A mocha ice cream cake and quick shellfish dinner from Claudia Roden

When Claudia Roden’s three youngsters unfold their wings and left their London house greater than 35 years in the past, Claudia determined to depart house too and journey across the Mediterranean.

Off she went within the spirit of journey with out plans or preparations however together with her head swirling with childhood reminiscences of the exhilarating second when she and her siblings arrived in Alexandria by the desert highway from their house in Cairo and instantly noticed the ocean. She nonetheless vividly remembered the flavour of the meals within the cafes alongside the seafront.

Again within the Nineteen Eighties, a lady travelling alone was undoubtedly suspect; however Claudia was on a mission to analysis and recapture flavours. This allowed her to make contacts, ask for assist, go to restaurant kitchens: it gave her the liberty to introduce herself to folks on trains in cafes or in pension sitting rooms — ‘I’m an English meals author researching your delicacies, are you able to inform me what your favorite dishes are?’. Invariably folks have been glad to speak about meals and so it started.

The international locations across the Mediterranean Sea are all very completely different — with each Muslim and Christian cultures, deserts, forests, mountains, islands. But they've a lot in frequent — a shared local weather, sizzling, dry summers, gentle winters and balmy evenings that encourage convivial outside cooking, alfresco consuming, road meals, and bustling markets.

Each nation has its personal meals tradition and distinctive dishes, a few of which differ from one city to a different. Elements and utensils will be comparable, clay pots to prepare dinner over hearth, pestles and mortars, and wood-burning ovens. Curious, pleasant folks invited Claudia into their homes and cooked their favorite dishes for her whereas she jotted down the recipes. She went by means of Spain, Italy, France, Sicily, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, meandering by means of the Balkans and the Levant. A lot of that is documented in her cookbooks which have introduced a lot pleasure to so many people all through the years.

Claudia, now in her 80s, had already written 22 books. Nonetheless, throughout Covid, her agent pressed her to jot down yet one more ebook. She was reluctant at first and was satisfied that ‘no one will need one other cookbook from an octogenarian’. Fortuitously, she was persuaded to share the favorite recipes that she likes to prepare dinner for household and mates. 

Claudia, whom I've been lucky to know for greater than three many years, is a good looking, beneficiant house prepare dinner and a relentless entertainer. Her meals is contemporary and timeless and evokes and delights each house cooks {and professional} cooks. I really feel so blessed to know her. Listed below are just a few of my private favourites from MED revealed by Ebury Press.

Purple pepper and tomato salad

Impressed by Moroccan cooked salads, this one is a favorite for its superb color and marvellous flavours. The addition of boiled lemon, with its distinctive sharp style, is my little 'fantasia'. For this, boil an unwaxed lemon for half-hour till it's ver

Red pepper and tomato salad


  • 3 giant fleshy crimson peppers

  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 300g (10oz) cherry or child plum tomatoes, corresponding to Santini

  • ½ - 1 contemporary chilli, seeded and chopped, or pinch of floor chilli (optionally available)

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • 1 small boiled lemon (see introduction) or ½ giant one (optionally available)

  • 3-4 tbsp additional virgin olive oil

  • just a few sprigs of coriander, leaves chopped

  • salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gasoline Mark 7 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Minimize the peppers in half by means of the stalks, take away the stalks, seeds and membranes and organize them, cut-side down, on the parchment paper.

  2. Roast within the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes till they're gentle and their skins are blistered. Put them in an empty pan with a tight-fitting lid or in a bowl with a plate on prime and go away them to steam for 10 minutes, which can loosen the skins.

  3. When cool sufficient to deal with, peel off the skins and minimize every half into 4 ribbons. Whereas the peppers are roasting, warmth the oil in a frying pan and add the tomatoes and chilli, if utilizing. Prepare dinner over a low warmth for 10 minutes, shaking the pan and turning the tomatoes over with a spatula till they're gentle. Push them to the aspect of the pan, add the garlic to an empty little bit of the pan and prepare dinner, stirring, till the aroma rises and the garlic simply begins to color.

  4. Add the sugar and a few salt and stir nicely. Add the peppers to the tomatoes. If utilizing the lemon, minimize into small items and add it to the pan, juice and all, however take away the pips. Stir gently over a low warmth for a minute or so. Depart to chill. Serve at room temperature, drizzled with loads of additional virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of coriander.

    Garnish with 10 black olives and 10 anchovy fillets in oil
    For Neapolitan peperoni e pomodorini in agrodolce, dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in 100ml white wine vinegar; pour this over the peppers and tomatoes and prepare dinner for a minute or two. Omit the sugar, boiled lemon and coriander.

