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Browsing Archive: June, 2009

Spaghetti Pomodoro Speziato

Posted by on Sunday, June 28, 2009, In : Noon 


I'll wager it won't take you much longer to stir this up than it would to say "Spaghetti Pomodoro Speziato". It sounds and looks quite a mouthful but all it really means is "spicy tomato spaghetti". The recipe was given to me by a half drunk Italian cook years and years ago, who swore to me, on his grandmother's grave, that it was his dead grandmother's personal creation, unaltered.

How much store can you put by the word of a partially inebriated cook/actor/model/tennis coach/I can't rememb...


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Coconut and Cardamom Candy

Posted by on Friday, June 26, 2009, In : Sweet things 



I made this a week late, but still, better than never, as they say. This is a quickie version of the candy my mother used to make when I was little. She used freshly grated coconut which gives phenomenal flavour and aroma but takes tireless stirring over a low flame and well that's just not what we're all about here. I use dessicated coconut and this is truly very nearly as good as my mum's, but she would have a fit if she knew what I've done to her recipe, so, "shhhhhhhhhhhh!" Serve this a...


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Chicken and Almond Pilaf

Posted by on Thursday, June 18, 2009, In : Night 



I don’t know about you, but every now and then, I hanker after a bit of eastern exotica, for dinner, and it has to be dinner so I get to dim or snuff the lights and play with candles, the warm glowing points of which bounce friskily off my painfully pretty, gilded tea glasses.   Madly appealing as the thought of sashaying in swishy silk pants, like Scheherazade might have, around wisps of sweetly scented smoke, might be, there is nothing remotely alluring about the thought of sweating for...


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St Clement’s Tea Cake

Posted by on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, In : Sweet things 



No, bells don’t go off every time I bite into a slice and while the British nursery rhyme may be loaded with sexual, historical and political insinuation, this is just a simple cake that is damned near divine for its beguiling scent and moist, tender crumb, studded with fresh orange slices, rind and all. As you close your mouth down on a forkful, your palate and nose are hit with, in quick succession, the sweet, juicy burst of orange, then the sharp spike of lemon and finally, the softly al...


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Better Than Sex Chicken

Posted by on Monday, June 15, 2009, In : Night 



I should tell you right off the bat that that the aforesaid claim is not mere gastronomic hyperbole  and that  this  is a simplified version of Chicken Cordon Bleu that will not challenge the less dextrous. It cooks faster than the classic version which has the ham and cheese stuffed into a pocket cut into the boned chicken breast or rolled up tightly in the flattened breast.  This isn’t exactly for the weight conscious or virtuous eater but is worth every heart stopping, artery clogging an...


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Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Posted by on Thursday, June 11, 2009, In : Noon 




Even before any of this gets on to my plate, the smell of the garlic and oregano sizzling in the olive oil, almost makes me feel as if I’m on one of the gorgeous, sun drenched Greek islands. This is indeed based on the utterly delicious but wonderfully simple Greek classic, Kotopoulo Lemonato. Greeks will use, for this amount of chicken, up to 2 whole lemons but I am defeated by anything more than one.  Feel free to adjust the citrus sharpness of the dish to your personal level of  toleranc...


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Kaffeepunch

Posted by on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, In : Drinks 




Aquavit or Akvavit as it’s known in Scandinavia is the most popular tipple in Viking territory. It’s believed to warm the body – very important in that corner of the world, amongst a host of other health benefits, not least of which is the purported ability to lengthen human life. Not surprising then that its name means “water of life”. I doubt it will add even a minute to your lifespan but it warms the gullet on its way down and starts a smoulder in the belly once it lands. Its car...


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Red Fruit Salad

Posted by on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, In : Morning 



Looking at this, through glass, glinting in the sun, you may wonder if you’re about to eat a fruit salad or a heap of crimson and violet jewels. What a sight to wake up to! Wonderfully refreshing and cleansing especially on a weekend morning following a night of alcoholic and other excesses.  If you can’t get red dragon fruit, substitute with red plums, cherries or just double the amount of your favourite of the other fruit.  The smidgeon of alcohol this contains is my brand of “hair of...


