Category Archives: Recipe

Ottolenghi’s Aubergine Cous Cous – Sweded

This recipe is a ‘sweded’ version of the Ottolenghi one you can see here

Ingredients or 2 people:

2 aubergines
Olive oil
2oog of cous cous
1 vegetable stock cube
1 pomegranate
Greek yoghurt
1/2 a lemon
1 clove of garlic (or more if you like)
Salt & pepper
1 packet of rocket or other green salad

Instructions:

  1. Cut aubergine into 1cm slices
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and some salt/pepper and place in the oven at 200c for 30-40 minutes, or until it’s soft
  3. Take half a tub of greek yoghurt, add juice of 1/2 lemon plus crushed garlic and salt/pepper
  4. Boil 300ml of water, mix with the stock cube then pour onto the cous cous, covering for 5 minutes.
  5. Take the seeds out of the pomegranate
  6. Finally, bringing all the ingedients together: start with the rocket/green salad on the plate, add the cous cous, then the aubergine on top, followed by the yoghurt and a sprinkling of pomegranate
  7. Enjoy your sweded, easy quick Ottolenghi-style recipe*
* Does not contain swede

Sweding food: why some recipes need to be remade, with ingredients you can actually find

Turnip tops
Turnip tops: not available at a shop near you.

Too many times I’ve seen newspaper recipes include things like turnip tops, saffron or wild hyssop and thought: who is every going to have the time, money or even be physically able to find these ingredients?

The further thought occurs: are these recipes actually really out there to be made at all?

This is where the idea of sweding comes in.

Sweding is fairly well known in the world of film, mainly from Michel Gondry’s film ‘Be Kind Rewing’, as explained here it means

“Re-making something from scratch based on what ever you can get your hands on.”

Applying the concept to cooking isn’t a big stretch: taking apparently difficult or inaccessible recipes and making them quicker to make, with easier to find ingredients*.

Who knows – some may even taste better than the originals…

Do you have any sweded recipes of your own to share, or potential recipes to swede?

* I’m conscious that on this blog I’ve used ingredients myself some people may not have access to (though try to suggest alternatives) – but turnip tops? Really?

Photo by StimpsonJCat

Sweet potato curry

In the search for ever new and better vegetarian recipes, I found this little number on BBC Goodfood, adapted and simplified it. It’s a great, satisfying curry, and works really well with rice.  Feeds a (hungry) group of 4.

This process of finding recipes, and simplifying them to within and inch of their lives I’m calling recipe ‘sweding’ – find out more here.

Ingredients


1 onion
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 peppers
1kg sweet potatoes
1 can of black or kidney beans
1 veg stock cube
Jerk seasoning/el paso spice mix
Coriander


  1. Dice the onion finely and simmer in a large wok/saucepan, when soft, add the finely diced peppers
  2. When the peppers have softened, add the spice mix/or jerk seasoning
  3. Next add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then dissolve the stock cube in 600ml of water and also add to the mix.
  4. Chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes and drop them in. Drain and wash the can of beans too and add to the mix. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, occasionally stirring, so the sweet potatoes cook and the stock evaporates to give you the saucy curry consistency you so crave
  5. Chop coriander finely and add to the curry before serving

 

Where’s the best falafel in London?

Falafel at l'As du Falafel in Paris
Falafel at l’As du Falafel by John Koll

Ever since I ate the magnificent falafel at l’As du Falafel (‘Falafel Ace’) in Paris last month I’ve been slightly obsessed with these tasty fried balls.

The falafel, or chickpea meatball, as it was once described (not by me, I hasten to add) is currently top of my food craving list… So I thought I’d try to find out where the best London falafel might be…

The Shortlist (other suggestions welcome)

In the coming months, I hope to try them all. If you have a favourite, whether it’s on this list or not, let me know.

In other news: falafels may become as popular as curries with Britons, from 2009… Hmm.

Kedgeree recipe

It’s said that kedgeree was brought to the UK in Victorian times by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it here as a breakfast.

