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Cook with Chris Baber

On a mission to make cooking easier and more delicious, chef Chris Baber creates simple, speedy family recipes. Plus, Chris has developed 12 recipes for the new Cook with M&S cookbook. Get a taster below and say goodbye to the “what shall I make for dinner?” dilemma

Meet Chris

“I’ve always loved food,” says Chris, who’s been cooking up a storm in the M&S kitchen to create some family-friendly recipes for you to enjoy. “Growing up in Hexham, Northumberland, I used to cook dinner for my mum and dad every day. I trained with Atul Kochhar at his Michelin-starred London restaurant, but my real passion is inspiring others and making home cooking accessible for everyone." 

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See Chris’s latest recipes

Korean BBQ pork bao burgers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves 4

500g M&S Select Farms outdoor bred pork mince
190g Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1kg sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
1 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
4 M&S bao burger buns
100g Cook with M&S sriracha mayo

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
Mix together the pork mince, 3 tbsp of the Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste, half of the spring onions and a generous pinch of salt. Work together to ensure the paste and meat are well combined and smooth. Form into 4 burgers and set aside.
Coat the sweet potato wedges in 4 tbsp of the Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste and the olive oil, and roast on a baking tray for 20 minutes. The wedges should caramelise nicely around the edges.
Mix the shredded iceberg lettuce with the remaining spring onions and set aside.
Fry the pork burgers over a medium heat for 4 minutes on each side, until caramelised.
Meanwhile, microwave the bao burger buns according to packet instructions. Place the pork burgers into the warmed buns along with a generous spoonful of sriracha mayo and some of the lettuce and spring onion mix. Serve with the wedges and the remaining lettuce mix on the side.

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The best roast chicken

“You just can’t beat roast chicken on a Sunday and this version tastes extra-special thanks to my secret ingredient: Cook With M&S magic sprinkle. It really does make anything taste better – try adding a little to your gravy, too,” says Chris.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 80 minutes
Serves 4, with leftovers

4 sprigs of fresh thyme
75g unsalted butter, softened
1 pack Cook with M&S magic sprinkle
1 medium M&S Oakham chicken
? a lemon

Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas mark 7.
Pick the leaves from three of the thyme sprigs and mix with the butter and half the Cook with M&S magic sprinkle.
Gently ease the skin away from the flesh of the chicken at the neck, and gently rub the butter mixture underneath between the skin and flesh, reserving a little butter for the outside: rub this all over the skin.
Stuff the ? lemon and the remaining thyme sprig inside the bird, then scatter the remaining Cook with M&S magic sprinkle over the skin. Cook for around 50-60 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
Once cooked, allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Cook with M&S whole peeled potatoes, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, or your favourite salad.

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Asian aubergine noodle salad

“Salads don’t have to be boring, as proved by this Asian-inspired sweet and sticky roasted aubergine, with a zesty soy dressing and crunchy peanuts,” says Chris.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

For the dressing
90g Cook with M&S soy, ginger & garlic paste
2 tbsp honey
Juice ? lime

Salad ingredients
2 aubergines, cut into wedges
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 nests rice noodles
50g mangetout, thinly sliced
1 carrots, grated
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
? bunch coriander, finely chopped
30g peanuts, chopped
? lime, juiced

Mix the dressing by combining the Cook with M&S soy, ginger & garlic paste with the honey and lime juice, and set aside.
Toss the aubergine wedges in the vegetable oil and roast for 15 minutes on a foil-lined baking tray.
Remove the aubergine wedges from the oven and drizzle over half the dressing, tossing so it coats the aubergine. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Cook the noodles as per packet instructions and drain.
Pour the remaining dressing over the drained noodles, mixing in the mangetout, carrots, red peppers and half the coriander.
To serve, lay the roasted aubergines over the noodle salad, and top with the chopped peanuts, remaining coriander, and the lime juice.

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Korean veggie fried rice

“This really is the ultimate speedy dinner – it’s ready in less than 15 minutes, and packs a serious flavour punch thanks to the spicy, smoky Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste,” says Chris.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

4 tbsp vegetable oil
200g M&S baby carrots, sliced at an angle 0.5cm thick
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
190g Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste
2 pouches (500g) M&S microwaveable basmati rice, or 500g cooked basmati rice
200g M&S British garden peas, or defrosted frozen peas
4 free-range eggs

Heat a splash of the vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan over a high heat. Fry the carrots for 1 minute, then add half of the spring onions and cook for another minute.
Add all but 1 tbsp of the Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste to the pan. Stir to coat the carrots and spring onions and fry for 1 minute.
Add the rice and stir fry, adding the peas after 2 minutes. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add a splash of water. When everything is piping hot, remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining vegetable oil in a frying pan, crack in the eggs and fry until the whites are set and the yolks still runny – this should take about 2-3 minutes.
Divide the rice between four plates, top each with a fried egg, and scatter with the remaining spring onions and a drizzle of the Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste.

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Baked barbecue cod fillets with a crunchy Asian-inspired salad

“Rice noodles, sweet and sticky cod, and crunchy veg in a zingy lime dressing, this speedy mid-week dinner is full of fresh and vibrant flavours,” says Chris.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves 4

1 jar (190g) Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste
1-2 limes, juiced
1 tbsp honey or caster sugar
4 nests M&S rice noodles
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
1 bunch spring onions, finely shredded
200g M&S Select Farms sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
300g beansprouts
4 frozen Icelandic cod loins, defrosted
? lime, cut into 4 wedges

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
For the salad dressing, combine 2 tbsp of the Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste with the juice of ? a lime and ? tbsp honey or sugar. Taste and adjust the sugar, adding more if you prefer, and set aside.
Soak the rice noodles in freshly boiled water for 4 minutes, as per the packet instructions, then drain.
Toss the carrots, spring onions, sugar snap peas and beansprouts together in a large bowl. Add the cooked noodles and mix thoroughly.
Meanwhile, pat the cod dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture and place on a baking tray prepped with a little oil. Spread 1 heaped tsp of Cook with M&S Korean BBQ paste onto each fillet to cover the fish. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through in the middle and the glaze has caramelised a little.
Toss the dressing with the noodle salad. Serve each cod fillet with a large helping of the salad and a wedge of lime.

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A tray of shakshuka with a person spooning in M&S smoked tomato paste

Discover Cook with M&S

Our new range of more than 100 ingredients, designed to make cooking dinner easy

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