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"Significantly, the charge (if it is a charge) has been levelled at the gastronomic essay and the 'learned' cookery book that they have an affinity with pornography. Certainly, both gastronomy and pornography dwell on pleasures of the flesh, and in gastronomic literature as in pornography there is vicarious enjoyment to be had." 

Stephen Mennell

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Sunday
Jan182015

Istanbul Eats

I have been putting off this post for a while now. Months in fact. 

In early November  I took my sister to Istanbul for her birthday. We had a fantastic, food-filled fling with a sexy city that never sleeps and both fell a little bit in love. I was so caught up in this short romance that I didn’t bother much with foreplay, I just wanted to dive right in.

This is a metaphorical apology for the seriously shocking photos that follow. I really ought to have pressed some of my cameras buttons… but I was too busy pressing my own.

If you are visiting Istanbul and you love food, I highly recommend buying a copy of Istanbul Eats, an English language guide to “the best undiscovered local eateries you might not always find on your own”. We lived by it and we weren’t disappointed.

Ciya

Friendly chefs at Ciya

Red pepper and walnut paste, hummous, celery yoghurt and stuffed aubergine

Celeriac stuffed with minced lamb, lentils and caramelised onion

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Monday
Dec292014

Christmas fare and a recipe for beurre blanc

A belated Merry Christmas to you all! I am just awaking, bleary eyed and pot bellied, from a food coma.

My sister and I spent Christmas with our dear friend Chrissie and her family in Cambridge. Chrissie makes a fantastic roast and was responsible for convincing me a few years back that turkey doesn’t have to be a dry and dull affair when treated correctly. Still, I was very excited to discover a few weeks ago that we’d be having crown of pork instead; I’d choose fatty, juicy pork and crispy crackling over turkey any day.

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Saturday
Nov292014

Smoked mackerel and sorrel omelette

I’m supposed to be having a productive Saturday. I got excited about all the produce on Bloomsbury Farmers’ Market on Thursday, bought as many vegetables as I could carry and made a date with my sofa last night so I could spend all day cooking them today.

Nothing has gone to plan. I stood up my sofa in favour of pints at Lock Tavern, got up at midday and all I have managed to cook so far is this omelette, which uses just one of the many ingredients I bought at the farmers’ market and takes about 10 minutes.

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Wednesday
Nov262014

Moroccan spiced carrots

As a budding young food anthropologist I feel very ambivalent about the name I have just given this recipe. I just spent my summer writing a dissertation querying the very notion that any dish or cuisine can be assigned a nationality. However, the alternative is a bit of a mouthful: “Carrots with preserved lemon, cumin, caraway and coriander seeds”. I could keep things vague, e.g. “Middle-Eastern spiced carrots”, but that only extends the problem, anthropologically speaking. Anyway, the point here is these carrots are bloody delicious and I really ought to leave such musings to my anthropology pages.

This is such a simple recipe. I threw it together for the first time a few weeks back when all I had in the fridge was a bunch of carrots from the farmers’ market and some preserved lemons that I made a few months ago. (Any excuse to use the lemons – they are fabulous.)

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Saturday
Nov082014

Almanak

When I heard the Danes were famous for open sandwiches I was nonplussed. Open or not, how exciting can a sandwich really be? Very, it turns out. Just take a look at these bad boys:

My sister, Charlie, definitely chose the right venue for me to try my first smorrebrod. Almanak is part of Claus Meyer’s growing empire. Among many other ventures, Meyer is co-owner of Noma, number one restaurant in the world.

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