Like bubble and squeak, in pre-fridge days, it was a useful way of turning evening leftovers into big breakfasts – we still prefer it as a hearty lunchtime/dinner feast though…

Kedgeree

Ingredients


one smoked haddock (undyed if possible)
one cup of peas (cooked from frozen)
one cup of basmati rice
one onion
2 teaspoons of mild curry powder
3 hard boiled eggs


  1. Cook the rice in two cups of water until ready & boil the peas.
  2. Fry the sliced onion in a little olive oil and add the curry and the sliced smoked fish.
  3. Add the peas and rice and stir. Boil the eggs until hard boiled and cut them in half and put on top of the kedgeree.
  4. Serve!
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Steamed winter salad

cavolo nero
cavolo nero, by jules:stonesoup

Even just the thought of lettuce and tomatoes salad in winter makes you feel cold…

So a blanched salad of carrots and greens with all kinds of toppings will (hopefully) make you warm…

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots (cut into long thin pieces)
  • Any greens (cavolo nero, green cabbage, kale, winter greens) cut small
  • Olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt
  • Topping: nuts (walnuts, almonds) seeds (pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)

Cut the veg and blanch in batches (blanching is quick boiling just to cook the veg a in very little water with a some salt for 3-4 minutes. Add the oil, lemon and salt to taste and the topping.

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Soba noodles with greens and roasted almonds

NoodlesLighten up your Summer cooking with oodles of noodles and greens…

Ingredients


100g roasted almonds
Sesame oil
150g or one packet of soba (buckwheat and wheat) noodles
200g firm tofu (or meat if you prefer)
2 tbsp.  flour
300g mushrooms (any type)
2 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari – ie without wheat)
bok choy or any green leaves (cos lettuce)
spring onions


1. Dry roast the almonds in a frying pan (ie – without oil), taking care that they don’t burn, then set aside to cool
2. Boil some water and cook the noodles, and when ready pour on them cold water to stop them cooking
3. Slice the tofu and lay on kitchen paper to absorbe excess water
4. Coat with flour and fry in sesame oil (option, esp. if you’re using meat instead!)
5. Add sliced mushrooms and when cooked add soy sauce. Add greens.

To serve, mix the noodles and vegetables. Add extra almonds and fresh sliced green spring onions to each serving if you like.

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Easy miso soup recipe

miso soup
Miso soup by adactio

Next time you come home from work starving, instead of eating lots of bread, why not make a quick miso soup? The following serves two:

Ingredients


oil (olive, sesame..)
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 spring onion
1 teaspoon of barley or rice miso paste (you can use instant/dried miso, but it’s not the same!) and a cup of water per person


1. Cut the onion and put in a pot with little oil.
2. Fry for a few minutes and add water (one cup per person)
3. Add the sliced carrot and, if you like, an greens you have (broccoli, kale, parsley).
4. Bring to a boil and cook for few minutes more.
5. Put the pot on a low heat and add one teaspoon of miso per person (the miso should not boil just simmer).
6. Cook for three minutes and add the green part of the spring onion (cut into tiny slices)

If you like, you can also add a sheet of Nori (which is the seaweed which used to cover sushi). Simply take half a sheet, tear into pieces and add to the top of the soup.

This is a great starter for when you come home, and a great alternative to having snacks/bread.

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Gooseberry Curd Recipe, by Bez

BezBez writes:

“Early Summer is gooseberry season and this is a lovely, easy way of turning those sour little berries into something sweet.”

“Great on toast, as a cake topping, on pancakes or muffins, in a pastry case as an easy pudding or straight from the jar with a spoon. Makes a nice present too.”

Ingredients:


680g of gooseberries
340g sugar
300ml water
110g butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs, lightly beaten.


1. Put the gooseberries (no need to top and tail them) in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until pulpy. If you like you can use a blender or liquidiser to make them into a puree.
2. Push the pulpy mixture through a sieve to give you a gooseberry puree without the seeds and stalks.
3. Put the butter, sugar and gooseberry puree into a heavy bottomed pan and heat gently, strirring all the time.
4. Add in whisked eggs and keep stirring until the mixture begins to thicken to a custard consistency which coats the back of a spoon.
gooseberrycurd5. Pour into clean jars and seal before leaving to cool. Keep in fridge.

Disclaimer: I lied: this recipe is actually by (another) poet extraordinaire BezTa pal.

Images by: kyleplastock

(and Bez)

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