Sunday, 26 May 2013

I like Sundays (and potatoes)

Especially when they look like this.

It's not Sunday without brunch, and brunch isn't brunch without potatoes.

These particular potatoes are just roasted with red onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. At 180°C for 45 minutes. Tomatoes sprinkled with fleur de sel join them in the oven half way through.

Meanwhile tempeh is marinated in a mix of soya sauce, liquid smoke, hot sauce, and garlic. It's then skewered with vegetables of your choosing before being griddled along with a green chili.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bad girl courgette pakoras

Courgettes are such squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes vegetables. Kind of bland, kind of boring. This recipe makes them into bad girl pakoras.

Makes 15-18 pakoras

2 courgettes
1/4 red onion
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (US: baking soda)
1/2 tsp salt
plenty of black pepper
1 scant tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander (powder)
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp really hot cayenne pepper
1-4 Tbsp water

vegetable oil or vegetable ghee for deep-frying

1. Grate the courgettes, sprinkle on 1 tsp of salt, and leave to sit in a colander over the sink for at least an hour. Just like that:

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, pepper, and spices.

3. Squeeze handfuls of grated courgette to get rid of as much water as possible. Add to the dry mixture and stir well.

4. Finely dice the quarter onion. Add to the bowl.

4. A tablespoon at a time, add water, stir, and continue until you have a batter of a similar consistency to very thick custard, like in the highly appetising photo below.

5. Heat around 2 inches' depth of ghee or oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat.

6. When the oil is hot, add the courgette mixture in batches. Each pakora is around one tablespoon of mixture. You'll need to do it in batches of around four pakoras.

7. Fry until crisp and nicely coloured. Then remove to a pile of crumpled paper towels. Pat to remove excess oil.

Eat with your favourite pickles and chutneys, and a crisp salad to feel less guilty about all that naughty deep-frying. You bad girl, you.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Gâteau Coco Loco

Have you seen that episode of The Mighty Boosh about Milky Joe? It's my favourite.

Here's a cake that's a heady mix of Milky Joe and this recipe.

Cake ingredients:
1.5 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 sachet vanilla sugar (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract as a wet ingredient)
3/4 cup dessicated coconut

1 cup soya (or whatever) milk
1/2 cup neutral oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup margarine
1.5 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2  Tbsp soya or whatever milk
more dessicated coconut for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tin with foil or baking paper and grease well (with margarine or oil).

2. In a big bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

3. In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk to combine as well as possible.

4. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined: don't over work it.

5. Pour into the tin and bake for 25-35 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, make the icing: put everything apart from the decoration coconut and soya milk in a jug, and whizz up with a hand-held blender. You may not need the soya milk: add it little by little until you have a firm but spreadable icing.

7. When the cake is done, you have a couple of options. Once it's cooled, you can turn it out and plonk the icing on top and sprinkle with coconut. Or, if you've used a large square tin, you can cut the cake in half and spread some icing on one half. Then plonk the other half on top, and spread the top with icing before sprinkling with coconut.

8. Go coco loco.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

VT Cash & Carry

VT Cash & Carry is a proper treasure trove. It's situated on Rue Cail in the 10th, at the heart of Paris' little India/little Sri Lanka.

There's not much you can't get here. Some stuff is sold in bulk, but there are plenty of normal-sized packages for us non-restaurateurs too.

VT sells great Indian ingredients that are really hard to find elsewhere. Everything from tamarind to amchur, via vegan ghee and fresh coconut grated before your very eyes by a chap with a big whirring machine.

But wait, there's more! VT is also the place to go for British products at bargain prices compared to the typical British food shops in Paris. Baked beans, fantastic biscuits, and of course a huge selection of familiar teas.

While you're on the Rue Cail, do yourself a favour and get a dosa from one of the many restaurants lining the street. Because food bigger than your torso is a good thing.

VT Cash & Carry
11-15 Rue Cail
Métro: La Chapelle, Gare du Nord, or Louis Blanc

Agrandir le plan

Wednesday, 1 May 2013