Food Items And Snacks

These are synopses of my past postings on individual food items and snack meals. Click on the links for the posts.

October 21, 2009Nelson Mandela, Che Guevera, Gandhi And... Carrot CrewI've no idea where to file this post. It's not really about carrots - it's about youth rebellion and the insanity of school rules that make eating crisps OK but eating carrots an offence. It's about a school cook who thinks replacing hot dogs with fresh carrots is "disgusting". And it's about hope for the future and healthy school meals.
September 26, 2009Is It A Bird? Is It A Pain?After the disappointment of my search for camel meat, I thought I'd try something easier. An animal I first tasted when I bought some delicious steaks and burgers at Borough Market. I was intrigued to discover whether we are farming them seriously and, if so, how difficult the process might be. What I discovered gave me great respect for the brave ostrich farmers out there.
April 27, 2009How Would You Like Your Steak - One Hump Or Two?And today's food item is... camel. It's not the sort of thing most people would think of eating, although camels are at the same level in the evolutionary tree as pigs, cows, goats and many other animals that many of us don't think twice about consuming. Anyhow, enough of the serious stuff. Click on the link and have a good laugh.
March 24, 2009I've Won Something At LastThis section is normally reserved for individual food items, but we can make an exception with this one. After all, it was only one package - even if it did contain 16 different food items plus a kitchen utensil. This was my Menu For Hope prize - a food parcel donated by Japan Centre of London - and it eventually arrived at my apartment in Barcelona. Times are tight financially, so this was a very welcome addition to my larder.
February 05, 2009A Love TriangleWhat do you do with a couple of sweet potatoes that are just sitting there, begging you for a partner? Marry them up with some cream cheese, of course. But how to turn a boring relationship into an exciting ménage à trois? Click on the link to find out.
June 17, 2008My Honey's Waiting For Me To Come HomeShe's a deep seductive blonde, sweet but sophisticated, totally ravishing and a few weeks ago she won a beauty contest shown on national television. She's Hackney Honey and she beat Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Devon honey in a blind tasting in Hackney recently, shown on Channel 4. I can't wait to get home to crack into my complimentary jar.
March 19, 2008Monday Market Meal #4: Que-So DisappointingMost Mondays I visit a Barcelona market looking for interesting produce for a meal. On this occasion, however, it was a snack that caught my eye. I love Medjool dates and found some that were large, sweet and beautifully soft. The problem came when I went to buy some local goat's cheese to accompany the Medjool dates...
September 23, 2007Freedom FoodI provoked an interesting discussion with this post, in recognition of the start of RSPCA Freedom Food Farm Animal Week. Freedom Food is a certification scheme established by the RSPCA to guarantee a basic standard of animal welfare for farmed produce. It does not guarantee either free range or organic conditions, but it does establish certain minimum standards of welfare from breeding to transportation.
September 15, 2007Buy One, Get One FreeI've seen a few "buy one, get one free" (BOGOF) offers in supermarkets in my time, but never before have I seen a buy one egg, get one yolk free offer. Obviously I've cracked the odd egg that turned out to contain a double yolk, but this was the first time I saw an entire box of "double-yolk eggs" for sale. I'm still wondering how they do it - with an X-ray scanner or human sorters holding the eggs up to candles. I must find out which.
August 26, 2007A Woman's PicnicTime was you could wind up a feminist, but not any longer. My thought was that you could tell a man's picnic from a woman's picnic because the man would drink some beer with the chocolate. The latter was provided as a marketing ploy by Hotel Chocolat and I have no hesitation in praising at least some of their offering. It's not great, but for British chocolate it's pretty damned good!
August 10, 2007Saumon, Sauvage, So GreatIt's all too easy to be critical of supermarkets and in praise of local produce suppliers. Much of the time, of course, this is completely justified. But just look at this wild Alaskan salmon I bought at my local Waitrose the other day. No only did it look great and taste fantastic, it was also sourced ethically and sustainably from small boats fishing in managed waters. Absolutely fabulous.
August 03, 2007Don't Grow These Yourself At HomeI bought these entirely on impulse when I saw them in my local supermarket - as you do - but then realised that I had no idea what to do with them legally. Searching the blogosphere turned up quite a few recipes from The Chocolate Lady's Yiddish food blog In Mol Araan, but not a lot else. So I'm appealing for ideas as to what to cook with them.
July 07, 2007Coming Soon, To A Bramble Near MeEvery year we get masses of blackberries growing in the garden. Usually ripening by now, this year they have been seriously delayed as a result of the excessive rain we've had for the past few weeks and the lack of sun. But the weather is now improving, so they will be coming soon. Yum, yum.
July 04, 2007A MushStool In My GardenIt started out looking just like a golf ball - spherical, white, dimpled on the surface and sitting on a tee in the garden. I thought dad was practicing his golf swings. Only on close inspection did I realise it was a mushroom. Or was it a toadstool? And then one day it opened out into a massive display the size of a side plate. I think I've identified it as a poisonous mushroom variety, but I'm not totally sure.
June 26, 2007A Cheese And Onion SarnieMaking a cheese and onion sandwich the other day brought home to me just how much my palate has developed during the past few years. Not long ago I would have used white sliced bread, processed cheese and yellow onion with piccalilli. Now I was using organic sunflower bread, St. Agur cheese and Borettane Sicilian sweet pearl onions, with ginger garlic chilli sauce.
June 17, 2007Two Ways With MangoA month ago I posted a recipe for lobster with baby asparagus & mango-chilli mousse. At the time I made far too much mousse, promising to post on how to use the leftovers. I fulfilled my promise with a mango-chilli sorbet - soft, sweet and cold with a surprising kick! I liked the mango pulp so much I bought some more and made delicious mango lassi.
