Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Like to lick?

I'm loving these spoon and jewel ice cube trays from Muji - perfect for filling with sweetened strawberry puree for mini ice-lolly nibbles. Summer on a stick.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Watercress, quail's egg and new potato salad

I'm slightly embarrassed to call this a recipe as it's so simple, but it is delicious. There's something very moreish about the eggs, potato and dressing that I can't get enough of. The watercress lightens the dish and gives it a much needed peppery edge which stops it all becoming too rich.

Quail's eggs aren't strictly necessary as hen eggs would work equally well, but they do make it look the part as a light supper starter.


Serves 4 as a starter

150g new potatoes
12 quail's eggs
2 handfuls of watercress
a small bunch of chives, chopped
30g pecorino
3 tbsp creme fraiche or mayonnaise
lemon rind
salt and pepper

1) Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Then boil the quail's eggs by lowering them gently into boiling water and allowing to simmer for 3 minutes. Cool the eggs rapidly by submerging them in cold water, then peel and halve each egg.

2) Mix the creme fraiche or mayonnaise with the lemon rind, lots of black pepper and half of the pecorino which has been finely grated. Now arrange the watercress, eggs, and potatoes on plates, spoon over the dressing, sprinkle over the chives and then shave the remaining pecorino over the top.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Jamie Oliver's Recipease: Knife skills

I'm not always the most coordinated person in the kitchen - I had a close call last month which involved the tip of my nail, a small amount of blood and a lot of cursing. So when a charming man asked if I would go with him for training in knife skills, of course I said yes.

Clapham is pretty close to my neck of the woods in South London and has one of the two Recipease Kitchen and Food shops run by Jamie Oliver in the UK. The other is in my home town of Brighton, which I took as a geographical hint to book myself in.

We arrived - literally - under a dark cloud. The heavens opened on the journey over and having made the rather fatal decision to go on a motorbike we were both completely soaked by the time we got there. But still smiling. Thankfully the store was warm and inviting, with Mr Oliver's tasteful kitchen nicknacks and recipe books scattered around deli-style foods for sale.

Our teacher was very patient as she showed our small group the basics about selecting knives and sharpening, then how to chop, slice and dice the various ingredients for the Thai prawn and mango salads which we later ate. I love that I can now correctly slice an onion - it's all about perfecting the strange hand claw that chefs use to safely slide their knuckles along the chopping surface. I'm not speedy yet, but soon...

My top tip for home cooks: use a teaspoon to scrape the papery skin from ginger, retaining all the juices that sit close to the surface, and also to remove the seeds from fresh chillies. I'm afraid the complexities of the claw cannot be shared here, you will have to discover that one for yourself.

Clapham Junction
48-50 St Johns Road
SW11 1PR

Friday, 17 June 2011

Another Billingsgate day

Another early morning and off to Billingsgate Market at the crack of dawn. There was an unusal blue and pink beast which we found out was a parrot fish - it gave us thick fillets of full-flavoured fish, delicious simply dipped in well seasoned flour and pan fried with a Vietnamese style lemongrass dressing.

The picture above is my friend capturing the beast for his Instagram image blog. Say cheese!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Israeli cous cous with hazelnuts, figs and feta

I'm always looking for new ways to keep my lunchboxes fresh and interesting and this Israeli couscous ticks all the right boxes; it has a more toothsome texture than fine couscous and looks enticing enough to distract me from the lure of the vending machine until 1pm.

This amount makes enough for two (slightly greedy) lunches. I had the first without the feta as a vegan alternative, then gussied it up with some moist, crumbly cheese for the second. The roasted lemon makes a wonderfully mellow citrus dressing - I like to keep a wedge back to squeeze over just before eating.


175g Israeli couscous
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves, but left unpeeled
3 fresh figs
1 lemon, halved
75g hazelnuts
2 tsp dukkah
a small handful of fresh mint
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
olive oil
750ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper

75g feta, crumbled (optional)

1) Stir the pomegranate molasses and 2½ tablespoons of olive oil together in a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, then toss the onion segments, garlic, figs and lemon halves in the mixture. Turn out into a roasting tin, then bake at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 15-18 minutes, until roasted and soft.

2) Meanwhile, bring the stock up to the boil in a saucepan, then simmer the couscous for about 5 minutes, or until it is translucent but still has a little bite to it. Drain and immerse in cold water for a minute, then drain again.

