Search
Food corner

"... there’s no despair in a seed. There’s only life, waiting for the right conditions – sun and water, warmth and soil – to be set free. Every day millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings."

Janisse Ray

Twitter feed
Tags
Aleppo pepper Alicante all spice almond anchovy apple Argentina artichokes asparagus aubergine bacon banana basil beef beetroot berry biscuit bistro Bolivia bread British budget Buenos Aires bulgar wheat butter cafe cake capers caraway cardamom carrot chard cheese chick peas chicken chicory chilli chocolate chorizo Christmas cinnamon clams cloves cocoa coconut cooking class Copenhagen Córdoba coriander cornflakes courgette flowers crayfish cream cream cheese creme fraiche cucumber culinary catastrophe cumin Dalmatia delivery dill dips Dubrovnik Easter easy Edinburgh egg eggplant Events fennel feta fettuccine filo fine dining Finsbury Park fish fish sauce five spice flour food anthropology French game garlic gastropub gherkin ginger gluten free goat's cheese golden syrup Guinness halloumi ham harissa hazelnut hibiscus horseradish Islington Istanbul Italian jam Japanese Kent ketchup Korean lamb leek lemon lemongrass lentils lime London loquat Madrid market mascarpone Mayfair Mendoza milk mint mirin morcilla mozzarella mushroom mussels mustard Nahm Natoora Nepalese New Zealand noras oats olive olive oil onion orange Oxfordshire paprika Paris Parmesan parsley party pastry peanut pear peas pepper Peru pine nuts pizza pomegranate pop-ups pork potato prawn preserved lemon prosciutto Provence providore Puerto Iguazú pulse pumpkin quail egg quick ras el hanout raspberries red pepper paste restaurant ribs ricotta rocket rosemary saffron sausage shallot smoked mackerel smoked salmon sorrel soy spaghetti spinach spring squid stilton stock street food sugar sumac supper club Sydney syrup Tabasco tagliatelle tahini take away tamarind tarragon tart Thai thyme tom yum paste tomato tomato paste tuna Turkey versatile Vietnamese vinegar walnut water chestnut white pepper wine yoghurt
Monday
Apr272015

Cheese and Chard Triangles

On Friday I did my second demo at the Natoora shop in Turnham Green. I made loquat chutney, which we served with pappadums and naan bread, and these cheese and chard triangles. They were both very well received; a couple of people even asked if they could buy some, nice!

I deliberated a while over what to call these. In Australia I would have called them ‘pasties’ without a doubt, but in the UK that implies something Cornish and stodgy with a short and lardy pastry. Delicious, but not quite what I mean.

In Australia spinach and cheese pasties are almost as ubiquitous as meat pies. They are usually made with puff pastry and stuffed with spinach and cheddar or ricotta. My cheese and chard triangles are more like Turkish börek, since I use feta, as well as ricotta, and add dill and mint to the mix. I also tend to use filo pastry, though ready-made puff is a great cheat if you are short on time.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr212015

Loquat chutney

Loquats are a new discovery for me. I had heard of them before I started working at Natoora, but I only tried one for the first time last week. So when I was asked to do a cooking demonstration in the shop this Friday I thought I should experiment a bit with this lovely fruit. 

Loquats have a texture and flavour akin to apricots, but with a sweet and sour element that lends itself well to Asian cooking. In its initial stages, without the Indian spices, this chutney tasted like a fruity Chinese sauce for duck or pork. Had that been my desired outcome, I would have stopped there, but it tasted a little odd as a chutney.

I added cumin, coriander seeds and cardamom and it was transformed. The result: a sweet and sour and sour Indian chutney with warming spices and a little kick.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr112015

Paper plate dego

“Any dinner that ends with dancing on the tables is a success in my books!” said my sis when we woke up, heads throbbing, after the first London edition of the Paper Plate Dego. Agreed, but there are so many other reasons why this dinner was a success that to solely single out the dancing is to do a massive disservice to the chef.

‘Dego’, for those of you who don’t speak Aussie, is short for degustation. (If you find yourself stuck in the outback, a good rule of thumb for words over 2 syllables is to chop off all but the first and stick an ‘o’ on the end: avo, servo, dego and so forth.)

But why the paper plates? It started out with a lack of crockery and now the name has stuck, so why not? It means less dishes to wash and, in a neat play on words, Chef Sam’s twitter handle can also be read as ‘paper plated ego’.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr032015

Torta Pasqualina (Italian Easter pie)

Happy Easter everyone! For once I am doing absolutely nothing at Easter and I am loving it. Oh the joy of a lack of commitments and plans. But it means I have absolutely no excuse this year not to cook and post something in the spirit of the holiday.

I searched the internet for Easter dishes from around the world. I liked the look of this one most of all, since it contains one of my favourite combos: cheese and chard encased in pastry.

Torta Pasqualina means 'Easter pie' in Italian. This one comes from Liguria. Like most of the Easter recipes I looked at it contains a lot of eggs. Eggs are commonly associated with the Christian Easter tradition, a symbol of life and the resurrection.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar272015

Fennel gratin with leeks and anchovies

Friday fun-day! Today I did my first live cooking demo at the Natoora shop in Turnham Green. And they call this work! Well, sign me up and call me ‘Chef’.

A month ago I started working for Natoora, the UK’s biggest importer and distributor of fine quality produce. Their main clients are restaurants - Ottolenghi, Heston, Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse – you name them, Natoora supply to them. There’s also an online and retail shop where you can buy all manner of delicious things and then some.

In the last 4 weeks I have tried so many new varieties of fruit and vegetables that I am starting to lose count. Oranges? Yes. Tarocco oranges with a blush of pink – new favourite.  Tomatoes? Obviously. Danterini, Marinda and Iberico tomatoes – everyday please. Radicchio? Been there. Radicchio Triestino – just about the most beautiful vegetable I’ve ever seen:

Click to read more ...