The Handbook Chefs Series is back for Part Three with some ideas to get you through a busy working week, or chilled weekend. We’ve enlisted the help of some of London’s top chefs to share their at-home recipes, from Theo Randall’s simple soup to Martha Ortiz’s signature guac. Here are 12 new recipes to add to your repertoire.
Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream Topping
by Niamh Larkin, Executive Pastry Chef at 45 Park Lane
- 1 1/2 cups Digestive Biscuit crumbs
- 1/4lb melted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 10 egg yolks
- 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups key lime juice or about 2 pounds key limes, juiced & zest
- 2 cups double cream
- 1/8 cups caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 140°
For the crust:
- Combine digestive crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar in a stainless steel bowl, mix well. Press into a 10-inch glass pie pan to about 1/4 inch thick
For the filling:
- Mix egg yolks with sweetened condensed milk.
- Add lime juice and stir until completely combined.
- Pour into prepared pie shell and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Custard should be slightly firm to the touch.
- Cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
- Whisk the cream and sugar till firm, using a star nozzle pipe rosettes around the outside. Grate some lime zest on the top to finish.
Seabass & Pancetta Risotto
by Robin Read, Executive Head Chef at the Firmdale Hotels’ Group
- 700–800 g (1 lb 9 oz–1 lb 12 oz)wild sea bass fillet, at room temperature, cleaned,deboned and cut into 4 portions
- few dashes of olive oil
- 8 slices pancetta
- 30g (1 oz) shallots,finely chopped
- 330g (11 oz) arborio or carnaroli risotto rice
- 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock
- 80g (3 oz) Parmesan, grated
- 40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter
- fresh herbs, such as parsley, chervil, dill or chives, to garnish (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the parsley puree:
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) parsley leaves
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) spinach leaves
- dash of olive oil
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) white onion, diced
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F/gas 4).
- To make the parsley puree, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the parsley leaves and boil for about 4 minutes, or until the leaves are beginning to break down. Add the spinach and bring back to the boil. Drain and refresh in ice-cold water, then squeeze dry.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a separate saucepan, then cook the onions for about 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the cooked parsley and spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
- Fry the pancetta in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until golden and crisp. Set aside on paper towels.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a low–medium heat, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes – do not colour. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until translucent. Increase the heat and add the stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly and adding more stock whenever it looks dry. After about 15–20 minutes, when the rice still has bite, remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, rub each portion of sea bass with oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a deep baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Bake for 5–7 minutes until the flesh is white.
- Stir the parsley puree, grated Parmesan and butter into the risotto until melted and well incorporated.
- To serve, divide the risotto among serving plates, then top with the fish and finally the pancetta. Garnish with some fresh herbs if wished.
by Byron Moussouris, Executive Head Chef at The Bloomsbury
Makes 1 loaf
- 310g whole wheat flour
- 410g white flour
- 140g rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 270g milk
- 70g black treacle (or molasses)
- 1 cup Guinness
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Mix together the whole wheat flour, white flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles small crumbs.
- Add the milk, black treacle (or molasses) and Guinness, and mix until well combined.
- Use cooking spray to coat 2 bread loaf pans, and pour the batter into the pans.
- Sprinkle a little more oatmeal on top.
- Bake at 350F for 45 minutes to an hour, until the centre is cooked through and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Theo Randall’s Simple Pie
by Theo Randall, Theo Randall, Theo Randall at the InterContinental
- 1 onion
- 1 stick of celery
- 2 carrots
- olive oil
- pinch of thyme or rosemary
- punnet of mushrooms
- 1 chicken breast or 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- knob of butter
- 1 small tub double cream
- pre-made puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- splash of milk
- greens to serve
- Finely chop some onion celery carrot and cook for 10 mins in olive oil.
- Chop up some mushrooms and add to the celery, carrot and onion – add a pinch of either thyme or rosemary. Cook until the mushrooms have no more liquid.
- Cut up chicken into 2cm pieces – skinless thigh is best but breast will work. In a frying pan add the chicken and cook in butter until the outside is slightly golden.
- Add the chicken to the celery, carrot, onion and mushrooms. Add a tub of double cream, reduce down by half. Check the seasoning and turn off the heat.
- Place in an earthenware or deep roasting dish.
