Monday, 31 January 2011

Feeling fruity

I made a classic lemon tart as the alternative pud for my Chinese New Year party this weekend - just exchange the lime for lemon in this recipe to try it.  This version is a bit of a winner with really crumbly, melt in the mouth pastry and a tangy cream inside.

I liked it a lot but it made me wonder why it couldn't be done with lime? Well I tried it, and it's delicious - rich, fragrant and citrussy.  As a bonus, it's one of those pastries that makes the house smell wonderful while you cook!  These would be an elegant addition to a no-holds-barred afternoon tea, or simply with a dollop of cream as a refreshing after supper treat.

Makes 4 individual tarts

~for the pastry:
25g icing sugar
40g room temperature butter
1 egg yolk
85g plain flour
1 tablespoon water

~for the lime filling:
3 medium eggs
90ml double cream
90g golden caster sugar
60ml lime juice (about 2 fat juicy limes)
the rind of one large lime, zest only, white parts removed

1) First make the pastry by creaming together the butter and icing sugar with half of the egg yolk, then add the flour and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water and bring together into a ball, and refrigerate for half an hour. Roll out to 2mm and use to line four 12cm greased tart tins, leaving some overhang on each tin. Prick the base of each tart with a fork a few times to prevent it from rising.

2) Lay a piece of greaseproof paper over each tin, then fill the tins with baking beans (or dried beans) and bake at 325f/170c/gas mark 3 for 10 minutes, then removed the paper and beans, and bake for another 15 mins. Brush each one with the remaining egg yolk and return to the oven for a final 2 minutes.

3) To make the filling: whisk together all the ingredients in a large saucepan except the sugar and lime zest. Use a spice grinder to finely grind the zest and sugar, then whisk into the egg mixture. Whisking all the time, gently heat the mixture over a low flame until it thickens slightly, then pour into the tart cases and bake at 275f/140c/gas mark 1 for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool before trimming the pastry down with a knife.  Serve dusted with icing sugar and scattered with a few thin slices of lime zest.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Well begun is half-done

Oh dear. Chinese new year is coming up in a week and, as I'm indulging my Chinese half this year with a new year celebration, I feel I should follow through with some of the other traditions including the extremely thorough New Year spring clean. Gulp.

I'm going to start with getting a ladder out to wipe away the splash of thai green curry paste that flew up onto the kitchen ceiling back in November and see where that leads me...

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Star of the show

Star anise are the aniseedy spice that add a warming kick to a huge range of Chinese dishes. They'll be delicious in the jai (a sort of fragrant vegetarian stew) I'm making this weekend for a Chinese new year party, but they lose their flavour quickly after grinding so are generally sold whole.

I'd usually toss them into a dish just as they are then eat around them, but since I don't want my unsuspecting guests to chow down on a spice bomb I'm spending some time tonight picking and grinding these little beauties into submission.  Rock and roll.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My cherry amour

Lamingtons are squares of sponge cake, dipped in a chocolatey coating and then rolled in coconut. Very dainty, and just right for an afternoon tea with a pot of earl grey. They're popular in Australia, but not that well known in the UK.  I remember having them when I was younger but they seem to have disappeared from the vocabulary of English cooking - I can't be alone in having had these?

An Aussie friend kindly allowed me a precious Cherry Ripe bar from her stash smuggled back from Brisbane, prompting this marriage of Australian institutions (for those not in the know, a Cherry Ripe is a bar of cherry and coconut dipped in dark chocolate, very moreish, perhaps a little like our native Raspberry Ruffles).

Makes 16

85g room temperature butter
100g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
165g plain flour
2½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
85ml milk
200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp cherry jam
200g dessicated coconut

1) Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs, vanilla and milk. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then gently fold into the egg mixture.

2) Pour the mixture into a 20x20 square cake tin, and bake at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool, then slice into three layers horizontally. Spread the layers with cherry jam, then restack and trim away the edges of the cake to neaten it up. Now divide the cake into 16 squares of cake.

