My life on a plate - Elaine Paige

Singer and actress Elaine Paige shares a classic recipe that makes her think of home, and the dish she'd like to pass on to the next generation.

My life on a plate - Elaine Paige

Singer and actress Elaine Paige has been a star of British musical theatre for 50 years. Her breakthrough role came in 1978, when she played Eva Peron in Evita. She has won five Laurence Olivier Awards, released more than 20 solo albums and now presents BBC Radio 2’s Elaine Paige on Sunday. Her new series of weekend concerts, Stripped Back, runs until 18 December. Visit

The recipe I grew up with...

Steak & kidney puddingThis would be my nana’s steak & kidney pudding – I can taste it now! We had a big house in East Barnet, Hertfordshire, and my parents turned the upstairs into a flat for my grandparents.

For Saturday lunch, my grandmother would make her steak & kidney pudding – as requested by me and my dad. The pudding was such a business because you had to make the suet – you didn’t buy a packet mix. Nana would line a basin with suet (I still have two of her basins), then put in the steak, kidney and gravy, and tie the whole thing up in muslin. It went in a large saucepan, where it steamed for hours on top of the cooker. You had to keep watch over it and continually top up the water to make sure the saucepan didn’t dry out. It was a real labour of love.

We had it with mash and green vegetables, and the pud would just fall apart and the gravy spilled out. Nana, whose name was Edith, was quite possessive about her kitchen and wanted to do it all. I wasn’t allowed to help with the cooking, but I would get the plates out of the oven where they were warming and lay the table. Unfortunately my grandfather had a stroke and lost his power of speech. I don’t think I realised how awful it must have been for him. After school I would go upstairs to their apartment and have tea and talk to them about my day. I was very fond of them both.

Why not try Elaine's classic steak and kidney pie recipe

The recipe I would pass on... 

Teriyaki salmonI first went to the Far East many years ago, and it’s one of my favourite cuisines to cook at home. A concoction I do is salmon with soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil, root ginger, pak choi, spinach and sesame seeds. You also need mirin (Japanese rice wine) or, if you’ve got it to hand, some dry sherry. I am always trying to hang onto my figure and this is a healthy recipe that doesn’t make you bloat.

I have two nieces, Joanna and Sophie. Sophie has twin girls, Holly and Jessica, who are aged four. I like to think that when they’re a bit older – and I’m still around – I could teach them to cook Asian food.

Try Elaine's teriyaki salmon recipe.

What are the recipes that remind you of home? Let us know in the comments below...

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