- Take some pre-made puff pastry and cover the dish. Crimp the edges and brush with a beaten egg yolk with some milk. Place in an oven for 30 mins at 180c.
- Serve with some cooked greens tossed in olive oil or butter.
by Ian Howard, Head Chef at the The Athenaeum
- 75g salted butter
- 375g good quality dark chocolate
- 350g caster sugar
- 250g white chocolate chips (buttons or chunks work fine too)
- 225g plain flour
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180oC
- Put the butter and dark chocolate into a glass bowl and melt slowly over a pan of shallow simmering water (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the water as this may burn the chocolate). Once fully melted, take the bowl off the pan and set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk thoroughly until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
- Once the chocolate and butter mixture has cooled, pour in the fluffy egg and sugar mixture and give it a gentle stir.
- Fold the flour in (sifting the flour in works best as it’ll get rid of any lumps).
- Add the white chocolate chips to the mixture. Be sure not to over mix at this point
- Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper and tip the mixture in.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the brownies have just a subtle ‘wobble’ left!
- Cool, slice and enjoy!
TOP TIP: If there are too many to get through in one go, these brownies can also be frozen.
- chorizo or another cured meat like parma ham or salami
- olive oil
- 1 red pepper
- handful of spinach
- 3 eggs
- salt & pepper
- sourdough or any other bread you have
- If you have some chorizo in the fridge then grab that, otherwise this recipe would work with a variety of cured meats like parma ham or salami.
- Cut the chorizo in to a large dice and start to sweat on a low heat with a generous amount of olive oil in it.
- Take 1 red pepper and slice in to thin strips and add. After 5 minutes add a big handful of washed spinach and slowly wild down until cooked together.
- Place all these ingredients in to a smallish baking dish that it can all fit in to, around 15cm round would be fine.
- Crack three eggs in to the dish, season with salt and pepper and the crumble a small handful of feta over the top.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for around 8 minutes until the eggs are cooked, but still soft inside, and serve with some toasted sourdough soldiers on the side.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, left in skins
- 1 heaped tbsp chipotle paste (and/or 1-2 fresh chillies (optional))
- 7-8 ripe tomatoes (or 2 tins plum tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh, or fresh thyme)
- 1.5 litres chicken (or vegetable stock)
- 1-2 corn tortillas, blanched in oil (or 1-2 tbsp fine polenta)
Top it off with as many of the below as you can find…
- 1 ripe Hass avocado
- 2 corn tortillas (or 2 flatbreads), cut into skinny strips and fried
- 2 ancho chillies, seeds and stems removed and torn into walnut-sized pieces and fried
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled (or grated Pecorino)
- A small handful of chopped coriander
- 100ml sour cream
- Heat a frying pan and add the onions, fresh tomatoes, garlic and whole chillies, if using.
- Dry roast the vegetables for 10-15 minutes until blackened and soft. The garlic will be ready sooner – it is done when the cloves are soft. Once the vegetables are charred and softened blitz them in an upright blender.
- Now heat the oil in a large casserole and when hot add your pureed tomato and veg and turn down the heat to medium low. Season well before adding the chipotle paste, sugar and herbs. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Add the blanched tortillas (or polenta) and blitz again with a stick blender until the soup is smooth. Leave on a low heat for at least five minutes before you eat.
- Meanwhile assemble as many garnishes as you can get hold of.
- Dice the flesh of the avocado, squeezing with a little lemon or lime juice to stop them discolouring.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Test the oil and when it makes a tortilla strip sizzle add the strips and cook until crisp and golden. Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- Repeat with the ancho chilli pieces for approx. 15 seconds until puffed up – if you cook them longer they will burn and turn bitter.
- Serve the soup in bowls with your choice of garnishes laid out in small bowls or plates so that people can help themselves at the table.
Smoked Pancetta, Mushroom & Plum. Tomato Sauce Pasta
by Iain Smith, Head Chef at No. Fifty Cheyne
INGREDIENTS, per person
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 50g smoked streaky pancetta
- 150g organic plum passata tomato sauce
- 100ml dry chardonnay white wine
- 200g button mushrooms
- 70g mezze penne pasta
- Pinch of sea salt
- Knob of butter
- Olive oil
- Finely slice the garlic & roughly dice the onion. Bring a deep frying pan to a high heat. Sweat these both down with a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt until translucent. Add the sliced mushroom and fry till golden brown, keep in the pan.
