I’m incredibly pleased, excited and slightly amazed to announce that I’m part of the new Sainsbury’s Food Goes Further campaign (along with Pam Clarkson, Jack Monroe and Nick Coffer). It’s been a truly wonderful experience and quite a change from the unremitting tedium of washing up and cleaning under a high chair that my life usually consists of. I’ve had Mr David Loftus plus a crew of about 20 odd people crowded into my kitchen to photograph my dishes and have spent some of the most fun-filled days I’ve ever had filming a series of cooking videos with the wonderful crew at Gravity Road. Over the next month or so you’ll be able to watch them (every Friday) here. I’ll be demonstrating how to make the perfect roast, some quirky yet tasty alternatives for a slightly more exciting roast dinner, how to make the most incredible gravy, and inspiration on what to do with your leftovers and as well as other handy tips.
You can find my two recipes for lamb and pea pie and lamb ragu in this leaflet in a Sainsbury’s near you.
For another tasty twist, here’s my keema lamb pie – it’s spot on for this kind of weather, spicy, warming comfort food at its absolute best.
1-2 medium onions, finely chopped (approx. 160g)
3-4 tbsp. ginger paste
3-4 tbsp. garlic paste
1 tbsp. oil
300g shredded leftover roast lamb
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 finely chopped fresh green chilli (or 1/2 – 1 tsp. chilli powder)
390g carton chopped tomatoes
130g full fat natural yoghurt
250ml lamb stock
100g frozen peas
500g mashed leftover potatoes and vegetables
1-2 tsp. garam masala
- sweat the onion, garlic paste and ginger paste in the oil.
- add the curry powder, chilli and cumin and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- add the lamb, tomatoes, yoghurt and salt and cook for a couple of minutes.
- add the stock and simmer for 25 minutes.
- add the peas, check seasoning and put filling into a pie dish.
- mash the potatoes and vegetables with the garam masala and smother over the pie filling. Sprinkle with grated cheddar and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden.
- if you don’t have any fresh chillies it’s fine to use chilli powder instead
- a squeeze of lemon and a scattering of finely chopped coriander at the end of cooking is a nice flavour lift.
- if you can, cook out the onions, ginger and garlic long and slow over a low-ish heat until nicely caramelised around the edges to really bring out the natural sugars.
I was extremely chuffed to have my recipe for Bebek Betutu AKA Indonesian ceremonial barbecued duck featured in The Sunday Times magazine a couple of weeks ago. The article was penned by the incredibly talented Mr Oliver Thring and featured some of Britain’s best food bloggers.
In case you missed it, here’s the recipe again:
2kg duck, giblets removed
1 cinnamon stick
10 shallots or 2 medium onions
1 bulb of garlic, segmented and peeled
6 macadamia nuts
2 tsp. shrimp paste
50g ginger, peeled
1 tsp. turmeric
3 red chillies, roughly chopped
2 sticks lemongrass, roughly chopped (tough outer leaves discarded)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. coriander powder
Juice of 1 lime
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 tbsp. coconut/vegetable oil
2 tbsp. water
100g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
The night before you want to eat, wash and pat the duck dry. Blend all remaining ingredients bar the spinach to a thick paste.
Mix half the paste with the spinach and rub the remaining paste all over the duck and inside the cavity. Stuff the duck cavity with the spinach mixture and wrap the whole thing very well in foil until completely airtight. Marinade overnight in the fridge.
The next day place the wrapped duck in a hooded BBQ for 4 hours (or alternatively in an oven at 160C for 2 hours and then at 120C for another 2 hours).
- Unwrap the duck and pour the juices into a small pan. Carefully scrape off any excess marinade and add to the juices. Simmer to reduce a little and stir in some of the stuffing. Very carefully return the unwrapped duck to the BBQ or into a hot oven to crisp up the skin. Serve the sauce in a bowl alongside the duck.
So the book’s been officially on sale for a week now, and amazingly has sold out not once, but twice already on Amazon, which has been pretty surreal to say the least.
If you’re interested, here’s what the Metro had to say about it, and even the Mail online voted it their food book of the week which was unexpected. I had a chat with Robert Elms about it on BBC LDN, and to my enormous surprise made the ‘British Bangladeshi Power 100‘ list which left me completely gobsmacked and very happy indeed.
Anyway here’s a nice recipe for some soup.
roasted carrot, red lentil and blood orange soup
750g carrots, peeled and chopped into big hunks
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g red lentils
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
cheese rind (optional)
the juice and zest of 3 blood oranges,
a big fistful of chopped parsley
- in a roasting dish, toss the carrots in half the shallots, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes at 160C.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan and sprinkle in the cumin seeds. Once they release their fragrance add the second shallot, garlic and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
- Tip in the red lentils and stir well for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock and cheese rind if using.
