From brilliant brunch ideas to a fresh take on your takeaway faves, discover the Chris Baber recipes that put seasonal ingredients centre stage
“Oozy eggs, buttery croissants and creamy hollandaise?! It’s a YES from me. This delicious brunch idea is perfect for special occasions – simply add a glass of fizz!”
4 M&S frozen croissants, baked per packet instructions
130g maple bacon lardons
200g pouch hollandaise sauce, heated per packet instructions
Parsley, chopped, to garnish
While the croissants cool, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat.
Fry the lardons until golden and starting to crisp. Remove from the pan and rest on kitchen paper to remove any excess fat.
Meanwhile, over a low-medium heat, poach the eggs for 2-3 minutes in a pan of simmering water.
Slice the baked croissants in half, add a spoonful of lardons to the base, top with a poached egg and pour over some hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
“Spice up your family breakfast by serving up my baked eggs with M&S ’nduja, creamy avocado and buttery toasted sourdough.”
1 tbsp M&S ’nduja paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red pepper, diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 large eggs
A small bunch parsley, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Sourdough toast, to serve
Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, fry the M&S ’nduja paste and garlic for 1 minute then add the pepper and cook for a further 3-5 mins until softened.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 mins until you have a fairly thick sauce. Make 4 wells in the sauce with a spoon, crack an egg into each and then cover with a lid or foil and cook for 5-8 minutes until the whites are just set.
Scatter over the parsley and diced avocado and serve with crusty sourdough bread to dip.
“Want to switch up your weekend brekkie? Try my truly tasty idea that combines two classic breakfast faves – eggs royale and super-fluffy pancakes.”
6 large eggs
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g pouch M&S hollandaise sauce
100g smoked salmon
1 lemon, cut into slices, to serve
Dill sprigs, to serve
Whisk 2 eggs and the milk in a bowl until combined. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, then pour in the liquid. Whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Heat a small knob of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, pour around 4 tbsp of pancake batter into the pan per pancake. They should be around 12cm wide. You will need to cook the pancakes in batches of 2 or 3. Cook for a couple of minutes until golden, flip and cook on the other side until golden. Keep the cooked pancakes warm. Wipe out the pan, add a knob more butter and cook the next batch.
Meanwhile in a pan of simmering water over a medium-low heat, poach the remaining 4 eggs for 2-3 mins for firm whites and soft yolks. Poach 1-2 at a time if needed. Heat the M&S hollandaise sauce according to pack instructions.
Stack a couple of pancakes per person, divide the smoked salmon between plates, draping over the stack. Place a poached egg on each stack and pour over the warmed hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a small sprig of dill, if you wish.
“Featuring smoked streaky bacon, sweet vine tomatoes, oozy fried eggs and light-as-a-feather crepes, this brilliant brunch is taken to the next level with M&S magic sprinkle.”
8 rashers dry-cured smoked streaky bacon
125g Piccolini vine tomatoes
6 large eggs
140g plain flour
1 tsp M&S magic sprinkle, plus a pinch to serve
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Heat the grill to medium-high. Lay the bacon rashers and tomatoes (still on the vine) on a baking tray and place under the grill for 6-8 mins, turning the bacon halfway through so it gets crispy on both sides.
Meanwhile, whisk together the milk, 2 eggs, flour, 1 tsp M&S magic sprinkle and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Lightly grease a medium-sized frying pan with oil and heat to a medium-high heat. Pour in enough batter to thinly coat the surface of the pan, tilting the pan to spread the mixture evenly. Cook until the base of the crepe is dry and golden, then flip over to cook the other side. Repeat for the remaining batter to make 8 crepes.
In a separate large pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over a medium heat and crack in 4 eggs, one in each corner. Fry for 3 mins, until the white is set. To serve, fold 2 crepes in half, lay a fried egg on top and add the streaky bacon and a portion of lightly grilled tomatoes on the side. Sprinkle with a little more magic sprinkle or some salt and pepper and serve.
