Dishes from Tom Kerridge will turn humdrum midweek mealtimes into something a bit fancier 



Every mouthful of this salad has something extra going on – fresh crunch from the veg, fiery heat from the chilli, citrus from the dressing and bright freshness from the lemongrass – all finished off with roasted peanuts and juicy lime.


  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2tsp lemongrass paste
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 120g (4¼oz) rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • ½ a cucumber, julienned
  • 12 mangetout, halved on an angle
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil

For the Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tsp sugar

To finish & serve

  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 2tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Coriander
  • Lime wedges

Take each chicken breast and bash it gently with a rolling pin to flatten it out to an even thickness (this will help it to cook evenly). Mix the lemongrass paste and soy sauce together in a shallow dish, add the chicken and turn until it is completely coated. Set aside to marinate.

Erdinger Weissbier Wheat Beer (5.3%) £1.90 and 4 for 3, Asda

Erdinger Weissbier Wheat Beer (5.3%) £1.90 and 4 for 3, Asda

Put the noodles into a heatproof bowl and pour on enough boiling water to cover them. Set aside to soften for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

When the noodles are softened, drain, then run cold water over them to cool. Drain again and place in a bowl with the carrot, cucumber and mangetout. Add the dressing and toss to mix well.

Place a chargrill pan over a medium-high heat. Drizzle the oil over the chicken fillets and lay them in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove to a warm plate and leave to rest for a minute.

Divide the noodle salad between two serving bowls. Slice the chicken and place on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with some chilli slices, chopped roasted peanuts and coriander and serve with lime wedges on the side.

Erdinger Weissbier Wheat Beer (5.3%) £1.90 and 4 for 3, Asda

In my view there’s no finer match than a wheat beer with a fragrant salad. Peanuts and lime work superbly with the scented character of a light white beer and Erdinger is consistently good. The alcohol-free version is also brilliant. 




Salty, tangy blue cheese and rich, juicy steak are such an incredible pairing. It’s quite a sophisticated flavour combination, so this probably isn’t one for the kids, but that’s all right – let’s keep it for the grown-ups.


  • 2 sirloin steaks, 200g (7oz) each)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • for the Dressing
  • 2tbsp soured cream
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1tbsp crumbled blue cheese
  • 1tsp American mustard
  • ½tsp white wine vinegar
  • A few dashes of hot sauce

For the Salad

  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated and halved lengthways
  • 100g (3½oz) green beans, blanched and halved
  • 125g (4½oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 radishes, quartered
  • 6 cornichons, thickly sliced
  • 2tbsp crumbled blue cheese

To finish

Take the steaks out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you intend to cook them (to get them closer to room temperature for even cooking). Season both sides well with salt and black pepper and rub with the oil.

Aldi Specially Selected Australian Shiraz 2020 (14.5%) £5.99

Aldi Specially Selected Australian Shiraz 2020 (14.5%) £5.99

Place a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When it is smoking, add the steaks, holding them fat-end down with a pair of tongs for around 1 minute, or until the fat has crisped up well.

Lay the steaks flat in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (they will be browned on the outside but still nice and pink in the middle). Remove from the pan and transfer to a warmed plate to rest.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the lettuce, green beans, cherry tomatoes, radishes and cornichons evenly between two serving plates. Scatter over the crumbled blue cheese and season.

Pour the resting juices from the steaks into the salad dressing and stir well, then spoon the dressing over the salad. Slice the steak and lay it on top of the salad. Sprinkle with the chopped chives to serve.

Aldi Specially Selected Australian Shiraz 2020 (14.5%) £5.99

I’d almost forgotten how much I love the plump, dark, fruity splendour of Aussie Shiraz until I tasted this total steal from Aldi. A real flex of blackberry beauty, it’s got the right power for steak and enough fruit to contrast with the salty bite of the blue cheese. And at £5.99 it’s a no-brainer romp of a red for your shopping basket.




Fish fingers are a real teatime go-to, and this is a top way of making your own, using fresh fish. With a pile of rocket leaves and a big dollop of homemade tartare sauce – all packed into toasted brioche buns – this takes a simple meal and does it really well.


