If You Make It Rain She Will Be Under The Weather….

I am down one child this week. The Ru is with his father as his wonderful nanny Pavlina is on vacation. I am kind of getting used to having two children. Ooo having two is so easy! The girls are also “best friends” apparently. They are playing card games together and whispering conspiratorially. Hmm I think I should be concerned. It almost feels like the quiet before the storm…

The diversity of this weeks culinary creations has been spectacular. Mostly due to the random requests from the girls which I have been happily fulfilling as they have been so adorable.  I really am worried, this cannot be maintained….

I made twice cooked Szechaun pork and served it with noodles. I always use pork belly for this dish. I poach the belly pieces in water with roughly chopped (unpeeled) ginger, star anise, an onion (cut in half unpeeled) and some Szechaun peppercorns. After 20 mins or so I take out the pork cut It into bite size chunks and then throw a marinade on them. The marinade varies as to what elements I have in my cupboard, but the basis always remains the same. I always have in my cupboard, soy sauce, chilli oil, fermented black beans and sugar.  Thats the basis and then I throw in, sesame oil, more crushed peppercorns. maybe some fresh chilli, crushed garlic and crushed ginger. I marinate the pork for  a minimum of 20 mins.

I then fire up the wok and fry the pork (leaving the marinade aside) for 8 mins or so then decant and throw in some chopped veg, some cashews, the left over marinade and some pre cooked noodles, add a bit more soy if needed. Voila.

For dessert the kids requested crumble..Uhh ok, Szechuan pork and crumble has never really been on my list of great menus but I am here to serve (apparently). I leave you the recipe. I cannot recommend that you serve it after the pork dish but I won,t judge you either if you do…

Have a great week

Rachelle X

elderflowerpicking TwiceCookedPorkNoodles Brunch strawberriespeaches painparduecrumble crumble

Strawberry Peach and Almond Crumble 

(Serves 4)

I wanted to make a strawberry and rhubarb crumble but couldn’t find any rhubarb, I added whole almonds (which were therapeutically battered with a rolling pin) to the crumble mix. I am happy with the result, the kids were happy with the result, I served it with creme fraiche sweetened with a little icing sugar and vanilla extract.

Ingredients

  • 400g Strawberries (cut in half)
  • 4 large peaches (quartered)
  • 60g whole almonds (beaten with a heavy object till nubbly)
  • 220g oats
  • 200g plain flour
  • 3 tbs cold butter
  • 120g sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • A few nobs of butter to go onto the fruit
  • fat pinch of sea salt

Directions

Turn on the oven 180C

In a medium size bowl place the flour, oats, almonds and salt. Mix really well then add the 3 tbs of cold butter, with your finger tips rub the butter in until a nobbly sand texture. Set aside.

In a 12 x 6 x 2 inch dish (you can do individual portions too) place your strawberries and peaches. I then take about a tablespoon of so of butter and mix it with the vanilla extract, then place nobs of the vanilla butter on top of the fruit.

Scatter the crumble mix on top and place in the oven for 25 mins until the fruit is bubbling and the crumble golden.

Serve with your a la mode of choice.

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Everything Means Nothing

I have discovered the cheapest babysitter in the world. The Hackney Picture House. For £1 per child I get an hour and a half of peace on a Saturday morning.  We have the routine down pat. I make a load of popcorn bag it up. What? God there is no way I am spending money on popcorn at the cinema..Its such a rip off! We then go to the local shop and buy some jelly sweets or such…Do you see the theme here?

This week I used my time to run around and gather ingredients for curry goat. A dinner request from friends which I have been meaning to fulfil for ages. Love this curry, easy, cheap and delicious. Make sure you ask the butcher to give you the goat cubed and still on the bone.  If you don’t want to use goat then you can totally substitute it with beef or even lamb would work too.

I served the curry with a fresh limey coleslaw and coconut rice and peas and also some fried plantain, although Lola ate most of the plantain before it got to the table!  My friends arrived armed with a bottle of dark rum…The rest is history.

I also leave you with a few photos from the fun fair. The girls only request was candy floss…the rest was superfluous…

Have a wonderful week

Rachelle X

rum

candyfloss

funfair slaw goat

Curry Goat

(serves 4/6)

Ok not the prettiest of things but totally wonderful.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6-8 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp allspice (see step 1)
  • 3 pounds goat (can use lamb or beef if you can’t find goat)
  • Salt
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped
  • A 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • a bunch of  dried thyme
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 5 new potatoes,  cut into 1-inch chunks

METHOD

Make the curry powder. If you can find Jamaican curry powder, definitely use it. If not, use regular curry powder and add the allspice to it. You will need at least 6 tablespoons of spices for this stew, and you can kick it up to 8-9 depending on how spicy you like it.

Cut the meat into large chunks, maybe 2-3 inches across. If you have bones, you can use them, too. Salt everything well and set aside to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the curry powder and heat until fragrant.

