A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend | RECIPE

9781452154718_3D

This is a funny and relatable narrative vegetarian cookbook for home cooks of all skill levels from the extremely popular blog A Beautiful Mess (over 1.5 million readers). Eighty yummy-healthy recipes for accessible meals from a trusted source are organised into “weekday”–five days without refined flours, sugars, alcohol, and dairy—and “weekend”–indulgent, flavoured foods. The book is divided into four parts—breakfast, meals, snacks and sweets, and drinks–and each part contains both a weekday and weekend chapter. More than 75 bright, naturally lit photos show plated food and some Beautiful Mess style (outfits, kitchen décor, tools) and ambiance (ingredients, interiors, surfaces, textures). Intended for an audience that’s not feeding a family every night, these recipes serve two.

The following recipes are from A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend by Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson.


weekday_toasts_v1_hero 2

Toasts (weekday and weekend) 

Welcome to the world of toasts. If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of a hot, crispy, nutty slab of bread spread with a meal-worthy second layer, you’re in for a treat that will serve you (literally) for many a perfect breakfast—and an endless possibility for toppings lends them equally well to snacks or light lunches. A logical progression of the classic toast and butter and jam, you can make them whatever you want, according to time of day, time of year, and what might be in season, all in minutes.

Below are half a dozen recipes for the toast of the toasts, featuring homemade spreads and an updated classic composition or two. The first four are for weekdays and three more indulgent recipes are for the weekend. The homemade spreads make enough to cover a few rounds of toasting; the composed toasts can be multiplied for as many eager diners as you have lining up at your table. Use good-quality whole-grain toast for all (we like Ezekiel brand), or make your own, like our Whole-Wheat English Muffins. The weekend Caprese toast indulges in a traditional white Italian loaf to match the ingredients.

  • Cashew Cream and Berry Toast 

Sweet and creamy on hot toast, this spread makes the perfect weekday replacement for French toast. Add a few more berries and an extra drizzle of honey, if you like.

Combine 1 cup [140g] raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour and drained; ¼ cup [30g] fresh or thawed frozen raspberries (if frozen thaw thoroughly first); 2 Tbsp safflower oil; and 1 Tbsp raw honey in a blender and blend to a completely smooth purée. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Fried Egg and Avocado Toast 

This breakfast combo has become a new classic. So good and perfectly satisfying, it only takes about 10 minutes to make. For an even more no-fuss version, skip the egg and top with sprouts or toasted sun flower seeds.

Spread ½ tsp store-bought (no sugar added) or homemade mayonnaise thinly on warm toast. Scoop 1/2 ripe avocado on top and mash to cover the toast evenly. Sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt or sea salt. Top with 1 large egg, fried (or scrambled) however you like. Get it while it’s hot!

  • Red Pepper Hummus Toast

This healthy and satisfying spicy hummus is a bull’s-eye for a midweek craving. Spread on toast and drizzle with a little olive oil. It also makes a great snack paired with carrot sticks, celery, cucumber slices, or baked corn tortilla chips.

Combine 1 can [15 oz/430 g] chickpeas, rinsed and drained well; 1/2 cup [120 g] chopped roasted red pepper, homemade or drained jarred; 1/4 cup [55 g] tahini; 1/4 cup [60 ml] fresh lemon juice; 2 Tbsp water; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper; and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor and process to a completely smooth purée. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • Cinnamon-Almond Butter Toast

Making your own nut butters is way easier than you might think. This lightly spiced almond butter is amazing on warm toast. Top with a few fresh berries and it goes over the top!

Spread 2 cups [280 g] unsalted raw almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 300°F [150°C] oven, until fragrant, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Let cool, then combine in a high-powered blender with 3 Tbsp safflower oil. Process until the almonds are finely ground. Add 1 Tbsp raw honey, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt and process until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Creamy Caprese Toast

This toast is one of my favourite weekend treats. I don’t want to get dramatic, but I believe it might be the mother ship of all toasts . . . I think it will float your boat, too.

Spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on a thick slice of toasted Italian loaf. Top with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, a slice of ripe tomato, a few torn basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

  • Goat Cheese, Fruit and Honey Crostini

I love how balanced and delicious this toast combo is—the sharp tang of goat cheese with honey and fresh fruit. Use whatever fruit is in season.

Spread a generous amount of goat cheese on each crostini. Top with your favourite seasonal fruits and a drizzle of honey.

  • Pink Cream Cheese Toast

This garlicky, savoury weekend spread is delicious, but the hot pink colour takes it to another plane of delight. Add slices of avocado or cucumber, if you like. You’re going to want to Instagram your breakfast—you may even want to paint its portrait!

In a food processor or blender, combine 8 oz [230 g] cream cheese, 1/2 cup [75 g] drained canned sliced beets, 2 tsp coarsely chopped garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Process to a completely smooth purée. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


weekend_toasts_v1_hero 2

A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend is out from 07 November 2017. Find out more here.

F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS | RECIPE

9781419726552.IN01

Part cookbook, part memoir, part travelogue, and wholly original, F*ck, That’s Delicious is rapper Action Bronson’s comprehensive guide to the food, chefs, food makers, regions, neighborhoods, and restaurants that every food obsessive should know. Organised as a full-colour illustrated guide with 100 entries, the book captures all the foods that get to him: When his mama makes him a good ol’ bagel and cheese with scrambled eggs. The tacos in LA. Dominican chimis. Jamaican jerk. Hand-rolled pasta from Mario Batali and Michael White. The best Chinese red-pork char siu buns in the world, found in London. And more, lots more. F*ck, That’s Delicious also includes 40 recipes inspired by Action’s childhood, family, tours, and travels—like the Arslani Family Baklava and Bronson’s Original Lamb Burger—and adapted from name-brand chefs and street cooks he’s met on his show. Richly visual, the book is layered with illustrations and photographs of Action’s childhood, food excursions, tours, lyric notebooks, and more.

The following recipe is from F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile


Photographs by Gabriele Stabile
Photographs by Gabriele Stabile

Flatbreads with Ricotta and Pickled Jalapeño Honey

Olive oil before, during and after.

MAKES 4 FLATBREAD PIZZAS

This started as a Neapolitan-style pie I made for myself at my birthday party at Otto, but it is also banging as a flat-bread pizza on leftover Balkan bread like the ones on the previous page. I like to use La Morena pickled jalapeños as they have a good kick to them. Pair it with a ginger ale.

  • 1 12 ounce (340g) bear of clove honey
  • 3 pickled jalapeños, diced
  • Calabrian chile oil, optional
  • 4 Balkan flatbreads or thick pitas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (245g) good-quality ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (135g) hazelnuts

1. Preheat your broiler and set out a sheet pan.

2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the clover honey and the pickled jalapeños. If you want, swirl in a little Calabrian chile oil for color too. Set aside.

3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the breads, then spread each with of the ricotta cheese and sprinkle on of the hazelnuts. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil again.

4. Coat the bottom of a small skillet with olive oil, then heat it over medium-high. Add one of the flatbread pizzas and cook just until the bottom has toasted. Remove it to the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining 3 pies.

5. Toast the pies under the broiler until the edges of the bread and the top of the hazelnuts are well toasted. Drizzle on some of the pickled chile-honey (you’ll have some left over, but it keeps forever), then some more olive oil and eat right away.


F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile is out now – find out more here. 

You could win a copy of F*ck That’s Delicious, a meal for two at Pitt Cue Co in London and a free bottle of Pitt Cue wine over at Munchies UK. Find out more here!

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus | Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

Today there seems to be less time to shop and cook, and yet the time eating together seems more important than ever. Five Ways to Make Asparagus is about making dinner in real time and under real conditions. Peter Miller argues that no matter how busy your day has been that you can still cook and eat well. The only difficulty is to recognise the possibilities.

