Month: November 2007

Menu for Hope 4 at Chez Pim

Chez Pim has announced Menu for Hope 4 – her annual fundraising event. Inspired by the Tsnuami 5 years ago, in 2006, Menu for Hope raised US$62,925.12 to help the UN World Food Programme feed the hungry. I applaud her for this effort and would like to spread the word by directing you to her blog. This year, she is again supporting the UN World Food Programme. Do whatever you can, spread the word, at this indulgent time of year we shouldn’t forget the less fortunate.

Other people’s food

I’ve been at home for my sister’s wedding – wonderful day and a lovely break. The food was beautiful and mainly locally sourced which is impressive in these times – local beef & fish. I also got to visit the local farmer’s market which I’ll blog about soon. Clonea Strand, Dungarvan – I grew up 5 minutes from this beach and the wedding reception was held here. For today, as I haven’t been cooking, I thought that I’d trawl my favourite blogs and see what they’ve been doing. Lara at Cook & Eat gets another mention for her beautiful food photography and what looks like a fantastic recipe. This time she’s made Crispy Risotto Cheese Balls. Orchidea at Viaggi & Sapori made a lovely Risotto di zucca con pancetta croccante. Lolo, at VeganYumYum made yummy vegan aloo paratha’s, great for a lactose intolerant girl like me :-) Melissa, at the Traveller’s Lunchbox, made some gorgeous looking Autumn Trifles with Spice-Roasted Apples, Pears, and Pumpkin-Caramel Sauce. Ximena at Lobstersquad has made a recipe from 1080 recipes …

Ditalini with fresh borlotti beans, rosemary & tomato

Today’s recipe is ditalini with fresh borlotti beans, rosemary & tomato – a twist on Pasta e Fagioli that I made for lunch today. I’m a girl with an eye for detail, at least when it comes to food (for you friends reading, shocked that I typed that! ;)). I didn’t want to blog pasta e fagioli yet, because I wanted to make sure that the one I eventually blog is traditional, accurate and painstakingly researched. I am almost there, but not quite. So, instead, I will blog part of the research towards that goal and call it ditalini with fresh borlotti beans, rosemary & tomato. It’s a vegetarian version, intentionally, I wanted something with clean, crisp flavours, light & fruity and healthy. So, how to go about this? Spend a Sunday morning wandering around the food halls of London, unintentionally picking up the ingredients. Beautiful big red tomatoes of the type you would see in the mediteranean, fresh borlotti beans in their pink stripey pods, bursting to come out, ditalini pasta, shallots, garlic & …

Beetroot Latkes with Goat’s Cheese

It hasn’t been so long since I made latke’s, I know. Initially, I had planned to put a larger gap between blogging the potato and beet latke recipes, but then, I made them, and they were so good I just had to share. The recipe is based on one I found in a new cookbook of mine, Jewish Food: The World at Table. I found it while browsing in an independent bookshop that I love to visit when I have time. I can spend hours idling in bookshops and libraries, it’s a favourite past time. I’ve had to restrict it as I was hoarding too many books, something which became very obvious when I moved! I spotted the beet latkes recipe, and decided I’d buy it. That recipe aside, it’s a fascinating book, with loads of background information, and great recipes for Jewish food as varied as Ashkenazi food to Jewish Indian food. So, back to the latkes. It’s basically the same as a potato latke, except that you substititute raw beetroot for raw potato, …

Israeli Couscous with onion squash, haricot beans and pumpkin seeds

I am using pumpkin alot lately, I know. They’re in season, so I like to make the most of them. I love everything about them, the way they look and taste, their bright orange colour, I (clearly) just can’t get enough. I love just having them on my kitchen windsill, brightening the place up. Yes, sad, I know. I try to bring a homemade lunch to work every day but, lately, I’ve been lax. I find the change in seasons breaks my routine, which is no bad thing, but it’s time to get my house in order again. Often, it’s leftovers from dinner the night before but, sometimes, I make something especially for lunch as the repetition can get tedious. Anna Pickard recently made a suggested dish of mine in her “Out of my box” post on the Word of Mouth blog, and I laughed so hard at her description of it, as it’s so true of how I eat in November: The rest was dedicated to Niamheen and her Rice and Chorizo and Squash …

Moutabal

I love Lebanese food. The flavours are so fresh and lively, and the meze style eating is varied and so sociable. London is awash with great Lebanese restaurants, particularly around the Edgware Rd area.  They’re great places to bring vegetarian friends as there is plenty to satisfy everyone from the vegan to the carnivore. The Maroush chain of restaurants in London have a deli on the Edgware Rd, where I used to treat myself to moutabal when I lived in nearby Kilburn, a smoky aubergine dip, not unlike baba ghanoush from Egypt. I frequently make dips like guacamole, hummus and pesto but infrequently moutabal as I didn’t have a gas cooker in my last flat, so I decided that now that I have,  I should make it last weekend. To make moutabal you need to grill some aubergines over a gas flame until the skin is burned and the flesh is hot. The aubergine will be very hot so, take care, and ensure you don’t burn yourself as I did. I have previously made this …

Foodie bits & bobs from elsewhere

The Guardian launched their 2007 Food Directory last Saturday. It was available as a supplement to the Saturday Guardian but is also available online. It’s a nifty little thing, you choose your region first and then the type of food producer/shop you are looking for. Worth a look! Also, from the Guardian, more specifically Word of Mouth, Jay Rayner posted an interesting piece about food bloggers as critics, inspired by a piece in Montreal’s Gazette. Prestat, The Queen’s chocolatier, have launched a new chocolate, Choxi, that claims to be naturally good for you. They describe it as an extraordinarily yummy chocolate that has up to 3 times more antioxidants than ‘ordinary’ chocolate. It’s got to be tried! The bible of authentic Spanish Cookery, 1080 recipes by Simone and Inés Ortega, has been published in english by Phaidon (who also published the fantastic Italian equivalent – The Silver Spoon). I’ve ordered my copy and am anxiously awaiting it! In the meantime, Phaidon have a 1080 recipes feature site with links to PDF’s containing some preview recipes, …