Friday, July 30, 2010

Tyulka: Southern Russian beer delight (тюлька)

Tyulka is a sprat-like fish in the Black Sea that, when dried, or rather cured in dry air, turns into veritable vials of most fragrant fish oil and delightfully crunchy meat. A perfect companion for cold beer, it is sold all around Southern Russia, although it is harder to find in Moscow. On the Canaries, a saltier and drier version is called pejines.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

rasstegai russian fish pie recipe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Puttanesca africana: global fusion cuisine

Quite unbeknownst to me, my cooking patterns have evolved to embrace a most spectacular variety of world cuisines - all too oft mixed in a single dish. I realised that when fixing my spaghetti lunch today. As I sautéed garlic and onions in olive oil for puttanesca, I added Thai anchovies and, in lieu of old boring salt, Vietnamese fish sauce - it gives food a more pronounced, deeper flavour. Then I mixed in a pinch of finely chopped Nigerian peppers, which made me think of an Italian puttana feeling sore after a night of heavy African sailor loving: when used in moderation, the peppers leave exactly that pleasantly burning sensation in your bodily orifices as a lot of sexual rubbing does. They also give that drool-invoking savoury flavour so prized in Africa and the Caribbean.

Freshly picked basil leaves and a few shavings of hard cheese felt just right with this intense salty-spicy sauce.

The recipe:
  1. Peel and finely chop three red onions and half a head of garlic.
  2. Heat a frying pan well, pour a generous glug of olive oil and grind some black pepper into it.
  3. When the pepper starts giving out a flavor, add first the garlic and then 10-12 dried Thai anchovies. When both golden brown, add the onions, sauté until all golden brown, then add a pinch of finely chopped Nigerian peppers and fish sauce to taste.
  4. Tip a tin of chopped tomatoes and half a cup of red wine and mix well.
  5. Allow to simmer on a very low fire for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh herbs - parsley, sage, thyme or basil - and a few shavings of mature cheese.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday 27th, 2010: Indian lunch, lobster dinner

Indian Lunch:
  • Tikka Masala Chicken,
  • Madras Chicken,
  • Masala Dal,
  • Biryani Rice,
  • orange juice.
Lobster dinner:
  • Turkish chicken and almond soup (Bademli ve Terbiyeli Tavuk Çorbası)
  • chestnut mushroom oven-baked with truffle oil and goat cheese,
  • salad du jardin with lime-wasabi dressing,
  • boiled lobster with dill-butter dip
  • watermelon
  • 2006 Chardonnay-Vermentinu-Muscat, Vin de Pays de l'Ile de Beaute
  • Stowell's Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

Je vous remerci pour notre pain quotidien: Monday 27th, 2010.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Liquid smoke - best since sliced bread

iquid smoke is possibly the greatest invention after sliced bread. As it is filtered a few times, it is supposed to be healthier than your plain old smoked products. Even more importantly, it lends that lovely extra flavour t your steaks and whatever you choose to bake in your oven creating a perfect illusion of something barbequed on charcoals. Use sparingly and towards the end of cooking to retain its intensity and richness.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Whitstable oysters: Britain's best

They say that what goes around, comes around. That's true, but every time the game level is up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sunday (Up)Market World Food Fair

unday Up-Market World Food Festival for me is perhaps what a brothel is for a sex addict. From Brazilian to Tibetan and from Greek to Ethiopian, every weekend an indoor parking space in Brick Lane turns into a fiesta of world cuisine at affordable prices. I could wallow my way through the rows of steaming pans and drown myself in a pot of Thai curry, like Duke of Clarence in a barrel of Malmsey wine.


Pro's: Choice. Price.
Con's: No sitting facilities. Open only on weekends until 5PM.
In a nutshell: All authentic local foods of the world in one place.

Address: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lanee, E1 6QL