It seems that food and eating have taken on a whole new function in our lives at the moment, often being the ‘main event’ of most peoples’ day (although, it has always been the main event in ours).
We have chosen a selection of recipes for each meal of the day. Ones which, we hope, are easy enough to source the ingredients for and make during your precious days off, but indulgent and delicious enough for the heroes that you all are. We hope you enjoy making these as much as we do eating them.
We cannot imagine how difficult this period is for you all right now, and we thank you so very much for everything you're doing. We love you and think you're absolute heroes
Lennie and Jessie
This is an indulgent but healthy delight and brings the sweetest smell to the kitchen. It’s so versatile, you can use whatever nuts or dried fruits you prefer.
200g porridge oats (gluten-free optional)
300g mixed nuts
(my favorites are flaked almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and cashews)
150g mixed seeds (such as sunflower, pumpkin or linseed)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon 2 egg whites 180ml olive oil 80ml maple syrup pinch of salt
80g raw coconut flakes
90g ready-to-eat dried apricots, dried apples, dried cranberries or dates, chopped
Makes about 1kg
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3.
Put the oats, nuts, seeds and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and mix them all together.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl for a few minutes until frothy.
Pour the olive oil and maple syrup into the bowl with the dry ingredients, add the egg whites and salt and mix thoroughly, ensuring all the dry ingredients have come into contact with the liquid ingredients. Spread the mixture evenly over a large baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven, add the coconut flakes to the mixture and give it a little a stir to ensure it’s not sticking and the flakes are spread out. Turn the oven down to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2 and return the granola to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 120°C/100°C fan/gas 1⁄2 and bake for another 15 minutes to let it dry it out as much as possible.
Marmite Carrot Soup
Marmite sits high on our list of everlasting loves. A poached egg doesn’t taste right without Marmite spread on buttery brown toast, and in our opinion, it is the gift that keeps on giving.
This is a no-nonsense recipe and has saved many a miserable Saturday afternoon with a side of cheese and Marmite on toast. It’s so simple and quick to make. If you like a thinner consistency, you can use more stock or even add some boiling water when you come to blend it.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
1kg carrots, roughly chopped
1 potato, about 150g, roughly cubed
handful of fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp Marmite
1.5–2 litres vegetable stock
2 tbsp cream or crème fraîche (optional)
1⁄2 lemon salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the oil and onion, cover with a lid and cook over a low–medium heat for about 10–15 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the carrots and potato and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the sage and Marmite and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock, put the lid back on, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are soft. Add a good pinch of salt and grinding of pepper.
Leave to cool slightly, then add the cream, if using, to give a more velvety texture.
Use a hand blender to whizz up the soup until smooth, then season to taste with a squeeze of lemon and some more pepper. Serve with Marmite and cheese on toast.
Salmon with Ginger and Coriander Crumb
You can add red chillis to the coriander and breadcrumbs if you like a little extra heat. Serve with a nice green salad – rocket, spinach and watercress would be good – and small new potatoes.
small side of salmon (about 800g) or 4 individual pieces, skin on
8cm fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
3 spring onions, finely chopped
85g dried panko breadcrumbs
about 25g fresh coriander, chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
Rinse the salmon and dry with kitchen paper. Place it skin-side down in a baking tin and season with salt and pepper.
Spread the ginger and spring onions evenly over the salmon.
Stir the breadcrumbs together with the coriander, chilli, if using, and olive oil and spread the mixture evenly over the salmon, pressing gently.
Bake for 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve immediately.
Roasted Boursin Chicken and Leeks
This is like a roasted version of a posh chicken kiev. Put any vegetables you fancy in the roasting tin – we love to have leeks, celery and new potatoes. We have never saved roast chicken for the weekend as it is so simple to do, making it easy to serve up a gorgeous meal easily, any day of the week.
1 large chicken, about 2kg, removed from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature
150g pack of Boursin garlic and herb cream cheese
4 leeks, sliced in half lengthways
750g new potatoes, halved if large
5 celery sticks, trimmed and cut in half
2–3 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.
Using your fingers, gently ease the skin away from the chicken breast to create a pocket, taking care not to break the skin. Crumble half of the cream cheese and push it under the skin, massaging it so it covers the breast evenly. Put the remaining cream cheese into the chicken cavity.
Put the leeks in a large roasting tin and sit the chicken on top. Scatter the potatoes and celery around the chicken, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour 50 minutes, basting every 30 minutes. To check that the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of one of the thighs with a skewer: the juices should run clear with no hint of pink.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a plate and keep warm. Tip the chicken so that the melted cheese in the cavity runs out into the roasting tin, then set the chicken aside to rest for 10–15 minutes.
You should now have a roasting tin full of juices. Place the tin on the hob (or tip the juices into a pan if the tin is not hob-friendly) and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often to create a creamy gravy. Serve the gravy with the chicken and vegetables.
This is impressive but in a ridiculously short time – a zesty, bright, summery take on the steak supper.
2 thick steaks (sirloin, ribeye or rump), 250–300g each
4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 rosemary sprigs, roughly torn or leaves separated as wished
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 2 lemons
25g Parmesan, shaved
salt and pepper
Remove the steaks from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and trim off all the fat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Season the steaks, then fry for 5 minutes (for rare), turning once. Take the steaks out of the pan and set aside to rest on a plate.
Turn off the heat, then add to the pan the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix well and leave to infuse for 3 minutes before adding the lemon juice and warming gently over a low heat for about 30 seconds.
Cut the steaks into slices about 1cm thick, return to the pan and briefly warm through in the aromatic sauce. Serve with shavings of Parmesan over the top and a side of baked or new potatoes and a salad. It also goes really well with chips or even potato dauphinoise.
This recipe is now infamous, for all the right and wrong reasons (see the David Schwimmer episode!). We have served it on its own, toasted with butter and cinnamon, peanut butter, or with ice cream to guests on the podcast. It always goes down a treat.
280g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
220g caster sugar
4 very ripe bananas
2 large eggs
80ml milk, mixed with the juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g bar of dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Butter and line a 1.5-litre loaf tin.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together using an electric whisk, or persevere by hand, until pale and fluffy.
Give the bananas a good mash, using a potato masher, but don’t worry if there are some larger banana pieces – this will give the loaf character. Add to the butter and sugar and stir to mix. Now add the eggs, milk and vanilla and mix well.
Next, fold the flour into the banana mix, using a metal spoon in a figure-of-eight motion. Combine well until there is no dusty our left.
Take the bar of chocolate, still in its packet, and give it a few good whacks against the corner of your kitchen worktop, alternating the side of the packet so that all the chocolate gets broken up. Open the packet and if the demolished pieces still look too chunky, break up a little more using a sharp knife. However, in this case size does matter and you want nice big bits of chocolate for your loaf.
Add the chocolate to the banana mix, combine well and transfer to your lined loaf tin.
Bake for about 45–55 minutes until risen and golden. Using a knife or a skewer, test the centre of the loaf: it should still be reasonably moist and gooey (but not dripping away from your knife/ skewer). Do not overcook or the loaf will be dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before slicing and serving.
Tip If you like, replace half the caster sugar with light brown sugar, which will give it a more caramel flavour.
For more recipes from Lennie and Jessie, checkout their cookbook, ‘Table Manner: The Cookbook’ (Ebury Press) or listen to them in action at https://www.tablemannerspodcast.com/