Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Aubergine with Tahini Sauce

The tahini sauce is very versatile and goes incredibly well with so many things. Pork or chicken kebabs, roasted vegetables or best - some spiced roast chicken. I’ve paired it here with aubergine because I had a lovely plump one sitting around.

I tried to write something funny about aubergines, but my head didn’t work today, so I put ‘aubergine jokes’ into google and found this…

‘An aubergine walks into a bar and buys a pint of lager. The barman says to him ‘we don’t get many aubergines in here’ and the aubergine goes ‘at 4 pound a pint, i’m not surprised.’


Thanks internet!


First we do the aubergine, for which you’ll need…

1 medium sized aubergine

pierce it a few times and put it in an oven at 200 for 40 minutes. right. done that…

The tahini sauce…

4 tbsp tahini paste

juice of half a lemon

touch of olive oil

a handful of chopped fresh parsley


a few tbsp of water to loosen it up

Combine everything bar the water, stir, then add the water slowly until you get the right consistency. I like it about the thickness of cream. Cover and set aside.

To finish, pull the aubergine out of the oven and split it down the middle. Throw some feta in there if you want. I did. Top with the sauce and then some fresh coriander.

Oh, hang on. I just thought of a joke…

‘Knock knock’

‘Who is there please?’



‘I’m an aubergine’

‘Why have you got a voice?’


‘Fuck off!’

Thanks brain!

Thai Fishcakes with Pickled Cucumber

I was torn between crab cakes and fishcakes for dinner tonight. It’s a little muggy today and I wanted something light and fresh, and this pickled cucumber is the gastro equivalent of having a cold bath. Crab is delicious, but a little expensive. Cod is cheaper, but our consumption is unsustainable. I truly worry about the fact that such a beautiful fish will disappear from our plates if we aren’t careful…I chose the fish.

Regardless, you have to make this dish at least once this summer. This pair go together like Jenny’s and Forrest’s.

For the cucumber salad you’ll need…

chunk of cucumber as long as your index finger, unless you have long fingers, then one as big as your ring finger, seeded and sliced length ways

white of one spring onion, sliced length ways and finely

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1tbsp fish sauce

1 birdseye chili chopped

Combine vinegar, sugar and fish sauce and allow the sugar to dissolve. Add everything else and put in the fridge for later.

Now we move onto the fishcakes…

175g of cod, filleted (but honestly, i just grabbed a piece not quite as big as my hand, but i talked to my housemate and he and i guessed 175).

1 tbsp of red curry paste

1.5 tbsp of fish sauce

1 tsp palm sugar. you can use white, but it won’t taste the same.

1 stalk of lemongrass

a palmfull of fresh coriander, chopped

1 egg

1 clove of garlic

green shoots of one spring onion

Throw all this into a blender and blitz it up into a paste. Meanwhile, heat up half an inch of oil in a frying pan and shallow fry spoonfuls of the mixture. Cook until brown and crispy and handsome. When they’re ready, drain them off on kitchen paper.

To serve, dot a few fishcakes on the plate and dress with the pickled cucumber. A bit like the picture.

Vegetarian Quesedilla and Guacamole

Despite the amount of pleasure I take in gnawing on flesh and bones, I also don’t mind vegetables. Here is my favourite current meat free recipe, and it’s quite alright. I’ve included a recipe for home made flour tortillas as well, because they really make the dish. They’re more flavourful, easy and cheap. Some people might even say they were ‘gnarly’ or ‘wicked’. I’m trying to be humble lately though, so I just say they’re ‘quite nice’. I don’t mean it though. I think they’re bodacious!

For the tortillas you’ll need…

2 cups of plain flour, sieved

half a cup of milk

2 tsp of oil, perhaps sunflower

1 and one half tsp of baking powder


To make, you need to add everything in a bowl and mix by hand. If it’s a litle too sticky, then add a sprinkle/s of flour until it is. Knead it for a fair few minutes, until you have a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for twenty minutes or so. I would make the guacamole now.

