August 15th, 2012 — 10:30am
You guys know about my affinity for lemon cake so I was very happy to have this recipe featured on A Cup of Jo today – a blog that I absolutely love.
It really is a brilliant cake. Read the secret to making the best lemon cake ever over on A Cup of Jo and then for goodness’ sake, go and make some.
10 comments » | how to, links, recipe
June 18th, 2012 — 8:11am
The official start of summer according to my calendar is this Wednesday and somehow that date is totally in tune with what I’d decided is my personal “start of summer”. On Thursday my brother and his wife arrive from the U.K. (via Mexico – only slightly envious) for a week and Dan and I are pumped.
I can’t tell you what we’ll be up to because it involves Top Secret Birthday Celebrations for my brother but suffice to say, I’m excited for a few days off (our only real summer holiday this year – sob) and an excuse to kick off summer properly.
The other exciting thing happening this week? I’m celebrating five years of living in this wonderful city. If you’re the sentimental type then you can read my heart-on-sleeve ode to Minneapolis, which I wrote this time last year. I can’t believe it’s been half a bloody decade. Old.
These black bean burgers totally scream summer and they’re the best we’ve ever made at home. They have fantastic flavour and a really good texture, falling apart just a teeny tiny bit (I think that’s because we couldn’t quite get them dark and crispy enough on both sides). They soak up a fair bit of oil while frying so you’ll likely want to douse the pan with some more as you flip ‘em.
I love that they’re studded with sweetcorn and doubly love the spices added to the mix. It adds some great flavour without making them spicy at all. If you want them hot you’ll need to up the quantities of spices. We added a smear of chipotle sweet and hot sauce to our buns which brought the heat.
Black Bean Burgers
from Spoon Fork Bacon
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1 ear yellow corn, kernels and milk removed from husk
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 whole wheat burger buns
- Place onion, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times.
- Add beans, oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry powder, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and pulse 8 times. Scrape downs sides of the bowl and pulse an additional 5 to 8 times (depending on desired texture).
- Place mixture into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Remove chilled mixture from refrigerator and stir in breadcrumbs. Adjust seasonings.
- Pour oil into a heavy bottom skillet and place over medium. Form mixture into four equal patties. Cook patties for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until a crust develops and the patties are heated through.
- Remove patties from heat and place onto burger buns. Assemble burger with toppings and condiments of your choice and serve.
7 comments » | healthy food, homemade, how to, recipe
December 21st, 2011 — 6:00am
In British households the roast potato is king at Christmas. No other cooking method can live up to the shining glory of a great roast spud.
I had a bit of trouble wrapping my head around the whole mashed potato at Thanksgiving thing, because in many other respects Thanksgiving dinner looks like the British Christmas dinner. Why were people eschewing the roastie?! I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But it’s okay. You can have your T-Day mash if I can have my Chrimbo roast potato.
If you can’t tell already, I’ve been thinking a LOT about this recently. Christmas is a-coming and Dan and I have been charged with planning two Christmas dinners, which we’re mightily excited about. You could say I’ve got my game face on when it comes to serving up really good roasties.
So, what makes a great roast potato? To me it must be fluffy on the inside and wonderfully crisp on the outside.
There are a few secrets I’ve discovered to really perfect roast potatoes:
> par-boil your potatoes for just a couple of minutes so they’re nice and fluffy before you begin.
> give them a vigorous shake as you drain them which will help the fluffiness, as will dusting them with a teaspoon or two of flour.
> make sure your oil or fat of choice is really, really hot before you pop the tats in the pan.
Taking inspiration from my friend Tyler, I’ve decided that cooking said tats in goose or duck fat adds a luxurious twist that is wholly appropriate for something like Christmas dinner. You don’t need it for great roasties, obviously, but it adds a blooming lovely depth of flavour. Lu-xu-ry.
I got more help on technique from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Angela Nilsen.
If all this seems like far too much fuss for a potato then you, my dear, have never had an outstanding roast potato. It’s a thing to truly be revered and adored. The things food dreams are made of.
Will you be having them with your Christmas dinner this year? Tell me your secrets to perfect spuds!
Perfect Roast Potatoes
- 1 kg/ 2.2lbs potatoes (I recommend these UK varieties: Maris Piper, Cara, Kind Edward – and these American: Russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and cut into fairly small even-sized pieces
- 100g/ 3.5oz duck or goose fat, or 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil (Clancey’s in Linden Hills is a great resource in Minneapolis)
- 2 tsp flour
- Sea salt, to serve
- Place an empty roasting tin in your oven and heat it to 200C/400F.
- Put your potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a rolling boil. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and leave the potatoes for 2 minutes. While they are par-boiling, add your fat of choice to the roasting pan in the oven to get nice and hot.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking them around enough to fluff them up a bit and give them a rough texture. Add the flour and shake to cover evenly and thinly.
- Carefully place the potatoes in the roasting pan – the hot fat will sizzle intensely so watch out! – and turn them over so all sides are covered in fat. Spread them in a single layer, making sure they have plenty of room.
- Roast the potatoes for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn over. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes, then turn them over again, each time making sure they are well coated with fat/oil. Put them back in the oven for another 10-20 mins, or however long it takes for them to get really golden brown and crisp. The colouring might not be even, but that’s fine. Some darker sides and some lighter are ideal.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt and serve straight away. Serves four, as part of a meal.
Note: If your potatoes seem too oily when you remove them from the oven, feel free to put them on a paper towel for a couple of minutes to soak up some moisture.
14 comments » | food and culture, how to, recipe