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Ingredients•170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices

•110g/4oz pancetta, cut into small dice

•2 cloves garlic finely chopped

•1 large Spanish onion, finely diced

•1 red pepper, diced

•1 tsp soft thyme leaves

•¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes

•570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice

•1 tsp paprika

•125ml/4fl oz dry white wine

•1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands

•8 chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned

•18 small clams, cleaned

•110g/4oz fresh or frozen peas

•4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced

•125ml/4fl oz good olive oil

•1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled

•12 jumbo raw prawns, in shells

•450g/1lb squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces

•5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley

•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation method1.Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or heavy-based saucepan. Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy. Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.

2.Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards. Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.

3.Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella. Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.

4.Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately.
11th June 2010
Pumpkin risotto with crispy sage
IngredientsFor the pumpkin risotto
•570ml/1 pint vegetable or chicken stock

•1 small onion, chopped

•12 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely

•2 tbsp olive oil

•170g/6oz arborio (risotto) rice

•250g/9oz pumpkin or butternut squash, diced small

•50g/2oz butter

•salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crispy sage
•12-16 fresh sage leaves

•2 tbsp sunflower oil

For serving
•piece fresh parmesan, or vegetarian parmesan-style grating cheese
Preparation method1.Heat the stock until almost boiling and then keep over a very low heat. In a separate heavy-based saucepan sweat the onion in the oil until soft but not browned. Add the chopped sage and cook for a couple more minutes.

2.Add the rice and mix well for a few seconds to coat the grains with oil, then pour in one-third of the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock is absorbed. Add the pumpkin or squash and a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently until the stock is absorbed.

3.From then on add more stock a little at a time, until the pumpkin is soft and the rice nicely al dente. You may not need all the stock, but the texture should be loose and creamy.

4.When the risotto is almost ready, heat the sunflower oil in a small pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until crispy - it takes a matter of seconds.

5.Stir the butter into the risotto, and season well with salt and pepper. Divide into four servings and throw a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Bring the cheese and a grater to the table for your guests to serve themselves.
11th June 2010
Tomato, mozzarella, rocket and basil salad with pine nuts
Serves 4
1 small bag rocket leaves
4 beef tomatoes, sliced
250g mozzarella, drained and sliced
1 small packet basil leaves, shredded
50g pine nuts
4 tbsp mustard vinaigrette
Method: How to make tomato, mozzarella, rocket and basil salad with pine nuts
1. Place a metal cooking ring in the centre of four individual starter plates. Layer the rocket, tomatoes, mozzarella and shredded basil into each ring, pressing down firmly. Cover with cling film and chill.

2. Toast the pine nuts in a hot, dry pan until golden, tossing regularly so they don’t burn; set aside to cool.

3. To serve, carefully remove the cooking rings, sprinkle the salads with pine nuts and drizzle with a little vinaigrette.

Please note this recipe is the contestant's own and has not been tested professionally. Like the Come Dine With Me contestants, you could be creating a culinary delight or dining disaster, so switch on your ovens and be bold
11th June 2010
Margherita pizza
Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins

Serves 1
..IngredientsFor the base
•200g/7oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting

•100g/3½oz butter

•1 free-range egg

•pinch salt

•water, as necessary, to bind

For the topping
•2 plum tomatoes, sliced

•1 mozzarella ball, sliced

•2 tbsp olive oil

•salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
•2 handfuls mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley or oregano)

•4 tbsp olive oil

•salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation method1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2.For the base, blend the flour and butter together in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3.Add the egg and salt and blend again to combine.

4.With the food processor blending continuously on a slow speed, gradually add enough water in a thin stream until the mixture comes together as a dough.

5.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly for 2-3 minutes, using your hands.

6.Sprinkle a little flour onto a baking tray, then press the dough onto it to form a round, even pizza base.

7.For the topping, arrange the plum tomato and mozzarella slices on top of the pizza, drizzle over the oil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8.Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the base is crisp and golden-brown and the cheese is bubbling and golden-brown.

9.For the dressing, blend the dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and well combined.

10.To serve, place the pizza into the centre of a serving plate, cut it into wedges, then drizzle over the dressing.
9th July 2010
Pancakes with honey and lemon
Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: less than 10 mins

Makes 12-14

IngredientsFor the pancake mixture
•110g/4oz plain flour, sifted

•pinch of salt

•2 eggs

•200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water

•50g/2oz butter

To serve
•caster sugar

•lemon juice

•lemon wedges
Preparation methodSift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don\'t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you\'re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It\'s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it\'s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, spinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.
9th July 2010
chocolate and pear cake
Chocolate Pear Cake
•3 or 4 pears (peeled and halved)
•2 eggs (separate yolk and whites)
•200 g sugar
•90 g apple sauce/compote
•1½ tsp vanilla extract
•2 tsp baking powder
•40 - 50 g powdered cocoa (unsweetened)
•90 ml or 9 cl fresh milk
•113 g butter (softened)
•105 g plain flour
•a dash of nutmeg