Using the number five as a reference, Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes) is built around a hypothetical five day workweek, offering a plan to make the best use of your time, materials and interest in good, healthy food. To help simplify the process of deciding what to cook and how, there are five exceptional ways to cook asparagus that best represent and celebrate the asparagus. The recipes range from the extremely basic, allowing the ingredient to truly shine, to more nuanced preparations. If you try them, you will know more about asparagus, and it will become a more versatile character in your plans for cooking – and so forth, with broccoli and cauliflower, with quinoa and lentils.

Peter has carefully selected a group of specific foods, focusing on vegetables, grains and legumes. As some of the most versatile and healthy foods, they form an easily adaptable arsenal that can be quickly converted into simple, delicious meals. While his recipes are vegetable centric, he also offers select preparations for incorporating fish and meat.

This week why not try out his recipe for Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper:

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus
© 2017 Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Skinny Asparagus with Tomatoes and Hot Pepper

SERVES 4

At the very start of the spring season, you can get fresh, skinny asparagus, and you can cook it with a particular, sprightly abandon. Once the asparagus matures, you can still make the dish, but it will not have the same flourish as in the early first days. The same, of course, is true of spring garlic, or the first wild mushrooms, or the early beans and peas.

1 pound (455 g) skinny asparagus, trimmed, soaked, and drained (see below)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

1 shallot or 2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 small dried red chile

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

6 to 8 cherry tomatoes

¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock, at a simmer

¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro or basil leaves

First, trim the asparagus, cutting 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 cm) off the woody ends. With a swivel peeler, shave the bottom 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) of the stalks, taking off the harder outer skin. As you work, set the peeled asparagus in a shallow dish filled with cold water. Soak it for 5 minutes, then drain. (This seems to rehydrate the asparagus and help it cook more quickly.)

Heat a big pot of water to a boil and toss the asparagus in. When the water comes back to a boil, quickly pull out and drain the asparagus.

Heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute. Add the olive oil, half the butter, and the shallot. After a minute, crush the dried red pepper into the pan and add the garlic. Toss and stir so the parts mix, then throw in the asparagus. Cook for no more than 3 minutes. The sauté cycle is a flash of exuberance for the first of the asparagus. You must shake the pan vigorously to get the asparagus to touch all the other elements. Add a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Throw in the tomatoes and stock and shake the pan even more, above the heat, to get the parts in contact. The stock will loosen and deglaze the pan’s contents, and the tomatoes will create even more disorder as they split and leak.

Add the last of the butter, swirl for a second, then lay the asparagus in a jumble on a warmed platter. Sprinkle with the cilantro and give one last grind of black pepper.


 

Five Ways to Cook

Five Ways to Cook Asparagus (and Other Recipes): The Art and Practice of Making Dinner by Peter Miller (Abrams, out April 11, £18.99)

Offering more than 75 recipes, adjustable menus, tips for giving new life to leftovers and detailed information on sourcing ingredients, with Five Ways to Make Asparagus you can cook a dinner with only one or two fresh ingredients and you can be confident that that will be more than enough.

 

Five Cookbooks for Foodies by Jenny Linford

The Chefs Library

Jenny Linford, author of The Chef’s Library knows a thing or two about cookbooks; having interviewed more than 70 renowned chefs around the world about their favourite cookbooks. She is here today to share the cookbooks she cherishes.

FIVE FAVOURITE COOKBOOKS by Jenny Linford

Having blithely asked famous chefs around the world to choose their favourite cookbook, now that I’ve been asked to choose my own five favourites I realise what a tricky task that was! I am sitting at my desk in my study in London, surrounded by bookshelves filled with cookbooks.  Some of them are battered old paperbacks I’ve had for years, others recently published, handsome tomes by chefs and writers whom I admire and find interesting. Researching The Chef’s Library saw me adding considerably to my own library, as I encountered wonderful cookbooks new to me and succumbed to the urge to own them for myself. In short, I’m spoilt for choice! For my favourites, I’ve chosen books that are old friends. This is one of the charms of cookbooks – that they become our companions.

