Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sweetcorn fritters

I’ve been a bit obsessed with vegetable fritters, ever since I had sweetcorn and courgette ones at Caravan in King’s Cross, which is across the road from my office, off the breakfast menu. These are some I’ve adapted from a Waitrose recipe. They don’t contain courgette, although there’s no reason why you couldn’t replace half the sweetcorn with courgette if you wanted to. I just haven’t, yet.

These are a regular lunch for me. I make a batch and have it across two days as it makes about six fritters.

What you need

1 x 326g can of sweetcorn (or 250g of actual corn off the cob/frozen)

75g self raising flour

1 egg

65ml semi skimmed milk

3 salad onions, sliced

some coriander (about a tablespoon’s worth)

A bit of oil to fry them.

I serve these with a rocket, avocado, tomato salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lime juice and a smear of Tracklements chilli jam.

What you do

Put the corn, flour, egg and milk with the salad onions and the coriander in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Mix together well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and drop about two tablespoons of the mixture per fritter (see what size you want them to be). Cook for about 3 mins each side and presto pronto. Ready to eat.

 

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Sourdough after a 156hr prove

Ever wondered how long you can push sourdough for? I baked these rolls  after a 156hr prove at 2C. They were very dry when they came out of the fridge and I slashed them with a bread knife, not expecting much. Cooked them for 8mins at 250C (fan) then 8mins at 220C (normal).

So you can go away on holiday for a few days and leave some sourdough rolls proving for a good few days. I think if anything, they rose up more than normal…

Blackberry ripple ice cream (no ice cream maker necessary)

This is a super easy ice cream, but with the luxury of a ripple running through it that makes the most of all the free blackberries available at this time of year. The blackberries used in this were picked by my dad in Wimbledon, SW London.

Sorry for lack of measurements with regard to the blackberries. Next time I make it I will be more precise. It does show, however, that you can play a bit fast and loose with it. You can easily adapt this to use other berries, raspberries is an obvious one. Raspberry ripple was my favourite when I was a child, it seemed so luxe.

Anyway, here’s how to do it:

For the ice cream:

A 397g can of condensed milk

450-500ml of double cream. I use an organic cream that comes in 227ml, and I use two pots, but it doesn’t matter if you add a bit more or a bit less.

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the ripple

A big bowl of blackberries, probably 500g for this. Don’t sweat it though if you have less as you can still make a great ripple ice cream just with less ripple.

Some caster sugar – to taste. I used about 60g. Don’t make it too sweet and best to add too little, taste and then add a bit more if necessary than t’other way around.

First, make the ripple. Put the blackberries in a sauce pan and put in about 100g of sugar to start. The ice cream part of this is plenty sweet so don’t go too mad – you can always add more sugar later. Stir so the sugar dissolves and then simmer for about 20 minutes until it’s all mushy. Pass through a sieve to get rid of the seedy bits. Taste and see if you need more sugar but don’t over do it. Put to one side to cool.

Now mix together the cream and the condensed milk, add the vanilla extract and whisk until thick and stiff.

I pour the vanilla ice cream into a large, shallow Pyrex dish (rectangular) so you have a large surface area. Then I spoon the ripple on top and very gently run a knife through it to disperse it.

That’s it. Freeze and eat on demand. It’s delicious. Enjoy the super psychedelic picture. I served a scoop of this with my mamma’s apple pie. My dad’s harvest, my mum’s apple pie and my ice cream. A delicious family team effort.

Speedo Swedish swimming goggles

I swim a lot. This sentence seems an incredible thing to be able to write given that, I didn’t learn to swim until I was 26 and I am scared of water. But, I control it. I swim only in pools that I know, that I’ve checked out for giant plugs into the underworld. I also swim, these days, almost exclusively outside. I don’t mean in the sea or in rivers, that would be too scary. But in outdoor pools.

And swimming outside necessitates mirrored goggles. At least, it does for someone like me who is never out of prescription sunglasses the rest of the time.

My last pair of goggles lasted about 20 years. Perhaps because there was a fifteen year gap of not swimming very much in the middle. But as they were starting to fray, I looked around for a replacement. Goggles are so individual and  you see most people, in the pool, between lengths, adjusting theirs and shaking out the water. I just thought this is what you had to do.

Then I saw Swedish goggles. These come in a kit. They are so cheap compared to normal goggles: I paid £10 for two pairs, one mirrored one plain, which is just what I need (mirrored is no good at night time/dusk, you need clear then). The reviews were glowing.

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I never think that same experience will apply to me. I read about people finding things amazing and ‘the best ever’ and I think “I bet that won’t be my experience”.

I hesitated before building the goggles because, for some reason, I thought it would be tricky. You get the goggles in pieces: a latex head band, two eye pieces, a nose bridge and a piece of string, per set of goggles. But it was easy. Sure, I got my partner to help me hold the lenses in place whilst I tied the string. And sure, I didn’t bother to tidy up the string over my nose so it looked slightly bonkers, until my friend Jess (an ex jeweller) offered to sort it out for me and made them look really cool. But it was easy.

The big thing about Swedish goggles, other than you make them yourself and fit them exactly to you, is that there is no padding. What can I tell you, they’re somehow really comfortable and… best goggles ever. They fit brilliantly, I never have to adjust them once I’m swimming and no fogging up so far. You also get great all round vision (you don’t realise how restricted your vision is with conventional goggles until you try these) and I love how minimal they are.

You will need to do an internet search for them. Mine cost £10 for two pairs, you can get them even cheaper. And if you need any help in putting them together you can look on You Tube. Just put Swedish Goggles Fitting into search.