Rosemary belongs in sweet settings just as it does with roasted veg and bold meats. I tell you where rosemary doesn’t belong — it’s water. I once went to this “plant-based”, “healthy” (and overpriced) cafe that tried to be clever and instead of serving water out of jugs with lemons, mint or even cucumber — it’s sitting there with rosemary. Rosemary-infused water is not nice, there’s a reason why it’s not a thing. I don’t like these cafes. I don’t like that they try to be clever with their waters. I don’t like that they use their vegan “milks” to justify £4 cappuccinos. I don’t like that they serve me “bowl food” filled with grains and vegetables that’s essentially my go-to 15-minute cheap lazy weeknight meal and they serve it to me like some revolutionary diet-friendly food with a hefty price tag.
And I don’t like their stodgy gluten-free and vegan cakes. No. I like my butter-and-egg-rich fluffy and moist wheat flour cakes like this one.
Continue reading “Rosemary, Tahini & Honey Cake”
Allow me to recount the story of the salted lemon tart. It was in the first few weeks of culinary school, when confidence was at a low and there was constant anxiety over little things like turning on the stove. We were making a tarte au citron in pastry class — a short crust pastry encasing lemon curd topped with Italian meringue — a fresh and delicate classic. I had been stirring the curd for almost 20 minutes and it just didn’t look right. Time was running out so I just went with what I had and poured it in my tart shell. As I prepared the Italian meringue on top I caught some curd on my finger and licked it – I gagged. I had mistaken salt for sugar in the curd. I had about a cup of salt in that pie. I had completely butchered that French classic.
Continue reading “Grapefruit & Fennel Tart”
Is your bread spread with plain butter? Is that what you serve at a dinner party? You barbarian. Your poor bread deserves better. Whip the butter and flavor it, make an effort. I implore you to go to a specialist shop to purchase black garlic and make this recipe as it’s mind-blowing.
For the record, I don’t say this about all my recipes.
Continue reading “Whipped Black Garlic Butter with Smoked Sea Salt”
Baseball caps worn backwards is a fashion statement I just do not understand. It should’ve died out like the shoulder pads and the crocs, trends that we look back at in shame. But it’s still here, and whilst the shoulder pads and the crocs didn’t make it to the sports space, oh the backwards baseball cap did. Yes, I have witnessed on several occasions people wearing their baseball caps backwards as part of their gym outfit.
Continue reading “White Wine Cookies”
My Italian family seemed to only know of one dressing: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fair enough, when you’ve got a mixture of incredible produce — fresh crisp lettuce, sweet juicy tomatoes and soft luscious mozzarella — all it should be accompanied by is some high-quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to emphasize their flavors. And some Maldon salt. That’s it. And you know what? Really good extra-virgin olive oil alone sometimes is all that is necessary to perk up pretty much anything from a steak to an ice cream. That said, if you’re serving a feast of dishes all dressed with olive oil, you’re a lazy bast*rd.
Continue reading “Preserved Lemon Dressing”
Gin was my first love. As a young student testing the grown up waters of alcohol, first I was introduced to the various forms of cheap beer and ales. I still think they taste liquidized nickel. Then there were the the whisky cokes and the orange vodkas but I could not stand the smokiness of the former, or the harshness of the latter. Afterwards I arrived at the gin and tonic. The initial appeal was the wedge of lime I got to suck on after consumption. I also simply preferred it to beer, which tasted like gutter water with fizz, and to the other mixed drinks that were cloying sweet. So I started saying that I liked gin.
Continue reading “Brockmans Gin & Grapefruit Millionaire’s Shortbread”
Food and cookbooks are my dirty pleasures. Every month, as pay day approaches, I look at my bank account with puzzling perturbation. I consider myself rather careful with money, in fact I carry my cheapness with a sense of pride (#asianmindsets). Then it dawns on me like a dark cloud in the shape of an empty wallet. That dinner was expensive. And so was that one, and the brunch, and the numerous oat milk flat whites you get from the vegan cafe. And all the organic ingredients you buy at the farmer’s market (current obsession: black garlic). Then the hardback cookbooks. All the hardback cookbooks from your Amazon purchase history..
Continue reading “Sea Bream with Rhubarb & Tarragon”
It’s my middle class guilt. It’s why I need to bake cookies routinely once every two weeks. Every two weeks, a middle-aged lady would wake up early, travel to my house on the dot to scrub, mop and clean. No matter how late the night before or how early the day of, I would attempt to bake my guilt away so I could give her some homemade treats on top of her salary.
Continue reading “Tahini Cookies”
I’m imagining a sunny day, warm enough to be without a jacket. A vast park that is of various shades of green. It’s morning, there are people, but not too many. Warm, smiling people with their heads held high, as they usually are in the English summer. People walking their dogs, people jogging, people having picnics. Then there’s me. I’m laid down on my back on the grass, not minding the dirt or the insects, looking up at the calming shade of blue. I’m there with a bucket of fresh local raspberries and a large cappuccino. I can imagine myself to be happy and at peace in this scenario.
Continue reading “Raspberry and Star Anise Friands”
Everyone’s got a thing, or at least needs a thing. You may be a gym-bunny or a runner, in which case exercise can be your thing. Humor, sarcasm, or having a brain like a calculator may be your thing. You may be a movie buff, you may be as specific as an 80’s pop geek.
A passion, a love, something of profound interest that it defines who you are. In your elevator pitch what do you say? My name is x, I’m from x and?
Continue reading “Lamb with Sumac, Green Tahini Sauce and Aubergine”