 

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book

I mentally applauded when three of the great chefs featured in The Chef’s Library chose cookbooks by Jane Grigson. While pleased, though, I was not surprised. Their choice of her work is a tribute to enduring appeal of Grigson’s depth of knowledge and her special voice that speaks out from the pages of her books. My much-thumbed, Penguin paperback edition of Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book remains one of my favourites. Alphabetically arranged by vegetable, each chapter offers her characteristic blend of down-to-earth, practical culinary advice, evocative anecdotes, cultural references and clearly written recipes. An enduring delight.

 

The Classic Italian Cookbook
Marcella Hazan

A great food writer’s ability to promote a deeper understanding of a cuisine outside its native shores is  a very special thing.  Through her bestselling cookbooks, Marcella Hazan was a champion of Italian cuisine, noted as an authority on the subject. Unsurprisingly, works by her were chosen by a number of chefs for The Chef’s Library. Having lived in Tuscany as a teenager, I have a deep affection for Italian food. Hazan’s intelligent, lucid writing – laying down the rules as she saw them with absolute conviction – makes for a wonderful read. The clearly written recipes, offering readers salient, pithy insights, are a pleasure to cook from.

 

Roast Chicken and Other Stories Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

Roast Chicken and Other Stories
Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

As all the best cookbooks do, this makes me hungry whenever I look through its pages. Chocolate Pithiviers, Poached Cod with Lentils and Salsa Verde, Anchovy and Onion Tarts . . . I first came across this book during my early years as a food writer and was charmed by its character and sense of personality. The chapters are focussed on Hopkinson’s favourite foods, clustering together diverse recipes around ingredients as various as Tripe, Endive and Cream. What struck me when I first read I was the care with which the recipes were written. Hopkinson evokes the dish in its Platonic ideal form – specifying the desired texture and flavour he wants – then carefully takes the reader through the steps and work needed to achieve it. It is a book that makes me want to cook.

 

The Carved Angel Cookbook
Joyce Molyneux

There is a lovely, quiet conviction to this cookbook by British chef Joyce Molyneux.  The recipes are delightfully eclectic, reflecting Molyneux’s open-minded interest in ingredients and how to cook  them. Her practical thriftiness is evident in the recipes for dishes such as Goose Giblet Stew or the Apple Quince Tart, where the fruit trimmings are cooked and pureed in order to  make a flavourful glaze.  I was lucky enough to eat at Molyneux’s Carved Angel restaurant – enjoying a wonderful fish soup – and it was a relaxed, genuinely hospitable, thoroughly delicious experience that lives on in my memory. While the restaurant has now gone, her cookbook, in which her generous-minded approach to food comes through, remains to be read and used.

 

The Kitchen Diaries Nigel Slater

The Kitchen Diaries
Nigel Slater

The intimacy of the diary form gives a special charm to this chronicle of a year by food writer Nigel Slater.  Food shopping expeditions, the weather that day, the changing seasons,  his mood, ingredients, whether at their peak or in need to using up – all these offer inspiration for Slater when it comes to  creating recipes. It is a book in which I always spot something new when I look through it – a wry observation, an evocation of a summer Saturday morning, brief insights into his thinking about food.  The recipes, studded through the book, combine with the elegant yet vivid prose to make a cookbook with a special quality to it.

What are your favourite cookbooks? Let us know on twitter @AbramsChronicle using #TheChefsLibrary.

A Year Between Friends | Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potato Biscuits
© 2016 Stephanie Barnes and Maria Vettese

From SCB

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Adapted from a recipe I found in an issue of Martha Stewart Living years ago, these sweet and buttery biscuits are always a hit with the extended family at Thanksgiving but are also a staple at my house year-round. I serve them with cranberry butter, which is just 1/4 cup (60 ml) cranberry sauce blended in a food processor with 1/4 cup (55 g) softened butter. I almost always double the recipe and freeze half the biscuit dough, cut out and arranged on parchment-lined trays then sealed in a freezer bag. On a night when I need something to go with a pot of soup, I can pull them out of the freezer and bake as few or as many as I need.