- After about 30 minutes or when the lentils are tender add the roasted carrots and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Add the blood orange zest and juice and more salt if necessary. Remove the cheese rind an blend until smooth and stir in the parsley.
I’m featured in tonight’s episode of Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club. Tune in to Channel 4 at 9pm to watch me stuffing my face with lamb’s testicles and bull’s pizzle pie. Yum yum!
I’ve written a piece about making your own Christmas gifts and whether or not it’s always the cheapest option for the Guardian. You can read it here.
I’ve written a piece for BBC Good Food about the return of the retro cake. You can read it here
TPB is a bit of a food hero of mine (if you haven’t read “Full English” yet I heartily recommend it). It was therefore a bloody honour to be invited onto his LBC show today and interviewed along with Rambo (AKA James Ramsden).You can here me saying the word “absolutely” over and over again here…
(we start about halfway in)
I’ve written a review of Paramount restaurant for Eat Me Magazine you can read it here
Hello. I’m delighted to have been featured in an Evening Standard article about the behaviour of flavour and eccentric food combinations written by the brilliant Liz Hoggard. You can read all about it here.
Sampling a crazy feast at The Secret Garden Party I was given a lesson in how key the whole orchestra of smell, sight, sound, texture and hormones really are when it comes to flavour.
Seated around a dining table in the middle of a field with the beautiful and the bedraggled we devoured a gigantic jelly brain, section by section whilst engaging young neuroscientist, Zarinah Agnew explained the differing functions of each – an unforgettable experience.
We were then instructed to clamp our nostrils in a blind tasting of Skittles, and found our tastebuds rendered completely numb. We painted our tongues with blue dye and poked them out at one another in order to count the number of undyed tastebuds – an abundance was indicative of a “supertaster” (one with a heightened palate and increased sensitivity to flavour).We sniffed fruitlessly at lurid green test tubes of raspberry and electric blue ones of apple in an attempt to identify what on earth these might be. When served dishes of tender scarlet spheres of agar agar, without its familiar healthy crunch, it was impossible to pick out the intense taste of celery. Our heads were further messed with when we were poured and asked to describe glasses of red wine. The ever-predictable “berries”, “leather” and “tobacco” were suggested, and we were later astonished to learn that we had in fact been sipping a crisp dry white, that had been dyed. An absolutely genius way of being forced to confront our visual preconceptions and the dominance of the brain over the tongue.
The latest issue of Fire and Knives is out, and it’s easily the best one yet – positively choc full of meaty sparkling prose from the likes of Henrietta Lovell, Tom Parker Bowles, Catherine Phipps and Craig Butcher. In addition to the super cool design there’s also a rather natty photo shoot from @unwholey
I’ve contributed a piece about the lost world of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Here’s a little taster….
I’m super chuffed to report that I’m in this month’s Waitrose Kitchen. They’ve run a rather splendid piece about food and nostalgia, which includes the story behind my not-so-secret family recipe for tandoori chicken. It’s also on the waitrose website here and the recipe’s here. My gran would be so proud…
I’ve written a little something about the Joe Allen burger in this week’s Le Cool
You can read all about it here:
Hello. I’ve written a rather mean thing about cupcakes (and how you won’t find any in The Wapping Project) in this week’s Le Cool. The editor of Le Cool used to be the bass player in Suede. If that’s not a reason to subscribe I don’t know what is.
I’ve written a piece about the “Coriander Club”, a Bengali women’s allotment group for Fire & Knives. This dashing food quarterly is the brilliant new offering from Tim Hayward. I’m furtively eyeing up my copy as I type this, and I have to say it’s a truly gorgeous publication. Printed on thick, quality paper with eye-catching visuals, the whole thing is superbly put together and I’m incredibly excited to be featured in it. In fact, if it were somehow possible to batter, deep fry it and wolf it down, I probably would.
I’ve written up the lowdown on yesterday’s antics at the UKFBA food stall. Once again, those lovely folk at Channel 4 food have published it here:
I whined a lot about being tired the next day, but emails like the one below made it all seem so worthwhile:
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 17:55:47 +0100
A huge thank you to Sig for being such a fantastic fellow trades-woman and to everyone who came down to see us!
As part of the run up to the food stall I’ll be running tomorrow in Covent Garden, I’ve written a piece on my frenzied preparations.
Channel 4 food published it here:
Am still slightly gobsmacked at being called a “future blogging star” in the Independent Newspaper how utterly amazing is that?! As the article mentions I’ll be manning the stall at Covent Garden’s Real Food Market on the 13th August, along with the excellent Sig of Scandelicious. Between us we’ll be dishing up all manner of treats. Feel free to drop by and say hello if you’re around!