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My favourite go-to recipes

I just wanted to share some of my favourite things to make, mostly because I make them over and over and people always ask for the recipes! I've tried to put in a little context and advice, and will be adding to this collection every now and again.

click on the titles to see the recipes

Four Corners Lentil Soup

Simple, warming and healthy. I always have a batch in the freezer, ready for a spontaneous light meal, usually with extra greens, a poached egg and a slice of toasted sourdough.

Potatoes Baked in a Bag

It calls for new potatoes, but any old potato works well if you give it a good wash and cut it up into 4cm chunks. It's half way between boiling and roasting, and you can add any herbs and spices you want to the bag, which infuse into the potatoes to create amazing flavour. My favourite is preserved lemon, garlic and thyme.

The Kale Salad That Started It All

It calls for new potatoes, but any old potato works well if you give it a good wash and cut it up into 4cm chunks. It's half way between boiling and roasting, and you can add any herbs and spices you want to the bag, which infuse into the potatoes to create amazing flavour. My favourite is preserved lemon, garlic and thyme.

Carrots, Dates, and Olives with Crème Fraîche and Frico

Always a little skeptical of fruit with savoury, I was unsure of this recipe. So delicious though, and really simple. I always get so many carrots in our veg box, so needed something to use them up, and make them a little more appealing. If you're short on time, just the carrot salad, without the crème fraîche or frico, is tasty on it's own.

Lamb Ragu with Carrots & Green Garlic 

The first time I made this I followed the recipe word for word. Something that jumped out was 'take care not to actually brown the lamb or get really crusty bits' - which meant the final result was not anywhere near as appealing as the recipes image in the book. So the next time I made it, I swapped out the green garlic for regular garlic, and started by browning off the lamb well before then cooking the carrots and garlic, returning the lamb once softened. This worked much better.

Braised Neck of Lamb with Apricots and Cinnamon

Don't let the neck put you off - I make this with 'Lamb Ribeyes' (also called Lamb neck Fillets), which you just dice up into 1 inch cubes, coat in a little flour, brown off and continue with the recipe. So delicious, especially if you add carrots and sweet potatoes half way through cooking, as well as super quick and easy to prepare.

Beef Cheek Ragu

As Ed explains, this is a simple but beautifully flavourful recipe. Perfect for batch cooking, the perfect winter warmer, and I followed the recipe without needing to make any adjustments.

Reverse-Seared Steaks

If you like steak to be tender, but not over cooked, this is the way to go. Ever since I first tried this technique, I rarely look back. It's almost the equivalent to sous vide where you cook at a low, controlled temperature to ensure even cooking. I like to fry it off in a very hot cast iron skillet with butter, thyme and garlic, and once the steaks are out of the pan, reduce the heat and add cream to make an incredibly tasty sauce (optional but highly recommended).

Braised Hogget (or Lamb) Pie

This is ideal for when you have friends and family around for big hearty dinner. I cook and serve it in a big casserole pan, so everyone can help themselves at the table. Perfect with just a simple kale salad on the side. I've also made it with mashed sweet potatoes on top, which was equally delicious, and have used lamb instead of hogget (stronger in flavour than lamb, but not as strong as mutton) which worked just as well.

Turkey Meatballs with Kale in Lemony Garlic Broth

You can make this with chicken too, just buy boneless thighs and you can mince them up in a food processor. This recipe is so delicious and comforting, and can be made with summer or winter veg. 

(Best Ever?) Chocolate Chip Cookies

This makes a LOT of quite large cookies (I counted 18 when I last made them) - so I rolled the remaining dough into cookie dough balls and froze them. They bake just as good straight from frozen....but they also don't freeze solid, so I've been known to slice up a cookie dough ball and eat it straight from the freezer. YUM. Also the Guittards chocolate he recommends is really very good for cookies.

Sourdough Pancakes

You'll need to scroll down a fair way to the pancake recipe. Obviously not ideal if you have no sourdough starter. But if you do, these are amazing pancakes, and a great way to use up left over starter post feeding. Also highly recommend using a cast iron skillet, although I haven't tried without, and am sure it'll be fine in a regular non stick pan. I do a quick fruit compote, and serve with yogurt and maple syrup - making it a relatively healthy breakfast or brunch.

Banana Bread

The most incredible banana bread I've even made or tasted.