Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Then I went to Wyndhams for a french corn fed chicken which are a bargain at £5
Next a little juice from Total Organics to keep me going and a brief chat with Gary who has had the stall at Borough since the beginning. It has changed recently from selling an extensive range of organic fruit and vegetbles as well as rice, pulses and nuts to turning the whole stall into a juice bar and prepared dishes. He made the decision after losing a lot of trade when he moved to his new site but it was a difficult one as he has traded in organics for ten years with great passion. Though he still has the business he was not his usual cheery self. The juice was £3
Didn't need cheese or mini plum tomatoes but I had a quick wander round the Green Market just through habit really then headed back to the other side to Booths where I bought asparagus, Italian plum tomatoes, Cornish new potatoes, rocket, lettuce, carrots, peppers and cucumber - £10.90
Back past Ginger Pig and I couldn't resist a big fat scotch egg - £3
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Aubergine and Chick Pea Curry
3tbspns ghee or oil
2 tspns cumin seeds
2 tspns brown mustard seeds
1 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 tbspns fresh grated ginger
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
3 little red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
10 curry leaves
2 tspns ground coriander
2 tspns ground cumin
2 tspns ground turmeric
1 tspn hot paprika
2 x 400g tins tomatoes, chopped
2 tbspns tomato paste
400g tin chick peas, thoroughly rinsed
Salt to taste
Generous bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan till very hot then add the seeds which will pop furiously. When they calm down lower the heat and add the onion. Stir frequently and cook for about ten minutes till the onion is transparent. Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and chillies and stir, cooking for a few minutes before adding the ground spices and continuing to cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. When everything is well combined and fragrant add the diced aubergine and coat well. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes then add tomatoes, tomato paste and chick peas. Stir well and season with salt then bring the pan to a simmer. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to a gentle flame. Allow the curry to simmer for 45 minutes then stir through the chopped coriander and serve with hot rice.
A quite splendid meal.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
William Coles, in Nature's Paradise (1650) affirms that -
'both the seeds, leaves and root of ourGarden Fennel are much used in drinks and broths for those that are grown fat, to abate their unwieldiness and cause them to grow more gaunt and lank.'
'One good old custom is not yet left off, viz., to boil fennel with fish, for it consumes the phlegmatic humour which fish most plentifully afford and annoy the body with, though few that use it know wherefore they do it. It benefits this way, because it is a herb of Mercury, and under Virgo, and therefore bears antipathy to Pisces. Fennel expels wind, provokes urine, and eases the pains of the stone, and helps to break it. The leaves or seed boiled in barley water and drunk, are good for nurses, to increase their milk and make it more wholesome for the child. The leaves, or rather the seeds, boiled in water, stayeth the hiccup and taketh away nausea or inclination to sickness. The seed and the roots much more help to open obstructions of the liver, spleen, and gall, and thereby relieve the painful and windy swellings of the spleen, and the yellow jaundice, as also the gout and cramp. The seed is of good use in medicines for shortness of breath and wheezing, by stoppings of the lungs. The roots are of most use in physic, drinks and broths, that are taken to cleanse the blood, to open obstructions of the liver, to provoke urine, and amend the ill colour of the face after sickness, and to cause a good habit through the body; both leaves, seeds, and roots thereof, are much used in drink, or broth, to make people more lean that are too fat. A decoction of the leaves and root is good for serpent bites, and to neutralize vegetable poison, as mushrooms, etc.'
According to Mrs M. Grieve's A Modern Herbal it grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.
And that ties it in to this recipe, which is from Frances Bissell's Country Kitchen, a book she wrote after she made a television series in Cornwall in 1995. She is passionate about quality and flavour and also maintaining traditions in food culture. She recommends using fresh peas - I would too if I grew them, but I do find frozen ones to be a fine substitute.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The restaurant where we ate en famille for my mother's birthday have an asparagus dish on the menu that my mother recommended most highly as she had started her meal with it the last time she had dined at The Lagoon. The asparagus was roasted and served with grilled haloumi and looked very pretty on the plate. Tempted to follow this example I wanted it to be a little more substantial to have it as a supper dish. So I bought lots of asparagus, thick stalks to give a greater ratio of flesh to skin, and some deep red plum tomatoes. Roasting tomatoes first creates the juice to roast the asparagus and both are wonderfully sweetened by the time in the oven. Grill the haloumi and its salty tang provides a good contrast. Served with crusty bread it was a seriously good repast.
Roasted Asparagus, Tomato and Haloumi
8 ripe plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper
Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a low sided baking tray and scatter the garlic and thyme. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways and add to the pan. Roast in a moderate oven - gas 4 - for 15 minutes. Snap the base off the asparagus spears and discard, unless you have a pan of stock to be made. Add the tender spears to the tomatoes and mix gently to combine. Add a little more oil if necessary then season with salt and pepper. Roast for a further 10-15 minutes till the spears are tender. Meanwhile slice and grill the haloumi till it catches slightly on the edges. Serve the tomato/asparagus melange onto warmed plates, top with haloumi and drizzle with the juices from the pan.
Serve with lots of crusty bread and follow with a little cheese for a complete supper. Perfect.
Whatever is going on with the climate the stalls at Borough are laden with wonderful things that bring joy to your heart and great food to your table. There is still masses of stuff in our freezer so my mission is to use it as the starting point and work around it. Going to Borough and not buying any meat is something of a novel experience.
Started at Total Organics for a zingy orange and fennel juice - £3 - then bought baby plum tomatoes for my lunches as the man dislikes fresh tomato though is happy enough to eat them cooked - and a large tomato from Isle of Wight grilled with pork chops Friday night - £4.25
Had a chat with Vaheed now back running his olive stall till he can replace Marie - which may take longer than he realises! then bought a lovely chunk of aged Pecorino - snack with a glass of wine and a cheese snadwich for the man as the original plan for pasta didn't happen - from the pretty boys at the Gastronomica stall - a bargain £6
Chegworth Valley have moved to a new permanent site to where Ginger Pig used to have their stall - much bigger space and easier to navigate. Bought 2 punnets of sweet scented strawberries for lipstick pink smoothies proving that whatever the weather good times are on the way - £2.50
Bought loads of fruit and veg at Booths - rhubarb - breakfasts, bananas - smoothies and lunchboxes, ratte potatoes - salad, asparagus - roasted with tomatoes and haloumi, sugar snaps - lunches, leeks, aubergines - curry, onions, Italian plum tomatoes - roasted with asparagus, coriander - stuffing for lamb, parsley - with garlic and chilli on pasta, fennel - salad with peas and mint, broad beans - once podded sadly not special enough to do anything with, a rare instance of something hitting the bin before it was cooked - a proper selection of fine seasonal produce - £19
Chocolates from Maison du Chocolat - a small indulgence to ward off the chill from the rain -£3
Pork pie because I fancied one with potato salad for lunch - £4.90
Bread - with supper Saturday and milk and yoghurt - smoothies - from Neal's Yard - £7.90
Herbs from the plant stall - sage, thyme and two rosemary plants in the hope that one will thrive - somehow I am always unsuccessful with this most hardy of herbs - £10
An almond croissant from Flour Power because they are very good - £2
A grand total of £62.55