Makes 18 small biscuits

  • 1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes or yams
  • (1 large potato is usually sufficient)
  • 21/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk or cream

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205°C).

Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them directly on a rack in the oven. Bake until soft to the touch, about 1 hour. Allow to cool completely. Slice the potatoes in half, scoop the flesh from the skin, and pass it through a food mill or potato ricer (or use a potato masher—you want a nice even mash, not a gummy puree). You should have about 2 scant cups (scant 480 ml) of mash. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or use your fingers) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix the milk with the sweet potato mash and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix the dough, just to incorporate (I use my hands). If the dough is really sticky, add a touch more flour.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat or roll it out into a ½-inch (12-mm) thick round. Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass. I find that smaller biscuits cook more evenly, so I keep them around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (for Thanksgiving, I share my love with a heart-shaped cutter). Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake until the biscuits rise and are slightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes (bake longer for larger or frozen biscuits). Serve warm.

This recipe was extracted from A Year Between Friends: 3191 Miles Apart by Maria Vettese and Stephanie Barnes, published by Abrams | Out Now.

A Year Between Friends

Midsummer’s Day Blackberry Thyme Cake with Honey–Goat Cheese Frosting

Summer means blackberry picking and we’ve got the perfect recipe for you this Midsummer’s Day from Hannah Queen’s Honey & Jam!

© 2015 Hannah Queen
© 2015 Hannah Queen

In late July my sister and I brave the thorny blackberry bushes in our backyard and are rewarded with baskets full of ripe berries. When we’ve had our fill of eating them by the handful, I like to use up whatever is left by making this cake.

Serves 8

For the cake and assembly:

3 cups (300 g) fresh blackberries, plus more for garnishing

¼ cup (60 ml) honey

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnishing

1²⁄³ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk

For the frosting:

4 ounces (115 g) goat cheese, room temperature

4 ounces (115 g) cream cheese, room temperature

¹⁄³ cup (75 ml) honey

About 2 cups (200 g) powdered sugar

To make the cake:

In a small bowl, stir together the blackberries, honey and thyme.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixer bowl, beginning and ending with the flour.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and top each with 1 cup of the blackberry mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before turning the layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the goat cheese and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the honey. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar ½ cup (50 g) at a time.

To assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the top with frosting, then add the remaining blackberry mixture. Set the remaining cake layer on top and cover the outside of the cake with frosting. Top with fresh blackberries and thyme.

Text and Images from Honey & Jam by Hannah Queen published by ABRAMS Stewart Tabori and Chang.

© 2015 Hannah Queen

Recipe for the Weekend: Smoked trout salad from Home Made Summer.

It’s JUNE! Can you believe it? Enjoy this summery treat from Yvette Van Boven’s delicious Home Made Summer.

Smoked Trout Salad

Smoked trout (or mackerel) salad

SERVES 2 OR 3 AS A LUNCH DISH, OR 4 AS A STARTER

for the dressing

3 tbsp buttermilk

2 tbsp mayonnaise

½ tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish, or 1 tbsp prepared horseradish

2 to 3 tbsp minced fresh chives

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the salad

3½ oz (100 g) arugula

2 heads little gem lettuce, or 2 small heads romaine, very finely chopped

1 Granny Smith apple

juice of ½ lemon

2 smoked trout fillets, or 1 smoked mackerel fillet

toast for serving

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, horseradish, and chives thoroughly, then trickle in the oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad: Toss the arugula with the lettuce. Julienne the apple (leave the skin on), and sprinkle it with the lemon juice. Pull the fish from the bones and toss the fish and the apple with the lettuce mixture. Spoon the dressing on top, toss, and serve the immediately in nice coupes, with toast.

