Friday 20 March 2009

What I've been cooking, and eating.

I thought I'd write something about the food I've been cooking at home this past week. One's an old favourite, the rest are all new recipes I've tried for the first time. Looking at the photos, I just realised there's Definitely a real Middle Eastern vibe going on in my choice of recipes right now.

The photo above is two recipes from Nigel Slater's 'Real Food' (if you don't own it - buy it! some cracking recipes in there). We have 'Classic French Potato Salad' combined with 'Grilled Chicken with Chili. Lemon and Mint. Really impressed with these, especially the potato dish. So simple but so gorgeous. What's interesting is that the dressing (2 chopped shallots, 3 Tbs Tarragon Vinegar, 125ml Olive oil and chopped flat leaf parsley). Is poured over the hot peeled potatoes and then left for 30 Min's to soak in. And it did! completely soaked up, tasted gorgeous.
The Chicken dish was good too - very clean and fresh tasting, but the potato recipe was the clear winner here.

An old Favourite this, from Nigella Lawsons 'Forever Summer' cookbook, 'Lamb patties with Hummus and Pitta'. Another really fresh tasting plate of food. Rather than buy hummus I made my own - it's really easy, miles cheaper and tastes much better.

Another recipe from Nigella's 'Forever Summer' - 'Bulgar Wheat Salad with Pink-Seared Lamb'. First time I've made this, and very nice it was too - the Lamb Loins needed a bit more 'searing' I'd say, but still they weren't bad, the accompanying Bulgar Wheat Salad was lovely.

Finally we have 'Kosheri' from the newest recipe book on my shelf, 'Ottolenghi - The Cookbook'. This is apparently Egyptian street food, and is similar to kedgeree (without the fish). It consists of green lentils, basmati rice, vermicelli noodles (had real trouble getting these - it's no different to spaghetti really). This is flavoured with Nutmeg, Cinnamon and caramelised white onions. Then served with a spicy, chili spiked tomato sauce on the side. This recipe tasted truly fantastic. Only downside was, for mid-week cooking, it took quite a while to cook and generated a sink full of washing up.

So, that's what I've been cooking this week....
In other foodie related news, I ate the best Falafel I've ever tasted from a stall in Whitecross Street Market, EC1, It was wrapped in a flatbread with chopped tomato, pickled beetroot(?) pickled chilli's, a dash of Chili Sauce and finally Tahini sauce and all for £4-50. Which, was for a large one. (A size, which I've learnt is only for the truly famished! I just about finished it.) There was a queue down the road, so the stall is obviously very popular. (Follow the crowds!)

And in some late breaking news - I ordered some new recipe books from Amazon....
'Big Flavours and Rough Edges'- Recipes from 'The Eagle'
One of my favourite Gastro Pubs, this book is out of print and priced at over £100 in some places, but I grabbed a second hand copy for £10!

Gordon Ramsay's
'Cooking for Friends'
I recently read about a recipe for Cardamom and Lime Mousse in another blog, and I had to get the recipe.

Last but not least,
Anthony Bourdain's
"Les Halles" Cookbook: Classic Bistro Cooking
After reading 'Kitchen Confidential', I've had my eye on this for a while - and I love French Bistro food.

I'll let you know how I get on with these when they arrive.


Hollow Legs said...

That bulgar wheat salad in particular looks delicious. Dribble.

Graphic Foodie said...

defo with you on the hummus front - so easy and cheap (and less scary additives).

The Ample Cook said...

Dan, I've got the Nigel Slater book too and I'll definitely be trying that potato salad recipe.

Been toying with The Ottolenghi book too - have you been to any of their restaurants?

Dan said...

@ The Ample Cook, no - I haven't been to any of the Ottolenghi restaurants. I just read another blogger raving about the book, had a quick look and seemed to be the sort of food I like to cook (Middle Eastern influenced).

Talking about books, my Les Halles cookbook turned up this morning, and it's cracking - pretty much every Bistro dish you can think of in there.

Anonymous said...

Wow you have certainly been eating well this week. I am also drooling over that bulgar wheat salad, it looks so springlike. Did you try a Chinese supermarket for your noodles? They are my favourite noodles!

Dan said...

@ Helen - Chinese Supermarket, no never thought of that - I ended up getting them from Italian Deli on the Farringdon Road.

As for the Bulgar Wheat Salad, Here's the recipe for you and Lizzie who also commented...

Bulgar Wheat Salad.
Serves 4

125g Bulgar Wheat.
Bunch Coriander
Bunch Mint (Leaves Only)
4 Spring Onions.
1 Fresh Green Chilli
1 small Courgette
Juice of 2-3 Limes
4 Tbs Olive Oil

Cook the Bulgar Wheat as directed on packet.
Chop Coriander and Mint.
Finely slice Spring Onion.
Peel and Dice Courgette.
Drain the Bulgar, Pour Over Juice of Limes and add Olive Oil.
Add Salt+Pepper and Toss.
Throw in Herbs, Chilli, Spring Onion and Courgette.
Mix and Serve.

Hollow Legs said...

Lovely, thanks!

Unknown said...

I am jealous of your eating this week as well. Dan you would LOVE the Ottolenghi cookbook. I recommend it to so many people I feel that I should take commission but really it is brilliant. Since you like the Moro cookbook I think it will be right up your alley.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting blog. This falafel sounds awesome-nal.
Mind if I pop you on my blogroll?

Dan said...

@ Gourmet Chick - I have the Ottolenghi cookbook, and in fact - If I remember right, I bought it because you raved about it on your blog! - Your right, it's a cracking thanks!

@ Richard - Thanks, be my guest.