Sunday, 12 July 2015
Sunday, 9 March 2014
At 4am on Tuesday morning with my alarm ringing in my ears I hopped out of bed ready and raring to take on Billingsgate Fish Market. This historic destination has been operating for hundreds of years supplying London’s restaurants, fishmongers and citizens with beautifully fresh fish from all over the world. I was met at the market by Adam, a living and breathing maritime encyclopaedia whose sheer passion for fish was not only infectious but starkly apparent when he tenderly picked up angry crabs and became wide eyes upon spying the largest Red Snapper he had ever seen.
There was an incredible variety of fish on the market with stalls specialising in produce from the Mediterranean to the North Atlantic. However, my nose naturally drew me to the smoked fish counter where I sampled the most deliciously succulent hot smoked mackerel that fell off the bone. All that was needed was a piece of toasted sourdough and I would be in foodie heaven!
Interestingly, the freshness of the produce meant that the market had the salty fragrance of the sea, evoking memories of the wild Cornish coastline.
I had an amazing moment at the beginning of this week when I was flicking through the latest edition of Good Housekeeping and I was greeted with a picture of my face beaming out of page 86! Last summer I had the most fantastic work experience with the GH cookery team, doing my dream job for 2 weeks. I worked on photo shoots, recipe tested and accompanied the team on Christmas press events. The magazine has re-launched their 'Foot in the Door' scheme and I would urge anyone interested in following their passion for food writing to send in their application.
Check out the link to my work experience blog on the Good Housekeeping website:
As the magnolia trees are happily coming into bloom it is safe to assume that spring is on its way! Henceforth, now is the opportune moment to embrace floral notes in your cooking by experimenting with the delicate flavours of rose, lavender and orange blossom. Perhaps I am being overly optimistic but a little bit of springtime goes a long way and these characteristically Middle Eastern scents evoke memories of springs gone by, providing a feast for all the senses.
These bit sized meringues not only satisfy sugar cravings but are also a novel way of bringing a splash of colour to your table.
Makes 25 meringues
- 3 egg whites
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 tsp rose water (Neilsen Massey is my preferred brand)
- 50g shelled, unsalted pistachio kernels
- pink food dye (or the colour of your choice)
- 300ml double cream
- 2-3 tbsp icing sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 150ºC. Line a baking tray with silicone paper and whizz the pistachio kernels in a food processor until roughly chopped.
2. In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites. Start on a slow speed and gradually increase the speed as the whites grow in size until they have reached stiff peak.
3. Whisk 1 tbsp of caster sugar into the stiff egg whites, bringing the mixture back to stiff peak. Repeat this process 3 times and then gradually add the remaining sugar and 1tsp of rose water until it is fully incorporated. Take care not to over whisk the mixture as this will cause sugar beading once the meringue has cooked.
4. Paint 4 vertical lines down the length of the piping bag with a medium sized, circle attachment.
5. Fill the piping bag with the meringue mixture and pipe into ‘kisses’ approximately 1cm wide, leaving a 1cm gap between each. Sprinkle with the pistachio kernels and bake for approximately 1hr and 2mins.
6. To test the meringue remove one from the oven, let it cool and then crack open the centre. The meringue should be chalky throughout. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
7. Meanwhile, whip the cream to medium to stiff consistency, the cream will thicken when it is piped. If you have over whipped your cream let it down with a splash of milk. Add icing sugar and rose water to taste and pipe onto the cooled meringue through a small star shaped nozzle and sandwich together.
Saturday, 20 July 2013
In my Father’s rather biased opinion this recipe produces the best falafel he’s ever tasted, all credit going to Yotam Ottolenghi. The rich, spicy aroma of these Middle Eastern nibbles is enough to make you salivate and when combined with hummus it can only be described as an exotic symphony dancing around your mouth, momentarily transporting you to Istanbul’s winding street markets
Makes around 20 balls
- 250g tinned chickpeas
- 1/2 a medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
- approximately 750ml sunflower oil
1. Place the chickpeas, onion, garlic, fresh parsley and coriander and the dried spices in a food processor and whizz until it forms a grainy, well combined paste.
2. Add the baking powder, flour, salt and 3 tablespoons of water and blitz until the paste is smooth and uniform. Leave the mixture in the fridge for an hour or until ready to use.
3. Fill a deep, heavy based saucepan with enough oil to come 7cm up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 180ºC.
4. With wet hands, make balls slightly smaller than a golf ball and press them firmly to prevent them from breaking.
5. In batched deep fry the balls for approximately 4 minutes each or until golden on the outside and no longer wet in the middle. It is important they dry in the middle so I would recommend doing a tester batch first.
6. Drain in a colander lined with kitchen paper and serve immediately.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
It’s hard to imagine a more delicious combination than garlicy spinach delicately complimented by tangy feta and creamy ricotta. This Greek staple is crammed with iron and calcium to keep your body fighting fit all year round. It can be served as the plat principal alongside a crisp green salad, drizzled with lemon or wrapped up into small parcels and served as finger food during a warm summer’s barbeque
Cooking Time: about 45 min, plus 5 min cooling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g baby spinach
- 350g feta, crumbled
- 250g ricotta
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leafed parsley
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 100g butter, melted
- 6 sheets filo pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan), gas mark 6. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened. Add the spinach, cover on a low heat and leave to wilt for approximately 5 min. Set the spinach mixture aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the feta, ricotta, eggs, parsley, nutmeg, and pepper. Add the cooked meat if you are using it. Stir into the cooled, drained spinach.
3. Brush the base of an 8 x 11inch pan with butter and lay down 3 or 4 sheets of filo pastry so they come half way up the sides of the dish, brushing melted butter between each layer to prevent them from separating whilst cooking.
4. Evenly spread the filling over the filo base and top with the remaining layers of pastry. Tuck in any excess pastry, brushing each individual sheet with the melted butter.5. Bake for 30–35 min until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 min. Serve warm with a crisp green salad dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.