recipes etc.
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Monday
Jan212008

crunchy beans with fennel

fennel-beans.jpg 

fennel is a favourite of mine. i love the vegetable, either raw or cooked, but i also love the dried seeds as a flavouring. i’m always happy to let this spice be the star of the show.

this recipe for crunchy beans with fennel dressing was pulled out of a magazine many moons ago and has become a real favourite. it’s delicious served hot as a light and slightly unusual side dish, particularly with fish or chicken. i also like to eat it cold, as a salad.

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Thursday
Jan172008

chermoula-marinated tuna

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one of my new year’s resolutions was to make better use of my cookery books. over the holidays i spent an afternoon going through a few books and magazines making a list of things i want to try and cook this month.

one of the books i picked up was diana henry’s crazy water, pickled lemons. i have used this book quite a lot as she creates dishes with strong and vibrant flavours, using lots of fresh herbs and spices. each time the recipe has turned out well. today’s chermoula-marinated tuna was no exception with a strong spicy flavour that contrasted well with the herby, pomegranate-tangy jewelled couscous which we ate it with.

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Monday
Jan142008

taste & create: learning to make youvarelakia

youvarelakia.jpg 

taste & create is one of my favourite blogging events. its organised by nicole from for the love of food who pairs bloggers up who then cook a recipe from each other’s blog.

it’s great fun looking through a blog and then having to be disciplined enough to choose just one recipe to try. waiting to see what the other person chooses to cook of yours is always exciting. in many ways, that’s the whole point of having a blog - i want people to try (and hopefully enjoy!) the same dishes that i cook and love.

i’ve been paired with elly from elly says opa who, like my previous partner valli, has a penchant for all things greek. looking through elly’s blog i was tempted by many, many dishes but decided to choose one which combined a number of elements that were appealing – greek flavours, a lemony egg sauce and meatballs. i decided to make elly's youvarlakia!

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Saturday
Jan122008

menu for hope 4: prizewinners

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as you may know, through menu for hope 4 we ended up raising over $91,000 for the un world food programme.

the raffle has now been done, visit chez pim to find out who the lucky winners are.

i wonder who i’ll be exploring london with?

Thursday
Jan102008

couscous- meh?

jewelled-couscous.jpg

i think people tend to either love or hate couscous. i used to hate it, finding it tasteless and stodgy. then, oh happy day, david cooked me some shortly after we met. he was following a recipe of some sort which dictated that he add herbs and other flavourings (i can’t remember exactly what) and it was a completely different experience. i’m now of the opinion that people who hate couscous haven’t had good couscous.

i have to admit to being lazy and using quick couscous which requires little more than the addition of hot stock (the easiest way to add flavour, don’t just use boiling water) and leaving it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing up the grains with a fork.

this week we had some gorgeous couscous that required a little more effort, but not much. i mixed the couscous grains with finely diced red chilli and shallots plus shredded mint, basil and parsley before adding the stock, into which i’d stirred the juice and zest of a lemon plus a pinch of saffron. when the couscous was done i stirred in some pomegranate seeds and it was ready to go.

if you’re not a couscous fan, give this a try (or get experimenting with your own variation) and let me know how you get on – i think you might be converted…