--- See Ainsley's Food We Love Saturdays 8.30pm from 11 September to 13 November on SBS Food Ch 33. Episodes will be available at SBS on Demand for 30 days after they air ---
It’s what we all need right now: the man whose belly laughs make cooking fun no matter where he is. The man who sings as he sautes and dances as he dishes up. Ainsley Harriott is back, and this time he’s cooking up the dishes that are close to his heart and those of a parade of guests, from baker Juliet Sear to Great British Bake-Off favourite Selasi Gbormittah and chef Jeremy Pang.
Ainsley’s Food We Love celebrates everything from the dishes our mums used to make to ‘lazy Sunday’ food. It’s easy to watch, and it’s packed with the sort of recipes anyone can cook, though whether any of us can match Harriott’s smile-inducing style as he sings “Do you like your brownies gooey? Yes, yes I do” while plating up some fine-looking fudgy squares is debatable. He's. The. Man.
And yes, those fantastic trademark shirts are back too!
Here’s what you can look forward to.
EPISODE 1 - HOLIDAYS
Ainsley kicks off his culinary trip down memory lane by showcasing dishes and recipes which celebrate holidays, starting with fresh spicy seafood linguine with chilli & cherry tomatoes. Ainsley is then joined by actress Alison Hammond, who cooks up a storm in the kitchen with a Tunisian-inspired lamb and couscous dish. Long-time friend Aldo Zilli gives a masterclass in making chilli and parsley calamari, and Ainsley transports us to the Islands of Greece with souvlaki pork kebabs with an alternative Greek salad, before ending his tour with an Italian-inspired tiramisu.
EPISODE 2 - HOW MUM USED TO MAKE
Ainsley pays culinary homage to the dishes that our mums used to make. He puts a spin on one of his mum’s classic recipes, brown chicken stew and rice 'n’ peas, country duo The Shires take over his kitchen with an exclusive jam session and treat Ainsley to a midnight pasta feast, and baking queen Juliet Sear shares her mum’s secret recipe for a sumptuous quiche. Ainsley also knocks up some quick homemade garlic bread (flatbread style, made with self-raising flour and yoghurt) and then rounds things off with one of his childhood favourites: coconut & lime fairy cakes.
EPISODE 3 – FORGOTTEN CLASSICS
Inspired by the great retro dishes of the past, he starts his Forgotten Classics menu with an old-fashioned minced beef, potato, and onion pie served with buttery greens, great for a family meal. TV Presenter and Radio DJ Vick Hope joins Ainsley to introduce him to a spicy Prawn Cocktail…and a rumba round the kitchen, long-time friend Brian Turner explains why Faggots deserve a come-back, and Ainsley puts a fresh spin on a classic with his poshed-up coronation chicken salad, followed by a very tempting queen of puddings.
EPISODE 4 – SCHOOL DAZE
Ainsley is in his kitchen inspired by the great dishes of the school canteen. He starts his school dinner menu with a comforting shepherd’s pie with minted peas. Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt joins Ainsley and introduces him to her American school canteen favourite: a cheese and bean tortilla. Baking Queen Juliet Sear puts a spin on a classic school-time dessert with her cornflake tart, and Ainsley revs up that comforting school dinner classic - mac & cheese with bacon and leeks. And for afters? You’ll be wanting seconds of his jam & coconut sponge with custard!
EPISODE 5 – TEA ANYONE?
Join Ainsley in his kitchen where it’s time for that Great British tradition — tea! Ainsley puts a modern twist on that old King of the dessert trolley, with black forest brownies with kirsch cream. Actor, singer, and dancer John Partridge visits Ainsley in the kitchen, where he bakes up a storm with his sausage rolls. Candice Brown adds a naughty twist to teatime with her gin & tonic drizzle cake, accompanied with some rocky road cookies. And Ainsley gets his savoury bake on with cheesy chive & bacon muffins, followed by some savoury afternoon tea tartlets.
