Whenever I visit Paris, one of the first things I always order is a 'crêpe avec jambon et fromage'. This recipe is my little twist on that – it makes vibrant green pancakes that are really nice as a brunch or lunch dish. Ham hock is a cheap and tasty alternative to prime slices of ham.
Ribollita is an Italian soup that was traditionally seen as peasant food. The great thing about this soup is that it makes an ideal base for any additional ingredients that you might want to add. Think of it as an opportunity to give a last moment of glory to any miserable veggies left at the bottom of your fridge! I keep leftover Parmesan rinds in my freezer, which I add to sauces and soups like this to give a unique rich flavour. Add a couple while the soup is simmering and simply fish them out before serving.
Even the most sorry-looking kitchens should have a few eggs, veggies and a bit of leftover cheese knocking around. My fridge-leftovers frittata is a great little lunchtime dish; it's a filling base for lots of additions, depending on what's in your kitchen. Try adding leftover ham, chorizo, spinach, peas, herbs, all sorts really.
On a recent visit to New York City, I tried the meatloaf in Kitchenette, a cool retro diner, and have been craving it ever since, which was why this recipe was born. It's true, unashamed comfort food and should be celebrated for being just that. You can make one big meatloaf and serve it in slices or I sometimes like to make mini ones and serve each sitting proudly on top of the spicy bean stew.
The fantastic thing about this recipe is that all it takes is to marinate the salmon and pop in the oven when your guests arrive. Serve with noodles in a peanut butter dressing for a tasty main course!