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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Best. Dessert. Ever.

Last year at The Hop Pole in Bath, I ate what could be the best pudding I have ever had.
A pineapple tarte tatin with coconut ice cream - juicy sweet caramely pineapple, dark rum, cold coconut and crisp hot pastry. Seriously....what's not to love?
Since then I haven't been able to quite shake it. When I got a beautiful tarte tatin dish for my birthday I finally decided to give it go and I'm pretty pleased with the results if I don't say so myself!

What you need
500g all butter puff pastry
1 pineapple (cut into chunks)
100g golden caster sugar
100ml dark rum
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways with seeds scraped out
50g butter, cubed
an oven proof frypan or tarte tatin dish (approx 25cm in diameter)
a wooden spoon

The do
Cut up the pineapple into chunks and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 190, or gas mark 5. Sprinkle a little flour on to your bench top, roll out the pastry until it's around half a centimetre thick. Make sure it is rolled out enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you’ll be using with an excess of 5cm around the edge. Set aside.

Put the pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, rum, vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel.

When the caramel is a lovely chestnut brown, add the pineapple. Carefully stir everything in the pan and cook until the caramel thickens and becomes sticky and toffee-like. Add the cubed butter, then lay the pastry over the top. Using a wooden spoon instead of your fingers, quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down firmly into the edges.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Don't worry if it puffs up, it will flatten down again when you turn it upside down. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a minute. Now this is the tricky bit, glove up or you could end up in A&E with third degree burns. Grab a serving plate bigger than your fry pan and very quickly and carefully, flip the whole thing over. If you don't feel too confident about this procedure, this video shows you how to do it.
Let it chill out for a bit then chop it up and serve with coconut ice cream, otherwise vanilla is just as good.

BTW if you are ever in Bath and have little people in tow, this pub is situated opposite the best playground I have ever laid eyes on. Plus they always have one veggie option that is delicious.

Agadoo Black Lace

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Whose sorrel now?

Yesterday I went to our local fruit and veg shop to do our weekly shop and was quite excited to see that they were selling sorrel. I'd noticed it in loads of recipes but have never seen it for sale, so I bagged some pronto.

And oh what a marvellous thing it is! It looks like spinach, but packs a crazy tanginess that's a lot like licking a battery. I didn't want to dilute this taste sensation by cooking it too much so I decided to turn it into pesto and mix it through some hot spaghetti. I'm warning you - once you go down this path, you will never see pesto in the same light again.

Unconventionally I have used almonds in this recipe, I think they compete better with the punchy lemony flavours than pine nuts would.

What you need
1 bunch of sorrel (the big leafed variety), roughly torn up
half a handful of almonds
1 big garlic clove
big pinch of salt
big glug of good olive oil
a food processor

The do
Put the almonds on a baking tray and roast them under the grill, jiggling them around every so often. Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quite suddenly. When they are done, set aside.
In the food processor, blitz the garlic, oil and salt first, then add the sorrel and blitz again. Add a little more oil if it's too dry and gets stuck. Add the almonds and pulse to keep the nuts chunky. Season with salt and pepper. When you are happy with the consistency of your pesto, it's ready to go. Serve tossed through some hot spaghetti (reserve a little cooking water to loosen up the pesto when you are tossing it though the pasta). If you are lucky enough to have any left this would keep in a jar with a thin layer of oil on top, but it may lose some of its vibrancy.

Director's Cut Kate Bush

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The big pancake

Lately I've had pancakes on my mind because Jasmine T makes me read this to her most nights...

I can tell you now, if one of these pancakes went rolling off,

a mother
seven hungry, little boys
a man
a cat
a cock
a duck
and a cow

would definitely be running to catch it.

