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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 tomato (30)

Thursday
Jun292017

Oxtail Ragu, simply the best

People often ask me what my favourite food is, a ridiculous question for someone who lives to eat. I try to explain that it is like asking a musician to choose just one song, a film buff their favourite movie, a theatre critic their favourite play… and so on. 

“Well then, what about a favourite cuisine?”

Nope, can't answer that either. It all depends on my mood, the weather, where I am, what I had earlier, what I’m planning to have later, is it Saturday morning? is it Wednesday night? The list goes on.

BUT one thing I do know for sure would be on my desert island list - if someone superglued a pen to my hand, chained me to a desk and forced me to write one - is a rich and hearty, melt in the mouth, slow-cooked (I’m talking days, not hours) ragu with fresh pasta.

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Tuesday
Jan102017

Bill's cheese souffle with tomato salad

This recipe is from Bill Oglethorpe, trader at Borough Market and owner of Kappacasein DairyIt first appeared on the Borough Market website as part of my series, I Am What I Eat, where I interview Borough Market traders about the foods that are important to them and why. This dish was one that his father used to make for the family when Bill was growing up in Zambia. 

“My father used to make a soufflé and that’s an incredible transformation,” says Bill Oglethorpe of Kappacasein Dairy. “It’s quite magical to see it rise in the oven. It was a special event.” Did his father used to make it for special occasions? “No, I mean it was an occasion because the soufflé made it special.”

This was my first time making soufflé – despite being a competent cook I have always been terrified at the prospect. It turns out there’s no need to be; if you follow the instructions carefully it will work just fine. However, timing is everything – a hot soufflé will last at most 5 minutes out of the oven, so have your plates, sides and guests ready. 

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Sunday
Oct092016

Marcello's margherita pizza

This recipe from Marcello Basini, trader at Borough Market, is probably the closest you'll get to a proper pizza at home. A domestic oven is never going to give you the crisp base you get from a wood fired oven, but Marcello has some great tips to help you get as close as possible. This recipe first appeared on the Borough Market website as part of my series, I Am What I Eat, where I interview Borough Market traders about the foods that are important to them and why. 

“If it’s a good pizza, I like it simple,” says Marcello Basini of Jumi Cheese. “As an Italian my favourite is the margherita.” Marcello uses a ‘mother’ or ‘starter’ for his pizza dough, but as most people are unlikely to have that to hand, I’ve given the option of using yeast as well.

He makes his dough the night before, then knocks it back in the morning and leaves it to rise again until the evening. You can get away with letting it rise for 2 hours first time, knocking it back and then letting it rise again for another 30 mins, but the longer it proves, the better.

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Thursday
Jul072016

Babatunde's jollof rice with chicken

I have an affinity for West African people. Whenever I find myself attracted to a person of African descent, they inevitably turn out to be (a) Nigerian or (b) Ghanaian. At the risk of making a sweeping generalisation based on the behaviour of 3 ex-partners, the downside of this is that they are near impossible to pin down for any kind of social arrangement. The upside is that when they finally do commit, there is bound to be jollof rice on the table. I can live with that.

Jollof rice is perhaps the most popular dish in West Africa. You will find it at every large social gathering and small ones too. In Nigeria, you can even get it as a side dish at KFC.

It is said to have originated in Senegambia and to be named after the Wolof tribe, but like any such claims when it comes to food, this is fiercely debated by other West African nations. I have heard a Ghanaian and a Nigerian argue for almost an hour about where jollof rice is really from and who makes it best (their mums, of course).

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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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