3) Toss the hazelnuts in a teaspoon of olive oil then scatter over the dukkah and toast on a baking tray at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 5 minutes, until golden. Now pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, rip up the mint, and gently stir together with all the other ingredients, squeezing over the juice from the roasted lemons. If you'd like a more substantial meal from this, add the feta.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Fresh mint lemonade

If I were stranded on a desert island in the scorching sun (if only) this is the drink I'd be dreaming of to quench my thirst. Homemade lemonade is pretty much unbeatable on a hot day anyway, but the mint raises this to a heavenly level of refreshing. If mint's not your thing, add a few raspberries instead and turn the whole shebang the most beautiful blush pink. Ahhhh.

Makes 4 large glasses

120ml (½ cup) lemon juice, and 4 strips of the pared rind
8 large leaves of fresh mint
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup water
cold sparkling water

1) Warm the sugar and water together in a small pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then leave to cool. This will be more than you need for this amount of lemonade but it will last for weeks in the fridge.

2) Place the lemon juice and mint in a blender with a splash of the sparkling water, then blend until the mint has broken down. Pour into glasses, top up with sparkling water and ice, then add the sugar syrup to taste. I find that about 4 to 5 teaspoons is about right, but then I like my lemonade on the tart side.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Two little words

from me to you. Why? Because today is the first time that Hunger and Sauce reached 1000 hits in a day.

Last month I realised that it's been a year since my first tentative efforts were sent out into the blogosphere, and since then { H&S } has been a constant source of joy and frustration as I've shared my greedy experiments, garden tribulations, greasy spoons and slap up meals.

I've loved having a reason to try new things and eat more than one smallish person should, and all in the name of a higher purpose [cue choral singing].

As more and more people are reading here I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for keeping me company!

Irv xx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sweetcorn and green chilli salad

I'm always secretly disappointed to arrive at a barbecue to find piles and piles of griddled flesh with no thought of what to eat with it. This spicy salad is the latest weapon in my arsenal against the ubiquitous bag of green leaf salad.

I think the two types of chilli give this a real punch which is needed to stand up against all those strong, smoky flavours from the barbecue. It's great with grilled fish, meats or halloumi - try it in a wrap, warmed on the grill, then filled with sour cream and a handful of herbs.


Serves 6
750g sweetcorn, frozen or cut from fresh cobs
15g coriander
15g mint
2 fresh green chillies
3 spring onions
1 green pepper
the zest and juice of 2 or 3 limes
a small pinch of ground allspice
small pinch of smoked chilli (optional)

sour cream and chopped mint to serve

1) Boil the sweetcorn in lightly salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and allow to cool. Meanwhile, finely chop the green pepper, herbs, spring onions and chillies. If you like a bit of heat, leave the seeds in the chillies, otherwise, remove them.

2) Stir together all the chopped ingredients, sprinkle over the allspice, smoked chilli and lime zest then squeeze over the juice of two of the limes. Season with salt. You may need more juice so add more after tasting if needed.

3) Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a scattering of mint.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Queen of tarts

My contribution to an almost rained-out Bank Holiday weekend barbecue. Grey skies threatened to break for most of the day but there were some precious moments of sun. Plus an effortlessly sunny hostess, which always helps.

There's no great mystery in making a tasty tart; fruit gives that authentic patisserie look, and the combination of sweetened cream with the sharp tang of fresh lemon curd is lipsmackingly good.

I think of this as a pretty low effort/high impact dessert, with lots of possible shortcuts - if you like, buy a pastry case and lemon curd if you're short of time, then simply whip the cream, layer it all up and decorate with raspberries. Then smile widely and pretend it took hours to make.

Serves 10

~for the pastry:
125g cold butter, cut into pieces
210g plain flour
35g ground almonds
100g golden caster sugar
1 small egg, beaten

250ml lemon curd
300ml double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
325g raspberries

1) To make the pastry, rub together the flour, sugar, almonds and butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then slowly add the egg until the mixture comes together into a dough. Chill for an hour, then roll out to 3mm and use to line a buttered 25cm x 3cm deep tart tin which has been base lined with greaseproof paper. Allow the pastry to extend 1 cm above the top of the tin as it will shrink as it cooks. Retain any leftover scraps to patch up the pastry case if it develops any holes during the first baking.

2) Chill the tart for another hour, then prick the base all over with a fork, line the inside with a sheet of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. Once cooled, trim down the top of the case to the level of the tin with a sharp knife, then spread the lemon curd over the base.

3) Whip the cream and icing sugar together until they form soft peaks, and spread over the lemon curd, then arrange the raspberries on top.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...