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"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Entries in butter (8)

Saturday
Mar052016

Purple sprouting broccoli with burnt anchovy butter

There is one thing I will miss about winter: purple sprouting broccoli. It is one of my favourite vegetables of the season. I have been eating it tossed in a little burnt anchovy butter every other week. 

Natoora source their purple sprouting broccoli from Martin Sanders in Worcestershire. His family have been growing it for many generations. They save the seeds from the best plants, which improves the quality of the crop with each passing year. The result is a purple sprouting broccoli with tight, dense florets, tender leaves and high sugar content in the stems.

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Tuesday
Jan262016

Rhubarb crumble with vanilla custard

What is your ultimate comfort food? This is one of the questions I have asked all the people I have interviewed in the series I’m writing for Borough Market. My interviewees all come from different parts of the world, or have parents who do, so their answers differ a lot, but one thing they all share in common is that it tends to be something warming and filling.

“I don’t think you can get any better than a rhubarb crumble,” says Paul Wheeler, of Paul Wheeler’s Fresh Supplies. “If there was one comfort food, yeah that’d probably be it.” What is it that makes rhubarb crumble such a classic? Perhaps it is because the rhubarb is naturally very tart and contrasts perfectly with the sweet crumble topping and accompaniments, such as custard or vanilla ice cream.

I usually add nuts and oats to my crumble, but in this recipe I go for a shortbread topping. I think there is something elegant about rhubarb; perhaps it’s natural acidity and bright pink colour. A shortbread crumble seems to me to complement this, it seems more refined somehow.

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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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Wednesday
Apr302014

Edmonds Afghans

Yes, Afghans. New Zealand’s favourite, casually racist biscuits. I loved these biscuits as a kid and it never occurred to me that there was something inappropriate about their name until I made them for someone who had not grown up with a well-thumbed copy of Edmonds Cookery Book on their kitchen bookshelf.

We can perhaps excuse their name if we consider them as a product of their time. Edmonds Cookery Book was first published in 1908 and the recipe for Afghans is thought to have been in there at least since the 1940s. In a post called ‘Decolonising the Chocolate Biscuit’, one NZ food blogger (no name to be found) suggests that the problem is not with those who named the biscuit, but with the connotations it carries today. She/he suggests decolonising the biscuit by renaming it ‘Decolonisation Walnut Surprise’, among other suggestions.

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Thursday
Mar272014

Regan's beetroot and goat's cheese tarte tatin

“I think that this is the best thing I've ever eaten!”

I think that this is the best thing that someone's ever said about my cooking. I have called this Regan’s tart because this is what he said when he tried it a few years ago in the South of France. 

Usually such a compliment would have had me gushing with pride, but I had to show some restraint. Regan is my cousin Kirsty’s best friend. Kirsty loves cooking to and is very good at it. He said it in front of her. He was in the doghouse.

It has been much talked about since – both Kirsty reminding Regan of his thoughtlessness and Regan angling for a repeat. In this context it was with great trepidation that I offered to make it again this weekend, not just for Regan, but for Kirsty too. Eek!

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