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Sweet and sour recipes
Caponata d’Inverno
Winter caponata

Serves 4-6

Ingredients 8 artichoke’s hearts, cut into quarters
2 sticks of celery
1 medium size onion
60 green olives, pitted
2 tbsp. capers
50 g raisins
2 tbsp. pine-nuts
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 salted anchovy filet
½ glass wine vinegar
2-4 tbsp. sugar
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
salt, pepper
toasted almonds, dark chocolate chips, basil, mint (optional)

Wash the artichokes and sauté them in two tbsp. olive oil.
Clean the celery and cut into finger lengths, then blanch it in salted boiling water.
Drain well and sauté it in two tbsp. oil.

Slice the onion and fry it in the remaining oil, with the tomato paste and anchovy filet.
Add 2-3 tbsp water.

Stir for a few instants then add the artichokes, celery, capers, pine-nuts, olives, raisins, salt, pepper and vinegar, mixed with sugar.

Stir over high heat for a minute or so and serve, if desired, with a sprinkle of mint or basil leaves, or chocolate and chopped toasted almonds.
Serve tepid or at room temperature.
© Eleonora Consoli

Grilled Chicken Curry with Madan leaves
Geng Pet Nuu Naa Bai Madan Orn

¼ chickens, cleaned

Paste for Chicken Marinade

1 cleaned chopped coriander roots
2 or 3 peeled Thai garlic
1 finely sliced lemongrass stalk
good pinch ground white pepper
½ cup coconut cream
½ cup separated coconut cream
½ cup coconut cream
2 – 3 tablespoons curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 – 2 tablespoons palm sugar
½ cup coconut cream
½ cup stock – more or less as needed
2 torn washed kaffir lime leaves
1 cup chopped cleaned bai madan leaves
1 cup cleaned picked holy basil
2 large red or green chillies, cut in half

Clean the chicken. Make a fine paste from the coriander roots, salt, lemongrass, garlic and pepper. Moisten with the coconut cream and marinate the chicken for about 10 minutes only.

Grill the chicken, turning reasonably often, over low coals until completely cooked and more than slightly charred. Once grilled, allow to rest and then shred somewhat finely.

Simmer the curry paste in the two types of coconut cream for about 5 minutes over a medium low heat until fragrant. Season the paste with the fish sauce and palm sugar then moisten with the coconut cream and stock then add the kaffir lime leaves.

Simmer for 10 minutes, add the madan leaves and simmer for several minutes. It may be necessary to moisten with a little additional stock. Put to the side for 20 minutes to allow the curry to ripen. Return to the heat and add the shredded chicken, the holy basil and chillies.

Check the seasoning: the curry should taste rich and spicy, sour, sweet and salty.

Red Curry Paste
Ayuthyia Rouge

20 dried long red chillies
15 fresh scuds, trimmed
4 tablespoons sliced cleaned lemongrass
2 tablespoons chopped peeled galangal
1 tablespoon kaffir lime zest
4 tablespoons coriander roots
2 tablespoons red shallots
3 tablespoons peeled Thai garlic
1 teaspoon gapi
10 white peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
good pinch nutmeg or mace

De-seed the large dried red chillies, then soak in water for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain well then chop. Toast the spices. Make a fine paste by pounding the ingredients one at a time, in the order given, until a fine paste is achieved. Makes about 170 g or ¾ cup of paste.
© David Thompson

Balsamic Zabaglioni with blackberries
Skye Gingell used Balsamic Tradizionale

4 egg yokes
120g sugar
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
80 mls. light fruity red wine
120 mls. double cream
200g blackberries
1 extra tbsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt

Place the yokes, balsamic, sugar and red wine into a bowl. Place over a simmering pan of water. Using a whisk, whisk until light and fluffy. The mixture should double in volume. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool while you whisk the cream. Whisk the cream lightly until soft peaks form. Fold into the cooled egg mixture. Arrange the blackberries on a plate. Spoon over the zabaglione. Drizzle over the remaining balsamic and finish with the salt. Serve immediately.
© Skye Gingell

Sweet and Sour Pork
Tang cu li ji

Serves 2 as a main dish with one vegetable, 4 with three other dishes

300g pork tenderloin
groundnut oil for deep-frying

For the batter
2 eggs
50g potato flour

For the marinade
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine

For the sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
21/2 teaspoons potato flour
3 spring onions, green parts only
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
200ml everyday stock
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Trim any fat from the meat. Cut it into slices 1cm thick, and
then cut these into 1cm strips. Place in a bowl. Add the marinade ingredients, mix well and leave for 30 minutes.

Combine the salt, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and potato flour for the sauce in a small bowl. Finely slice the spring onion greens.

Heat oil for deep-frying to 150˚C. Beat the eggs together. In a bowl, mix the 50g of potato flour with enough beaten egg to make a custardy batter – about 11/2 eggs. When the oil is hot, mix the batter with the pork strips. Drop some of the battered strips into the oil, adding them individually to prevent sticking, and stir with long chopsticks to separate.

Fry the strips at about 150˚C for 3 minutes or so, until they are just cooked through. Remove and drain. Repeat with more pork strips until you have cooked the lot.

Reheat the deep-frying oil to 190˚C. Add the pork strips in one or two batches and deep-fry them until they are crisp and golden. Remove, drain and place on your serving dish. Keep them warm while you prepare the sauce.

Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a clean wok over a medium flame. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until they are fragrant. Add all the stock, bring the liquid to the boil and then add the prepared sauce ingredients from the small bowl.

Stir briskly as the liquid thickens, then add the spring onions and sesame oil, stir once or twice and pour the sauce over the waiting pork strips. Serve immediately.
© Fuchsia Dunlop
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