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We've travelled the world and eaten everywhere from roadside bars
to restaurants with Michelin stars. DOG BARKS
But there really is nothing like a bit of home cooking.
Coming into a warm kitchen
filled with the aroma of a tasty meal bubbling away...
..it's one of life's great pleasures.
Lovingly prepared dishes with flavours that pack a punch.
It's the perfect way to put smiles
on the faces of your nearest and dearest.
We also uncover why some recipes are so special
that they're handed down through generations of the same family.
-Who makes the best spaghetti?
Who's going to have the first piece? Ooh.
Drop in on some of the UK's homeliest tearooms and cafes, and...
Find out what chefs like to cook on their days off.
-Oh, that looks amazing.
This is much easier and much quicker.
There's nothing quite as comforting as simple home cooking.
Today, the kind of dishes worth staying home for...
..a fantastic way to start the day...
..and new ideas for old favourites.
We're talking traditional values.
Traditional values, David.
Traditional values, like morris dancing.
-Morris dancing, tradition and soup.
Never did I think I'd hear morris dancing and soup
in the same sentence, but you've managed to pull it off.
But our soup...
..it's got those textures, it's sweet, it's savoury.
It's autumn, spring and winter all rolled into one.
We melt some butter, take three sweet eating apples.
Just quarter the apples, and I'm coring them,
and then I'll just slice them into kind of nice chunks.
All I'm doing while Dave's doing that,
I'm getting stuck into the celeriac.
I've got a carrot and I've got some onions,
and we're just going to sweat those off
as soon as those beautiful apples are caramelised.
Just coat these apples in butter.
Keep, like, a single layer on the pan.
Let them cook for about five minutes.
The thing about soup as a traditional value,
it really is multicultural.
-In Indian restaurants, you have mulligatawny.
In Romania, where my wife's from,
their traditional soup is a ciorba de burta.
I love that.
I hate it. It's tripe soup.
And actually it's also traditional in Turkey,
so you can see the Turkish influence went into Romania
but the Romanians have well and truly claimed it as their own.
They definitely have that. Right, mucker, we're ready.
Set the apples aside.
Great. I have the celeriac...
..two onions, and the carrot.
I always think that if you want
to get the most flavour out of a soup,
you've got to put a lot in, haven't you?
Yeah, you have.
Because then there's a gravity to it,
-do you know what I mean?
There's a texture and a thickness to it that's lovely.
Now, we need to cook this down until everything is pretty soft.
Here, look, you can see that there's all of those lovely sugars
on the bottom.
Well, what you can do is a little bit of the stock...
..just pour it in, because we want to keep those flavours
and keep those sugars and we don't want them to burn.
You know what I like with the traditions of food and cuisine?
It's a kind of good place to start from and a foundation stone
for experimentation, because you can push the envelope.
-If you actually know where you're coming from...
..and not entirely sure where you're going to,
-you can always refer back to your home base...
..and the traditions and values that you had
when you are learning to cook.
-Yeah, I think we're there, mucker.
-Couple of cloves of garlic.
We'll just grate them in there.
You can chop it, if you want.
We're garlic lovers.
Just put the potatoes in now.
Couple of sprigs of thyme.
I'm just going to put them in as they are.
We'll fish them out afterwards.
Then a bay leaf. And now the stock.
And we're using chicken stock.
You can just as easy use vegetable stock.
Bit of seasoning to kick it off.
Bring it to the boil, simmer... about 20 minutes.
Yeah, just till the veggies are cooked.
We're missing something, dude.
It's an apple...
HE GASPS ..and celeriac soup.
The apples go in at this point as well.
Slightly caramelised, slightly lovely,
but they're best in than out.
Go to 11.
-Oh, look at this.
-Nice, isn't it?
-Yeah, lovely, man.
Shall we taste it for seasoning, Kingy?
Yes, good idea.
Little bit more salt.
-Would you say?
-It's lovely, though.
It's got real depth of flavour.
Actually, it's a brilliant way
to get the veggies into the kids, isn't it?
-Oh, yeah, absolutely.
-I love that tang of the apple as well.
It's lovely. Really nice.
There's only three apples there but...
-They work, don't they?
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
Shall we do the bacon bits?
-Might as well, dude.
