I’ve been wanting to make a roast tomato soup for ages. After some mild research I decided to go for a classic combination of Gordon Ramsay’s (Secrets) and Delia’s (Vegetarian Collection), but with more emphasis on Gordon’s for ingredients and Delia’s for technique, with a few added touches of my own. I added a splash of Tempranillo to the soup rather than Balsamic vinegar and lemon thyme instead of basil. I found that Gordon’s roasting time left the tomatoes looking a bit “raw” so I turned the heat down to 190°C and left them in there for an hour. I also mixed Woodsmoke BBQ sauce with the water I used to re-hydrate the sundried tomatoes. I didn’t have olive oil so used a mixture of flax seed and rice bran oils instead. Finally I had a tiny bit of tomato vinegar in the back of the cupboard so trickled this in to serve.Read the rest of this entry »
I hate broccoli. Liver, spinach, anchovies, olives – I have no problem with any of these things. But broccoli? Bleugh. I only eat it if it’s so smothered in something else (cheese sauce) that there is no remaining hint of that weird, irony taste. At least that’s what I used to do. I recently discovered that if you roast it, it becomes not only edible but actually very very delicious.
I am proud to say that my anti-broccoli days are now behind me. Indeed, it is not uncommon for me to make a bowl of these as a little snack, or have them as a side dish with a nice bit of grilled fish. The broccoli becomes charred and almost caramelised, and the salty, garlicky juices go perfectly with a squeeze of lemon.
Another happy accident. The kind that only occurs when you think there’s nothing in the fridge but you stand there for ages anyway just staring into it’s cool, glowing womb-like shelter, thinking… Eggs and curry powder are soul mates; and topping this with grilled cheddar makes the whole dish come alive.Read the rest of this entry »
I needed to use up a frozen seafood selection I’ve had knocking about, so decided to try and put together a sort of paella.
I’ve been instructed to make lower fat food, so the traditional addition of super fatty chorizo was out. Instead I roasted some peppers and infused brown rice with smoked paprika and fennel before cooking it in white wine and chicken stock. The results were smoky, savoury and tasted a little bit like a holiday by the sea.
Bengalis call anything that’s been “egged-and-breaded” a chop although these are really just jazzed up fishcakes. My mum used to make me these addictive fishcakes after school and I’ve noticed that a lot of my Punjabi friends make “store cupboard curries” from tins of tuna so perhaps our parents had a bit of a “make do and mend” attitude when they first came over here. I had some spare wasabi floating around in the fridge and found that the robust flavours paired exquisitely.
There’s something really satisfying about knowing that a delicious, healthy meal can be thrown together from store cupboard ingredients and if you make too many you can always freeze them after egging and crumbing. These addictive fishcakes are spiked with lemony notes of ginger, and the dressing is piquant and creamy with a mulish after-kick of wasabi.
I’d never made “Kedgeree” before. My mum brought us up on “kitchuri” which is quite a different beast (no fish or eggs, more lentils rice and spices) which I believe is the original dish this colonial version was based on. After looking at James Martin’s and Delia’s version, I came up with a slightly wetter concoction.
This ‘kedgereesotto’ cost me £1, makes enough to feed two with enough leftover to freeze, and resides in that satisfying spot where healthy food and comfort food meet.
I love real hummous but hate that cardboard-like slop you so often get in the shops. It’s so easy to make the real thing and it literally costs pence. Unfortunately my magimix is on strike so I had to make this in the blender, which meant lots of pushing down and stirring but with velvety results. I love sun-dried tomatoes so threw in a few of those along with the tangy oil in the jar and needed to use up a glut of limes from Whitechapel Market, so added those to the mix. A touch of smoked paprika and lots of omega rich flax seed oil really pumped up the proverbial volume.
This is the simplest soup ever. Add whatever vegetables you have knocking around, I find carrots, spinach and mushrooms work well. The only essentials are seaweed and the spring onion. I like to have this for breakfast with a fruit salad, or if I’m feeling particularly virtuous for supper with steamed brown rice, furikake and a tamagoyaki omelette. Although it’s not strictly authentic, I find a drop of rice vinegar adds the most delicious tang to to the salty broth. The miso paste and dashi can be bought online or from Chinese and Japanese food shops and once you have them they last for ages so it’s well worth investing in decent quality miso, i.e. with a minimum of ingredients. The one in my fridge only contains rice, salt and soyabeans.Read the rest of this entry »
I always seem to have leftover blocks of tofu in the fridge, and as it has a very short lifespan, this is a great way to use up a surfeit. Once cooked these can be frozen and are also lovely cold in a bento box with some mushroom rice.
This is lovely hot or cold in a packed lunch with the ganmodoki recipe above (fried tofu-vegetable balls).
This is my favourite way to eat tofu. Fried until golden and then dipped in a tangy ginger-soy sauce with fresh grated daikon/mooli/Asian radish, it’s really easy to make. You can buy blocks of cotton tofu for around £1.50 in most Oriental supermarkets, and if you have this with some salad and rice it works out to be fairly cheap. Make sure you use fresh soft tofu and try to get it as dry as possible before coating in the flour.Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t really like bananas, but I hate wasting food even more. I had to make this after I found myself unable to part with a glut of slowly blackening bananas. The walnuts and rum-soaked raisins really bring out the sweetness of the ripe fruit. This goes beautifully with chunks of cheddar.