Plenty of controversy here. But a fruit and vegetable box arrived on my doorstep this morning and I had to give it a go.
My father was particular about baked goods. His grandmother came from a family of confectioners in Swansea and standards were high. Like you, probably, I have until now bought fougasse at an up market bakery chain. And it is very good. But lately I have been having a go at making my own. Not as …
When the vegetables have started to cook, put the chicken back in and cover with boiling water. When the soup comes to the boil turn down to a simmer, cover and leave for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If using barley, at least 2 hours. Then turn off the heat, take out the chicken, mash the vegetables somewhat, remove the meat from the bones and return the meat to the soup. Throw in a handful of green beans and simmer until they are tender. Skim off any undesirable flotsam/grease. Check the seasoning and it's ready to go.
Hittin’ the note – pastry ideas
What do Elizabeth David and the Allman Brothers Band have in common? Apart from the ramblin', they used to hit the note more often than most people.
Cooking for one outdoors can be satisfying. There is enough space on the grill, no rush and lovely as it always is to have guests I don't have to keep stopping to attend to something else. The kitchen does get quite messy though - perhaps BBQ for two is ideal, with one person devoting themselves …
Funky Pretty – cauliflower and aubergine curry
"Need some help?" enquired one of the two charming students sitting opposite us for the 'all you can eat' thali. The hotel on MG road had seen grander days (Winston Churchill once stayed there) but now was a very popular lunch destination serving delicious food. Friendly staff brought us a couple of teaspoons, but I had been to South India before and had no need of these.
Sometimes a first course is needed. Or an appetiser. These little tarts are made with yeasted wholemeal pastry. The yeast leavens the pastry and turns solid crunchy wholemeal into an altogether lighter mouthful. Probably wouldn't win any prizes but they taste nice.
Breakout fish and chips
The first food (bar bread) I haven’t cooked myself since January came from Lucy’s Chips on the brilliant market. We sat on a bench with our backs to City Hall, bathed in late afternoon sunlight, gazing at buildings with medieval origins, eating sensational haddock and chips cooked to order from Lucy’s. See more at her Facebook page.
Fish barbecue with Smokey* hot sauce.
Dodging the showers is easier when barbecuing for short periods. The steaks of wild trout shown here (line caught in a West Country river) take no time at all, and there is plenty of room on the grill for peppers and tomatoes (sausages can go on after all these have cooked).
This simple curry was circulating around North London in the 1970s. It has no pretensions to be anything else.