Monday, 6 February 2017

COOL BRITTANIA

British by Google



There's always an avalanche of articles published in the new year with predictions of the food and drink that will be  "trending"  and what we should be adopting to remain cool .


Frankly, as much as I love to try new ingredients, the hunt for a bit of strange, in these "interesting times", I'm comforted by something familiar and that reeks of ol' Blighty . 
And it's the old stuff, the classics, that await the younger generation to hunt down. Here's a few of my favourites from the 19th Century to get things started.



Gentleman's Relish


At first whiff, Gentleman's relish was an instant flashback to my school packed lunches, Peck's Anchovette paste on spongy white bread, served at school bag temperature of around 29 degrees celsius. Them were the days. Patum Peperium, the Gentleman's relish is another paste not for the faint hearted. It is made from salted anchovies, butter and some very punchy herbs and spices. A little goes a long way and as recommended, a smear on hot toast is a mouthful of savoury delight. It was developed by Englishman, John Osborn in 1828, won a Citation Favourable at the Paris Food Show in 1849 and in 1855 and is still made in England by Elsenham Quality Foods.  

👌Try it on toast with softly scrambled eggs or mix 1 teaspoon of Gentleman's relish with 2 tablespoons of softened butter, a finely chopped sun-dried tomato and 1 teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary to smear on top of  lamb chops in the last few minutes of grilling.


Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmalade

Another pot of deliciousness from the 19th century, Sarah Jane Cooper, wife of grocer Frank, made a huge batch of marmalade using Seville oranges and it was a best seller. It is bitter, sweet, with dark caramel notes. That's why it works so well in a breakfast martini!

Breakfast Martini

50 mls of gin
15 mls of cointreau
15 mls of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 heaped teaspoon of marmalade

Put everything into a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve the marmalade.Add crushed ice, shake and strain into a cold martini glass, spritz the surface with a little fresh orange skin oil to serve.

👌Use a few heaped tablespoons of marmalade mixed with some mustard powder to glaze a baked ham or go total comfort with this homely pudding from Nigella .

Marmalade Pudding
Serves: 6-8
250 grams soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
75 grams caster sugar
75 grams light brown muscovado sugar
225 grams marmalade (75g of which for the glaze)
225 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
zest and juice of 1 orange ( reserve juice of ½ orange for glaze)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F and butter a 24cm / 8inch square ovenproof dish. Put the 75 grams of marmalade and juice of ½ orange into a small pan and set aside to make a glaze later.
Put all the other ingredients for the pudding batter into a food processor, process them and then pour and scrape the batter into the buttered dish, smoothing the top. If you’re not using a processor, cream the butter and both sugars by hand or in a freestanding mixer, beat in the marmalade followed by the dry ingredients, then the eggs and finally the orange zest and juice.
Put in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes – though give a first check after ½ hour – by which time the sponge mixture will have risen and a cake tester will come out cleanish. Remove from the oven and leave in the dish.
Warm the glaze mixture in the pan until melted together, then paint the top of the sponge, letting the chunks or slivers of peel be your sole, unglinting decoration on top of the mutely gleaming pudding-cake. Know that this sponge will keep its orange-scented warmth for quite a while once out of the oven, so you could make it before you sit down for the main course.
Use a large spoon or cake slice (or both) to serve, and put a jug of custard or cream on the table to eat with.

Colman's of Norwich Mustard


Although this product is over 200 years old, it is terribly modern, it could join the ranks of "beetroot soil" and "porcini powder" as being cutting edge,maybe re-branded as golden mustard dust?  A great store cupboard ingredient, a teaspoonful to boost a cheese sauce, one of the essential spices in Piccalilli and mixed with vinegar, sugar, salt and a dash of cream makes a fabulous retro dressing to serve with hard boiled eggs or gravadlax.

👌 Use with equal quantities of mustard powder, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano and flaky sea salt as a dry rub for chicken or pork. Or use this rub for crispy oven baked chicken.

