Actress Fay Ripley shares one of her family’s favourite recipes and tells Yano where she gets her cookery ideas and how she likes to involve her own children
The recipes in my book have all been signed off and tested by the scariest food critics in the business – my kids! I joke not when I tell you that I only cook from my own book because it’s full of quick, easy, delicious stuff that my friends and family want to eat and I love cooking. I have tried to take the stress out and put the smiles back in. Some recipes are from my in-laws who live on a big hill in Tuscany growing their own fruit and veg and ripening their tomatoes in the Italian sun. Others have been passed on from grandma to mum to daughter, from Australia to England and everywhere in-between – but all are with love from my busy kitchen to yours.
I’m a bit of a ‘keep my kitchen clean freak’ so cooking with the kids has to be done when I’ve got plenty of time. A rushed 20-minute tea is a no-go for little helpers. So my easy baking recipes are perfect for those budding mini-chefs. A favourite in our house are the Laminigtons. A soft sponge square covered in lots of sticky chocolate and coconut. Leaving the kids covered in sticky chocolate and coconut too. Yummy!
Our favourite fast fishcakes
Fishcakes can be a little bland, but the smoky trout and crispy polenta coating give these zing and attitude. Quick, easy and terribly tasty.
Makes 8, serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes (plus chilling). Cooking time: 30 minutes. Can be frozen (raw)
Approx 4 trout fillets
300g potatoes peeled and chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Handful of fresh chives
2 big tbsp dried polenta
Good glug of olive oil
For the sauce:
4 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Boil the spuds until they are cooked, then drain, mash and leave to cool.
2. Flake the fish into a bowl, then add the lemon zest and juice, Dijon, a grind of pepper and snip in the chives.
3. Throw in the mash and mix really well. Take tablespoons of the mixture and form into 8 patties, then toss each one gently in the polenta. Keep covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and fry the fishcakes gently till golden, about 3 minutes on each side.
5. For the sauce, mix the crème fraîche and Dijon together. Season and serve the fishcakes with the mustardy sauce on the side.
This is a great one to pre-prepare and pop in the fridge for later. If you’re cooking for baby, check for bones. There’s no need to form into cakes and fry; just warm the mixture through thoroughly before serving.
What’s For Dinner? by Fay Ripley is available in all good book shops