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dianahenryfood dianahenryfood

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Diana Henry  Lover of words, lover of food, lover of pictures. Award-winning writer and broadcaster. Telegraph columnist. My 11th book is HOW TO EAT A PEACH


This is Glin Castle in Ireland where I’ll be teaching food writing alongside the wonderful @elissa_altman in April. Elissa is a James Beard Award-winning writer and author of two volumes of memoir, Poor Man’s Feast and Treyf.
The course runs from April 13th-16th and includes Irish breakfasts, dinners and, of course, booze ;) (trips to the pub are on the agenda - in fact they are mandatory). The location is second to none (I can’t wait to get back to the smell of Irish grass - and, no doubt, rain) and the accommodation is as spectacular as this picture would suggest (you can see more photographs on the castle’s own website). Elissa and I will teach separately and together over the three days and will be around the whole time. All the details are on www.lensandlarder.com @lensandlarder. It’s going to be quite something

My contribution to Valentines. This is what love gets ya. Me with my eldest son, 19 years ago.

In @stella_telegraph today you will find this, @brawn49 recipe for chocolate ganache with olive oil and sea salt and it is deep and dark and wonderful. You NEED this recipe (and thanks to Brawn and @edjwilson for sharing it). There’s also a recipe for (addictive) Earl Grey tea and dark chocolate biscuits and a luscious, single-layer chocolate and apricot cake with apricot and brandy cream. The recipes are also online. Link in bio

Solitary treat. Breakfast at @jacobtheangellondon. And it’s as good as people say it is. I just wish it was bigger (the room is the size of a postage stamp). Fab bread from Dusty Knuckle Bakery, superb thickly sliced smoked salmon. Also lovely tomato and feta muffins and excellent coffee. Must come back for lunch. Oh, great staff too - kind, warm, helpful

Pork with grapes, juniper and rosemary from my piece on roasts (it’s just gone online). This is my favourite - sweet, rich, herbal - and it’s perfect for the weather this weekend. In the same piece you’ll find roast chicken with preserved lemons and bay leaves (served with sweet potatoes, yoghurt and green olives) and roast lamb cooked with apples and Somerset cider brandy (you can also use Calvados). I love roasting, mainly because it’s quite lazy (the oven does the work). I don’t just keep it for Sundays. You do just have time to rethink tomorrow’s lunch or dinner with these recipes, though....If you hurry up. Link for them in bio

People are always asking me for recipes for one and lamenting the lack of books for single cooks. Well, solo cooks, your prayers have been answered. This, by @signesjohansen, is out today and it’s lovely (and a very good collection of recipes). Most keen cooks talk about their love of feeding other people but I love the process of cooking just for itself, and I think cooking is as much about feeding yourself as others

Stock on the hob for tomorrow’s chicken soup, apples stewing for breakfast. Proper Friday night cooking

I’m running a food writing course at @mark_diacono Otter Farm on 3rd March. It’s a very intense day - we cover a lot of ground - and Mark takes part in the class too. In March @gill.meller will be cooking lunch for us as well so there are three food writers available plus great food (lunch is one of the great highlights of the day). There are only a few places left so do visit the Otter Farm website for more details about what the course covers if you’re interested. I’ve been writing for 19 years, have published 11 books and, before that, was a producer and director at BBC TV (a job which also involved a lot of writing). I have my own podcast series and present programmes on R4. After studying English Literature at university I did post grad at journalism school and then joined the BBC as a trainee. Words - journalism, prose, scripts - are my job (and my life, to be honest). If you want to write about food I can teach you

This week’s column is about making time for friends. I’m so keen to cook that I quite often make too many dishes, or dishes that keep me away from my guests instead of sitting and chatting at the table. I think - and I’m not proud of this - that I’m quite a selfish cook; it’s what I love to do so I put it first. In 2018 I want to have friends over mid-week and not care quite so much about the food. That doesn’t mean food that isn’t really good ,though, it means making one course (radishes, salami, olives are fine to nibble on with your first drink; ice-creams, dessert wine and cantucci, Middle Eastern pastries or cheese and some perfectly ripe fruit are ok afterwards). The dish in this picture - chicken and rice with pumpkin, wild mushrooms and sage butter - doesn’t even need any browning. The chicken skin becomes gold and crispy as it cooks, the stock in the rice reduces, the whole thing cooks in one dish. All you need on the side is a spinach salad. There are a few other recipes as well. In @stella_telegraph with @telegraph tomorrow and online. Let’s see how I do with these good intentions...(recipe link in bio)

What a great new place in Covent Garden, @parsons_london. Fish - and wine! Octopus with pork fat potatoes in this picture but we didn’t stop here, also perfectly spiced potted shrimp croquettes, pissaladiere with crab, arroz negro w allioli, sensational sweet brown bread with seaweed butter (I’ll be after the recipe) and - a surprise and possibly my favourite dish - trout tartare with Bloody Mary jelly. All followed by a lovely apple tarte fine. The lobster mash was all gone so I have to go back. Good, plain, white tiled dining room. It was a bit nostalgic as the site used to be Diana’s Diner, my haunt when I moved to London to go to go to journalism school (you used to get a reasonable roast with all the trimmings for a decent price). But I’m glad to see a good restaurant like Parson’s in its place. A gem. And in central London (and a short walk from the tube). By next week you won’t be able to get a table for love nor money...(deep sigh)

