Recipes from food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando: Fish fingers to Friday nights.

  • The Jam

    There are some days when I am rather overambitious in bringing home more food than I really know what to do with. I’ve got better over the years, and now, if I am spending a…

  • Wings of desire

    “What’s this terrible music you’ve got on?” asks Bee as she comes in the door. “A seminal ’90s album” I tell her, one eyebrow arched.…

  • Cod willing

    Clearly there is absolutely no need to salt and preserve fish here in South East London in 2017. There is also no need in many of the Mediterranean restaurants you may find…

  • The wiener takes it all

    It’s that time of year when the low-sun sky dazzles my eyes at every street corner and I have to walk with an arm half-raised in defence. Sadly the raised arm technique has…

  • Corn and bread

    30 days hath September, and each is a waste of time. What is its point? Nothing more than a doorway to pass from summer to autumn. It is a nothing month, back to school, no…

  • Sea bass, celeriac rémoulade

    Two weeks into September and I think we are just about surfacing from the shock of returning to real life after a leisurely August with the children attached to our legs 24 hours…

  • Not the outdoor type

    What if something’s on t.v. and its never shown again?* So that’s it. Summer’s almost gone. Any warm weather from now on is a bonus, not an Indian summer. As far…

  • Spinach and ricotta ravioli

    Please send food. Dear God, get me away from this buffet. As the Jadrilinija ferry passes by us from the small port on the mainland to the island of Korcula yet again, it…

  • Scallop risotto with seaweed stock and pickled fennel

    It’s hard to go wrong with food if you add an indecent amount of cheese and butter to it. Even cheese and butter are improved by the addition of cheese and butter. Notable…

  • Strawberry, white chocolate and basil summer sponge

    With only a minute to spare, we burst through the doors of the seventeenth century formal rooms into the wedding of an old friend. Maya, freshly pressed in her brand new dress…

  • Chilli and lime corn on the cob

    I've been working much more than usual this week which has turned the children into faint outlines in my memory for whom I have to make packed lunches for early in the…

  • Fritter the days away

    Now I’m an adult (at least physically and legally) I can choose to eat cold, soggy cheeseburgers and limp fries for breakfast in a bowling alley on a Saturday morning if I…

  • Things I like in the kitchen (part one)

    Just as we’ve recovered from our trip to Legoland, it’s time for the school summer fair. I found myself flipping burgers and sausages for four hours with Mike on a hot…

  • Gnocchi on Heaven’s door

    I may be the only person in our house that likes gnocchi. I’ll find out for sure on the weekend when I feed the ones left over from today’s lunch to the children on…

  • Go man, go.

    I’ve been using a butternut squash as a doorstop for the past month now. The thought of peeling it is filling me with such a sense of ennui that I just stare at it…

  • Meringue, M’Lord?

    Although I firmly believe sugar to be the devil, I will occasionally find myself face down in a cake or suchlike. And when I say occasionally, I probably mean more like once a…

  • Rice to the occasion

    “I quite like them” said Noah after he’d eaten half an arancini and left the rest on the kitchen bench, wandering off to then hole up in a corner with a book.…

  • Fancy a dip? 

    It’s not alchemy, but trying to turn base ingredients into the elusive gold perfection of a taste memory with nothing to work on but hearsay and supposition and only a…

  • Don’t throw those bloody spears at me.

    I’m not sure how at the end of every day the house looks as if we’ve been running an army field kitchen, the laundry basket has repopulated itself as if the clothes…

  • Preservation order

    I only preserve cucumbers so I can eat them immediately. Or pickle them, at least. After all, it’s not as if cucumbers are hard to come by these days. I pickle because…

  • Fika time

    The children are never far from an excuse to eat sweet things. So it seemed that a few days in a country where a national pastime is to share coffee and cinnamon buns would be…

  • Lime and mint pressé

    I’ve baked a lot of bread this week. Enough for a small stall at some rah-rah market selling posh chorizo sandwiches and unicorn sweat fairy-cakes. The rather brilliant…

  • Dangerous liaison

    I did hot yoga this week. The only space remaining in the room was right under one of the heaters. After losing two stone in one hour and having to rearrange my body parts back to…

  • Prawn to be wild (garlic)

    I’m a busy man, I don’t have time to separate my free-range, organic araucana eggs for homemade mayonnaise. In the cut and thrust world I live in I barely have time to…

  • Nice buns

    I was five or six, and for some reason, every so often in assembly, we would sing ‘Yellow Submarine’ — I had no idea who the Beatles were, let John Lennon who had…

  • Nice pear

    The drive south took four hours. We didn’t say a word during the journey. Mile after mile of flat, treeless landscape passed by the windows of the van as the cold evening…

  • Gingerbread panna cotta

    A clear blue Saturday morning of the May bank holiday weekend. We are finally teaching Noah to cycle and in the park among Victorian trees on flat ground,  I walked and he…

