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Rainy day food

What to cook when you're stuck indoors

by Katie Smith 16 October 2015

When you’re stuck inside the house with nothing to do, take the opportunity to rustle up some heart-warming recipes that will satisfy your comfort food cravings. We've put together a range of delicious recipe ideas that should suit whatever mood you are in.

Get busy baking

Baking provides the perfect antidote to a dreary day indoors. Spend a lazy afternoon in the comfort of your kitchen and bake to your heart’s content with some delicious cake and biscuit recipes, and reap the sweet rewards! Go traditional with British classics like the Yorkshire parkin or Madeira cake, perfect with a nice cup of tea. Or you could go all out with an afternoon tea overflowing with scones and fine pâtisserie.

There is nothing quite like the smell of a loaf of home-baked bread, fresh from the oven. Master the age-old skill of breadmaking with our How to bake bread guide and get to grips with kneading, knocking back and shaping. Begin your bread baking journey of discovery with Dominic Chapman’s recipe for White bread, before getting experimental with flours and flavours.

The humble pie is a thing of pastry-covered beauty. When it’s raining and miserable outside, fill your house with the gorgeous, comforting smells of a sumptuous pie baking in the oven. Whether sweet or savoury, shortcrust or puff, double crust or open-topped, get filled with pie inspiration from our collection of pie recipes.

Taking it slow

Making your own fresh pasta is a particularly rewarding pastime and extremely simple as it only requires three key ingredients – flour, eggs and salt. Once only within the remit of the Italian nonna, it is now possible to create your own tagliatelle, ravioli or farfalle with the help of a pasta machine. For a bit of extra indulgence, try Tom Aikens’ wonderfully cheesy Basil and garlic macaroni cheese recipe.

A slow-cooked stew or casserole brightens even the gloomiest of winter days. When the nights start drawing in try making one of our 10 slow cooking recipes for the colder months. Add a touch of extravagance to any stew with the addition of fluffy dumplings, they're easy to make and can be flavoured with herbs, cheese or even spices. If you are craving a curry, try slow cooking it to allow the spices to mingle and develop as in Alfred Prasad’s recipe for Dahl makhni.

However, not many recipes can beat a Sunday roast when it comes to a true comfort food classic. Bring friends and family together round the dinner table and tuck into a feast of Roast beef sirloin with mushrooms, brandy and roasted potatoes, or for an alternative to the traditional meat-centred roast try Andy Waters’ Veggie Wellington recipe. However, no roast dinner would be complete without a wholesome British pud. Try Adam Grays’ autumnal Apple and blackberry crumble or Galton Blackiston’s Sticky toffee pudding served with home-made ice cream.

Stocking up the store cupboard

Make the most of autumn’s abundance of fresh produce by rustling up some lovely homemade preserves that will ensure your store cupboard is always packed full of gorgeous goodies. Jams, chutneys and pickles are extremely versatile store cupboard staples, and can be used as a delicious addition to any cheese board or spread generously on toast for an indulgent snack. Homemade vinegars are also a great way of using up those leftover summer berries lurking at the bottom of your freezer. Use in marinades to add flavour to meats and fish or mix with oil and herbs to create a vinaigrette that will enliven even the dullest of salads.

Feeling more adventurous? Why not try your hand at smoking your own meat, fish, cheese or even vegetables! This tricky sounding technique is surprisingly easy to achieve, using the smoke to preserve and infuse the food with flavour. Karen Burns-Booth uses equipment found around the house (including a biscuit tin) to create her Cold-smoked cheese.

Curing is another fantastically simple technique for preserving meat and fish. This ancient method uses a dry-cure, typically made from salt and sugar, to draw liquid from the meat and ensure its longevity. Pascal Aussignac injects extra flavour into his effortlessly impressive Alaska salmon using sticky, sweet maple syrup.

Hopefully these comfort food recipes will have your culinary creative juices flowing, providing the inspiration you need to get in the kitchen and rustle up some dishes to warm the cockles of your heart.

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What to cook when you're stuck indoors


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