3) Place the coconut into a shallow dish and set aside. Break the chocolate into cubes and melt in a glass bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, then dip each square of cake first into the chocolate and then into the coconut. Leave to set on a tray covered with greaseproof paper.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Flatbread pizzas with olive, basil and feta

A disclaimer: these are not authentic pizzas. I take no responsibility for angry Italians snatching these travesties and dashing them to the floor as they sob into their mama's apron at the horror of it.

They are however quick and easy to make and quite scrumptious. And pretty adaptable to any tasty things you have in your fridge, for instance: goat's cheese, walnuts, caramelised red onion and rocket is just lovely. I would recommend adding something green and leafy at the end of cooking as it adds a bit of freshness and vibrancy to the whole thing.

Serves 2

1 large lavash flatbread

~for the sauce
400g tin plum tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
½ fresh red chilli, chopped

~for the topping
½ fresh red chilli, finely chopped
100g feta, crumbled
a dozen black olives, pitted and torn into large pieces
4 tsp pesto
extra virgin olive oil
a small bunch of basil, roughly torn

1) Make the sauce by frying the onions in the olive oil over a low heat for ten minutes, then adding the garlic and chilli. Sautee for a further 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes before blending until smooth.

2) Place a lavash bread onto a rimless baking tray, and spread over a thinnish layer of sauce. The recipe above provides enough for two flatbreads. Then simply scatter over the pizza toppings, dotting the pesto around the other ingredients, and saving the basil to be added after cooking.

3) Preheat the oven to 450f /230c/ gas mark 8 then slide the flatbread off the tray and directly onto a high shelf in the oven and cook for around 8-12 minutes, until crispy on the bottom and slightly singed around the edges. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil, add the torn basil and cut into squares.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Cod it be magic?

I love nutty little puy lentils.  They're so quick to cook and ridiculously good for you, which is a bonus if you've mainly eaten cake for the last couple of days.

This dish has really toothsome textures, the rough lentils and crunchy kale making a good foil to the tender cod.  My new favourite supper!


2 chunky pieces of cod/ hake/ halibut or other meaty white fish
15g butter and 3 tsp light olive oil
80g finely sliced kale
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
80g puy lentils
1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, and 500ml water
1 bay leaf

~for the tapenade
½ cup kalamata olives
¼ cup capers
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns, soaked in water, preferably overnight
1 anchovy fillet
2 tsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1) First place the lentils, bay leaf, bouillon and water into a pan and simmer over a medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes.  When the lentils are cooked, drain in a sieve and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, make the tapenade by roughly chopping the peppercorns on a large board with a very large knife.  Place all the other ingredients, except the lemon juice and oil, onto the board and chop together until well mixed but while it still has some texture.  Place in a bowl and stir in the oil and lemon juice.

2) Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a pan (which has a lid) and fry the garlic for a minute before adding the kale and a tablespoon of water.  Steam over a medium heat for abotu 5 minutes, until the kale has softened, then stir into the lentils.

3) Heat the remaining oil and butter in a frying pan until frothy then add the cod, spooning the juices over as the fish cooks.  Spoon some of the lentil and kale mixture onto two plates, follow with a cod fillet, and top with a few spoons of the tapenade.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I don't need you but I want you

Am I the last one to know about Supermarket Sarah?

I only clocked her genius mix of eclectic homewares and fashion at the new shop in Selfridges last week.  Trained as a graphic designer, she has a true magpie eye for cute and kitschy objet d'art, and curates her finds into 'walls' which can be found on her website.

The site pulls together a joyfully random array of objects; this Mr Jones Cup (top) by designer Polly George has a deliciously sinister sense of humour - the wicked child in me would love to surprise someone with the little head popping out of their morning coffee.

I also love Helen Turner's Sweet Jesus Tea Cosy, gently irreverent and crafted with love.  I think it would make me smile to see it on the breakfast table each morning.

