Recipe of the month

Plum Frangipane Tart

Recipe ofthe month


This month's recipe comes from Bill's: The Cookbook and is chosen by Wish Lister Francesca:

This plum frangipane tart, from Bill’s: The Cookbook, is now my go-to pudding when I have people coming over. Perfect for any occasion, it’s gone down a treat with parents, friends and dates. Plus, although it looks like you’ve gone to an impressive amount of effort and it tastes delicious, it’s actually a total doddle to make! The recipe is quite generous so unless you’re catering for 8 or more people, there will be yummy leftovers for your breakfast the next day, too (IMO, cake makes the BEST breakfast).

Here’s what you need:
250g ready-made puff pastry
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
the zest of half an orange
2 medium eggs, beaten
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp plain flour, sifted
100g ground almonds
330g ripe plums, halved and stoned
– this is about 4 plums
3 tbsp flaked or slivered almonds
3 tbsp plum jam – I’ve used raspberry jam and blackcurrant jam in the past and they’ve been fine

serves 6-8

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas mark 7.

Roll the pastry in to a 26cm square (if you’re using pre-rolled pastry then an oblong shape will do just as well) and place it on a non-stick baking sheet. Score a line all the way round 1.5cm from the edge, to form a rim. Prick the middle of the pastry several times, then place the tray in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes until the pastry starts to brown and rise. Remove from the oven and neatly press the centre down with the back of a spoon to ensure the rim is raised.
Cream the butter, 100g of the sugar and the orange zest together. Gradually beat in the eggs, making sure they are completely mixed in after each addition. Add the vanilla extract, then fold in the flour and the ground almonds.
Tip this mixture on to the pastry base and smooth it out evenly, avoiding the rim.
Arrange the plum halves on top, cut sides down. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and scatter with the flaked (or slivered) almonds – the more almonds the better as they add a lovely crunch!
Return the tart to the oven, turn down the heat to 200ºC/180°C fan/gas mark 6 and bake for 25 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and the almond mixture is risen and browned.
Remove from the oven.
Melt the jam in a small saucepan, then brush it generously across the top of the tart to glaze it. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a good spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

Read more about Bills: The Cookbook.

Oat Roast

Recipe of the month

December's recipe is chosen by Rebecca Mascull, author of The Visitors.

Are you a vegetarian who’s not keen on nuts? There goes the Nut Roast at Christmas then. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Vegetarian Roast recipe which you could serve with gravy, roast potatoes, stuffing, sprouts and all the trimmings with no pesky nuts in it? And you could have it sliced cold in sandwiches the day after, just like all the Turkey types?

What you need is my fabulous Oat Roast! It’s delicious, filling and comfort food at its best. Ideal for Christmas Day with a few seasonal extras, or for any Sunday Roast throughout the year, or just when you feel like a proper roasted treat.

I must give credit for the original basis of this recipe to my childhood friend’s mum. My mate Maria and I went vegetarian at age 15 and probably annoyed our families because there was nothing for veggies to eat back in the 80s except McCain cheese & tomato mini pizzas & Findus Crispy Pancakes. Maria’s mum came up with this brilliant recipe and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Thanks, Helen.


1 large or 2 small red onions, chopped finely
1 large carrot, grated
(you can also add other veg chopped or grated e.g. mushrooms, red pepper, leeks, grated parsnip at Xmas etc. Also, chopped sundried tomatoes are heavenly in it!)
a handful or two of oats (see directions)
1 tbsp red pesto or tomato puree
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp marmite
handful grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
grated cheese for sprinkling e.g. parmesan or gruyere or red leicester or something else yummy.

Preheat oven to 180C.
Fry the onion gently in oil or butter until soft.
(At this point, you can add any other vegetables and also fry gently till soft.)
Add the grated carrot, mix in and cook through till soft.
Mix in the pesto/puree, herbs and marmite.
Turn the heat down very low. Add the oats. Try a handful first and mix in. The consistency should be firm but still nice and moist. If you add too many and it goes too dry and stodgy, try adding a few spoons of chopped tin tomatoes to loosen it up.
Still over a very low heat, stir in the cheese and just allow to melt a little, then take off the heat.
Add the egg and stir through thoroughly.
Transfer to a shallow, small baking dish. You can grease the dish beforehand if you like, but I've not found the need to with mine. Spread out the mixture and level off the top. You could put sliced tomatoes on top if you like.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 180C for about 30 - 40 mins. The top should be brown and the middle piping hot. If you insert a knife, it should come out not too sludgy. But it should still be moist.

Serve with roast veg and gravy.

