Category: Vegetarian

Dark House Lentil Soup – Celebrity Cooking inspired by Circus Magazine #1

When we were in Bali earlier this year,  we visited the The Fire Station in Sanur a couple of times.  The first time we went I had a blue cheese, rocket (arugula) and pear salad that was to die for.  The second time we both had the burgers which were awesome!

Fire Station Sanur - BurgerOne of the features of The Fire Station is that the walls are COVERED in celebrity photos. 

The Fire Station - Sanur

And I became utterly obsessed with one of them.  It was a cover from Circus Magazine from February 1970. My photo was a bit crappy so here is a copy I found on the internet. 

Can you imagine ANY magazine today placing 20 celebrities on their cover and asking which of them are likely to die of drug overdoses in the next ten years? Because unless they thought Logan’s Run was a documentary and people over 30 would actually get rounded up and shot, this is exactly what they are suggesting!

One of the first things I did when I got home was to google to see if it was a real magazine cover.  As far as I can ascertain this actually was the cover of Circus Magazine in February 1970.  

There are a few people featured on the list who I was a) either not sure who they were or b) not sure if they were still alive.  So I started doing a bit of Googling.  The very first person I looked up had a recipe.  The second had a recipe named after them.  The more I looked the more I found. 

So, to save you the same effort I went to, here is the first part of my research.

Johnny Cash

The Man in Black survived the ’70’s but sadly passed away on September 12 2003.

The wonderful Jenny Hammerton over at Silver Screen Suppers has  made Johnny Cash’s Chili Recipe.  You can find it here

In a piece of weirdness that I have yet to fathom, the magazine cover quite clearly states both that:

  • These people are approaching 30 and,
  • Johnny Cash is 37

So either JC had some weird Benjamin Button thing going on, or he’d mastered the art of backwards time travel.  If anyone else has also mastered this skill, please let me know.  I’d very much like to be approaching 30 again too!

Bob Dylan

Still going strong at 75!

The Clever Pup has featured a recipe by Bob Dylan’s mother.  Here it is:

Beatty Zimmerman’s Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf Bread. 

Alvin Lee

Was one of the people I had never heard of.  He was the lead vocalist and lead guitarist of the blues rock band Ten Years After who I have also never heard of.  I couldn’t find a recipe by or about him. All I know is that he was a man not afraid to pout.

Alvin Lee survived the 70’s passing away at the age of 68 in 2013.

George Harrison

My favourite Beatle and creator of this week’s recipe Dark House Lentil Soup.  And what a superb photo of him!

The soup was a huge hit in this house!  I love lentil soup.  The Fussiest Eater in the world?  Not so much.  He has been known to mutter  things like “You know what would make this soup better?  Bacon” when I have made different versions of lentil soup.  I was heading out for a night with the girls this week and told him “There’s some lentil soup in the fridge if you don’t want to cook”.  I got an eyeroll and a less than enthusiastic “Great”. However, by the time I got home the response was a far warmer, “That soup was excellent!  Can I take some to work?”

Thank you George Harrison, you’ve converted TFEITW to being a lentil soup lover. 

Sadly George Harrison passed away from cancer on 29 November 2001. 

Pete Townshend

For many a year, I was absolutely OBSESSED with Mod Culture and The Who in the Quadrophenia era so I am a big fan of the work of Mr Townshend. 

I was able to find a recipe attributed to The Who in Cool Cooking by Roberta Ashley. 

Roberta says that “flashy drummer, Keith Moon..is recognised by critics as one of the best drummers in the business.  He’s also the one really into food.  He owns a pub called the Crown and Cushion. a  converted 16th century coach house…you can even find Keith there working as a bartender occasionally….One of the specialties of the house and a favourite of all The Who is Burnt Sugar Pudding:

scan_20160912

Pete Townshend is still very much alive and kicking and living in London.  Keith Moon, on the other hand, did not survive the ’70’s.  He died on 7 September 1978 of an overdose, somewhat ironically from Heminevrin, a drug used to treat symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.  The Crown and Cushion is still going and it looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve already earmarked it as a “must stay” for our next trip to the UK.

