Showing posts from December, 2013

Hummus Irritation And This Year’s Kitchen Music

If you saw the Simon Hopkinson Cooks TV series earlier this year, then you may remember that as part of one of his menus he made hummus. Nothing too unusual about that, of course, except that he insisted that the skins of the chickpeas should be diligently removed. That way, according to Mr Hopkinson, it would be the smoothest possible hummus. I've never done that and, frankly, I thought that life's a bit too short to go to that amount of effort. Since then, every time I've eaten or even set eyes on hummus, I've remembered the thing about the skins. Recently I finally gave in and tried it. Removing all the skins is very irritating and I’d love to say that it made no difference, but, dammit, he was right and I apologise for ever doubting the great man. The hummus really is better.  You may very well have your preferred way of making hummus already and, if not, there are a vast array of recipes on the net. Mr Hopkinson himself has a simple one in this article .

A Random Cupboard And An Arbitrary Aperitif

This month Dom of Belleau Kitchen has dared us to reveal the contents of our larders or ingredients cupboards for his Random Recipe challenge .  I'd like to say that I have all my ingredients carefully and neatly stored in one location but actually they're scattered all over the place. I decided that the cupboard with the bottles and jars (and a few other things) was a decent candidate for a quick snap. This challenge has forced me to look carefully at the contents (not something I do too often) and I'm surprised by how much the ingredients have changed from, say, twenty years ago. For instance, I seem to have developed a bit of a vinegar obsession. Twenty years ago, I might have had 3 or 4 different vinegars. It might not be obvious from the picture, but there are 14 different vinegars in that cupboard. Then there are other things that I didn't use at all twenty years ago that have become essential cupboard ingredients. Top of that list is pomegranate molasses. I

The Malakoff Trifle

The Malakoff torte is a refined item of patisserie, which allows the more experienced and skilful dessert maker to show off his or her talent. But we're not going there. Instead we're going back to 1970s England where a much less refined and more relaxed dessert with a vaguely similar set of ingredients turned up on the menus of a number of restaurants. Sponge fingers, cream mixtures, perhaps some almonds or chocolate and plenty of rum were piled into colourful dishes and plonked in front of grateful punters. Being the 1970s, it was a seriously rich and indulgent dessert but it was also a seriously tasty one. Shortly afterwards tiramisu became fashionable and, following a brief but gooey skirmish, the Malakoff Trifle was history. (Actually, it may not have been called a ‘trifle’ at the time - I can only remember the Malakoff bit of the name). This is my tribute to that abandoned dessert. I've made it a little lighter by not using buckets of whipped cream, although I'm