It's hard to pick just one of the walls as a favourite but as a pet-deprived city-dweller her collaboration with Garudio Studiage strikes a chord.  Though if I was going to have a fantasy pet, I'd go for the lion cub.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sweet potato cupcakes with burnt sugar frosting

Oh my.

These were supposed to be an experiment, a way of using up a surplus of sweet potatoes that I have somehow accumulated. They were not intended to be as moreish and tasty as they are.

Fresh from the oven these cupcakes have a delicate crust and moist, fluffy interior. I baked them at midnight and somehow managed to polish off two before falling asleep. There's really no need to add the burnt sugar frosting, but because it's so finger-lickin' delicious, I did.

Makes a dozen cupcakes

75g room temperature butter
190g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, separated
½ cup of cold, steamed (or microwaved) sweet potato, well stirred
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

~for the frosting
150ml double cream
3 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp water

1) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then beat in the egg yolks, sweet potato, yoghurt and vanilla. Sieve in the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and fold into the batter.

2) Now whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold into the cake mixture. Spoon into 12 muffin paper cases, and bake for 18-20 minutes at 375f/ 190c/ gas mark 5, until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

3) Allow the cakes to cool. Meanwhile, you can make the frosting: beat the cream cheese in a bowl until really smooth, then place the sugar in a small pan. Heat without stirring until it has formed a dark caramel syrup, then carefully add the water and shake the pan a bit to encourage it all to melt together.  Pour onto the cream cheese and beat in thoroughly. Add the cream and beat the mixture until it thickens to the consistency of veyr soft butter, then use to spread over the cakes.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tea for two


What's better than getting a new job? Why getting a new job and being treated to a celebratory afternoon tea, that's what!  This was the perfect end to a wonderful, unexpected week so my thoughts on Le Chandelier may not be entirely impartial.

Le Chandelier is a traditional tea salon on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich, offering teas plus dainty cakes, pastries and the occasional savoury morsel. I've been in before and eaten a modest portion of sweet nothing with a cuppa, but this was a celebration so we went for the full Afternoon Tea; scones with lovely homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of suitably crustless sandwiches and assorted pastries and cakes.

There is a staggering range of teas including black, green, yellow and white to fruit, herb and floral infusions and some very, very pretty flowering teas which unfurl seductively in the pot before you. I tried the fantastically named Jing Darjeeling Second Flush Supreme and the Vanilla Black Tea, both of which were utterly delicious.

I left feeling well refreshed and rather pampered, though rather envious of their covetable vintage china collection. Le Chandelier is a real oasis of calm and tranquility and perfect for a weekend treat - just don't ask for PG Tips.

Le Chandelier
161 Lordship Lane
London, SE22 8HX

Opening Hours ~
Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am - 6pm
Friday and Saturday 9.30am - 11pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm

Monday, 17 January 2011

Board to tears

It doesn't seem to matter how many I buy, or where I buy them - all my chopping boards eventually succumb to tiny fissures that turn into chasms within weeks.  Very frustrating and of course not very hygienic, so once again I'm on the look out for a new board.

Top of my list are these mangowood boards from Toast, soft edged and organically shaped.  They're perfect for serving as well as preparing food and would look smart in the kitchen. 

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Bellenden Deli-ght

 [bottom two images: Space Group of Architects Ltd]

Apologies for the silence...
I've been exceptionally busy finding out I have a new job - ergo, new wardrobe, new outlook, and no time! From next month I will be joining the illustrious but vaguely geeky crowd at the British Museum in working on a rather large project until 2013. It's an amazing opportunity and one I intend to embrace fully!  To ease back into the old routine it seems apt to write about one of the places I have been lazing in over the last few days as I ponder my future - an ace new hangout in Peckham.

Anderson & Co. is a spanking new cafe and deli on Bellenden Road, officially the 'nice' bit of Peckham. While I admit that while most of the area has a (possibly deserved) reputation for being a little rough around the edges, the Bellenden stretch has been determinedly sandpapering off the edges to present a more palatable face to the world.

