Roast Pork Loin with Figs, Thyme, and Rosemary

About a week and a half ago, my mother asked me to “cook dinner for the fogies.” “The fogies?” you ask. Yes: my parents had invited four of their same-age friends round for dinner. Now I’m not saying that people in their seventies don’t get their food on. Still, I thought I’d eschew my romance with chili peppers and go for rustic, warming comfort food. Hence this dish. It’s seasonal, it’s pretty, it’s easy, and it goes well with wine and fogies. Continue reading

Aji Chombo (Panamanian Hot Sauce)

First, some background. Five years ago I spent five weeks in Panama. I contracted dengue fever, but that’s another story. While there, I was introduced to what became and has remained my absolutely favourite hot sauce Continue reading

Rustic Raspberry Tart

Sometimes I cook things because they are perfect vehicles for other foods I want to eat. Witness this “rustic” (read, freeform) raspberry tart. On Sunday I was at the Marylebone Farmer’s Market. It is impossible for me to go to the Marylebone Farmer’s Market without buying Guernsey cream. (Admittedly, I haven’t tried very hard not to buy it. But why should I deny myself?) Having bought the cream, well, clearly a tart had to be made. Continue reading

Raspberry Mousse with Port Chocolate Sauce

There are certain dishes that always and forever will remind me of my mother. My mother is an early disciple of Julia Child and Craig Claiborne, and a fantastic classical French cook. One such dish is berry mousse, which my mother makes with egg whites, whipped cream, and a bit of gelatin (and no yolks), so it is airy and delicate. I had spare egg whites from making pasta, and the British raspberries in the supermarkets have been singing a siren song to me. And perhaps I was feeling a little nostalgic for my mother’s mousse. Continue reading

Lemon Crème Fraiche Pound Cake

As my lovely friend and pastry chef extraordinaire Kathleen says, and as all good home bakers know, all sweets are formulas. Desserts are pure food science, which is what makes them so fun and so maddening.

One of my favourite formulas is the pound cake. In its purest form, a pound cake is a pound of eggs, a pound of butter, a pound of flour and a pound of sugar. I’ve never actually made a classic pound cake, although I love its OCD wacky precision. But a bastardised version of a pound cake is my go-to recipe Continue reading

Basque Roasted Pepper, Garlic, and Tomato Soup

I think everyone in London woke up today thinking, “Cripes, it’s winter.” It was COLD, RAINY, and WINDY. Since it is, in fact, technically still summer, I refused to turn on the heat, even though my flat was freezing and my elderly arthritic cat was looking at me reproachfully. Instead, wearing a hoody over my pajamas and big ridiculous fluffy slippers, I decided to make soup. Continue reading