Tag Archives: food

Summer Salads. Homey Herbs

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The sister surpassed herself this week. Again. Cheeky lamb kebabs (kebobs?) without the skewer action. We shall call this dish:

“Lamb Kebobs (skewers optional)”

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Lemon chunk ready for squeezing. Let me at it!

mushroom salad with lemon dressing (see previous salad/dressing in this series)

lamb marinade
fennel seeds,
cumin seeds,
coriander seeds,
lemon juice and zest,
1 garlic clove,
olive oil
and pepper

mint yoghurt
low fat natural yoghurt,
garlic clove,
and fresh mint

First, to prepare the marinade crush the fennel seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into a fine powder with your pestle and mortar. Then mix with fresh parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, olive oil and pepper. Marinade for as long as you can and then grill on skewers or not! Prepare salad and dress just before serving with a simple mint yoghurt, using fresh mint from the garden. Grow it. It is an easy going plant. Thrives absolutely.

Eat outside.

And then…

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for dessert? Yes, fruit scones with clotted cream are the business

Sharing the yield this summer

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Sharing is universally encouraged and, here in the North East, we particularly enjoy sharing with our neighbours. In exchange for their veggie gifts (see below), mother makes her signature bake (Victoria Sponge either with butter cream and jam or whipped double cream and jam– raspberry of course). The advantages of this are two-fold for us. One, we get mega marrows so sister can create, create, create, and second, we keep the other half of the cake and feast on it for supper. Win, win.

IMG_1087Marrow, cucumber and courgette. c/o neighbouring allotment

So what to do with a marrow. They are large, watery and rather awkward.

Here is a nice and easy option we enjoyed recently to make use of our kind gift (and to attempt to eat proper food before we tucked into that cake)

Stuffed marrow

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We were all stuffed

2 red peppers, seeds removed and sliced finely
1 onion, sliced finely
chopped, fresh coriander
1 small onion, sliced finely
1 marrow
25ml extra virgin olive oil
50g pine nuts
150g feta cheese, diced
A sprinkle of breadcrumbs

After de-seeding the marrow fully so it essentially acts as a vessel for the filling goodness, load up HMS Chunky Marrow with all the ingredients and whack it in the oven. Cook until hot and, therefore, ready to eat.

We highly recommend sharing in this house.

Last Summer Series. The top meal revealed

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Now that I am back in force and whipping through the blogging posts, here is a post you have all been waiting for. What has been voted the top meal of the summer so far? What meal encompasses all that is youthful summer holidays and homemade creations? And who in the world is voting for all of this?

All will be revealed. First, who is voting? Well mother and I are voting (Dad gets a what’s app picture message so that he feels included but he cannot always vote without taking obligatory “taste test”). I am the official and unofficial “taster”. I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for my meal like an impatient child (still in my 20s so I am surely getting away with it). And then the plate arrives. The winning plate of Summer in Kibblesworth 2013.

Grilled lemon chicken with lemon jus and lemon gremolata with a side salad

IMG_1013What? Is that a cup of tea on your tray? How British am I!?

marinade
lemon juice,
olive oil,
wholegrain mustard,
and pepper

chicken (sliced into generous chunks),

side salad
see Baby Sister’s Steak Salad and then add sliced radishes from your neighbours allotment (or a shop)

lemon jus
remainder of marinade + chicken juices from grill

gremolata
finely chopped parsley
crushed garlic
and lemon zest

First marinade the chopped chicken for up to 12 hours (or however long you have). Slot the chicken onto skewers and grill in oven or on BBQ (and with this summer weather I suggest the latter). Prepare salad as previously described and mix the ingredients for the gremolata. Promptly make jus with the remaining marinade and grilled chicken juices and bring to boil in a pan until it has reduced to a jus-y goo. Place 3 skewers on each plate taking part, along with a side salad helping and pour over copious jus-ness. Sprinkle with gremolata to finish.

Munch away.

Pad thai from Thailand makes for an exotic final summer

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Directly from the country of Thailand came this asian dish, complemented with our garden delights. Here is

Pad thai topped with pak choi

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Pad thai on a Tuesday evening

2-3mm wide flat rice sticks
fish sauce
pad thai mix
pinch of chilli powder, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
chopped and fried chicken
2 large eggs, ready cracked
chopped and fried courgettes and red onion

top with grilled pak choi

Pre-boil the rice sticks (only for a couple of min). Add fish sauce + pad thai mix + chilli powder to fried chicken, courgettes and red onion in a pan and then add boiled rice sticks. Mix in beaten eggs until cooked and load on plate with gusto. Top with grilled pak choi and serve with flair.

Eat with a background of BBC 6 o’ clock news and follow with The One Show before selecting a classic movie, preferably featuring Dustin or Al or undoubtedly Bobby De Niro.

The last summer continued… meals fit for a king (Baby King George in particular)

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If I had to choose a final dish before I croaked I definitely would have some salad on my plate. But with my sister’s plethora of meals, it would be hard to choose what would cover the rest of the plate. But salad, yes. That is a certainty. Like death and taxes perhaps!?

