Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Final Lunch for this blog!

Hello everyone. Well, the time has finally come. Today is the last day of my project!


Now, I'm sure that many people out there have negative memories associated with the ritual of "The Sunday Lunch". I've read Toast, I've seen Eat Drink Man Woman, and I've read lots of articles in culinary and trashy magazines on this subject. However, I think the negative connotations surrounding the Sunday Lunch are more about familial pressures and obligations, rather than the food itself. (Although having read Nigel Slater's wonderful descriptions of not-so-wonderful food in Toast, this is not always the case). And thankfully, I was not brought up with the idea that it was a Good Thing to have the family sitting around the table at a regular time every week, regardless of inclination or hunger. I admit that I am extremely lucky in that, more often than not, eating day-to-day meals together with my family was a natural, enjoyable, and desirable experience. It was especially great that we could have the entire family (Dad, Mum, Daniel and myself) home today to eat this special lunch.

393. The Roast Beef
394. The Gravy
395. The Yorkshire Pudding

I served it with roast potatoes (they don't count as a recipe, as I've made them heaps of times before), and baby beans (from a freezer packet).

In the book, Nigella writes out a Sunday Lunch timetable - for a meal like this, with so many elements that require precision timing, you really have to plan everything out like a "military operation". However, by this stage in the project, I've made over 350 recipes, dozens of dinner parties and lots of lunches. It may be immodest of me to say, but I was confident that I could just wing it, and everything would be fine.

This is our beef, check it out. It's an aged piece of rib-eye, about 2.45 kg. Mum bought it at Rendinas (where else!), and the butcher assured her it was a lovely, lovely piece of meat.

I cooked it at 210C for 90 minutes in total. Whilst it was in the oven, I boiled the potatoes, and made our dessert. I've actually already made all the desserts in How to Eat, so I decided to revisit one of my favourites, the rhubarb meringue pie. As I've made it before, I won't tell you how it was made. (Click on the above link if you're interested, as you should be - it's an amazing pie). One thing I do want to show you though, is Nigella's amazing pastry. Her freezer-processor method is a very valuable tip that I've learnt from this book, which almost always results in a fabulously easy to roll pastry.

This the the excess pastry - just look how elastic and pliable it is!

I cooked the rhubarb meringue pie in our microwave convection oven in the pantry, to leave the big oven free for all the hardcore meat and potatoes cooking.

Next was the gravy. You start off by cooking a thinly sliced onion until soft, then adding sugar and Marsala, and letting it cook slowly until caramelized and very, very soft. (Note: I'd recommend using a large onion, and doubling, or perhaps even tripling quantities. Gravy is good.) Then you add some flour, and then beef stock, stirring it well, and letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can push it through a sieve or put it in a processor, and then leave it on the stove until it's time to eat.

Once the beef was cooked, I took it out of the oven, and let it rest, covered in foil, on Mum's big carving board. Then, I put the potatoes in the oven, made the yorkshire pudding (same method as the sweet yorkshire pudding, but with added salt and pepper), and added it to the oven for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Whilst they were cooking, I boiled my beans and added the pan juices to the gravy.

And then it was time to eat!!!

Check out that lunch! I'd describe all the dishes, but I think the photos speak for themselves. Mmm... everything was delicious. Nigella's gravy recipe is fantastic, as is her roast potato one.

We sat around the table talking, laughing and eating. We only got through about half of that food, but considering that I'm in study mode and not going to be cooking for a while, this is a good thing.

While Mum, Dad and Daniel were cleaning up the kitchen, I finished off the pie.

Here's what it looks like baked. I really, really wanted to decorate it with some words, so as it was cooling, I melted a bar of dark chocolate, scraped it into a zip-lock glad bag, snipped off the corner and piped out some free-form words onto parchment paper (not very neatly, I'm afraid). I let them set in the fridge, and then arranged them haphazardly on top of the cooled pie to form a kinda Louis Vuitton graffiti pie. (Yes, I'm sticking to the "Louis Vuitton graffiti" description, and not, for instance, "a hyperactive 2-year old's art project").

Again, I don't really need to describe the pie. Y'all know I love pie, and the rhubarb meringue pie is my favourite pie out of the whole book. I'm sure you can deduce that I loved eating it. I should just add that rhubarb and dark chocolate is a winning combination.

But even more exciting than pie (and it's not often you'll hear me saying that), I finally opened that big brown mysterious envelope I received last month! And guess what it was! A signed photo of Nigella!!!!!!!!! Omg omg omg Yay yay yay!!!!! It is totally like the most awesomest thing ever!!