“Bring the flavours of your favourite takeaway home with my crispy chilli beef that’s amazing served with fluffy rice and steamed pak choi.”
2 large rump steaks (about 240g each)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
45g pack M&S chopped chilli, ginger and garlic
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 large oranges, zested and juiced
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ bunch spring onions, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Cooked rice, to serve
Steamed pak choi, to serve
Cut the beef into thin strips, pat dry with kitchen paper then toss in the cornflour, and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, fry the M&S chopped chilli, ginger and garlic for 1-2 mins, not letting the garlic burn, then add the hoisin, white wine vinegar, zest and juice of the oranges, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 5 mins until you have a thick, sticky sauce and have reduced the liquid volume by half. Place in a bowl.
Heat a clean large non-stick frying pan or wok until very hot, then add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil, before adding the steak to stir fry for a few minutes until it takes on colour.
Pour in the sauce, toss together and cook for another couple of minutes until the sauce is sticking to the beef. Garnish with chopped spring onions and extra chilli. Serve with the rice and steamed pak choi.
“Packed full of fragrant ginger flavour and with juicy king prawns, this dish is set to be a new family fave.”
2 x 165g packs raw king prawns
4 tbsp white wine
A pinch white pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp vegetable oil, for frying
Thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
½ 90g jar M&S soy, ginger & garlic paste
1 tbsp cornflour
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
300g basmati rice, cooked per pack instructions
Add the prawns to a bowl with 2 tbsp of the white wine, a pinch of white pepper and the sesame oil. Mix together and allow to marinate for 15 minutes (or at least 5).
Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, fry the prawns in their marinade for 2 mins until they are just pink but not fully cooked. Remove from the pan.
Add 1 tsp more vegetable oil to the pan, fry the ginger for 2 mins over a high heat then add the prawns back to the pan. Cook for a minute, then add the remaining white wine, letting it bubble away and reduce by half.
Mix the soy, ginger & garlic paste and cornflour with 4 tbsp water, and add to the pan with the spring onions. Cook for a final minute until thickened. Serve with basmati rice.
“Filled with autumn flavour and easy to prepare, my cheesy pumpkin tart is delicious served with a simple side salad and an extra dollop of caramelised onion chutney,” says Chris.
1 roll M&S puff pastry
1 M&S pumpkin
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried sage
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
200g M&S taleggio, cut into thin slices
115g (½ jar) caramelised red onion chutney
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7, and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Lay the puff pastry on to the baking paper and score a border 2cm in from the edge with a knife, not cutting all the way through, then prick the pastry within the border all over with a fork.
Peel and chop the pumpkin into 1.5cm chunks, place on to another baking sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then scatter over the sage and garlic. Mix together well with your hands to evenly coat the pumpkin in the oil.
Place the pumpkin and pastry trays in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove both from the oven.
Use the inside of a spoon to press down and flatten the pastry inside the border. Evenly distribute the cheese and pumpkin around the pastry inside the border.
Dollop teaspoons of the caramelised red onion chutney around the pumpkin and cheese.
Reduce the heat to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6 and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
“These fluffy muffins have a delicious cinnamon crumble top for added sweetness and crunch. They’re super simple to make, too, and star our Fresh Market Specials apples” says Chris.
Makes 12 muffins
For the crumble
75g plain flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
25g muscovado sugar
25g pecans, crushed
For the muffins
300g self-raising flour, sifted
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 M&S Select Farms apples, diced
100g butter, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
To make the crumble topping, add the plain flour, butter, cinnamon and sugar to a mixing bowl. Rub together with your fingertips to form a breadcrumb consistency, then stir in the crushed pecans and oats. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, mix the sifted self-raising flour, caster sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Then add the diced apples and mix together.
In a separate bowl or jug, gently whisk the milk with the eggs, melted butter and maple syrup.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth batter, taking care not to overwork it.
Using a tablespoon, spoon the batter mix into the muffin cases, filling them to just below the top of the case. Scatter some of the crumble topping over each muffin.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
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