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken
Serves 4 to 6

1.5 kg of chicken pieces on the bone.
500 mls of buttermilk
3 tablespoons of mustard dry rub, see above
2 beaten eggs
2 cups of crushed corn flakes
black pepper

Place the chicken pieces in a large plastic bag, pour in the buttermilk to coat all of the chicken. Seal bag and leave in fridge to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 2 days. Pre-heat oven to 200 C, 400 F and lightly oil a large baking sheet. Remove chicken from the buttermilk and wipe as much of it off as possible using kitchen paper. Prepare 3 dinner plates, one for the spices, one for the beaten eggs and one for the corn flakes. Dredge first in spice mix, then eggs, then crumbs. Place the coated chicken on the baking sheet, grind over some black pepper and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden with clear juices. Serve with homemade coleslaw.

👌 In season this month, mussels, blood oranges, oysters,mackerel cauliflower and rhubarb, but the rhubarb is hideously expensive so maybe wait a few weeks for that.


Have a great week and let's hope for a less interesting time.

LOVE FOOD X












Monday, 3 October 2016

Harvest Will Preserve Us



Lovely to be heading towards a "New Year" again and taking advantage of the end of summer harvest. Tomatoes are at their peak now, sweet, plentiful and cheap. Perfect if you have a glut of them in the garden or like me, have a fab market where I can get 5kg of tomatoes for a fiver. Same goes for peppers, cucumbers and courgettes. Store the tomatoes for the winter using Marcella Hazan's , classic tomato recipe and keep them in 250ml/ 1 cup portions in the freezer. One of my go to mid-week dishes is this tomato curry.

Quick Tomato Curry
Serves 3 - 4 
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
1 heaped tablespoon of curry paste, I use a madras one
2 cups of tomato sauce, no need to defrost
Oil of your choice
Salt, pepper, sugar

In a large frying pan, on a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and the chopped onions.
Cook for 3 or 4 minutes before adding the ginger, turmeric, garlic and curry paste, give a good stir and reduce the heat and cook for another few minutes then add the tomatoes. As soon as the tomatoes start to defrost render some liquid, increase the temperature to completely cook through the curry. Taste and adjust season to your liking, add a little sugar if too sharp.
This is a great accompaniment to grilled lamb chops or over steamed cauliflower for those Paleo or low carb people. I love it poured over a bowl of fresh spinach with a dollop of plain yoghurt and homemade naan bread.

And tackle those cucumber mountains with a lovely recipe, slightly adapted, from Jane Grigson´s English Food .

Cucumber Ragoût
Serves 4
2 cucumbers, sliced into rounds, unpeeled
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
125 mls of chicken stock
50 mls of white wine
2 rounded teaspoons of plain flour
Butter, softened to room temp.
Salt, pepper, mace ( or nutmeg )

In a large saucepan, brown the cucumbers in a teaspoon of butter, pour off excess liquid, add another teaspoon of butter and the onion and cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onions are taking on a little colour. Add the stock, wine, a pinch of salt, pepper and mace or nutmeg. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables until cooked, about 10 minutes should do it. Mix 2 teaspoons of softened butter with the flour, add this mixture bit by bit into the vegetables, stirring gently so that the juices become a thick sauce. Adjust seasoning and serve. Good with roast chicken or a piece of pan fried fish.
You can substitute courgettes with the cucumber. This freezes well and can also be topped with seasoned bread crumbs and browned under a grill for another variation. 

As much as I love to pickle stuff, saving the best of the harvest doesn´t necessarily mean setting up a canning factory in the kitchen, use your fridge and freezer for low fuss preserving.

Top Tips For the Harvest

1. Wash fruit and veg (not soft fruits) in a sink filled with cold water with a handful of salt dissolved in it before using. Should remove a good amount of dirt, wax and some pesticides.

2. Picked a peck of peppers? Well skip the pickling, roast them. Wash, cut them in half, remove the core and seeds. Place in a shallow roasting pan, cut side up, liberally add olive or local rapeseed oil, some rosemary and or some garlic skin on and roast at 180 C until soft and unctuous. Allow peppers to cool, remove herbs, place in a clean jar or plastic container with a well fitting lid. Cover the peppers with the roasting juices, top up with more oil to cover and store in fridge, 1 to 2 months.

3. There are still some beautiful stone fruits around, peaches, plums and apricots.
De-seed and freeze them as is. When you have time, defrost to make a sauce or a puree to serve with warm, with ice-cream. Or try making a fruit liqueur .

4. Get together with friends and neighbours to buy a few cases of fruit and vegetables. That way you all a get bargain and a variety of produce to play with.

