Wednesday, 21 November 2012

leon's sweet potato falafel revisted

leon's sweet potato falafel revisited
leon’s baked sweet potato falafel are a favourite at thirty-two. i am not entirely sure how they are ‘falafel’ in the true sense as they are far removed from the deep fried chickpea balls of the middle east. but whatever you call them they are real delight. i’ve played around with the recipe several times and this last version hit just the right spot. the sumac and the lemon give a double citrus note and the black sesame seeds are crunchier than their white siblings. 

Monday, 19 November 2012

a middle eastern diner called honey and co.

honey and co. food from the middle east
there is this humble little middle eastern diner on warren street. it’s not the kind of place i’d expect to find something as special as honey and co. but in london something new opens every day in the most improbable of places (think sushi of shiori on drummond street). i saw it a couple of months ago and put it on my list of ‘places i want to eat’, but then i have a list for so many things that this got buried until marina o’loughlin’s piece in the guardian. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

nutella makes hot chocolate

nutella and dark chocolate melted together

in my little girl days mama would make hot cocoa with a local cocoa powder called rossmoor. rossmoor smelt like cocoa but its strength was a fraction of the imported kind and although cadbury’s cocoa, drinking chocolate or bournville cocoa were available in pakistan, they were quite expensive and were better used in chocolate cakes or fudge sauces. rossmoor hot cocoa therefore was the comforting and bland kind, the kind one associates with children. mama would use a little bit of corn flour to thicken the milk. years later when i had my first taste of italian and french hot chocolate, their thickness reminded me of mama’s mugs of hot cocoa. 

curried sweet potato soup with feta and roasted grapes

curried sweet potato soup with feta and roasted grapes
autumn produce brings with it the promise of substantial soups in colours that celebrate the changing leaves. the kitchen at thirty-two has been romancing soup. we have had autumn gold soups made from the flesh of roasted squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes or the pink-maroon of knobbly beetroots and the pale cream parsnips. roasting these vegetables emphasises their sweetness but it is just this quality which makes them suited to pungent and sharp cheeses like goat cheese, blue cheese and feta. a much loved spice by most of these vegetables is british curry powder that culls south asian flavours. i will sometimes use a handful of grains like bulghur or quinoa in soups extended with broth as this makes them more substantial. at others i lengthen pureed roast vegetables with milk or cream giving a more lush soup. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

babcia's chicken and leeks in white sauce

chicken and leeks in white sauce
this dinner summons all the comfort necessary on a cold winter night. there is not much to it except an unblemished white sauce. its colours reflect winter as both the sauce and the contents bound by it have a pale palette. the heat here is meant only to cook the chicken and leeks, not colour it. although pale it is not a nursery like white sauce as a combination of spices such as white pepper, chilli flakes and a little whole grain mustard give it a sharp warmth. a little bit of parsley checks the bleached colours.