And just in case you were wondering what I wrote on top of the pie...

Thank-you everyone!

"Welcome Back Daniel!" or "I come from the land down under..."

My brother Daniel came home from Japan today! Yay! My parents went to pick him up at the airport at, like 6:00am, and I was woken up about an hour later with him running into my room and joyfully yelling, "SARAH! Wake up wake up wake up wake up!!!". I woke up.

If you have a look at the bottom my last post, you'll see that last night, I was hunkering down for an intense late night essay-writing session. And I didn't get to bed for another 3 and a half hours after writing that post. So naturally, I was tired. But not too tired to whip up some "welcome back to Australia" sandwiches as Daniel unpacked and showed us all the kick-ass Japanese stuff he bought. SUGOI!

392. Marmite Sandwiches (Feeding Babies and Small Children)

These appear in the Party Food section of the Kiddies' chapter, and are so easy to make. The point of the recipe is not the ingredients, (I mean, who needs a recipe for marmite sandwiches?), but Nigella's method. She instructs you to cream butter until soft, and mix it with some marmite (before you ask, I used vegemite, of course).

Mmm... mushy - I made the butter-vegemite mix dark and salty, as I usually don't even have butter with vegemite.

The soft, creamy mixture is then very very spreadable, which is useful when you have to make dozens of sandwiches, quickly and with plastic white bread. (I used Wonder White, in the delightfully comic-book-camp pink packet). You'll need to slice the crusts off and cut them into quarters.


These are GOOD. Even my mum ate one and liked it, despite not having acquired the taste for vegemite during her Malaysian childhood. I'm not exactly sure why, but they taste miles better than normal vegemite-on-toast. After the sandwiches were made (I only ate 1), and Daniel had finished showing us his awesome stuff, I went back to bed. When I woke up, everyone had polished off the remaining sandwiches, which made me very very happy. Ee... oishii sandoichi! SAIKOU!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I wanted to procrastinate so badly i went to make duck liver crostini

I was hoping that my essay would be done by this time tonight, but I know now that that was just wishful thinking. It's 11:05pm and I'm only 27.53% of the way through it. And it's only my first, of 4 essays due within a week. Argh!!

Anyway, about an hour ago I took a study break and made some crostini.

391. Duck liver crostini (Dinner)

The method for these crostini is pretty much the same as the chicken liver crostini. The only difference is that Nigella says to omit the capers and anchovies, add some orange zest, and to use Grand Marnier in place of Marsala. It took about 30 minutes to make, whilst listening to Rod Stewart's Greatest Hits. (Yes, it's still in my CD player, and it still ROCKS).

crostini duck liver

Ok, back to the essay now. Duck liver crostini is totally a normal thing to be eating late at night during essay time.

They're pretty good actually, despite my aversion to liver and my stress-induced lack of appetite. And I guess I should mention here that the mushroom crostini and chicory and mustard salad were really, really good. My parents and I have been picking at them all day, and Dad declared the salad dressing "delicious".

Discuss Jean Rhys' treatment of personal cultural dislocation in a postcolonial context in Wide Sargasso Sea.

Now remember the sauce verte? It looked pretty gross, and I had no idea of when we would eat it. But, I made it on Sunday afternoon, went to work on Sunday night, and came back to discover that my parents had eaten half of it on bread, and were raving about it! Cool! Yesterday afternoon, Mum surprised me with a packet of chips and a latté. (You can see the leftover gingered chicken salad in the background). We ate the chips with the sauce verte and it was deelicious. It tastes sharp and vinegary like a salsa verde, but with the artery-thickening power of mayonnaise. You really can't go wrong.

chips, coffee, sauce verte

Today, before I get properly stuck into my literature essay (hence the weird title of this post), I got through a couple more recipes.

389. Chicory and Mustard Salad (Dinner)

Chicory is out of season at the moment, so I used witlof. (I always used these 2 terms interchangeably; I didn't realise they were 2 different things, but according to the dude at Leo's, they are).

The dressing is Dijon mustard, crème fraîche, cider vinegar and salt, whisked to a thick emulsified dressing with olive oil.


