Chestnut mushrooms with saffron risotto

Thick-sliced chestnut mushrooms drizzled with olive oil, black pepper and chopped fresh thyme, then fried with cubes of smoked bacon. Green lentils simmered in white wine. Arborio risotto rice cooked in light vegetable stock with bruised saffron until all the fluid was absorbed.  Stirred in a little cream and a knob of butter.  Served with some bright veg.

Fried bananas and custard

I found a bag of 7 large ripe bananas for 70p, Sliced in half then into three pieces, drizzled with honey then sprinkled with dark muscovado and fried in foaming butter until golden and slightly crunchy on the outside. Served in a puddle of custard, with chips of candied angelica and a dusting of red sugar


Lentil salad

Puy lentils and chopped walnuts on a bed of shredded Little Gem lettuce, with julienne of carrot and beetroot, cherry tomatoes and potato dice, boiled for 3 minutes, then tossed and deep fried at 140C until just taking colour, rested and then fried at 185C until golden. Dressing of walnut oil, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, chopped thyme and fresh lime juice.

Roasted rhubarb with caramel-poached figs

Locally-grown forced rhubarb from a dark shed at the eastern tip of the Yorkshire Triangle, strewn with sugar and dotted with butter, then roasted under foil for 13 minutes at 200C.  Foil removed and roasted another 7 minutes.

Fresh figs, quartered and poached in mango juice with a little butter and muscovado sugar until the liquor turned to a sticky golden caramel.

Rhubarb drained and served on a pool of custard (Ambrosia, none of that “hand-crafted creme anglaise made from organic free-range eggs and cream beaten over a bain-marie” nonsense…).  Figs drizzled with the caramel. Few bits of lime for prettiness.

Parsnip and mustard soup

Half an onion diced and fried in olive oil until golden.  Three parsnips, cut into quarter-inch rounds, then quartered and tossed with the oil and onions and some butter and cooked for a few minutes.  Added a little stock to deglaze and a wine-glass of apple juice.  Simmered for five minutes, then topped up with light stock and simmered until the parsnips had softened.  Added a tablespoon of French mustard and a teaspoon of English mustard, teaspoon of ground ginger, two teaspooons or so of honey and two of ground paprika. Blended to a creamy consistency, added a glug of cream and seasoned.

Served with triple-cooked chunky chips, torn basil and parsley and a drizzle of cream

Breakfast fry-up

Heinz beans, simmered in an open pan until they go crusty, are a very fine thing indeed.  Add to this some hand-cut sweet-cured smoked bacon, fried with slices of our home-made saucisson sec and halved cherry tomatoes and you have a very serious breakfast. A certain degree af artery-clang might result, but once in a while, it does hit the spot.

Pan-fried sea bass fillet

Bass fillet, fried gently over a low heat for a few minutes, skin side down in a little oil.  Turned up the heat to crisp the skin, chucked in a knob of butter, then flipped the fish over and fried for 90 seconds or so until golden.  Served on a bed of carrot batons simmered in mango juice, with sliced leek and fresh parsley.  Sauce made from the carrot cooking liquor, strained through a chinois, brought up to the boil and reduced by half.  Then whisked with a little salted butter and reduced until it was glossy..

Leek and root soup

Finely-diced onion, sweated in olive oil and butter with black pepper, finely chopped thyme and rosemary.  Diced sweet potato, carrot and parsnip added and cooked for a few minutes, then a sliced leek.  Topped up with stock and simmered until the roots were softening. Served with torn cabbage leaves.