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Luca’s Survival Supper

Posted by on Monday, June 8, 2009, In : Night 


As much as any one of us loves to cook, and may well on any given day, eat, live and breathe food, there will be times when when you’ve had all you can take of microwave imploded frozen pizza, greasy stoves, kitchen conflagrations and dirty dishes. Don't tell me otherwise; you'd be a fibber. My friend Luca has rather more of such days than most, and is the inspiration behind this feast of a sandwich, that gives every indication of appealing to more than just fungi fanatics or (more or les...


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Double Chocolate Mousse Meringues

Posted by on Sunday, June 7, 2009, In : Sweet things 



The double part refers to the mousse and the meringues both being chocolate. Don’t be put off by the relative length of this recipe, it really is easy and can be made hours ahead and even be stored for a day or two before final assembly. Once put together though, it must be eaten quickly as the delicate mousse doesn’t take long to deflate, out of the refrigerator and the meringues will quickly turn soggy once in contact with the mousse. The main attraction apart from how pretty this is wo...


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Noodles in Miso Broth

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Noon 



This takes minutes to put together but does not taste anywhere as simple as it sounds. If you like fresh Asian flavours, noodles and fuss free cooking, this has your name all over it. It may look like a sinful treat, but this is actually a guilt free indulgence that would fit nicely into a low fat or diet segment, if I could bring myself to write one. Lots of lean protein and fresh vegetables, minimal fat and tons of flavour make this go down a treat no worries about getting comfortably i...
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Heartbreak Hamburger

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Noon 



This is my solace when the world is a cold, cruel place. Many would go for creamy mash and gravy, stick-to-your-ribs mac and cheese or some soul succouring chocolate treat but this is it for me when my soul and psyche have been ravaged and stand in shreds. One bite of this heavenly combination of sinus searing wasabi, blood rare beef, molten cheese and buttery avocado is all the salve I need, except maybe for a chunk or two of really good, dark, pain dulling chocolate. No, I don’t think a b...
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Vadim’s Vamp

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Drinks 



The very sight of the cobalt coloured French liqueur, Alize Bleu, brings sunny St Tropez and its bevy of beautiful people to mind. When I was growing up, Brigitte Bardot was the femme du jour and a fixture of St Tropez.  I’ve lost count of the number of Bardot movies I’ve seen but they’ve definitely left their mark. The bright citrus, cherry and spice flavours coupled with the gorgeous blue of this delightful cocktail epitomises to me, the seductive charms of the French Riviera and the ...

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Salmon Escalopes in Lemon and Caper Butter

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Night 



Escalopes are thin, broad slices of meat, poultry and in this case, fish. They cook amazingly quickly and are one of my favourite dinners to prepare when i've had a day too crazy to take my chances with take out but I'm feeling a bit too fragile to throw myself into the preparation of a fussy meal.  A glass of wine with this, some simple boiled potatoes or tender, well seasoned lentiles, and maybe a plate of mascarpone topped with tart berries, dusted with icing sugar, at the end, make a meal...

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Morning Trifle

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Morning 



You won't believe how healthy this is, after a taste. It really does look like individual trifles and tastes almost as good, but is very much healthier. Use unsweetened low or non fat yoghurt, if you're feeling particularly virtuous. This actually looks tempting enough to tempt even children into eating whole grains - fools my brood, every time

Preparation: 90 mins (including chilling)    Cook: 5 mins    Serves: 4


500 g of your favourite berry or berries, washed, drained and hulled if necessary...
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Chocolate Mushrooms

Posted by on Saturday, June 6, 2009, In : Sweet things 



Devil –dark and just as sinful yet very easy, uses everyday ingredients and works equally well as an afternoon treat with coffee or tea, or as dessert if served with a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.   Recipe yields 12 – 16 muffins, depending on how generously you fill the muffin cups. Golden syrup imparts a distinctive flavour and makes a very moist cake. The tray I use to bake these has narrower and deeper cups than normal muffin trays and the cakes come out lo...
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