Then simply toss the dressing through the leaves and you're done.

chicory mustard salad

390. Mushroom crostini (Dinner)

This recipe looks a lot fancier than it really is. The topping for the little crunchy bread rounds simply consists of chopped thyme, garlic and mushrooms, cooked until soft, to which you add grated parmesan. A light sprinkling of chopped parsley completes them. Easy.

mushroom crostini

I'm a bit stressed at the moment with essays, finishing off the project and other not-quite-related antipodean dramas, so don't have much of an appetite (yes, I'm shocked too). However, the mushroom crostini smell really, really good, and I'd be happy to pull them out at a dinner party. The salad looks pretty good too - I'll get my mum to do a taste-test for me later on.

Now I'm back to immerse myself in the world of 1830's Jamaica. Yah man.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cod & Peas

388. Cod & Peas

Kids chapter. Quick meal. You cook peas in butter and a bit of liquid (water & lemon juice, or white wine, or vermouth), then add bite-sized cubes of fish (Nigella says cod or trout; I chose trout) and let it cook for a couple more minutes. That's it.

Trout & Peas

It was really easy and quick to make, so if you expect that your kids will like this kind of stuff, then you should definitely give it a go. Personally, I was nonplussed - I thought it was pretty bland, but chacun à son goût, as the French say.

Goodbye to Basics etc.

I have finished the Basics etc. chapter, woohoo! Lots of good recipes in there - man, it makes me tired just reading through that huge list! I loved all of the Christmas recipes, the cakes, the pies, the crumbles! Nigella's pastry method is fantastic, as is her custard, both of which I can now make without the recipes.

8. Basic Roast Chicken
Basic Roast Chicken with garlic and shallots
329. Stock
Lettuce and Lovage Soup
Sauce Verte
Egg Mayonnaise
Hollandaise with Saffron
Hollandaise sauce with Seville orange juice
Béarnaise Sauce
Langue de chat
Cheese sauce
Parsley sauce
Parsley and ham patties
My mother’s white sauce
Vegetable Soup
Plain Salad Dressing
Basic French Dressing
Victoria Sponge
Birthday Cake
Fancy Cake
Moorish Cake
Basic White Loaf
Lemon Curd
Passionfruit Curd
Real Custard
Quick Foolproof Custard
Basic Vanilla Ice-cream
The World’s Best Chocolate Ice-cream
American Breakfast Pancakes
Shortcrust Pastry
Rich Shortcrust Pastry
Sweet Pastry
Plain Apple Crumble
Rhubarb Crumble
Canard à l’orange
Scallops with Bitter Oranges
Seville Orange Marmalade
Elderflower Cream
Damson Fool
Mostarda di Venezia
Christmas Eve Goose
Lidgate’s Chestnut Stuffing
Lidgate’s Cranberry and Orange Stuffing
Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts
Bread sauce
Cranberry Sauce
Brandy Butter
Iced Rum Sauce
Mini star-topped mince pies
Frangipane Mince Pies
Bubble and Squeak
Ed Victor’s Turkey Hash
Roasted Garlic and Shallots
Panchphoran Aloo (Potatoes in whole spices)
Lentil and Chestnut Soup
Christmas Queen of Puddings
Clementine Cake
Mashed Potatoes, Truffle Oil and Warm Santa Barbara Shrimp

Gingered Chicken Salad

387. Gingered Chicken Salad (Weekend Lunch)

According to Nigella, if you roast a chicken with ginger rubbed into the skin, the leftover meat will lend itself nicely to an Asian-style salad. I didn't want to go to the bother of roasting a whole chicken, so I just rubbed a breast with bottled minced ginger, cooked that in the oven, and let it cool overnight.

For lunch today, I shredded the meat, and tossed it through some mixed lettuce with water chestnuts and a dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar. I notice now that I forgot to add toasted sesame seeds, and intentionally omitted raw sugar snaps, but it didn't seem to make a huge difference to the salad. It tasted quite lovely as it was. The only thing I noticed was that the breast meat was a bit tough, so I'd probably go for thigh next time. Theoretically, I prefer thigh. However, I acknowledge that circumstance and my ever-changing moods usually dictate what I actually end up eating.

Gingered Chicken Salad

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quiet Sunday Afternoon

Both these recipes are in Basics etc., and are both variations on a basic recipe. I'm not really planning on eating them, but thought I'd better get through them while I had some time to myself at home.

385. Sauce Verte

This is a mayonnaise, with dijon mustard added at the start, as well as some chopped herbs, and blanched spinach. Nigella says you can add capers, gherkins and anchovies, treating it like a salsa verde, but with mayonnaise instead of oil as the binding agent. I like anchovies, I took this option.

sauce verte

386. My mother's white sauce

This one is, unsurprisingly, a variation on the white sauce recipe. In it, Nigella says to crumble a bit of a chicken stock cube with the flour at the start, to add a rounded salty savouriness to the sauce. My one turned out a bit brown, which I think is a combination of the stock cube, and the fact that I overcooked the flour at the start. It smelled pretty good though.

