with salt and white pepper, tasting as you go to make sure you've got the seasoning right. Serve sprinkled with parsley and celery leaves, and a good hunk of crusty bread on the side. If you want to be really authentic, why not add a little dram of whisky to each bowl?
To make your soup:
Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic. Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a couple of lugs of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 to 15 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.5 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the pan with your tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!) Give it a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
To serve your soup:
Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Using a hand blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Season again before dividing between your serving bowls.
Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Cut the ends off the leeks, quarter them lengthways, wash them under running water and cut them into 1cm slices. Peel and slice the garlic. Place a large pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened, but are still holding their shape, and the onion and leeks are lightly golden. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm dice. Put the stock cubes into a jug or pan and pour in 1.8 litres of boiling water from the kettle. Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then add to the vegetables. Add your potatoes. Give the soup a good stir and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve like this or pulse until smooth using a hand blender or liquidizer. Divide between your serving bowls.
Pull the leaves from the celery stalks and set them aside. Chop your celery and onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the celery (not the leaves), onion, and thyme. Stir until the vegetables start to brown. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir for a few more minutes. Pour in the milk, add the potato and bring to a boil, stirring the whole time so the soup does not stick to the pot. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy - this will take around 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the celery leaves, trim the ends off the spring onions and slice them thinly. When the potatoes are tender, stir in the corn, spring onion and celery leaves. Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve. This is delicious with a crusty brown roll or a Parmesan crisp.
Chop the tips off your asparagus and put these to one side for later. Roughly chop the asparagus stalks. Get a large, deep pan on the heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Gently fry the onions, celery and leeks for around 10 minutes, until soft and sweet, without colouring. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and stock and simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand-held blender or in a liquidizer. Season the soup bit by bit (this is important) with salt and pepper until just right. Put the soup back on the heat, stir in the asparagus tips, bring back to the boil and simmer for a few more minutes until the tips have softened. Just before I am ready to serve the soup, I get a wide casserole-type pan on the heat with 8 to 10cm of boiling water. Using really fresh eggs, I very quickly crack all 10 into the water. Do not worry about poaching so many at the same time. They do not have to look perfect. A couple of minutes and they will be done, as you want them to be a bit runny. Toast your ciabatta slices. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the poached eggs to a plate and add a knob of butter to them. To serve, divide the soup between eight warmed bowls and place a piece of toast into each. Put a poached egg on top, cut into it to make it runny, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base does not touch the water. Break the chocolate into the bowl and allow it to melt, then set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, halve and stone the avocados, then scoop the flesh into a food processor, discarding the skins. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse for a few seconds. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, then pulse again to combine. Pour in the cooled chocolate, then pulse a final time until creamy and smooth. Divide the mixture between six small bowls, then pop in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with an extra grating of chocolate and a fresh fruit salad.
Pour the clementine juice into a pan on a high heat to warm through - do not let it boil. Add a little sugar to sweeten - not too much, you still want that zippy clementine flavour. Grate in a tiny bit of ginger, then grate a bit more onto a chopping board then squeeze it over the pan of juice so you get a few drips of ginger juice in there. Take the juice off the heat. Sprinkle gelatine over the juice, then whisk in quickly. Arrange 6 small serving glasses on a tray and put 2 clementine rounds in each. Sieve the juice mix into each glass, allow to cool, then refrigerate for about 3 hours, or until set. To serve, mix the vanilla syrup into the yoghurt and dollop a spoonful on top of each jelly, then grate or shave a few pretty bits of chocolate on top.
Note: The amount of gelatine you will need will vary depending according to the type, so check packet instructions and adjust accordingly. Buy vanilla syrup at good supermarkets and delis.