  • 300g (10½oz) skinless cod fillet, cut into 6 equal-sized fingers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp dill leaves, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 50g (1¾oz) panko breadcrumbs
  • 30g (1oz) plain flour
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • Vegetable or sunflower oil, to shallow-fry

For the Tartare Sauce

  • 4tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 free-range egg, hard-boiled and finely chopped
  • 2 cornichons, finely chopped
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tsp baby capers, chopped
  • 1tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

To assemble

  • 2 large brioche rolls, split
  • 2 handfuls of rocket leaves

Season the cod well on both sides with salt and pepper. Mix the dill, lemon zest and breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Put the flour in a second bowl and season. Beat the egg in the third bowl.

La Dame en Rose Sparkling NV (12%) £9, Marks & Spencer

One at a time, dust the fish fingers in the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, then dip in the egg and coat all over, then dip in the breadcrumb mix and turn until fully coated. Transfer to a plate and chill until ready to cook.

Mix all the tartare sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Heat a 2cm depth of oil in a medium frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the fish fingers to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Remove with a fish slice and drain on kitchen paper.

Lightly toast the brioche buns and spread the tartare sauce on both cut surfaces. Place the fish fingers on the bottom halves of the buns, top with rocket leaves and pop the lids on.

Capers are great with fish, pasta sauces, pizzas, salads – and in my homemade tartare sauce. 

La Dame en Rose Sparkling NV (12%) £9, Marks & Spencer

Hello, you beauty! Fizz and a fish finger butty is a treat, and this clever French blend is outrageously splendid for under a tenner. 

Blended from unusual grapes for bubbly such as carignan and caladoc, it’s created with bright fruit and easy freshness. This wine is all about fun.




Roasting pumpkin or butternut squash brings out all its natural sugars, which is perfect next to the spicy kick from the rose harissa and contrasting cooling feta cheese.


  • 500g (1lb 2oz) deseeded pumpkin (or butternut squash), cut into wedges
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp rose harissa
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 100g (3½oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 100g (3½oz) feta cheese
  • 2tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2021 (13.5%) £8.50, Sainsbury’s

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2021 (13.5%) £8.50, Sainsbury’s

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Place the pumpkin (or squash) and chickpeas on a baking tray and drizzle with 1tbsp of the oil and the harissa. 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands so the pumpkin and chickpeas are coated well. 

Roast on a high shelf in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until just tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and remaining 3tbsp olive oil. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer 2tbsp of this dressing to a small bowl and set aside.

Take the tray of pumpkin (or squash) and chickpeas from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Add the spinach leaves to the dressing in the medium bowl and toss gently to coat. Divide the dressed spinach between two plates.

Distribute the roasted pumpkin (or squash) wedges and chickpeas over the spinach and crumble the feta over the top. 

Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and trickle over the reserved dressing.

The roasted chickpeas and toasted pumpkin seeds provide a deliciously moreish crunch to this salad.

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier 2021 (13.5%) £8.50, Sainsbury’s

Plush peachiness with a waft of honeysuckle, this is an ideal match for the caramelisation that roasting the pumpkin brings. 

Fermented with naturally occurring yeast, the complexity this wine delivers is worth seeking out. 




These crunchy fritters are a perfect speedy lunch. Carrots bring sweetness and there’s gentle spicing from the nigella seeds and cumin, all cooled down with a herby yoghurt dip.

MAKES 16-20

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) grated carrots
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1tsp nigella (black onion) seeds
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 6tbsp plain flour
  • 4tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50ml (2fl oz) vegetable or sunflower oil, for frying

For the Herby yoghurt

  • 250g (9oz) Greek yoghurt
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2tbsp chopped dill leaves

To serve 

Put the grated carrots into the middle of a clean tea towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. 

Tip the carrots into a large bowl. 

Add the beaten eggs, spices, spring onions, parsley, flour and grated Parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until well combined. 

Chill in the fridge until you are ready to cook the fritters.

Marks & Spencer Found Feteasca Regala 2021 (11.5%) £7

Marks & Spencer Found Feteasca Regala 2021 (11.5%) £7

For the herby yoghurt, mix the Greek yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic, mint and dill together in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and let it heat up. Test the oil by putting a tiny bit of the carrot mixture into the pan; if bubbles form around it, the oil is ready for cooking.

You will need to cook the fritters in several batches. Add heaped tablespoonfuls of the carrot mixture to the pan. 

Cook for 3-4 minutes, until crisp and golden brown on each side, flattening each one a little with the back of the spoon before flipping it over.

As the fritters are cooked, pop them on a baking tray and keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.

Once all the fritters are cooked, arrange them on serving plates and add a big spoonful of the herby yoghurt. Serve with lemon wedges, and a side salad if you like.