    Taken from Med, A Cookbook by Claudia Roden revealed by Ebury Press

Haricot beans with clams

That is my favorite clam recipe. Use good-quality white haricot beans from a jar or tin. The wine offers them a fragile flavour and the clams add the style of the ocean

Haricot beans with clams


  • 650g (1lb 7oz) clams

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 giant onion, chopped

  • ½ small contemporary chilli, chopped (optionally available)

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 350g (12oz) jar small white haricot beans [or 1 x 400g (14oz) tin], drained and rinsed

  • 125ml (4 1½ fl oz) fruity white wine or cava

  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • salt


  1. Throw away any clams which can be chipped or damaged and any open ones that don't shut once you faucet them on the sink or dip them in ice-cold water. Scrub them with a brush if they're soiled. Depart them in contemporary chilly water for 20 minutes — as they breathe, they'll push out any sand that is still inside.

  2. Carry them out and rinse them in a colander beneath operating water. Warmth the oil in a large casserole or pan with a tight-fitting lid.

  3. Add the onion and the chilli, if utilizing, and stir over a low warmth till very gentle and starting to color. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or so. Add the beans, the wine and a little bit salt, combine gently and prepare dinner for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Put the clams on prime, put the lid on, and prepare dinner over a medium-high warmth for 2-3 minutes till the clams open. Throw away any that don't open. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

    Taken from Med, A Cookbook by Claudia Roden revealed by Ebury Press

Parfait Mocha Praliné

This very straightforward no-churn ice cream has the fantastic mixture of espresso and praline flavours that I like and in addition brings again many glad reminiscences

Parfait Mocha Praliné

Preparation Time

6 hours 0 minutes


  • 50g (2oz) blanched hazelnuts

  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar

  • 300ml (10fl oz) double cream

  • 175g (6oz) sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 tbsp prompt espresso espresso powder


  1. To make the praline, in a dry frying pan (not a non-stick one) toast the hazelnuts over a medium warmth, shaking the pan, till they simply start to color. Tip the hazelnuts onto a plate and put aside.

  2. Put the sugar within the pan, unfold it out and place over a medium warmth till it turns into liquid and turns a lightweight golden color (watch it as it might rapidly flip very darkish and bitter). Put the hazelnuts again in and switch them round till they're nicely coated with the liquid caramel. When the caramel turns brown, pour it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper (or onto an oiled baking tray). Let it cool fully. When it's exhausting and brittle, grind in a meals processor.

  3. Whisk the cream with the condensed milk and low powder till gentle peaks kind. Fold within the praline, protecting 2 tablespoons apart to embellish. Maintain this in a little bit cup coated with parchment paper till you might be able to serve.

  4. Line a mould with parchment paper (it makes turning out simpler) and pour within the cream combination. Cowl the highest with parchment paper and freeze for at the least 6 hours or in a single day.

  5. Take out of the freezer quarter-hour earlier than serving. Dip the mould right into a bowl of extremely popular water for just a few seconds. Take away the masking parchment paper. Flip the mould the wrong way up onto a serving plate and take away the remaining parchment paper. Serve sprinkled with the reserved praline.

Ebook of the Week

This week I've chosen Mary Berry's new ebook Like to Prepare dinner as my ‘Ebook of the Week’ — 120 recipes from her new BBC collection — it appears like a ‘hug between two covers’. Plenty of no-nonsense ideas and methods in addition to well-tested recipes. "Over the previous 12 months, many have had surprising time on their arms at house and have discovered a love of cooking to be comforting and therapeutic in very tough occasions" — Mary Berry

Blas na hÉireann Awards

Congratulations to Ballymaloe Cookery College alumni, Sarah Cremin of Good Fortune Cookies whose double chocolate and sea salt cookies received bronze because the latest Blas na hÉireann awards. See goodfortune_cookies on Instagram.

Burren Meals Fayre October 23 and 24

The Burren Meals Fayre is returning for a collection of distinctive meals and farm customer experiences this October Financial institution vacation weekend.

The occasion, which is organised by the Burren Ecotourism Community, marks its tenth 12 months in operation this 12 months, with a return to in-person occasions. Final 12 months’s occasion needed to be staged nearly.

Small teams of tourists will be capable of prebook completely different itineraries, which can take them on a meals path throughout the size and breadth of the Burren. 5 completely different experiences have been created, that includes a wide range of completely different producers.


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