Nigella's mother's white sauce

Goodbye to Low Fat!

I’ve finished the low fat chapter! I don't think I made the most effective use of this chapter (remember August? Sheesh!). It's a bit outdated to be eating low fat food these days anyway - recent buzzwords include "Low GI" and "low carb". But there are some lovely noodle recipes in here, and the stews are generally pretty good too.

Here are the recipes.

98. Braised Fennel
Cauliflower and Cumin
Vegetables with Ginger and Garlic

Quick Stuff, or Suggestions for Almost-Thrown-Together Suppers
Poisson au Poivre
Tataki of Tuna
Sugar Spiced Salmon with Chinese Hot Mustard
Brown Rice Salad
Aromatic Chilli Beef Noodle Soup
Mushroom Udon Soup
Braised Dried Shitake Mushrooms with Soba Noodles
Seaweed and Noodle Salad
Mackerel Teriyaki
Salmon Marinated in Den Miso
Cambodian Hot and Sour Beef Salad
Thai-Flavoured Mussels
Thai Clam Pot
Vegetable Miso Broth
Lacquered Quail
Japanese Flavoured Sweet-Sour Cabbage
Beet Greens and Buckwheat Noodles
Shredded Beetroot Salad with Yogurt
Beetroot Soup
Restrained Mushroom Risotto
Fine Pasta with Crab

Salad Dressings
Miso Mustard Dressing
Dijon Mustard Dressing
Thick Miso Dressing for Beans
86. Thick Roast Garlic and Lemon Dressing

Cook and Freeze-Ahead
Vegetable Curry in Vegetable Sauce
Beef Braised in Beer
Half-Coq au Vin
Char Siu 1
Char Siu 2

I can’t find the link for the “roast garlic and lemon dressing”, but I know I’ve made it, as I’ve crossed it off my list. (It’s not in my index – I checked). Anyway, if anyone knows where it is, please let me know!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Ceviche with Hot Garlic Potatoes

Tonight for dinner my good friend Frances came over, as well as my Uncle Sonny.

384. Ceviche with hot garlic potatoes (Dinner)

Yes, it's potatoes again.

Ceviche is a South American (I think) way of preparing fish, in which very thin slices of super-fresh fish are steeped in an acidic marinade (citrus juice, vinegar etc), until cooked. "Cooked" here is a chemical term rather than a culinary one. You see, when you cook meat (a protein), you apply heat to it, which denatures the protein molecules (i.e. changing the meat from "raw" to "cooked"). When you make ceviche, the same protein denaturing occurs, but it is caused by a change in the pH levels rather than by heat. It takes longer and doesn't denature the proteins as much as heat would, but I suppose that's the point.

(By the way, please excuse any confusion in my explanation of protein denaturization - I did do chemistry at high school, but that was 5 years ago, and now that I'm an arts student, the mind does tend to get a bit fuzzy).

Nigella says to use a combination of salmon, scallops and turbot (huh?). I didn't know what turbot was, and certainly wasn't in the mood to Google it - I'm currently working on all my final essays for the semester, which means I'm getting a bit sick of our good friend Google - so I omitted it. I was quite keen to try scallops, but am suspicious of their freshness. I once saw super-fresh ones, the little muscles still quivering, on Nick Nairn's program, but that's Scotland. I'm sure I could find properly fresh scallops if I really tried, but at any fishmonger or supermarket close by, they're frozen and watery and quite feral. So we just used salmon.

Luckily, my friend Frances who was coming over for dinner offered to go buy me salmon at a market close to her house, and delivered it to my house in the early arvo. (As I was preparing lunch.)

I sliced it up, arranged it in a dish, and poured over the marinade - a mixture of lemon, lime and orange juices, and balsamic vinegar. It needs about 6 hours to marinate.

About an hour before Frances was due to arrive, I cooked the hot garlic potatoes. I'm not going to explain them. You've seen them (and I've eaten them!) enough in this past week. But goodness, they are delicious. I'd always recommend making a few extra for you to munch on as you finish preparing your meal.

When I took the salmon out of the fridge, I couldn't tell if it was sufficiently "cooked" to be ceviche, because it still looked quite rare.