Marks & Spencer Found Feteasca Regala 2021 (11.5%) £7

Whenever your recipe has anything fragrant, such as herby yoghurt, grab this little-known Romanian grape. 

It’s astonishingly good for the price and has plenty of exotic juicy flavour to echo the natural sweet tint of carrot without going overboard on the aromatics.




I prefer baked cheesecakes to those set with gelatine, as they have a bit more character.


For the base

  • 250g (9oz) digestive biscuits
  • 120g (4¼oz) butter, melted
  • for the Filling
  • 900g (2lb) cream cheese
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk
  • 2tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 200g (7oz) crème fraîche

For the Blueberry sauce

  • 100ml (3½fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½oz) caster sugar
  • 300g (10½oz) blueberries
  • 3tsp cornflour, mixed with 1tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Line the base of a 23cm diameter springform cake tin: flip the base over and lay a piece of baking paper over it, then tuck this into the open springform ring and close it over the base (so the base is flat side up); trim off excess.

Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or you can pop them in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix the biscuits with the melted butter, tip onto the lined base of the tin and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Innocent Bystander Sparkling Rosé Moscato 2021 (5.5%) £11.95,

Innocent Bystander Sparkling Rosé Moscato 2021 (5.5%) £11.95,

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric whisk until softened. Gradually beat in the sugar, whole eggs and extra egg yolk. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice and crème fraîche, and beat until smoothly incorporated. 

Pour onto the base. Stand on a baking tray and bake on a low shelf for 45-50 minutes. The cheesecake should still have a slight wobble in the middle. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside to cool slowly, with the door slightly ajar.

For the blueberry sauce, put the water and sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. 

Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes, then add the blueberries. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the berries have released some colour, but are still plump. Stir in the cornflour mix and cook, stirring, until thickened. Pour into a dish and leave to cool, then refrigerate.

Run a palette knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the sides, then carefully release the cheesecake. Transfer to a serving plate and spoon the blueberry sauce over the top. Serve cut into wedges.

Innocent Bystander Sparkling Rosé Moscato 2021 (5.5%) £11.95,

A real favourite of mine, this is charming to pour nice and cold with a blueberry cheesecake. At just 5.5%, it’s a dancer rather than a heavy dessert wine, and the fizz lifts the palate splendidly after a meal. Indulgent yet light, it’s a conundrum of sheer scrumptiousness.




Probably the best and easiest fruit crumble ever: you just throw a load of frozen fruit straight into a dish and top it with apple and an oaty crumble.


  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) frozen fruit (I often use a Black Forest mix)
  • 2 Granny Smiths (or other crisp, tart eating apples), peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 4tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon

For the Crumble topping

  • 150g (5½oz) cold butter, diced
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5½oz) plain flour
  • 80g (3oz) rolled oats

To serve

  • Custard, cream or vanilla ice cream
Coteaux du Layon St Aubin Domaine des Forges (12.5%, 50cl) £9.99, Waitrose

Coteaux du Layon St Aubin Domaine des Forges (12.5%, 50cl) £9.99, Waitrose

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Tip the frozen fruit into a deep baking dish, about 27x23cm. 

Add the apple and spread to cover the base. Sprinkle the sugar and spice over the fruit. Dot the vanilla over the surface and sprinkle with the lemon zest.

To make the crumble topping, put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. 

(Alternatively, put the butter, sugar and flour into a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mix resembles crumbs, then stir in the oats.)

Grab handfuls of the mixture, squeeze together, then crumble the mix over the fruit – make sure the crumble covers the fruit completely. 

Bake on a high shelf for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is crunchy and golden and the fruit is softened and saucy. Cool slightly before serving. 

I like mine with lots of cold custard, but you can serve it with hot custard, or cream or vanilla ice cream.

Coteaux du Layon St Aubin Domaine des Forges (12.5%, 50cl) £9.99, Waitrose

Made from chenin blanc grapes, this dessert wine tastes like Golden Delicious apples dipped in syrup. 

Magnificent with a crumble thanks to a similar level of sweetness, it also has a refreshing zestiness to the finish which cleanses the palate. Serve chilled in small glasses. 

Extracted from Tom Kerridge: Real Life Recipes © 2022, Bloomsbury Absolute, £26, out now. To order a copy for £18.20 go to books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20. Promotional price valid until 08/10/22. Photography: Cristian Barnett.