recipes etc.
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Tuesday
Nov112014

autumn slaw with apple

i made this with pulled pork in mind, having been inspired by chatting about it with a friend. in fact i ended up eating it as a filling in a chicken wrap – leftover chicken pieces warmed through with a little chilli sauce for kick plus a sprinkling of grated cheddar and a smear of yoghurt. plus lots of the lovely fresh slaw – red cabbage, carrots, radish, spring onions, coriander, toasted sesame seeds and, for a lovely hint of sweetness, granny smith apples. the dressing is a mix of cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and a bit of sugar to balance the flavours.

so delicious, such a lovely combination with the spicy chicken and a wonderfully light and healthy option for an easy meal.

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Friday
Nov072014

citrus with ginger snow

this has been my favourite desert of the past few weeks - i’ve made it for several sets of friends and david and i have also enjoyed it on our own. part of the reason it’s so easy to make with great frequency is that once you have some ginger snow in the freezer, it’s just a matter of preparing the citrus fruit and sometimes (you don’t have to do it every time as often there is some left from the previous time) making the citrus syrup to go with it.

i think it’s a perfect pudding for this time of year as it’s light enough to follow even the heaviest of meals while also being full of fresh flavours to brighten your day.

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Tuesday
Nov042014

vanilla chocolate marble cake

this is a lovely simple cake and especially good if you can eat it still warm from the oven - i like to make it in the morning if i'm expecting friends later that day.

 apparently getting a marbled effect can be a bit tricky but the approach used here is one that makes it a bit easier:

“swirls of rich chocolate marbled through a vanilla cake seems straightforward enough, but with a few secrets you can make this even easier. you may notice that the large quantity of chocolate folded through the batter thins it – potentially a concern. but a curious thing about chocolate is that the cocoa solids dry the cake batter as it bakes, so the final texture stays balanced. spooning the mixtures in alternately means that when it comes to swirling everything together, you're already halfway there. this makes it much more likely each slice will contain dark and white cake.”

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Friday
Oct312014

top 20 fast food: huevos estrellados

last week the guardian published a top 20 of fast food recipes – food that’s quick to pull together and get onto the table. i’m always keen to be inspired with new options for this kind of cooking, so i’ve decided to try and cook my way through at least half of the recipes.

first up was a recipe for from omar allibhoy for huevos estrellados, which he talks about as follows “no visit to madrid is complete without eating these crashed or broken eggs, as we call them. we eat them for lunch or dinner but you could also have them for breakfast or brunch. a crashed egg is somewhere between a fried and a scrambled egg – it “crashes” because you crack open the egg some distance from the pan.”

so, how did i get on?

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Tuesday
Oct282014

pumpkin with garlic, chilli and thyme

this is the first week when the weather in frankfurt has felt properly autumnal. we’ve had several weeks of the leaves turning various shades of red and orange then starting to fall, but up until now the temperatures have been very mild. however, there is now a definite nip in the air and i’ve been enjoying looking at recipes better suited to colder weather.

pumpkin (and squash) is a favourite vegetable of mine and i’ve been enjoying pairing it with garlic, chilli (a bit too much chilli on occasion, now i’ve found a source for properly hot chillies!) and thyme.

this pasta was the starting point for this combination – while cooking the pasta i fried small pumpkin pieces in a mix of olive oil and butter with garlic and chilli. once i could smell the garlic i added a pinch of thyme leaves and a ladle of water from the pasta pan - the water helps the pumpkin cook quickly and creates a bit of a sauce. everything came together at roughly the same time, but i did add the pasta to the pumpkin pan, along with a bit of extra water, to help the flavours meld.

i used the same flavours in a risotto later in the week, using fennel in place of the onion that usually kicks off a risotto recipe (this squash and fennel soup reminded me what a great combination these two flavours create) and adding a ball of mozzarella at the end of the cooking period, to give a bit of extra richness. i’ve also used garlic, chilli and thyme to flavour some roasted pumpkin, which we ate with roast chicken.