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eat. cook. write.

January 28, 2012

Fresh fig, Parma ham, and Rocket salad with Cabernet Sauvignon reduction

It's a scorching hot day. The kind where you'd rather not do anything, cause moving translates into sweating, unless it's in the direction of the pool or the sea.

Guests flew in from blustery England this morning. I could think of no better February salad than this one to welcome them in:

Fresh Fig, Parma ham and Rocket salad with Cabernet Sauvignon reduction

I was planning on going with the old goat's cheese standard, but this submission on my new fave Drizzle and dip blog, which credits Jamie Oliver, gave me the idea to use mozzarella instead. I love mozzarella. I think mostly because it's a word with two 'z's and two 'l's. Which ups it's dialogue cred and also makes it sound sultry in an Italian- only kind of way. If you can't get hold of a sufficiently sultry mozz, I recommend a nice Chevin (not the same sex appeal, really but you can't have it all)

January 27, 2012

Yakitori Chicken skewers

Nothing yukky about this Japanese treat. 

I used this grand Saveur recipe  to spice up my chicken skewers. The addition of spring onions (scallions, green onions, as you will) makes the recipe into Negima Yakitori. 

I adapted the recipe... 

January 25, 2012

Cloudy Prawn, Ginger and Sesame cakes

An elbow- watching, palm-clapping, enthusiastic high five to Food and Home magazine for a grand February issue. I don’t know when last I bought one, (I ignored them for a while because a flashy macaroon front cover recipe I sweated over didn’t work) but this one was worth it. Totally. The styling and photography is much improved except for a few photoshop hiccoughs. I feel that some thought really into went into this. And always one to appreciate a bit of serious foodthought, I thought I’d tell you why I like it:

There’s interesting niche stuff (chocolate focus,) the books, restaurant reviews, competitions and usual. But also some really thoughtful tidbits like useful salad dressings, a food market insight, recipes from movies (I’m going to make Uma Thurman’s pretty fucking good milkshake, from Pulp Fiction, soon) and a zoom in on seasonal produce. It also helps that they published an extract from the fantastic- looking Savour  cookbook by Hirschowitz, Alsfine and Sacharowitz that I have been eyeing out for a while. 

I tried out the Prawn and ginger fishcakes on page 62 for dinner. I adapted it rather a bit, as I do; but the foundation is theirs and it’s GREAT.

January 18, 2012

Granola squares

My granola glistens. It’s softer than you’d think, and it’s studded with all sorts of treats.

The recipe draws on inspiration from both the Essential Baking Cookbook and Ottolenghi. The list of ingredients is flexible- Play with it, see what’s in your storecupboard. But this is my fave combo of sweet, crunchy, chewy, citrus-y moreishness. Keep it in the the fridge.

  • 1 cup cereal (like special K)
  • ½ cup pecan nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup flaked almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ½ cups dried fruit (I used prunes, raisins, soft apricots, nectarines and pears)
  • 1 tablespoons (30ml) mixed candied citrus peel
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice
  • 250g butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

    1. Preheat the oven to 150 C, line a 25x 35 cm baking tray with baking paper and butter, leaving an overlay on the sides for easy removal.
    2. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, except for the butter, sugar and honey.
    3. Place butter sugar and honey in a medium- large saucepan and stir without boiling until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil and continue stirring until a light coloured caramel has formed and thickened slightly.
    4. Combine caramel with the dry ingredients and pour into baking tray, spreading evenly. If you like your granola a little thicker, use a smaller tin.
    5. Bake for about half an hour, then check for doneness. It should be light brown on top.
    6. Allow to cool in tin the refrigerate for a few hours until set before slicing into bars or cubes. Keep in the fridge.