Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter is a new cookery book by Lisa Faulkner.
The actress, a former Celebrity Masterchef winner, has put together her favourite recipes passed on from her late mother and grandmothers to her and her sister Victoria which she is now passing down to her adopted daughter Billie.
Mummy’s spinach & cream cheese quiche
I’m very affected by the weather – I wish I wasn’t but I am, and I remember my mum being the same. As soon as the days started getting lighter all our moods lifted, windows would be opened, daffodils bought and the heart-warming food that kept us going through winter would be replaced with new potatoes, salads, fish and of course, quiche. I love that my mum made her own quiches, they were always so light and tasty. This one is my favourite and would always be taken on picnics as the spring days got warm enough to eat outside.
1 x 375 g pack of ready-made shortcrust pastry, 25g butter, plus extra for greasing, flour, for dusting, 1 small onion, sliced, 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved, 200g spinach, a squeeze of lemon juice, 300g cream cheese, 2 eggs, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper, a bunch of watercress, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4. Grease a 2 cm loose-bottomed tart tin or make individual tarts using four 12cm tart tins. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to about 5mm thick. Use it to line the flan tin(s). Line the pastry with baking paper and then top with baking beans or rice and bake blind in the pre-heated oven for 25 mins. Remove the beans or rice and lining paper. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan and melt the butter. Add the sliced onion and cook for 3-4 mins until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, spinach, lemon juice and season to taste. Continue to cook for 5 mins, then take off the heat. Mix the cream cheese, eggs and nutmeg together in a bowl. Pour this into the spinach mixture and stir to combine. Check the seasoning again and then pour the mixture into the baked flan case. Bake for about 20 mins for a large quiche, or 12–15 mins for individual ones, until golden and firm on top. Serve warm or cold with a watercress salad.
Coq au vin
Mummy made this so much when we were growing up, that no recipe exists; it’s just in my head. Over the years, I’ve changed bacon to pancetta and added fresh thyme instead of dried. I don’t think carrots are a usual addition to coq au vin, but my mum always put them in, and I have followed suit. She also used quite a bit of butter to brown the chicken – it really does add to the taste and I don’t think its worth scrimping on, especially as you’re not having it every day.
8–10 x chicken portions (legs, thighs or a mixture of both), 12g butter, 12–15 shallots, peeled and halved at the root, 150g pancetta, cubed, 4 garlic cloves, 2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 10 Chantenay carrots, 150g button mushrooms, halved 1 x 750 ml bottle full-bodied red wine, salt and freshly ground black pepper, mashed potato and green vegetables, to serve
Preheat the oven to 160C gas mark 3 and season the chicken pieces. In a large casserole, melt the butter and brown the chicken pieces. Add the shallots and pancetta and fry for a few minutes.
Add the garlic, thyme, carrots and mushrooms and stir well. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Season, cover and transfer to the pre-heated oven to cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Trust your instinct here and cook for as long as you like – longer if you like the chicken meat falling off the bone. Serve with mash and green vegetables.
From about the age of seven my birthday pudding of choice was always profiteroles. Victoria and I adored them fresh with cold cream in the middle and hot chocolate sauce over the top, but loved them just as much leftover from a dinner party the morning after. My mum made great batches of these; I remember them lined up along the kitchen worktops on wire racks, waiting to be filled with cream.
Makes about 20 profiteroles
360ml water, 90g butter, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, 110g plain flour, sifted, 3 eggs, beaten, 600 ml (1 pint) whipped cream or ice cream, to fill
For the chocolate sauce: 100 g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces, 3 tablespoons double cream
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F), gas mark 7. Put the water, butter and a pinch each of salt and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil – make sure the butter is melted before you continue. Add the sifted flour all at once and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for 2 minutes until the paste becomes pale. Leave to cool a little for 10–15 minutes.
Add the beaten eggs a little at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until each bit is incorporated fully – it will go glossy, then back to dull. Continue until all of the eggs have been added, the mix is shiny and it just drops off the wooden spoon. Leave to cool.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and snip the end to make a 1 cm opening. Pipe small balls onto a dampened baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180C gas mark 4 for a further 20–25 minutes until golden. To make the chocolate sauce, melt the chocolate with the cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and mixed in with the cream. When the profiteroles are cooked, turn them over and pop them back into the oven and for two minutes to dry a little. Slit each profiterole and leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve them filled with whipped cream or ice cream and topped with hot chocolate sauce.
Recipes from my Mother for My Daughter by Lisa Faulkner. Published by Simon & Schuster priced £20.