English

The roast beef of old England is only half the story: at last the world has recognised that our native cuisine is well worth a detour. Tuck into crumbles, casseroles and cakes to see why!

 
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Suntina MarmaladeMakes 2 x 1 litre or 4 x 0.5 litre jars

Suntina Marmalade

Suntinas are available from mid-December to the end of February and have a charming tangerine flavour which makes a delightfully different marmalade, and I think the nice thing about having a choice of marmalades is you never get bored.

 
 
Old-fashioned Rice PuddingServes 4-6

Old-fashioned Rice Pudding

This is the real thing – a mass of creamy rice and a thick brown speckled nutmeg skin. Don't forget to take a sharp knife and scrape off all the bits of caramelised skin that stick to the edges.

 
 
Compote of Figs in PortServes 4

Compote of Figs in Port

Dessert figs that have become too dry to eat as they are can be excellent made into a compote. This is superb served with ice cream, but failing that, try it with some Greek yoghurt.

 
 
Caramelised Orange TrifleServes 8-10

Caramelised Orange Trifle

I have been making the same Christmas trifle for years on end – but recently I decided to experiment with something new, without totally sacrificing the traditional qualities we've grown to love. This fits the bill perfectly.

 
 
Holly Leaf Cake DecorationFor the fondant icing for a 7 inch (18 cm) square or an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake

Holly Leaf Cake Decoration

This easy icing decoration will give your Christmas cake plenty of festive appeal!

 
 
Toasted Sweetcorn SalsaServes 4

Toasted Sweetcorn Salsa

Salsas are at the height of food fashion at the moment - and this is one of the best: healthy, easy to make and magnificent with rosti crab cakes, salmon, chicken or grilled meats!

 
 
Marinated Courgettes with a Herb VinaigretteServes 4

Marinated Courgettes with a Herb Vinaigrette

If you grow courgettes then this recipe is superb for serving the ones that – if you don't keep a sharp eye on them – become baby marrows overnight. If you don't, then this is still a superb way to serve courgettes as a salad with cold cuts.

 
 
English Gooseberry CobblerServes 6

English Gooseberry Cobbler

This is a classic English version of a fruit cobbler, but speeded up with the aid of a food processor – which makes it one of the fastest baked fruit desserts imaginable.

 
 
Open-faced Egg, Chive and Spring Onion SandwichesServes 2

Open-faced Egg, Chive and Spring Onion Sandwiches

My next-door neighbour Dot always keeps me well supplied with delightful home-made grainy brown rolls. As supper at home on Sundays is almost always a snack meal, we love to eat them warmed, halved and buttered, then spread with this yummy egg toppin

 
 
Christmas Rum SauceServes 8

Christmas Rum Sauce

An all-in-one version of a traditional sauce, this is best made not too far ahead. A good rule of thumb is to make it when you put the Christmas pudding on to steam on Christmas Day.

 
 
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