I will never tire of the sea. Ever.
I will never tire of the sea. Ever.
Meals made from odds and sods from the fridge are always the best. I get an amazingly sad kick from knowing that the majority of my dinner was made from oldish bits that would otherwise be chucked away. Anyway, cue veggie burgers.
400g can chickpeas, drained
zest 1 lemon, plus juice ½
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
small bunch coriander, chopped
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 medium red onion, ½ diced, ½ sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small wholemeal buns
1 large tomato, sliced, ½ cucumber, sliced and chilli sauce, to serve
In a food processor, whizz the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, soy sauce, chilli flakes, the mushrooms which have been sliced and fried, half the coriander, the egg and some seasoning. Scrape into a bowl and mix with 80g of the breadcrumbs and the diced onions. Form 4 burgers, press remaining breadcrumbs onto both sides and chill for at least 10 mins.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot. Fry the burgers for 4 mins each side, keeping the heat on medium so they don’t burn. To serve, slice each bun and fill with a slice of tomato, a burger, a few red onion slices, some avocado slices, Ikea pickles, a dollop of chilli sauce and the remaining coriander.
Everyone needs one. On Monday I nipped to Toulouse for work and managed to catch up with a French colleague. Over a dinner of magret de canard, Sebastian presented me with his homemade pate and cured meats to take back with me. Awesome, merci poulet!
2 tbsp sunflower oil
500g courgettes, thickly sliced
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground turmeric
500g tomatoes, chopped
150ml hot vegetable stock
225g pack raw peeled frozen jumbo prawns, thawed
½ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large wok and stir-fry the courgettes for 5-6 mins until softened. Lift from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind.
Add the cumin seeds to the pan and toast for a few secs, then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and spices. Cook, stirring for 1-2 mins, then tip in the tomatoes and cook for a few mins more.
Pour in the stock and simmer to make a pulpy sauce, then add the courgettes and prawns. Cook gently until the prawns change from grey to pink and the courgettes are tender, but not too soft. Stir in most of the coriander, saving some to sprinkle over the top. Serve with basmati rice and mango chutney, if you like.
Next up is a firm favourite of mine. Especially with a chunk of extra mature cheddar. Do not eat before going out.
1kg/2¼lb small pickling onions or shallots, peeled
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1l/1¾pt malt vinegar
180g/6oz granulated sugar
Put the onions in a large bowl with the salt and mix together. Cover and leave overnight.
Rinse well in cold water and allow to dry as much as possible.
Pack the onions into sterilised jars.
Put the vinegar, chilli flakes and sugar into a pan and slowly bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the vinegar over the onions and seal the jars.
Store in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks before eating.
The yuletide season is fast approaching with the help of television adverts, store displays and local councils putting up Christmas decorations at the end of October; and as such one can’t help but think about “that” time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Christmas hater, however I loathe and abhor the fact that in 2015 it is simply a costly financial exercise. People get in all sorts of debt under the pressures of Christmas; why do we go absolutely bananas on gifts, food and drink on this one day of the year? For me Christmas is about friends, family and good food. This really shouldn’t cost the earth. And it doesn’t. So this year H and I decided to mix things up present wise and do everything ourselves. Out with the anonymity of Amazon and in with peeling horrendous amounts of shallots. Our blood sweat and tears will be going into this.
First up is a condiment that sounds a bit like Piccadilly…
Makes 3 x 340g jars
1kg washed, peeled vegetables – select 5 or 6 from the following: cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower; green beans; cucumbers; courgettes; green or yellow tomatoes; tomatilloes; carrots; small silver-skinned onions or shallots; peppers; nasturtium seed pods
50g fine salt
10g ground turmeric
10g English mustard powder
15g yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
600ml cider vinegar
150g granulated sugar
Cut the vegetables into small, even bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Mix well, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the veg with ice-cold water and drain thoroughly.
Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar. Put the rest of the vinegar into a saucepan with the sugar and honey and bring to the boil.
Pour a little of the hot vinegar over the blended spice paste, stir well and return to the pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3–4 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours into the thickening sauce.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully fold the well-drained vegetables into the hot, spicy sauce. Pack the pickle into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately with vinegar-proof lids. Leave (if you can) for 4–6 weeks before opening. Use within a year.
Got plans on the 5th of November? They don’t matter, change them. Instead get yourself down to The Old Barn in Milton at 7pm for a night of fundraising brought to you by Southsea’s hottest new food truck Dangerdogs. Here is what they say;
Since the beginning of the conflict, Syrian children have been the forgotten victims of the horrific war. Today, over 5 million children are in need of assistance, including over 1 million Syrian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. These children are at risk of becoming a “lost generation” and cannot be ignored. We must save Syria’s children.
This is where you come in – all you have to do is:
Come to The Old Barn on Thursday 5th November and eat hot dogs and listen to awesome live music to help raise money for this incrediblly worthwhile cause.
Dangerdogs UK will be serving up bacon wrapped or faconwrapped meat / veggie and vegan hotdogs and music will be supplied by banging local acts.
Tickets; £6.50 on the door which will include a #Dangerdog of your choice and give you free raffle ticket (more raffle tickets available for purchase). We can’t wait to see you there.
Amongst the acts are You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons / Jalou / Pimpernel Jones / Moosehead International Airport / Bluegreen / Udy + Surprise Special Guests. For more info on the event, check out their FB page here.
I can vouch for these bad boys too…