At the time I looked, there was, sadly no burnt sugar pudding on the menu.

Crown and Cushion Hotel, Oxfordshire

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin did not survive the 1970’s.  She died at the age of 27 (one of the founding members of the 27 club) of a drug overdose on October 4th 1970.  Janis Joplin was a big fan of Southern Comfort.  Personally, I tasted it once when I was about 17 and decided SoCo was not for me. I am probably being a bit elitist here but in my head it is a drink drunk by what we call bogans in Australia.  (Chavs would be the equivalent for my UK readers and rednecks? for those in the US).   Any SoCo drinkers out there? I am willing to be proved wrong.  And to be honest this recipe from Jane Rocca for a Janis Joplin Cocktail could be the thing to bring me over.  The rest of the ingredients sound delicious!

Jane Rocca’s recipe for a Janis Joplin cocktail

  • 30ml Southern Comfort
  • 30 ml Lillet Blanc
  • 15 ml Peach Liqueur
  • 3 drops Peach Bitters
  • Twist of lemon to ganish

Shake and strain all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass over ice. 

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Ray Davies

Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks would be in my top ten songs of all time.  At 72, Ray Davies is still around to sing it.  (Yay!)  I could not find a recipe by Ray or The Kinks but the BBC website has a recipe for a cocktail called Waterloo Sunset  – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3094680/waterloo-sunsets.

Here is my recipe for Dark House Lentil Soup which is inspired by George Harrison’s recipe in Mary Frampton’s Food With Friends.  I added in a quarter cup of Italian Bean Soup Mix in with my lentils and some carrots.  I also do not like green peppers so I subbed in some celery.  I’m sure George would not have minded.

Dark House Lentil Soup
A delicious and hearty vegan soup, liked by even the staunchest of meat eaters
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Ingredients
  1. 1 red chilli
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds (I used 1 tsp ground cumin)
  3. 2 large onions, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 cup of lentils, you can use one or a mix of types
  6. 2 large tomatoes, chopped (I used a tin of Italian tomatoes)
  7. 2 Green peppers, chopped (I used two sticks of celery)
  8. 2 carrots chopped
  9. 1 Bay leaf
  10. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. When oil is good and hot, add the red chili and cumin seeds.
  2. When the seeds stop sputtering, brown the onions and garlic in the seasoned oil. In a separate deep pan, wash the lentils in plenty of water.
  3. When clean, liberally cover with water.
  4. When the onions are browned, add them to the pan of lentils. Then add the tomatoes, peppers, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  5. Potatoes and carrots and small boiling onions may be added for a more substantial meal. Bring to the boil, cover, and turn down to very low heat.
  6. The soup is ready to serve in an hour and tastes better the next day.
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Adapted from Taryn Fryer
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a great week!

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Cauliflower Basket

This was NOT how I wanted to celebrate reaching the halfway mark of The A-Z of Cooking.  Because that’s where we are – M is for Meatless Mains!  I decided to use the current darling of the vegetable world, the cauliflower to make the intriguing sounding Cauliflower Basket. Here’s what it looks like in The A-Z:

Cauliflower Basket5Hmm…you say.  Not very basketlike you say.  Well, you’re both right and wrong.  Wrong because hidden in that seemingly normal cauliflower is a whole melange of….well…more cauliflower with cheese and eggs and capers and pickles. 

On the other hand, you’re absolutely right because in terms of being a good material for a basket, cauliflowers SUCK.  It probably explains why someone had to invent wicker.  So, what happens in real life when you try to make a basket out of a cauliflower?  Well, you get something that looks like the creature from the Black Lagoon and  / or something the creature from the Black Lagoon vomited onto a baking tray.

Cauliflower Basket1Mmmmmm….Yummy!

There are so many flaws in this recipe that I don’t even where to start. 

Cauliflower Basket – The Good

So, I’ll start with the ONE overarching positive. 

This tastes DELICIOUS.  No, really.  It does.  Stop laughing. 

Sigh.

I’ll just wait shall I?

Cauliflower Basket – The Bad

Okay…you might want to go grab yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit.  We might be here a while.

