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 apricot Argentina artichokes asparagus aubergine bacon banana basil beef beetroot berry biscuit bistro bloggers Bolivia bread breadcrumbs British budget Buenos Aires bulgar wheat butter cafe cake capers caraway cardamom carrot cauliflower chard cheese chick peas chicken chicory chilli chocolate chorizo Christmas cinnamon clams cloves cobnut 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 fennel feta fettuccine ffine bean 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 greengage Guinness halloumi ham harissa hazelnut hibiscus honey 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 pickle pine nuts pizza pomegranate pop-ups pork potato prawn preserved lemon prosciutto Provence providore Puerto Iguazú pulse pumpkin quail egg quick radish ras el hanout raspberries red pepper paste restaurant ribs ricotta rocket rosemary runner bean saffron sausage shallot smoked mackerel smoked salmon sorrel soy spaghetti spinach spring squid stilton stock street food sugar sumac summer 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
Thursday
May052011

Middle Eastern mezze no.6: Baba ganoush

 

Back to the Middle East for a few days and then onto new things. The boyfriend will breathe a sigh of relief (a rather garlicky one); he does love a bit of mezze, but everyone has their limits.

Next on the list is baba ganoush, which I have just discovered means "My father is spoiled like a child by my mother". And I thought the Turkish version was a mouthful! I have also always called it a dip, but according to Mark Hix, in Turkey it is considered a salad,

You might think this is a dip, but I'm insisting it's a salad because that's what my local Turkish restaurant calls it. Their aubergine salat is more roughly chopped. My smoother version is one of my favourite mezze dishes, and forms part of a salady selection to start a meal with.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr262011

Orto have been there

Updated on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 7:55PM by Registered CommenterVix

Updated on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 12:02PM by Registered CommenterVix

One of the things that sucks about living on the other side of the world from your home town is that you miss some fairly momentous occasions. My regular readers may remember that I missed my sister’s 21st birthday last year; this made me very sad, but it provided a good excuse to splurge on an extravagant meal for two at Tetsuya’s. Then in March I missed my Aunt Sally’s 60th birthday hosted by my parents – the first ever gathering of the extended family from the NZ side in Sydney. And now I have been sent photos (along with rave reviews) from the opening night of my sister’s boyfriend’s new restaurant, Orto Trading Co.

Chris Low (some of you will have come to know him as the Windang King), Anne Cooper and Louise Hunt were the team behind Baffi & Mo cafe in Redfern; Anne and Louise were the co-owners, Chris the chef. They sold up last year and took Chris with them.

Turns out the folks that brought us Baffi & Mo, mustachioed cafe at the vanguard of the Redfern rush, also have green thumbs. Orto translates from Italian as 'kitchen garden' and the new bright and airy space in Surry is decked with sprouting bottles, tin pails of potted herbs and garden tools that hang above the kitchen pass. (Cleo Braithwaite)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr252011

Anzac biscuits for Anzac Day (just)

I am interrupting my Middle Eastern mezze theme because it is Anzac day in Australia, just.  I have had this post prepped and ready to go for two months (since I last made Anzac biscuits) so that I could post them on the day. Well, I may have been organised in that regard, but I completely forgot about the time difference and, though it is a perfectly reasonable time of day here in the UK, I have just realised there is only one hour and 15 minutes left of Anzac Day in Australia and it is already over in NZ. Ah well, Anzac biscuits are good at any time of year really. In fact, I don’t think I have ever made them specifically for Anzac Day myself.

For the benefit of my UK readership,

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries. (Wikipedia)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr182011

Middle Eastern mezze no.5: Tzatziki

Yes, I know, tzatziki is Greek, and Greece is not technically Middle Eastern, but the Turkish word cacik (apart from looking like it reads ‘cat sick’) would be likely to return blank stares from most of my English speaking readership.

Tzatziki and cacik share the same core ingredients – yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and salt. However, strictly speaking, they are not quite the same. Tzatziki is always of a thick consistency, while cacik is sometimes diluted with water and served as a soup. Tzatziki is usually flavoured with lemon juice, while cacik would use lime. Both can be flavoured with dill or mint, but only tzatziki occasionally contains parsley, while sumac or ground paprika are sometimes used to season cacik.

Here I give a recipe for a basic tzatziki. I tend to go with the less is more approach because I usually serve it with a selection of mezze dishes – tabbouli, hummous, spicy lamb mince, falafel – where the other herbs and spices make separate appearances. Nonetheless, I encourage you to play around with some of the above ingredients to make it your own, particularly if you are serving it as a standalone dip.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr122011

Middle Eastern mezze no.4: Tabbouli

I read the Saturday Guardian magazine religiously, my favourite sections naturally being those on food and drink, although Tim Dowling’s column comes a close second. So I was very pleased one Saturday morning a few years back to find that Yotam Ottolenghi had dedicated his column to this favourite salad of mine. The subheader had its desired affect, drawing me in with the following statement:

There's a right way and a wrong way to make this brilliant Middle Eastern salad, says Yotam Ottolenghi. Here's the right way...

Had I been making it the right way all these years? A perfectionist through and through, I was very pleased to find that I had. 

The most common issue is the proportions – far too many cooks do not realise that parsley is the star of the show here, not the bulgar … Another biggie is the way the herbs are chopped, and in this instance I'm afraid I must side with the purists and shun the food processor. Chopping the leaves with a razor-sharp, heavy knife, although a lot of work, prevents bruising and gives the parsley its light and dry texture.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” my Australian readership is probably thinking, “talk about stating the obvious."

Click to read more ...