Mashed and spiced and fried to a crisp…
Beans have been a staple crop on Mars since the very first pioneers arrived with many a sack to plant, and little to sustain them meantime but hope and, yes, beans. In sacks.
Mrs Bailey has countless recipes in her repertoire, and has shared a number of them already with us here; but her beancakes are a favourite throughout the school, because what child doesn’t love something fried, with a crisp outer coat and a delectable interior?
(Me, I like these for lunch, with a couple of fried eggs atop; but your mileage is your own. Try ’em with sour cream and more harissa, or as a side dish with curry and rice…
The first pecan trees on Mars were a gift from the American Consul to that province; as their country fell further and further behind the two great interplanetary powers of Britain and Russia, the United States were ever eager to curry favour with their former master.
Happily, the trees thrived, and another page was added to the colonial cookbook. Pecan pie is nothing alien to Mrs Bailey, nor to the Crater School; it’s as normal and everyday as walnut cake or peanut brittle.
Make your favourite pastry — Mrs Bailey favours a lard and butter mix, with the lard thoroughly worked in and the butter still in lumps — and roll it out to line your pie dish. …
1 pork tenderloin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 onion, sliced
Half a dozen garlic cloves
1 handful of bread crumbs
Put your tenderloin in a nonreactive bowl and rub it all over with a splash of cider vinegar.
Mix all the spices together, add those to the pork and rub again until thoroughly coated. Leave to marinate as long as possible, and overnight if you’re that well organised.
Fry the onion gently until soft and starting to colour; use mustard oil if you have it, otherwise any vegetable oil. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs, and fry another minute. …
A pinch of saffron threads
1 onion, sliced
Half a dozen garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ras el hanout*
750g leftover roast chicken, shredded
125g strong chicken stock
3 eggs, beaten
50g almond flour
1 pack filo pastry, defrosted
Quite a lot of butter, melted
Put the saffron threads in a little hot water, to soak.
Toast the almond flour in a dry pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes, until golden. …
The nursery classic for grown-ups
It is, perhaps even it must be, possible that somewhere on three planets breathes a human being who doesn’t like tomato soup. I’ve never met them, and certainly neither has Mrs Bailey. She probably wouldn’t even entertain the notion. It’s a staple on her table, in and out of term; and generations of girls have wheedled this recipe out of her, to take home for their mothers or their older siblings or their housekeepers, so that they needn’t go without all holiday long.
A dozen or so large tomatoes — say 2.5 …
This is another of those recipes so simple they’re really just a method, and honestly this one comes down to just a line.
Put a cast-iron skillet (for preference) or a heavy-based roasting pan in the hottest part of your oven, and preheat it to 400F. Leave it alone for half an hour even after it comes to temp, so that the skillet has time to get seriously hot. That’s all the secret that there is to this.
Meanwhile, trim and halve your brussels sprouts, put them in a bowl and toss them with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Once the oven and everything in it is really hot, take out the skillet — carefully! — and quickly add the sprouts. If you have a pair of tongs, turn as many as possible cut-side down, but don’t linger over it; you don’t want that pan to cool. …
Shockingly easy is always a good look in a recipe, especially when you have two hundred-odd hungry adolescent mouths to feed, and the staff besides. And Mrs Bailey’s simplest dishes are often her most popular. Never a tray of these potatoes comes back anything other than empty.
More good roasting potatoes than you think you’ll need, peeled and cut into pieces
Oil, lard or goose fat (in rising order of preference)
One head of garlic per tray of potatoes
One bunch of spring onions per tray, cut into pieces
Thinly sliced garlic and shredded fresh ginger
Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with water and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Bring to the boil, and simmer for five minutes. Drain, and shake about in the colander to roughen up their edges for maximum crisp. …
To nobody’s surprise, this is a work in progress. More recipes will be added on a tolerably frequent basis; I might also add more categories (Indian dishes, Chinese dishes, eg), though you’ll find that some dishes already occur in two or more categories. I like to think that might be helpful.
If you’re new to Mrs Bailey’s recipes, there’s a general introduction to her life and times in the original recipe list, here:
Appetisers and Light Dishes:
Mrs B has been heard to describe fennel as her secret weapon. It’s so mildly aniseed that those girls who dislike the flavour really don’t notice it, and yet it breathes its subtle perfume into any dish it enhances, while at the same time providing as much body as its best friend the onion.
She uses it with a bold hand in a wide variety of recipes, but it does go particularly well with pork, and of course with chicken. This one’s a favourite: easy and undemanding of ingredients or skills, providing a perfect weeknight supper.
4 chicken thighs, skin-on and…