Save leftovers in the fridge and slice when cold - serve in sandwiches with crunchy salad (and mayo if you like).

The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull is available from the 2nd of January.

Teriyaki Salmon

Recipe of the month



Given how much salmon we eat at home, I'm always trying out new ways of serving it, and this is my current favourite. It's amazing how much flavour the salmon takes on after just 20 minutes in the sweet and salty marinade, and it's even better if you con give it two hours. Remember always to cook fish skin-side down at first to protect the delicate flesh from too much heat. Serve with garlic tenderstem broccoli and perhaps Soba Noodle Salad (see page 1 33). Photograph overleaf.

2cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
3 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tbsp maple syrup 
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
Olive oil
4 salmon fillets (about 500g in total)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with the soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin and a drizzle of olive oil. 

2. Place the salmon fillets in a dish, season with salt and pepper and pour the sticky dressing over them. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 hours, but at least 20 minutes. 

3. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. When hot, add the salmon, skin side down, reserving the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the reserved marinade and cook for a further minute or so, until the salmon fillets are opaque halfway up the sides. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, basting with the sauce so that the salmon is well coated. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. 

4. Serve the salmon fillets on individual plates, spooning over any teriyaki sauce left in the pan.


October's recipe is chosen by Wish List's Lizzi Jones:

“Terry-what?” asked my dad, helping himself to more. “Teriyaki” I said.

For something that sounds so complicated, the recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s Teriyaki Salmon is surprisingly simple. All you need to do is mix up a quick marinade from ingredients you’ve probably got lingering at the back of your store-cupboard and pan-fry until cooked through. The finished dish is flavour-some and fragrant, and the spices complement rather than overpower the fish. We served it alongside an orange and carrot salad, which is also from Gordon’s new book and is also refreshingly simple. A definite dad-impressing dish.

The recipe is taken from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Home Cooking.


Serves four

2cm piece of fresh root ginger, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
3 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tbsp maple syrup 
1 tbsp mirin (rice wine)
Olive oil
4 salmon fillets (about 500g in total)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with the soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin and a drizzle of olive oil. 

2. Place the salmon fillets in a dish, season with salt and pepper and pour the sticky dressing over them. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge to marinate for up to 2 hours, but at least 20 minutes. 

3. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a dash of oil. When hot, add the salmon, skin side down, reserving the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the reserved marinade and cook for a further minute or so, until the salmon fillets are opaque halfway up the sides. Turn them over and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes, basting with the sauce so that the salmon is well coated. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. 

4. Serve the salmon fillets on individual plates, spooning over any teriyaki sauce left in the pan.


© Gordon Ramsay 2012. Recipe extracted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course by Gordon Ramsay.
Photography copyright © Anders Schønnemann 2012

Pear and chocolate upside-down cake



'When it comes to cake, I’m a simple kind of cook. I grew up making fairy cakes and Victoria sponges and so my list of ingredients has always consisted of the staples: butter, sugar, flour and eggs. So when I came across this recipe for pear and chocolate upside-down cake from Florence Knight’s beautiful new book ONE, I just didn’t believe it could work. No flour, I thought, well that’s like making a full English without beans or a Sunday roast without the Yorkshires – it’s just not right! Except it is. Florence uses ground almonds instead of flour, giving a deliciously gooey texture and just a gentle hint of marzipan beyond the chocolate. And with its daisy-shaped pears on the top it looks pretty special too: a dinner party delight, which has left me eating my hat (as well as most of the cake…).' Lizzi

Serves eight

5 under-ripe pears
180g dark chocolate
250g butter
6 eggs
175g sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tbsp Poire William liqueur

'Upside-down’ cake because it’s cooked upside-down. The moment of truth comes when the cake is flipped to reveal the succulent fanned pear wedges underneath. Chocolate and pears go so well together that I’m surprised they aren’t combined more often – they come together beautifully in this cake. Try to use the best quality chocolate you can find and under-ripe British pears. This is one of those rare occasions in cooking when a ripe fruit will not do. The Poire William adds a naughty alcoholic kick.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 5 and grease and line a 23cm round deep cake tin.

Peel, core and cut the pears into eighths. Arrange them core-side down in a fanned circle at the bottom of the tin.

Put a pan on the heat with a little water in it and set a heatproof bowl over it. Break up the chocolate and melt together with the butter in the bowl.

While they’re melting, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate then carefully fold in the ground almonds.

Tip the batter into the tin and bake for forty-five to fifty minutes. Use a skewer to test the centre to check that it is baked through.

