A’Ja ( Bread Fritters)

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Yotam Ottolenghi, another winner. Food brings people together. That’s what I learnt from the amazing ‘Jeruselem on a Plate’ series.
I wonder why the UK government is so keen to stop children eating food that is healthy and interesting? Thatcher X’d out school dinners and replaced them with terrible food. Labour did not reverse this, Cameron has also not put proper healthy/interesting food on our children’s plates.

http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/

Yotam’s Jerusalem book is worth a read. We are lucky to have it in the local library.
On the side I put a vegetable pilaf. This was made with Waitrose LOVE Life quinoa with bulgar wheat. Roughly crunched Toasted whole almonds were added to this. I used butter and olive oil to fry the vegetable base. Use what you have got, I used courgette, onion, red pepper, celery. These were at the bottom of the salad draw, crying to be used.
This is what should be on a school dinner menu, parents should also be serving this. I work in a supermarket, I see what’s going in the baskets, it scares me.
Cant wait to visit Yottam in London, A must visit, if you are in London

Yotam wins again

Yottam wins again

Cacao Mousse

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This is The woopiest yup yup dessert ever, trust me, make this and your taste buds will love you for ever.
Ganache made with:
Willies 100% cacao (I used Venezuelan) ,cream , orange zest, seeds of fair trade ndali vanilla, muscovado sugar, egg yolk.
Whipped cream,
Whipped egg whites & icing sugar,
Folded together for the best chocolate mousse ever
Willie Harcourt-Cooze cacao products are something else. The cacao hit from the 100% blocks has the best flavour. The beans he uses are the best, the end result is so good.
Ndali Vanila, is excellent vanilla, don’t bother with the cheap alternatives. Our Tesco has just taken Ndali off its shelves and replaced it with its own brand, avoid this at all costs. Perhaps you can get Mexican Melipona vanilla pods, I never have tried these, I so want to. Please let me know if you use these.
I only use Clarence Courts rare breed eggs. They are the best, that’s why top chefs use them.
Variations on the theme, can include cinnamon,cardamom and much more. Please put your ideas to me.

williescacao.com Superb ingredient, a must in any kitchen.

williescacao.com
Superb ingredient, a must in any kitchen.

London

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London is still the best. I recommend Premier Inn for price and service. Nice to see a chain that delivers both.
So many things to see. So many things to eat.
Ottolenghi, Pizza Pilgrims, Kerb delivering as ever great food at a good price. Wonderful Street Feast at Hawker House. How good was that Shepard’s Pie in Bread Street Kitchens. Petrus , was as you would imagine very good. The British museum Guided Tour was a really good idea, wonderful tour guide. The British Museum is such a cool place. All the museums are cool.

John Lewis has a great Xmas window display

John Lewis has a great Xmas window display

Wahaca, Charlotte Street, London

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Banana Chocolate Loaf is very nice with a coffee

Banana Chocolate Loaf
is very nice with a coffee

Healthy and Tasty

Healthy and Tasty

Very nice breakfast
Sweetcorn fritters with avocado and salsa and English Chorizo
Really pleasant healthy change from full English. So many English breakfasts are rubbish; I make my own or go for something else. Roasts of Borough Markets full English is OK but very expensive. I live in Devon I have the best produce for making my own. West Peak Farm Bacon and Sausages, you can’t beat this so do not try.
Banana chocolate loaf, healthy ? I am not sure. Is it tasty? Amazingly tasty. Now this is better than when I made my own. Mine was good this was stunning. The only thing better about mine? Willie Harcourt-Cooze 100% Cacao (Devon Again).
2 Lattés , ever tried sleeping in a dorm after being still fired up from a P.I.L .gig?

Mycophobia , Not Me, I love them.

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Mushrooms on toast (sort of), freshly picked wild mushrooms. Field mushrooms and a couple of Boletus. Boletus is a good mushroom to start foraging with as it is easy to identify. Penny Bun is the prize Boletus. Some of the Boletus group are not so brilliant.
The devils Boletus is the only one to steer clear of, that’s pretty rare in the U.K. It is very easy to spot.
Field mushrooms are reasonably easy to identify, but there are some similar looking mushrooms. Yellow Stainer being just one. If you’re not 100% don’t pick it. Use good photos and Spore colour checks for I.D. Go on an organised mushroom foraging trip, there are some good ones organised by the National Trust.
But what’s that underneath the mushrooms? Hmmm,supermarket crap. Back in Bavaria it would be a good sourdough. Don’t bother with Tesco’s their sourdough is rubbish. Soda Bread is a great option and easy to make.
The butter I used for frying is amazing, the olive oil nothing special. A whole garlic clove bruised/bashed, thyme, salt and pepper (at the end).
There are many field mushrooms about at the moment. I hope before the season is finished to get some different types. A trip further afield is needed.

Field Mushroom/Boletus

Field Mushroom/Boletus

Amazing butter, at last a good British butter.

Amazing butter, at last a good British butter.

Good Mushrooms rubbish toast (bread).

Good Mushrooms rubbish toast (bread).

Jerk Hogget with Festivals

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Peckham Jerk Marinade is a must buy. This is the second time I have used it. Both times great results.
As tonight’s hogget/mutton was cooked in an oven I added some dark sugar, not to much. They had been marinating for 20 hours. I would worry about burning on a barbecue

Buy some Peckham Marinade

Buy some Peckham Marinade

Not the best photo, I am a cook not a camera person.

Not the best photo, I am a cook not a camera person.