What you need
(makes about 8 pancakes, enough for about 2 1/2 people)
1 cup SR flour
1 cup of milk
1 egg
pinch of salt
a mashed banana - the blacker the better
a handful of blueberries (optional)

The do
Dump the flour, egg milk and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Add the banana and blueberries and mix in with a fork.
Heat a nonstick frying pan on high - when it's red hot throw in a knob of butter and swoosh it around the pan. Add half a ladle of mixture to the pan to make each pancake, taking care not to over crowd. When it starts to bubble a little on the surface, give the underside a little peek and if it's golden brown flip it over. Cook for a minute or so then transfer onto a plate. Keep going until all the mixture is gone.
Gobble them down with a big dollop of of Rachel's coconut yoghurt and a little maple syrup or honey.
Not only are these deeeelicious, they are perfect for making use of fruit that is past it's best - apples or pears instead of banana would also go down well.

Pumped Up Kicks Foster the People

Monday, 23 May 2011

The spears are here

It's asparagus season! Time to get amongst those green spears of goodness!
Here's a super quick recipe that will ensure you spend less time in the kitchen and more time making the most of the extended daylight playing frisbee in the park.
This is a bastardisation of ├žilbir, a Turkish dish of poached eggs and yoghurt. I had this at Providores in Marylebone a few years ago and it is deeeelicious. For this you'll need some kirmizi biber (dried Turkish chilli flakes), but if you don't have any to hand - which is very likely as it involves a special trip to a Turkish grocer - a quarter teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of normal chilli flakes instead would also be quite tasty.

What you need
(serves 2)
1 bunch of asparagus
eggs, however many take your fancy
5 big spoons big spoons of thick greek yoghurt (I used Total)
1 garlic clove, crushed into a paste with salt using the side of a knife
50g butter
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

The do
Boil a full kettle. Place the asparagus in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. After a few minutes, check for doneness - this will vary depending on how thick the asparagus is. If it needs more time let it mellow for a little longer. When done, rinse with cold water, drain and divide between two plates.
Mix together the garlic and yoghurt, then pile on top of the asparagus, making a little well for where the egg/s will sit.
Poach the eggs, and when done, drain, then place in the yoghurt wells. In a small frying pan, heat up the butter. When it starts to go a light brown colour, add the chilli flakes, swoosh around for a little longer to let the chilli colour the oil, then spoon over the eggs and yoghurt.
Enjoy with some crusty bread.

Nerd alert: Thanks to this brilliant book that I received for my birthday a few years back (thanks Cam!) I learnt that the chemical that causes the unsettling odour in the urine of some of those who eat asparagus is actually a close relative of that in skunk spray. Pong!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Vegan Black Metal Chef

This weekend was spent in bed nursing a broken toe and recovering from a hideous vomit bug I caught off Miss Jasmine T.
The only thing that cheered me up was this link my dear friend Mr Zincke sent. If you have a spare 15 minutes, dim the lights, spark up a few candles and check it out. Solid gold...and actually quite informative!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Guerrilla brekkie

Nearly a month in, I'm still struggling to hit my stride with this kitchen. So far I haven't been able to manage anything too complicated because of the state of disarray it has been in.
This weekend we've moved some shelves in which has improved things big time stylee, so I've felt inspired to make a brekkie with more wow factor than Weetabix.

What you need (for two hungry peeps)
Two big handfuls of baby spinach
Two handfuls of chestnut mushrooms, quartered
2 eggs
big fat slices of Cholla bread (or any other bread will do)
soy sauce
a big teaspoon of thick cream or creme fraiche

The do
For your eggs, bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
In a small bowl, mix together about a tablespoon of mayonnaise with a big teaspoon of chopped dill. (Clearly this is no substitute for hollandaise but who really makes hollandaise at home?)
In a small frypan, heat a big knob of butter and fry the mushrooms over medium heat, when they are 3/4 done put the eggs in the pan of water to poach. Now throw half a cap of soy sauce into the mushrooms, fry for a further minute or so, take off the heat, then stir in the cream and dish out onto plates.
By now the eggs should be ready. Pop your toast down, quickly rinse out the mushroom pan, put it back on the heat, then throw the washed spinach into the hot pan and cook until wilted and soft. Dress with some olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Plate it all up and you are good to go. Bonus points if you can juggle the coffee making as well!

