Sunday, 25 February 2018

February 2018 Favourites List

We have reached the end of February and it has been mighty chilly for many of us. Brr! We have had health warnings and seen frost and snow here in the UK. If hibernating had been an option, I’d have embraced it!

I hope you haven’t suffered too much in the cold. Keep your gloves and scarves out for a little bit longer, because it isn’t going to warm up just yet. 

When the weather is like this, home cooking can be a refuge from the short days and low temperatures. Focussing on warming and sustaining food helps keep your internal central heating going. 

Immerse yourself in whatever you love best; baking cakes and treats, Sunday lunches for the family, comforting curries, substantial stews, spicy stir fries, meal-in-a-bowl soups. Keep yourself warm and well fed. 

Hopefully by the time I post March's list it will have warmed up!

This month’s pictures are some of my recent home cooking escapades. Not all of them are beautiful, but they were all tasty!


Five ingredients for a simple bake which looks stunning. Jack Knight's apple tart, inspired by Ina Garten:

Chorizo and bacon might seem too strong in flavour to pair with seafood, but relax! It works! Love the look of these Nigel Slater recipes... and I have half a chorizo in the fridge!

Weekend cooking can be slower and more indulgent than weekday kitchen activities. You could also plan for the week ahead. Janice Pattie shares a flapjack recipe for lunchbox and biscuit tin:

Currently on the Winter menu at Brasserie Blanc is this Malabar Fish Curry.

Cookwitch Lisa shares her bulgur wheat and herb stuffed pepper recipe:

Keema meatball curry - from Mamta (her excellent online cookbook Mamta’s Kitchen is well worth checking out if you haven’t already done so!):

A Wintry treat... Celeriac and pancetta soup with hazlenut topping:

Chicken Kiev is a retro food classic, I say it is time for a revival!

One easy to make rice base, 6 different meals, from salmon to tofu to beef... almost a week's worth of ideas here!

Let the wonderful Mary Berry rejuvenate your packed lunch!

A vegetarian and vegan curry recipe from Meera Sodha, a dish representative of Gujerati regional cuisine:

You could make this full size in lieu of a roast, or scale it down for a Sunday lunch side dish, a Manchego and almond cauliflower gratin:

Fuchsia Dunlop's dumplings, slow roast chicken legs, Asma Khan's Bengali spinach with prawns, kimchi and egg sourdough toasts, and Peter Gordon's Thai flavoured pumpkin gratin, all frugal meals for 4:

Masterchef winner and Wahaca founder Thomasina Myers shares her recipe for Chilli Con Carne:

Food writing and related articles: 

Having spent time freezing on the picket line, could I have kept myself warm with food packed into a vacuum flask? It seems salvation is only a Thermos and kettle away!

Who reckons they would succeed in this one hour extreme food challenge? A 2.5kg giant gyoza dumpling, now available in Tokyo:

I occasionally sprout seeds in a specialised jar on the windowsill. I might upgrade to microgreens - they're full of flavour and nutrients!

Is it time to end "tasting menus"? I'm not sure. Every now and then it's fun to trust a great chef and be surprised. Maybe eating food outside your comfort zone. What do you think?

Bake Off legend Paul Hollywood apparently "bought" Twitter followers in an attempt to appear more influential online:

My non-food writing: 
How to pass ethics. Expect some excellent tips, thoughtful advice and revision strategies from my former students!

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.