However, upon closer inspection, I saw a small bit of fish that had not been covered by the marinade, and it still looked totally raw. Thus, I concluded that the rest of the fish was indeed, cooked enough. Take a look.

look closely

The fish is served tossed through watercress (I used rocket, my usual substitute), with the garlic roast potatoes, and some of the marinade as a dressing.

Ceviche with hot garlic potatoes

It was good! So light and refreshing. The salmon was rich and tender, the potatoes were crunchy, the rocket was peppery and light. A wonderful combination.

Lamb is good

Well, I'm feeling a lot better than I did last night, and the food we ate today improved accordingly.

I made Nigella's caesar salad, roast lamb racks with mint, orange and redcurrant jelly, roasted garlic and shallots, and grilled asparagus.

381. Caesar salad (Dinner)
382. Roasted garlic and shallots (Dinner)
383. Mint, orange and redcurrant jelly (Weekend Lunch)

Nigella's Caesar salad is different from what I'm used to - there is no bacon or anchovies, the eggs are muushed up into the dressing instead of poached and separate, and she uses potato croutons.

The croutons are made in exactly the same was as the cubed potatoes I made on Thursday. You chop them up, and roast them for an hour in a dish with garlic and oil.

While they were cooking, I made the shallots and garlic. You peel the shallots and bake them for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, you boil some garlic cloves, then peel them, and add them to the oven with the shallots for the last 20 minutes of cooking. (This was done, again, in the microwave convection oven living in my pantry).

Next I made the mint, orange and redcurrant jelly, by stirring some freshly chopped mint and orange zest into some store-bought redcurrant jam.

By this stage the potato croutons were ready, so I pulled them out of the oven and let them cool while I put the lamb racks in (30 minutes at 220C). I put in a tray of asparagus towards the end of cooking time.

To finish off the salad, I had to tear up some cos lettuce leaves, and toss through olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan cheese and 2 eggs which have been boiled for exactly 1 minute. (This means they're just cooked, but still very liquid). This mixture of ingredients forms a thick, sharp and tasty dressing. All that remained was to add the potato croutons, and lunch was ready...

lamb racks, asparagus and mustard

roasted garlic and shallots


closeup of caesar salad

mint and redcurrant jelly

It was a fantastic lunch. The unmarinated lamb (bought from Rendinas, as usual), was tender and tasty, and the redcurrant jelly was a great accompaniment. We all loved the Caesar salad, especially my Dad who thought the croutons were deelicious. The only thing we didn't love were the shallots and garlic - even though they'd had their garlicky-oniony acridness cooked out of them, they were still a bit too hardcore for our palates.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I have never felt less like cooking than right now

379. Loin of pork with bay leaves
380. Rhubarb custard

These two recipes are from the first menu in the Dinner chapter. There is supposed to be a Casesar salad as a starter, but I was tired and it was cold, and I couldn't be bothered going out to buy fresh free-range eggs for the dressing (they're supposed to be eaten almost raw, so really fresh eggs are necessary).

I cooked this all after I returned home from work.

The pork loin is rubbed with a mixture of olive oil, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. (Mum, thankfully, went out to buy the pork for me during the day - I am so grateful.)

marinated pork

Then you place thinly sliced onions around the pork, and bake it at 200C until done.

While it was baking, I made the rhubarb custard - the final of How to Eat's many rhubarb recipes. The recipe says to stew some fresh rhubarb, but I had a bag of frozen pulp in the freezer, which I defrosted for the recipe. To make it, you whisk up eggs, egg yolks and sugar, then add pour over warmed milk and the rhubarb pulp. Pour it into a dish, and it needs to be baked in a waterbath at 160C for 1 hour (or until set). I did this in our rickety old microwave convection oven (which lives in the pantry and is hardly ever used for the oven purpose).

raw custard

So this is the cooked pork... mmm... golden and crunchy.

cooked pork

As it was resting, I made the side dish - tinned butter beans (Nigella says to soak and cook pulses from dried, but I was seriously not in the mood), warmed through with oil and garlic. Then I made the sauce by deglazing the pan with white wine and water.

You serve the pork slices with sauce drizzled over and surrounded by bay leaves.

pork slices

butter beans

Dessert time. This is what the rhubarb custard looks like when cooked.

cooked custard

Now, although it seemed quite set and not-liquid when I shook the dish, when we cut into it, most of the inside was still liquid.

mmm soupy

The edges, however, were set, and the liquid centre was warm and tasted like ordinary pouring custard (i.e. DELICIOUS), with the soft fragrance of rhubarb permeating through. It was quite lovely indeed.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pecorino and Pears

378. Pecorino and Pears (Weekend Lunch)

This isn't really a recipe, which I discovered upon actually reading it, but I'd already bought the pecorino and the pears, so I'm counting it.

