This sweet-tangy curried chicken salad, tossed with mango and crunchy toasted almonds, was invented to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and served at her coronation luncheon. While chef Tom Aikens follows the original recipe closely, he brightens the dressing with minced hot chiles and chunks of sweet mango.
"We Brits consider this 'pudding,'" says cookbook author and TV star Nigella Lawson of her buttery, sweet dessert. "Think bread pudding, only so much more luxurious. When I make this for supper, we eat nothing else. Why would one need to?"
Chutney is a favorite British condiment for everything from cheese to roasts. This sweet-and-smoky version is perfect with crackers as a starter, spread on a grilled cheddar sandwich or served with roasted pork.
Eton Mess is a lightly sweet, old-fashioned British dessert made by blending whipped cream with freshly crushed berries and crisp meringue. As a shortcut, use store-bought meringues instead of homemade.
Tom Fundaro asked his pastry chef Susan Masch for a pumpkin dessert that "wasn't the ubiquitous créme brûlée." Masch came up with this riff on a traditional English steamed pudding. Warm, soft, spicy and simple, it may be one of the best pumpkin desserts you'll ever eat.
Sophie Dahl likes eating peppery watercress in the spring and has figured out a way to highlight its bright flavor in this silky soup. A single tablespoon of cream gives the vivid green soup a touch of richness.
The Stirling area of Scotland has an abundance of Mallard ducks, which are so accustomed to the presence of people that they're almost tame. They produce a lean, richly flavored breast that's smaller and slightly gamier than Pekin or Magret (which are more common in the United States). This main-course salad combines that fabulous duck with French green lentils and sweet pan-fried parsnips.
Cooks are discovering that agave nectar, Indian jaggery and other natural sweeteners have nuanced flavors that white sugar doesn't; plus, unprocessed sweeteners may be richer in minerals and less likely to cause spikes in blood-sugar levels. Mani Niall's pleasantly dense cranberry-studded scones get a toffeelike flavor from light brown turbinado sugar, which has large, crunchy crystals. Sugar in the Raw is a good brand.
Nutmeg makes a scintillating addition to rich, buttery shortbread. Though these cookies bake for about fifty minutes, the actual work time is amazingly brief for something so special. If you cook the shortbread in a black pan, check it after forty minutes since the color of the pan will cause the dough to cook more quickly. Shortbread keeps well stored in tins.
Polenta-Crusted Fish Cakes with Spicy Tomato Sauce
"Fish cakes are perceived as being quite British, and they're always a bit brown and a little dull," Yotam Ottolenghi says. To make the cakes more vibrant, he adds plenty of herbs and serves them with a tarragon-infused tomato sauce spiked with fresh red chile.
You have considerable leeway in assembling the ingredients for this English-inspired meal in a dish, but there should always be carrots, onions, and at least three other vegetables, one of them green. Leftover mashed potatoes work fine to top the vegetable stew, which can be browned under the broiler or in a hot oven.