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April 2015 Archives

cooking Aperol Spritz Jelly

April 25, 2015

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I love how you can get prosecco by the glass now, pretty much everywhere in London. Sure, you can’t find a room in a flat in for less than a million pounds, but the whole prosecco-by-the-glass-thing I’m finding helps soften the blow.

I wasn’t sure whether making Aperol Spritz jelly was either ingenius to the core, or kind of DISGUSTING. Anyway, I made several, then decided it was genius. Jelly & Fizz = lolz. I suggest if you’re making them as an aperitiv, add an olive to each glass. If you’re having them as a dessert add a blood orange segment and a dollop of mascarpone.

Aperol Spritz Jelly (makes one big jelly or several little)

1 bottle prosecco (750ml)

200ml Aperol

5 gelatine leaves

100g caster sugar

green olives (optional)

Make them:

Combine about 500ml of the prosecco with the Aperol, and set aside

Soak your gelatine leaves in cold water for 5min until they’re soft and wobbly

Heat up the remaining prosecco and the sugar in a pan until nearly boiling

Remove the hot liquid from the heat and whisk in the wobbly gelatine until it’s all dissolved

Gently whisk the hot gelatine liquid into the cold prosecco and Aperol. If you stir really gently, you won’t loose the bubbles

Pour the liquid into glasses or your mould. If you want the olive in there, just pour half way up the glass - chill it for about an hour keeping your reserved liquid out of the fridge so it doesn’t set, then add the olive and fill to the top with the leftover mixture

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cooking Indian spiced whole roast cauliflower

April 06, 2015

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The cauliflower was a much maligned vegetable, and then it became all trendy. I’ve made the cauliflower rice and mash before. Not yet done the pizza thing. I probably won’t do that actually, because my slight issue with all these brassica ploys is that it’s disguise food isn’t it?

I’m re-claiming the cauli in this recipe. Let’s just celebrate it for what it is, yeah? Who’s with me?

Cauliflowers subtle milky cabbagey flavour needs elevating rather than masking. Its spongy surface area makes it an apt canvas for strong spices. You just paint on a mixture of garam masala and veg oil and roast it until it’s starting to char.

Then the exciting bit, you bring it to the table whole, sat apon a puddle of garlic yoghurt, ready to be carved like a giant curried brain.

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A great vegetarian starter or main with dal and chapatis. And the sort of thing that would be nice with lamb and salmon.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower (serves 4 as a starter)

1 whole cauli

a splash of milk

1 garlic clove

spices: 1 tsp tumeric/1 tsp cumin seeds/1 tsp chilli flakes/1 tsp garam masala

vegetable oil

a small tub of yoghurt

a handful of fresh coriander

a handful of flaked almonds, toasted

a handful of sultanas, soaked in boiling water for 5 mins

Make it:

Preheat the oven to its highest setting

Blanch the cauli in a deep pan with enough boiling water to cover. Add a massive pinch of salt, the whole garlic clove and a splash of milk (this stops it going grey). Cook for about 2 mins, then drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Keep the garlic for later.

Toast the spices in a dry pan for 30 seconds, then pestle and morter them with loads of black pepper and salt

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Add about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and paint the mixture all over the cauli. This bit’s quite fun

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Roast for about half an hour or until properly blackened

Grate the softened garlic into the yoghurt, season it and add a little olive oil if you like

Serve the cauli sat on top of the yoghurt, with the extras scattered over. Bask in cauli glory.

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