  • Take the bisque, cuit

    They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I’m not so sure with lobster, although that is usually the kind of thing you say to an ugly child. A good, spicy,…

  • Don’t be so shellfish

    I found a lobster in the freezer yesterday. Cooked and frozen solid. I’d forgotten about it, languishing there like an extra in Quincy. I gave it a hot bath, and a little…

  • Garlic, chive and thyme aioli

    If you fancy something to dip your chips in, an alternative to mayo in your chicken sandwich or something to fire up your fish, this is a perfect quick sauce to scare the people…

  • Spring a leek

    I’ve been meaning to make leeks with vinaigrette since we got back from Paris at the beginning of March. We were primed for a fancy lunch for my great Aunty…

  • Nuts in April

    The Easter weekend is coming up, and this year my birthday is sandwiched between death and resurrection on the Saturday. I shall not be doing any cooking for the whole weekend,…

  • A spring in our step

    There is a strange kind of calm in the house. Just the gentle hum of the washing machine in the background. I hear a car pass by and the clock ticking on the wall. It’s a…

  • Sea aster time

    It’s STILL the Easter holidays. The children have not stopped talking to me for two solid days. I think they must breathe through their ears. It’s been a…

  • Easter Scotch Creme eggs

    This recipe is not for the faint hearted, or at least not for people who don't like Creme eggs. Use as many creme eggs as you want, I stopped after eight, which is another kind…

  • Mind your onions.

    They’re home for the next few weeks because of the school Easter holidays. I have a glut of onions from a job the other day, so to annoy them, I’ve decided to peel…

  • Happy yeaster

    The dough has risen again after the first thirty minutes. I knocked it back with a gentle flick or two of the wrist and folded it in on itself a few times before shaping into a…

  • Bombay paneer with garlic chilli sauce

    I’m writing this lying on the floor in the middle of a cheese coma. The sudden trauma of morning, getting the children ready for school and repeating ‘brush your…

  • On the lamb

    There is a Roald Dahl short story whereby a wronged wife clonks her husband on the head with a frozen lamb leg and renders him dead. While I am no way advocating such action…

  • The Absolute ‘Pie-agne’

    We got back from Paris on the weekend. Now there’s a city that knows what to do with pastry. Crumbling and flaky lemon tarts, strawberries glazed and nestling in creme…

  • Scotch egg? You’re in luck, now.

    The petrol station. Where food goes to die. This is why people think badly of Scotch eggs, although, thankfully there has been a little positive renaissance recently of these…

  • Go man, go

    This recipe is inspired by the kulfi sticks the children (and I) love on our occasional trips to Tayaabs, but I’m certainly not going to make it at home the proper and…

  • Scone with the wind

    Maya’s off school ill today. And somehow, come 9.30 this morning, she has made what medical science would term a miraculous recovery. I’ve never seen someone less ill.…

  • Hand-raised lamb, potato and spinach pie.

    Since my father’s inexplicable and treacherous switching of allegiance from Newcastle Untied to Reading FC, he now has a cup of tea and a Waitrose balti pie every half time…

  • Aaloo sailor

    Potato has to be one of life’s great comfort foods. And while I rail about the result versus the time and planning taken to bake a jacket potato to golden crunchy skin…

  • Salmon to watch over me

    A small package, wrapped in a brown paper mushroom bag arrived for me from Eugene, Oregon the other week. Inside, thanks to my friend Linda Schindler, was vanilla salt. She said…

  • Punjab dhal dumpling curry

    I always get excited when I stumble across new ingredients. I’ll try anything as long as it’s not a joke or a dare. Or fugu. Or a still beating snake heart. Or a…

  • Having a ball

    Recently, before Christmas and in the throes of trying to establish a new world record for sugar consumption, I bought a box of gulab jamun from the local supermarket. I’ve…

  • Polenta, lobster and squid ink tomatoes

    Tinned fish is one of life’s simple pleasures, and for me tinned sardines have become a gateway drug to other, more eye-watering products. As well as coming in all kinds of…

  • pork-chops

    Pork Chops with Mustard and Cream

    We don’t often eat pork chops in my house. We’ve had the fear put into us by my mother-in-law that we will have a terrible night’s sleep if we eat pork in the…

  • Snack of the week

    If you are hungry and need a quick pick me up, this snack has won my coveted ‘snack of the week’ award. It’s an amazing, classic combination and if you have…

  • Baked eggcellence

    It has been a fairly uneventful week in the kitchen, which means it’s been quite tidy. The children made their own tomato, sweet potato and carrot soup which they promptly…

  • Fruit smoothie

    About an hour after I’ve had my jasmine tea in the morning,  I’m ready for breakfast, which almost every morning is a Nutribullet smoothie. Usually I will start with…

