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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Thunder and Lightning

This is simple but obscenely moreish.

Drain a can of chick peas and drop them into a pan of water.

Take the empty can and fill it one and a half times with either penne pasta or macaroni. Drop this into a big pot of salted boiling water.

Once the pasta has been cooking for a while, boil up the chick peas. When both are cooked, drain them.

Now, drop 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and heat it. Next drop in two cloves of crushed garlic. Fry for about 30 seconds and then drop the pasta and chick peas in and stir it all up to get the oil covering everything. Bung in a load of black pepper and give it all a quick stir.

Spoon out into pasta bowls and top with either a dry grated cheese or some very strong cheddar, also grated.

I'm telling you this will vanish from the plate.

What I also added in was a chopped red onion and some nice crunchy sweetcorn and it was gorgeous!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Food Shops of Green Lanes

The idea for this blog came out of a comment I posted on Facebook. "I really ought to write a recipe book,” I wrote. Quick as a flash, my mate Ashley wrote back "Start with a blog and then turn that into a recipe book". Taking his advice, I made my first posting just over a year ago.

I've got a few followers and get a good few hits each week. I am in the UK Food Bloggers Association and am featured on harringayonline, the local community website. But while I don't yet have quite enough material for a recipe book, I have been gathering material for a related project.

The Food Shops of Green Lanes will be a guide to the marvellous food shops in my area. Here is an extract from the introduction "There is a 1.5 mile stretch of a road in the supposedly ‘deprived’ borough of Haringey along which shoppers can buy ingredients from every cuisine in the world."

The area of Green Lanes I am covering is between Manor House and Wood Green. There are THIRTY THREE food shops on that stretch. What is particularly interesting about them is that every one of them has a unique product.

I started the research for the book in June. A couple of Sundays ago, I walked the length of the road and took details of all the shops. For the last two Saturdays I have been in my local library writing up the introduction.

The aim is to have the book ready for the Harringay Food Festival on the 18th September. I’ll publish it myself as an e-pub and will also sell a few hard copies too. It’s an interesting project, not least of all because of all the historical stuff that is coming out of the research. Oh, and just to keep Ashley happy, it will have recipes in it. But it won’t be a recipe book, OK!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mediterranean Chick Pea Stew

I'll get a picture of this later, but for now, here is the recipe. There's enough here for four and I think that the total cost of the ingredients, including the rice was not more than about £2.20 without the eggs.

1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds or 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
1 good bundle of fresh spinach (get the proper stuff, not the packet stuff supermarkets sell)
1 400g tin of chick peas
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200g of fresh french beans
1 large yellow pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Knob of butter
Salt and black pepper.
4 Eggs (Optional)

Usual story; chop the onion into thinnish rings.
Pour the oil into a wide bottomed pan and get it warm.
Drop the onions in and soften them up for 5 to 8 minutes.
While that's happening, finely chop the garlic and get out the cumin seeds or powder.
When the onions are ready, drop the garlic and cumin in and cook for a minute.
Next, put the spinach that you by now have washed and chopped into the pan and wilt it down.
Next add in the drained tin of chick peas.
Then, pour in the chopped tomatoes and the knob of butter.
Get everything bubbling then turn the heat right down.
Stick a lid on the pan and leave it to bubble away for five minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Then throw in the chopped french beans and put the lid back on and give it another 5 minutes.
Finally add in the yellow pepper that you have chopped into fairly large pieces.
Give it all another couple of minutes just to get the pepper soft rather than mushy.
Its now about ready to serve, but if you want, break four eggs over the top of the mixture and then put the lid back on and allow everything to steam away until the eggs are cooked. If you don't want to, leave out the eggs.
Serve with a goodly portion of boiled white rice.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Green Lanes Watermelon Wars

One thing you can certainly get plenty of round here at the moment are watermelons. The 'season' started about 6 weeks ago. Back then, grocers were charging around 89 pence a kilo. But, as the weather has hotted up, so has the competition. The greengrocers in Wood Green Shopping City had them on sale for £2.50 each yesterday, which amounts to around 50 pence a kilo.

This morning, Yasar Halim has been knocking them out at 49 pence a kilo. But, that little place in St Anne's Road is now offering them at FORTY FIVE pence a kilo. How much lower can they go? Watch this space!