April 27th, 2011 — 6:00am
We had these as part of what turned into a six and a half hour brunch with a couple of our friends. You’ll hear what we served them with below (we also had those oven baked parsnip and carrot fries on the side) so maybe you can imagine how all that food plus a competitive number of mimosas turned into a whole day of amazing brunch awesomeness. More again soon please!
I spied this recipe on Rachel Manley’s blog. Rachel’s a food editor for the BBC Food website in the UK, and aside from her day job and blog also hosts pop up brunches/dinners in the heart of Brixton. Basically, let’s be friends, can we?
There are so many recipes on her site I’ve bookmarked but these pancakes immediately jumped out to me, reminding me of the arepas we made a while back. They sounded perfect for brunch as you can easily re-heat them in the oven (noone wants to be chained to their oven while friends are having fun in the next room!)
We served them with lots of crispy bacon, creamy avocado slices, farmer’s cheese, sour cream to dollop on top, and soft, runny poached eggs. Piling some of everything onto a fork created what can only be described as a perfect mouthful of food. Yes, I said perfect. Hope you’ve got friends coming over this weekend!
adapted from What Rachel Ate
makes 18 pancakes, serve 3-4 per person
- 1 can sweetcorn, drained
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 green onions, chopped
- small handful cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Blend the sweetcorn, chillies, garlic, spring onions and cilantro until finely chopped (don’t go overboard though, you don’t want a purée), then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If it seems really dry, add a little milk.
- Heat about one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan until hot and fry tablespoonfuls of the batter for 2 minutes on each side. Once you’ve flipped the pancakes over, press them down a little with your spatula to keep them thin and crisp.
- Remove them from the pan and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper while you cook the rest of the pancakes.
Note: We actually made these gluten-free, and simply swapped the all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
16 comments » | links, recipe
April 25th, 2011 — 6:00am
It surprises me how many people are perplexed by parsnips in America. Those sweet, earthy root vegetables are looked upon with quizzical eyes more often than you’d think. The reason this surprises me is that ‘roasted parsnips’ are to me synonymous with ‘sunday roast dinner’, something that I ate practically every week for years and years growing up.
I actually disliked parsnips for many years, much to my sister’s satisfaction. I think she cried inside a little when I finally discovered a taste for them.
All you need to know about parsnips (if you don’t already) is that they are an easy and delicious addition to your typical pan of roasted veggies. This dish would be great on its own or lovely aside a roast dinner. I made them for brunch this weekend as a side dish.
Paring them with carrots looks pretty and – duh – adds more deliciousness. All you need is some oil and sea salt and you’re away! Add an easy dipping sauce, like the one below, and your guests will be pleased as punch.
Baked Carrot and Parsnip Oven Fries
- a big bunch of carrots and parsnips, washed, trimmed (be sure to peel the parsnips or they likely will take forever to crisp up – carrots can crisp up with their skins still on and I think they look nicer that way)
- vegetable oil
- sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut each carrot and parsnip in half lengthwise (parsnips can be tough so hopefully you’ve got a sturdy knife on hand!). Toss all the veggies in a bowl with a couple of big glugs of oil.
- Arrange the carrots and parsnips cut side down in a single layer on a baking sheet (avoid Silpats as you won’t get that delicious browning) and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until carrots and parsnips are golden brown where they touch the pan.
- Serve with chipotle aioli dipping sauce.
Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Salt and pepper
Whisk mayonnaise with garlic, lime juice, and chipotle chili powder to taste. Season with salt and pepper; chill until ready to serve.
3 comments » | recipe
April 22nd, 2011 — 6:00am
I hope somewhere along the lines of you reading this blog I have conveyed my fierce love of curry. If not, then I’ve been remiss and I’d like to address the situation right now. Curry to British people is like Mexican food to Americans. A foreign cuisine that feels so entrenched in your own country’s national eating habits that it’s as normal and traditional a thing to eat as say, burgers for you guys, or bangers and mash for us.
Curry feels British. Quite clearly though, it is not. You won’t find many traditional British recipes parading around with a list of spices as long as you’ll see below. Curry became really popular in the U.K. from the 1950s onwards as a result of British colonial rule and mass immigration to Britain from South Asia.
I actually didn’t discover chana masala until moving to the States and beginning to cook more myself. Back in the day at curry houses, I would rarely even glance at vegetarian dishes, thinking in tunnel vision, “I’m not a vegetarian, so…”. Little did I know that many of the best dishes live over there in vegetarian land. Chana Masala is just one of them and I’m so happy to share it with you because if you love curry then I think you’ll adore this.
We’ve been making this recipe for a year or two and have adapted it to suit our slightly milder tastes. I always thought of myself as a spice lover but the original of this recipe had me sweating at levels I wasn’t quite comfortable with. Hence I’ve toned it down but don’t be fooled: it still packs a punch. If you prefer it really spicy then double the amount of green chili pepper and cayenne pepper.
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey via Smitten Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 fresh, hot green chili pepper, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped small
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan.
- Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.
- Serve with fluffy basmati rice or naan bread (or both).
12 comments » | food and culture, recipe