Home Made Summer

Copyright © 2012 Yvette Van Boven

Recipe for the Weekend: Caper-Burrata Crostini

Today we have a quick, easy and delicious snack for you to try; Caper-Burrata Crostini from Erin Gleeson’s The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods.

ForestFeast_p030a ForestFeast_p031

CAPER-BURRATA CROSTINI

Slice and toast one baguette

Sauté in 2 tsp butter until soft:

  • 1 small shallots
  • 1 small (3.5-oz. or 100-g) jar of capers (drained)

Put a spoonful of burrata cheese on each slice of bread, plus 1 tsp of caper mixture

Sprinkle with salt before serving

Text, illustrations and photography copyright © 2014 Erin Gleeson

Recipe for the Weekend – Spicy Spinach, Lemon & Tofu Soup.

It is gooey and slimy who even really likes tofu?

…We do!

And with the recipes from Tucker Shaw’s I Hate Tofu Cookbook we are sure you will too!

Be brave, try this Spicy Spinach, Lemon & Tofu Soup.

Spicy Spinach, Lemon and Tofu Soup

Spicy Spinach Lemon & Tofu Soup

Sometimes soup should be soothing, but other times it should be invigorating, like this one. Serve this when your nose is clogged up, or whenever you want your soup to make you stand up and say “Ma’am, yes ma’am! May I have another?

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 medium onions, chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1 package (14 ounces/400 g) firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed

6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable stock

1 bag (about 5 ounces/ 140 g) baby spinach or 1 cup (120 g) frozen

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and black pepper

1 Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and carrot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tofu and cook until just starting to turn golden, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the stock and 2 cups (480 ml) water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

2 Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a big hunk of bread.

It is so simple, so delicious, and so healthy…what have you got to loose?

Let us know what else you hate by tweeting at us with the #IhateTofu.

I Hate Tofu and I Hate Kale are out next week – pre-order your copies through our website.

I Hate Tofu

Text copyright © 2015 Tucker Shaw

Illustrations copyright © 2015 Joel Holland

Happy Paella Day!

Turns out today is Paella Day!

What better way to celebrate this weird, but wonderful, day than turning your hand to making paella for dinner?

Spain_Shellfish Paella

SHELLFISH PAELLA

PAELLA DE MARISCO

Serves 6

Baroque, regal, and always impressive carried out to the table, shellfish paella is one of Spanish cuisine’s grandest dishes. For me, it also best represents this culture where food and family often swing hand and hand. My mother-in-law, Rosa, has been making one of these paellas nearly every weekend for fifty years. It was around her shellfish paella that I met the family of the woman I had followed to Barcelona in 1996, and where countless other memorable occasions have been announced and celebrated since. Over plates of her golden, flavourful rice, I learned how a simple staple could be converted into a family bond. I was so enamoured with this concept that I wrote my first cookbook about Spanish rice dishes, with Rosa’s paella at its centre. And while this isn’t exactly her recipe here—you can find it in that first book, La Paella—her influence is clearly discernible.

If there is anything that I have learned from Rosa about her paella, it is that it is a rice dish—not a seafood dish with rice. As I repeat elsewhere in the book, everything is done to flavour the rice. Using a good Spanish short- or medium-grain variety or one of the options listed in the Note following is crucial. As well, note that the clams are best prepared separately, because if they have any sand at all, they will wreck the rice.

8 ounces/225 small clams, scrubbed

8 ounces/225 small to medium mussels, cleaned and debearded

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 langoustines with heads and shells

2 small sweet Italian green peppers or 1 small green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch/1.25-cm pieces

1 pound/445 g small cuttlefish or squid, cleaned and cut into ½-inch/1.25-cm pieces

18 fresh whole large shrimp with heads and shells

3 ripe medium tomatoes, halved crosswise, seeded and grated (see note 2)

1 pinch saffron threads, dry-toasted and ground (see note 3)

1 teaspoon Spanish pimentón dulce (sweet paprika)

7 cups/1.7 L fish stock or water

3 cups/600 g bomba rice or another short – or medium – grain Spanish rice (see note 1)

640_shellfish_market_2894

1. Purge the clams of any sand by soaking them in salty water following the directions on note 4. Discard any with broken shells.

