Tag Archives: olive oil

A Fool and His Medals


Felt like a serious Sunday brunch was required, and a random post in a newspaper…..


…. sparked off a sudden desire for shakshuka/huevos rancheros, which when at home is known as “eggs with spicy tomato stuff”, a recipe I’ve explored previously on a number of occasions, only this time with beans involved.  I understand that traditional Middle-Eastern preference is for fava beans (the humble broad bean to us Brits), but I compromised with what’s actually in the cupboard, and chucked in a can of cannellini beans instead.  Whilst you’re waiting for yours to cook, check out this Wikipedia entry on Fuls Medames, a common Middle-Eastern breakfast.  Now let’s be honest, does this not look way cooler and more nourishing than a bowl of Frosties….?



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Veggies in parmesan sauce

Veggies in parmesan sauce
Now to be fair to Yotam Ottolenghi, I think I’d quite enjoy eating at his restaurants Nopi or Ottolenghi.  However,  his recipes as published in the media are well complicated, and I don’t have any more space in my cupboards for any more exotic ingredients.  So below is a simplified version of one published recently, but still tasty and versatile, and a good way to get your five a day into you!
(Regrettably no photo until I locate my camera USB cable 😦   ) UPDATE:foounndd ittt!

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Roast Cabbage & Sprouts with Parmesan & Smoked Paprika Sauce


Radio is blaring out Motorhead’s version of Sympathy for the Devil, and I am contemplating the sweetheart cabbage, lying forlornly in the wok wot does double duty as a vegetable bowl.  Nigel Slater to the rescue!  This was tasty and left an decent amount of parmesan sauce that I am scheming how to reuse tomorrow night…..*

*the aubergine tries quietly to sidle under the red onions, unaware that they will share its fate…..mwah hah hah….


Original here:


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One hour back


A wet, grey, humid day spent mostly on buses back and forth across Tangleton; vegetables from Tesco, and two new pairs of jeans from the giant Asda store, as my summer ones, cropped to mid-calf, are being rapidly superseded by the season.  Tonight the clocks go back, and we gain an hour’s extra sleep; poor reward for the months of darkness that will follow.

But autumn isn’t all doom and gloom.  “Strictly Come Dancing” is upon us, as is Halloween with its cheap plastic thrills and pretend horror.  I and my sister have carefully procured the tackiest corpse bride puppets, fake pumpkins and plastic skeletal hands that Poundland can provide, to decorate Mum’s grave up at the Tangleton Crematorium*

Another benefit of the season is the vegetables; potatoes, swedes, parsnips, leeks, savoy cabbages, sweetheart cabbages and other tough leaves of the soil, that can be roasted, stir fried or stewed into delicious green submission.  Today I picked up a bag of kale for a very moreish, pleasantly spicy black-eyed bean stew (the leftover leaves go to my nephew’s guinea pigs, the little furry eating machines that they are).

Original recipe to be found here.  I’d not heard of Anna Jones before, and nicely-spoken young ladies releasing nicely-spoken recipe books full of nicely-spoken organic, free-range, quinoa-esque recipes, are kind of ten a penny these days.  However, this is a bit of a winner of a stew……



*This was her dying wish. No, seriously.  She wanted her (otherwise tasteful and understated) grave decorated at Halloween and Xmas. The tackier and more tasteless the better.

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Stuffed Cabbage Leaves


….and the Bank Holiday!  Thank the Deity of your Choice for a 4-day weekend (in the UK at least).  After a tough first quarter at work, I welcomed the opportunity to have a proper lie-in, and didn’t get up until 1.30 in the afternoon. A glance out of the window confirmed the forecast of typical bank holiday weather (grey, drizzly, possible hail of locusts and rain of frogs for to follow). So I opted for a duvet day of food and DVDs.

“Divergent” was okay in a sub-“Hunger Games” kind of way.  A re-watch of the Tudor drama “Wolf Hall” however confirmed the quality not only of the script and acting, but of the lighting.  Criticised at the time of broadcast for the darkness of some of the scenes, (which to be fair was entirely accurate in a time when the wax candle was the very latest in night-vision technology), some seem to have missed the exquisiteness of the daylight scenes, which often resemble a Vermeer painting brought to life.  Although admittedly the first time round I was too busy admiring Mark Rylance’s equally exquisite dry sarcasm to appreciate the finer technical aspects of the filming…..(admit it, in the first episode, after he faced down Thomas More about becoming Lord Chancellor, you stopped the DVD and cackled madly for a couple of minutes as well)….

I felt that something special was in order for dinner, and these cabbage leaves, blanched, wrapped around a rice, blue cheese and pine nut filling, and baked in the oven, hit the spot.  Would make a good hor’s deuvres as well I feel, unless you’re like me, and ate the whole bleedin’ lot in one go…..


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Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Mushroom Roast


Six-day work weeks.  Gotta love ’em…pphhzzarrghhhh *collapses*.  However the days are getting longer and sunnier, and it’s nice to sense the faint “Beep!…..whirrrrrrrrrr…” that is Nature rebooting itself for another Spring.

Managed to get a full weekend off, and spent most of it cooking furiously in the manner of a devoted foodie who has been living off quick and easy noodle stirfries for the past month.  The Grauniad newspaper rose to the challenge with several delicious vegetable/nut roasts, and first up is my version of a chickpea and vegetable roast….


(Hopefully photo later, camera being re-charged…)

(Update; no photo, obviously too busy eating to tend to the pictorial needs of this blog…)

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Spicy Chickpea, Harissa and Aubergine Stew


Along with the bananas I have a fridge full of slightly wrinkled vegetables that really should have been eaten a week ago.  Rescued an aubergine, beat it unconscious on the kitchen counter-top, sliced and liberally salted it, then left the twitching remains in a colander for 40 minutes.

(I’ve heard that modern aubergines are bred to remove the “bitter” taste these days, with salting no longer necessary, but whenever I’ve omitted this step I’ve ended up eating lovingly-cooked spicy car tyre so I faithfully maintain The Old Ways).

Original from a recipe at the Daily Fail, which I’m not going to link to because it’s the Fail.  Feel free to go look for it on the website, if you can stand an entire sidebar of Semi Famous Women who are being accused of “flaunting their curves” when they’ve had the temerity to pop out for a pint of milk.


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