One-bowl chocolate olive-oil cake

preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30-35 minutes
emergency contact: really no need

This one is for those times when you want a moist, comforting chocolate cake rather than a rich, indulgent chocolate cake. The one-bowl aspect is a bonus.

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Roast chicken with caramelized shallots

preparation time: 10 minutes
marinating time (optional): 30 minutes to several hours
cooking time: 45 minutes (5 minutes active)
emergency contact: camille

This recipe has been one of the finds of the pandemic. It requires only a few ingredients that are always on hand, and could not be simpler to prepare – if you launch the rice cooker before starting, and do a quick veggie dish while the chicken is in the oven, then you’ll be tucking into a delicious dinner in less than an hour. You can even throw the veg directly in with the chicken, as shown above, with a bit of additional olive oil and salt.

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Marinated wood ears

preparation time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 1 1/2 hours (1/2 hour active)
emergency contact: carol

Quick and easy salad that keeps (and improves) for several days in the fridge. If you’re out of maple syrup, you can substitute a mix of brown sugar and honey. Some slivers of leek are a nice addition as well.

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Pistachio and chorizo apéritif cake

preparation time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
emergency contact: camille

This crumbly, savoury loaf is meant to be served with apéritifs, but is great for any-time snacking. You can substitute in any of your favourite ingredients: almonds, pecans, pine nuts, olives, diced ham, bacon, chopped jalapeños. Anything goes really. The original recipe was inherited from the Rondenays (acquired via family friends who live in the south of France), but has been tweaked, with inspiration from David Lebovitz.

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Tea-leaf (marble) eggs – updated

The recipe for tea-leaf eggs has been updated. Check out the new and (hopefully) improved version here.

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Maple butter tarts

preparation time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes

These are pretty much the classic version (all-butter pastry crust, raisins in the filling), with the exception of a maple/corn syrup swap. Happy Canada Day!

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Knekkebrød

preparation time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 55+ minutes
emergency contact: camille

Knekkebrød (crispbread) is eaten throughout the day in Norway — for breakfast, for lunch, with brown cheese or kaviar as a snack, and even at that odd fourth meal they squeeze in before bedtime because dinner was finished hours ago around 5 pm. They are quick to make, infinitely versatile, healthy, satisfying, and keep for several weeks once they are baked.

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Gravlax – the house recipe

original recipes by walter and andreas vistad
preparation time: 45 minutes
marinating time: 1.5-3 days
emergency contact: carol

This is a recombination of Walter’s and Andreas Vistad’s gravlax recipes. Originally posted in 2008, it has been re-tested, updated, and was served this way Christmas eve 2015.

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Variations on the French 75

preparation time: 7 minutes
cooking time: none

French 75

The debate over whether a classic French 75 is made with gin or cognac continues to rage, but there is no question that it is one of the most elegant Champagne cocktails. If World War I pilots and Ernest Hemingway were partial to it, you can probably consider it an adequately manly drink, despite the bubbly content. Here’s the Leacock take on this classic.

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Thick steak

preparation time: 2 hours (for steak to come to room temperature)
cooking time: 12-20 minutes (depending on thickness and how you like your steak)
resting time: 6-10 minutes (depending on cooking time)

thick steak

The Ducasse slow-cook method produces what the man himself describes as “a beautifully tender steak with a richness that’s almost sweet”. Delicious as this sounds, the 1-hour preparation time nudges his steak into the category of things you’d hesitate to do for a regular weeknight dinner. Enter the Guardian’s Felicity Cloake, who combines elements of the Ducasse approach with the standard high heat approach to bring you a pretty near perfect steak you can pull off in about 20 minutes.

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