Souffles look amazing and they are surprisingly easy to prepare. One of my favourite souffles is this delicious three- cheese one. To test whether the beaten egg whites are stiff enough, simply hold the bowl upside down. If the eggs do not fall out, then they are stiff enough to use.
This is my interpretation of a classic Italian dish. I like to make it using dried egg fettuccine as they are tasty with nice bite, but you can use any regular dry pasta instead. Should you wish to use fresh egg pasta, then increase the quantities of the sauce a little as it will absorb more liquid - for 300g of fresh egg pasta use 600g chestnut mushrooms and 300ml of double cream.
I suspect the tradition of Friday night nash* is pretty widespread. Sometime after dinner, out of the sideboard come all the mini-munchies: choccy bars, sucky sweets and fondant fancies. My tastes in post-bensching relaxation, aka slobbing, have moved on to the likes of halva and bittermints (so much more grown-up), although I still confess a weakness for The Purple One in Quality Street.
At the weekend, when my eight-year-old and six year-old children come to stay with me, we always have the same conversation. I ask them what I should cook them for lunch. Would they perhaps like roast chicken? A nice piece of salmon? A Chinese stir fry?
This is a great, easy recipe with an intense Mediterranean flavour. I grew up with this dish and I always enjoyed it. My parents have a wonderful vegetable garden and peppers are one of their favourite vegetables to grow. In the summer they pick hundreds of peppers and cook them in every possible way, including stuffed peppers with meat. My mum makes several trays of it and then freezes them for the winter. I usually use beef for the filling but I sometimes mix it with lamb to give an even richer flavour.
Well, it had to be a chocolate recipe this week. We might not as a community celebrate the martyrdom of an obscure saint, but I do not think too many of us are going to refuse a service station red rose, heart card or chocolates. Unless it's that box of After Eight that has reputedly been in constant circulation since the mid-'60s.
Crumbles are one of my favourite desserts and they are very easy and quick to prepare. You can make the topping in advance and if you want to plan ahead you can make double and freeze one. I find the best crumbles include slightly tart fruits like blackberries or rhubarb as these compliment the crumble topping. You can whizz the ingredients for the topping together in a food processor or you can mix them by hand. This makes one large crumble or you can prepare individual crumbles in ramekin dishes.
One of the best things about a holiday in Spain is the opportunity to eat plenty of freshly made tortillas -the famous Spanish omelette made simply from onion, potatoes and egg, served at every cafe and tapas bar in the country - hot, cold, as a side dish or in a roll.
Over Christmas I went to the Limmud Conference. The last time I was there was three years ago when I gave a lecture on the Jews of Italy while cooking a pumpkin risotto, and more importantly I met my husband to be, who came to my lecture, introduced himself afterwards and charmed me - as they say the rest is history. So this year we went back together and found it, as always, very interesting.