Jodie Parker is a keen cook, and so am I! Every book has a recipe at the back that has been tried and tested by me, and found to be delicious! I'm not a professional chef and I've never had any training, so if I can follow these recipes, so can you!
Tried and tested recipes from the Nosey Parker series
‘Bung it all in the oven’ Moroccan Chicken
Jodie's Tried and Tested Recipes #1 (from 'The Cornish Wedding Murder')
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºc.
Dice carrots, sweet potato, potatoes and anything else you’ve got lying about into chunks. Remember, the larger the chunk, the longer it’ll take. This is true of so many things in life, not just in cooking... Pumpkin and squash work well in this recipe too.
Chop cauliflower into florets. Cut a red onion into quarters, chop a red pepper, and crush at least two cloves of garlic (never trust a recipe that calls for one clove. One clove isn’t enough for anything, not even a recipe called One Clove of Garlic).
Toss everything in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then put in an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven. It’ll probably take about 30- 40 minutes, depending on how big your chunks are.
Take some chicken breasts. Sprinkle ground cumin, coriander and chilli flakes (if you like a bit of heat) onto a chopping board, then roll the chicken breasts in the spice mix, making sure to cover both sides thoroughly. Chop it into chunks and thread them onto skewers, alternating with pieces of mushroom, red pepper, and onion.
Cook the kebabs for 15-20 minutes.
Measure one cup of Israeli couscous into a pan and cover it with hot water. Crumble in a stock cube and bring to the boil for around seven minutes, until it’s soft. You can use ordinary couscous but this type really works well with the spicy flavours and is proper middle-class, innit.
Drain the couscous and tip it into the dish of roasted veg. Add a tablespoon of harissa paste and mix everything together. Serve the chicken on a bed of couscous and roasted veg. If you’ve got them, pita or flat breads go really well and you can mop up the spicy harissa and chicken juices.
Cornish Saffron Buns
Jodie's Tried and Tested Recipes #2 (from 'The Cornish Village Murder')
First take a large pinch of saffron, place the strands in a small ovenproof dish, and dry them out for a few minutes in the oven set on a low temperature, so when you take them out you can crumble them up. Pour over 4 tbsp boiling water and leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl, mix 500g strong flour and 1/2 tsp salt, then rub in 120g butter (some recipes call for half lard, half butter, but quite frankly I’ve got quite enough lard of my own and I don’t need to add to it) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. This process is really good at getting the dirt out from under your fingernails, so unless you’re into eating that sort of thing I’d suggest you make sure your hands are really clean before you get your paws into the mixture.
Stir in 90g caster sugar and 200g sultanas or currants. You could get fancy and try different dried fruit, like cranberries or something, but if you do, don’t attempt to call them ‘Cornish’ unless you want to be beaten to within an inch of your life with a pasty by an irate Cornishman (your buns will taste nice though – not a euphemism).
A word about yeast... If you’re using fast- action/easy bake yeast you can add a 7g sachet here, but if you’re using the dried sort that needs activating first, add 4 tsp to 100ml warm milk and stick it in the oven to puff up while you’re toasting your saffron (also not a euphemism, but it sounds like it should be).
Add the infused saffron and boiling water to the warm milk (with or without the yeast, as above) and then add to the flour mixture, along with 1 large egg.
Stir to combine everything (you might need to add a little more milk if it’s too dry to come together into a dough) then tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it feels kind of stretchy. Just pummel it until it feels right (ooh, matron).
Divide into 12 and shape into balls, then place on a greased baking tray and flatten them slightly. Cover them with lightly oiled clingfilm – oiling clingfilm is one of those things that is exactly as awkward to do as it sounds, like herding cats, but you really do need to oil it – and leave them in a warm place to double in size (I normally have the oven warming on the lowest setting while I’m preparing them, and then turn it off and leave them in there to rise).
Preheat the oven to 220ºc (first taking out your cling-filmed buns if that’s where they’re proving – I can tell you from experience that melted clingfilm doesn’t taste very nice), and then bake your saffron buns near the top of the oven until they are golden and sound hollow when you tap their bottoms. This normally takes 10-15 minutes, so keep an eye on them.
Eat them warm or cold. Traditionalists will say you should eat them plain – and when they’re still warm, you can – but to my mind you can’t beat them slathered in butter or clotted cream.
And if they start to get stale (they never last long enough in my house for that to happen), they’re great toasted with butter too.