On a recent Tuscan break we discovered on a menu, Spaghetti Ubriachi, literally translated as “drunken spaghetti” but actually being spaghetti cooked in red wine. We came across it in a wonderful family run trattoria high on the hills of Montecatini Alto, where, in broken English, the waiter promised us it was made by mamma in the kitchen in the same way she has been making it for years.
A few nights later we tried it elsewhere, and a few nights after that somewhere else, but none could compare to that original dish which was rich in red wine, perfectly balanced with salt from the pancetta with the sweetness of the caramelised onions. Itching to replicate the dish we scoured the web for the recipe, finding versions of drunken spaghetti and versions of spaghetti with pancetta and red onions, but none that combined the two. Taking the best of all of these we’ve come up with a dish, which we think, is as close as we’re going to get to that Tuscan original:
The great British public has a reputation of forming orderly lines with no notice, but sometimes the clue is in the queue. On a recent drive to the Cotswolds we stumbled across The Telegraph’s online ‘insiders guide’ to the best places to eat in the area; from typical pub grub to fine dining restaurants. As we were staying near Cheltenham we searched a 30 min radius drive from our hotel so that we could stop for lunch before the usual 3pm check-in time.
We’d heard Cheltenham was a nice place to visit (we guessed it must have something to offer other than the famous steeplechase horse racing as it has the fourth-highest rate of multi-millionaires in the UK living there) but after looking through the restaurant list we weren’t overwhelmed…the closest venue we liked was Jamie’s Italian…so we decided to continue our search. We decided on the quaint village of Cirencester and deli-café-bistro ‘Made by Bob’.
This guaranteed quick and easy Soy and Honey Chicken recipe, by MasterChef’s Monica Galetti, is delicious and a treat for the entire family. We serve the chicken with rice and bok choi, or simply slice the cooked chicken and add it to a noodle and vegetable stir fry.
For a more caramelised – stick-to-your-teeth – sensation, cook the chicken until it’s well done, it’s the best! The cooking process, inspired by her mother, has never let us down.
450g/1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tsp clear honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder (for a subtle smokey flavour)
- In a bowl, mix together the honey and soy (and paprika). Add the chicken thighs and completely coat in the marinade
- Place the coated chicken thighs into a cold, deep, heavy-based saucepan. Place the plan onto a medium heat on the hob and cook uncovered until the chicken is cooked through and the honey and soy coating has thickened to a glossy glaze (should take about 20-30 mins). We turn the chicken every 10 mins or so until it’s caramelised
NB: It’s important to start cooking the chicken in a cold pan so the chicken stews as it cooks. If the pan is hot, the honey and soy sauce will caramelise before the meat is cooked through.
Everyone loves a cupcake, but who would decline the chance to sample different mini cupcakes without feeling ‘calorie’ guilty? We do! And that, in a nutshell, is why Elldrew have become fans of mini cupcakes (oh, and they look cute too).
Turning to one of our favourite cupcakes books for inspiration, the Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days when we need ideas for some delicious desserts to end a meal with friends and family. Recently, we chose a selection from the “Hot Drink” range, settling on a menu of Earl Grey, Espresso and Hot Chocolate mini cupcakes. Having experimented with various recipes in the past, we are always amazed how many mini cupcakes one can get from a single mixture, but this time we needed to stretch ourselves, and our batter, to not only cater for around 25 people, but we needed to make sure we delivered quality as well as quantity. Read more for recipe instructions.
Summer holidays are over, which means the diet’s also over and Elldrew can get back to Sunday afternoon baking (although our new policy is to share the goods with our colleagues and thereby minimise the impact on our personal waistlines!). This week’s treat was Donna Hay’s decadent Caramel Crunch Brownies but with an added Elldrew twist to make them a more grown-up affair, and we took a sneaky shortcut to speed up the process. Read on for the recipe, and our tips (including a nifty trick for rescuing a split ganache).
After a busy day at work one of Elldrew’s favourite meals is this quick and easy chicken, cashew nut and spring onion stir fry. Not based on any celebrity chef’s recipe, requiring only very basic prep and using ingredients usually in our larder, it’s a good standby meal for hungry tummies (that need feeding quickly).