Hi I love eating meat. It’s great and I am not going to apologise for it. At the same time however, I appreciate a varied and balanced diet and I am well aware of the stark reality: there is no way the planet can sustain […]
So, yesterday was Burn’s Night: an event which became a mild obsession ever since I was fortunate enough to taste this iconic Scottish dish: I’ve always loved Scotland and the Scottish people and this has further fuelled my enjoyment and recognition of this day. I […]
A Resolution isn’t just for January…
Let me get this one off my chest: as laudable as the art of New Year’s resolution forming is, it’s statistically doomed to failure.
January is the worst time to try and effect change in our habits: we are exhausted from over doing it in December, and it is cold and dark and pretty depressing all round! Also, don’t get me started on New Year’s ‘detoxes’. Please!
Personally I know there will be fall out from Christmas and I go easy on myself in early January and let the bad habits carry on and slowly frizzle out.
The second problem about resolutions is that they largely take the form of vague promises to oneself. How is it possible to cash a cheque without a number on it? Much better then, to set clear, measurable goals and to constantly measure and review them throughout the year: no need to set resolutions if you are always on your journey…
I picked up some fantastic Lithuanian scalded rye bread from the lovely people at the Karaway stall in Borough Market yesterday afternoon.
I am not convinced about many of the food fads which are currently fashionable, including the vilification of gluten. I am however, a firm believer in the harm that highly processed foods do to us, including cheap white bread.
The Chorleywood Bread Process was invented in 1961 to allow manufacturers to quickly bake loaves (3 1/2 hours from flour to loaf) which are softer and last longer. However, to achieve this we eschew the natural fermenting processes of sourdough leavening which aids digestibility, and instead a whole host of harmful additives are used.
The bread I purchased uses a sourdough starter, has a lot of Rye in it which is great for your health and the caraway makes it taste fantastic! I really got into rye bread when I visited Copenhagen: an amazing place where you can find the wonderful Smørrebrød everywhere: Danish open sandwiches. I had this for breakfast but this would of course be perfect for lunch.
Lithuanian Rye Smørrebrød with 2 toppings
This recipe is pretty simple. Smørrebrød can take many forms, I am just presenting two toppings I used this morning.
Good rye bread
A ripe avocado
Cut the loaf into 2 fairly thin slices (remember that rye bread is quite dense and filling). Boil the egg to your liking, peel. Toast the rye bread, butter one slice liberally and add marmite to the other slice (to taste).
Add the egg topping to the buttered slice and with a knife spread the ripe avocado atop the
marmited slice. Season with salt and pepper.
To be honest a hard boiled egg would probably be better (who said I was perfect, eh 😉 ), certainly less messy and would be great with a cress garnish on top. The avocado and marmite taste really fantastic: the combination really is so, so good and ok, if you are a marmitophobe then do go without and add salty butter instead I guess…
Happy New Year everybody! Right, it’s that time of year. We have left huge excesses of consumption behind us: both in terms of material goods and of gluttony. In front of us lies atonement for our sins, where we screech on the brakes at least […]
In defence of the humble sprout Hello everyone I hope you had a great Christmas: a time of much eating, drinking and making merry! In all cultures, the various holidays, festivals and celebrations around the world are steeped in tradition and food is very much […]
I’ll be honest: me and the humble cauli have been far from the best of buddies over the years, but of late I’ve tried to make amends (as well as cousin sprout, but more on that another day).
I’m not alone either: just as kale (yet another cousin) was huge a few years ago, one could well argue that 2015 was the year of the cauliflower. Here’s a salad recipe which puts our friend on centre stage. Credit to Yotam Ottolenghi as it is certainly inspired by his work, but I’ve taken his and others’ ideas and made it very much my own. It is certainly a very festive looking dish which is why I have included it today,
Roasting on a high heat keeps the crunch, yet concentrates the flavour as water leaves and adds some smoky notes. We then complement the earthiness of the lead with an earthy yet bright tahini lemon sauce. Finally we sprinkle the festive magic: sweet/tart pomegranate, grassy flat-leaf parsley, a cheeky bit of chilli and a dusting of sesame.
Roasted Caulflower Salad, Tahini Lemon Sauce, Pomegranate
Ingredients (serves 1):
1 medium cauliflower
1 tablespoon light olive oil
salt to taste
seeds of half a pomegranate (or as many or few as you want!)
small handful of flat-leaf parsley
half a large chilli (mild)
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (again, adjust as required)
Tahini Lemon Sauce:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove of garlic
100 ml water
salt to taste
Break up your cauliflower into florets, into a baking tray: I like a variety of sizes: season lightly (remember the tahini sauce will be added later), add the oil and mix. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
When the oven is hot, roast for around 30 minutes. Move the veg around a few times, and take them out when they have browned a bit and have nice bit of charring around the edges (that’s flavour, we love it!).
Meanwhile, whilst our star attraction is getting a tan, let’s do some mise-en-place (fancy restaurant talk for prep).
Let’s make the sauce: add the tahini into the bowl. Squeeze the lemon into it (I love to use a wooden reamer). At this point some serious magic happens as the tahini appears to curdle at first and then crazily thickens: I never get bored of this! Add the cumin, use a press to crush in the garlic, add the water and mix to thin, then season. The tahini should be quite thick: not pourable, yet still liquid.
Now prepare the other ingredients: free the seeds from our pomegranate, cut up the parsley and cut the chilli at an angle.
Once the cauliflower is ready, add it to a bowl and leave. Once cool, add the sauce and mix well. Finally, add to a serving platter, then artfully scatter an abundance of pomegranate seeds, parsley, chilli and some sesame seed rain!
You should now have a very festive looking salad which has a nice bunch of flavours going on: I hope it pleases.
So, it’s been two heavy nights of Christmas partying, and I woke up a little tender, but surprisingly well considering… This (late) morning’s breakfast was cobbled together from things in the fridge, and bits of inspiration from my head. We have some tangy spices here, […]