- Next, dice the smoked pancetta (Smoked streaky bacon) into 1cm cubes. Add the diced pancetta to the frying pan, still on a high heat, this will start to render the fat that will then cook back into the meat enhancing the flavour. Keep stirring the pancetta around in the pan until slightly crispy.
- With the garlic, onion & pancetta still in the pan, slowly add the white wine and reduce by half.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and leave it all to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Enjoy a glass of the wine, and around 10 minutes before your tomato sauce is ready, add your mezze penne pasta to salted boiling water, until firm and al dente. Drain through a colander or remove with a skimmer, fold your pasta into the simmering sauce and slowly add the butter to give a beautiful glossy finish.
- Serve and finish with grated parmesan, a healthy drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper.
Simple Strawberry Sorbet
by Steve Groves, Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square
- Overripe strawberries
- Icing sugar
- Take overripe strawberries, hull them, then blend to a smooth puree
- Strain through a fine sieve and freeze in an ice cube tray or plastic container
- When needed, pop the frozen puree into a food processor (break up if necessary)
- Weigh the puree, work our 10% and add that weight of icing sugar to the puree in the blender. Blend on full speed to get a nice smooth sorbet.
REALLY, REALLY SIMPLE METHOD:
- Hull and freeze overripe strawberries. When needed, weigh the strawberries and add 10% icing sugar, blend in a food processor until you have a smooth sorbet.
NOTE: with this method you will have the texture of the strawberry seeds
by Jeremy Villanueva, Head Chef at at Romulo Café and Restaurant
- 500g of beef feather blade, segmented, ligaments trimme
- 50g of Soy Sauce Datu Puti (Philippine brand of soy sauce)
- 30g of Del Monte Cane Vinegar (Philippine brand of vinegar)
- 8g of chopped garlic
- 12.5g of red chopped onion
- Few Bay leaves
- 10g of Green finger chili
- 50g of large diced carrots
- 50g of large diced potatoes
- 125g of tomato sauce
- 50g of shredded Queso de Bola or Edam cheese
- 30g of red bell pepper, roasted, julienned
- Combine the beef, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, onlices and bay leaf.
- Add water (1 liter), bring to the boil.
- Simmer in the oven for 2 hours.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, chilli, tomato sauce and simmer on the stove for 30 more minutes.
- Add the julienne roasted pepper and shredded cheese and bake for another 2 minutes.
- 150g white onion, chopped
- fresh lime juice
- 800g avocado
- 100g coriander, chopped
- 90g chile serrano, chopped and seeded, or to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Pomegranate seeds
- Requesón (white moist cheese — the Mexican version of ricotta so can be substituted)
- Corn tortillas, cut in triangles and fried, on the side
Soak the onion in lime juice for half an hour, and then drain.
Carefully mash the avocado in a bowl or molcajete (a traditional lava-stone mortar with pestle). Add the coriander, onion and chile serrano. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the guacamole in an elegant bowl and decorate with the pomegranate seeds, the requesón (or ricotta) cheese, and the tortilla triangles.
by Bryn Williams, Head Chef at Bryn Williams at Somerset House
Serves 4– 6 as a starter
- 1 litre mushroom stock or chicken stock or a mixture of both
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 200g risotto rice
- 100ml white wine
- salt and pepper
- 100g wild mushrooms, trimmed, washed, dried and quartered
- 50g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for serving
- 1–2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Keep on a low heat within easy reach until needed.
- Now melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped shallots and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until soft. Add the rice, stir well to coat it with the butter and shallot mixture, then cook for another minute. Pour in the white wine, stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add a ladleful of the simmering stock to the rice, stirring all the time, and cook until the stock has been absorbed before adding another ladleful. Repeat until the rice is tender but retains a little bite – this should take about 20 minutes. When the risotto is ready, season with salt and pepper. Then remove from the heat, put on a lid, set aside and keep warm.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan and, once it is hot, add the remaining olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until just soft. Spoon the mushrooms onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
- Stir the Parmesan and parsley into the risotto. Add the mushrooms, stirring them in gently. If the risotto feels a little firm, stir through some stock before serving. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.