  • Love and hake

    Still off the carbs and sugar, mealtimes are becoming much more interesting. While I have craved the odd sandwich or snack, and with weekends being particularly tricky with the…

  • Herb Salt, or Amkräuter salz

    Not much happened in Suffolk last week. I’m not sure it ever does. That’s what made our stay in the cottage so rejuvinating. Lighting fires, reading books, walks on…

  • Roast chicken with mashed potato, creamy leeks, fennel seed and peas

    I think it far better to buy a whole good chicken and roast it all than buy expensive packaged bits. At the very least you can make a really good chicken stock, let alone all the…

  • Vietnamese deep-fried summer rolls

    Our long-lost family restaurant, The Mekong in Pimlico (disclaimer: I snorted when I first went and now claim it as my own) closed perhaps a year ago with what seemed like no…

  • Breakfast smoothie

    I use a nutribullet for my smoothies. The great thing here being that your bananas may be on their way out, your spinach may not be at its freshest, but there is no need to waste…

  •   Five minute fish curry

    Fry the curry spices in the coconut oil, add the fish chunks. Cook for a few minutes then add the remaining ingredients and a little coriander. You could use coconut milk rather…

  • Quick barbecue sauce recipe

  • Quick children’s meals and how to get them to eat vegetables

    How times have changed. Wasn’t it only yesterday I was able to stay up past 10 in the evening and function the next day? My friends and I would get up to all sorts of…

  • Sugar and dairy-free gelato heaven

    I don’t remember anyone ever having said a bad word about Italian ice-cream. Its texture is creamy and rich, soft and smooth on the tongue. The flavours sing purely, as if…

  • Sweet mango, lime and chilli

    It’s August here in London, the height of summer. Looking out of the window, the unrelenting monsoon makes me wonder if it will ever get light. Instead of turning to slow…

  • Cauliflower, turmeric and garlic mash

    I love cauliflower raw in salads, pickled, picalillied, turned into ‘cous cous’ or ‘rice’ or comforting cauliflower cheese. It also makes a great mash. You…

  • Low-carb suppers: Seared tuna with warm bean salad

    If you were to find me in a restaurant in the early 2000s, chances are I would be eating seared tuna on a ‘bed’ of le Puy lentils. I couldn’t get enough of it. It seemed to…

  • Miso soup with prawn, scallop and samphire

    This is one of the simplest and quickest meals you will ever make. And one of the most delicious. To make it work, though, you must get absolutely fresh tiger prawns and plump,…

  • Breakfast ice lollies

    As a supposed grown-up, I feel I can eat whatever I want, whenever. Cold pizza for breakfast and such. While I try and promote a healthy diet to the children, that…

  • Cured mullet with pickled radish

    At the back of my fridge you’ll find a jar or two of pickled herring from Ikea. I always stock up when I go, it’s the highlight of the trip. I get excited about any food that…

  • Sugar free yoghurt, cardamom and elderflower bundt cake.

    I bore my wife every year with constant updates on the elder state, and my excitement and her relief peaks when the buds start to open into flowers. Pick them first thing on a…

  • Morning Smoothie

    I tend to start every morning with a Nutribullet smoothie. I was never a great breakfast eater, but this has proven an easy way for me to get the day off to a good start. Some…

  • North African chickpea and tomato stew

    I say North African, but this really is a mix of store cupboard items that could be Asian, Indian, Turkish, Moroccan and Mediterranean. Chickpeas were a staple growing up and my…

  • Nettle and wild garlic pesto with prawns and sweet potato

    Nettles grow like mad this time of year. Now, after many childhood tears, it’s time for revenge. They have a grassy, earthy flavor that goes well in risotto or soup and if you…

  • Kasha with spiced roast vegetables

    This vibrant dish can be served warm or cold. Kasha, or roast buckwheat is so good for you and has a nutty taste and texture that complements the sweet roast vegetables. What I…

  • Hawthorn tea

    It’s hawthorn blossom season in London at the moment and while the trees are in bloom it’s a great time to make fresh tea or dry the flowers for future use. The tea has…

  • Spicy filo vegetable parcels

    Bourek, samosa, pasty or empanada? They’re all good ways to eat a messy filling with your hands. I first had bourek in a cous cous restaurant in Paris and loved the delicate…

  • Quick carb-free crab ‘courgetti’

    This is a take on one of my favourite pasta dishes. It’s a great way to cut out carbohydrates if you’re on a health kick, and it really stands out as a dish in its own…

  • Jasmine-cured mackerel fishcakes

    Fishcakes are a great way of either using up fish trimmings or making fish a bit more accesible for the children. I’m a big fan of Thai fishcakes. Full of zingy flavours,…

  • Infused oils: getting more flavour into your meals

    Here’s a quick and easy way to add a little more flavour to your cooking. Depending on what you’re making, using infused oils to cook with can make the difference between a…

