Must-have cookbooks and recipes for the kitchen
January is the perfect time to try new things and get a little more adventurous – particularly when it comes to what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight with some healthy recipes, wow guests at a dinner party with a showstopping dessert, or preparing a mouthwatering dish for the whole family, you won’t want to miss the latest tasty tomes from the nation’s most beloved celebrity chefs. Read on and tuck in for a selection of cookbooks that any budding chef worth their salt should have on the shelf at home throughout 2018
Roast fennel, new potato and tomato stew
Laced with spicy-hot harissa paste and a sprinkling of salty preserved lemon, this rich vegetable stew has a tempting Moroccan feel to it. Eat it with a simple green salad, or add a bowlful of colourful, crunchy Moroccan carrot blitz.
3 medium-large fennel bulbs (about 1kg in total)
600-700g new or waxy potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-3cm chunks
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
300g cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1-2 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
700ml tomato passata
1 rounded tbsp harissa paste
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
75g pitted olives (about 100g stone-in)
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon, to finish
Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5.
1. Trim the fennel bulbs of their bases, tops and tough outer layer, reserving any green, feathery fronds attached to the stalks. Quarter the bulbs then cut each quarter into two or three wedges. Put these into a large roasting dish.
2. Add the potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes and garlic. Throw in the rosemary if you have it, trickle over the oil, season with salt and pepper, and stir everything together. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, giving the veg a good stir after about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a jug, combine the passata with 150ml of water and stir in the harissa.
4. When the veg is tender and starting to brown, take the dish out of the oven and add the passata mixture. Stir it in well with a spatula, using the passata to deglaze the roasting dish, scraping up any nice bits of caramelised veg from the base and sides.
5. Add the chickpeas and olives, then return the dish to the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the passata is bubbling and slightly reduced.
6. When the bubbling dish of veg comes out of the oven, taste it, then sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Scatter over the preserved lemon, tear over any saved fennel fronds, and then bring the dish to the table. Serve with more harissa if you like things spicy.
Cheat’s mango & passion fruit soufflé
The beauty of this recipe is that it uses some store-cupboard ingredients to create a restaurant-looking dessert. The shortcut is to use ready-made custard, which works beautifully as the base for a sweet soufflé, along with tinned mango purée and ripe passion fruit.
Unsalted butter, for greasing
20g caster sugar, plus an extra 2 tbsp to coat the ramekins
100ml ready-made custard (tinned or carton)
75ml tinned mango purée
3 ripe passion fruit
4 large egg whites
Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting
1. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6 and butter four ramekins. Put ½ tbsp of caster sugar in each ramekin, and rotate the dish so that the sugar coats the base and the sides evenly. Tap out any excess.
2. Tip the custard and mango purée into a bowl. Cut the passion fruit in half, then scoop out the seeds and juice into the bowl. Mix with the custard and mango purée until evenly combined.
3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff. Gradually add the 20g of sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, to make a smooth, glossy meringue. Gradually fold the meringue into the passion fruit and mango custard, using a large, metal spoon or spatula, until it is all incorporated.
4. Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. Use a palette knife to gently smooth and level the surface of each soufflé, then run your finger around the edge to lift the mixture away from the side slightly (this helps it to rise evenly).
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the soufflés are risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Burrata with romesco sauce and grilled padron peppers
(Serves 4 as a starter)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
12 fresh pardon peppers (approximately 60g in total)
Splash of vegetable oil
4 x 100g or 2 x 200g balls burrata
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the romesco sauce
100g roasted red peppers, deseeded and skin removed, or piquillo peppers (from a jar or tin), drained and roughly chopped
50g flaked toasted almonds
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp tomato purée
Splash of dry sherry
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a dry grill pan over a high heat until smoking. Drizzle the padron peppers with a little oil and seasoning, then grill for about five minutes until lightly blackened.
2. To make the romesco sauce, place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky paste. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Divide between four plates.
3. If using small burrata balls, tear them over the romesco. If you’re using larger burrata, cut them almost all the way through, then peel open and add half a burrata per portion, cut-side facing up, to the romesco. Drizzle with olive oil and season well. Garnish with the grilled padron peppers and serve immediately.
Baked cod with beans, courgettes and chorizo
Calories: 535 per serving
Feeling that you are depriving yourself on a diet is a short trip down the road to giving up entirely. Don’t do it to yourself! Although there’s not much chorizo in this dish, it gives such a tasty, crispy extra layer that you won’t feel you’re missing out.
2 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
2 cod fillets (200g each)
3 medium courgettes, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
200ml fresh fish stock
1 tsp dried oregano
Olive oil spray
400g tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
200g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
40g pitted green olives
8 thin slices of chorizo
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to finish
1. Mix the flaky salt with ½ tsp of smoked paprika and sprinkle over both sides of the cod fillets. Place them on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for one to two hours.
2. Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 4. Line a roasting tin with baking parchment.
3. Place the courgettes in the roasting tin. Add the garlic and pour on half of the fish stock. Sprinkle with the oregano and some salt and pepper. Spray with 25 to 30 sprays of oil. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the fish from the fridge, wash off the salt and pat dry with kitchen paper.
5. Take the tray from the oven and mix through the butter beans. Nestle the fish fillets into the mixture, along with the cherry tomatoes and olives. Pour on the rest of the fish stock. Lay the chorizo slices, overlapping, on top of the cod fillets.
6. Sprinkle the lemon zest and juice and the remaining ½ tsp of smoked paprika over everything, and season with salt and pepper. Spray another 20 sprays of oil over the surface and bake in the oven for 12 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.