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Ma po beancurd

Jill Dupleix's take on Ma po beancurd

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These 10 recipes could change your life - for the better. They'll give you confidence in the kitchen and comfort at the table. They'll help you win friends and influence people. Who needs social-media hashtags when you can make the perfect #tartetatin?

We're not talking about one-night-only showoff cooking, such as whipping up Peter Gilmore's snow egg dessert, or Tetsuya Wakuda's perfect confit of ocean trout. We're talking about recipes we should all know inside-out and upside-down, recipes our mothers should have taught us, and we should teach our children, and our partners. These are the mother recipes, the ones you want to cook time and again, the ones that pass on the skills, techniques and accumulated instinct that are the foundation of all good cooking.

Take the omelet. Everyone knows how to make an omelet, right? But the perfect omelet? That takes time - and a helpful recipe.

Great roast chicken <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a> Click for more photos

Ten recipes to change your life

Great roast chicken (recipe here).

  • Great roast chicken <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Ma po beancurd <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Minestrone soup <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Potato gratin <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • The classic omelet <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Tarte tatin <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Salt and pepper squid <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Risotto <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Osso buco <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>
  • Molten chocolate pudding <a href=''><b>(recipe here).</b></a>

I've learnt from the best chefs and country home cooks and I've picked up a couple of tricks along the way. So although the recipes here are mine, I share them with a long line of wonderfully skilled and generous teachers from around the world. Each recipe comes with a tip from one of the greats - the sort of wise or helpful thing they might say if they were standing next to you in the kitchen.

If you can cook these recipes well, you can cook anything.

Ma po beancurd

Minestrone soup

A great roast chicken

Creamy potato gratin

The classic omelet

Tarte tartin

Salt and pepper squid

Osso buco

Molten chocolate pudding

The perfect risotto


What do you think of the list? Is there a classic dish in your repertoire that you would add?

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