The cafe inhabits the previous site of an organic, fair trade shop which never looked hugely enticing so I never ventured in. Lazy I know but hey. It slots in nicely beside posh-choc purveyors Melange, new gastropub The Victoria Inn, and the ultimate sign of gentrification, the sweet dog-grooming parlour. Oh, and those phallic bollards by Brit artist Antony Gormley.

This latest addition seems to be an instant hit; in my totally unscientific analysis (I passed twice on the bus) it was full both times.

The daily-changing menu serves basic, hearty fare like sandwiches, salads and soups, or deli platters made with their lush range of cheeses and cold meats.  I had a well made and intensely flavoured flat white coffee (made with Square Mile beans) but may have to try the cakes or savoury veggie tarts next time, they looked delicious! Everything is reasonably priced and the staff are genuinely friendly and welcoming. Overall it looks set to be a roaring success and my new fave local.
Anderson & Co.
139 Bellenden Road
London, SE15
tel: 020 7459 7078

Currently open 9-5pm, but soon moving to 8-8pm for those 'route to work' coffees

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Green credentials

This refreshing salad makes a sprightly accompaniment to oily fish, so buddies up well with smoked mackerel or salmon.  It's versatile too - try swapping the dill for mint, or adding some tuna and tinned pulses for a quick and healthy lunch.  Just don't call it a detox please.

Serves 2

1 whole cucumber
2 tbsp rice or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1) Shave the cucumber lengthways into long strips, running from top to bottom - avoid the seeded part in the centre as it will make your salad wet.

2) Whisk together all the other ingredients and use to dress the salad. Toss the cucumber well to coat, then pour away any remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Time to hit the road to dreamland...

I've got a big day today, so of course I couldn't get to sleep last night. Sometimes a nice, old-fashioned milky drink is just the ticket to gently ease me off to dreamland.

This sophorific is an adaptation of something a friend gave me many years ago, the main change being that her version used soya milk as she was vegan at the time. I like it with both cows and soya milk, depending on my mood.

Sweet dreams all.

Makes one cup

1 cup of milk
a heaped tsp of honey
6 whole peppercorns
half a cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom pods, lightly bashed so the pod is open
4 whole cloves

1) Heat all the ingredients together until simmering point, then remove from the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for five minutes. Pour through a sieve into a cup, drink, and drift off...

Monday, 10 January 2011

Kipper kedgeree

Is there any greater joy than pressing the tip of your knife into a softly poached egg and watching the golden yolk spill out onto your plate?  To me it's up there with opening a bag of freshly roasted coffee, just heavenly.

I'm afraid I never mastered the art of the perfectly round poached egg, but luckily for me slightly flat, ovalish shaped ones taste just as good.  I know it's customary to use hard boiled eggs in kedgeree but the lure of that rich, runny yolk wins over tradition with me every time.  This makes a good hearty breakfast for a cold winter's morning, but is so intensely savoury and full flavoured that it works just as well at lunch. 

Serves 2

1 cup basmati rice
½ cup petit pois or peas
2 kippers
4 spring onions, chopped
½ lemon
½ fresh red chilli, chopped
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp curry powder
3 tbsp chopped parsley
a large pinch mustard seeds

1) Rinse and drain the rice and place with the peas in a small pan with a tight fitting lid. Add 1½ cups of boiling water and put onto a high heat on the stove. As soon as the rice starts to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes.

2) Now grill the kippers over a medium heat for two minutes on each side, then remove the skin and flake the fish into large chunks.

3) Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the spring onions, chilli and spice for two minutes, then fluff up the rice and add to the pan. Stir the dish well to ensure all the grains of rice are coated in the spices, then remove from the heat, stir through the kippers and parsley, and squeeze over the juice of the lemon. You won't need to add extra salt but may want to grind over a little black pepper.

