Try Manolo Blahnik's Family Recipes for a Delicious Feast at Home
Manolo Blahnik is a superstar in the world of fashion, but not many know that he's quite the stellar chef too. He'll show the culinary genius side of him on the next installation of the Manolo Blahnik Smile initiative, which was created in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. He and his niece Kristina Blahnik have shared a selection of delicious recipes that give them comfort at home.
They also invite home cooks to challenge themselves with these dishes and post their creations on Instagram with the hashtag #ManoloBlahnikSmiles.
1/4 Lentil Soup
“A delightfully simple soup which I began cooking at the beginning of lockdown and has remained a staple in my repertoire. It draws out the fantastic flavours of the smoky chorizo sausage, hearty vegetables and nourishing lentils for a dish that I never tire of.” –Manolo Blahnik
- 300g dry lentils
- 225g chorizo sausage
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 celery stick
- 1 carrot
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch dried chili
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Rinse the lentils very thoroughly in a colander and set aside. While that drains, finely chop the celery, carrot, onion and garlic cloves. Slice the sausage into medallions.
- Pour the olive oil into a large pot over low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, approximately 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for 3 minutes before adding some spicy paprika, hot dried chili and some bay leaves.
- Add the drained lentils and enough water to cover the mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper then bring everything to a simmer. Cover your pot and leave it to simmer for a one hour. Come back and add your sausages and leave to cook for another 20 minutes.
- To serve, ladle into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and there you have a delicious bowl of goodness, perfect for the winter season.
2/4 Vegetable Soup
“Winters of my childhood were marked by my grandmother serving bowls of this soothing soup. It’s anything but boring – fresh, flavourful vegetables are star of this healthy and delicious dish. It just so happens to be easy to whip up, too.” –Manolo Blahnik
- 450g carrots
- 450g squash
- 450g tomatoes
- 2 turnips
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 pinch paprika
- Salt to taste
- Begin by preparing your vegetables. Peel and chop the carrots and squash into little cubes. Peel and dice the onion, turnips and tomatoes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and artichoke hearts.
- Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium heat until it gets piping hot, then add the onion and sauté for about five minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and a dash of paprika and stir so it’s lovely and thick. Add the chopped carrots and squash and enough water to cover the mixture. Give it a stir then cover the pot and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots and squash are half cooked. Then add the turnips, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and continue to simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Now drain and rinse the chickpeas and artichoke hearts, add them to the pot and stir just long enough so they are hot. Then it’s ready to enjoy, a healthy yet divine dish that I simply do not tire of!
(Related: A Food Lover's Guide To San Sebastian, Spain)
3/4 Guiso de Carne
“One of my absolute favourite dishes of the many my mother had mastered. This traditional stew uses time and simple technique to draw out the lovely flavors of fresh vegetables, tender beef, a divine red wine sauce and a rich, slightly sweet picada.” –Manolo Blahnik
- 450g beef shoulder
- Olive oil
- 1⁄2 tbsp salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 can diced tomato
- 120ml red wine
- 80ml port
- 1200ml beef stock
- 120ml fresh mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 1 handful toasted almonds 45ml port
- 5g dark chocolate
- 75ml water
- When purchasing the meat, kindly ask your butcher to clean the shoulder of any nerves and tendons – one of the most important secrets to a deliciously tender stew.
- At home, cut the meat into chunks and season each piece with salt and freshly ground pepper, then cover in flour and give it a little shake to remove any excess. Cover the bottom of a Dutch oven with olive oil and brown the meat on all sides, then remove and set on a plate for later.
- Finely dice the onions and carrots and sauté these in the same Dutch oven until both are cooked through – they’ll turn a divine golden colour. Mince the garlic then add it in and sauté for just a minute. Add the tomato paste and herbs and sauté for one minute more.
- Now add the meat back in along with the juices released while it was resting. Cover it with the diced tomatoes, red wine and port – you can also use a dry sherry instead, whatever your fancy. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Pour in the beef stock, enough to fully cover the meat in liquid.
- Cover the pot and let simmer for an hour, just come back every now and then to give it a little stir. While that’s happening, make the picada simply by placing all ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until smooth. Add slowly to taste after the stew has been simmering for an hour.
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4/4 Chocolate mousse
“This scrumptious dessert is one of my favourites to serve at a dinner party where it’s delighted countless guests in the past! It’s a delicious treat sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.” –Kristina Blahnik
- 2 bars semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 eggs, separated
- 80g + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 120ml whipping cream
- 1-2 squares of chocolate
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 120ml whipping cream
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place with your butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon until it’s all melted and smooth. Let that cool for just a few minutes before whisking in your egg yolks one at a time.
- Be sure you are whisking until the mixture is smooth before adding the next yolk. Once all six yolks are whisked in, set this bowl aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they become nice and foamy – you’ll see soft peaks beginning to form. Gradually beat in the 80g of sugar and continue beating until you see stiff peaks form. You’ll know it’s ready when you lift the beaters from the bowl and the peaks remain upright.
- Use a soft spatula to fold this egg white mixture into your chocolate mixture, folding just until incorporated and then set this aside. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to thicken, add the tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold this whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing just until incorporated. You really don’t want to overmix!
- Now divide the mousse into glasses – you can use sundae cups, ramekins, champagne coupes, whatever strikes your fancy. Cover each and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
- If you have a sweet tooth as I do, whip up some extra cream with the sugar just before serving to dollop atop the mousse. For the very final touch, sprinkle a bit of shaved chocolate over it.
These recipes were printed with permission from Manolo Blahnik.