If making a Hollandaise sauce strikes fear into you, then maybe this sauce, which is easier, will give you more confidence. The sauce, apart from being delicious with flat fish, is also great with prawns and shrimps and is surprisingly good with oily fish like mackerel and salmon. It is an immensely useful sauce that I predict you will use over and over again. It is rich, so should not be too thick when being served. I usually stir in a few tablespoons of the fish cooking water into the sauce before serving. This thins the sauce to the consistency you require and also adds a little of the flavour of the skin and bones of the fish to the sauce.
I love when the blood oranges arrive. In this part of the world it is generally late January, just the time when we need a little cheering up. They have a wonderful flavour and the beautiful ruby coloured flesh and juice is just a joy. I use them in sweet and savoury situations and will be seen in this coldest of months trying to find a few brave shoots of watercress to pair them in what is one of my favourite savoury salads of the year. In this jelly I pair them with our regular oranges, also good at this time of year, to temper the sometimes sharp flavour of the sanguine variety. The jelly can be set in individual moulds, coffee cups or glasses. It can also be set in a large dish and served straight from that. If you want to turn out the jellies for a smart presentation, you need to brush your moulds with a non-scented oil such as sunflower to ensure they will slide out easily.
The sirloin of beef on the bone is a lovely cut and somewhat easier to carve than the more traditional wing rib. It's another of those cuts of meat that will be best if ordered from your butcher a little in advance, so as to give your butcher time to put aside a piece of properly hung beef. Like most cuts, especially the larger ones, this meat will sit quite happily for at least half an hour after cooking before serving. You can make a simple gravy, which would be lovely, or you can pull out all the stops and make the very grown-up sauce that I am suggesting. This is serious cooking: not difficult, but serious. And when you pull off this sauce, you should clap yourself thunderously on the back. I am recommending a 'roast chicken stock' for the sauce, that is to say, the bones either raw or from a cooked chicken are roasted before being made into a stock. The sauce is also excellent with a roast filet of beef or a grilled steak.
This technique for cooking rice provides a rich, delicious and flavoursome result. The technique can be used to create many different variations on the theme and depending on the additions to the rice while cooking, the pilaf can be served as a rice dish to accompany other meat, fish or vegetable dishes or can itself be the main event for an informal lunch or supper. The possible additions to a pilaf are many, and you can think about those in the same way as you would a risotto and, indeed, the two dishes have similarities. Try to keep vegetable additions in season.
Sometimes when I want a spiced chicken dish, I want a 'no-holds-barred' hot and aromatic experience. At other times, I am in the mood for tender and succulent slices of chicken with a lightly spiced, thin cream or juice to accompany it. This recipe is the latter. The chicken is casserole roasted with a light sprinkling of spices and fragrant green chillies. The spiced cooking juices, with the addition of cream, become the light sauce. The chillies will collapse in the cooking, but infuse the sauce with their own special flavour. Some will want to eat the cooked chillies, others will avoid them. Serve this dish with a plain Pilaf Rice.
This is a really simple and lovely ice to make with our furry friends. The sauce is delicious and makes the whole combination into a thoroughly refreshing dessert. I serve this with Sugar Biscuits.
This way of cooking fish is perceived as being rather old fashioned, but if you have a really fresh fish, it can be fabulous and quite contemporary in its simplicity. Hake, cod, ling and mackerel are all delicious cooked in this way. The relish served here is classic, and when properly prepared, it will remind you why herbs, butter and lemon will always have a place at the table when fresh fish is being served.
These lacy and deliciously crisp biscuits keep perfectly for several days. Serve them with ice creams, sorbets, granitas, mousses and soufflés and anything to do with chocolate. They are also perfect with perfectly ripe fruit such as pears or peaches.