From ONE by Florence Knight


Recipe of the month


August's recipe is chosen by Wish List's Angie Willocks:

'Crumpets are one of those delicious treat breakfasts, but have you ever tried making them?  Well, being sick of the slightly rubbery supermarket ones, I took on Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for making crumpets. WOW – utterly tasty and surprisingly easy. I’ve made these for friends a few times, and they tend to be met with a ‘you really MADE these’ awe, which is quite unjustified.  All you really need is a bit of time to proof the yeast, the rest is easy-peasy.  And trust me, once you make your own, ones from the supermarket will never quite live up to expectations.

From Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course 2012


Dripping with butter and jam, crumpets were the sort of teatime treat we all grew up with and loved. Making individual crumpets can be a hassle, so it’s much more fun to make a giant one to share. Topped with a quick home-made strawberry jam and a dollop of crème fraîche, the crumpet truly is worth rediscovering.

175g strong white flour
¼ tsp salt
Pinch of caster sugar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp dried yeast
125ml warm milk
Oil, for frying
Crème fraîche, to serve

2 heaped tbsp caster sugar
225g strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ¼
½–1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. Sift the flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda
into a bowl. Make a well in the middle, add the yeast, and slowly pour in the warm milk mixed with 150ml warm water. Draw the flour into the centre, mixing thoroughly, and beat to a thick batter. (You may need to add up to another 100ml warm water if the mixture is very thick.) Whisk for a couple of minutes until smooth. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has almost doubled in size and has a spongy consistency.

2. Meanwhile, make the jam. Heat the sugar in a frying pan for 3–4 minutes until caramelised and golden. Turn the heat down and add the strawberries, coating them in the caramel. Cook for about
 10 minutes until the strawberries are tender and collapsing slightly and the sauce is nice and syrupy. Add the lemon zest and juice followed by a drizzle
of balsamic vinegar. Continue to heat for 5–7 minutes until the mixture has reduced to the consistency
of  jam. Leave to cool.

3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil. Stir the batter and pour into the pan. Cook for 10–15 minutes on a low heat to prevent burning until the batter is dry and the surface is set with little holes. Dot a few little pieces of butter around the outside edge of the crumpet, and when this has melted, flip the crumpet over and cook on the other side for 1–2 minutes.

4. Serve the crumpet with the quick strawberry jam and crème fraîche.

If you want to make several small crumpets, drop individual spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and reduce the cooking time to 7–10 minutes before flipping over. You might want to use a greased metal ring or biscuit cutter to help hold the mixture and prevent the crumpets from being too thin.


Photo by Angie Willocks

Rhubarb and Orange Muffins

Recipe of the month


July's recipe is chosen by Wish List's Alix Percy: 'I've never cooked with rhubarb other than in a crumble so the idea of using it in muffins really appealed. I've made Delia's muffins before and they are always fantastic - the key really is in not over-stirring the mix, which is so tempting! I think they are also best eaten soon after baking when they are crisp on top and lovely and gooey in the middle. The combination of orange and rhubarb is very summery and great for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.'

Recipes extracted from Delia’s Cakes, out now published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. © Delia Smith 2013. To watch demonstrations from Delia's Cakes go to the Delia Online Cookery School at

Rhubarb & Orange Muffins

Makes 6 large muffins

There were a few sceptics when, in my muffin madness, I suggested we try rhubarb. But if you chop it small it does what other fruits do, and releases its juicy fragrance, which permeates all through.

150g plain flour
1 level dessertspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 heaped tablespoon ground almonds
zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 large egg
75g dark brown soft sugar
50g block butter, melted and slightly cooled
225g rhubarb, cut into 1.5cm cubes

For the topping:
1 heaped tablespoon demerara sugar

A Silverwood muffin tray lined with 6 muffin paper cases (see for further information), generously brushed with melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6

With muffins it’s always a good idea to have everything weighed out and ready before you start

Begin by sifting the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Now, in another bowl, whisk together the almonds, orange juice and zest, egg, sugar and melted butter. Return the dry ingredients to the sieve and sift them straight into the egg mixture. (This double sifting is crucial because we won’t be doing much mixing.)

What you now need to do is take a large metal spoon and fold the dry ingredients quickly into the wet ones – the key word here is quickly (i.e. in about 15 seconds). What you mustn’t do is beat or stir, just fold, ignoring the uneven appearance of the mixture because that’s precisely what makes the muffins really light. Over-mixing is where people go wrong.

Next, quickly fold in the rhubarb – again no stirring. Now divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Sprinkle on the demerara and bake near the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them straight away to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight tin or cake box.

