Category Archives: Recipe

Moussaka

I don’t honestly even like moussaka much. By my wife loves it (and aubergines more generally), so a while back (pre-lockdown) she ordered it in a supposed Greek restaurant, only to find that what arrived resembled a shepherd’s pie: very little aubergine all mixed in with the meat sauce, and with a layer of mashed potato on top in place of the white sauce. Ugh.

Here’s how it should look (stolen from a recipe on the BBC website)

Anyway, being the exemplary husband that I am, I cooked a moussaka for her, more according to her preferences. This is the recipe I landed on (having read two or three that were in the ballpark but not quite right). Continue reading

Home-made beefburgers

These are very much better than anything you get in a shop.

They are really simple to make. Here’s how.

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Making pizza from scratch

This is a recipe adapted from one that my good friend Charles Ledvina gave me. I have only made it once — to good effect — so I am blogging this mostly so that I have an easy way to find it. If you find it useful, too, all well and good.

The first pizza as it came out of the over. The cheese is slightly toasted, because I left it in too long, hoping to char the crust.

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What to do with leftover rice

Now that we’re in lockdown, and it’s difficult to get food delivered, we’ve become more careful about making the best use of all our leftovers. In particular, when we have left-over rice (most likely from one of our curries), I’m remaking it into a sort of Singapore fried rice.

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Another curry

I don’t know what to call this curry: it’s sort of like a dupiaza, sort of like a jalfrezi. The key point is, it’s delicious.

This isn’t it; but it looks a lot like it.

And the great thing about it is that the first 80% or so of the recipe is exactly the same as my chicken sort-of-korma recipe. Which means you can get 80% of the way through that recipe, then split the mixtures and make half-and-half of that and this.

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Chili con carne

A while back I published my recipe for bolognese sauce. Our eldest is starting a scheme where he cooks for us once a week, and last week he used that recipe. This week he wants to do chili con carne, so I’m posting my recipe mostly for him to follow. I hope it’s of use to others, too.

While this superficially resembles bolognese sauce, and shares many of the same ingredients, it’s a very different dish. (My wife’s tendency to refer to both of them just as “mince” is one of her few imperfections.)

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Six pies, and more lessons learned

It’s been a while since I did some experimental baking. This evening, the mood took me, and I made six small pies which made just about enough food for the four of us to have a light meal. Here’s the process.

First, I did a dumb. I started with a pack of ready-rolled puff pastry, which was completely the wrong pastry for these pies. I should have just made up some shortcrust. We’ll see the consequences of this in later photos. Continue reading

East meets West! It’s the English breakfast sushi roll

I’ve been eating sushi a lot recently, as part of a (very successful) diet where I don’t each much, but everything I do eat is something I really enjoy. Then this morning, I smelled the eggs and bacon that Matthew was frying and I realised that what the world needed was something that combined both.

Voila!

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Bolognese sauce, done right

Everyone knows how to make spaghetti bolognese … after a fashion. It’s classic student cookery, isn’t it? Onions, minced beef and tomatoes into a pot, simmer for a while — bam, done. But it can be done right, and then it’s a glorious thing.

Photo from Kok Robin’s blog.

And the good news is, it’s not difficult. It doesn’t need the ludicrous over-complication of Heston Blumenthal’s version. The main thing it needs is elapsed time. What you can’t do is make it in a hurry. But most of the time is simply simmering, so it doesn’t need to take up much of your time.

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Chicken Dhansak

This recipe is my homebrew attempt at synthesising my favourite restaurant/takeaway curry in a quick-to-make form, since all the dhansak recipes I’ve seen are very involved and don’t read like they’d produce anything very similar to the curry I know and love.

This is not my curry, but it looks pretty much like it.

As with all my cooking, quantities are very approximate: I never measure or weigh anything, so the amounts I’ve specified below are just my rough guesses at the amount that I tend to slop in. Although I work this way due to laziness, I argue that it’s positively a good thing, since the subtly different proportions every time you cook the same thing stop the palate from getting so used to it that it becomes boring.

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