This combination is a suggested alternative to the sticky chocolate pudding in one of the menus in the Weekend Lunch chapter.

A sharp, crumbly wedge of pecorino cheese, and slices of sweet, crunchy pear. You might not think it, but it's a taste sensation.

I made this in the afternoon, not to eat, but simply to photograph and count in my recipes. Mum and I ended up eating all of that pear and about half that cheese. I wasn't even hungry. It's that good.

Potatoes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways

Ok, so this is the 2nd of the 3 extra potato recipes I whined about the other day.

377. Potatoes (Basics etc.)

Again, this recipe is suggested as an accompaniment to leftover Christmas cold cuts. It's tiny cubes of potato, cooked in oil with thyme and garlic cloves in a hot oven for an hour.


Mmm... delicious. I had these with that split pea soup I made on Tuesday night, which I indeed have thickened out with extra boiled split peas. The soup was pretty good, actually, and the addition of the extra split peas really balanced out the flavour and texture.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hot Jewish Potato Pancakes

Here is what Mum and I had for lunch today.

374. Char Siu 1
375. Char Siu 2
376. Latkes (Basics etc.)

Nigella has 2 recipes for char siu (AKA glazed roast pork loin, Chinese style) in the Low Fat chapter. She suggests making up char siu in advance, slicing it, and stashing it in the freezer to use when you want to add some meat to your low-fat supper. (e.g. soup noodles etc). I made both char siu marinades last night, and let the pork loins marinate overnight.

The first marinade contains:
- soy sauce
- tomato ketchup
- hoisin sauce
- sweet sherry
- honey
- dark muscovado sugar

I had all these ingredients in my pantry.

Marinade ingredients (1)

The 2nd marinade seems to just be made up of random shit that Nigella had lying around her fridge. It contains:
- soy sauce
- prune juice
- mushroom ketchup (huh??)
- miso
- mirin
- sesame oil
- garlic
- light muscovado sugar

I used regular ketchup instead of mushroom ketchup, and coca cola for prune juice (it was a long shot, but I just wanted something sweet. And hey, it worked for the ham).

char siu marinade (1 on the left, 2 on the right)

Today, I put the loins in the oven (200C for 15 minutes, then 160C for 30 minutes), and got on with the latkes. I do realize the total inappropriateness of having latkes (i.e. a hot Jewish potato pancake) with roast pork… but I just really, really need to get through these recipes right now. Besides, a latke is a “hot Jewish potato pancake” – there is nothing I don’t like about that description. How could I resist?

So to make latkes, you need to grate up a few potatoes (using a processor, natch)…

grated potato

...then drain the potato pieces, and mix them with some chopped onion, flour (or matzah meal), egg and salt.

Then you just gotta fry the pancakes in hot oil for about 5 minutes a side. I love frying food, it is just so much fun.

I believe I can fry


Here’s the char siu. Both marinades were pretty decent, even the weird one with the coke in it. I wouldn’t ever use them as a substitute for the real, red-glazed, deliciously greasy char siu that you find in Hong Kong BBQ shops, but for the purpose they were intended (addition of protein to low-fat meals), they are fine.

char siu

Ooh, but those latkes! They’re fantastic! So crispy and oily and totally compulsive.


They’re good plain, but I also served the latkes with cream cheese and smoked salmon, which was brilliant. Cream cheese + fried potato and onion = the same flavour combo as in sour cream and onion flavoured chips. In other words, I was in flavour country. It’s a big country.

smoked salmon on latkes

Check it out, I folded the smoked salmon pieces just like I used to at my old job at the buffet restaurant. Man, I remember having to fold hundreds of pieces of salmon a night, and arranging them on huge expensive glass platters to feed the greedy greedy crowds. It was such a crap job.

But onto dessert - the lemon balm and Sauternes jelly which I made last night. After lunch, I unmoulded the jelly, and ate it with my mum. We drowned it in cream, and it was lovely. Very refreshing and light. However, it was unexpectedly alcoholic, which is why I think it didn’t set very hard. Maybe next time I’ll use more sugar syrup and less alcohol. Either way, it tasted good.

sauternes and lemon balm jelly