Pat the meat dry and brown well in the curried oil. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the pot. It will take a while to do this, maybe 30 minutes or so. Set the browned meat aside in a bowl. (When all the meat is browned, if you have bones, add them and brown them, too.)

Add the onions and habanero to the pot and sauté, stirring from time to time, until the onions just start to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some salt over them as they cook. Add the ginger and garlic, mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

Put the meat back into the pot, along with any juices left in the bowl. Mix well. Pour in the coconut milk and tomatoes and 5 tablespoons of the curry powder. Stir to combine. If you are using 2 cans of coconut milk, add 3 cups of water. If you’re only using 1 can, add 4 cups of water. Add the thyme. Bring to a simmer and let it cook until the meat is falling-apart tender, which will take at least 2 hours. Longer if you have a mature goat.

Once the meat is close to being done – tender but not falling apart yet – Add the potatoes and mix in. The stew is done when the potatoes are. Taste for salt and add some if it needs it.

You might need to skim off the layer of fat at the top of the curry before serving. Do this with a large, shallow spoon, skimming into a bowl.

 

 

 


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I’m Running Catch Up With Me

Ok its been a bit busy over here. I have loads to talk about but will pace myself. The kids haven’t seen much of me in the last couple of weeks. I think that is probably a good thing, you know how absence makes the heart grow fonder and to be honest after half term I think we all needed to take a bit of time out.

My friend Uju and I have not been able to find the time to hang out at all in the last year and now it seems we are at every foodie event together! We were invited to an event hosted by Tribal Media. They were launching a new gluten free range of foods by Ilumi. We were given a cooking demonstration and we tried a selection of their products. I was really impressed. We ate Tom Kha Gai Soup, delicious. I also had gluten free pasta with meatballs in a tomato sauce and for dessert a chocolate brownie made by the Knead Bakery and non dairy vanilla ice-cream. The Brownie was totally delicious and you would not have known it was wheat free…I was totally impressed. Nuff said!!

So, not content with seeing Uju and having a little glass of wine too for that lovely evening. We hook up on the Saturday with the brood to check out Big Apple Hot dogs new venue at Off Broadway on Broadway Market. Her husband owns the company and they have pop ups all over the place. Check them out best hot dogs in town!  The kids were suitably furnished with theirs and Uju and I furnished ourselves with a cocktail or two…Hehe. Abe (Uju’s husband) said that we should come here every Saturday and call it the “Cocktail Creche” I like her husband!

Amongst all my social engagements (Ok two but that is unheard of over here) I did actually do some work. Had a shoot at Rasoi with Lisa Barber for a charity cookbook. One of three shoots that are happening over the next couple of weeks. I also managed to throw together a few half decent meals for the offspring.

Its summer (apparently) and as usual I start thinking about tapas and meze and summer holidays somewhere hot and Spanish food and then I realise I am bloody cold and need to make a stew! So I created a Spanish tapas inspired summery stewy thing. Butter beans, tomatoes, garlic, bratwurst sausages (ok not very Spanish but they were in the fridge). The kids especially Tilda mainlined it!

Its cheap to make and totally perfect for a summers winters day!

Have a good one y’all!

Rachelle X

Rasoi copy GlutenFreeMeet GF Brownie copy tilda2 copy TessaKiros Butterbeansausage

Bean and Sausage Casserole

As you can see from the photo I added eggs to this. You don’t have to. I would and did have this for breakfast well more of a brunch thing. I think I gathered inspiration from about 3 popular spanish dishes and then merged them. I soak an entire bag of butter beans to cook but please use a can if you wish. I just think the tinned ones don’t hold their shape as well. Plus when you cook your own beans you can add a load of flavour to the beans.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of butter beans (or use a can if you wish)
  • I can of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 bratwurst sausages (or any cured sausage of your choice the most obvious being chorizo)
  • I onion (roughly chopped)
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • Squirt of tomato puree or ketchup
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • A handful of parsley (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Directions

I soak a whole bag of beans the night before then cook them as per instructions adding a chopped onion, bay, peppercorns, a carrot whatever herbs I have to hand. Then I store them in the fridge thoroughly dressed in olive oil and lemon juice. You can then use them as and when you feel. I chuck a handful in a salad, or they are great with roast chicken throw them in the roasting dish about 20 minutes before you take the chicken out.

Take a deep heavy pan with a lid and on a medium heat  add olive oil and  then chopped onion with a big fat pinch of sea salt. When the onion is translucent after 5 mins of so of cooking add the garlic, cook for another minute or two, then add the beans tomatoes, chopped up sausage, and tomato paste (or ketchup) stir and simmer gently with the lid on for about 20 mins until the tomatoes have lost their rawness and the sausage is totally warmed through.

Then crack your eggs onto the stew and season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and cook for a further 8 mins with the lid on. When the eggs are cooked sprinkle the parsley on top and serve with warm butter bread..I want to make this again now!

 

 


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