The best and worst half-baked recipes from Ready Steady Cook
On the BBC Food website, a large of portion of our day involves transforming chefs' recipes into a linguistically palatable form. So it's with some sadness that we announce our favourite programme for bonkers ingredient combinations and insane dish structures, Ready Steady Cook, is getting the chop. Though we moaned about the weird ‘carpaccios’, sweet couscous ‘cakes’ and all the bacon sandwiches and tempura of anything you care to mention, today we're lamenting our former daily diet of ‘you can’t be serious’ and ‘no, not again’ recipes. So we’ve been trying to find the craziest Ready Steady Cook recipe that’s ever been cooked up on the show.
What is he like?!
There are some serious contenders. Deep-fried Stilton pizza springs to mind. If deep-frying baked goods appeals, there was a rumour of a deep-fried baked beans Ready Steady Cook recipe, but seeing as I can’t find it in our recipe database it may just be a recipe editors’ myth. And it's not just main courses that have had the fat fryer treatment, take a look at deep-fried strawberries and ice cream.
And did we even mention those ‘risottos’, ‘caviars’, ‘tarts’ and even ‘cappuccinos’? Not exactly what they say on the tin.
To give the 'red tomatoes' and 'green peppers' their dues, there have been some speedy yet impressive dessert dishes that made regular appearances on the Ready Steady Cook menu, such as floating islands, crème brûlée and Baked Alaska. James Tanner certainly stirred things up with his Baked Alaska with orange and Boursin four series ago – we had to call the recipe Baked Alaska with garlic and herb cheese, but it still sounds like an accident with the dessert trolley and the cheese course.
If all that isn’t enough to get you going, how about Brian Turner’s Big Cook, Little Cook-sounding 'Mr Carrot' on creamed carrot? A boiled whole carrot plonked atop a bed of puréed carrot.
However, despite all this, Ready Steady Cook has a place in my heart, even if some of the recipes don’t have a place at my table. Watching as a student, the programme first got me interested in food and inspired me to have the confidence to try out new combinations of ingredients. With 21 series, 40 episodes a series and 10-15 recipes a show, of course not all the recipes will be to everyone’s taste.
The other thing is that all the many combinations of ingredients have been great for our recipe database. Type three random ingredients into the search box and chances are you’ll find something you like. Let’s see... tonight I fancy sweet potato, thyme and venison...
So tell us, what’s the most ‘out-there’ Ready Steady Cook recipe you’ve come across? Is there is anything that we've missed off our list?
Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food blog and messageboard.