5. Make super quick Scandi pickled cucumber by warming 2 cups of white wine vinegar, 200 grams of white sugar, a bunch of fresh dill or 2 tablespoons of dried, a couple of cloves, together until sugar is dissolved, pour over thinly sliced cucumber while hot. Chill in a clean, sealed container in the fridge. Serve with everything. They´re delicious.

Harvest festivals are happening now and The Trussell Trust  has launched it´s annual Combined Harvest Appeal. The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 food banks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line. Click the link and see what you can do to help.


Love Food X

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Carrots

What's Up Doc ?

The carrot. To some people, the most pedestrian of vegetables. Not me, I love 'em. Wild carrots, purple ones were originally found in Afghanistan and a yellow variant of it, migrated to the Mediterranean during the 11th to 14th century. They reached China, India and Japan between the 14th and 17th century. The Chinese were particularly impressed by it's nutritional value and called it "little ginseng". The Dutch, those well known funsters, bred from the pale variants and brought us the familiar orange variety.
Perhaps driven by chefs wanting to deliver new flavours and textures, a resurgence in the cultivation and availability of heirloom carrots benefits us all. Even the big supermarkets had purple ones last year for Halloween, so give them a try when you see them.
Organic carrots are available widely in the UK now at a very affordable price, worth spending the extra few pence.



Moroccan Carrot Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
3 large carrots, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil or cold pressed rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon of cumin
half a teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of dried currants or sultanas
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley or coriander
salt, dried chilli flakes to taste

Combine all of the ingredients and adjust seasoning if needed.Chill for at least half and hour before using. Any leftovers can be upcycled to make carrot falafels or spicy carrot and potato rosti.
Carrot falafels - Use equal quantities of drained carrot salad and dried, soaked overnight, not cooked, chickpeas. Put the chickpeas in a food processor with a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of cumin, coriander and some chopped parsley and whizz. Add the drained carrots, whizz briefly again. Add a tablespoon of cornflour and a good pinch of salt, whizz again until mixture is combined. Form into egg sized balls and bake or deep fry until golden.
Spicy Carrot and Potato Rosti - Drain leftover carrot so that it's as dry as possible.Peel and grate a large spud. Using a clean tea towel, squeeze out all the moisture from the potato. Finely chop a green chilli and a couple of spring onions. Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle over some nigella seeds or some black mustard seeds if you have them to hand, a large pinch of salt and mix. Squeeze into small handfuls so that the mixture stays together, fry slowly in a mix of butter and olive oil until crispy on both sides. Serve with poached eggs, loads of fresh coriander and a splodge of hot sauce. Yum!

Image BigOven


This recipe is belongs to my fabulous mother and is a family favourite. A very moist cake that freezes well. Serve naked or topped with cream cheese icing. Whip together 300 grams of sifted icing sugar with 50 grams of soft butter, add 125 grams of cream cheese and beat well. Ice cake when it is completely cold.

Margaret's Seriously Good Carrot Cake

Pre-heat oven to 150c fan

3 cups of grated carrots
450 gram can of crushed pineapple ( you may only be able to get rings, just give them a squish n include the juice)
2 heaped cups of self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
4 large eggs
2 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil


Line a 9 in /23 cm spring form pan with baking paper.
Mix carrot, pineapple, cinnamon, eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl until well combined. 
In a separate bowl sift the flour and bicarb together and add to wet ingredients and gently mix together.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 - 60 mins. Test with a skewer at the 45 minute mark to see if the centre is baked. Return to the oven if skewer covered in wet batter.

5 Top Carrot Tips

1. Store carrots wrapped in kitchen paper, in the refrigerator. Chop off green tops
if they have them, they'll last longer.
2. Confit sliced carrots in carrot juice and butter for extra carroty flavour.
3. Carrots love family, so work really well in combination of one or more of their with relatives, fennel, parsley, caraway, cumin and dill.
4. Make you own carrot batons, those pre - cut ones from the supermarket taste like cardboard. It takes no time at all to cut fresh ones, you& yours deserve better!
5. Roast, sliced extra large/old carrots, in the oven, it will concentrate the flavour and you'll overcome the woodiness.

Love Food, Love Carrots X



Monday, 26 October 2015

Menu Monday 26th of October




In honour of the new Bond film being released in the UK today, a little Bond on this week's
Menu Monday. Although you don't see Bond eating very much in the movies, he does stop for the odd bite in the books by Ian Fleming. In fact, Fleming was quite the foodie for want of a better word.

