Sunday, July 27, 2003

good cooks

Talking of my favourite cooks... this is one...Nigella Lawson - the official site for the domestic goddess from Channel 4... her philosophy.

Our Very Nigel Slateresque After Beach and Supermarket Supper

So good I have to blog it... Nigel Slater would be proud of me...

Soft and dense crusty bread...a salad of lambs lettuce, watercress, balsamic and dark olive oil...a tin of sardines in tomato and chili...a tin of mussels pickled in vinegar, red wine etc...yum yum yum yum.

must find some nigel slater on the web, must be some.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Vit's Amazing Cheesebread

Before anything, you have to prepare the tomatoes...

chop fifteen to twenty cherry tomatoes in half . Lay them out, open side up, on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and put in a low oven (140ºC or less) for at least half an hour. When they have at least halved in size, take them out, let them cool and try to get most of the salt off them.

Now the bread...

500g plain flour
1 sachet dried yeast
half teaspoon salt
a generous handful of grated cheddar or yellow gouda
a generous handful of grated parmesan
a slosh of strong tasting olive oil
a tablespoon of horseradish sauce (if not, then a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar)
a teaspoon of chili flakes
300ml warm water.

mix all together, keeping back half of the parmesan. knead by hand or machine until soft and pliable and not sticky. it might need a bit more water and a bit more flour to counter the cheese(!). Let it rise until doubled in size. Knock back, and shape it into two flat pieces, like large, thick misshapen pizzas. Preheat the oven now, to 220ºC.

put most of the dried tomatoes onto one half of the dough, cover with the other piece and squash down lightly, making sure the edges are stuck together. On the top, do a "focaccia" job, i.e. stick your finger in all over the place, sprinkle with more olive oil and a bit of sea salt. Then, throw on the rest of the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan.

Leave to rise for another ten or fifteen minutes and put in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
(EAT on the BEACH with your kids and your mother in law, see As Des...)

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Something good to do to Pork, or any meat really.

This is something cobbled together from chinese cook books, my mother, portuguese cooking methods and a personal desire to see what happens when I just chuck a load of stuff in a pan...

Chuck into a big pan the following...
(all are optional except the rice wine/sherry and the soy sauce though they will need AT LEAST three more of the ingredients to make the sauce. The chili is really mellowed by the long cooking and the coconut milk.)
2 glasses of rice wine (or dry sherry)
a good teaspoon of chinese five spice
LOADS of soy sauce, a small bottle full
lemongrass chopped
some big, retrievable chunks of fresh ginger, a big thumbful
a few drops of sesame oil
juice of two lemons
a good glug of thai sweet chili sauce or a smaller glug of straightforward chili sauce
two tablespoons of hoisin sauce

(a tin of coconut milk and a tablespoon of cornflour (cornstarch), ready mixed with water,
go in later.)

Put into the mixture a piece of meat, chicken joints, anything ( I am going to experiment with some fish soon, but will have to find a different method).
Top up the mixture with enough water to cover the meat if it still poking up above the mixture. (If it needs loads of covering use more rice wine/sherry or some white wine.)
Bring it to the boil, turn down to a simmer, add the coconut milk and cornflour (cornstarch) mixture and cook for about half an hour.
Take the meat out and do one of the following:

a. Put in a roasting tin with an inch of the cooking fluid in the bottom, keeping it well basted and turned. Roast for as long as it would have needed from raw...but at a slightly lower temperature, say 180ºC. When cooked, use the sauce left in the bottom of the tin as a gravy and eat with potatoes and cabbage and things, just like a roast OR...

b. Slice up the meat in a chinesish manner, i.e. finely and in bitesize pieces, stir fry until well cooked through, chuck in stir-fryable vegetables and some cooked noodles and finish off with a good few ladles full of the original cooking liquid from the pan. Bring back up to a sizzling temperature. Eat.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

oh god, cake blog is a polish teenager's blog. I can't read polish! and there are no pictures of cakes. So I guess "cake" in polish means "skateboard" or something.


I am going on a CAKE BLOG hunt. Out of the 2.9 million or so blogs out there, there must be a dedicated CAKE blog. Don't get me mistaken with a CAKE freak or anything. I am a FOOD freak, but this week I will mostly eating CAKE.

Monday, July 21, 2003

BUNS, (in the pleasant english sense, not the backside related american sense)

The buns I made yesterday (and again today, because I didn't get any yesterday):

500g plain flour.
1 sachet yeast (or equivalent fresh)
3 tablespoons sugar
50g softened butter
pinch of salt
about 300ml warmed milk

mix up all the ingredients except the milk, then add the milk, the 300 ml is very approximate, according to the flour.
Put it in large slosh by large slosh while mixing up by spoon, hand or hand held mixer (using the spirally beaters if you have them, don't use the whisks).
knead for a good time, (hey hey hey), 5mins by machine, 10 by hand, until it is a soft dough, not too sticky.
Let it rise until it has doubled in size (half an hour to an hour).
Put the oven on at 200ºC.
Knock back and lightly knead, then roll out into long sausages, about 2cm in width, no need to to be tidy shapes, and cut into 10cm lengths
(or, for heaven's sake, any shape or size as long as it's not to big). Put them into baking trays (on bake-o-glide, or just lightly oiled), leave for another ten or fifteen mins to rise, brush the buns with milk, put 'em in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until brown ontop).

THEN, either ice them with plain icing (with a touch of vanilla) or wrap them hot in aluminium foil, sprinkled heavily with sugar mixed with lots of cinnamon. The steam inside the foil helps the cinnamon sugar stick to the buns. Keep them in the foil and take them as a present for your mother-in-law! VERY addictive.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

FOOD FOOD FOOD, what else is there?

I just can't be grumpy about food. All the time, anyway, I'm sorry so there it is. So Vitriolica has a blog just about FOOD. I'll be posting recipes, ideas, disgusting things, wonderful things, maybe the occasional whine about something or other, but always FOOD FOOD FOOD...