My recipes from Piedmont are - rather belatedly - up on the @telegraph website. This is probably my favourite part of Italy. I love the wines here and the mistiness in autumn and the orchards (wonderful walks among apple and pear trees) and the hazelnuts (the best I’ve ever tasted). The food, as you might expect, is robust. I’ve given a recipe for ‘la panissa’, a risotto of borlotti beans and chunks of salami (good weather for that right now), pumpkin-stuffed onions and a really good (and quite unusual) bagna cauda (anchovy lovers, it’s heaven). Link to recipes in bio. Piece, as usual, is behind the paywall but you can get several free reads per month

Lovely touch. Madeleines brought to the table in the tin in which they’ve been cooked (delivered on silver tray with napkin). This is caring about the small things. (Madeleines light and fragrant with lemon). @corrigans_mayfair

When you are tired and low on energy only Irish stew will do (though dal comes a close second)

Brandade and egg, Rochelle at ICA. The plainest room with the simplest food: cod’s roe and radishes, smoked haddock and leeks, chicken with beans and rapini, rabbit pie (I could go on). Great to have somewhere this unfussy near Piccadilly

Last night’s full moon over Hampstead Heath. Hooting owls - one of the best things about evening walks - and moon shadows

I never go out on New Year’s Eve but, as it falls on a Sunday this year, Sunday lunch seemed like a good option. Went to Rules in Covent Garden which must have the most Christmassy interior in London. Despite living here since I was 23 I have never been (it’s London’s oldest restaurant) because I thought it might be a bit stiff and Merry Olde England...not a bit of it. Down-to-earth service (no grandness), lovely comfy sofas and acres of velvet. Beef cheeks with pickled walnuts was sublime (trifle not so - no BOOZE in it, for goodness sake, but that was the only duff note). We had to drag ourselves out into the rain to come home but, really, we could have stayed all day. Happy New Year!

Little lobster Thermidor pie @holborndiningroom. Yes, that’s right, lobster Thermidor AND pastry

My latest podcast is now up. I’m talking to Tom Kerridge....and boy can he talk (I met my match!) We chat about weight, the chefs that have inspired him, what ‘modern British’ means and the role Berni inns have played in his success. Link in bio

Every Christmas I take my children out for afternoon tea - it’s a treat - and take a photograph. I usually post it too but as my eldest is now no longer a child this will be the last time I do that. If any of you are tired new parents (I’m thinking @rocketandsquash, @jordanbourke @rejinapyo) look where they get to! It’s the best thing you will ever do

Dishes for the lovely ‘empty days’ between Christmas and New Year in @stella_telegraph and now online. An Eastern flavoured broth with greens, noodles and turkey, a glorious pea, parsley and ham soup (to make with ham stock, if you have any) and a fresh, crunchy salad (just what you crave - the Xmas Day meal always leaves me so thirsty) of fennel, apple, blackberries and hazelnuts. A bit of writing, too, on how differently I feel about the post Xmas period compared to years ago. It must be age ;)

A late Christmas Day meal with a gorgeous Scandi-style table set by my sister-in-law, Clare Henry. Very good arrangement when someone cooks and someone takes charge of everything else. Thanks for a lovely day @jackhenry95 @amy.henry97 Patrick, Clare, Nig, M & D

Final post from Moscow. It’s been an incredible trip with some wonderful food, talented chefs and warm and generous home cooks and food writers. I’ve only just started trying to get a handle on where Russian food is heading. I’ll be making many more trips next year. A lot of people have responded saying my stay looked great but here is the downside: it’s hard work (though I was actually working and had a very full schedule it would be taxing as a place to have a holiday). The traffic is awful, the Metro hard to get round if you don’t master the alphabet, most people don’t speak English. It’s not a relaxed place. There are some myths worth popping - you will not get ripped off (or at least I wasn’t). Taxi drivers and waiters aren’t waiting to maximise the price for foreigners. If you live in London you’ll find eating out here is less expensive (including in very high end restaurants); taxis are considerably cheaper than in London. The place is not full of oligarchs. It is not ugly and grey - lots of the buildings have been cleaned revealing beautiful colours and stone. It looks very different to the city I last visited in 1987. The churches and cathedrals are stunning, but then I’ve always loved Russian icons (and the music in the church services). Overall it’s one of the most fascinating places you could visit. It still feels Soviet to me, despite the designer shops. Anyone who dislikes Putin told me their feelings in whispers - they are scared and worried about what he will do next. In order to eat well most people still grow vegetables on allotments or at their parents’ homes outside Moscow. The farmers markets - where the produce seemed cheap to me - is expensive for Russians, but food lovers are willing to spend the money. The food at these - the fish, lamb, cheeses, fruit leathers, honey, pickles and jams, the fruit and veg - was stunning (plentiful and kind of untamed, not necessarily neatly displayed, but with an appreciation of abundance). Everyone was generous (it’s worth knowing a few words of Russian - they appreciate it). I’m looking forward to getting stuck into my pile of Russian reading when I get home. Merry Christmas!

Not entirely sure about making cheeses of other countries - and most Russians I’ve met are unsure too - but this burrata (served with parsley oil and a gorgeous beet mousse) is made near Moscow and is gorgeous. Eaten at Lavka Lavka

Yuri Gagarin. Cosmonaut Museum, Moscow. He thought our planet looked amazing. He also said ‘I looked and looked but I couldn’t see God.’

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