Adam and Joe (6music, Saturday 10-1)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

New digs!

It's been so long since I last posted , I'd be amazed if any one was still checking in on this poor little blog! If you are, thanks, and sorry for neglecting you.
It's been a bit of a busy time for us - we've moved out of our little pad, been homeless for a bit whilst we made our new home habitable, screwed up my visa application so I was almost deported and FINALLY moved in couple of weeks ago.
So to christen the new kitchen in true Lily and Chew style, I have attempted to make savoury hot cross buns to commemorate the crucifixion of the big JC. All you need is a decent white bread dough recipe. Add a good handful of chopped chives and as much mature cheddar cheese and you can be bothered to grate, then leave to prove for about 20 minutes before separating into bun-like balls. With the tip of a sharp knife, mark a cross into the top of each one and sprinkle a little more cheese on top before baking for around 20 minutes at about 200 (our new oven is gas and I still have to get my head around the whole conversion thing).
Enjoy fresh out of the oven with LOADS of butter.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Summery insalata


Yippee! Tomorrow we are heading out to Kent to stay at the Keeper's cottage on the grounds of Leeds Castle, but first, I must conduct my pre-holiday ritual of using up what's left in the fridge. Take out would probably be a more practical option considering that with a toddler in tow I'll have to pack half the flat - but I really hate waste and quite enjoy the challenge of a clear-out dinner. Plus it's nice coming home to a fridge that doesn't smell like bin juice.

I have:
a bunch of carrots
cherry tomatoes
a courgette
buffalo mozzarella (OK, so I cheated a little and bought this earlier in the day)

The plan is to make a souped up insalata caprese, the ingredient that really ties this dish together is the gorgeous buffalo mozzarella with its weird cooked chicken-like texture. Never ever use a knife to cut it! Ripping up a ball of buffalo mozzarella is a strangely satisfying activity that should be enjoyed whenever possible.

The do
Slice the courgette thinly and chop the carrots into bite sized pieces.
Fry the courgette with a little oil and salt in a frying pan until soft and a little charred. While this is happening steam or boil the carrots until they are just done, you don't want them to be too mushy. When everything is done, lay it all together into a big plate and sprinkle a couple of chopped mint leaves on top. Top with a some pinenuts, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and the buffalo mozzerella, then drizzle a generous amount of good olive oil on top.
Enjoy with some super crunchy ciabatta and a big glass of red wine before you attempt the packing.

Butterfly House The Coral

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Monday night...

Elvis night

An Elvis-sized thanks to all who came on Monday night, we had a super fun time and I'm especially glad that all the food was eaten too. Here we are wielding some pizza-sized biscuits with Diddy Wah and the man of the evening.

Elvis night

Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches
This delicacy was one of Elvis's favourites

What you need
2 loaves of white bread, with crusts cut off
approx 5 bananas, mashed
1 big jar of sunpat smooth peanut butter
lots of butter

The do
Make sandwiches using the mashed banana and peanut butter, then fry in a heavy based frying pan with a big knob of butter until golden brown on both sides. Cut into quarters.

Elvis night

Elvis night

Elvis night

Also, a big thanks to the amazing Kelly V and her ace-o-rama cupcake socks for all her help. You totally (jailhouse) rock!

Elvis night

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Come and get it!


Here's your chance to try some authentic Lily and Chew cuisine absolutely FREE. We'll be serving up some kingly delights at Diddy Wah's Elvis tribute night, tomorrow from 8pm at the Haggerston. Hurry, because like the great man, it can't last long.

Fact: Did you know that towards the end of his life Elvis was consuming 100,000 calories PER DAY?! Dude!
Thanks to Kelly V for pointing me in the direction of this article written by none other than Dr Karl Kruszelnicki