Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday lunch

Having spent most of the weekend recovering from Friday night's alcoholic intake (and trying to work out how I achieved the spectacular purple speckly 3 inch bruise and lump on the top of my leg; I do know how my fingers were crushed - C. trod on them when I fell over on the way to Stratford station) I craved a nostalgic lunch from my students days in France.

Saucisson sec, pâté de campagne and mozzarella, tomato and basil salad with fresh bread.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I do find the M&S adverts cloyingly annoying.

'This is not just food. This is M&S food'.

So, I couldn't fail but laugh my head off when my sister told me about the labels amongst the ham on Saturday. 'This isn't just torture. This is M&S torture'.

Apparently, my mum was trying to screw them up and my little sister wondered whether she should tell someone they'd been sabotaged.

I'm just disappointed she didn't take a picture with her phone.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Fishy business

The two men in front of me at the fishmongers Applebee's Saturday morning spent £54 and £46 respectively. I felt something like the poor relation with my £7 piece of smoked haddock. But hey, were their dinners as nice as mine? They'd be hard pushed to better the smoked haddock with cream and broccoli we demolished.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In praise of...celery

Much underrated, celery is a wonderful vegetable braised with onion and carrot in a little stock. Just the accompaniment to roast shoulder of lamb and mash.

The left over lamb will be lovingly crafted into something resembling a pasty for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Comfort Food

Top five:

1. Mash, cabbage and gravy.
2. Stodgy porridge.
3. Double egg and chips.
4. Vegetable dhansak and pilau rice.
5. Mushroom risotto.

I've had all five since Thursday.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hot, hot, hot!

So much food and so little time to blog about it. I had every intention of sharing the best bit about roast chicken last weekend but never quite got round to it. Just in case you're interested it's putting the leftovers into a laksa.

I like to describe it as a Thai soup with noodles and things. I took the basic Nigel Slater recipe (who else?) for pumpkin and tomato laksa and replaced the pumpkin and tomato with... roast chicken. I love it. Most of my favourite ingredients are there: garlic, chilli, coriander, lemon grass. This dish has a definite kick to it.

This Sunday I passed on a dish that takes longer to cook (these are usually reserved for the 'day of rest' for obvious reasons) simply because I forgot to take a joint out the freezer. Standby was pork and spinach curry. Or more accurately spinach and pork curry. I bought a bag of the frozen stuff over the road and chucked a couple of handfuls of the round blobs of spinach in. Fresh spinach decreases. Frozen, I have discovered, increases in size. Still, it tasted good.

Tonight had to be something quick as I left work later than usual. Prawn, cashew nuts and peppers in black pepper sauce with rice in under 20 minutes. (Pictured above). Quicker than a takeaway or heating something up in the oven. (We don't have a microwave).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The perfect potato

For someone who spent ten years as a veggie I have eaten a lot of meat recently. So tonight's dinner is good and simple. Baked potato.

But not any old baked potato. It is true I am ever so slightly obsessed with Nigel Slater but the man is God.

Once the potato is cooked:

Remove immediately [from the oven] and hit it with the side of your hand (wrapped in a tea towel if you would rather not burn yourself), hard enough to split the skin but not so hard that you re-decorate the kitchen. A plume of steam will leave the potato with a rush, leaving the inside a mass of light, powdery, moist fluff. This is where you get the butter out.

Real Food.

Opening the potato in this way makes all the difference to the texture. And it's fun too.