Posts tagged with ‘food and drink’

Garlicky herby creamed aubergine

A way of cooking aubergines I invented — although it’s pretty similar to various middle-eastern dishes that already exist. This recipe starts by roasting and mashing three large aubergines (eggplants). So if you’ve never done that: basically just chuck the whole aubergines into a hot oven for maybe 45 minutes. They visibly collapse in on themselves. Scoop […]

My new vegetarian lasagne recipe

I don’t see veggie lasagne on menus as much as I used to — the chefs getting more sophisticated with their vegetarian options, I guess — but it used to be an absolute staple. I was never very keen on it, though: the most common recipe was made with roasted vegetables, and to my taste it was just too […]

The 8th annual Christmas stuffing post (and trifle and cake)

This year: a return to the old standby of chestnut and mushroom for the savoury one, and apricot pineapple and ginger for the fruity one. If you really want to details of the recipe, check back to previous stuffing posts. And this year I made a trifle because I’m not a huge fan of Christmas […]

Salty salty goodness

I got a curry delivered tonight, and when I tasted one of the dishes (lamb shatkora, since you ask), I immediately thought ooh, that’s nice, and then a few mouthfuls later I realised that actually, it was badly over-salted. And that in fact they were the same thing: my brain interpreted salt as ‘tastiness’, even […]

Pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies

I roasted some slices of pumpkin (or technically some kind of green pumpkin shaped squash) as a vegetable, and there was some left over. So I invented pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies: It’s a fairly basic cookie recipe with oats, chopped roasted pumpkin and chopped dark chocolate. They’re not the most amazing thing I’ve ever […]

The 7th annual Christmas stuffing post

It’s time for the most pointless Christmas tradition of them all! We’re having goose this year instead of turkey, but naturally I’m doing stuffing to go with it. As usual I’ve made two versions using a base of sausagemeat. Normally they both have sausage, onion, celery, breadcrumbs and egg, but my sister isn’t eating wheat, […]

The cup that cheers but does not inebriate

I can’t tell you how much it cheers me up to know that coffee has never been convincingly linked to any terrible long term health risk. Unlike booze and salt and fat and all the other little indulgences. It’s a shame I don’t seem to be able to drink it after about 3pm if I […]

C19th email scams & adulterated booze

Some less political stuff from P.T. Barnum’s The Humbugs of the World. This is one of several mail scams: The six letters all tell the same story. They are each the second letter; the first one having been sent to the same person, and having contained a lottery-ticket, as a gift of love or free charity. […]

The 6th annual Christmas stuffing post

The annual Christmas stuffing post may be the most pointless of the arbitrary traditions that have accreted themselves onto this blog, but it doesn’t take long to do, and what better time of year for arbitrary traditions? So here we go: As usual, two stuffings both made with a base of sausagemeat, breadcrumbs, onion and […]

Ham

I cooked a ham. Looks good, innit: Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to taste as good as it looks, because I trusted the man who sold it to me when he said it didn’t need to be soaked before cooking, and the little bit I trimmed off to taste was VERY SALTY. Which is […]

Christmas biscuits*

I did some baking yesterday. There’s nothing especially Christmassy about the recipes themselves — ginger biscuits with candied peel and chocolate chip oat cookies — but I did make them sparkly. It’s quite hard to photograph the glitter. It’s actually holographic rainbow sparkles, but in photographs it just looks silver. * Note for Americans: not […]

Belated World Cup food blogging: Algeria

I wasn’t going to do World Cup food blogging for the Algeria gam, because I was out that night at a friend’s house, but as it happens I did a somewhat appropriate dish yesterday because I happened to have the right ingredients. It’s lamb meatballs in an aubergine sauce, and it’s based on a couple […]

World Cup food blogging: USA

Well, that was a bit depressing: not so much because of the result, but the tendency to revert to long balls hoofed up the front, the lack of involvement of England’s wingers, the lack of controlled possession in midfield… all the usual England failings, in fact. Not to mention the further undermining of confidence in […]

Passionfruit tart

The filling is basically Raymond Blanc’s lemon tart recipe with passionfruit instead of lemon. I put the passionfruit through a sieve to get the juice and then put a couple of teaspoons of the seeds back in for decorative effect and a bit of crunch.

Cooking tips: boil potatoes in cold water

Another thing I wish someone had told me when I first started cooking: you should cook potatoes in cold water. Obviously you do need to apply heat, otherwise you just get wet potatoes. The idea is to put them in a pan of cold water and then bring it up to the boil. I think I […]

Everything I Know About Cooking, I Learnt From Making Stew (addendum)

Just another thought that occurred to me while I was cooking this the other day: Food isn’t fashion. I’m always annoyed by the way they present food products in the style section of the Sunday paper: a stylish-looking package of olive oil/chocolate/wine floating in white space to tempt shoppers as though it was a new […]

Everything I Know About Cooking, I Learnt From Making Stew (part two)

The first part was very broad-brush stuff: here I get (slightly) more specific. Learning to cook is a lifelong project. Learning to cook is a cumulative process. Some bits of it are widely applicable, but there are also many small pieces of specific knowledge. They aren’t generally complicated or difficult, but there are a lot of […]

Everything I Know About Cooking, I Learnt From Making Stew*

These are some general thoughts about cooking; things I wish someone had told me when I first started. If you’re wondering about my credentials to be handing out that kind of advice… well, I don’t have any. I’m just a keen home cook. So take it with a pinch of salt. Cooking is easy. This […]

Christmas food debrief, bitterns etc

I should note in advance: the bitterns are not part of the food debrief. I daresay they turned up on Henry VIII’s dining table, but not mine. Food notes: the fruity stuffing was good, the pistachio one mainly tasted of parsley and garlic, which was pleasant enough but not very christmassy. The prunes in bacon […]

The 5th annual Christmas stuffing post

As usual, I’ve made a base of sausagemeat, onion, celery and breadcrumbs, and split it into two batches. To one I added dried apricots and dried barberries which I reconstituted in champagne (but only because there was half a bottle of flat champagne in the kitchen). Then a pinch of mixed spice. The second stuffing […]

Mmmm, cured pork products

This is what I have been doing today (well, that and wrapping presents): The ham is from Sillfield Farm, but I steamed and glazed it myself. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, although I know it’s not the most flattering photograph.

4th annual Heraclitean Fire Christmas stuffing post

Because arbitrary traditions are important at Christmas. As usual, I made a base of sausagemeat, celery, onion and breadcrumbs, and also as usual half of it is chestnut stuffing. But this year’s second, ad-libbed recipe has toasted almonds and dried apricots and peaches soaked in amaretto. Now I ought to get on with roasting the […]

Gooseberry liqueur, again

Just a quick update on the gooseberry liqueur I mentioned the other day. I have strained out the fruit and bottled the liqueur. As you can see, it’s a very pale yellow; if anything it’s just slightly greener than it looks in this picture. And it’s very nice — gooseberry tasting, in fact — though it’s definitely […]