November is Vegan Month and Suganya from Tasty Palettes is looking for vegan recipes. Vegans don’t eat any animal products at all; that means no eggs, no milk, no cheese, nada. As you can see lots of people have stepped up to the challenge to go vegan for a day, week or a whole month. As much as I love animals, I think I will be cheering from the sidelines on this one. When I eat vegetarian for a few days at a time, I get this strange floating sensation when walking, which means after a month I’ll probably be on my way to Mars. Who’s going to post you all these yummy recipes then? Eating meat roots me firmly to the ground and I like it here on planet Earth.
I lied. Not all the tomatoes from the veg plot this summer were used for my fresh tomato sauce. Sometimes I craved a bit of meatiness and prepared this simple pasta dish. In the past I used to scoff at recipes using pancetta and substituted it with bacon instead. Oh how I see the error in my ways. Not only does the pancetta add another dimension to the dish with its piquant flavour, but its fat mellows the tang of the tomatoes. Mamma mia!
As I mentioned earlier, our veg plot has suffered greatly this year because of our unintentional neglect. Other than the abundance of tomatoes in the summer, we have one consolation for the winter. Brussels sprouts. Just like chestnuts, sprouts remind us that winter is just around the corner. Do not despair! When Brussels sprouts are prepared properly, they are just as desirable as the next vegetable, if not more so.
Who would have thought vegetables can be so seriously moreish? As soon as the veg-filled roasting pan comes out of the oven Neil and guests immediately have to dive in and seize their share. There must be a ravenous fairy living in this house. Or can it be Copper the Fox who lives in our backyard? That Peter Rabbit always seemed like a shady fellow to me. The possibilities are endless. I need to get to the bottom of this!
Scouring my recipe collection I found this lovely recipe. I had a few problems though. One, I have never baked a pie or tart in my life. Two, I didn’t have a food mixer to make the dough with. I’ve been yearning for a KitchenAid for a long time, which I’ll hopefully get in the near future. Three, there was no time to experiment with complicated recipes even though I would have loved to make a South African “souttert”. I needed to be successful the first time.
No doubt it is the butter that makes these noodles taste so good. Folks who are more health conscious feel free to use olive oil (or any oil of your choice) instead of butter. I love having these noodles as an accompaniment to Pan-fried Butter & Garlic Prawns. If you fancy this dish as a main course but feel it is somewhat insubstantial, increase the portion sizes and toss some roast chicken pieces in the pan. Any leftover meat will do for a great mid-week supper.
A lot of people I have met frowned at the idea of pairing meat with fruit. Yet year after year folks queue hungrily at the carvery for a coveted slice of turkey and dive into the cranberry jelly. Recently I prepared this salad for my dear friend Robyn. She successfully refrained from screwing up her face (it took a lot of effort) and hesitantly said she would try “a bit”. In a few minutes she finished every morsel on her plate and exclaimed her disbelief at how scrumptious it was. Are you willing to give it a try?
The weather was foul. Steel grey clouds were threatening to send us even more pesky snow, and icy winds cut through us like sharp blades. You guessed it. We were in London. It was December 1997, my first trip to Europe. Outside the British Museum my father dragged my mother and me to a street vendor. In a few seconds I was holding a piping hot, brown paper bag in my hands. My father took one foreign looking object out of the bag and showed me how to peel it, revealing a pale caramel flesh. It was my turn to try one. The chestnut was soft, crumbly and sweet. I was hooked.
Recently I’ve checked my website statistics (the traffic has skyrocketed by the way) and saw a new site linking to me. Curious as always I went to investigate. Nicole from For the Love of Food decided to make my Chicken Calvados and it was a great success which really delighted me. After reading her site for a while I noticed she has a monthly contest, called Taste & Create. The idea is to cook another blogger’s recipe and give feedback. Nicole will then do a monthly roundup of the results.
With the holiday season coming up a lot of people will be hosting parties. Cocktail parties, dinner parties, Christmas parties, all types of parties! If you want to wow your guests, prepare this canapé. It’s simple and straightforward. Experience the divine by biting through the tomato and discovering the creamy meatiness of the crab followed by the slight bite of the chili and flavour of coriander. If you know your guests don’t mind some extra spiciness, increase the chili a bit. Don’t underestimate it though, so be on the safe side and taste before serving.