Many will have heard of Omelette Arnold Bennett; fewer, I suspect, will have eaten it; and fewer still will have made it. Invented at The Savoy Hotel in London for author Arnold Bennett, who resided there for a number of years, it features on the menu of The Savoy Grill to this day. Provided you…

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I didn’t follow a recipe for this anniversary routine masterpiece, but it worked quite well. You  make it slightly backside foremost, as you have to cook the mussels first. The sauce for the fish is wine based (or in this case vermouth). Traditionally you would thicken this with a splash of cream, which I don’t…

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I hope you didn’t miss Wednesday’s On The Side column featuring Galton Blackiston. The daft customer experience involving the guest whose filo pastry in her en papillote dish was tough is a classic. Confused? Read on. En papillote simply means cooked in a paper bag. (Incidentally, that ridiculous little paper frill you used to see…

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I share at least one thing with Nigel Slater. Not, sadly, his cooking ability – how many know that he trained as a chef at London’s Savoy Hotel? I refer to his love of seizing on an ingredient or two, then building it into a dish off the top of his head. This one came…

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Ginger on Wednesday, Ginger on Friday No, not a couplet from a popular ditty. Just a mundane reminder that, as night follows day, so the Wednesday Alphabetical of Food in On The Side comes a couple of days before a couple of recipes featuring that month’s hero. There are so many choices. Ginger cheesecake and…

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If you normally read both Tom Eats! and Tom Cooks! don’t read this column till you’ve digested the former. If you don’t read Eats!, I can tell you that these are recipes for a few dishes which featured there. Consommé Olga You may recall that Binkie’s steward, McTavish, attributed this dish to chef’s dalliance with…

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I made up this dish and wrote down the recipe in the depths of January. As the weather improved, I thought it might have to go on the back burner till the end of the year; however, with the mercury hovering around 4˚C here, I decided it was too early to be abandoning hearty winter…

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With this week’s Chef Watch focussing on Stuart Smith who majors in fish, it seemed appropriate to include a fish recipe. Last week’s guest recipe provider, Myint Su attracted a lot of interest, particularly the Burmese connection. Bang on cue, she has delivered another Myanmar dish, this time a fish curry. Many of you asked…

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Foodie fashionistas in London are always on the lookout for The Next New Thing.  Quite a difficult thing to do these days, and therefore readily open to parody, not to say ridicule. One of the first ever On The Side columns looked at a ludicrous list which appeared on the Observer Food Monthly (editor Nigel…

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Cat Thomson of The Scotsman is indeed a good friend to Tom’s Food! A few weeks ago she gave us a fascinating introduction into the work of Food Heritage Scotland. I had actually asked her for a recipe. In fact I got two articles in one. After her piece for On The Side, she followed…

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The observant among you, or more accurately the few who give a damn about these things, will have noticed that there is one more Friday, and therefore one more Tom Cooks! column, before Valentine’s Day. Indeed. But Pancake Day is just 48 hours later this year, and I have a belter of a guest recipe…

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We’ll come to the main event in a minute. If you read Wednesday’s Chef Watch column featuring Neil Forbes, you would have seen reference to various dishes. One of these was his dad’s cassoulet. I kid you not, I had been planning on featuring a version of the classic bean stew this very day. Being…

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As many of you know, I have a head full of trivia. So much so, I fear that most of the useful information I once had has been eased out to make way for increasing amounts of nonsense. In a culinary quiz I could have told you years ago the symbolism of the 100 folds…

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After the festive season (such as it was this year) things tend to get a bit flat. It could be argued, therefore that this is not a time to be getting saucy. In the old Tom Cooks! column I did feature a game pie two or three years ago. This is a different version which…

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Lamb Shoulder

  Tom’s Food! will be celebrating its first birthday in a few short weeks. Now if you feel you’ve been reading my reviews and recipes for a lot longer, worry not. You’re not in an early Alzheimer’s stage (just yet). The very first review was written in October 2014 and the first recipe just over…

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Star Baker Alison Read on before you write in to complain. I am aware that the traditionalists among you will have made your cake before the pandemic, and that you’ve been feeding it every week since. Well, best beloveds, the clue is in the title – Light. Sister in law Alison’s husband started to suffer from…

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The game season is now in full swing. Probably my first exposure to game was in the form of pheasant, because that was the main thing shot at the in-laws in Perthshire. I’ve probably written before that the principal reason folk are leery of game is that they’re not sure what to do with it.…

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Now if you posed the question, mashed what, it proves how little you know me. In this divided age in which we live, a less magnanimous columnist might tell you to sling your hook: I, on the other hand, invite you to enter the fold and learn. The answer is, of course, potato. Yesterday was…

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Children are cruel beasts. Many believe that William Golding called it right in Lord of the Flies. The ugly and the different are not well treated and are often misunderstood. So pity the poor monkfish. You may never have seen one: the average fishmonger simply stocks fillets on his shelves. As you will observe from…

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Well, after Wednesday’s D for Duck column I don’t have much choice, do I? Many food writers say that duck and fruit go well together. Accordingly, I begin with raspberry. A big loud one to all of you who wrote in to say that I had misspelled Pekin and that it should have been Peking. Well,…

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On Wednesday we talked about cooking with wine, so there was only one candidate for today’s Tom Cooks! Actually, there were two. It was a toss up between today’s dish and coq au vin. Done correctly, both are very similar. And what else they have in common is that both can be done very simply…

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After last week’s article on Spanish tortilla it occurred to me that in the five years or so of this column eggs have rarely featured, which seems odd. They are, after all, the ultimate fast food. Here at Casa Johnston, they also form the basis for many types of comfort food. Can you beat an…

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