  1. You need to cook a whole cauliflower.  Do you have any idea how long this takes?  Which may have been fine in the 1970’s when I’m guessing utilities cost nothing  but nowadays? That cauliflower is going to end up costing you more than caviar!
  2. Next.  The actual premise of the recipe is fundamentally structurally flawed.  Once you have spent an hour cooking it, you then need to cut a piece out of the top of the cauliflower so ideally you now have a U-shaped hole in your cauliflower.  Here’s the thing.  This doesn’t work.  Because the minute you start to cut down into the cauliflower, you are cutting away the support for the sides of that U.  So the walls of your basket start to fall away. Cauliflower Basket2
  3. So then you make a very tasty cheese sauce, chop up the bits of cauliflower that you have cut out of the middle and pile it all back into the U.  Except of course, you don’t have a U so it falls all over the baking tray.
  4. This recipe is found in the Meatless Mains section.  This meal is by no means a main dish. It is a side dish.  A very tasty side dish.  A delicious side dish.  But not a main.  This would be great with steak or chicken.  It is not enough in itself to make a meal.  Look how lonely it looks on the plate.  It’s almost crying for a little bit o’ roast chicken to keep it company!Cauliflower Basket3
  5. Because you are using a whole cauliflower you end up making a TON of this, so unless you are planning on serving it for a large gathering of people, you will be eating Cauliflower Basket for a week. 
  6. If you were planning on serving this to large gathering, be prepared at best to have raised eyebrows and at worst to be publicly mocked.  This is one  fugly looking dish. 

The Recipe

Here is the original dumbarse recipe from The A-Z of Cooking:

Cauliflower Basket RecipeA much more sensible way to make this would be to cut the cauliflower into florets, par boil them and just pour the sauce over top. This would keep the flavour but remove all of the annoying things about it.  And eat it as a side!

There’ll be more celebrating next time, it’s been my birthday and I made cake!

Have a fabulous week everyone!

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American Salad

I feel like I have been neglecting the The A-Z of Cooking recently and like a typical errant parent, I’m back and about to smother my booky child with a level of attention bordering on overkill.  Otherwise known as posting a few quick items to get us back up to speed. 

We’re starting off with a look at F.  Which is not neither fish nor fowl or frying or fricasseeing but Frozen Food Shortcuts.  Of course.  Because that’s the first thing that we need to know about when it comes to the letter F in cooking.  All those things I mentioned are just piffle.

American Salad2

And, we’re starting with an item immediately springs to mind when we think of frozen food –  salad.  Yep.  About as obvious as the frozen food short cuts really.   You have already seen a glimpse of the frozen food, aka American salad in the post on the Devilled Chicken Skewers.  And you know what?  It was not nearly as bad as the idea suggests.

American Salad3

The recipe uses frozen corn and green beans.  I used fresh green beans because I had them in the house, but the corn was frozen. I am also not overly fond of red pepper so I subbed in some radishes. 

I tend to think of potato salad as being the “typical” American salad.  Followed by Caesar and Waldorf.  I have no idea why this is called American Salad.  Maybe the corn?

American Salad

Overall, this salad was colourful, had lots of crunch and a good mix of tastes and textures.  Big tick from me on the American salad!  Way to go America!  And the A-Z of Cooking for turning something that sounded as if it should be revolting into something I will probably make lots more of.  This would be a great salad to take to bbq’s in summer as there is not much to go soggy. No wilting lettuce here.  The salad went very nicely with the chicken but, would be awesome with a steak.  And for those of you of a non-meat persuasion, this would be super as a filling for a baked potato, with maybe a little cheese sprinkled over the top if you are not vegan.

American Salad

American Salad

Ingredients

  • 100g / 8oz frozen green beans
  • 100g / 8oz frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red pepper pith and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • handful of black olives, stoned
  • For the Dressing!
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the beans and corn according to the directions on the packets.
  • Cool.
  • Once cook mix with all the other ingredients except the olive oil and vinegar.
  • For the dressing!
  • Mix together all the ingredients, season to taste.
  • When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/12/05/american-salad-and-fish-and-bacon-whirls/

I would love to know from my American readers if this salad is something you are familiar with?  