Monday 
We'll still be doing our regular #MeatlessMonday but with some fitting indulgence to mark the opening night of Spectre with Scrabbled Eggs with Black Truffle

Tuesday
Something 007 might have at his club Dover Sole with Champagne Sauce, for economy's sake, you can substitute Dover sole with any fresh flat fish and the champagne with a good sparkling wine or cider. Still tastes delicious.

Wednesday
From his hijinks in Japan, the tasty, Niku- Jaga a  Beef Stew , one for the slow cooker.

Thursday
What may now be one of the most hipster photographed foods on Instagram, mostly smashed and on sourdough toast,in Fleming's day, the avocado was as exotic as Bond's Nemeses. Tonight we'll feast on very modern  Avocado with Smoked Salmon and Feta.
Friday
End the week with some oh so spicy Jerk Chicken from Fleming's beloved Carribean and to drink...a Martini, shaken not stirred of course.

Love food X
And for more Menu Monday ideas visit Orgjunkie.com






Wednesday, 7 October 2015

8 Things I've Learnt This Week




It's been one of those weeks...you know that suspicion that the world and your body has turned against you? Well my intuition has been pretty keen lately. I am, however, drawing upon all of my, "dawning of Aquarius", patchouli anointed, tree-hugging, higher self to try to put a positive spin on things. For better or for worse I am going to share what I have learnt this week.

1. Do not attempt to put your glasses on with the same hand you are holding very sharp keys in.

2. Torn ligaments are painful. A strong back is like money in the bank. Ask someone else to pick up stuff. Even pay them to do it. Have deep tissue massages, often.

3. Hazel nuts are native to the United Kingdom .

4. This recipe for Saffron Orzo, is my ultimate comfort food,it might be yours too if you give it a try, all my thanks to The Lean Times for introducing it to me. *bighugs*

5. This is a really good recipe for Lemon Cordial, make some for Christmas presents.


6.



7.  Making perfect houmas/ hummus/ houmous - 1 can of chickpeas ( 400 grams ) plus 1 tablespoon of tahini plus 1 fat clove of minced garlic plus juice of one lemon, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, half a teaspoon of seasalt, half a teaspoon of cumin. Blitzed. Serve with pitta.

8. I've improved my BBQ sauce, thanks to my lovely friends ( guinea pigs ) for putting up with the updates!
                                                    Best Ever BBQ Sauce

Makes approx 1 cup

2 tablespoons of Maille Honey and Balsamic Mustard
200 mls of tomato ketchup
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika


Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
For chicken , make deep slashes with a sharp knife in the pieces and cover with sauce. Allow to marinate a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Bake covered in foil at 180 C for 15 minutes, then remove foil, baste with sauce and cook for a further 15 minutes or until meat juices run clear. Serve with crunchy coleslaw and any leftover sauce.

Have a blissful rest of the week and watch your backs!

LOVE FOOD X

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Groove Is In The Moves

Dance, Dance, Dance!

We are gently stepping over hump day and in the UK, counting our blessings because, whisper it... & cross all your digits, we appear to be having an Indian summer.
I had a lovely lunch with a friend on Monday, OUTSIDE, drinking Rosé in ENGLAND in Autumn!!! A few easy recipes to get you through to the weekend. Hope you give them a go and if you do, drop me a wee comment, the good, the bad and the brutally honest! Not too brutal, am really a bit of a  closet wimp.






Chicken with Braised Baby Leeks, Whole Grain Mustard Glaze
Serves 4.
8 chicken thighs, skin on
12 baby leeks
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
1 heaped tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon of butter
salt and pepper
Cut the leeks in half lengthways and rinse well to remove any grit. Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan/skillet and put on a medium heat. Cook the chicken skin side down for 10 minutes or until golden brown. In the meantime, mix together the remaining oil, the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl.Turn the chicken over and cook for a
further 10 minutes, lowering the heat slightly. Remove the chicken and keep warm, dispose of the excess fat, return to the heat and add the butter. Place the leeks cut-side down and cook until lightly golden, turn and cook the other side and add in the mix of oil, vinegar and mustard. return the chicken to the pan and spoon over the pan juices. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, the juices should run clear, and serve.

