Long-time readers will remember that as well as being the ultimate home for alt-folk/folkantifolk singer-songwriting, this is also a pioneering recipe blog. It’s been a while since I posted any of my gems, but I’ve just had a good 24hrs in the kitchen so strap yourself in:

Incredible 2-step gluten free crumpets

2017-04-29 18.59.27Have you ever heard the wind whilstling past your grandmother’s autumn leaves at 7:31am, dashed with a hint of nutmeg, and thought about kale? When I was a young man, Mrs. Chaffinch from the corner shop would heat up a bovil mug of sriracha for all us young school scallions as we hot-footed it in the direction of class, and it always made me feel that [5,000 words of backstory removed for editorial reasons] which is why it’s important to set goals, stay true to your happiness, and click with a regime that works for you. Anyway, here’s a two-step crumpet recipe:

  1. Go to this website
  2. Make the crumpet recipe on it

Simple and homely! By way of notes, let me add that I don’t have a ‘crumpet ring’ (quite apart from them being hard to find in Asda, they just sound a bit dodgy) but I used one of those fried egg shaping thingies instead, and it was great once I found a lid that fitted over the ornamental egg on top:

a926eee9-2be2-4bd3-b684-01f38bbdde93I strongly recommend having more than one ring, though, because they take at least three minutes each side to cook so if you make 13 (which is the number of crumps I got out of that recipe) you will be at that cooker for a REALLY long time. But on the other hand, that just gives you time to do more cooking yay recipes give me more

Gluten Free Breakfast Strata Explosion

2017-04-30 09.22.50I need you to know at this point that I actually have coeliac disease, so I’m medically required to eat gluten free and if I weren’t I would currently be ears-deep in this naan. Since instead I have to live a life of pretend bread, expensive soy sauce, and disintegrating pasta, I see no reason not to violate my body with as much fat and carbs as I can possibly cram in by way of recompense.

The main problem of gluten free life is breakfast – there are only 4 options which don’t require you to spend £4 on 100g of granola and, though they’re good, one eventually tires of it all. HENCE THE CRUMPS. Hence, too, my variation on this recipe (HT to friend VB for the introduction) which seeks to replace the stale baguette with Burgen Free From Soya and Linseed Bread. Excuse their misleading title: this bread is not free from Soya or Linseed, in fact I suspect there’s actually more Soya and Linseed in it than there is in normal gluten free bread. Anyway, does it work?

2017-04-30 09.24.20My answer is a qualified yes. It can’t go stale like regular French bread, but gluten free bread is kind of always-already stale and I think the Soya and Linseed really add something to the overall vibes. That said, my token 6-year-old test audience rejected this out of hand, despite being somebody who liked all the ingredients separately. The verdict? Use a smaller, taller cake tin than I did if you can, don’t use gluten free bread unless your doctor tells you there’s literally no choice, but if there’s no choice and you are over 7 years of age this is super tasty!

Okay, it’s time for the triumph of my recent months (and an actual genuine recipe I actually invented, although I’m sure someone else must already have thought of this):

Keema Tacos

I’ve been working on fusing Mexican and Indian cuisine for longer than I can remember. Actually, it’s been about four days: there was this post online about a restaurant which was all like “omg we’re fusing Mexican and Indian cuisine” but I looked at the menu and it was pathetic, no creativity at all, no daring, no verve. So. Phase one. The Indian taco party.

2017-04-29 19.25.38Ingredients:

  • One onion, peeled and chopped into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped; another 1 tomato, also chopped, but kept separate
  • 2tsp chilli powder (I used mild because my household contains Americans, upgrade to hot if poss)
  • ½tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 2 hearty squeezes of tomato puree
  • 500g lamb or beef mince (untested, but I would posit that a similar weight of thinly-sliced bell peppers will make a good veggie version!)
  • 1 large-ish potato, peeled and chopped quite small
  • 1 avocado
  • An infinite quantity of cheddar
  • Sour cream
  • Yoghurt
  • A box of crispy taco shells (I used the Asda own brand because I am loyal to Asda despite everything)

The keema part of this recipe is heavily based on Faatima’s brilliant one here, but I altered it to reflect my far greater laziness and my suspicions about what would perform well in a taco environment. I also cut a few corners because I was making 13 crumpets at the same time, see above. Anyway, here’s what went down:

  1. Onions, garlic, and ginger go into your Magimix Le Mini Plus for a ten-second whizz. I guess you could just chop them by hand, but that would remove all of the French elements from this Mexican-Indian fiesta and therefore prevent it from being truly fusion.
  2. Sizzle the mix gently in the bottom of a large pot. After a four-ish minutes, add the 3 chopped tomatoes, then, after a minute more, pour in about 100ml of water and all the spices. Wait roughly long enough to finish making one crumpet, then add the tomato puree and the meat/peppers. Turn up the heat slightly and stir until it’s all “got to know itself” as my Dad would say.
  3. Add a little more water, get it simmering, lob in the potato, the cover it and let it do its thing for about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, get the stone out of the avocado and chop it into little bits. Put the bits in a cereal bowl. In a second cereal bowl, put the remaining chopped tomato. Grate cheese into a third cereal bowl. Put the cereal bowls on the table along with the sour cream and yoghurt and a lot of spoons.
  4. Warm the taco shells as per packet instructions (probably they need about 3 minutes in a preheated oven). When you put them in, take the lid off the keema mix and turn the heat up under it so that it reduces considerably (you want it less runny than keema normally is).
  5. Put the saucepan on the table with the other nonsense, then assemble your tacos! My preferred order is meat first, then cheese, then everything else. The jury is out on whether the sour cream or the yoghurt is the better choice – I guess if you want to tilt your fusion East you’re going for the yog, but take the sour cream if you think it’s not Mexican enough.

So there you have it! It’s probably wildly culturally insensitive, but I dare you to make it and not find it utterly delicious! And I dare you, too, to resist the urge to sit at your screen pressing ‘Refresh’ way into the night in hopes that I will post yet more recipes! HOW WILL YOU LIVE WITHOUT MY GURU TIPS

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