With this cold weather it is important to have some warming food to come home to. I love the mix of flavours in this tagine and it is very simple to make. The meatballs are a combination of chicken and beef which gives them a lovely light texture. I do not fry them; I just pop them into the sauce to cook. This is one of the recipes that are featured in my new app, The Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler, which comes out in two weeks.
This can be a very depressing time of year. The darkness and cold can be so enervating that after a long day at work the temptation is to stick a ready meal in the microwave when you get home as a prelude to collapsing on the sofa.
However, why do that when you can make this quick Thai stir-fry, which is full of zingy freshness? It takes only a couple of minutes to cook (plus a little extra time to chop things up) and can make the gloomiest winter evening into a festival for the taste buds.
This rice pudding is one of the first recipes I ever made as a child. It was one of my favourites as well as my sister's, and we prepared it whenever we had a chance. It is still one of my favourite desserts but I try not to indulge too much as it has quite a lot of double cream and butter. Still, I do get the craving sometimes and enjoy making it. For me this is the perfect rice pudding, made with risotto rice and the zest of a lemon, and the dark chocolate sauce on top adds a gorgeous depth of flavour.
I was once talking to a senior group at a Jewish community centre and mentioned shmaltz. It was as if I had used a swear word. An audible gasp ran round the room, followed by a mass sigh and, I swear, not a few tears springing to the eyes of those old enough to recall the joys and oys of shmaltz on black bread, shmaltz with chopped liver, shmaltz with gribenes. It made our collective arteries swell with pride and longing.
My latest project is an iPhone app - The Essential Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers. It is a whole new world out there. There seem to be apps for everything from the sleep machine that soothes you on your pillow with a variety of sounds and chilled-out tunes, to Pie in the Face, an app which enables you to throw a virtual pie at someone you dislike.
● This well-known dish comes without a precise recipe but will fail more often than it succeeds unless the following recommendations are heeded.
● First, get the bread right. It cannot be a sliced loaf. It cannot be wholewheat, wholemeal, wholegerm, or any of the heavy, overseeded loaves of the sort you find in health food stores. You don’t want seeds or herbs distracting your attention from the cheese.
With winter approaching it is time for comfort food and polenta is the perfect solution - warm, nutritious and filling. In Italy, polenta is mostly eaten in the north. It used to be considered peasant food but in the last 10-15 years has found new popularity in the gourmet market. This maize meal is used both in savoury dishes and desserts. Here I propose a delicious savoury pasticcio, a bake of polenta with four cheeses, fresh sage and nutmeg. Without the cheese, it can be eaten as an accompaniment to main courses in the same way as rice or couscous.
I love fish - it is quick to cook, low in fat , high in protein and it makes us super brainy. So why do so many children grow up disliking it? My theory is that somewhere along the way it has been served up over-cooked, dry and tasteless. It is not difficult to make fish appeal to children by making delicious Mini Fish Pies in ramekins, coating goujons of fish in seasoned flour, egg and crushed Cornflakes or serving up Salmon Teriyaki on skewers.
From the 1800s onwards, my family was among the "hidden Jews of Islam" in the medieval city of Meshed, Persia - strictly observant Jews at home, but Muslims to the outside world. Wine for kiddush was made in their cellars, they ground their own wheat for bread and matzah. Synagogue prayers and Hebrew lessons were conducted in secret. Shops were open on Shabbat but no sales were made.
This Israeli-inspired lamb recipe is ideal for Succot. It has the colours and flavours of the harvest season, a hint of ancient Temple pilgrimages, and a taste of pomegranates to wish you well and plenty in the year to come.
Make this stew a day ahead in order to let the flavours mellow, and serve with rice or couscous.
● 125ml olive oil
● 1 kg shoulder lamb, cubed
● 200g each carrots, celery and leeks, sliced
● 240g (drained weight) tinned chickpeas or white beans
● 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
● 400ml red wine