About Love Food
Love Food, the cookbook brand from Parragon Books, is dedicated to providing simple, delicious recipes for the home cook.
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Tips to achieve turkey triumph!
Don’t be caught out this Thanksgiving with a troublesome turkey. Follow these simple tips to achieve turkey triumph! (We hope that your turkey is already defrosting by now. Please tell us it is.)
Are you an American? Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Are you panicking because it’s almost Thanksgiving and you don’t know what to bring or serve to dinner?
It’s going to be okay. We’re here to help. The first thing you are going to do is calm down, and the second thing you are going to do is make these Scallion & Ricotta tarts to serve as an appetizer.
Cheese. Onions. See? Everything’s fine.
Meat-Free Monday: Pumpkin & Gruyère Stew
World Pasta Day: Ravioli With Crabmeat & Ricotta
Meat-Free Monday: Vegetable Toad in the Hole
Dauphinoise Potatoes – Serves 4
15 g/0.5 oz butter, plus extra for greasing,
1 tbsp plain four,
225 ml/8 fl oz double cream,
450 ml/16 fl oz milk,
1 tsp salt,
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg,
pinch of freshly ground white pepper,
4 fresh thyme sprigs,
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped,
2 kg/4 lb 8 oz baking potatoes, thinly sliced,
115 g/4 oz Gruyère cheese or white Cheddar cheese, grated,
salt and pepper.
1) Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Grease a 38 x 25-cm/15 x 10-inch ovenproof dish.
2) Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk and bring to simmering point. Add the salt, the nutmeg, white pepper, thyme and garlic, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and reserve the Thyme sprigs.
3) Make a layer of half the potatoes in the prepared dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Top with half the sauce and cover with half the cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining potatoes, sauce and cheese.
4) Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the top is browned and the potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Grandma’s Tip: These creamy, garlicky potatoes make the perfect side dish for any Sunday roast.
Baked Rice Pudding – Serves 4-6
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter,
115 g/4 oz pudding rice,
55 g/2 oz caster sugar,
850 ml/1.5 pints milk,
0.5 tsp vanilla extract,
40 g/1.5 oz unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces,
whole nutmeg, for grating,
cream, jam, fresh fruit purée, stewed fruit, honey or ice cream to serve (optional).
1) Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Grease a 1.2-litre/2-pint baking dish (a gratin dish is good) with the melted butter, place the rice in the dish and sprinkle with sugar.
2) Heat the milk in a saucepan until almost boiling, then pour over the rice. Add the vanilla extract and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
3) Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the surface of the pudding.
4) Grate nutmeg to taste over the top. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 1.5-2 hours until the pudding is well browned on the top. Stir after the first 30 minutes of cooking to disperse the rice. Serve hot, topped with cream, if using.
Grandma’s Tip: When measuring honey or syrup, dip the measuring spoon in hot water and dry it first to prevent sticking.
Meat Free Monday - Layered Vegetable Casserole
There couldn’t be an easier way to start your week! This delicious recipe can also be adapted to include more or different vegetables to suit your taste - it goes without saying though that you’ll want more than one helping! (From ‘America’s Family Recipes’, for the iPad and iPhone)
Layered Vegetable Casserole, serves 4.
1 tbsp olive oil, for brushing
5 large white potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, thoroughly washed, and thinly sliced
2 large beef tomatoes, sliced
8 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
300ml/10 fl oz vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
2. Brush an ovenproof casserole dish with a little of the olive oil. Prepare all the vegetables.
3. Place a layer of potato slices in the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with half of the basil leaves and cover with a layer of leeks. Top with a layer of tomato slices. Repeat these layers until all the vegetables are used up, ending with a layer of potatoes.
4. Stir the chopped garlic into the vegetable broth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the broth over the vegetables and brush the top with the remaining olive oil.
5. Bake in the preheated over for 1½ hours, or until the vegetables are gender and the topping is golden brown. Serve immediately.
Meat Free Monday - Parmesan Cheese Risotto with Mushrooms
It’s melt-in-your-mouth risotto time - how could you resist such temptation on a Monday!? (from The Vegetarian Cookbook)
Parmesan Cheese Risotto with Mushrooms, serves 4
1 litre/1¾ pints of vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
225g/8oz risotto rice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped
225g/8oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
55g/2oz sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped (optional)
55g/2oz finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
1. Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over a low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
2. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Add the rice and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, until the grains are thoroughly coated in oil and translucent.
3. Add the garlic, onion, celery and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the oregano.
4. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, if using, 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in half the cheese until it melts. Transfer the risotto to warmed plates. Top with the remaining cheese, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.
Pancake Day is here!
It’s Pancake Day – otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or indeed Sprengidagur if you’re from Iceland. Whichever name you’re more familiar with there is no escaping the fact that it is a food holiday! In the UK, it is all about pancakes, and unlike many of the food related holidays that we celebrate during the year, this day actually does have some religious meaning and tradition attached to it. Did you know that:
- Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday and marks the beginning of Lent. In days gone by, Lent was a very strict period of fasting and abstinence of rich food and as ingredients such as eggs, fat and butter were not allowed to be eaten during this time, they were used in making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, the last day of indulgence.
- the word ‘Shrove’ comes from the verb ‘to shrive’ which means ‘to confess’. The church bell, or ‘shriving bell’, would have been rung to mark the beginning of the holiday and to call people to church to confess their sins.
- an English pancake is made from batter, fried in a pan and is flat and thin, but rolled and usually eaten with sugar and lemon – although anything goes!
- the tradition of pancake racing heralds from 1445 when a woman making pancakes in Olney, England, heard the shriving bell and ran to church carrying her frying pan. Today, local housewives from Olney run a 375 metre course while holding a frying pan and must toss, or flip, the pancake three times during the race. The first woman to reach the church, to serve the pancake to the bell ringer and to be kissed by him is the winner.
- it used to be believed that the first three pancakes were sacred and that by sprinkling them with salt the evil spirits would be kept at bay.
- the world’s biggest pancake was cooked in Rochdale, England, in 1994, weighing in at 3 tonnes and measuring 15 metres in diameter!
And so here is the all important pancake recipe – how you indulge in the toppings is up to you. We’d love to know what you choose!
Pancakes (from ‘Great British Cooking’)
100g/3½ oz plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
300ml/½ pint milk
10 tsp butter (for sweet pancakes) or oil (for savoury ones)
caster (superfine) sugar
warmed honey or jam
1. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and half the milk. Using a whisk, beat the egg and milk together and gradually incorporate the flour. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. Gradually beat in the remaining milk. Pour the batter mixture into a jug and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Heat an 18-cm/7-inch frying pan over a medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of the butter or oil, depending on what you are going to eat with the pancakes.
3. Pour in enough batter to just cover the base and swirl the batter around the frying pan while tilting it so that you have a thin even layer. Cook for about 30 seconds and then lift up the edge of the pancake and see if it is brown. Loosen the pancake around the edges and flip it over with a spatula or palette knife. Alternatively, have a go at tossing the pancakes by flipping the pan quickly with a deft flick of the wrist and catching it carefully.
4. Cook on the other side until golden brown and then turn out onto a warm plate, cover with foil and keep warm while you cook all the pancakes in the remaining butter or oil. Layer them with baking paper so you can separate them at the end.
5. Serve them with lemon and sugar, warmed honey or jam, or a filling of your choice.