potstickers

image

I’ve been thinking a lot about escape lately: daydreaming about hideaways like this one; booking flights to places I’ve never heard of; wondering whether I’d like to work in Malawi for 16 months, that sort of thing.

Not so much escaping from, but escaping to. I want to go to the edges, the wild places. To get lost in unfamiliar cities, eat unfamiliar food. The kind where you aren’t 100% sure what the words on the menu mean, and you have to fervently hope they won’t turn out to have been “tripe” or “sauteed brain”. That kind.

I suppose if someone else had made them, potstickers would be quite good mystery food. You can put pretty much anything inside them, after all. I go for minced turkey, and bright flavours like coriander, ginger. No tripe.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Advertisements

aubergine cheesecake

image

Oh, this is good. I’m quite tempted just to leave it at that – I’m not feeling particularly inspired this morning, and really that is all you need to know – but that would be a bit lazy, no?

The recipe’s from Plenty More, Ottolenghi’s second vegetarian cookbook. It took me a few times leafing through before any of the recipes really caught me, but I’m glad they did. Just like Plenty, everything I’ve cooked from the book so far has been absolutely the best thing you can do with [insert ingredient here]. And that cauliflower cake that’s been everywhere recently really is as good as it’s made out to be. Even if it is nearly impossible to take a decent photo of.

Intersecting the two categories of “delicious” and “doesn’t look completely mad”, then, I bring you this aubergine cheesecake. Just a bit more photographable, although not much. There’s only so much you can do with tin foil.

Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

squash and caramelized onion tart

image

What a day! It’s ten to five, and my shoes are still wet from walking to the station at seven this morning. That is a long time to have damp feet. I may have developed trench foot.

You don’t want to hear about quinoa today, do you? No. I didn’t think so. You’re right, it is too rainy for double broccoli. How about something with eggs and cheese in?

Actually, aside from eggs and cheese, this tart has loads of my favourite things in: roasted squash, caramelized onions, sage. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve called it a tart because quiche sounds a bit, well, 70s. In fact, it is a quiche. I know this because of a scribbled post-it in my recipe notebook, instructions from my mother: Quiche: 3 eggs. Top up to 2/3pt with milk. Add stuff. And this is exactly what I have done. The tart started out life, though, as a much more elegantly-named galette, and so I felt I ought to let it keep some dignity.

Recipe after the jump.
Continue reading

lentils, cabbage and peperoncino

image

A couple of blog posts appeared in my reader last week, both talking about a sort of food-related lethargy, and for the first time I thought I understand.

Usually, I love sitting down with a pile of recipe books and planning the week’s meals. I look forward to what we’ll eat later, and to getting home and spending a peaceful hour or so in the kitchen. Feeding people (myself included) is one of my favourite things to do.

Recently, though, food has been crammed higgledy-piggledy in amongst the rest of my life. Between training to be able to do this (I’m a little way off yet) and studying so that I can one day have this job, and spinning the usual family-friends-work plates that we all have to keep in the air, it doesn’t feel like there’s been much time even for eating, let alone cooking.

Left to my own devices, I can end up eating cheese on toast for 4 meals in a row, so I’ve been trying to keep a list of the kind of recipes that are super quick but are also, at the same time, mostly vegetables. This recipe is a good quick one if you buy one of those pre-cooked packs of lentils instead of cooking your own, but apart from that I’m pretty stuck. If you know of a good veg-heavy quick recipe, please let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear it!

Recipe after the jump.

Continue reading