Photo by Alix Percy, not from the book ;0)

Bill's Israeli couscous salad

Recipe of the month


June's recipe is chosen by Eleni Lawrence: "One of my favourite things about cookbooks (aside from salivating over the pictures) is being introduced to new ingredients I haven’t used before. I’ve never been much of a fan of couscous. It’s tended to languish at the back of my store cupboard as a poor relation to pasta or rice. But then I discovered the wonder that is giant Israeli cous cous (which you can find in all good supermarkets and delis). It’s got proper bite, and closer in texture to a small pasta like orzo, rather than the pointless crumbly stuff I was used to. So praise be for Bill Collison who introduced me to it! His marvellous book, Bill’s: The Cookbook, is now a trusty food-spattered friend I reach for time and time again when I want to whip up a tasty midweek supper or weekend treat for friends. This lovely salad is perfect for spring or summertime – either on its own or as a side."


serves 4-6

Pearl-like Israeli couscous is so named because it is very popular in Israel, where it is known as ptitim. It resembles the tiny grains we are familiar with, but the texture
is quite different – smooth rather than gritty – and, although it is made from wheat, it’s toasted and has a unique nutty flavour. It can be used in place of normal

couscous, pasta or rice in any main course or side dish. This salad is a Bill’s classic and we often serve it alongside other salads or as part of a mezze spread.

1 tsp turmeric
250g Israeli couscous
50ml white wine vinegar
the juice of 2 lemons
125g asparagus
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp pesto
1 x 400g tin of kidney beans,
drained and rinsed
200g fresh spinach leaves
275g large stoned olives
a handful of parsley, to garnish
mixed seeds, for topping

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the turmeric and couscous, then simmer for 20 minutes. Drain well and, while still hot, stir in the vinegar and lemon juice. Cover and leave to cool.

While you’re getting the griddle pan good and hot, trim any tough ends from the asparagus, then coat the spears in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Griddle for 5-10 minutes until crispy.

Stir the pesto and the remaining olive oil together in a jug, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and pour this dressing over the couscous. Mix in the kidney beans, spinach and olives. To serve, place the mixture in a wide, shallow dish and top with the griddled asparagus.

You can sprinkle some roughly chopped parsley across the top and/or a couple of tablespoons of crunchy munchy seeds if you like.

Recipe extracted from Bill’s The Cookbook: Cook Eat Smile by Bill Collison, out now published by Saltyard Books, £25

Photo: copyright Dan Jones

Chilli Beef Lettuce Wraps

Recipe of the month


May's recipe of the month is chosen by Wish List's Angie Willocks: "I love those moments when a particularly good recipe can change your perception of an ingredient, when it goes from the bottom of the pile to a key ingredient in a staple recipe from your armoury.  Well, Gordon Ramsay’s Chilli Beef Lettuce Wrap did that for me and my childhood enemy of mince.  Mince was always the ‘you’ve got to have a cheap meal every now and then to appreciate the good’ recipes when I was growing up, well at least in my head that is how I remember it.  Unless it was a Spag Bol or meatball recipe, I steered clear of any mince-related recipes.  Then I saw this made on TV, it looked delicious, and you know what it IS delicious. 

This is how you cook mince in a blow your socks off way, as all my friends who have come round for dinner will attest.  It is jam packed with flavour, visually entertaining, light and fresh, but also fun to eat (you’ll need a napkin!), and if you want a more hearty meal you can just add rice.  What’s not to love? Give it a try and it might just become one of your favourites too."


Serves 4

Great food doesn’t have to be complex, as these simple beef wraps show. They are really quick to make and perfect with a few beers at the start of the evening. It’s really important to get a good colour on the mince. Be bold and take it further than you’ve ever dared before.

Olive oil, for frying
200g lean minced beef
200g minced pork
Toasted sesame oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1–2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Zest of 1 lime, juice of ¹/³
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 little gem lettuces, separated into leaves, to serve

For the dressing
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp sesame oil
½ red chilli, thinly sliced
Small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
1–2 tsp fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Mix the minced beef and pork together. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed. Fry the mince in the hot pan for 5–7 minutes until crisp and brown and broken down to a fine consistency. Drain the crisped mince in a sieve – this will help it stay crispy. Set aside.

2. Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry with a pinch of salt and the sugar for 2 minutes. Add the drained mince and stir to mix.

3. Add the fish sauce and heat through. Stir in the lime zest and juice, then add the spring onions, stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.

4. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.

5. To serve, spoon some of the mince mixture into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with a little dressing and serve.


© Gordon Ramsay 2012. Recipe extracted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course by Gordon Ramsay.
Photography copyright © Anders Schønnemann 2012