EPISODE 6 – FAKE-AWAYS
Ainsley recreating his favourite takeaway dishes. Fancy Indian, Chinese, or Italian? Ainsley’s discovering world food right at home! Ainsley embarks on his journey with a twist on a Caribbean favourite, jerk pork belly with roti and coconut & mango slaw. Strictly co-star, journalist, and TV presenter Anita Rani, adds a hint of spice to Ainsley’s kitchen with her Baingan Bhartha. Jeremy Pang shows Ainsley how to make the perfect crispy chilli beef. And Ainsley sweetens up the tour with a twist on the Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich, before ending his journey with a trip to India, with his take on a cauliflower, butternut, and spinach dhansak.
EPISODE 7 – PUB GRUB
What beats a pint of ice-cold beer and a natter with your friends? The dishes that are available on the pub menu! Ainsley starts with an all-time favourite sausage & mustard mash with onion & red wine gravy. Great British Bake-Off favourite Selasi Gbormittah joins him in the kitchen and shows Ainsley his sumptuous and indulgent hazelnut profiteroles. Candice Brown shows her take on a bar snack classic, with a Ham Hock & Apple Scotch Egg. And Ainsley shows us his take on cheesy bean nachos & guacamole, and a sensational steak sandwich with blue cheese mayo to finish.
EPISODE 8 – LAZY SUNDAYS
Join Ainsley in his kitchen where he is cooking up some relaxing and comforting food for those Lazy Sundays! Sweetcorn fritters with avocado, tomato & black bean salsa & poached egg are part of his Sunday brunch bests. Gyles Brandreth makes an appearance in his kitchen — showing Ainsley his take on the fish finger sandwich. BOSH! are in their kitchen, showing Ainsley take on quick custard tarts for that Sunday sweet fix. And Ainsley indulges in a brunch cocktail favourite — his bloody Mary with polenta mozzarella sticks and finishing off the Sunday menu with his rosemary & anchovy slow-roasted lamb with roasted roots.
EPISODE 9 – SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Ainsley is in his kitchen inspired by dishes for those special occasions – date nights, anniversaries, dinner parties and festivals. Ainsley starts his special menu with a chorizo-crusted hake on boulangere potatoes with salad. Food Writer and baking enthusiast Alex Hollywood shows Ainsley her twist on a classic dinner party favourite – pineapple & cinnamon tarte tatin. Sabrina Ghayour is in her kitchen showing Ainsley a dish fit for any special occasion with her marinated steak and pul biber butter. Ainsley is also sharing a classic chicken cordon bleu, with cannellini mash & cherry tomatoes and finishing off his menu with his decadent orange mocha mousse with cardamom.
EPISODE 10 – WINTER WARMERS
Sharing comfort dishes to keep us warm and toasty, Ainsley starts with hearty beef and red pea stew with thyme spinner dumplings. He is joined in the kitchen by Strictly Come Dancing royalty, Anton Du Beke, who bakes up a big bowl of hugs, with his rum and raisin bread and butter pudding. Jeremy Pang is in his own kitchen sharing his lamb rendang recipe. And finally, Ainsley keeps us toasty and warm with his warm mulled cider, served with sweet & spicy nuts, followed by a delicious tropical rum crumble served with custard.
Crema Catalana is a classic Spanish dessert similar to a French crème brûlée – it’s a smooth Spanish custard with a hint of citrus and spice, topped with a hardened caramel.
With the flavours of a Moroccan tagine, this quick and easy one-pot is perfect for a mid-week meal. I’m using a ready-made harissa paste to add a depth of flavour and a smoky chilli kick.
While I was in Corsica, I tried many delicious vegetarian dishes that were simply prepared yet full of flavour from fresh herbs and garlic. Marjoram is a versatile and aromatic herb that works beautifully with vegetables; it’s similar in taste to oregano but with a milder, sweeter flavour.
It's not that common in Western cooking to mix sweet and savoury but the soft texture and mild flavour of eggplant makes it surprisingly good for a sweet-savoury mashup.
Clap-hand roti is great to mop up tasty curries and sauces. Clapping helps release the air pockets and makes these Caribbean flatbreads lovely and light and flaky.
This is a fantastic vegetarian main course, with a cauliflower baked in spiced coconut milk as the star. It’s a hearty dish, packed full of flavour.