As our Food Editor, Claire Aldous' unpretentious cooking style guides the dish brand. You'll find her name on many of the recipes you love. So it's little surprise that when we asked her what her favourites of all time are, she chose such mouthwatering classics.
And though Claire spends much of her time in the kitchen inventing, testing and perfecting new recipes, many of her favourites are recipes that she grew up with. Though her mother wasn't French, she had learned a lot of her cooking skills visiting Claire's father's family in Bordeaux. The braised pork, tartes tatin and terrine are all adaptions of what Claire remembers from childhood - "they sort of anchor me to my past," she says.
Braised Pork with Herbs, Bacon and Baby Potatoes
The braised pork is simple, no frills, just the pork, vegetables and seasonings like sage and thyme, but it's also decadent and impressive with bacon and crème fraîche. It'd be a crowd pleaser at any gathering of family or friends.
Once again, this is a no-frills dish, but this version is decadent, with bacon and herbs galore. It might strike you as a good thing to bring on a picnic - and Claire agrees - "We never went on picnic without a terrine. Ever. And it was usually pork based."
As far as tarts go, it doesn't get much simpler than these, but the slightly caramelised little treats are just gorgoeus. "We used to eat them a lot," says Claire. "You sort of never get sick of them."
If you're making these, put one or two aside before offering them around. Claire recalls a time when she made them at the Epicurean workshop and put them out onto the tables to find not a scrap was left after even a couple minutes.
Lemon Curd, Berry and Pistachio Brioches
Similarly nostalgic, the Lemon Curd and Pistachio Brioches are a recipe Claire has retained from her days running a catering company in her early 20s. She's reworked the recipe since then but when she was first serving the in-demand morsels to clients, brioche was unheard of in New Zealand and lemon curd couldn't be bought but had to be made from scratch.
As for the baked cannoli, these are a recipe that stands out from Claire's time at dish. Usually, when she's testing a recipe and it doesn't work after the second try, she scraps it completely. It needs to be user friendly and acheivably delicious to make it to the pages of dish so numerous reworks are rare. In the case of these Italian delicacies however, she gave them a few extra goes to get the non-traditional method of baking the cannoli, (rather than deep frying them) absolutely right. But don't worry, she's put the work in so you don't have to: that recipe is easy as pie now.
You'll notice in that same cannolli recipe, the cooks note suggests wrapping cannollini pasta tubes in tinfoil to shape the cannolli. That's because Claire couldn't find the metal tubes that most recipes call for. We look at her as an infinitely knowledgeable foodie, but she's also an inventive and genuinely passionate home cook.