Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LETTERS FROM AUSTRALIA part 2


check out the best breakfast for 2, again a tiger mottle of paddington special. the egg was supreme and superior. i'll be making these in the shop as soon as i get home xxx

LETTERS FROM AUSTRALIA

i'm in sydney at the moment, where the sun shines brightly, the food is so amazing i'm currently on 4 meals a day, and the sea the freshest antidote. and there's a beer called Lovells. the coffee from tiger mottle is perfectly flat, the panzanella we made, inspired by lunch at Sofra (a beautiful italian warehouse where we ate this classic bread and tomato salad, frito misto, and stuffed courgette flowers). the food here couldn't be better. always full of clarity, simple concepts and pinger flavours.

SO much more to come xxxxx

Saturday, January 17, 2009

MY! FAST FOOD from the Wing Tai

i'm a sucker for fast food.
isn't everyone really?
if you've been working like a beast and suddenly realise it's 9pm then something pretty quick is required.
and because of this, i made garlic soy green beans (fry the beans with finely diced garlic in vegetable oil and then add some dark soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds), and steamed some frozen vegetable gyoza.
these are crunchy with chestnut and their skin wilts wonderfully. buy a bag and keep them in the freezer for these many rainy days.
washed down with some beautifully packaged jasmine tea, and a bbc four documentary,
i feel again happy and restored after a mamoth day of toil.

get yourself down to the wing tai supermarket. there's one in brixton (13 electric avenue), camberwell (52-54 denmark hill), and peckham (just behind morrison's). thai basil? lemon grass? prawns? razor clams? morning glory? crispy duck? all this can be yours, and a fast food dinner too xxx

Saturday, January 3, 2009

ANOTHER AROMATIC DAY. another brothy way

i bought some oyster mushrooms this morning in the chinese supermarket, so decided they needed some aromatic handling. this soup borrows from raf's chilli chicken aromatic soup but is a little simpler even. rarely it's just me pottering around my little home today so this recipe is for one. i steered clear of chilli because i didn't want to kill the delicate fungus flavours.

1 dsp toasted sesame oil
1 dsp peanut oil
4 thai shallots
2 cloves of garlic
a piece of galangal or ginger
1 pint meaty stock. i used a mixture of oxo and swiss bouillon.
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
100g grey oyster mushrooms
1 leek
3 lime leaves
a small handful of rice noodles.

heat the oils in a medium pan while finely dicing the shallots, garlic, and ginger. fry these for a just a moment before adding the brothy stock and fish and soy sauce. bring the pan to the boil and then add the mushrooms, roughly sliced length ways. allow these to simmer for about 10 minutes until they are beginning to get tender. now finely slice and add the leek and throw in the lime leaves. simmer for a further few minutes before adding a handful of noodles. they will take a few minutes to become snaky and supple. you could garnish with a few coriander leaves, but they make me feel ill i'm afraid.

and then i made some bread and muffins for Haz. ah, it's a hard life.

xxx

DARLING DAL. sweet and sour tamarind type

This is a wonderful cold weather recipe. and cheap to boot. the tamarind injection came from my new madhur jaffrey book (christmas present from my dad) and makes it a sort of west bengal lentil dish for 2. i served it for stav, with basmati rice infused with lots of curry leaves and mustard seeds.

1 cup yellow lentils
5 cups of water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tomatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 dried hot chillies
a thumb of ginger or galangal
2 garlic cloves
1 leek
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp thick tamarind paste (made by helen's fair hand. thanks!)
2 tsp caster sugar

put the lentils water and turmeric in a pan and bring to the boil. chop the tomatoes roughly and add. simmer for about 40 minutes partially covered, until the lentils are soft and floury but retain a nutty quality. most of the water should be absorbed.

now in a frying pan heat the oil on a medium flame while finely slicing the chillies, and dicing the ginger and garlic. add these to the pan and gently fry. now slice the leeks finely and add these. spoon in the lentils, adding salt to taste. now finally dissolve in the tamarind and sugar (about equal parts so that they balance one another).

et viola. a cheap winter warmer. bitter sweet like january.

Friday, January 2, 2009

PIE FOR LADIES.


i made a pie for the dolly birds with a few leftovers from the season of illness and overeating. chicken with artichokes. it was delicious.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

CLEANSING TIME AT THE ZOO. a perfect noodle soup

now that christmas is over it's defo time for some cleansing food. luckily before raf daddy went to ghana he taught me how to make a cleansing chicken noodle soup with lots of aromatics. it's totally addictive, added to which, most of the ingredients can be frozen, which really cuts down on wastage. it's got galangal (thai ginger), holy basil, mint, birds eye chillies, enoki mushrooms, lime leaves (really key), little pink shallots, vermicelli noodles and poached chicken. tuck in!

all you do is poach some chicken pieces in water with a handful of the herbs, 4 or so shallots, ginger and chillies. when it's cooked through, remove all the floaters and the chicken leaving just the stock. now shred the chicken into strands and return to the stock. add another batch of the herbs, shredded, ginger, chillies and shallots (these 3 diced or sliced into small batons) and also mushrooms. bring the broth back to the boil and add some vermicelli noodles. simmer adding a little fish sauce, until the noodles are moistly cooked and ready to roll. salt.

health and happiness xxx