For the meringue topping:
Preheat the oven to 160°C/310°F/gas 2 1/2 and grease a 24cm loose - bottomed cake tin. Put your biscuits into a food processor and whiz until you have got really fine crumbs, then mix in your melted butter. If you donot have a food processor, just wrap your biscuits in a tea towel and bash them up with a rolling pin until fine. Spread the biscuit mixture around the base of your greased tin, making sure you get it right to the edges, then press it with your hands to pack it down. Place the tin on a baking sheet and pop it into the fridge while you make the filling. Whiz the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth, then gradually add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Pour in the lime juice and vanilla seeds or extract and whiz again until just combined. Again, if you do not have a food processor, just do this by hand. Do not worry if the mixture seems too thin - it is supposed to be like that. Tip it over your chilled biscuit base, spread it out evenly, and bake in the oven for around 45 to 55 minutes - you want the cheesecake to still have a slight loose wobble. Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Turn the oven up to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. To make the meringue topping, put your egg whites into a clean bowl and beat until they form soft peaks - an electric whisk is quite handy here. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until thick and glossy. Finally, fold in the coconut. Spoon this meringue mixture on to the middle of the cooled cheesecake and spread it to the edges, using the back of a spoon, so it just covers the filling. It should be about 2cm thick. I like to make a few ripples and peaks in the top so it looks impressive. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the meringue is starting to turn golden in colour and is crisp to touch. Let it cool down, then place it in the fridge for a few hours (this is important) to chill before serving. Carefully remove it from the tin, transfer it to a nice platter and sprinkle over the lime zest. Really nice served with mango, strawberries and raspberries when they are in season.
Put the frozen berries, rosemary sprig, 1 tablespoon of honey, orange zest and juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. After a few minutes the berries should have started to release their lovely sticky juices. Spoon them out with a slotted spoon into a mixing bowl. Remove the rosemary sprig and discard. Keep simmering the juices left behind in the pan until they boil down to a syrup. Pour back over the fruit and put to one side to cool. Melt the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey in a frying pan. Add the oats and fry until golden brown and sticky. Whip the cream and sugar in a mixing bowl until thickened and forming soft peaks. Add a splash of whisky and the yoghurt and gently fold in. Get yourself 4 tumblers or glasses. Spoon a little fruit into the bottom of each one with a drizzle of the syrup. Top with some cream, crumble over a little shortbread, then follow with some oats and so on, until you have either filled your glasses or run out of stuff. Top with the last few oats and serve.
Place a large earthenware or metal container into the freezer to chill. Whiz the pineapple and mint to a smooth purée in a food processor. Now add the cordial and mascarpone and whiz to combine. Pour into the chilled container and return to the freezer. Mix the sherbet up with a fork every 30 minutes to aerate it, and keep it in the freezer until frozen through. This should take between 2 and 3 hours, depending on your freezer and the depth of the container you use. Serve with fresh raspberries.
In a very clean pestle and mortar, bash most of the mint leaves with the finely grated lime zest. Add the sugar, a good lug of rum and the lime juice, then mix again gently. Have a taste and add a touch more sugar if you think you need to, but bear in mind the fruit may be quite sweet. Toss the fruit together in a bowl with a little of the mojito mixture, then spread it all out on a big plate. Spoon the rest of the mixture over the top, decorate with a few torn-up mint leaves and serve.
Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to form a rectangular shape just under 1cm thick, using flour to dust. Place on a clean, flat baking tray and pinch the pastry around the edge with your thumb and forefinger to create a sort of lip. Remove the core, and slice each pear quarter into 3. Sprinkle with half the caster sugar and rest for 1 minute before scattering the pears on top of the pastry. Bake for around 18 minutes, or until golden. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the cream until nearly boiling, remove from the heat and rest for a minute before snapping in your chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth, then add the remaining sugar and the butter. Pour carefully from the middle, covering the pears, and try not to let the chocolate go over the edge. Allow to cool briefly before popping into the fridge for 20 minutes. Cut into squares or fingers... and get stuck in!
For the toffee sauce:
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put the dates in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with 200ml/7fl oz of boiling water. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes to soften, then drain. Whiz the dates in a food processor until you have a puree. Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar until pale using a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and Ovaltine. Mix together well, then fold in the yoghurt and your pureed dates. Pour into a buttered, ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. While the pudding is cooking, make the toffee sauce by putting the butter, sugar and cream in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. To serve, spoon out the pudding at the table and pour over the toffee sauce.