-Bacon, an optional extra.
Obviously, not a good option if you're a vegetarian.
Just little bit of oil, brush your pan.
And just stretch them out a little bit,
cos they go slightly crispier then.
So, for the other garnishes, we want some creme fraiche,
and so that it goes into a nice swirl,
we're just going to let that down with a drop of milk.
-And creme fraiche.
-Shards of bacon.
And then we want some parsley sprinkles.
There we have it. Apple and celeriac soup.
Proper soup, born out of traditional values.
Got heritage, that. Just like morris dancing.
Every dish tells a story.
It may be about the ingredients that define it, the memories it evokes,
or the people who created it.
This is the story of Cath Mison's fish pie.
I love Folkestone.
I was born and bred here,
so this whole area here was just like my garden, in effect.
The fishing industry here in Folkestone is pretty small now
to how it was years ago.
As a kid, you could watch the fishermen coming in,
land the catch.
It was amazing.
Now I think we've got about seven or eight boats that are going out,
so it is important that we keep this going,
this old tradition of our town.
One of the things that we do every year
to highlight the importance of our fishing heritage
is we put on a two-day festival.
Hello, my little clam chops. How are we?
-I'm wonderful. How are you?
-I'm all right, lovely.
'There's loads of activities that go on for all the crowds,
'but the highlight is the fish pie competition,
'which is held on the Sunday.'
I want some cod, some smoked haddock and some salmon, please.
-Start with some cod.
-OK, about three...
'Members of the public are invited to submit their fish pie.
'In previous years, we've had different takes on that fish pie.
'We've added twists.
'We've had an Asian or flamenco,
'but this year we went back to basics
'and just had the public's own interpretation
'of what they thought'
a fish pie should be.
Right, I'm going to make
my super sexy, champion, magnificent fish pie.
First thing I do is put my potatoes on,
and then I saute my leeks very, very slowly in butter.
I then make my sauce.
OK, so, we're going to put a nice big slice of butter in there.
Add the flour, slowly.
Add a little bit of stock to my roux,
and gently fold that in.
Fish pie in my family
has always been a bit of a standing joke.
When I was a kid growing up, I didn't really like fish pie.
I was sick of fish, I think, growing up down in the harbour area.
But as your parents tell you,
you can't leave the table till you finish your meal,
in the end I grew to love fish pie.
That's great. Spot-on.
To make a good fish pie,
I would say a must is it's got to be fresh fish.
You can't just go and buy frozen stuff out of the supermarket.
It's too watery and it's flavourless.
You must buy fresh fish.
Now I'm going to add in the scallops and the prawns.
When I'm happy with that,
I will then add in the sauce that I've already made.
Gently stir all that round.
Then I'll put it in my casserole dish
and leave that to settle.
If you think back, I suppose,
to when my grandmother made fish pie,
the ingredients would have changed an awful lot.
My nan was a war widow,
so she was given free fish every Friday.
It was left on her doorstep.
And she used to make a fish pie for her and her children.
And I would've thought they would've just done a white sauce,
put the fish, potatoes, bit of butter.
That would've been it.
When my mother started cooking fish pie,
then I suppose she went a little bit more upmarket.
You know, she would've added a bit of salmon,
we would've had cheese, maybe a little bit of cream.
So, as the years go by, times change,
and I suppose to where I am now with making my fish pie,
I've got everything in it.
So, I'm just chop them up really finely
so that they don't look like a caper any more.
For me, capers are the worst thing ever in the world,
but for some reason I managed to discover
that actually chopped up finely on top of my fish pie,
The fishing industry in Folkestone is really important.
It's important to our community and they're risking their lives, really,
to put fish on our plate,
and the least that we can do is go out and buy it
and support them.
Oh, wow. Look at that.
Cath's magnificent fish pie, from Folkestone.
That is superb. That is Folkestone in a bowl.
We're talking about tradition.
Of course, we have this remarkable tradition for puds.
But these are puddings.
They're not desserts or sweets, they're puds.
Bread and butter pud, and this one's a bit of a good 'un,
because what we're doing is raspberry and orange
bread and butter pudding.
When I was a kid, what was bread and butter pudding?
It was me mother saying,
"There's half a loaf of white slice that's going off,"
so she'd put it into a tray, butter it, a few sultanas,
sprinkle sugar on the top.
