Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Hurrah! Event of the year on 13 September, when Nigel publishes Volume II of the Kitchen Diaries. You can guess what the subject of this blog will be in 2013! http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kitchen-Diaries-Nigel-Slater/dp/0007256035/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1346013811&sr=8-3
Saturday, 25 August 2012
link to her online recipe - I pretty much followed it but used a glass of the rose wine we were drinking rather than cabernet sauvignon. I also left out the harissa, as we wanted more of an Italian vibe than a southern Spanish/Morrocan one. The fennel seed is essential though, as is the oregano - all of these make it Italian in spirit. This was a fabulous recipe, and I would urge you to make it! We made the full amount of sauce and saved half to make Patatas Bravas tomorrow. Definitely one to make again. My camera was out of juice, so I have pinched Lorraine's photo.
Photo courtesy of Daily Mail/Lorraine Pascale/myles new
Photo courtesy of Daily Mail/Lorraine Pascale/myles new
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
recipe from Smitten Kitchen's blog which, if you haven't discovered yet, I urge you to visit, if only to keep up with the growing charm of her toddler son. This is just about the most famous food blog on the planet so you might have seen it already! Anyway, great recipe, reliable, quick and easy, and I get about 18 cookies from this quantity of dough. Perfect for a work fundraiser tomorrow, along with some chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes, based on the Hummingbird Bakery recipe I've blogged on here before.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe in his wonderful 'Veg Every Day' cookbook - I added a teaspoon of tomato puree and changed the spicing from smoked paprika to a teaspoon each of ground cumin and dried red chilli flakes, along with his suggested oregano. It was a really lovely soup, thick and hearty and filling. It definitely qualifies for the 'under a fiver' challenge, and will feed four people most generously - low fat and very high in fibre, too. All the ingredients are coming into season now, so it is perfect for drizzly August nights that shade into early September Autumn. If you are lucky enough to grow your own fresh Borlotti or Cranberry beans - these would be a wonderful alternative to the dried or tinned that Hugh uses in his recipe. If you are a carnivore, some online versions include slices of fried chorizo, which would be nice too, but we were happy with the veggie version with some toasted ciabatta to provide complementary protein.
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Friday, 10 August 2012
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
I was challenged at work today by 2 colleagues to make a meal for two people with 2 courgettes and 2 eggs. I've done better than that - I've made a meal for four people (with a little extra help along the way!). This is based on a Sarah Raven recipe from her Garden cookbook, a great option for seasonal veg cooking. You start off by gently sauteeing a chopped red or white onion, 2 medium courgettes, grated, and a crushed clove of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil - Greek if you have it. Let this cook for 15 minutes until soft and most of the moisture has been driven off. Cool a little whilst you beat the 2 eggs in a bowl with a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche, some salt and pepper (not too much salt, as the feta is salty), a sprinkle of dried red chilli flakes, and a tablespoon each of chopped parsley and mint. If you have fresh dill, add a tablespoon of this too. If you have toasted pine nuts lying around (I keep mine in the freezer) then add a tablespoon or so to the mix. Now fold in the cooled courgette mixture and 100g of proper Greek feta, cut into squares. Then, melt about 25g of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Take a baking tin (wide and shallow is best) and brush with some of the butter/oil, then line with a sheet of filo pastry, letting the excess hang over the edge. Brush with a little butter/oil, then lay another sheet of filo. Repeat. Now pour the courgette mixture onto the pastry. Fold over the excess overhanging pastry and brush with more butter. Lay another sheet of filo over, brush with butter and then scrunch another couple of sheets over the top. Brush the whole thing with more butter/oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have any (I didn't) then bake for 30 to 35 minutes at around 180C (fan) until golden brown and crisp and the filling is gently set. Serve warm or cold. Definitely under a fiver territory here, and you can scale it up to feed more people in a bigger tin for a picnic, perhaps. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does a version of this in his 'Veg Every Day' book with rice added, but I felt the rice didn't soften enough when added raw. You could bulk this out by part-boiling a cup of Basmati and adding it to the filling, but it will be a firmer, denser stuffing, albeit a more substantial one.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Saturday, 4 August 2012
I love salads where you distribute everything on a big platter, pour over the dressing and dig in - everything gets well blended as you dish up, and you can layer the dish with texture, colour and flavour. This was a great example with a base of Batavia lettuce leaves, sliced freshly-boiled beetroot, shaved fennel and fillets of orange. Topped with chunks of chicken marinated in lemon, rosemary and garlic, then quickly sauteed, and little croutons of bread sizzled to golden deliciousness in olive oil, and then all dressed with a vinaigrette made from the orange juice, you end up with a vibrant and healthy supper. You can vary this so much, and I could have used smoked or grilled mackerel, poached salmon, chunks of good tinned or fresh tuna, strips of juicy steak, chunks of fried chorizo, garlic prawns, or feta or goats' cheese for a veggie option, instead of the chicken. Use your imagination and whatever is best in the market and in season. Just think about the overall colour and make sure there is textural variation as well to keep things interesting. As well as crunch from croutons, you can get the same effect from cucmber or red pepper, and spring onion adds texture and a sharp savour too.
Friday, 3 August 2012
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
This Portuguese soup is great for a not-particularly-warm summer evening, and provided you watch your timings, you'll have a fresh veggie-packed, vibrant supper, best eaten with lots of crusty bread. There are as many recipes for Caldo Verde as there are Portuguese. However, most seem to require the presence of onion, potatoes and fresh leafy greens such as kale or chard (my green of choice today). You can then add layers of texture and flavour depending on what you have available - I added fresh sweetcorn kernels, some tinned chickpeas, a couple of finely diced tomatoes and half a 'horse-shoe' of good chorizo, sliced. Simmered in chicken broth, with garlic and a little smoked hot paprika to boost the sausage flavours, it was a fabulous, filling, savoury, brothy soup, packed full of veg. Just make sure you add the greens and tomato if used) a few minutes before serving to preserve their colour and texture. As this only uses half a chorizo, this qualifies for 'Under a fiver' easily. You could make it veggie/vegan too, by using veg stock and omitting the sausage.