1.Butter a 9" springform cake tin or lined it with baking paper.
2.Mix sugar and softened butter and whip until it is light and fluffy.
3.Add in egg yolks and mix till combined.
4.Add the vanilla extract.
5.Mix in the apple sauce/compote.
6.Stir in the cocoa slowly.
7.Stir in the flour, baking powder and nutmeg.
8.Mix in the milk.
9.Whip the egg white until stiff and then delicately fold the egg white into the batter.
10.Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smoothen the top.
11.Peel, cut into half and take out the core. Place each half of the pear opposite the other on top of the batter. Do not press the pear into the batter.
12.Bake in the over at 175°C (350°F) for about 30 to 40 minutes. The toothpick should come out not completely clean. This makes the cake a little bit moist. If it is still too wet, bake it for another 10 to 15
9th July 2010
Mince Pie Recipe
Mince Pie Recipe
This crumbly, fruity mince pie recipe is a Christmas classic. Serve warm with lashings of brandy butter.

30 mins to 1 hour

preparation time
10 to 30 mins

cooking time
Makes 12 pies



350g/12oz high quality mincemeat, preferably homemade

200g/7oz plain flour, sifted

40g/1½oz golden caster sugar

75g/2¾oz ground almonds

125g/4½oz unsalted butter, diced

1 large free-range egg, beaten

milk, to glaze

Preparation method


Lightly butter a 12-hole pie or patty tin. Tip the mincemeat into a bowl and stir so that the liquid is evenly distributed.

Place the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a food processor and process briefly until resembling breadcrumbs, then slowly add the egg through the feeder tube. (Or rub the butter into the dry ingredients by hand and stir in the egg.)

Bring the mixture together with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour or so. Thinly roll out the pastry on a floured surface. Cut out 12 circles with a fluted pastry cutter, large enough to fill the base of the prepared tin. Press gently into each hole, then fill with the mincemeat.

Cut out another 12 slightly smaller discs and use to cover the mincemeat. Press the edges together to seal. Make a small slit in the top of each, then brush lightly with milk. Chill for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Bake the pies for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and serve warm.
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26th November 2010
Makes: 12

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 35 mins

Total time: 50 mins

Skill level: Easy peasy


* 125g butter
* 55g caster sugar
* 1tsp vanilla extract
* 180g plain flour
* 1x100g dark chocolate, finely chopped


1. Heat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C, 375F/Gas 5.
2. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth.
3. Stir in the flour and 75g chopped chocolate to get a paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm thick.
4. Cut into hearts and place onto a baking tray. Chill in the fridge for 20 mins.
5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
6. Place the remaining chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Drizzle the melted chocolate over some of the hearts and leave to cool.
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26th November 2010
Apple Pie
Apple Pie

For the pastry


255g/9oz plain flour

pinch of salt

140g/5oz hard margarine or butter

6 tsp cold water

For the filling


3 large Bramley cooking apples, chopped, stewed and cooled

sugar, to taste

caster sugar, to serve

Preparation method


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl.

Rub in the margarine or butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Technique: Rubbing in
Rubbing inWatch technique0:46 mins

Add the cold water to the flour mixture. Using a knife, mix the water into the flour, using your hand to firm up the mixture. The pastry should be of an even colour and suitable consistency for rolling.

Divide the pastry into two halves. Take one half and roll it out so that it is big enough to cover an 20cm/8in enamel or aluminium plate. Trim the edges with a knife using the edge of the plate as your guide.

Cover the pastry with the stewed apples and sprinkle with sugar to taste.

Roll out the other half of the pastry. Moisten the edge of the bottom layer of pastry and place the second piece on top.

Press down on the pastry edges, making sure that they are properly sealed. Trim off any excess pastry with a knife in a downward motion, again using the plate as your guide.
Technique: Lining a tart tin: trimming the pastry
Lining a tart tin: trimming the pastryWatch technique1:14 mins

Flute the edges with a pinching action using your fingers and thumb.

Prick the surface of the pastry lightly before placing the pie in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

When the pie is cooked it should move slightly on the plate when gently shaken.

Slide on to a serving plate, dust with caster sugar and serve.
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26th November 2010
Jam Tarts
Jam Tarts

* Cooking spray
* 3-pack of disposable mini muffin pans
* 1/4 cup seedless jam (we put 1/2 cup in our bottle for easier squeezing)

* Plastic squeeze bottle (available in the candy-making aisle of craft stores)
* 2-inch-diameter round cookie cutter or a cup of similar size
* Unbaked piecrust (we used Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts)



Step 1 Heat the oven to 350˚. Generously grease the muffin pans. Then spoon the jam into the plastic squeeze bottle.

Cut the dough into 36 circles. Press one circle into each cup of the muffin pans and pinch to fit.

Squeeze a small amount of jam (roughly 1/4 teaspoon) into each cup. Bake the tarts until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set the tarts on a rack to cool, about 45 minutes. Makes 36 tarts.
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26th November 2010
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