Have a lovely weekend!

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The Dishiest Dish- Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts

I have wondered for a long time how to get more posts out each week and I think I have finally figured out how to do it.  My plan is that each week I will do a very quick post on the best thing I have made that week.   It may come from the huge list of recipes I want to cook, a Tasty Reads or other cook-along selection or even a retro recipe that I would not have otherwise blogged about. 

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts2

To kick things off, here is a recipe I made for Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts which was super!  This is a recipe which may never have seen the light of day – I have this thing I where, when I go on my mid year holidays, I take a stack of food magazines with me.   Whilst on holiday, I clip all the recipes that appeal.  And they become my “master list” of recipes to cook over the next 12 months. 

Weird and convoluted I know.  But it works for me! 

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts4

When I went through my magazines this year, I found the recipe which was the basis for the Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts.  And I had not even marked it as a recipe to cook when I initially marked up the magazine!

I came quite late to fennel.  I am not a great fan of liquorice //aniseed and so I think, back in 2002 which is where is recipe came from, the double dose of fennel and dill would not have appealed to me.  Now, I love them both!

Fennel, Olive and Dill Toasts3These toasts were delicious! It is such a great combination of ingredients, the creamy goat’s cheese, the sweet caramelised fennel and onion, the salty olives and the zing of fresh dill and lemon zest.  Add in the crunch of toasted bread and you have a lovely appetizer! 

The mix would be lovely placed on tiny toast rounds for a one bite canape.  Or would be equally amazing as a pizza topping!!! 

The original recipe did not have the goat’s cheese and to make it without would change this from a super vegetarian option to an amazing vegan choice!

Here’s the recipe:

Fennel, Dill and Olive Toasts
My meal of the week! These fennel, dill and olive toasts are super easy, super delicious and look gorgeous!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bulbs of baby fennel, ends trimmed, sliced thinly lengthways
  2. 1 small red onion ,cut into thin half moons
  3. 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tbsp water
  5. 2x1 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 baguette, cut into 1 cm thick rounds
  7. 40g kalamata olives, sliced
  8. 2 tbsp fresh dill leaves
  9. zest of half a lemon
  10. 100gm goats cheese (optional)
  11. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat one tablespooon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and stir until they are well covered in oil.
  3. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Cook, covered, stirring occaisionally, for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is golden.
  5. Preheat your grill to medium high.
  6. Drizzle the baguette slices with the remaining olive oil, place on a baking tray and cook under the grill for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden.
  7. Zest the lemon, then stir the zest, olives and dill into the fennel and onion mixture. Season to taste.
  8. Spread the toasted bread with the goat's cheese, top with the fennel mixture and serve.
Notes
  1. Omitting the goat's cheese makes this vegan.
Adapted from Good Taste Magazine 2002
Adapted from Good Taste Magazine 2002
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 This week I am excited about cooking:

  • A strawberry cheesecake with a white chocolate and macadamia nut brownie base (adapted from Taste.com). I am making this for a friend’s birthday.  Lord,  I hope turns out well!
  • Duck Meatballs  – we are reading  and cooking from this book for Tasty Reads this month.  A friend lent me her meat grinder so I can make these.  I hope they are worth the effort.
  • The River Cafe Spinach Rotolo for a very long overdue contribution to the Cookbook Guru.
  • This salad from my “to be cooked” list.  The combination of ingredients had me at hello. Oh yeah, I smoked some duck the other night.  For serious.  I feel like Martha.  Or Nigella.  I feel like I should start a girly band called Martha and The Nigellas.  That is how high my domestic goddessery is running this week!  (Dammit, Martha and The Nigellas is a really good blog name…wish I’d thought of it three and a bit years ago!!!). 

Stay tuned, one of these may be the dish of the week next week!

Fennel, Olive and Dill ToastsAnd because I am totally nosy and love to know everyone else’s business, what was the best thing you made this week? 

And, what are you looking forward to making next week? 

Do you even know?  Are you a spontaneous cooker or a mad planner like me?

Let me know in the comments. PLEASE!!!!  I”m dying of curiousity!

Have a fabulous week everyone!  Happy Cooking!

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