Sunday, 23 May 2010

A day of good food

Hi everyone! Yesterday Patrick came over to visit and we had fun while Jenny had to work on her essays. The weather is PHENOMENAL! You would think we were living in mexico (or somewhere equally as sunny and warm). In fact it might be too warm... but Im sure I will rue this moment in the rainy weeks to come. So apart from playing loads of squash and swimming we also did some cooking. Here is what we made:

1. I have been craving asparagus... in a big way. In fact on friday night, lying bed all I could think about is how hungry I was and I needed to eat asparagus... weird, I know. Maybe I have a sulphur deficiency or something (and I know I dont think thats possible either). So here is what I made for lunch.

Ingredients (serves 2):

6 Asparagus spears
6 Bacon rashers
2 Eggs
salt, pepper, olive oil


Heat your oven to 220 celsius. Wrap asparagus spears with the bacon. Pop them in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil. In the pre-heated oven for ten minutes. Soft boil some eggs when the asparagi are almost done. Then enjoy with some crusty bread.

2. Smashed broad beans and peas on toast (a nice summery starter)

Ingredients (serves 4):

150 g shelled peas or 500g if still in their pods
250 g shelled broad beans or 700g if still in their pods
Small bunch of mint leaves
sea salt and black pepper
olive oil
50g pecorino cheese or parmesan (freshly grated)
juice of one lemon
4 pieces of nice bread
1 clove garlic
2 large balls of buffalo mozzarella

Mash up your peas with your mint leaves (either in a pestle and mortar... or food processor if you own one... we tragically dont). Then add the beans and mash some more. Add a pinch of salt and a few table spoons of olive oil. Give it a further bashing. Stir in the cheese and 3/4 of the lemon juice. Have a taste and season with some pepper or more salt or more cheese. Toast the bread and then rub with the piece of garlic (cut it in half first and peel). Then add the pea and bean mix, finishing with half of the mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil and perhaps a dash of cheese.

3. OK burgers should really get a post of their own... but at the same time everyone knows how to make burgers! Its the easiest thing ever and its one of those dishes that you should spend a life time perfecting and the one time you do it perfectly you have to forget what you put in the recipe. But Im going to write down what I do (mainly for myself so I dont forget), with the caveat that my burgers haven't reached perfection yet.

Ingredients (serves 2):

250 g beef mince
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tuc cracker (finely crumbled)
1/2 of a whisked egg
1/2 a chili (finely chopped)
1/4 of an onion (finely chopped)
salt (or soy sauce) and pepper
olive oil
ciabatta (or hamburger breads, but jenny and I currently have a love affair with ciabatta)
accoutrements (up to you, we added some of the left over pea and bean smash... tasty)

Directions: Mix everything together (using your hands). Then make some patties. Throw these on the bbq (in which case brush with some olive oil).

Im not going to do the traditional taste, price, difficulty. They are all super easy, all super tasty, and reasonably priced.


Saturday, 22 May 2010

a brief break...

spent the day yesterday lying in the park working on essays.... or at least attempting to work on essays. today i'm a bit sunburnt and stuck back inside to properly get some work done. oh well, it nice yesterday while it lasted.
p.s. yes, fred is pulling a very common english park faux-paux of having his shirt off - but i actually told him him should so he could avoid getting a horrible farmers tan.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Rhubarb and crispy pork stir fry

MmmMmmMmm. Made this dish and took these pictures a while ago but decided to have it again last night, and it was as just tasty as I remembered it to be. Chicken tends to be our stir fry meat of choice so its fun to have something else. However, it does take a while to prepare the pork so unless you get home early its definitely a weekend dish. Also great to eat in the summer (very fresh tasting).

Ingredients (serves 4):

1kg pork belly (de-boned, and rind cut off, and cut into 3-4cm cubes)
sea salt and black pepper
vegetable oil
375g medium egg noodles
4 spring onions (chopped)
1 red chili (deseeded and finely diced)
Bunch of fresh coriander
Bunch of fresh baby watercress
2 limes

for the marinade:
400g rhubarb
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic
2 red chilies (halved and deseeded)
1 heaped tsp five-spice
a thumb sized piece of ginger (peeled and chopped)


Preheat oven to 180 celsius. Place pork pieces in a roasting tray. Put all the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and make a nice smooth paste. Pour this all over the pork and cover the roasting tray tightly with tinfoil. Pop this in the oven for about 90-120 mins till pork is tender but not coloured.

Once that is done pick the pieces of pork out of the pan and put to one side. The sauce in the pan will be pretty much perfect but if you want it thicker feel free to put it on a gentle heat for a bit to reduce it and add salt (soy sauce) and pepper to taste.

Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Then add the pieces of pork to a frying pan or wok with a splash of vegetable oil and fry for a few minutes till crisp and golden. Around the same time add your noodles into the boiling water and cook for a few minutes (or whatever it suggests on the packet). Once done add the noodles to the bowls and place pieces of pork on top. Add the sauce and then drape with the coriander, water cress, spring onions and chopped fresh chili. Finally give a good squeeze of lime (half a lime per person).

Taste: 9/10
Price: 5/10 (not super cheap, but definitely not expensive)
Difficulty: : 4/10 (not very hard, but takes a bit of time to prepare)


Friday, 14 May 2010

awesome hair & caravans...

last night it was meera's 23rd birthday so it only seemed fitting to go hang out in a caravan and pretend to be in mexico. barrio north had such a great atmosphere - definitely a perfect choice for a celebration. happy birthday meera! hope 23 is the best year yet...

Friday, 7 May 2010

a little dollop of heaven...

cupcakes are good... especially when they are malteser flavoured, from ellas, and are topped with glitter. happy friday.

Monday, 3 May 2010

mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches...

the only way to eat your sandwich. nom nom nom.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Oxford isn't particularly well known for it's incredible cuisine - but one restaurant that seriously stands out from the abundance of chains is Edamame. A tiny Japanese place that is open only a few hours a day and has special sushi nights only on Thursday. You can spot it by the long line of hungry and impatient people that stretches out the door. Get there for 5pm or be prepared to wait your turn.