Super luxurious and super quick! This open lasagne matches succulent prawns with creamy tarragon mustard. If you can't get your hands on good prawns, monkfish or chicken oysters will do the job with aplomb. Tarragon is a very special herb, it’s medicinal uses range from curing toothache to warding off mad dogs. French tarragon has a unique, attractive flavour. The fresh green leaves have a very appetising warm taste that seems to contain pepper, balsam and anise. The flavour is similar to fennel and works wonderfully with seafood. Serve with a green salad and a chilled bottle of Gewürztraminer.


Prawn and Tarragon Open Lasagne
Serves 2

4 sheets of lasagne, dried or fresh
200 grams of uncooked prawns, roughly 8 large prawns per person
200 grams Crème fraîche
1 tablespoon tarragon mustard
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of dried tarragon or 2 of fresh, chopped finely
1 teaspoon honey or a pinch of caster sugar
butter
olive oil

salt and pepper


In a large frying pan or wide bottomed saucepan, start to boil some water for the lasagne.
Cook the prawns in a little butter and oil, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Mix together the Crème fraîche, mustard, honey and mayonnaise and warm gently in a small saucepan.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Add a little olive oil to the boiling water and cook the lasagne until al dente, about 6 minutes for
dried pasta, 3 minutes for fresh.
Warm your serving plates, drain the lasagne. Place one sheet of pasta on each plate, divide the
prawns between them, topped with the tarragon sauce and the other sheet of lasagne.
Add a drizzle of olive oil, some more tarragon and serve with the remaining sauce in a separate bowl.




And for something a little sweet and naughty, one of my favourites, a Pornstar Martini , passionfruit, vodka, Prosecco, tropically tripping you towards the weekend.

Have a great rest of the week, groovin', wherever you are.

Love Food X

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Something For the Weekend

Melina Mecouri in Never on a Sunday perfect for the weekend though!
September has been a busy month already, with kids in the northern hemisphere going back to school, the celebration of Jewish New Year , the Rugby World Cup, my twins turning 14 and with that, the 14th anniversary of  9/11. What a time that was...The weekend is upon us, let us spend a little more time reflecting,counting our blessings, reaching out, making food and nourishing ourselves and our loved ones. I think these few uncomplicated recipes do that, with very little stress and very little expense.


Minestrone Soup

 
Autumn Minestrone Soup

I always feel a bit dubious writing a recipe for soup, as it is generally only a matter of throwing some compatible ingredients together in a large pot and boiling away until dinnertime. However, a lot of people I talk to, particularly students that I'm surrounded by, have never made soup from scratch and maybe a recipe helps them to realise it's no biggie. The key to a good minestrone is to keep it tasting fresh,each vegetable discernible and not turning it into a gallumph of over-cooked sludge. Sludge is okay when you're making something like oxtail soup but not when you're trying to capture the last of the summer in a bowl of loveliness! * Roughly chopped means choose the size you can manage to cut easily but try to keep them the same rough size so that they cook at the same rate.

2 roughly chopped onions
 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 Courgettes, roughly chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes, or 6 medium fresh ones, chopped roughly
1.5 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
200 grams of cavolo nero or curly kale, sliced into ribbons
1 can of borlotti, butter or canellini beans
1 cup of cooked pasta, smaller types for preference
4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan 
Olive oil
 Butter
Parsley
Salt and Pepper, a pinch of sugar

In the roomiest pot you have, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of butter together over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes. Turn the heat up slightly and add the tomato paste. Cook the bejeezus out of it, then reduce the heat and add the courgettes. Fry for a few minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and stock. Cook for 15 minutes at a simmer. Add the cavolo nero or kale, ( you could use savoy cabbage instead ), the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season with a little salt, lots of pepper and a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. if you have used fresh, ripe tomatoes, you might not need to add sugar but most canned ones are slightly too sharp for most people's palates. Add the cooked pasta to the pot when ready to serve, heat through then put into bowls and top with a spoonful of Parmesan and some chopped parsley.




