Archive | Main RSS feed for this section

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

10 Jun

Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC)

I  seldom make fried chicken. Not because I don’t like it (I do), and not for health reasons either. It’s the time it takes, the mess it makes (all that spattering oil)… The end result never seemed to justify the hassle.

But that was before I encountered Vietnamese fried chicken (or VFC as we now call it) at a music festival.

Maybe I was influenced by the band that was playing (Noah and the Whale), or the unexpected blessing of sunshine, or the mellow party atmosphere, but that chicken was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted.

The moist and flavourful meat, the growing kick of chilli heat, the coating that was more crackle than crumb. Fried chicken this good was definitely worth the hassle. Continue reading

Kolokithopita (courgette pie)

17 May

Kolokithopita (Greek courgette pie)

I haven’t made kolokithopita in years. This satisfying combination of courgettes, feta cheese and phyllo pastry was a regular summer visitor when I used to grow courgettes – along with pasta alle zucchini and chocolate chip zucchini bread.

Last week my younger daughter announced that she was going vegetarian for a month. I’m very happy to support her with this ambition – we eat plenty of vegetarian meals already, and when I do cook meat it is seldom the main event, so it hasn’t made much difference to what I serve her for dinner. Continue reading

Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice)

1 May

Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban dish of black beans (Moors) and white rice (Christians).

In some versions, the rice and beans are cooked together – resulting in visually unappealing (though tasty) gray rice. I prefer to keep the rice and beans separate until the last moment to maintain the contrast of colours.

I reheat leftover rice and beans separately while I cook the onion and peppers, then stir it all together just before serving. Dressed with a splash of vinegar or lime juice, and a dash of hot sauce it makes a very satisfying lunch. Continue reading

Beef goulash

25 Mar

Beef goulash

Beef goulash is one of the first dishes I learned to cook on my own. The original recipe is from Seventeen magazine – that’s how long I have been making this dish…;-)

Continue reading

Root vegetable crumble

7 Mar

Root vegetable crumble

Root vegetable crumble is one of my favourite things to make in the winter. While both girls are affronted by the very concept of a savoury crumble, I love it.

When divided into six ramekins,  portions are definitely on the starter/lunch size. When I make root vegetable crumble for dinner, I serve it with lots of steamed vegetables or a big green salad. I’ve also made it in a shallow casserole dish. Continue reading

Kuku paka

19 Jan

Kuku paka

Kuku paka – Kenyan chicken and potato curry – is both simple and delicious. Mildly spiced and creamy, my girls both love it.

Unlike many curries, the chicken are cooked separately – which keeps the flavours and textures distinct– and folded into the coconut curry sauce just before serving.

(Which is similar to chicken tikka masala, now I think of it.) Continue reading

Chicken tinga tacos

2 Dec

chicken tinga tacos

Chicken tinga tacos – fun to say, fun to eat… And a great leftover to use in packed lunches throughout the week.

Another bonus of making chicken tinga is the delicious stock that results from poaching the chicken. Sometimes I freeze it, but more often it gets added to soups or risotto over the following days.

Continue reading