Desert island dishes

Desert island dishes

With Mark Crowe, head of menu management, Elior UK.

Clonakilty black pudding
It has to be served on sourdough toast with a rich fried duck egg and HP sauce. The ultimate chefs breakfast using this amazing black pudding from Cork in Ireland

My homemade lasagne
When I need some family comfort food at the weekend there’s only one thing that will do: homemade lasagne. I use pork and beef mince and some smoked pancetta in the ragu, and I like a really thick rich cheese sauce layer on top. Delicious!

Masoor di dhal and roti
I love dhal, especially the hot and spicy tempered oil or ghee that goes on top before serving. For me, it has to come with fresh roti, steamed basmati rice and some fennel scented yoghurt. A great dish for when you’ve overindulged and it’s pretty healthy too.

Brisket ‘burnt ends’
The best bit of any smoked brisket joint. Burnt ends are really prized in BBQ restaurants across the states but are relatively new to us in the UK. They’re great with collard greens, sweet potato mash and Kansas City BBQ sauce.

The ultimate croque monsieur
Made with thick sliced French pain de campagne bread, Gruyere cheese and smoked ham. Anything topped with melted cheese is alright with me. This could be the greatest grilled cheese sandwich on the planet when made with the right ingredients. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Jerk chicken
Real jerk marinade made with bonnet peppers, thyme and all spice is a real joy. I like it hot and prefer chicken thighs for a jerk dish. It has to come with rice and peas, plus fried ripe plantains for some sweetness. With any luck these might even be growing already on the desert island!

Hummus and za’atar flatbread
You have to cook your own chickpeas if you want a decent hummus. They need to be cooked until they’re really soft and then puréed while still warm with loads of fresh lemon juice, tahini and garlic. Blitz them until you get a super-smooth rich sauce which is unlike anything you buy from a shop. Only needs some warm grilled flatbread with za’atar spice to make a truly delicious experience

Steamed sponge pudding
When I was growing up, my mum made this all the time for ‘afters’. She always served it with custard and we loved it. I prefer ice cream or whipped cream these days, and love to flavour the sponge with ground and stem ginger, orange zest and some raisins on the base of the pudding with the golden syrup. It has to be steamed though for that light, fluffy finish.

What luxury item would you take with you?
Assuming we have Wi-Fi, it would have to be my smart phone. Can anyone live without theirs these days?

What one book would you take with you?
It would have to be my copy of Larousse Gastronomique. I’d have great fun trying to memorise all those classical sauces and garnishes that are now long forgotten.

Finally, if you were allowed only one dish which would it be?
Without a doubt it would be a croque monsieur. Bread and cheese are the two things I just couldn’t live for long without.

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