I thought that as recipes have been few and far between since the oh so exciting Chickpea Bake … I should just forget about the food for a split second (if that’s possible) and share my ‘songs of the moment’. The four which have been spinning in my head are:
1. Yeasayer’s jubliant song O.N.E., it makes me feel unreasonably happy with life. Plus it is also amazing for solo dance offs.
2. I love Chiddy Bang! Their song Opposite of Adults is awesome and incidentally it opens with a blatent rip from MGMT’s song Kids (whose new album, Congratulations is coming out next week, VERY divisive psychedelia). Anyways, back to Chiddy Bang… these two boys from Philidelphia are a bit cheeky but AWESOME. Be warned though, there is some hamster voice love in their song Never.
3. Whitley with his werewolf song Killer… I’m starting to get over it now but this track was great during the stressful upheaval of city swapping.
4. Last but not least I have to bring up Washington. The coverart for the single How to tame lions is gorgeous.. plus it has the lyrics ‘you be my Arthur Miller, I’ll be your Marilyn Monroe’. How could you NOT love a song with those lyrics?
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Well, that’s a long story. The foundation of my blogging silence is the fact that I’ve moved cities, I am now living in Sydney (see photo below for confirmation, I took it on my first ferry ride across the harbour)!
The reason for my relocation is that drumroll I scored my DREAM JOB. I’m now working for triple j as a radio producer!!!! This amazing fact means I can indulge my love of music pretty much full time. Unfortunately it also means less time devoted to cooking up messes.
In the haze of crazy relocation I’ve just been cooking up my old favourites i.e. risotto+pasta. The capabilities of the sharehouse oven are yet to be fully tested in the baking arena, but I did cook a roast on Sunday and it was amazing… despite the fact that there are no temp measurements on the oven – just a burning gas flame blazing at the back!
But don’t despair I have got some AMAZING cookie recipes I haven’t blogged from the past month (that would be before the oven with the burning flame).
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Inspired by Nigel Slater’s comment that “…an onion, a can of chickpeas and another of tomatoes” can be a fair enough supper if oven-baked slowly with garlic, I set to work. Being experimentally brave I also decided to open the packet of sumac spice which had been sitting in the cupboard for far, far too long.
Sumac (if you’re wondering) is a deep-red coloured spice used in Middle Eastern cooking to add a tart, almost lemony taste to meat or salad dishes. I was a little worried about its hithertoo unknown quantities – but as the dish got rave reviews from its eaters I will not be sumac shy again.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 400g can of diced tomatoes
1 400g can of tinned chickpeas
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sumac spice (optional)
50g wholemeal flour
25g cornmeal (if you don’t have it just use extra flour – but it won’t be golden)
75g rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 tsp baking powder
squeeze of lemon juice
First up prepare the crumble as you want to chill this for at least 20 minutes. In a small bowl mix flour, cornmeal, oats and baking powder. Rub in the 50g of butter with you fingers until you’ve got a mixture resembling breadcrumbs (it’s easier if you’ve let the butter get soft and chopped it into cubes). Finally squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the crumble, mix in and place in freezer for at least 20 minutes or more to chill.
Turn the oven to 160C/325F. Rub a baking dish (20x20cm is good) with one clove of mashed garlic and put it in the oven to warm up. In a small pan fry the diced onion with a dollop of olive oil. When the onion is soft, place it in the hot baking dish along with the drained chickpeas, spices and remaining garlic. Pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes and give the mix a good stir. Leave in the oven for another 10 minutes, before sprinkling the chilled crumble on top. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until crumble is golden.
Source: My brain with some inspiration from Nigel Slater’s food column.
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This cake is simply and utterly amazing. The moist, apple texture is divine and it’s perfect dusted with icing sugar and cut into slabs. The recipe came from Deb at Smitten Kitchen and was her mother’s Jewish apple cake recipe. My family has firmly adopted it as their own and it will be reguarly served up for birthdays, treats and days when no celebratory justification can be found except a love of apples.
6 apples (if they’re large, otherwise 7 or 8, be generous)
1 tbsp cinnamon
5 tbsp raw sugar
2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 of caster sugar and 1/2 cup of raw)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan and line the bottom with paper if you are worried about sticking. Peel, core and chop apples into hearty chunks. Toss with the cinnamon and sugar, set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the oil, orange juice, vanilla and sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix. Then add your eggs, one at a time (I tend to break them into a seperate bowl and whisk them individually first, but this is probably over-zealousness in action).
Pour half the batter into the greased tube pan. Place the apples on top, pouring all the cinnamony juices in as well. Then top the apple with the remaining batter. If you want keep back half the apple for sprinkling on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours (mine took only an hour, so keep checking until the tester comes out clean). Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.
Source: The wonderful and incomparable, Smitten Kitchen.
Best cooked to… The best and only band you could cook this to is The National. Being from Brooklyn they seem to naturally mesh with this recipe. My favourite songs are Slow Dance and Fake Empire.
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Sometimes I am seized by a desire to make a certain recipe. These gorgeous puffs were lunch a few days ago, but they would be great for a party. You could even make them half the size if you’re going for the small nibbly look.
280g/10 ounces frozen spinach
110g/4 ounces feta cheese, coarsey crumbled
2 cloves garlic, pressed
About 20 grinds black pepper
Small dash nutmeg
Flour, for dusting
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200C/375F. Thaw the frozen spinach by covering it with warm water for 5 minutes and then drain it, squeezing out excess liquid.
In a bowl mix the spinach, crumbled feta, garlic, pepper and nutmeg.
Flour a dry table or kitchen bench and lay out the puff pastry. Cut each sheet into 9 squares. Plop a teaspoon of the spinach mix into a corner of each square. Fold the pastry square diagonally over the mixture so you have 9 triangles from each sheet. To seal wet the edges with water and press down with a fork.
Place the finished pockets on a greased baking tray and cook for 15 minutes until they are golden and puffy. Best served hot with a green salad if you’re going to make a meal of it.
Source: Adapted from Dave Lieberman’s recipe (his spinach mix is great, but he makes the whole puff pastry thing a little complicated).
Best cooked to… Well I don’t know if it’s the best choice for pastry puffs… but I made this while listening to Simian Mobile Dance Disco’s song Bad Blood. What makes this song is the vocals by Alexis Taylor – brilliant.
Filed under: Baking, Tapas | 1 Comment