Chef James Martin proves that a hectic lifestyle is no bar to delicious home-cooked food with a menu of meals that can be prepared in advance. Recipes include a slow-cooked chicken chasseur and the perfect pork loinstuffed with chestnuts and sage.
There is also a visit to former French chef Thomas Maieli, who has said goodbye to his LA lifestyle cooking for the rich and famous to pursue his personal passion – creating the very best homemade duck confit.
Chef James Martin dishes:
Salmon and watercress pan bagnat
Once prepared this rustic bread stuffed with salmon, peppers, red onions and watercress pesto will keep for days. Perfect for a large picnic party.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the salmon in a deep-sided tray with the lemon slices, cover with water then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until just cooked through.
Remove and allow to cool slightly before flaking the fish into large pieces. To make a pesto, put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and two-thirds of the watercress into a food processor and blend until slightly chunky, then add the oil gradually until it forms a thick paste.
Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Toss the courgettes with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place on the griddle in batches and cook for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Remove and set aside to cool.
Take the loaf and cut off the top ¼ and set it aside. Scoop out all the bread from the inside of the loaf. (You can keep it for making breadcrumbs at a later date.)
Spread some of the pesto into the bottom of the loaf. Place a quarter of the charred courgettes into the bottom of the loaf and press down lightly. Place a quarter of the remaining watercress on top and press down.
Top with a quarter of the salmon, peppers, sliced onions and more pesto, then repeat the layers until the loaf is full to the brim, then place the lid back on top. Wrap very tightly in cling film and place in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably overnight or even for up to three days.
To serve, unwrap and cut into wedges.
Chocolate truffles with cinder toffee
The chocolate truffles seem so indulgent, but are simple to make. Try them with cinder toffee, also known as honeycomb toffee, for a truly sweet treat.
3. Chestnut, sage and onion stuffed pork loin with dauphinoise potatoes
Slow roasting a huge joint of pork gives you time to get on with other things while this feast prepares itself – crispy crackling, tender pork and creamy potatoes.
4. Chicken chasseur with creamy mash
This chicken and tarragon is a winning combination of flavours. Cook up dinner for four with chicken pieces in rich sauce served with creamy mash potatoes.