Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hawaiian Pizza

First day back at work after paternity :o(


Lou was back at home and little Tom had decided to play up a bit. She rang and said she would like something ‘plain’. Damn I thought – as I always think of a spicy curry, or fragrant Chinese as my fist cooking options. I’d settled on a creamy pasta dish when we passed a Domino’s pizza. Ah ha – that’s a better idea!


Once I’d then convinced myself not to cook my version of an American Hot – I thought – I know lets go cheesy, so to speak, and have a Hawaiian!


Made a fresh pizza base








And some fresh tomato sauce




 
I love Mozzarella…but would it be enough?




 
Well – it is a Hawaiian!






 
Secret to a good pizza – use less sauce. Pizzas I made at University (a few years ago now!) would end up swimming and never have a crispy base. Simple – watch the guys make it in New York and see how little they actually use. Even this is too much really



Before…



After – very very nice (but I’d prefer a bit more cheese – just because….)






Sunday, 25 October 2009

Coq Au Vin

Rather perversely I had a real desire to cook Coq Au Vin for some time now. Perverse in the fact I’m spending so much time in Paris and complaining about the boring food, & I am due to return next week after 2 weeks paternity.
However, never let that stand between a cook and his belly!
So, off I went to get some standard ingredients. I’m using a recipe from the Food Of France – great book – great series as I’ve said many times. Check out the links to the right.
The onions were from a new green grocers near us. Just an unassuming place near Stoke Newington Green – we have 100’s like it. However, this place is very different. The guys who run it (Turkish?) stuff the place full of the most fantastic fresh & varied vegetables and salad. It’s only been around for a few months – and is busy all the time. Check out the street map link.






Marinated the chicken in red wine, bay leaf and thyme. Used just thigh as my current fav chicken bit – and I think I will skin it next time





Some pancetta (ok- not particularly French)





Fried off the onions and mush





And the chicken. Should have done a couple of batches – didn’t crisp as much as I’d like




After 40 minutes bubbling





Really nice….sauce at just the right consistency. Made plenty for the freezer







Sunday, 18 October 2009

Roast Pork Belly on the rack

An old skool one. This is from the inspirational Appetite by Nigel Slater. A simple concept - just cook to enjoy....experiment and see what happens....the whole book is written by giving a 'starter' receipe and then several ideas for how to cook it in different ways. I think this book still has a lasting effect on my cooking approach today.

So - having been 'inspired' by this receipe almost a decade ago when my cousin cooked it for me and my mates (and earned great respect in doing so), it seemed like a good idea to try again.

Take a belly of pork...



And a few ingredients for a marinade



Mash it all up



And marinade


Some fresh runners in a local shop - had to be done



Cook the pork on a rack - over the pots. Plenty of mess everwhere - but hey - who cares when the pots taste that good !



Ooh Baby !





Richie boy looking forward to it



Perfect



Monday, 5 October 2009

Lamb Shanks

One of Lou's this one (including the photos). From Marcus Wareing's Perfection. Interesting concept for a cook book - he takes a simple dish and shows several techniques for how to cook to perfection. So...does it work....let's find out.....

Braise your Shank  (ooh err)



The stock gets goings...


Thsi is known as a cartouche (getting the idea of the book?)



After braising for several hours



Stop playing with your food!








So - the verdict.
Lovely photos - shame about the food. It was nice - but not perfection. The lamb did not really pick up much flavour from the sauce - which itself was too liquidy. Possibly needed a bit longer - but we were hungry!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Salmon with Bhindi Bhaji

A totally made up one this.....
We'd been shopping in Hackney and came across the small aubergines and the okra.
I love Bhindi Bhaji - and this was a very passible effort.

Decided to bake these little beauties



I love Okra





The bhaji on it's way. This is simply made by frying the Okra with the usual suspects (Corriander, Cumin, Turmeric etc.) The secret is then quite a lot of water and allow it to turn into a rich smooth sauce



Eh Voila



Salmon



gridled....





The okra was 10/10 - the salmon lovely - and the aubergines needed something

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Jambalya, Guacamole and Key Lime Pie

Bit of a states-side theme tonight.

We are still waiting for the little 'un to arrive - and so we had a free weekend. We asked some good friends of ours - Nic and Andrea - around, and they obliged by flying in from Greece for the evening.

All set for the evening...








This Jambalya receipe came from Emeril Lagasse. If you ever watched food programming in America you'll know what I mean by Kick it up a notch... . I food hero of mine. Below are the ingredients for his Cajun Essence!



And this is what is looks like - freshly made



The holy trinity of Cajun food - onions, peppers and celery





Should have been Duck.....but nothing wrong with a bit of thigh ;o)





How cute is that ? (Lots of onions!)



Fresh Guacamole (note MOLE - see previous post)








Arty shot of Guacamole



Not forgetting the Jambalya



Lou says I'm not allowed to say I thought it was a bit stodgy



And not forgetting Lou's tremendous Key Lime Pie