4) Poach the eggs until softly set, and serve with the kedgeree and an extra wedge of lemon.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Oat cuisine

Ahhh. I rather love the post-Christmas regimen.  It feels incredibly comforting to fall back into my daily routine of a sensible porridge breakfast after weeks of 24/7 sweet treats and chocolate.  Porridge is the clean-living food that will wash away all my festive food sins.  Or at least I hope it will.

I most often go for the type of porridge I had growing up - cooked with just water, then with a dash of creamy milk added at the end. Sometimes I'll throw in a handful of dried fruit or a spoon of maple syrup or muscovado sugar to add some treacly sweetness, but more often than not it's just the basic monastic gruel.

This salty-buttery version is something I had in Russia a few years ago, like a luxe version of the Scots salted porridge. It still has all the necessary wholesomeness but with enriching butter to give it a luxurious boost.  Recommended for those who have written off porridge as a dish for the sweet-of-tooth.

Serves 2

½ cup porridge oats
3 cups water
2 tsp of salted butter
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar

1) Bring the water up to the boil, then scatter in the porridge oats. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, then add a small pinch of salt and sugar. Stir, spoon into bowls and allow the knob of butter to melt into the porridge.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Don't pity the pithivier

Pithiviers are often a sweet treat, filled with an almond frangipane, distinguished by their swirling decoration and a glossy, golden pastry. This version is rich with butter and cream, but if you want to lighten it up, swap the creamed leeks for plain, steamed spinach and serve with a leafy salad.

Salmon, leek and mushroom pithiviers
Serves 4

200g salmon fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
5g butter
a pinch of fresh thyme, chopped
a clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely sliced
1 tbsp double cream
200g puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

1) First prepare the fillings: gently fry the mushrooms in one teaspoon of the olive oil and half the butter with the garlic and thyme for about 15 minutes, until glossy and well browned, then set aside to cool. Now fry the leek in the remaining oil and butter for about 10 minutes, until soft and silky, then add the cream and leave to cool. Season both pans lightly with salt and pepper.

2) Now roll out the puff pastry to 2-3mm and cut out eight, 12cm scallop-edged discs. Lay four onto an oiled, floured tray and brush one side of the pastry with the beaten egg. Then place a spoon of the leek mixture onto the pastry, followed by a piece of salmon then top with some of the mushroom mixture. Now place another disc of pastry over the top, press the edges gently but firmly down to meet the edges of the bottom disc, and score curved lines into the top of the pithivier with a table knife.  Repeat with the rest of the pastry and fillings.

3) Brush the tops of the pastries with egg, then bake at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

All the fun of the fair without the calories

With possibly the worst timing in the world (who's still up for chocolate after working through the Christmas mountain?!) the V&A are hosting a lunchtime walkandtalk looking at our love of the brown stuff.

Hopefully they'll be pulling out some chocotastic objects from the collections like this 'Chocolate' handbag by Moschino (the temptation to lick it must be overwhelming) to illustrate the history of choc going back to the Aztecs.

Go loco for cocoa tomorrow with Barbara Lasic at So noble a confection at 1pm.

Squash and seeds

I love the colours of this warm salad, so beautiful and golden, and how it adds a warming splash of sunshine to the table (and don't we need it - it's been snowing again in London!).

Roasting butternut squash intensifies the sweetness of the flesh so it's nice to have a little charring around the edges to add a grown-up dose of bitterness. The seeds are good for a bit of contrasting crunch, and gussy up the dish with little flecks of green pumpkin and creamy white sesame seeds.

Warm salad of squash, rocket and toasted seeds

2 medium butternut squash
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
50g rocket leaves
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

1) Spread the seeds evenly onto a shallow tray and bake for 5 minutes at 400f/200/gas mark 6. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn!

2) Now peel the squash and cut into roughly one inch chunks, toss in the sunflower oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bake at 450f/230c/gas mark 8 for 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a skewer and a little singed at the edges.

