Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 1: For Mary, there is nothing better than cooking dishes from ingredients she has grown. From herbs balanced on a windowsill to vegetables in a patch of garden, what can beat the joy of making delicious recipes from the fruits of your own labour?
In this episode, Mary shows that we do not need vast amounts of space, only a passion for bringing incredible flavours to life. Mary cooks up a mouthwatering aubergine caponata, a warming vegetable noodle soup, her luxurious chicken and herb casserole and a delicious sunshine cake, all packed with colourful vegetables. She also finds time to share some excellent quick tips about how to make the most of preserving and cooking with herbs.
Out of the kitchen, Mary visits green-fingered Taira, who grows an array of fruit and vegetables in her own garden after almost two decades of only growing things on a fourth-floor balcony. Mary then travels to the beautiful Rhondda Valley to meet allotment legend Terry Walton.
Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 1
Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings, known professionally as Mary Berry, is an English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter. After being encouraged in domestic science classes at school, she studied catering and shipping management at college. She then moved to France at the age of 22 to study at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, before working in a number of cooking-related jobs.
She has published more than 75 cookery books, including her best-selling Baking Bible in 2009. Her first book was The Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook in 1970. She hosted several television series for the BBC and Thames Television. Berry is an occasional contributor to Woman’s Hour and Saturday Kitchen. She was a judge on the BBC One (originally BBC Two) television programme The Great British Bake Off from its launch in 2010 until 2016, when it relocated to Channel 4.
Mary Berry – Love to Cook episode 1 recipes:
Vegetable noodle soup bowl
Super healthy and light, this soup is packed with goodness and is ideal for a light lunch or as a first course.
- Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the ginger, chilli, spring onions, Chinese five-spice powder, sugar, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and noodles and simmer for 3–4 minutes until the noodles are cooked. Stir in the bok choi and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer for a further 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the coriander and serve.
This cake is a joy – banana, courgette and carrot are the hidden gems that children will not realise are there! To give added interest and texture, use fresh or dried banana slices for decoration. This is not a deep cake, as it has a closer texture than a plain sponge.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease two loose-bottomed 20cm/8in sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
- Place the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add the oil, carrot, banana and courgettes to the eggs and stir. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together using an electric whisk until combined.
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 25–30 minutes, or until well risen and lightly golden. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The cakes will shrink back a little when cooling.
- To make the icing, place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and half of the icing sugar and whisk again until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.
- Spread half of the icing over one cake. Sandwich the cakes together, then spread the remaining icing on the top and swirl. Arrange dried banana slices in a ring or spiral pattern on top of the cake. Cut into slices to serve.
Rather special chicken and herb casserole
An all-in-one dish that is really easy to cook and serve. Sage was often used as a dried herb in recipes but now it is readily available fresh and is simple to grow. It comes with either grey or purple leaves – they both taste the same.
- Place the bacon in a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes to render the fat. Add the onions and continue to fry until the bacon is brown at the edges. Transfer the bacon and onions to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the oil in the unwashed pan, add the chicken and brown over a high heat, turning once. Transfer to the plate with the bacon and onions.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3.
- Scatter the flour into the pan (adding a little more oil, if needed) and stir to combine. Gradually incorporate the stock, whisking, and allow to thicken. Pour in the wine and return the bacon, onions and chicken to the pan. Stir well, add the thyme, sage and bay leaves. The sauce will be quite thick at this stage. Bring to the boil, season well with salt and pepper and cover. Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and add the mushrooms and crème fraîche. Stir well and return to the oven for a further 15–20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the reserved sage leaves and fry until crisp. Remove the bay leaves, thyme and sage sprigs from the casserole and discard (some leaves will have fallen off to flavour the casserole). Stir in the parsley and serve with the crisp sage leaves on top.