Goat Cheese, Lentil and Beetroot Salad
Serves 4 hungry people as a main course

For the lentils
1 cup of Puy lentils
1-2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 star anise
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or half a fresh chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of honey
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
chopped parsley, dill or mint
salt and pepper
For the beetroot salad
400 grams of cooked baby beetroot, fresh or pickled
200 grams of Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons of finely diced red onion
2 heaped tablespoons of horseradish sauce
( If you are lucky enough to get hold of some fresh horseradish, grate 1 tablespoon, add a teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of sugar or wee drizzle of honey, and mix together )
salt and pepper
For the goat cheese croutons
150-200 gram goat cheese log
4 pieces of thickly sliced bread cut into 1 large disc per person or 3 small ones as per photo.
olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme


Cook the lentils on a moderate heat with the one cup of stock and the star anise until al dente, adding more stock as the lentils absorb the liquid. Remove from the heat and take out the star anise. Allow to cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Add the oil, chilli and sliced onion to a small pan and cook for a minute over a medium heat, just to release their flavours. Add the honey, mustard, olive oil and vinegar.
Stir the mixture into the lentils, taste and adjust the seasoning.  Add a little salt and pepper if needed, stir thoroughly then divide between 4 plates. You'll need to slice enough thick rounds of of goat cheese to top croutons approx 12 pieces. Grill bread discs on one side until golden, turn over and place cheese, a few thyme leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil on each crouton and brown under grill on a medium heat. While that's happening, make the beetroot salad, combine all the ingredients, season to taste and put a few spoonfuls in the middle of each plate. Spread the love and distribute the croutons, you can top with some lovely rocket or some mixed leaves but toss in a little oil and vinegar first. Undressed leaves give me the shivers!

Some wonderful things to look forward to before we hit Christmas and I hit the beach!! Will fill you in on that soon, I know " can't wait! " is SO over-used but really I can't wait!!

Check out Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy, Kew Gardens are doing an Autumnal Flavour Experience and the Aldeburgh Food and Drink festival takes place on the 26th & 27th of September .

Chat soon.

Love Food X





Friday, 22 May 2015

Spring Back, Fall Over?

Spring has Sprung!



It is spring in my part of the world, well today it is anyway, always a little doubtful in May in the U.K but I am making hay while the sun shines.
Actually I am making kimchi, the whole place stinks of cabbage!! 
Kimchi is a Korean spicy fermented cabbage used as a piquant side dish but can be incorporated into loads of different dishes. 
First you salt cabbage for 12 to 24 hours, then you can bottle it and hopefully the smell will be held captive by the jars.

Carrots, spring onions,ginger,garlic &daikon radish for Kimchi


I'm sort of using this recipe from Mr Momofuku, the funny and talented David Chang. His is here. I added a whole mooli/daikon radish, julienned and used dried chilli flakes instead of chilli powder as I have about a kilo of them hanging around. Bought them for £1 from the Indian spice shop.Bargain.

I used 3 by 700 gram pickle jars, and topped up the jars with extra brine made by dissolving 2 teaspoons of salt, a slug of light soy into 500 mls of water to cover the vegetables. You can use them after only a day or so but leaving them longer, 2 weeks, will give them a chance to develop more flavour. Great way to use up leftovers and really enjoy the kimchi hit, is in fried rice.
*Day old cooked rice works best but if you have to cook it just before using, try to put the cooked rice in the freezer, spread out on a tray for as long as possible. It will dry out and stir fry without sucking up too much oil.

Home made Kimchi

Kimchi Fried Rice.

Serves 4

2 cups cold, cooked rice, brown short grain ideally
half a cup of cooked chicken/ham/tofu, whatever needs using
a couple of spring onions or one small onion, chopped
half a cup of kimchi, finely chopped & a couple of tbsp of the brine
4 eggs,fried, optional
soy sauce
sesame oil
vegetable oil


In a wok or large frying pan, put a tablespoon of oil. On a gentle heat, cook the onions until softened. Remove the onions and put aside. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the pan and turn up the heat to high. When nice and hot, add the rice. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, add the cooked chicken, heat through then add the kimchi, brine and and a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce to taste. Serve topped with a fried egg. Alternatively, add a couple of scrambled eggs after you have stir fried the rice. And extra kimchi on the side.


Another tasty way to use it is in this idea nicked from head chef Richard Turner of Meatopia Uk and Hawksmoor, simply add a few finely sliced spoonfuls with some good cheddar and it makes a killer filling for an omelette.

Make it this bank holiday weekend and it will be ready to eat on Monday, maybe with a little luck, we'll be able to get outside and do some barbecuing!

Have a great weekend where you are, whatever the weather.

Love Food X










COOL BRITTANIA

British by Google There's always an avalanche of articles published in the new year with predictions of the food and drink that...