Thursday, 25 August 2011


Local Fish Shop


FISHY FOODS, they do the Cuttlefish Ink here, 2 sachets only £1.25 -Use it for Squid Ink Pasta.

UMUT Superstore My LOCAL CORNER SHOP - The BEST Fruit & Veg- I try and shop locally, they know me, let me off if I'm short of change and it means I'm not in the overly lit hell whole that's Hackney Central Tescos, where nothings fresh & the fruit & veg doesn't even taste like it like fruit or veg.
And we should support local businesses, they've been there for the full 8yrs I've lived here!!

Toods post pub...

Billingsgate Fish Market Cook book, has the best recipe for Tempura batter, I use it all the time for a light batter, perfect for tempura veg and fish tempura, trust this recipe!!

500g Plane Flour
500g Corn Flour
Dash of Salt
4 x Egg whites
250ml Soda Water 

The liquid should be like a batter, not too thin and not too thick-keep in the fridge.

You can use any veg, courgettes, carrots, broccoli...

TIPS when deep frying-
Don't over load the oil, fry in small batches (drain on kitchen towel)
Let the oil re heat between batches.
Don't over heat the oil as it will burn the batter and won't cook through.
Add fresh coriander, black pepper, chilli, lemon zest to the batter-It's yum!

A simple but yummas dip for the tempura-

Light Soy Sauce, depending on the amount you want to make but add at least 50mls, 1/2 cup full
Big glug of Rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar would do)
Add a small glug of sesame seed oil
1 whole lime, squeezed
Spoonful of palm sugar or regular sugar/brown sugar
Big glug of fish sauce
Spring Onions finely sliced
Fresh coriander sliced
Red Chilli finely sliced

Keep trying it so you get the measurements right, it should be sweet, zesty, with a kick.

SUSHI RICE- The MOST important part to get right

Makes 10 small rolls  500 ml Sushi Rice
600 ml Water
60 ml Rice Vinegar
30 ml Sugar
5 ml Salt

Rinse the sushi rice first and let it strain.
Add the rice to a pain & add the water, bring to the boil and cook on high for 5 minutes, then stir (so nothing sticks) then turn the heat off, put the lid on and leave for 15/20minutes so it cooks through, it should be sticky and fluffy. 

Warm the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together and let it cool before adding the the cooked rice- This then makes the rice really sticky, perfect for the sushi.

Whenever rolling or touching the rice make sure you have wet hands, this stops the rice sticking to your hands.

Be careful when mixing the rice with vinegar as you don't want to break up the grains.

Let the rice cool before using.

Japanese Omelette -4 eggs 2 tbsp of sugar
Let the thin omelette cool before adding to sushi
This goes really nicely with the salmon, I also added coriander .

Tempura batter

Finely slice, the very freshest salmon and white fish- let your fish monger know it's for sushi so they make sure it's fresh enough and safe to eat raw. 
Fish Man Adam filleted a white fish for me and cut the fillets into goujons that I could just lay across the rice.

We also mixed up some tuna, spring onion and mayonnaise and put red pepper with it in the sushi.

Majo, Djon mustard, sweet chilli sauce, coriander works as another dip.

Don't waste the salmon skin...we fried this up (don't leave washing out or expect to wear your clothes out after, it kicks up) and put it in with wasabi avocado and spring onions..


Salmon, omelette, avocado & coriander...

Before we neatened things up/chopped the ends of and ate them..way too much for 3!!


Perfect tempura


Friday, 19 August 2011

BBQ Beer Butt Chicken, Spanish Tortilla & Coleslaw- TRY THIS!!!

Jamie OIivers Beer Butt Chicken...we came up with some other interesting names for this!!! My conscious felt bad for the chicken, it was like just one more final humiliation for the poor (BUT Free Range Chicken)

Make up a seasoning for the chicken, Paprika, smoked chilli flakes, oregano, ground ginger, fennel seeds, salt & pepper. Put about 2 teaspoons of each in a pestle & morter and grind up with 3 tablespoons of olive oil so it makes a good paste. Then smother all over the chicken, under the skin of the chicken breast and the underneath and inside.

 VERY IMPORTANT...Drink half of the can of Bud before stuffing the chicken with it.

-REMEMBER to put the bit you drink out up face up so the beer doesn't pour out when you put it in the chicken. Also maybe use a small can depending on the size of you chicken.

Add a bunch of fresh thyme to the chicken, where it's head would have been :-(

When adding it to the bbq make sure you make a hole in the coals so the coals are arranged in a kind of circle so it cooks around the chicken, add the bbq lid to speed up cooking time.

Coleslaw- 2 Carrots grated, 1/2 Red Cabbage, finely sliced, coriander chopped,  raddish's finely grated with a potato peeler. Red wine vinegar, salt & pepper, dijonaise.

Spainish Omelette/tortilla-

Peel and chop potatoes into 1/2 cm cubes then rinse the starch off them and saute them in a frying pan with olive oil until soft (I probably let mine brown too much, but it tasted great still), if you want to make a super thick one then fry your potatoes in batches. You can also add finely cubed white/spainish onion to give it a really nice sweetness, add salt & black pepper and keep plenty of olive oil in the pan.
Before adding the whisked eggs and milk ( 6 eggs for a big one) make sure you add extra olive oil to the pan so it comes out easily (I forgot about this!!) 
-A good tip to help it cook evenly is to cut into the tortilla with a knife as it's cooking so the raw egg goes to the bottom and cooks quicker. Make sure your heats not on too high as you don't want to burn the bottom. You can take it off the heat when it's still slightly underdone as it will carry on cooking and tastes better this way.
Apparently you should never eat left over tortilla straight from the fridge it should at least be at room temperature. 