Put some frugal custard, and bake it.
And do you know what? I loved it.
But this is different.
This is a luxury version, so our bread is brioche.
-I'm just overlaying a little bit here.
Cos, you know, we Northerners have a great tradition of bricklaying.
-Are you happy with that, Kingy?
-Yeah, lovely, mate.
Right, so, I'm going to take most of the raspberries,
about two thirds of them,
and I'm going to give them a little crush.
Just bruise them slightly.
Then a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar.
And then - this is optional,
but it is a luxury bread and butter pudding -
some raspberry liqueur.
-Right, I'm going to zest an orange.
-And then I'm going to start to make the custard.
So, over that layer,
just sprinkle those with the booze over that layer of brioche.
When the custard soaks through all this, you've got the liqueur,
the raspberries and the sugar,
and you get a bit of a raspberry ripple effect.
-It's lovely, yeah, cos they bleed, don't they?
"Bleedin' raspberries," me mother used to say.
I just thought she was just being rude,
but now I know it was a technical statement.
Right, I'm going to take four eggs.
I'm going to butter more brioche.
And I'm going to take the remainder of the sugar...
..and then I'm going to beat the eggs,
the orange zest and the sugar together.
And just beat them until the eggs and the sugar
go a nice light colour.
And these raspberries, we just pop them on top.
And then add some milk.
Now, this is whole milk.
And some double cream.
OK, so, I'm just going to ladle this in,
because we just need to get it started.
Now, bread and butter pudding,
well, the constant is the bread and butter.
Brioche is one bread you can use.
You can use croissants, you can use stale white bread.
-Welsh tea brack's great, fruit bread's good.
And also, you don't have to have raspberry and orange.
-You can have chocolate.
-Cherry and chocolate is a nice one.
-Nice one, yeah.
-Cherry and white chocolate.
-And indeed white chocolate and lemon.
Just pop it on there, just in case it boils over.
So, we need to dot with butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
I'll let you dot and then I'll sprinkle.
How simple, but luxurious, but traditional?
So, that goes into a preheated oven, 180 Celsius,
for about 35-45 minutes,
until the top is golden brown and the custard's, well,
Well, we're not going to waste this orange,
and also we just want something a little bit special
to go on our very special bread and butter pudding.
-It'll make your granny dribble, this one.
So, to segment an orange, top it...
..tail it, and just cut the rind off.
Lush, mate, lush.
Yeah, because we don't want any pith, we don't want any rind.
So, I'm going to make a standard stock syrup.
Put some caster sugar in the bottom of a pan.
I'm going to heat the sugar through, and then, very shortly,
we're going to add a little bit of water.
Once you see it melting a little bit, the sugar,
add a little bit of water.
When you put the water in,
obviously the sugar cools pretty rapidly and it'll go solid,
but it doesn't stay like that for long.
What you just need to do is... we now need to reduce it.
-Shall we do another while that boils down?
Lovely. There we go.
Couple of minutes boiling that pretty hard, we should be there.
-That's come down a treat, Si.
-Yeah, it's lovely, that, mate.
-Yes, please. Got that juice as well.
I'm just going to warm these through.
Again, just need to get it on a proper boil
and then we're going to flambe it in some orange liqueur.
-Obviously this is optional.
But, you know, if you've got the option, it's not a bad one.
You might as well, mightn't you, you know?
There's something always exciting when you've got a flambe on,
-I love it.
-I know you do.
-I kind of doubt myself.
-That ceiling's just been painted.
-It's quite low.
-We don't want all that.
-No, we... No, no.
And what we do...
-Catch it on like that.
-Lovely flavour, isn't it?
And just let that go...
..and boil all of that alcohol off.
And also, all the time what's happening is
that the surface of those oranges are starting to caramelise.
I think our bread and butter pudding is just about there.
That's what you call a bread and butter pudding.
Most wonderful flambed orange segments for the top.
Bit of cream with that would be nice, wouldn't it?
Nothing beats a bit of home cooking,
but every now and then it's nice to have someone else cook for you.
Thankfully, all over the country there are tasty places
that make us feel right at home.
My name is Ross,
and I'm the fourth generation of the family business, the Rinkha.
