One of my favourite breakfasts on the planet is pan con tomate, a salty-sweet delight that goes perfectly with good coffee. It might also be my favourite because usually I have it in Granada, and if I’m there I will be grinning from ear to ear with happiness. However, my new discovery, Nigella Express, also reminded me that tomatoes are not the only fruits-that-think-they-are-vegetables that make a good breakfast; an avocado mashed up with sea salt and lime juice, served on sourdough, is equally gorgeous and, if we are lucky enough to enjoy a little sunshine this summer well, you may find this sneaks up on you on a daily basis. Obviously, because she’s Nigella, she calls this bruschetta but, you know what, it’s toast. She also uses parsley on hers but I wouldn’t bother; it didn’t add anything for me. Delicious, fast and, hey, good for you too. Continue reading
You’ve probably never heard of socca. I hadn’t until a year ago when I found it in one, then two, cookery books, both written by Francophile North Americans (David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan). It is a chickpea (gram) flour pancake from Nice which, traditionally, is served as a street snack, hot and covered in freshly ground black pepper. The Lebovitz and Greenspan recipes both require you to finish the pancakes off in the oven at high heat. I tried making them a few times and, though delicious, the last-minute-ness of shoving batter into the oven whilst my guests twiddled their thumbs didn’t really suit me so I abandoned them. Then I came across an Ottolenghi version which made it all so much easier…and now, reader, these are on repeat. Continue reading
Posted in David Lebovitz, Dorie Greenspan, Summer recipes, Vegetarian recipes, Wheat-free, Yotam Ottolenghi
Tagged David Lebovitz, Dorie Greenspan, gluten-free recipes, pancake recipes, socca recipe, Yotam Ottolenghi
Three weeks ago I volunteered at the first Ballymaloe food festival, which took place just outside Cork in Ireland. It was a delight: I saw good friends, watched many an idol (Claudia Roden, Jancis Robinson, Rory O’Connell), found ingredients that I have never seen in the UK (smoked butter chez Frank Hederman) and, if all that wasn’t enough, went to the beach for the first time this year. Oh yes and the food…the food was amazing. Continue reading
Posted in Claudia Roden, One pot, Pork recipes, Potato recipes, Sausage recipes, Wheat-free
Tagged Ballymaloe, chorizo recipes, Claudia Roden, Dennis Cotter, new potato recipes, ottolenghi, potato recipes, Spanish recipes
The sun is shining, the days are long and here comes an extra day for lounging around and having a big, fat breakfast. Normally I am not very good at this, not just for myself anyway, and if I have breakfast/brunch with a friend then I go out. However, I had an Anglo-American (i.e. born and grew up in England but has spent most of his adult life in the States) staying with me until Friday morning so I had an excuse to make pancakes and, even more importantly I know now, an excuse to try a Nigella recipe which, you may have noticed, doesn’t happen very often round here. Continue reading
Yesterday I took my godson/nephew Matt for his long-overdue, ‘well-done-on-your-exam-results’ present: a class on bread-making at The Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School. Bread, or rather the baking of it, has become a bit of an obsession of mine and, having met Richard Bertinet at Port Eliot last year and bought his fantastically helpful book, to say I was excited is, well, a bit like saying that Wigan thought they did all right in the FA Cup (I don’t give a fig for football but even I registered that news). And I was right to be. I learnt more than I could write about in this post, or in several, and yet also learnt that I know absolutely nothing and should probably just stick my head in a bag and stop posting on a blog forever. Let me explain… Continue reading
I’m a tad allergic to bits of chicken; you know, bits of chicken that have been chopped up and wrapped in plastic. You would be too if you’d read the description of how they are prepared in Not on the Label; it’ll turn you into a vegan in seconds. So, most of the time, I try to buy whole chickens and joint them. But, without a freezer, or a roomful of friends, that is not always practical. And sometimes I just want chicken because there is nothing better or easier than a couple of legs (bone-in, skin on: the closest I’ll go to the nefarious, tasteless ‘chicken breast’) marinated and shoved in the oven for 35 minutes. My favourite of all time remains this chicken with feta because you have to love a recipe that requires so little work and yet contains everything you need. And I am constantly on the lookout for other ‘shove-in-the-oven-but-taste-amazing’ combinations. Here’s the latest: a lemony, nutty, creamy yet not sweet chicken which is definitely going on ‘repeat’ in my kitchen.
If Spain is my true love in terms of wine now, then Alsace is a very close second. I lived there when I was a student and, although it was probably the most surreal year of my life for lots of reasons (not least my parents getting divorced and selling the house but not telling me till I came home for Christmas…possibly not the best stocking filler ever), I fell in love with the landscape (mountains + higgledy-piggledy villages + vineyards), the food (pork + onions + cumin+ caraway all bathed in Riesling) and the climate (snowy winters + hot summers).