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Denise Pearson


>> Comedian, actor, TV presenter, writer, musician and now winner of Celebrity Masterchef 2013 - who knew that Ade Edmondson would turn out to be such an accomplished cook?!

He'd be the first to admit he's calmed down somewhat since his days on the iconic Young Ones and Comic Strip Presents, and is now more likely to be found wandering around Yorkshire or other UK hotspots for his TV shows

The Dales and Ade in Britain.

His love affair with cooking began when he was at school. "I went to boarding school and the food was atrocious," explains Ade, who is married to fellow comedian Jennifer Saunders. "We had a Baby Belling two-hob ring and I just started cooking on that, things like spaghetti bolognese.

In fact I remember going home and teaching my mum how to make it! We were from Yorkshire and didn't eat things like that in the 70s."

His winning Masterchef menu was a far cry from those early school days, consisting of a starter of Pan Seared Loin of Venison, with a Pepper Crust, served with Celeriac Remoulade and Lambs Lettuce, a main of Butterflied Filet of Sea Bass stuffed with Scallop Mousse and served with a deconstructed Ratatouille Sauce (inspired by watching You Tube clips of Marco Pierre White), and a dessert of Strawberries in Caramel Syrup, topped with a Caraway Shortbread and a Raspberry Sorbet.

So was he confident that he was going to win? "It was strange because I went into Celebrity Masterchef thinking it was just about cooking - but the pressures were enormous," he says. "In the first invention test I could hardly chop an onion because I was shaking so much!

I didn't really relax until nearly the end, that's when it became fun. At the beginning you just don't want to be the first person to go out. I did have a bloody good last couple of days and I felt I was edging ahead of Janet (Street Porter). It was an amazing feeling to win."

In spite of his success, Ade has no plans to carve out a new career as a restaurateur. He says: "I think having a restaurant is a hard thing to pull off. It takes a lot of risk and I don't do risk well but I would like to do another show about food."

In the meantime, Ade is heading off on the road with his band, the Bad Shepherds, touring the UK throughout November and December, but he's dreading the lack of good food on offer after his gigs. He explains: "Touring Britain is pretty horrible because there is nowhere to eat after 11pm apart from an Indian. There are a lot of brilliant Indians of course but it gets boring after a while and has a terrible effect on your bowels!"

For more information on the Bad Shepherds' tour dates visit www.thebadshepherds.com

Ade's Stuffed Lamb Cutlets With a Salad of Roasted Squash, Artichoke Hearts & Balsamic Onions

>> Serves 4: "It's surprisingly tasty but incredibly easy to make. It can make you look accomplished without too much effort."

    Ingredients

  • 8 x 1inch thick lamb cutlets, French trimmed
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 80g Fontina or Gruyere cheese, sliced into 8 thin slices
  • 8 Fresh sage leaves, one for each cutlet
  • 8 slices Parma ham
  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 300g dried breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh chillies, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 2 Globe artichokes, trimmed down to the chokes/ hearts, rubbed with lemon juice to stop them discolouring
  • 2 lemons
  • A large bunch of watercress, picked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 32 baby onions, peeled and trimmed whole
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red wine

    Method

    Preheat oven to 180°C.

  1. For the lamb cutlets, butterfly each cutlet through to the bone, spread open and season, on one flap place a slice of gruyere, sage leaf and a slice of Parma ham. Close the cutlets up pressing the edges to seal the filling.

  2. Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate plates. Coat each cutlet into the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

  3. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the cutlets for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat on each side until cooked through, if undercooked cook for another minute on each side. Rest on some kitchen paper and serve.

  4. For the salad, place the squash in a non-stick roasting tin. Season and drizzle with olive oil and knob of butter.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes until tender.

  6. For the artichoke hearts/chokes, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small pan, cook the prepped chokes for 5 minutes until light brown, lower the heat and add the garlic and chilli.
  7. When they start to colour add 2 tbsp water and season. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes until the water has evaporated, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the roasted squash, mint, parsley and lemon juice.

  8. For the onions, bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Blanch the peeled onions for 15 minutes, drain well. Heat a frying pan with a little oil and sauté off the onions until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine, cook out for 5 minutes until dark and sticky, season and serve.
  9. To Serve

    On a bed of watercress pile the butternut and artichoke salad, lean the cutlets against the salad and dress the outside of the plate with the onions.


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