Alien Hand Syndrome Cous Cous

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makes an enormous plate of filling stuff that can be served as most of a meal for two

* note - these must be bang on identical by volume.
** note - It will probably say 400g(drained weight 260g). Obviously this is post-soaking weight if you're doing things properly.
*** note - larger chopping boards are available
**** note - I'm rocking a subzi polo mix at the minute: parsely, dill, chives, coriander and fenugreek.

Thunderbirds theme tune, followed by Aleksi Virta.

First, chop onion and put it in the pan over a low heat to fry in olive oil. Then add small-ish blocks of chopped courgette. When stuff starts looking brown, put in the harissa, a strong tunisian chilli paste. When you get to this stage, you may think you should add amount according to taste, but you won't. You will just watch fascinated, and a little appalled as your hand moves back and forth seemingly of it's own accord ladling ever more firey potency into the pan where 'your' food is cooking. Then you regain composure by bunging in the chick peas and stirring to coat evenly. Then, having chopped the tomatoes and capers up with your special tomato knife, and hacked the dried apricots up a bit you add them to the.. oh dear gods no the left hand is ladling more harissa into the mix like some unstoppable ladling machine! How can this be happening and why won't it stop? Distract the hand by making it put the vaguely specified herbs in. As the mix fries, put the vegetable stock on to boil, add some salt and immediately take it off when it begins to boil. Chuck in liberal quantities of olive oil followed by the cous cous. Cover and ignore for a few minutes. When it's all fluffy and nice, stir the mixture through the cous cous and gingerly taste it with some hot pitas. Affect surprised noises that somehow exactly the right amount of harrisa was added.

There is still no decision about which microformat to use for recipies, otherwise this entry would be using them.

20:51 21 May 2008 /food/ cous

Octarine Kale with sweet & sour chutney

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Dinner for N people; chutney keeps overnight well, too so make too much.

Part of the new Go Go Bordello album which you then take off and replace with the last Go Go Bordello album which was much better.

This recipe uses a kale of some kind. Kale is a brassica like savoy cabbage or panfry, but it has a confusing and contradictory nomenclature. The variety I used is variously known as 'red', 'black', 'purple', 'blue' or 'sea' kale, depending on where it is. As you can probably guess it's an amazing colour - sort of like what forest green would be if it grew up with a lot of litigious purple role models.

Put the spuds on to boil - they're going to be the backdrop of the meal. While they're cooking wash the kale and de-stalk it. Then chop the onion and fennel bulb into small pieces (also chop or grate the ginger into bits) and get two frying pans out (one big and one small). Place the onion and fennel in the small pan with the sunflower oil. Gently heat, and when they start to sweat put in the cider vinegar and the ginger. While the chutney mixture does it's thing, fry the kale in the big pan with plenty of olive oil. Start grating orange peel to add to it but then realise that this isn't an organic orange so it probably tastes horrible. Discard orange zest, consume orange. The kale will be fine without it.

Drain and half-heartedly smash the finished spuds and restrain yourself from adding butter or anything - just some salt. Serve the kale on top with plenty of chutney (which should be glistening; not dripping). There should be a 2:1 kale:spud ratio. Eat with ales.

There is still no decision about which microformat to use for recipies, otherwise this entry would be using them.

19:45 25 Nov 2007 /food/ octarinekale

Gelin-style Tempeh Wrap

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makes 3 wraps (dinner for 1). Scales linearly.

Beginner's Mandarin Chinese Lesson 4

Marinade the tempeh with the lemon juice and garlic. Begin heating some oil in a pan. After a half hour of trying to figure out what the hell "Gelin" means in Mandarin realise that it's actually a rendering of "Green", who is a fictitious person that the authors inserted into the lesson in order to make things "easier" to understand. Realise the oil is getting pretty hot, tip the slightly overmarinaded tempeh into the pan, turning down the heat, and turning over as soon as they are browned underneath. Put the onions (both kinds), pepper and chilli in. Stir occasionally, but leave it a bit if the tempeh tries to crumble. While they cook, put the tortillas somewhere to warm up. Add soy sauce and coriander leaves to taste. When it's done, transfer to a bowl. Take out the warm tortillas, wrap up bits of the mixture in them and Nom Nom Nom

verdict * * *
The chilli & lemon thing works as well with tempeh as it does with everything else, and the marinade with garlic worked well too. The coriander leaves defied the second law and clung straight away to the tempeh. It was pretty nice and would have got more stars if it wasn't for the tortillas I used. I don't care how good for you whole foods are, I'm going back to the white, extra salty kind for the next set of wraps, purely for their structural properties (ie they actually soften and wrap stuff). I'm glad I forgot to use the olives - I don't think they would have added much and I'll get to use them later.

There is still no decision about which microformat to use for recipies, otherwise this entry would be using them.

23:03 20 Aug 2007 /food/ gelinstyle

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