June 14, 2007A Lunch DilemmaWhen I saw these huge, succulent Madagascan tiger prawns in the supermarket I faced a dilemma. They were exactly what I fancied for lunch, but I was concerned about how they might have been caught because I'd read about seabed damage and deforestation resulting from seafood farming. It turned out that Waitrose had sourced them specially as responsibly farmed, so that decided matters. Read the post to find out how I cooked and ate them.
June 06, 2007Mediterranean SnackingI've been very busy lately with my Australian Gastronomy project and arranging my first professional job and had little time to cook at home. But when I came home the other day and found some chorizo Ibérico, some fatty sliced pancetta and a jar of marinated peppers, I could've been mistaken for thinking I was in heaven. Read my post to see what snack I made with these ingredients.
May 29, 2007Michel Montignac's Choc With CloutThere's always something interesting to eat when I pay a visit to my mate Alex's house in Camden. This time it was Michel Montignac's 99% cocoa solid chocolate - a strength I'd never tried before. It was a shock and not altogether a pleasant one. I'm not sure I'd ever get used to this.
May 25, 2007Seeing DoublesI've heard a lot about Trinidadan doubles, especially from my friend Sarina of TriniGourmet, but I'd never tried them. So imagine my surprise when I found a stall in my local market selling doubles! And now I know why they are Trinidad's most popular street food.
May 10, 2007Lady Sainsbury's Knobbly BitsI came across these Anya potatoes for the first time while shopping in Sainsbury's recently. Only when I got home and researched them did I discover that they were specially bred and named after Lady Sainsbury, the former ballerina Anya Linden.
May 08, 2007Gamekeeper Turned PoacherI recently discovered a really interesting post on the subject of poaching eggs, using clingfilm. Denied permission by the author to link to the article in question, I reproduced the exercise, with fascinating results. I would never have believed it possible and I still have some doubts about the health risks, but it was fun to try!
May 04, 2007A Buzz In My KitchenOne product that featured in my Australian Gastronomy project was Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, a unique honey with a delicate but distinctive rush of heathery, woody smokiness. I'd written about it, but never tried it myself, until the other day when I found some in Waitrose. I've now discovered that its future is threatened by deforestation in Tasmania.
April 20, 2007Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?Use the best ingredients and you achieve the best results. Nothing else needs to be said. Just open wide...
April 17, 2007'Tis The Season To Be GreenSpring is truly here - the season of all things green. Lots of green food blogs recently. I decided to make something very green for the very first time - my own version of Caribbean Green Seasoning. It worked well. Later on I'll show you what I cooked with it.
April 15, 2007Finger Lickin' Chicken Splittin'Most of us either buy a whole chicken and cook it whole, or buy pre-cut chicken pieces from the butcher or supermarket. In this video I show you how to cut your own chicken properly. Believe me, the chicken tastes better when you do this yourself.
April 06, 2007Hold The Mayo!Fresh home-made mayonnaise is so much better than the commercial product. But many people think that making it is far too difficult and time-consuming for them to attempt. Here is a video I made the other day showing just how simple it can be to make this delicious, classic sauce. My outtakes clip shows just how much better I am in the kitchen than in front of camera.
March 10, 2007It Works... It Doesn't Work... It Works!Even when I'm really busy and only have time for a snack, I like to experiment with ingredients and flavours. One night last week I made three snacks. Two of them were triumphs and one was a disaster. Still, if you can meet with...
February 11, 2007Eggstra! Eggstra!This article was my tribute to the award-nominated post by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once. Whereas the original featured a duck egg and a chicken egg, mine featured a stunning deep coloured free range farm egg against an everyday supermarket "free range" egg.
January 13, 2007Antipasto Tricolore (Or Getting Out Of A Pickle)
The other day I bought a jar of feta cheese, some pickled red pimentos and green chillies. With the addition of Medjool date, a sprig of coriander and a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper, rolled up in some freshly-sliced Italian roast ham, a snack in the colours of the Italian flag was complete.
January 05, 2007A Lemon PoserLast night I made minced chicken burgers with Dijon mustard, rolled in polenta. I added just three drops of pure lemon oil to my mix and the result was extraordinary. I think the lemon was acting as a flavour enhancer but I'm keen to know what others think about this.
January 01, 2007New Year's Resolution - No More TearsThe onion has been a staple part of almost every cuisine in the world throughout almost all periods of history. Most people use onions and suffer from the tears that go with chopping them. Here I explain what causes the tears and present a video of me chopping onions that will show you how to avoid tears in future.
September 18, 2006Food In The GardenRight outside my bedroom window is a bed of nasturtium. Once much loved by gardeners it is now considered little more than a weed. Nasturtium is a type of giant cress, brought to Europe from Peru by the Spanish conquistadors. The leaves are edible as a salad and the pickled unripe fruits make a good substitute for capers.
September 06, 2006Definitely Not Slim PickingsIt's amazing what you can find if you look. Bike riding with a friend around Springfield Park in Hackney the other day I found an elderberry tree in full fruit. And on the way home, cycling along the canal, I found rosemary growing in abundance amongst the bushes. I made ice cream with the elderberries.
August 27, 2006Great Food Doesn't Have To Be ComplicatedLast night I "dined" at home on a steak, egg and tomato open sandwich. Sirloin steak from Murray's butchers in Ridley Road, Mabel Pearman's Burford Browns free range Cotswold eggs and Red Choice Isle of Wight tomatoes from my local Waitrose and fresh Turkish flat bread from my local Turkish shop. Great, uncomplicated food.