Wild Blackberries are bang on, free and healthy. Fools are easy to make

Wild Blackberries are bang on, free and healthy. Fools are easy to make

. West Peak Hogget/mutton leg steaks cooked at 160 degrees came out very tender.
On the side I cooked three festivals, Levi Roots recipe. Seriously good. My festivals popped during cooking, they still came out good. Watch out if this happens, hot fat in your eye is not funny. Levis food is very tasty.
Market vegetables from Ugborough Sustainable are as good as it gets.
Follow this with a proper blackberry fool, you have food heaven.

http://www.leviroots.com

http://helengraves.co.uk/buy-peckham-jerk-marinade/

https://twitter.com/UgboroughSS

Deep Fried Rabbit

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Winner Winner Rabbit dinner!
This is from ,St Johns ‘Beyond Nose to Tail’. The recipe needed trotter gear, I had none. I used the duck stock that I did have. I was worried that I had a tough rabbit after cooking it in stock. I left it in the oven to cool , after 3/4 of the recipes allocated cooking time,rushing to work . I fried it, not tough,it was amazing.
For converting people to game, this along with Jamie Oliver’s Pheasant Schnitzel recipe, is a really good idea.

Deep Fried Rabbit. Ugborough Market vegtables.

Deep Fried Rabbit.
Ugborough Market vegtables.

Check out this Bad Boy!

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Custard Cream from Friary Mill. Friary mill keeps its cream cakes and similar, at an ambient temperature. This is as it should be.
Warrens Bakery do not, this is wrong, warm doughnut cream (confectioners or real) is fucking awful!
Home of Devon Pasty, alas no. But the custard slice is fucking awesome! The best pasty (yes they are from Devon), pop to Ashburton. We had the best pasty ever, we (mostly me) have had a few. Its on North Street, they also sell exploding bakery cakes. Ashburton has some wicked shops, worth stopping of on the bus journey.

Friary Mill Custard Slice is Boom!

Friary Mill Custard Slice is Boom!

Lamb/Mutton/Hogget Curry.

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Meat turning Brown. Not cooking through. But defiantly Brown

Meat turning Brown. Not cooking through. But defiantly Brown


Sliced onion, not to thin. Cooking in the same pan as the browned meat.

Sliced onion, not to thin. Cooking in the same pan as the browned meat.

Tempering whole spices.

Tempering whole spices.

Real mutton has big flavour, ideal for a curry as the flavour stands up to the spices. But lamb will still give superb results. I am using Hogget( an age in between Lamb and mutton) Cheaper cuts will give best results. If your meat is already cut (sometimes a better option), try and get pieces not too small.
Browning the meat brings great flavour to any stew or curry. Browning the meat is searing the outside without cooking the meat. This is why tiny bits of meat should be avoided; they will cook right through and be tough. A few won’t hurt, they will enhance the dish. Observe the pictures of brown caramelised meat, not grey. The odd burnt bit will not hurt.

Tempering whole spices (warming them in a pan), is easy and makes a difference. It is normal to do this in India. Whole spices last longer . Asian shops are cheaper than a supermarket. They have a higher turnover, so are usually fresher. I have used ground and whole spices and ground spices before now. Biting in to bits of coriander seed is not so nice. So ground spice is in at the moment. Some spices are added whole Cardamom and cinnamon are two I can think of
Onion Garlic and Ginger are popular bases for curries. I sometimes run out of ginger, guess what happens. Sliced onion, and crushed garlic with chopped ginger. Blitzing onion garlic and ginger with a little water and then frying the blitzed paste for 5 minutes, to remove the raw flavour. Chopped onion and garlic. It’s all good.
Chilli? The heat is up to you, dried or fresh? What have you got. I am using fresh ones of a plant I bought. Learning to handle more heat is a great thing. There are some unique flavours at the top end of the scale. The South Devon Chilli shop is an amazing place.
Another element is liquid, water, stock. Remember stock cubes are mostly salt. I sometimes sieve the water off after cooking reduce it over heat until its stronger in taste, then add stock cube to taste, I control the seasoning(amount of salt) going in the curry.
Here is a great link explaining Indian spice

http://indianfoodsite.com/spices.htm

Other things – Tamarind (a sharp flavour, used in sweet and sour dishes)
Coconut – great for sweetening and making rich, don’t add to much, it will become sickly.
Jaggery, I can’t get this, so chances on nor can you, replace with brown sugar or palm sugar. In India it is easier to get , possibly London or Birmingham . Used to sweeten curries. I am looking for it when I am in London. Watching it being made on T.V. was amazing.
½ tspcumin, 1tspcoriander, 1/2tspn fennel seeds .Add a whole cinnamon stick two cracked open cardamom pods. On top of the fried onion garlic base (1 onion two garlic cloves). If using ginger thumb nail size or a bit more. Two would be fine. Enough stock to ¾ cover, almost cover, or cover the meat. How long? I cooked for 1.5 hrs. at a low simmer, just blipping a bubble

No Lid? No problem. This piece of greaseproof paper is even better.

No Lid? No problem. This piece of greaseproof paper is even better.

every now and then.Mutton can be a 4hr(very low simmer). Add coconut at the end or some sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.

Usually an average put you off scary long curry recipe has about 20 ingredients. With way too much to comprehend for the first time or novice cook. K.I.S.S., this is an acronym aimed at myself and other novices: Keep it Simple Stupid .
Chopped Coriander or mint crowns a curry. Serve with Basmati rice.