>Some places take you back in time and Chinatown hurries me to the year that I came to London in my Renault 5 with a suitcase full of books and an empty address book! Wong Kei, the ex-barber shop turned fast-chinese-food was the eaterie of choice and London’s cooking was first brought to my taste-buds through a rush of exotic flavours and slightly louche drinking habits… Or rather, the habit of not eating and just drinking!
Monthly Archives: January 2010
RECIPE FOR THE BAKERS BREAD
500gr of strong flour
15gr of baker’s yeast or 1 packet of dry yeast
350ml of water with a pinch of salt
Pour the flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and put in the yeast diluted in a cup of warm water.
Pour the lukewarm water slowly in while mixing with a wooden spoon. Mix well to get a soft but not sticky ball of dough.
Knead the dough on a worktop by rolling it on itself with some tempo! Add flour if it sticks. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling-film or a wet cloth. Leave to rise for one hour in a warm place, or just leave it out for the night.
Knead again for as long as you enjoy it! Let it rise for another half hour, this time snugly fitted into a greased cake tin or a lined baking tray. When it has risen nicely, you can decorate by slashing the surface with scissors or powdering with extra flour. Meanwhile, start the oven at its highest temperature.
Put to bake in a very hot oven for half hour, on the bottom shelf. It is ready when the crust is a deep golden and solid to the touch.
Yesterday evening, I made this into small balls of dough and rolled them in various seeds :linseeds, sesame or oats taste nice- Or you can stuff them with raisins or nuts for breakfast.
Smoked cod roe 1 whole or about 200g
1 large lemon
Salt and pepper
Ground breadcrumbs 2 tbsp
Full milk 4 tbsp
Garlic clove 1
Olive oil 1 small glass
Pinch of cumin to serve
Mix the milk and breadcrumbs. Take the fish eggs out of the packaging then if necessary peel the thick darker skin and scrape it with a sharp knife. Put all the ingredients in a blender and slowly add the oil. If the mixture is too liquid, add some breadcrumbs. If it is too liquid, add lemon juice or milk, according to flavour. Mix in a bit of pepper and cumin.
Dust with cumin and serve with toast or pitta bread.
I get my smoked cod roe from Waitrose supermarket: it is sold in a plastic vacuum-sealed pocket in the cold store. You can use fresh cod roe and steam it before use, as I have done before, but you then miss a lot of the nice smoky flavour that you get in the Taramosalata they serve in the sea-side tavernas of Greece… This is so easy and delicious that you will never buy the processed version again!
Feeling lazy on saturday night so here is a quick recipe to have a fun, tasty meal in minutes! And I’ll have more time for that Articulate game I’ve been promising to the children for two days… Now give me : a round fruit with stone that you can get in several different colours… Ah! and they grow in Nina’s garden!
Black olives (stoned) 500g
1 small glass of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Tuna in brine- 1 small tin
4 to 5 anchovies in oil
Capers 2 tbsp
Thyme and origan
Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz to a rough paste. If the mix is too dry, simply add a drop of olive oil. Serve on small slices of toasted baguette.
I also love serving this on a heap of wholemeal spaghetti for a healthy and tasty quick-meal. You can add some bite to the pasta by chopping half a seeded chilli on top.
Bouillabaisse comes from Marseille but this fish soup is rooted somewhere between Arles and Sète, the beautiful fishing port where Paul Valéry asked to be buried in the most heavenly cemetery on earth : “the marine cemetery”.