What I do is make the ice cream, which the Rinkha is most famous for.
We're not only an ice cream shop.
We are a toy shop, general store, a cafe,
and we are at the heart of the community.
-I thank you, Margaret.
-Thank you, m'dear.
Islandmagee is a beautiful, beautiful peninsula
off the East Antrim coast.
I've lived in Islandmagee all of my life.
I was born and bred and reared in Islandmagee.
It's peaceful, tranquil,
and I cannot imagine living anywhere else in the world.
I'm William Hawkins.
The Rinkha was built as a dance hall by my grandfather
because he wanted to diversify from the general store which he had
and wanted to get into the entertainment business.
In those days, this area was very, very sparsely populated.
Quite a few people thought this man had lost his senses.
But he did it and attracted the show bands
from all over Ireland and became very successful.
The very fact that people have danced on this floor
and are still able to come and sit and enjoy a coffee,
it's special in a lot of customers' hearts.
It was packed and the music was good.
People enjoy themselves here.
I think the Rinkha means so much to me
because I met my late husband here.
They did call it the ballroom of romance.
Nothing but laughter, good music, good dancing and good ice cream.
The last dance was in 1968. After that, the dancehall closed.
My father at that stage gradually turned it into a shop
which sold a variety of stuff.
The ice cream has been, always been, at the heart.
The ice cream is our biggest attraction.
It has been here since 1921.
It was invented and made by my great-grandmother, Henrietta,
and the secret's been passed down very, very carefully
and kept very, very carefully by the members of the family that know it.
I love experimenting with flavours.
You can come in here on a winter's day,
lock the doors, no-one's about,
and just mess about with whatever you want.
That's where you try and find different unique flavours.
Sometimes I feel like a bit of a mad scientist,
and some people tell me I look like it wearing this white overall.
-There we go. Thank you, Margaret.
As a family business,
we want the Rinkha to continue into the future.
There's customers still supporting us to this day
that supported my great grandfather and grandfather
So, the Rinkha still sells our very famous ice cream,
we still serve the community.
We want to keep on supplying the community
as a central focal point,
and also I would love to see some live music being brought back.
You know, I don't think there's any more tradition
that's more traditional than the cooked breakfast.
The fry-up. There is nothing, though, like...
You know when you know you've got that pizza
from the night before and you go...nom-nom?
What we've done is we've crossed that pizza with the full English.
We have. We've taken two of our favourite things
and put them together.
But you see it's traditional, though, isn't it?
Yeah. So, you know, you have pepperoni,
so we've got Cumberland sausage.
We like an egg on our pizza.
Which is also traditional for a pizza Florentine, so there you are.
-Fine. Bacon, prosciutto, whatever.
There is no food like the pizza that lends itself...
-..to a full English breakfast.
Well, if you make the dough, dude, I'll just make the passata,
the spready, spready, tomatoey bit
on the top of your beautiful pizza, dude.
Do you think we could have brown sauce on our breakfast pizza?
You can have what the flipping heck you like.
Yeah, nice. HE GAGS
Right. Yeast goes into the flour, 300g of plain flour.
It's dried yeast.
And just give that a good mix in before we put in the salt,
cos we don't want the salt
to land on the yeast and to kill the yeast.
A teaspoon of salt.
Now I want about two tablespoons of olive oil.
Mix the olive oil into the tepid water.
Then we just start to make the dough.
Right, now, there's two cloves of garlic in here.
I'm not doing anything other than sticking them in.
Just into a food processor like that.
There's 200ml of passata to go in, tomato puree.
Some oregano, dried.
About a teaspoon. That'll do.
And some fresh basil leaves.
Mate, I'm going to turn this on now, so you might have to shout.
-That's all right!
Now, you want this as smooth as you can get it.
About that consistency. Ooh, look at that.
And you notice we're not cooking it off,
but don't forget this goes into the oven.
When you do dough, there's a point when you know
that it's dough and not flour and water.
You know, it just goes elastic.
-And there we have it.
-That looks nice, Dave.
-I think pizza dough really needs to be worked, doesn't it?
You know, you need the dough to release the gluten,
but you want your pizza dough to be stretchy and springy.
Yeah. It looks really nice.
Put a bit of oil into the bowl just so the dough doesn't stick
when we take it out.