Baby Sister’s Steak Salad

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for the salad
sirloin steak (sliced),
new potatoes (or some from your growbag?),
vine tomatoes (if your greenhouse doesn’t grow them fast enough, Waitrose will absolutely suffice),
frisee salad (supplement with leaves from the garden),
mixed funky mushrooms,
red onions

and for the dressing
wholegrain mustard (1/2 tsp),
generous sprinkling of pepper,
chopped basil,
olive oil,
lemon juice,
hazelnut oil
and red wine vinegar (liquid proportions to taste)

Boil the halved new potatoes. Fry the sirloin steak in a frying pan and then add chopped red onions before compiling the salad.

Mix the frisee salad, boiled new potatoes, special yummy mushrooms, and chopped tomatoes then let it sit while you make the dressing. After adding a little of this and a little of that (she does it by eye so you try that too OK?) pour over salad and shuffle and turn everything around with your hands. As long as they are clean of course.

Separate out into generous helpings for each of your family members and friends and load the top with the sirloin steak/red onion combo.

Serve with a smile. Licking the plate is optional.

Bread

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That sister of mine is quite magnificent at the thoughtful present. She really achieves a relevant gift and this usually entails me working for my dinner.

Just before Christmas, I was advised to keep Thursday 20th December free. A highly anticipated prize, I was turning down every Tom, Dick and Harry so that I was prepared for whatever she could throw at me: impromptu space flight? dinner with Alec Baldwin or one of my other crushes? really the list is endless.

What she is capable of never ceases to amaze me.

Well, long story short, turns out the bread baking class she had signed me up for, at Le Pain Quotidien (Bleecker Street venue), was cancelled last minute and thus the surprise had to be revealed prematurely and the class rebooked. For February 16th in fact.

And so here we are.

I have just returned, via the F train, back up to my apartment, laden with enough bread to feed 5,000. Jesus, God bless him, could have done with me a while back. I have made deliveries en route however, some might say like a wheaty Robin Hood, and now I am left with a couple of baguettes, 3 dinner rolls filled with chocolate pellets and 2 batards of walnuts, apples and sultanas (my personal favourite). I also have a quarter of the pizza we made and dined on at the communal table and that, dear readers, will be for my lunch tomorrow!

So, now lethargic from over-doughing myself, I am going to cheat a bit and show you my afternoon spent in SoHo insteaad of telling you any more. I do hope you don’t feel short-changed.

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My apron

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I spy with my little eye? A highly desirable Kitchen Aid AND the pizza toppings for later on

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Yep I was covered in flour (King Arthur Company in particular) from toe to tip

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Squidgy, bubbly dough weighed out on some retro scales

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This is where we filled the proofed dough with toasted walnuts, apples and sultanas

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Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

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Baguettes in their couche (snug as a bug in a rug as you can see) and a monster pizza shovel

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Yes that is chocolate and butter. And yes they are going in the middle of mini dough balls

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The posh “Pain d’Epi” style. Tres joli

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Pain d’Epi d’Ashbridge

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Yeah. I pretty much made all of this toute seule!

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Making our dinner to finish. A combination of dough, gravity and knuckles (in summary)

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Preparing the bread for the oven. Give the old carbon dioxide some pretty holes to sizzle out of

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Eh voila. I think my work here is done.

Magnifique? Super? SUPER COOL? 

Mais oui!

What I can and cannot do two weeks out

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I thought since I have non-trivial pain in my face today (symptom of trying to wean myself off codeine) I would indulge in a few moments of blogging to lighten the mood.

So I am 2 weeks out today. I no longer have elastic bands holding my jaws together. They were removed 3 weeks prematurely with the proviso that I DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES CHEW! I promptly indicated to the surgeon that despite having food envy on an almost constant basis, the mere consideration of chewing made me feel ill and so he had my word that no solids would pass my excellent botox-imitating lips (the bonus of swelling).

I have no real insight today however. No philosophical musings on health, life or family (although I am missing my primary care givers- mother and sister Jo since their departure on Sunday), and no extensive adventures in recent days apart from a delightful trip to the New York City Ballet. But I am more concerned with my face presently having a constant reminder of its presence with a putting ache that sometimes puts a little too vigorously and makes me feel like I should reacquaint myself with the opiates!?!

So how to make this blog remotely amusing/worth reading? I think a picture or two would hold your attention briefly don’t you think? And to make things easier I will list in a pictorial manner what I am currently denied in my present state and then to cheer myself up I will conclude with a list of annotated images that I CAN enjoy and will continue to do so until my mouth is fully restored to its former glory.

I CANNOT:

box with my fellow New Yorkers – sad face

Crusty bread. This is a dilemma. Bread and cheese for that matter are a current craving. EEK

Spotted Pig better watch out when I am released back into the culinary sphere. In fact burgers globally. Beware.

Chocolate cake and sponges of all varieties. I am coming, slowly. But I assure you I am on my way!

I CAN:

I can eat this but I don’t want to (not a great example. I don’t feel cheered)

After my dalliances with soups aplenty I have come to the conclusion that tomato is my top favourite of all time. Go Cream of Tomato. Although shout out to broccoli and stilton, lentil and sausage, leek and potato and spicy black bean.

PANNA COTTA I love you. Yes this is going to be my treat when the food envy washes over me. Panna cotta. You cheeky, squishy dessert. Bravo.

So my mouth is watering now and panna cotta is nowhere to be seen. I think I will go hunt some down (no mean feat I assure you. It is quite a specific foodstuff)

Swelling under control, mouth opening sufficiently to fill it, painkillers on their way out and creative food ideas keeping me amused. This was not the drama I had expected.

Guess I will just have to drum up drama in some other manner.