I’m still working my way through that final truckle of Red Leicester. As I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, these savoury scones are my cunning twist on the classic cream tea. I’ve already made a batch for @farmlondon and with not one but two tea parties coming up in the near future; these decadent little delights will most certainly be putting in an appearance.
There’s a fair amount of fromage in the mix so you only need a few teaspoons of oil. They swell up beautifully and the hint of truffle works a treat with the cheese, as does the suggestion of smoky pepper. Split them while they’re still warm from the oven and recklessly smother with the roasted garlic cream and a generous blob of tomato relish. Wash down with a large mug of lady grey. Splendid.
- 500g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 250g red leicester (or any other decent hard cheese), grated
- 2 spring onions, finely snipped
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- lots of black pepper
- pinch of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp truffle oil
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 250 ml whole milk
- 1 egg
for the garlic cream
- 250ml sour cream
- 1 bulb garlic, sliced in half
- a little oil
- a handful of chives
to serve – tomato relish or my personal favourite, some Branston’s pickle.
- weigh out the flour and mix in the baking powder, salt, thyme, cayenne, paprika, spring onions, black pepper and grated cheese.
- Combine the beaten egg, milk and oils in a jug and slowly trickle into the dry ingredients.
- Mix well until a dough is formed. Roll out to about just over an inch thick (make sure you don’t roll too thinly).
- If you want to create a natural “split” in the scone, fold the dough in half, back over itself and lightly roll out again.
- Using a cutter (or an inverted glass) cut out round shapes.
- Place on a well oiled baking tray and brush with milk. Sprinkle with a little more grated cheese.
- Put your garlic halves on a scrap of foil, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Wrap up into a loose parcel.
- Place the scones and the garlic parcel in the oven at 220C/450F/gas mark 8 for about 20 minutes or until the scones are well risen and golden and the garlic tender.
- Put the scones on a rack to cool slightly.
- Mash the roast garlic to a pulp, mix with the chives and stir into the cream.
- Split and smother the scones.
- Serve immediately.
Tangy, aromatic and fresher than a boxfresh pair of hightops, this is a lovely little springtime cuzza. Based on a Keralan pal’s recipe, the layers of nut do make it fairly rich, so you might want to go easy on the oil/tinned milk/flesh if you fancy more of a sour finish. Perfectamente with a hot portion of lemon rice (there’s a fab recipe here- http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-make-lemon-rice) chapattis and a spoonful of mango chutney on the side.
- 2-3 fresh squid, cleaned and hacked into rings (tentacles included)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 fresh coconut, cut into thin slices
- 250ml coconut milk (you could use the water from the fresh coconut for a lighter result or tinned coconut milk for a richer finish – I used a mixture of both)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (which incidentally also makes the most luscious popcorn)/ghee/olive oil
- 1 large handful of curry leaves
- 1 red chilli
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 250ml tamarind water
- 1 large handful of frozen peas (optional)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- fresh coriander
- 1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Heat the fresh coconut slices, coriander seeds and chilli in a dry frying pan over a medium heat (you’ll be cooking the curry in this later, so make sure it’s not too small).
- While that’s toasting, smear the squid in turmeric and salt in a small bowl.
- Set the toasted coconut and chilli aside and tip the seeds into a grinder/mortar and grind to a powder.
- Heat the coconut oil in the empty pan and once it’s sizzling, lob in the squid pieces for a quick flash fry.
- After a minute or two, remove the squid and drain on some kitchen paper.
- Add the mustard seeds, coriander powder, fennel seeds and curry leaves to the hot fat.
- As soon as the mustard seeds pop (this should happen fairly immediately) add the onion, garlic, whole red chilli and ginger.
- Once everything’s nice and brown, turn the heat down a little and add the fresh tomatoes. Cook for about five minutes until they break down and thicken into a sauce.
- Add the curry powder, tamarind water, coconut milk and stir well. Check the seasoning, you might want to add a bit more salt at this point,or if you think it could do with a bit more heat add the green chilli (I prefer it without personally).
- Re-introduce the squid pieces and simmer for 10 minutes . Add the peas if you’re using them and simmer for a further 5 minutes. The squid should be cooked through but also extremely tender.
- Strew with the toasted coconut and coriander and serve immediately with wedges of lime.
So, I’ve written another piece for the wonderful Fire and Knives food quarterly. It’s on the subject of Halal and Kosher slaughter, and sadly the following conclusion didn’t quite make it to print:
There’s only so much cauliflower cheese you can take before you start to feel a bit peaky. Awkward bride that I was, I’d demanded one of those cakes made up of cheesy tiers for my big day. At the time I didn’t really register the pungent reality of being confronted with a Kilimanjaro of fromage every time I opened the glowing cupboard door. We’re talking mighty truckles of Yarg, Manchego, Red Leicester and Stichelton – very much my kind of challenge.
Every so often I find myself really missing Japan. The gleaming row of vending machines opposite my tatami lined flat, selling everything from freshly pressed shirts to dodgy burgers. Or bumping into my students whilst perusing the fascinating aisles of assorted fish, tofu and vitamin drinks in our local supermarket. Hanging around with friends in Ueno park, scoffing Makudonurado in Harajuku and cycling around late at night with my front door unlocked and wads of yen in my pockets. After a couple of life-changing years teaching English out there, it’s the people I really miss. Like Takahiro my deaf student who was mercilessly bullied because, as another teacher explained to me “the nail that sticks out must be hammered down”, or Kasahara sensei, the kindly science teacher that taught me how to make the most delicious yakisoba; and of course Masa and Kei.
I’ve started helping out at Farm:Shop in Dalston. It’s an exciting and unique project where we’re seeing how much produce we can grow in a disused shop front. And by this, I do mean quite literally, every inch of it. We have aquaponic tanks of fish which feed into lettuce and chard, jars of kefir bacteria (for ginger beer), chickens on the roof and a polytunnel in the back yard, in which we’re planning to plant a cinema screen in amongst the greenery. We’re also thinking of getting a couple of pigs and there will definitely be a great deal of barbecuing if it ever decides to woman-up and stop being winter. I’ll be supplying various gastro-goodies and helping out over the coming months in the café, which officially launches later on this month. I’ve also written a piece for Fork Magazine about what we’re doing, so look out for it in issue 17.