Looking good...

My Fav picture, the chicken made me piss myself the whole way through cooking it, just had to keep going back to take another look, it's rediculous!! There must be another  way!!! Slightly or even mildly less humiliating for the bird!! NOt sure I'm into stuffing cans up birds arses :-(

YUMMMMM, YUM, YUM! Nice one Jamie!!

The perfect combo, Summer chicken Dinner

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Coffee Chocolate Chilli Con Carne...TRY IT!!

Another busy day with Ted...

Cooking for 8
2 Red Onions- Chopped up, but still chunky
500g /2 packs of Mince Beef (I wanted to follow the Jamie recipe and use brisket but was too late for the part time butcher- with brisket you have to cook for  a good few hours so that it turns out tender)
1 x pack of smoked streaky bacon (optional- not convinced it makes a difference so save your pennies on this one)
2 teaspoons of tumeric
2 teaspoons of Oregano
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of cinnamon or two fresh sticks of cinnamon
2 Red Chillis or teaspoon of dry chilli powder

Cooked for about 10 mins so meats all brown

Add 500g or 2 lrg cups of freshly made coffee
Add 2 tins of tomatoes
4 good sprigs of fresh thyme
Big dash of Lea and Perins
Squirt of ketchup or sugar
Big squirt of tomato puree
Salt & pepper

Add tin of kidney beans or 2 tins if you want to bulk it out more
Add 2 fresh bay leaves...

Let it cook for 2 hrs on medium heat, keep stirring and keep testing it.
Add more sugar or dry/fresh chilli for a kick 
To make it even richer add 3 large cubes of dark  chocolate, maybe add it gradually to taste as it's super rich.
Add Coriander stalks, a handful

Corn on the cob, cut into chinks then half so it cooks quicker and is easier to eat...cover with butter, salt & pepper and coriander.

Chopped coriander and hot Jalapeno Peppers to garnish


Red Cabbage & lambs Lettuce salad.

Serve with Sour Cream of Cream cheese for those who can't handle the heat...

Grated cheese is also a nice little extra...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Favourite Holiday FOODS...

Fresh Pan Au Chocolat & Cappuccino on the beach- We always got down the beach early to get a quiet start to the day...a dip in the sea without anyone in it & a quick game of bat 'n'ball without risking taking out a child, plus the croissants were still warm at the bakery!! 

Merguez Sausages- These have been a staple holiday meal for as long as I can remember. They're my Uncle Nige's favourites, my Dad's & my brothers...and I'm defo not adverse to them, surprisingly!! Uncle Nige lives in the south of France so we'd holiday there every year as kids. Having not been back for 4/5yrs until this year these managed to take me back to being a right porker of a kid and think I managed to scoff at least 6 as a little introduction to the the rest of the bbq this time round! They're spicy/great!

Another (but more recent) yum dish that Uncle Nige & Aunty Julie pulled out the bag- Garlic Parsley Prawns- (I requested these ones) Marinated for the afternoon then straight on the bbq....then straight in your gob!!

I've probably never eaten so many prawns :-)

Crab Seafood Salad, beach the little eyes on the top, I didn't even put him there!

Uncle Nige & Aunty Julie, they're gonna kill me for putting them on here -Can't wait to send them the link!!

Their & my fav restaurant in Juan Les Pins, they've been going for 14yrs, (as have we) ironically to an Italian family run restaurant...the food isn't poncy, just hearty and simple and traditional. SO GOOD. It's a gem amongst the fancy, white pleather sofas that fill the streets out there, it's defo a place where people go out to show off!! Still worth a visit, it's between Antibes & Cannes on the coast train.

Aunty Julie's choice every time, Mussels in garlic & parsley...

Uncle Nige...Here he is, looking wonderful and seemingly very pleased with his parma ham & melon starter!

FISH SOUP- Uncle Nige fully corrected my eating methods with this...this is how it's supposed to be done;
Croutons should be rubbed with a fresh clove of garlic (apparently prevents the soup from making them go soggy)  then the Aioli goes on top followed by the Gruyere Cheese, these should then go on the bottom of the bowl before you pour the fish soup on voila c'est delicieux!

Moules Mariniere-

1 large Clove of Garlic finely sliced
2 shallots Sliced
Spoonful of Butter
Fry garlic & Shallots for 2 mins so they just start to go translucent.
Add -
Bouquet Garnis- Parsley, bay leaf and Thyme all fresh & tied together or just put in, it's not that bigger deal.
100ml of dry white wine (Or Cider apparently!)
100ml of Double Cream or a bit more if you fancy it.
Salt & Pepper
Bring to the boil for 5 mins so the alcohol cooks off then add the mussels & put the lid on- cook for 2/3mins.
(Always make sure the mussels aren't open before cooking -it's ok to eat ones that haven't opened after they been cooked- So Rick Stein says!!)
Fresh Parsley cut to serve.

Duck with Pepper sauce...Yummmmmm

Tagliatelle Carbonara, loved the egg on the side, if you're weird about the raw egg then just make sure you get it mixed ASAP, while it's still hot. Love how simple but delicious this is. I normally make it with raw eggs mixed it at the end instead of cream but like the idea of serving it like this. Parmesan's a must with black pepper!!

Tourrettes Sur Loup, an old medieval town built up in the hills, so beautiful & quaint & the ONLY place where you can still pay 1 Euro for a glass of wine.

A fancy french breakfast... Half a grilled croissant with fresh sliced strawberries with an icing sugar sprinkle. Very delicious.
Poached Pear, greek yogurt with fresh berries, orange juice & coffee....

The view from our B&B in Rouen, the most gorgeous traditional french house, would recommend it very much, the house and Rouen. (Gonna add the name of the B&B)