  • Fiery homemade chilli sauce that’s full of flavour

    Chilli sauce has been a source of constant disappointment in my life. It’s either not as hot as it says it should be, or it’s hot but without much flavour. I remember trying a…

  • Dhal Vadai: spiced Indian lentil balls

    I have talked about my love of lentils in an earlier post. Like the Swedish are never too far away from a herring, dhal is never too far from my mind. Lentils are comfort food…

  • Delicious beef kofte skewers with yogurt, cumin and mint dip

    A good kebab is a great thing. It’s almost the ultimate in balanced meals with the meat, salad, vegetables and carbohydrates. It can either soak up a night’s excesses or…

  • Meatballs with spiced tomato sauce and courgette ‘spaghetti’

    I love meatballs more than almost anything in the world. It’s hard to beat a bowl of them served with spaghetti, but for this version I thought I’d make a healthier…

  • The beautiful lentil

    My favourite part of an Indian meal is most often the dhal. Dipping homemade naan into the silky, slightly spiced comforting refuge of the tarka-ed lentils is to me a little like…

  • Curried spelt with salmon

    Apart from the smell of onions and garlic cooking in a little butter and oil, I don’t think anything beats the aromatic and almost mysterious smell that comes from toasting a…

  • Rabbit terrine with asparagus, pancetta and peas

    This dish is so pretty, but essentially my rabbit terrine is a big slab of meat, freshened by the addition of peas and asparagus. Served with a pickled salad and a few truffle…

  • Beautiful whole sea urchin

    Sea urchin spaghetti with lemon and olive oil

    One of the greatest meals I’ve ever had was a sea urchin pasta, eaten overlooking a beach in Paxos. We were at a cookery demonstration by Spiros, owner of Bar Taxidi in Loggos…

  • Roast lamb with garlic, baby aubergines and anya potatoes

    Lamb – whether spiced and charred in the tandoor, coated with a herb crust and roasted, or simply sliced thinly and served in a sandwich with mustard, parsley and cucumber…

  • Fig and goat’s cheese tart with onions, tomatoes and honey

    When I was at my parents’ last weekend for my dad’s birthday, I wanted to contribute something to the lunch, and brought in the figs I happened to have left over from the day…

  • Welcome to The Modern Husband

    Welcome to The Modern Husband, where I post a wide range of recipes and writing about food I love to make – from quick family suppers to Michelin-style cooking for special…

    The Jam

    There are some days when I am rather overambitious in bringing home more food than I really know what to do with. I’ve got better over…

    Wings of desire

      “What’s this terrible music you’ve got on?” asks Bee as she comes in the door. “A seminal ’90s album” I tell her, one eyebrow arched.…

    Cod willing

    Clearly there is absolutely no need to salt and preserve fish here in South East London in 2017. There is also no need in many of…

    Go man, go.

    I’ve been using a butternut squash as a doorstop for the past month now. The thought of peeling it is filling me with such a sense…

    Fancy a dip? 

    It’s not alchemy, but trying to turn base ingredients into the elusive gold perfection of a taste memory with nothing to work on but hearsay and…

    Fika time

    The children are never far from an excuse to eat sweet things. So it seemed that a few days in a country where a national pastime…

    Nice buns

      I was five or six, and for some reason, every so often in assembly, we would sing ‘Yellow Submarine’ — I had no idea who…

    Nice pear

    The drive south took four hours. We didn’t say a word during the journey. Mile after mile of flat, treeless landscape passed by the windows of…

    Spring a leek

        I’ve been meaning to make leeks with vinaigrette since we got back from Paris at the beginning of March. We were primed for a fancy lunch…

    Nuts in April

      The Easter weekend is coming up, and this year my birthday is sandwiched between death and resurrection on the Saturday. I shall not be doing…

    Easter Scotch Creme eggs

    This recipe is not for the faint hearted, or at least not for people who don’t like Creme eggs.
    Use as many creme eggs as you want, I stopped after eight, which is another kind of chocolate I probably only have once a year.

    Happy yeaster

      The dough has risen again after the first thirty minutes. I knocked it back with a gentle flick or two of the wrist and folded…

    On the lamb

    There is a Roald Dahl short story whereby a wronged wife clonks her husband on the head with a frozen lamb leg and renders him dead.…

    Go man, go

    This recipe is inspired by the kulfi sticks the children (and I) love on our occasional trips to Tayaabs, but I’m certainly not going to make it…

    Scone with the wind

    Maya’s off school ill today. And somehow, come 9.30 this morning, she has made what medical science would term a miraculous recovery. I’ve never seen someone…

    Aaloo sailor

      Potato has to be one of life’s great comfort foods. And while I rail about the result versus the time and planning taken to bake a…

    Having a ball

    Recently, before Christmas and in the throes of trying to establish a new world record for sugar consumption, I bought a box of gulab jamun from…