Sunday, 24 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Here is Nigella's recipe. Make it, and share with those you love, and say a little prayer of thanks for their presence in your life.
A super recipe from Hugh F-W, this - I am sorry if you are all getting sick of his 'Veg Every Day' cookbook, but it is so good. This sounded unpreposessing - grated carrot, shredded white cabbage and spring onion in a soy and sesame dressing - but the texture and flavour was marvellous, and a great counterpoint to a coconut chicken curry and noodles. You shred or grate 3 medium carrots, half a small white cabbage (a really sharp knife here helps) and 3 spring onions, including some of the green tops. Then you make a dressing of a tablespoon of soy sauce, a dessertspoon of toasted sesame oil, a tablespoon of rice or white wine vinegar, a dessertspoon of runny honey, and the juice of half a lime. Add a small chopped clove of garlic and a good thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and grated. Mix together well to ensure the honey dissolves, then pour over the shredded veg, stir well, and leave for 30 minutes to 'relax' as Hugh puts it. Now stir again, add some chopped coriander and mint leaves, and dish up. The veg releases a lot of liquid during its steeping, but you end up with tender yet crunchy, sweet yet pickled fresh veg that would also be great at a barbecue. The two of us hoovered it up, but it would probably serve 4 comfortably as a side as part of a spread of other things.
Friday, 8 June 2012
Thursday, 7 June 2012
OK, this was only half spring vegetable risotto, as I cheated and used frozen peas and broad beans. But the asparagus was freshly picked (in the rain) this afternoon by hubby, and I used beautiful fresh sweet young carrots from Riverford. It is made in the usual way - saute a finely diced onion in a good knob of butter with a whole head of finely chopped wet garlic (much milder than maincrop, don't panic!). Add a cup of risotto rice (I like arborio for this) and saute for another minute or two, then add 3 or 4 tablespoons of white vermouth or white wine and the finely grated zest of a lemon. Once this is absorbed, start adding warm veg stock (Marigold is fine) in the usual way. I cooked the veg separately and added them in with the final bit of veg stock about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time (I slipped the grey skins off the broad beans first). Then, whilst still a little all'onda or 'with waves' as the Italians so romantically phrase it, stir in another knob of butter, the juice of half the zested lemon and a good handful of grated Parmesan, cover with a lid and leave to settle for a minute or two - what the Italians called mantecare or 'mounting' the risotto. Serve in warm plates or bowls with more Parmesan on top, pour a glass of something cool and white (no, NOT a glass of milk) and settle down to watch 'The Great British Menu' on The Beeb.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
What is your view on frozen fish? Living in land-locked Oxfordshire, our fresh fish supply is not brilliant. Sometimes, you get good stuff from Hayman's fishmonger in the city's Covered market, but not always. I long to live by the sea where you can get fish fresh from the harbourside, but until then, I certainly don't eschew frozen fish - some of it can be very good and cooks from frozen. For example, Waitrose do fillets of Scottish mackerel, and they are superb - juicy, fresh-tasting, and crisply-grilled from frozen in 10 minutes. We had some last night with a mustardy potato salad, and this lovely zingy green salad. Get good, organic rocket with a bit of texture please, and a summer navel orange from South Africa. Peel the orange with a sharp knife and then cut out the segments, over a bowl to save the juice. Now, in a salad bowl, put the orange juice, salt and pepper, a tablespoon or so of chopped parsley and a tablespoon of rinsed nonpareilles capers. Add a couple of tablespoons of good olive oil. Toss in a couple of handfuls of washed, dried rocket and the orange segments. Serve with the mackerel and spoon the orangey juices left in the bowl over the fish as it comes sizzling from the grill.