3) Mix the squash, seeds and rocket together in a large bowl, then whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, pour over, and toss. Serve warm, perhaps on the side of some bangers and mash or as a side to a slice of quiche.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Thai spiced fish cakes

Finger food can be tricky to get right - ideally there should be hot and cold options, some veggie of course, with each slipping down in just a bite or two at the most. And all easily made with the minimum of fuss and bother on the night, no flapping allowed.

These spiced fish cakes fulfilled the hot/fish quota for my simple NYE supper, and could be cooked ahead and warmed in the oven for a few minutes in the evening. It's better not to send your guests home with their hair smelling of deep frying if at all possible! Saying that, mine all went home smelling like bonfire.

Serves 6 as a starter

750g firm white fish, such as pollock, cod, haddock or coley
50g french beans, cut into 0.5cm slices
1 stick of lemon grass, topped, tailed and with the outer layer removed, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
the grated zest of a lime
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaf
1 large egg
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tsp demerara sugar
1 tsp green Thai curry paste
½ tsp salt
300ml sunflower oil (or more, depending on the size of your pan)
Sweet chilli sauce, to serve

1) Wash and dry the fish, then blend to a paste in a food processor or using a hand blender. Stir in all the other ingredients then leave to chill and firm up in the refrigerator for an hour.

2) Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and form into patties. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan (it should be about 2cm deep) then fry the fish cakes over a medium heat until golden brown. This should take only a couple of minutes. Drain on kitchen paper, and serve hot with a chilli dipping sauce.

Monday, 3 January 2011

...and the prize for most useless kitchen implement goes to

Ever discovered an object that you'd never even considered there might be a need for? I discovered this Spoon Rest by Nigella Lawson whilst I was mooching around the sales in the lovely spacious Heal's on Tottenham Court Road.

Yes it's sculptural, a pretty shade of red and perfectly easy on the eye, but owning it would be paying for the privilege of washing a spoon rest instead of wiping down a table top.

I sense that it's essentially useless but if you feel you must own one, you can now buy it in the homewares sale.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Nutty nibbles

You may not think it's necessary to write a recipe for nuts but (and forgive me for being forward) you'd be wrong. These are so ridiculously tasty and easy to make that it's no bother at all to bang out a bowl for a party as something to nibble with drinks.

These slipped down all too well with an indecent amount of prosecco and champagne on NYE. The aromatic fennel goes well with a bit of bubbly, and we ended up gobbling the last few for a salty fix after toasting marshmallows over the bonfire.

Roasted nuts with smoked chilli, fennel and rosemary

400g mixed shelled nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans)
1½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp finely ground sea salt
1 tsp smoked chilli flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried rosemary

1) Roast the nuts for 5-10 minutes at 400f/200c/gas mark 6, or until browned. Keep a close eye on them, there's nothing more depressing than having to throw away burnt nuts, the waste!

2) Place the sugar in a very large, heavy bottomed saucepan and melt over a medium heat until translucent, then add the chilli, salt and herbs. Continue to cook for another minute before adding the toasted nuts, then stir the pan vigorously until all the nuts have been lightly coated in the sugary mixture, cooking on the heat for a further minute. Turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and leave to cool.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Food year resolutions

I have a confession to make - I don't believe in new year's resolutions. To drunkenly tell every Tom, Dick and Harry about your intention to visit the gym twice weekly until you can squeeze into a pair of size 6 jeans seems extremely foolhardy. Better to make changes quietly in the normal run of things so nobody notices if it all goes to pot...

But there are things that I intend try this year so here, in no particular order, are my soon-to-be-ruined good intentions for eating in 2011.  Wish me luck!

~1  Shop more in markets, specifically my local markets. It's difficult to find inspiration in Tesco.

~2  Try some Caribbean food. I live in the middle of a very large Caribbean community for pities sake! It's time to get over my fear of the unknown and stretch my boundaries.

~3  Eat more, spend less. I'm afraid this means eating out less, at least for a while.

~4  Never be sorry for trying something worthwhile that goes wrong, a good rule in life as well as in the kitchen.

Manageable? Perhaps.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...