Take a leaf out of culinary master Marco Pierre White’s book and make sure you ace winter suppers this season…
Chef, restaurateur and television personality Marco Pierre White’s new cookbook posits itself as “perfect for the home cook” – sharing tricks and tips, stripping away the more complicated, time-consuming elements of professional cooking and delivering clear-cut, fuss-free recipes for comfort food favourites. Featuring gorgeous photography by Chris Terry, Essentially Marco is divided into starters, fish, meat and puddings for every palate and occasion, whether it’s a celebratory roast, romantic supper, or warming dish for a frosty night. “The idea is to show people that they don’t need to be a professional chef in order to create delicious, hearty dishes that can feed the whole family,” says Marco, who recently popped into his eponymous steakhouse bar and grill at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House hotel, to demonstrate some of his techniques – and shared with us a sample starter, main and dessert to try at home…
Brandade of smoked mackerel with fresh horseradish
“We think of brandade as a Provencal mixture of salt cod and olive oil, but this is a different take on it. I’m using smoked mackerel and horseradish – a classic, winning combination – with a creamy sauce.”
- 4 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned and pinned (small bones removed)
- 2 shallots finely sliced
- Softened butter
- Fresh horseradish
- Parsley or herbs of your choice
- In a large bowl, mix the mackerel with the butter
- Add shallots and grated fresh horseradish to your taste.
- In a terrine or Kilner jar, layer one third of the mackerel, shallots then horseradish, and repeat in layers three times.
- Top with shallots and parsley and serve with Melba toast.
“This is an easy, colourful main course, but please allow time for the meat to rest.”
- 2 rumps of lamb, each weighing around 280g
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard to your taste
- A handful of fresh chives, diced to the size of small beads
- Chives or fresh herbs of your choice
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Heat the oil in a frying pan and caramelise the lamb for a couple of minutes on each side, turning once.
- Transfer the lamb to a roasting tin, skin side down. Pop it in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow the meat to rest for at least five minutes. Keep the roasting juices.
- Cover the lamb with the mustard. Cover it with the diced chives – they’ll stick to the Dijon. Give it a drizzle of olive oil.
- On a chopping board, slice each piece of rested rump into two. Place the slices in the pan. Scatter with long strips of chive. Serve with your choice of potatoes and vegetables.
Rice pudding with apricots
“Once upon a time, rice was an expensive import and only the rich ate rice pudding. Thank goodness things have moved on since medieval days. The trick is to cook it slowly on a low heat. For many, proper rice pudding is the epitome of comfort food.”
- 200g pudding rice
- 200g sugar
- 800ml double cream
- 400ml whole milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 vanilla pods, split in two, lengthways
- 12 tinned apricot halves
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. On a pan, melt the butter on a medium heat. Add the rice and stir. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
- Add the cream, milk and one split vanilla pod. Stir well. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer. Remove the pod and scrape out the seeds, returning them to the pudding.
- Bake the pudding for an hour in the oven. Meanwhile, use a stick blender to make a purée of six apricot halves. Put to one side.
- Place the remaining apricot halves into a saucepan and add the remaining vanilla pod. Pour in the syrup from the tin and very gently bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse.
- When the pudding is ready, pour the purée into the centre. Arrange apricots on top of the puree and place the vanilla pod halves on top of the apricots. Serve while the pudding is warm.