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Mother knows best: classic dishes for Mother’s Day

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The recipes that are handed down to us tend to be the ones we revisit the most. Which of these classics will you cook up to commemorate Mother’s Day?

Noodle Soup
Serves 6

• 1 chicken
• 3.15l water
• 2tbsp mixed herbs, chopped
• 1 small leek, chopped
• 1 small cabbage, chopped
• 4 sticks celery, halved
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 450g carrots, chopped
• 110g peas
• 110g egg vermicelli

For the stock, cut the chicken into 8 pieces and put it (and the giblets) in a saucepan with the water. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes, skimming off any surface scum. Add the herbs and all the vegetables except the carrots and peas. Simmer gently for 1.5 hours. Remove the chicken and separate the meat from the bone, reserving it for the soup. Cover the stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Discard the vegetables. Chill the stock overnight, and remove the solid fat that forms on the surface. Transfer to a large saucepan, cover, bring to the boil and add the carrots. Season and simmer for 15 minutes. Cut the chicken into bitesize pieces. Add the chicken, peas and egg vermicelli and cook for about 5 minutes.


Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Serves 4

• 300g cauliflower florets
• 300g dried macaroni
• 90g butter
• 4tbsp plain flour
• 2tsp English mustard powder
• 600ml milk
• 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
• 100g Lancashire cheese, crumbled
• 100g Cheshire cheese, crumbled
• 3tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
• 1tbsp thyme leaves

Cook the cauliflower and macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, and fold in 30g butter. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Heat the remaining butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder. Gradually add the milk stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. Bring to the boil over a low heat stirring frequently until the roux thickens. Season well. Combine the cheeses and add half to the sauce, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth again, Add the macaroni and cauliflower and mix well to coat. Place the mixture in a large gratin dish. Combine the remaining cheeses with the breadcrumbs and thyme. Sprinkle over the macaroni mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


Spag Bol
Serves 4

• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 sticks celery, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, diced
• 5 slices streaky bacon, chopped
• 2tbsp olive oil
• 400g mince
• 1 15-oz tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 vegetable stock cube, grated
• 1tbsp oregano
• 400g spaghetti

Gently fry the onion, celery, garlic and bacon in the olive oil until golden. Turn up the heat, add the mince and fry, stirring well until  browned all over. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, diced carrot and grated stock cube. Add the oregano and a splash of red wine (optional). Put a lid on the saucepan and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Cook the spaghetti in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain and combine with the meat mixture. Season well, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh oregano to serve.

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