We're going to leave this beauty to prove for an hour or so
till it's doubled in size.
But you can do this the night before
and put this in the fridge and the dough will still prove
in a cool temperature.
It'll just take a lot longer.
Et voila. Look at that.
-It's like Lazarus, that.
Oh, that smells fabulous as well.
-Now, I've got...
-What have you got?
Of course, you can struggle with two fish slices at home,
-but, you know, we're not.
But the thing is, I'm limited to the size of me pizza
to the diameter of me doodah.
Well, we don't want a gratuitous breakfast, do we?
It's a full English fry-up pizza!
Anyway, I'm going to knock me dough back.
Should be really spinning this round in the air, shouldn't I,
in true pizza-house fashion.
-Right. Just pop that onto the peel.
-That's pretty good.
-Ah, perfect, mucker.
So, Leonardo, how do you see your creation?
I think we put the passata onto the dough.
-You know, in general pizza fashion.
Speckle it with sausage.
I think the streaky bacon in about one-inch bits
so that when you get a slice you have a piece of bacon.
-Yeah. Black pudding just crumbled.
-I'm on it.
-And then we'll kind of break an egg on the top.
And then mozzarella on it.
Of course, you could do a vegetarian version of this,
just with mushrooms and tomatoes, but then it'd just be a pizza.
Yeah, that'd be wrong. DAVE LAUGHS
We've got a pizza stone that we put in the oven
and that's been in there about 20 minutes warming up.
-Yes. It's happening, dude.
-Nice one, squirrel.
-Look at that. See you in about ten minutes.
And the egg's still poppable.
That's it, you see, because of the bread,
fresh-baked bread, runny egg,
it's like self-perpetuating soldiers.
-What do you reckon?
-I reckon it's genius.
It just works so well.
But it's got all the traditions that we love from home,
with the full English breakfast, fresh-baked bread.
You know, a bit of cheese on top for indulgence.
-Yeah, and you've also got that...
..pizza-for-breakfast kind of vibe, without the guilt.
Britain has an army of creative chefs who, day after day,
send out sensational dishes to customers in their restaurants.
They work long hours, toiling over their stoves,
but at home, what is it that they cook on their days off?
I never thought of that...
My name's Carina Contini.
I am the chef-proprietor here at Contini Ristorante
in Scotland's beautiful capital city.
We are a fresh, simple Italian restaurant
that prides itself on Southern Italian cooking,
using the best Scottish ingredients that are available,
but we also import produce direct from the markets of Italy.
This kitchen is brutal
because it's open for breakfast service,
kicks off for lunch, and then, bang, into dinner service.
It's hectic, it's busy, but it delivers.
Home time is recharge, reenergise. It's vital.
You know, without our downtime, we couldn't cope.
Being the youngest of a big family of Italians,
inevitably cooking is part of life,
and being Italian stock gives you brownie points
with your mother-in-law and your mother,
so huge satisfaction from feeding our family.
Home cooking is a mixture of Italian and Scottish.
I suppose in the summertime, we'll cook more Italian food,
but definitely in the winter time more comfort, more Scottish food.
And if you were to ask my children what their favourite dish was,
it would definitely be steak pie.
Steak pie is a dish that my grandmother used to cook.
I think it was one of the first dishes she learned to cook
coming over from Italy.
It was handed down to my mother. My mother hates steak pie.
Maybe that's why we all love it so much!
So, you need some olive oil.
Fry off a couple of onions that have been finely chopped.
You need really good meat, preferably shoulder of beef,
chopped up into sort of casserole-sized chunks.
Dip the chunks of meat in a little bit of flour.
Brown them off in the pan.
Add beef stock into the pot with the beef and the onions,
a little bit of thyme,
and then pop it into the oven for about an hour,
an hour and 15 minutes.
Once it's cooked and tender, then fill a traditional pie dish.
And then I don't make my own puff pastry.
I've never made my own puff pastry. It's one of my life's goals.
I need to find time to make puff pastry.
But pre-bought puff pastry, lovely vegetables,
and you really can't go wrong.
'One of my youngest memories was putting the pastry on the pie.
'I mean, I probably would've been five or six, scoring the pastry.'