2. In a saucepan, add the clams, cover with 1 cup/240 ml water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook, shaking from time to time, until the clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the clams to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Filter the liquid and reserve. Discard any clams that did not open. Twist off the empty half of each clam and discard.

3. Steam the mussels: Place them in a saucepan with ½ cup/60 ml water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer, shaking the pot from time to time, until the mussels have opened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain, reserving the liquid. (Strain and set aside.) Discard any mussels that did not open. Remove the meat from each shell; discard the shells.

4. In a 16- to 18-inch/40- to 45-cm paella pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the langoustines and cook, turning over until pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Add the green peppers and cuttlefish and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, turning over once, until opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. (Remove any stray legs or antennae from the pan and discard.) Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and pulpy, about 10 minutes. Tip in some of the reserved liquid from the clams to keep it moist. Stir in the saffron and pimentón.

5. Pour the stock into the pan and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. When the liquid comes to a boil, sprinkle the rice around the pan. With a wooden spoon, check that the rice is evenly distributed and that the grains are below the surface of the liquid. Do not stir again.

6. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes over high heat. Arrange the reserved langoustines across the top of the rice. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice grains are tender but still have an al dente bite to them. If all the liquid has evaporated and the rice is still not done, shake the reserved liquid from the clams (and, if needed, from the mussels) tablespoon by tablespoon over the rice where needed and cook for an additional few minutes.

7. Remove the paella from the heat, cross wooden spoons over top, cover with paper towels, and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the rice – particularly the grains on top – to finish cooking and the starches to firm up.

8. Carry the paella to the table and serve from the pan.

NOTE 1: Spanish Bomba rice is a highly absorbent short-grain Spanish variety. It is found at many supermarkets with a decent international section, as well as numerous specialty stores. See Sources, page 345, for where to look. The best substitute is the Italian rice Carnaroli. Alternatively use CalRiso, Calrose, or Japanese short-grain rice. For moister rice dishes (but not paellas), use the superfine-grade Italian varieties such as Arborio or Vialone Nano.

NOTE 2: GRATING TOMATOES

Grating tomatoes is a recommended alternative to peeling and finely chopping, and a way to maximize the sweet flesh that lies close to the skin.

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise. Gently squeeze the seeds into a bowl and then run a finger through the seed cavity to remove any remaining seeds. Cup a tomato half in one hand and slowly grate it on a box grater until the skin peels back and all the flesh has been grated away. Discard the flattened skin. Repeat with the remaining tomato halves. Strain the liquid from the seeds (press with the back of a spoon to get all of the juices) and add to the grated pulp.

NOTE 3: USING SAFFRON

To dry-toast: Heat a small ungreased skillet over medium-low heat, add the saffron threads, and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or until aromatic and the threads have turned a shade darker in colour. Place the toasted threads in a small sheet of paper that has been folded in half, crumble with your fingers—be sure they are dry—from the outside, and then shake the saffron from the paper into the dish (this prevents any saffron from sticking to your fingers). Alternatively, transfer the toasted threads from the skillet to a mortar, pound into a powder, and add to the dish. Swirl 2 tablespoons water in the mortar to get all of the crushed saffron.

NOTE 4: PURGING CLAMS OF SAND

Discard any clams with cracked or broken shells. Fill a large bowl with cool water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for every 1 quart/1 L water and dissolve. Set the clams in the water and soak for 30 minutes. Dump out the water, rinse out the bowl, and soak for another 30 minutes in clean, unsalted water. Drain, set in a dry bowl, cover with a damp paper towel, and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so before using.

9780811875011

Book credits:

Spain by Jeff Koehler, published by Chronicle Books

Image credits:

Plated food photographs copyright © 2013 by Kevin Miyazaki

Shellfish market photograph copyright © 2013 Jeff Koehler