Chicken pesto traybake
January has finally hit us. I was away in Scotland for New Year and returning later softened the blues a little but, in what has been a very grey week up until today, I’ve now got a touch of early spring fever. It won’t last of course, it’s just the weather playing a little trick with this mildly spring-like day but it has made me think of brightness and beauty and that… well it’s good for the soul. Continue reading All things bright and beautiful
There were these 2 plums…how I love plums, they are so pretty as well as juicy and delicious. I picked one of them out of the fruit basket and I saw there a couple of apples, we wouldn’t eat them as we constantly forget to take food items to work with us… Continue reading Nothing but the fruit…
A food nirvana if ever there was one. The heart of Catalonia, a city on a beach – my kind of place.
We visited late summer on this occasion while the mid day heat haze still hangs heavy in the air and the Mediterranean sea retains it’s welcoming warmth after several months of sunshine. Continue reading Barcelona
Bread is my downfall in so many ways. I crave it and would eat almost anything wrapped up inside it… I am my father’s daughter and my brother’s sister in this regard.
Not a natural baker, my style tending toward the casual and approximate and not the precise nature so key in the science of baking. I do a passable chapatti along with the small arsenal of cakes in my repertoire but lately I have had a yearning to spend a little more time on this calming art. Continue reading Bread Head
“Cruciferous vegetables?” we blink, “what are they?” I’m familiar with groups such as alliums and know a little of brassicas but have not a clue about this curious term. Continue reading All the leaves are brown but the sky isn’t grey…
If at home on a Friday night, or Saturday come to the that, there are certain things I fancy eating and others that just don’t light me up because they aren’t ‘appropriate’ for those nights…inside my head obviously.
The things that seem appropriate for home cooked Fridays and Saturdays seem to centre on things that can be picked up to eat or curry – that’s it and nothing else will seem to do. Continue reading Salmon Tacos, Pyjamas and Love…
Introducing……My brother Karl-Heinz’s guest blog post. Karl-Heinz says…
I’ve been making crap pizzas since 1983.
In fact, I’ve turned it into something of an art and even won the Turner Prize for a Pizzarium i Crapio installation in 2002.
It all began when I was given a Floyd on France cookbook and attempted to make the ‘classic Provencal Pizza’. Over 34 years later I can confirm that until very recently I’ve made hundreds of crap pizzas. After the Floyd recipe failed me on a number of occasions, I took to playing a tape of La Bohème and drinking a nice Chianti whilst kneading. It didn’t help. Continue reading Flour and Water – Guest Blogger
Early this week, in need of sustenance but not abstinence I considered my options. I’m home alone, save for the pooch who struts in and out of the doors that are thrown wide open in the heat…she is torturing the neighbours again and I am losing patience. It’s that time of year when my love’s work overwhelms our life in that he is indefinitely absent. What I really needed was some supper plus some lunch to take to work the next day and with any luck the day after…maxi impact with mini effort…just for me and me alone. Continue reading All for one
I’ve been having an extremely odd time lately, and last week I was unwell again (not seriously so) but last weekend I was in great need of cheering up. Usually comfort food for me might be of the stodgier variety but it was hot…man it was hot and I yearned for a Mediterranean beach, with seafood. Being at home and watching re-runs of Rick Stein on a loop had not helped this longing and let’s just say, I won’t be jetting off anytime soon so… it was one of those times when The Med needed to come to South London. Continue reading Beneath a Cerulean Sky
You would think that having a broken ankle would afford you time to sit and stare, that being incapacitated prevents some things but increases time for others, like catching up with friends or writing a blog? Continue reading Spicy store cupboard supper
Grazing on ‘picky’ food is absolutely my favourite way of eating. It’s possible this stems from Sunday tea when I was a child, not being a character that enjoyed the rituals of 1970’s mealtimes or what they had to offer…I did love Sunday tea. This would be a selection of small plates of seafood, some salads, a little bread a little cheese and so on… or on occasion it would be some nice ham, and celery, always celery. Continue reading Meanwhile in London…
Postcards from the Pyrenees, encore.
