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“There is no sauce in the world like hunger.”

Miguel de Cervantes

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Entries in easy (15)

Tuesday
Apr122016

Monk's beard with burrata

Monk’s Beard, also known as Friar’s Beard or Goat’s Beard, is a delicious Mediterranean plant, mainly cultivated in Southern Italy, Spain and Northern Africa. It looks similar to chives, but the flavour is somewhere between samphire (salty with a hint of the sea) and spinach (minerality).

It is generally served blanched, lightly fried or steamed, so that it retains its crunch. I like it best with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon, as in this salad, but it also works well with anchovies, garlic, chilli and/or fresh herbs. With any of these additions, it makes a great side for white, flaky fish.

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Wednesday
Dec092015

Bergamot poached pears

I had never tried bergamot before I started working at Natoora. I knew it as the aromatic in Earl Grey tea. I had no idea it was a citrus fruit.

Natoora were the first company to import bergamot to the UK, though it has become more readily available since they introduced it in 2009. Their bergamot is sourced from Calabria. It is exceptionally aromatic and surprisingly versatile, given its unique and intense flavour.  It works particularly well in Asian dishes, with seafood or desserts, where you might usually use lemon or lime. It has now replaced the cucumber in my Hendrick's and Tonics - definitely my favourite use.

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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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Monday
Jan212013

Smoked salmon dip with dill and capers

Email from Mum this morning: "Just went to your blog to look for your smoked salmon dip recipe. It's not there. Can you email it to me? Or why not put it up? It would be an easy one for you to add."

She's right. This is a really quick and simple dip that always gets a thumbs up. It is great as a sandwich filling, on toast or with crackers or oatcakes. I often make it to take to work for lunch, for picnics or as a something to serve as nibbles before a meal. It also makes a great filling for quesadillas (see below).

You can use light cream cheese if you prefer but the consistency will be a bit thinner. This is ok if you are using it as a dip or spread, but not great for quesadillas.

Oh, and Mum - it's not my smoked salmon dip. It's Dad's. Credit where it is due. He won't mind though, I stole it years ago.

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Thursday
Sep062012

Huevos Cordoniz

Back at Busot it was my turn to cook for the Lippy Witches. I did a spread of a number of things, including a couple of the tapas dishes from MoVida Rustica that I have posted previously – Pinchos and Alcachofas con Jamon. As always, however, the most popular dish was the simplest – Huevos Cordoniz (literally, quail eggs).

When I was 17 I lived in Granada for 3 months. My friend and I found a little bar near where she lived and it became our local. Granada is one of the few places in Spain where you still get free tapas with every wine or beer and Bar Rios on Calle Socrates is one of the few bars in Granada that gives you a choice of what that will be. We went almost every night to fill up before our night out.

The menu at Bar Rios has just 8 items and is very simple – chorizo on a roll, omelette on a roll, lomo on a roll, morcilla on a roll…  but the produce was good quality and all cooked and seasoned perfectly. My favourite was what they called Huevos Cordoniz, a baguette round with a slice of jamon topped with a fried  quail egg. For my English palette – it was like a mini mouthful of bacon and eggs. So simple but so good. I have made it many times since and everyone always loves it.

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