So for the guacamole…

1 avocado

half a lime

sprinkle of dried chilli flakes

bit of seasoning

palmful of coriander, chopped

Split, seed and scoop the flesh out. Mash it up with a fork, add the rest of the ingredients. That should have taken two minutes at most, so you could start the filling if you want.

So for the filling you’ll need…

half a tin of beans - preferably black beans, but kidneys, black eyed or something like that will be fine. also, drained.

half a cup of chicken stock

half a tin of tomatoes

garlic, chopped

half a red onion

a lovely red pepper, roasted and peeled

a nice hard cheese. i used cheddar.

Saute the onion in a little olive oil until soft, add garlic and then the beans. Add the stock and tomato, stir a little and add the pepper. Simmer lightly for 10 to fifteen minutes, or until the beans are soft and the sauce has thickened and reduced. While it’s thickening, get on with the final stage of the tortillas.

Take out the dough, flour a chopping board and roll out dough balls about half a fist big. If you don’t have a rolling pin then just use something cylindrical, like a booze bottle or somesuch. Roll them out as thin and round as you can and cook them in a dry frying pan on a medium heat, about a minute on each side, or until they resemble tortillas.

Take a pair of the tortillas, apply the filling to one side, sprinkle liberally with cheese and then top with the other tortilla. Plonk it back into your frying pan and cook for a minute or so, flip, another minute then out on a board. Cut up and serve however you want, with the guacamole and maybe some nice sour cream.

Video Recipe: Chantal and her kebab

Here’s another video recipe, this time with a girl instead of a boy. Also, she has longer hair and a different voice.


Video Recipe: Cannelini Bean Salad

This is just a little video me and Andrew made. It’s about cooking. please look at it. I think it turned out pretty well considering we’ve never made a video before, or edited it. Yeah. Not bad. Also, I felt I needed to showcase andrew’s new earring. He’s really proud of it. Apparently it’s very en vogue in Valencia at the mo!

Look at it.


This is a recipe for congee. I put congee/camera because I have got a camera now that is above 2.6 megapixels which will benefit the visual representations of such eloquently put menu ideas. The congee is seperate from the camera in every other way. Please keep your cameras away from your pots and pans, because they might break and you’ll have to wait for christmas to get a new one or start saving up your money from your paperound that you were going to spend on football stickers.

cCongee is called lots of other things with cool names like ‘jook’ or ‘babaw’, but is essentially a rice porridge. It does sound terrible, but it is very nice when done correctly, which if you follow me, should happen. It’s all about the combination of bland, bland soupy rice topped with flavoursome meats and vegetables, which, when mixed in, gives you little spikes of flavour and texture. I’ve chosen a thai style one to do, because that’s what I had in my cupboard, but it’s well worth trying a few variations.

It’s also really easy to cook, and I even managed it really really drunk last night. Here, I recreate the process, but omit the stumbling, tears, the burping and arguing with my neighbours.

For the rice porridge you will need:

quarter of a cup of jasmine rice, washed

5/6 cups of chicken stock

thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

for the topping you will need:

leftover roast pork or 100g pork mince

garlic, smashed and chopped

spring onions

handful of beansprouts

quarter of a carrot shredded

a chilli

tbsp palm sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

To cook the porridge, bring a pot to the boil containing the chicken stock and the ginger and add your rice. Turn the heat down low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or more. You’re looking for the rice to start breaking down and the starch to thicken the stock.

In the last ten minutes or so, grab a pan or a ken hom wok and set it on the highest heat. Stir fry your pork until it starts to get crispy, then add your garlic, chilli, spring onions and carrot. Stir fry that for thirty seconds or so, then add your sugar and fish sauce, then the vinegar. To finish, add the beansprouts and stir it a couple of times off the heat.

Arrange nicely on top. Eat.

p.s it’s not very good drunk food.