Driving up the winding lane, alongside the fields that will soon burst with maize and sunflowers, I’m struck by the variety of livestock in our small village. A gathering of 250 inhabitants and a myriad of small farms, in every other home the obligatory well-tended kitchen garden. There are cows, sheep, ducks, pigs, chickens, guinea fowl, geese (of course, we are in Gascony after all) and goats – well they are the ones I have seen anyway, there may well be others! Continue reading Meadows and Pastures
Postcards from the Pyrenees…again
The Mountains form a natural border between France and Spain, but more than that they traverse the historical regions with their distinctive traditions, culinary and otherwise. To the west on both sides of the peaks is the Basque country, wonderful people who are rightly proud of their traditions, food studded with Pimentón, and an incomprehensible language with lots of X’s and J’s. From the beautiful Atlantic towns to the tiny coves that pepper the northern coastline, semi-sparkling crisp white wines like Txacoli (you see, it is unpronounceable but very drinkable!) and dishes that ooze with the warmth of spiced sausage alongside classics such as bacalao (salt cod). Continue reading The borderlands
More postcards from the Pyrenees
I have an interesting relationship with Oysters, in that I love them but I am allergic to them. My enjoyment these days being derived vicariously, beside my love.
As he pops the shells open to receive the milky pearlessence within, my mouth waters, for I know the ozone freshness there. Continue reading Mers et Montagnes
Sea Bream with peperonata
I thought I’d write a bit about the region of southern France in which we have spent so much time these past 14 years – not enough time, never enough. We’ve recently returned from our home there and through the medium of food I shall attempt to share a sense of the place we so love, through a series of posts. Continue reading Postcards from the Pyrenees
Roast Harissa Prawns, oranges and lemons, root vegetables
I find the Christmas season exotic, the yuletide of my childhood being rich with citrus, pineapple, Turkish delight, figs, dates and the like. The magic carpet of my mind is transported to the middle east and beyond at this time of year. I can’t decide if this is a fading tradition here in the UK, if the children of today will have any such association, maybe in this world where foods are available year round it simply isn’t a thang anymore? Continue reading The bells of St Clement’s
Crab gougères, smoked salmon and scrambled egg gougères.
It’s true to say that food has the power to evoke memories. I was thinking about a lovely canapé to do at this time of year, and I keep coming back to something often served with an aperitif in France, something we had for the first time many years ago in a Chateau in Bourgogne. I won’t name check the Chateau as everything about it was bizarre and not that good with the exception of the delicious glass of local Crémant (sparkling wine) served with Gougère. A delicious light and cheesy choux pastry, served warm and with something chilled they are a simple delight. Continue reading Santé Santa!
Cabbage with potatoes, bread and cheese
Looking out into the misty London morning, makes me think of and long for the Mountains near our home in the Pyrenees. There is something magnetic, I find, about proximity to those majestic peaks, peaceful, ethereal and magnificent…
Some time ago, I was watching Antonio Carluccio cooking up a soup, whilst on a misty mountain, it looked fabulous, in the tradition of the best peasant dishes and on this day, it was the only thing that would would do. Continue reading Before the mayhem, a little goodness
Green Tomato Chutney
On the way back from France last spring, driving north from our place in the Pyrenees, we stumbled on a village fair filled with local people and businesses proudly peddling their wares.
We had stopped off hoping to find a bakery where we could get a pastry to eat in the car but we got more than we bargained for. The place was packed with everything from wonderful produce, breads, cheeses and meats to a flea market area and and lots of farming type equipment for sale. Continue reading You say tomato, I say tomate
Pan fried Sea bass, chervil roots, Mediterranean vegetables
Sea bass is something of a British favourite these days, it seems to me. I guess the soft white flesh that lends itself so well when filleted is fairly ‘user friendly’.
For me, fillets such as these are just the ultimate fast food and give a delicious but quick meal. Continue reading Curious roots