Silent Sunday 23 February 2014

Asian Salmon Spoon

Silent Sunday
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Chilli Ginger Sticky Chicken Wings

Chilli Ginger sticky Chicken Wings

Chilli Ginger sticky Chicken Wings

‘Oh, there’s nothing in there!’ Moans the Glam Teen leaning on the fridge door.  It’s reading week and he’s home from uni for a bit of revision, nutrition and R and R.  ’ The only thing in here is a load of condiments’.

I haven’t stocked up as I normally would when one of the Glam Teens comes home but as this was a short holiday and he’s not sure he’s staying for the whole week.  The salamis, chorizos and various olives have vanished, the cupboard  treats have all been eaten and he’s after a snack. Continue reading

Florence And Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola

The woman next to me chats happily in Italian, seemingly unaware that I can’t really understand and waves her arms in extravagant exclamation.  We’re packed on benches as close as only good friends should be and yet I’ve never met her before.  It’s the week of Pitti Huomo (the twice a year men’s fashion and accessory event) and the black garbed cognoscenti are out, filling every restaurant and bar with the fragrance of  Jo Malone and loud chatter, this is fashionable Florence and I’m eating in Alla Vecchia Bettola. Continue reading

Sugar Cookie Hearts And Chilli Chocolate Dipping Sauce To Share For Valentine’s Day

Chilli Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Chilli Chocolate Dipping Sauce

I always make a sweet treat for Mr Glam for Valentine’s Day, some elaborate and some simpler.  This year It’s a crisp sugar cookie with warm chocolate dipping sauce.  Perfect to share. Continue reading

Maids Of Honour Reinvented, Glamorous Glutton Style

Raspberry Liqueur Soaked Maids Of Honour

Raspberry Liqueur Soaked Maids Of Honour

Is it a mistake to play around with historic recipes?  I first came across Maids Of Honour some 30 years ago at the home of the wonderful jammy almond tarts in Kew.  I used to hang out there with a schoolfriend, we’d devour platefuls whilst swopping stories and planning our futures.  These tarts are said to go back to the time of Henry the eighth, some five hundred years and the Kew tea shop claims to have the original secret recipe.  Checking out my Mrs Beeton’s from 1910 and a couple of other vintage cook books, this has already had several incarnations, so I’m adding mine to the collection. Continue reading

Masterstock Poached Chicken And Noodles

Masterstock Chicken Noodles

Masterstock Chicken Noodles

After trudging home on the bus with our booty from the Sunday market my mother would put the chickens in the sink.  These were our meat for the week – Boilers.  I’m not sure you can buy these old birds any more, but poached with carrots and leeks, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns, they were delicious.

Before we got to the cooking bit the hens had to be gutted.  I’d stand beside the big stone sink with my chin resting on the wooden draining board as my mother tugged at the strings of guts, pointing out the various bits of internal anatomy.  The slightest squirm or squeam from me would result in a sharp retort not to be hysterical.  I now have a very strong stomach and still love the soft delicate flavour of poached chicken. Continue reading

Supper For Four And Packed Lunch Leftovers For Under £10

Leftover Chicken And Roasted Vegetables With Onion And Garlic Rice

Leftover Chicken And Roasted Vegetables With Onion And Garlic Rice

When I first worked in the West End of London it was stuffed with tiny corner sandwich bars, inexpensive and innovative.  I’d be given the lunch list and as a daily customer buying quite a lot, I often got a discount.  It didn’t pay to bring my own lunch and anyway, I rarely had any food in my fridge at home to make supper from, let alone a packed lunch.

As prices have risen and we’ve all become more conscious of what we eat, taking a packed lunch is the sensible option.  I love playing around with flavours to create something that I know will be just as tasty the next day.   Cooked onions and garlic are often sweeter with a night for the flavours to develop, so stews, curries, or even left over veggies blitzed into soup with a little water and a stock cube, can be great the next day.  When I’ve had to take a packed lunch, there was always access to the microwave to consider, so I took something that would be as delicious hot or cold.

I was asked by  Most Wanted, the lifestyle magazine from money-saving site VoucherCodes.co.uk to create a delicious recipe for four with leftovers all for under ten pounds. Continue reading

Fairtrade-Banana And White Chocolate Brownies

Fairtrade Banana White Chocolate Brownie

Fairtrade Banana White Chocolate Brownie

Bananas were a special treat when I was little and often had to be shared with my older sister.  We were lucky if we had one a month, but how I looked forward to the sweet sticky taste of them.  Mashed with milk, sloppy and delicious.  Baked in their skins in the oven until, bursting with abundant flavour, they split.  We’d carefully remove the hot skins, eating the bananas with ice cream, which instantly melted against the sweet heat.  Or simply peeled and, of course cut in half to share.  Since then I always have Fairtrade bananas as part of my shopping list, not just a once a month treat but a family staple.

Celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight at Sainsburys with this indulgent Fairtrade  banana packed recipe. Continue reading

Making Jamie And Jimmy’s Tandoor Oven

Homemade Tandoor Chicken And Naan Bread

Homemade Tandoor Chicken And Naan Bread

The red glow warms our faces as we peer excitedly into the pit and the waft of sweet spices, fragrant charcoal and fresh baked naan bread mingle in the cold january evening air. This is the ultimate cooking experiment.  When the Glam 20 Something announced he was going to make a tandoor oven out of a flower pot and a dustbin, I thought he was nuts! Continue reading

Tuscanic Merende And Crostini

Splatter Glazed Bowls Of Olive Oil Soaked Anti Pasti Via my iphone

Splatter Glazed Bowls Of Olive Oil Soaked Anti Pasti  Via my iphone

Stumbling upon a great place to eat often seems almost better than a planned visit to a restaurant.  Old Compton Street in London’s Soho has a plethora of bars and eateries from the casual to more formal, many of which have been Soho bastions for years.  Mr Glam and I were on the way to cocktails after the theatre when we spotted Tuscanic Merende, a relative new comer.

The waft of sweet tomatoes and garlic beckoned us through the door, where the warmth from the wood fired ovens  greeted us with wonderful smoky aromas.  The open kitchen was abundant with large roasted Crostini, vast bowls of olive oil drenched anti pasti and fragrant Tuscan soups.  We squeezed past the glassed in kitchen counter and made our way to the back, where the restaurant opened up slightly and was filled with simple bare wood tables. Continue reading