Bill Granger recipes: Our chef cooks some American diner classics

Our chef has started to steal his daughter’s recipe ideas following her new-found interest in making her own treats

My eldest daughter and her friends have recently started baking and selling the results to each other in an attempt to supplement their allowance. More than showing a precocious entrepreneurial spirit, I think they've realised it's a clever route to sneaking junky food into the house. I pretend not to notice; If it gets them excited about cooking, then I'm happy.

So far, it's been all about brownies, and in a drive to outdo each other, the recipes have been getting more and more creative. Just a plain brownie won't do, of course. It has to be Red Velvet and Oreo Brownie, or my favourite, the marshmallow brownies recreated here. I'm now stealing recipe ideas from my daughters – can you believe it?

To encourage a bit more variety, I've suggested they start cooking whole meals. Good, easy food that's fun for sleepovers and which they can make with minimal supervision. It has all been inspired by American diner fare – so is hopefully still naughty enough to hold their attention, while bringing in a bit of foodie sensibility to challenge their palates. Take the mac & cheese made with crème fraîche, gruyère and Dijon, instead of the usual bland white sauce. With a bit of courgette grated in and a green salad on the side, you could almost call it a balanced meal…

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com

Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

375g orecchiette
200g baby spinach
300ml crème fraîche
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper
200g gruyère cheese, grated
100g Parmesan, grated
100g coarse fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the grill. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan. Stir in the spinach, crème fraîche, garlic, mustard, cayenne, gruyère and half the Parmesan, until well combined.

Spoon into an oven-proof dish. Combine the breadcrumbs with the olive oil and remaining Parmesan. Use to top the pasta. Grill for about 5 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Californian-inspired burger

I've used wholemeal buns here, not because I'm trying to be worthy, but because I love the nuttiness and crunch.


Serves 4

250g pork mince
250g beef mince
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red onion, grated
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 good-quality wholemeal hamburger buns
Mayonnaise, to serve
1 large tomato, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Butter lettuce or soft round lettuce leaves

For the salad

1 tsp caster sugar
Juice 1 lime
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
Handful coriander leaves

Put the mince, garlic, onion and salt in a bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper and combine well with your hands. Form into four patties, making them slightly larger than the buns, because they will shrink during cooking. Chill. For the salad, combine the sugar and lime, and fold through the fennel, chilli and coriander. Season.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat, add the hamburger patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Remove and keep warm.

While the burgers are cooking, heat a griddle pan over a high heat and use to toast the cut-sides of the buns. Serve the burgers in the toasted buns with mayo, lettuce leaves, tomato, avocado and the fennel-and-coriander salad.

Marshmallow brownie

I'm not usually the biggest fan of marshmallows but I have to admit that they add an extra-outrageous level of gooey deliciousness to these brownies.


Makes 10 brownies

200g butter
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Handful marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Line a 22cm square baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and most of the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water.

Place the sugar, cocoa powder, flour and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs and butter-and-chocolate mix and stir until combined. Fold through the remaining chopped chocolate and the marshmallows.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack. When cool, cut into squares to serve.

Salted-caramel milkshake

I'm not sure I came up with this recipe with the kids in mind at all, if I'm being honest… I'm definitely on Team Nigella when it comes to a weakness for salted caramel!


Serves 4

5 tbsp bought thick caramel sauce
6 scoops vanilla ice-cream, slightly softened
375ml milk

Add a good pinch of salt to the caramel sauce and stir well. Put the ice cream and 3 tbsp of the salted caramel in a blender. Whizz until well combined then add the milk. Pulse to combine, adding a little extra milk if the mixture is still too thick.

Spread the remaining caramel sauce on the inside of four tall glasses. Pour in the milkshake and serve immediately.

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli;

Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

Photographs: Laura Edwards

News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Day In a Page

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker