Having one of those days when ‘make dinner’ is just one of 8 million things on your to-do list? Totally run out of ideas? Yup, us too. So with frazzled, time-poor cooks in mind, here’s the first recipe in our new series of speedy weekday suppers.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking our favourite cooks to inspire us with an nifty new dish. Because there’s only so much pasta and pesto a girl can eat.
First up wearing the Muddy (not literally, don’t worry) apron? Emma Collen from the brilliant The Jericho Kitchen Cookery School in Oxford…
Bored of making stodgy old British pancakes, slathered in sugar, lemon or treacle (or if you’re my children, all three)? Try this cheeky little number for size then – an elegant crêpe with Juliette sauce, artfully created and demonstrated by the stupendously beautiful chef Camille of equally beautiful French restaurant The Swan at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire.
Not sure with all the booze that it’s really for children, but having tasted this recipe, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
This the lovely Pamela, one of a growing band of dedicated foodies I meet who has turned her passion into a business and is found a rather tidy niche. ChenMoore Chopsticks is all about demystifying oriental food (Pamela is from Taiwan originally, but cooks across the Far Eastern regions) and showing that it’s not all about chop sueys and sticky sweet and sour pork.
She’s based in Cheltenham, holding courses from her home but also getting out and about at events like the Didcot Food Festival (26 Nov) and demonstrating at the Waitrose Cookery Studio (Cheltenham, 5 Dec) and teaches everything from the total basics and how to make the perfect dimsum to one pot meals and bespoke courses, with them coming in around £85-95 for the day.
I’m just back from my summer holibobs where I was totally shamed – shamed I tell you! – by my French friend Pauline who cooked with both eyes closed, an arm behind her back, two kids hanging off her apron (no, she wasn’t really wearing one, it’s artistic licence) and no cookbook to take the tiniest credit for her awesome gastronomic creations.
Well a big *thwuuuuup* raspberry to Pauline (in the nicest way, I do really love her) – I for one am incapable of doing any cooking without a recipe-for-idiots to follow, so praise be to The Quince Tree at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, creators of this delicious crayfish and cous cous salad, who have kindly donated it to the Muddy cause.
Finding it hard to find food inspiration in this transitional month? Me too. I cooked a Sunday roast that felt somehow too wintery but I’m not quite feeling the salad vibe just yet either. I’ve had my lightbulb moment though and am going to try this noodle recipe – perfect for the British spring I think, light enough not to feel stodgy, warm enough on a damp day.
It comes from Oodles of Noodles by Louise Pickford – I chose this recipe because it felt easy enough for me to cook (there are no hard to source ingredients) but it was a more interesting take than my usual stir fry attempts.
Madeleine Shaw is a food blogger, cook and health coach, with a whopper 216k Instagram followers (yeah I’m channeling a bit of IG envy right there). The 26 year old author of cookbooks Get the Glow and Ready Steady Glow (published April 16) appears at the Oxford Literary Festival on 9 April to discuss Eating Your Way to Health and Wellbeing.
But if you can’t wait until then, I’ve already grabbed her by her lapels and screamed Make me GLOWWW!
Awwwww, I’m loving this recipe for Crimbo. Get your kids to help you make it if you have the patience, or if you’re unencumbered by small people, try it yourself with a large glass of Italian red.
This Pandoro Christmas Tree comes courtesy of Cici Coco, the Italian cookery specialists who won my very first Muddy Stilettos Award for Best Local Producer in 2012. Since then owner Giuliana has branched out into cookery courses in Oxon, Bucks and Berks (check out the dates of the latest courses here – she’s doing gift vouchers if you’re stuck for Xmas pressies) and she’s absolutely brilliant.
How about this for a fantastic Halloween recipe? A big thank you to Giuliana who runs the brilliant Cici Coco Italian cookery courses for providing the know-how.
Giuliana’s running a An Italian Celebration of English Pork class on 14 Nov (1oam-2pm) in Cuddington (near Thame) making Italian sausage meat, pork escallops, pasta sauces, meatballs etc if you’re interested. I can defo recommend her, she’s brilliant at what she does.
It’s been soooo long since I’ve posted a recipe on Muddy, but I promise *hand on heart* I’ll do them more regularly again. I’m always meeting chefs as I roll around the county reviewing pubs and restaurants, so I will nobble them to provide us all with summer sustenance!
With the sun out, here’s a naughty little dessert from Chris Wheeler, the lovely head chef at the 3AA rosette Humphry‘s (below) at Stoke Park.
It’s been forever since I’ve run a recipe on Muddy so I’m really thrilled to get back in the gastronomic saddle. Knives and forks at the ready, today I can offer you a warming chicken and leek pie with mushroom sauce by the fab James and Edd from The Three Pigeons.
If you don’t know The Three Pigeons, it’s a gorgeous, quirky pub nestled amongst the reclamation goodies in architectural salvage Mecca of LASSCO in Milton Common (just off J6 of the M40).