'I suppose eating it today,
'it just brings back all of those memories,
'but it's, you know, a traditional Scottish dish that's been served
'for hundreds of years.
'And maybe that, as an Italian-Scot,
'maybe that makes me feel more Scottish when I get to eat it.'
It doesn't get much more traditional than this, Mr Myers, does it?
-Yes, but not just any cake, Dave.
-No, our twist is, Kingy...
-Spiced cream and blackberries.
Blackberries oozing from it and a spiced cream to give us
that proper winter-autumnal yum-yum-yum.
Victoria sponge with blackberries and spiced cream.
-Dave, it's not just blackberries.
We are going to put... We felt...
Look, you should really use creme de mure.
Creme de mure is blackberry liqueur.
But we couldn't actually find any so we're using creme de cassis,
-which is just as nice.
-Which is blackcurrant liqueur.
But, you know, it's nice. Bit of booze, bit of spice.
-I'm just going to sprinkle this with a bit of sugar.
So, basically, the general rule with a Victoria sponge
is use the same weight of flour, butter and sugar.
In this case, 225g.
Now, traditionally, the ladies of the WI will weigh their eggs.
And so if I take, say, four eggs,
the four eggs should weigh around about 225g
in order for that perfect Victoria sponge.
So, here we go.
By the time we've discarded the shells, we should be spot on.
It is pretty good basic chemistry.
So, first off,
the butter which has been softened and chopped goes into a mixing bowl.
We need to cream this with the sugar.
Should be mousse-like, shouldn't it? Lots and lots of air it.
Did your mum used to make Victoria sponges?
-So did mine. This was the cake of choice.
This was about the only cake she made, really.
In fact, she used to make a coffee cake,
which in fact was a Victoria sponge, but with that liquid coffee in.
I reckon we're there, Kingy.
It's become light and fluffy.
It's going everywhere!
Oh, sugar, look at me shirt.
That's all right. That's fine, that.
Let's have a feel, let's have a feel.
I used to love butter and sugar when I was a kid.
I hope you don't mind me saying,
but I think that could do with a bit more.
Oh, all right. That's fine.
Right, so, add the eggs one at a time.
After each egg's gone in, pop in a spoonful of flour.
And that's to stop the mixture from separating
because you always get a panic on
-when it separates like that, don't you?
-You do, don't you?
-Well, I do.
-Yeah, yeah. You're right.
And now we can start to add the rest of the flour.
-Do you want me to do that, mucker?
-Yeah, go on.
Do you want me to spoon round the side, mate...
-..so I can get it in?
This does remind me of days at home.
It's the bowl licking, isn't it?
It's the bowl licking.
It's the... It's a classic cake batter.
But what isn't classic is the next bit. Go on, Kingy.
This is the point where there is shock and awe
throughout the nation.
"They've put lemon juice in a Victoria sponge!"
-Yes, we have.
What you want to do is add enough lemon juice
just so you get that little drop... the consistency of the drop.
-Yes, it has.
-It has just loosened it right up, hasn't it?
So, split this between two lined tins.
It does help if you get them even.
You don't want one to be bigger than the other.
I've done it, I've licked the spoon.
That's the two halves of our supercharged Victoria sponge,
and we pop that into a preheated oven at 180 degrees
-for 25 minutes.
-I'll do the cream, dude.
I'll get the spices, because it's a spiced cream.
Now, bit of whipping cream,
and whip it to just after it gets to soft peaks.
So, not firm peaks, not soft peaks, but the bit in the middle.
-That was quick, that.
So, we fold in two spoonfuls of icing sugar.
And now the spice in the box of tricks.
I want a quarter teaspoon of allspice.
A quarter teaspoon of mace.
A quarter teaspoon of cardamom.
And a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon.
-So, that's the spice cream.
Spoon on a layer of blackberries.
This is one very beautiful Victoria sponge cake.
You see this beautiful syrup? You just want a little bit of that.
Not too much, though, or else it will make it soggy.
Well, there you have it.
That's a wonderful cake that's born out of the great British tradition.
Our Victoria sponge...
..with blackberries and spiced cream.
I bet you couldn't eat two slices.
Afternoon tea and cake - now, there's a tradition.
Aw, man. Success.
Traditional values on a plate.
-Go on. Go on.