So sometimes something cold, even at this time of year, can be very rewarding. A dish that has about it something of the Mediterranean with the couscous, dill, olive oil and lemon mix – but that smell and flavour of chunks of smoked salmon just scream out more a summer time plate. I love this, it easily feeds two very well or four with a few side dishes. You can mix it up – add cucumber, other peppers, pitta bread even – but really you don’t need much on the side, this dish pretty much does it all.
Saturday morning’s a great time for brunch. Up later than normal, too early to bother with a wait for lunch, but looking for something more substantial to see you through the shopping or the rest of the day until dinner. Sometimes there are left over chips from the fish and chip supper the night before. Never throw them away, they cook up well and with some added chorizo, onion, garlic and a poached egg they make the morning go with a bit of sunshine. Serves two.
I don’t know what it was that made me want to make these, but it has been a long term plan. I had some delicious croquettes at Fino the then sister restaurant to Barrafina in London: crisp outside, with that delicious melting interior made for a memorable occasion. These can be a larger starter dish, or made well in advance and smaller rounds dropped into hot oil to go with drinks in the evening. The key is to put them them in the fridge to firm up and hold together when being fried. I like to make a simple mix of mustard and mayonnaise as a side dip.
So, I remember first eating these in Hugo’s restaurant in Houston. Take the flowers of a courgette stuff with cream and herbs then deep fry in batter – who thought that one up? I’m glad that they did, and it really is an easy dish to make.
Better still, they are only around in the early part of the year and look as spectacular as they taste.
An autumnal or winter warmer if ever there was one. This celeriac and apple soup is made in minutes, provides a wonderful starter (you can add scallops for extra refinement) or just a nice Saturday afternoon dish. Continue reading →
This is a blog about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour – and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.