Showing posts from May, 2011


Another recipe courtesy of the Ottolenghi Cookbook, the ingredients for this mash suggest an autumnal dish, yet the addition of creme fraiche and butter gives it a lovely, summery lightness. There's no need to stick rigidly to the "pumpkin and parsnip" combo; in fact, when I made this yesterday, I used butternut squash, sweet potato, a carrot and two parsnips. Celeriac, turnip and swede would also work very well here. The addition of roasted garlic is inspired, lending a delicious extra sweetness to the soothing flavour and texture of the root vegetables. Serve with roast chicken or spring lamb, or robust fish.

Parsnip and Pumpkin Mash
Serves 4-6

600g (peeled weight) pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 2-3cm dice
5 medium parsnips, peeled & cut into large chunks
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 whole head of garlic
200ml sunflower oil
2 onions, sliced into rings
80g unsalted butter
1 tsp ground nutmeg
300g creme fraiche, at room temperature
15g chives, ro…


A new guest at my dinner table on Friday evening, and therefore an opportunity for me to show off in the kitchen (an activity I almost never shy from). Now that my Friday afternoons have been eroded by teaching piano, Friday supper always has to be straightforward and, preferably, a meal I can make in advance. Thus, aware of my time-poverty on Friday, I made the pudding on Thursday, and prepared the rest of the meal on Friday morning before I began my daily ritual of 'piano pilates', followed by 20 minutes with Claude Debussy, with whom I am developing an extremely intimate relationship at the piano. I also had to go and look at a piano with the parents of one of my students when I finished teaching on Friday, which left me with even less time.....

This simple main course dish is very easy, but looks lovely, with the brightly coloured pepper salsa set against the delicate pink flesh of the salmon. You could serve the salmon cold for a delightful summer lunch or supper dish. The…


Here's a simple, tasty dish that can be quickly prepared in advance, left to marinade, and then bunged in the oven, or slapped on the barbie for a delicious, summery supper. It is taken from Moro The Cookbook, recipe book from the eponymous restaurant in London's trendy Hoxton. The original recipe is for chicken wings, marinaded and then grilled, but I use the marinade ingredients to coat chicken thighs, for a more substantial meal. I have also marinade a whole, spatch-cocked chicken. According to the recipe preamble, this is "a classic Lebanese dish, perfect for the barbecue". Serve with tahini sauce, fresh parsley leaves, and wedges of lemon. Oh, and some good bread.....

Serves 4
12 chicken wings, tips removed, or 4 large chicken thighs
Tahini sauce
1 small bunch fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon quartered
sea salt and black pepper

3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix all the ingre…


I was celebrating (one of my adult students gained a Merit for his Grade 1), and Nick was de-stressing after a heavy week at work. We'd drunk most of the bottle of rather fine frizzante red wine I'd purchased in my local Italian deli (Girasol, on Teddington High Street, for local readers) before we sat down to supper. I made La Caldareta, a slow-roast dish from the Extremadura region of Spain. The recipe itself comes from Moro East, the third Moro cookbook, and one which I spend large amounts of time salivating over though not actually cooking much from it. I am determined to right that wrong!

I made this dish a couple of weeks ago, with a lamb shoulder joint which lends itself to very slow cooking. It's a one-pot meal, as it contains potatoes and needs only a green salad and a hunk of good bread to accompany it. According to the preamble in the cookbook, "the herbs should mimic the vegetation the Extremaduran sheep and goats graze on" (thyme and rosemary). It is…


A message on Twitter today, and blogs by Betty Herbert and Gretchens Pianos have prompted me to invite "guests posts" for Demon Cook. Anything food or foodie - a favourite recipe, a special meal, a particular ingredient, food travels......... I'd love to hear from you!

Please send your contributions to me by email at Submissions will be subject to a degree of moderation, and text should, ideally, require little editing. Do include a photo or picture if you want to. Oh, and by the way, if you're interested in music and the piano, check out my other blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist. I'm inviting guests posts for that too.....

I look forward to hearing from you, and to reading your articles!


I was out all afternoon yesterday, in my alter ego as a keen concert-goer and reviewer for, hearing grand old man of piano, Charles Rosen, playing Chopin. When I got home, I wanted something quick and easy for supper, because I had to file my review and do the usual Sunday night reality tasks.....

Despite having had a large delivery of food from Ocado the day before, when I opened the over-stuffed fridge I felt entirely lacking in inspiration. It's funny, but I am often more creative when there is very little in the fridge, or when my son and I play "freezer roulette" (the rules are simple: open the freezer and the first thing you take out must be a constituent part of a meal). There was half a bag of watercress in the vegetable drawer: another day in there and it would be past its best. Ditto that bag of baby spinach.....

A quick trawl of Google threw up a couple of interesting recipes for tilapia (a firm-fleshed fish, not unlike cod in texture and flavour)…


After the excitement of the Royal Nuptials, the enforced extra-long weekend was spent gardening (ugh) and decorating (double ugh). In between these activities, I was continually called upon by the rest of my family to provide sustenance: drinks, snacks, meals, for the workers. Every time I tried to slope off to do some much-needed piano practice, I would hear "MUM!!!" from upstairs, which put me in mind of put-upon mum Lois from 'Family Guy' (see end of post).

I fancied fish for supper on Bank Holiday Monday, and purchased some nice thick salmon steaks in anticipation of this. Then I remembered a rather flavoursome, yet easy-to-make fish tagine, which I haven't cooked for ages. I thought the recipe was in one of the Moro cookbooks, but no amount of searching could produce it, so I made it from memory - which is how I do most of my cooking anyway.....

This dish is simple to put together and can be made in advance. The sauce is 'charmoula' (or 'chermoul…