A dairy dozen
Try these quick and easy ideas using dairy products – from an instant steak au poivre to a cheat's trifle topping, the possibilities are endless!
There are lots of jacket-potato fillings but none can compare with soured cream and chives. Mix 1 small carton soured cream with a pack of snipped chives and lots of salt and pepper. Then, with a knife, make two incisions length- and widthways and, using a cloth, squeeze the fluffy potato to the surface. Season and top with the soured cream.
Low-fat scrambled eggs
If you're on a diet (or even if you're not), adding 2 dessertspoons of cottage cheese halfway through scrambling some eggs gives them a lovely creamy texture. Add some freshly snipped chives at the end and you have one of the quickest, nicest snacks imaginable.
Parmigiano Reggiano is such a star that it really does deserve to be eaten just as it is, so all the flavour can be savoured. In Italy, they serve a plate of little pieces to nibble with a glass of wine before dinner. Read Delia on the making of Parmesan
Classic toasted goats' cheese
Toasted goats' cheese has become a very fashionable snack, and rightly so. This version is made by placing halved Somerset goats' cheeses under a hot grill for about 5 minutes, until the tops are browning and the cheese is melting inside. Serve with salad leaves and a piquant dressing.
A nice slice of toast
If you are wanting to cut the fat in your diet but hate anything other than butter, fear not because half-fat butter spread is exactly what it says: butter with half the fat.
Trifle in a trice!
Next time you want a quick trifle topping and don't have time to make a custard, simply combine a carton of fresh custard sauce with a small tub of Greek yoghurt, pile it on top of the trifle and sprinkle with toasted nuts.
A dessert with a difference
For another quick and wonderful dessert, mix a large tub of Greek yoghurt with 2 bananas, cut into little cubes, and put into 4 small glass dishes. Then sprinkle on enough dark brown soft sugar to cover the surfaces and simply chill until the sugar goes fudgy.
Traditional Ploughman's lunch
There's nothing quite like a traditional British ploughman's lunch – sharp, well-matured English cheddar, crusty bread, good pickles and a glass of your own favourite beer.
Speedy pasta sauce
If, like me, you love pasta, you'll love this delightfully different sauce. To make it, all you do is melt one medium-sized Camembert, rind removed, with a small tub of creme fraiche in a pan over a low heat. Stir some fried pancetta and wilted rocket into cooked pasta, then pour the sauce over the top.
Time for cake
Next time you make a classic Victoria sandwich cake, a truly great filling is an equal mixture of mascarpone and fromage frais, with a tablespoon of sugar. Sandwich between the cakes with some fresh raspberries and serve at teatime or as a dessert.
An authentic taste of Greece
If you want to close your eyes and be instantly transported in your mind to a Greek island, just taste some chilled Total authentic Greek yoghurt with some lovely, stretchy Greek mountain honey poured on top. It really is the most sensational combination.
Speedy steak au poivre
For a quick version of steak au poivre, all you do is fry 2 sirloin steaks, and just before they're cooked, pour in 2 tablespoons of Cognac. Next, add 2 teaspoons crushed peppercorns mixed with 2 rounded tablespoons half-fat creme fraiche and let it bubble and reduce for a minute. Serve the steaks with the sauce spooned over.
Enjoy Delia's classic steak au poivre as well!
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