Monday, 30 April 2012

Trading Places

Now that my tired feet are rested, and my soggy boots are dry, I thought I'd sit down with a nice cuppa Tea and tell you about the my weekend's adventure.

So, a little background. About a couple of weeks ago, the Council contacted me about participating in a new rejuvenating scheme for the South-East, called the Fortnightly Market, which would begin in Catford as the first ever local fortnightly market to "celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of markets in Lewisham". I could not wait. I have lived in S.E London all my life, and was so proud that our community would have something to champion, and that I was being asked to be a part of it. 

Now, for the fun part, deciding what to make! I set my sites on some tried and tested Love Bites- 
1. Freshly squeezed lemon and cracked mint juice
2. Spinach and pepper Bhajis
3. Chicken curry with saffron rice
4. Chick-pea curry with saffron rice
5. Choco- fudge cake

I decided that I would source all of the ingredients locally, and one trader was particularly outstanding- Tony's Butcher, who not only helped us a great deal with supplying us with a beautiful batch of fresh cut chicken, but helped to spread the word on the day itself. If you don't know him, head to the store asap- he even bought some of his customers chocolate cakes and curry boxes- that's what you call customer service!

Come the big day, despite hopelessly dreaming of a sunny day's trade, the weather was true to it's miserable form, and continuously poured from loading to closing time. However, our spirits weren't dampened (see what I did there?) and my trusted, and most beloved team of Love My Grubbers showed amazing support. I Love you guys- you know who you are! I must throw a shout out to the Event's Organiser, Deborah, who even went home to heat up some Bhajis for a very insistent customer! Who say's the Council never does anything for you? 

Despite what any weather man might say about overcast that day, the sun definitely shone on our little stall that day. Proudest moment had to be when a customer bought a bag of Bhajis, and then came back half an hour later to get some more to take home. Absolutely amazing feeling.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Mistress Chicken

So after all of the shopping, walking home in the rain, chopping, and yes, even more shopping for my debut market stall pitch, I really fancied a bit of an eat treat tonight. On what I hope was my last shopping round to pick up my chicken, I decided to buy a couple of juicy thigh and leg pieces for some juicy honey and lemon chicken.

Now, I know I say a lot of food is good eating, but this is yuuhuuum! My husband is a particular fan. So much so in fact that I've named this dish Mistress Chicken- meaning, if this had a human face, I believe he would leave me for her.

Here's how to make your man go crazy:


1. 3 legs and 3 thigh pieces of chicken (skins on)
2. 1/2 tsp honey per piece of chicken
3. 1 tsp All purpose seasoning
4. Zest of a lemon, and juice of a lemon
5. 2 tbsp soya sauce


1. Marinate your chicken in the soya sauce, all purpose seasoning and lemon juice
2. Add a a bit of olive oil to a casserole dish, then place your chicken in (drain off the marinade juice), Make sure the chicken has been placed skin side down
3. Cook on the skin side down for 5mins, then turn. Cook for another 5mins.
4. Once the chicken starts to stick to the pan, add a cup of water, and the rest of the juice from your marinade
5. Keep covered. After 15mins add 1/2 tsp of honey to each piece, turn and leave the pan open.
6. After about 25mins, your pieces should be done, but do check, as the size of your pieces will alter the cooking time.
7. Finally sprinkle on the zest of the lemon and serve

Oh my gosh, whether your eating this by itself, with some pasta, or stripped down for a sandwich, this will make your heart melt…just like the first bite you take!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Croq 'n' Roll

There's something fantastic about breadcrumbs. For some reason they massively appeal to me, and in my opinion they can make any dish go from being just yum, to pure scrum! Take a simple little fish fillet…or chicken drumstick, for example, yes they both taste pretty good on their own, but add a little coating of golden delicious, and they're magic.

Enter my Salmon and potato croquettes. 

Makes 12... 
(13, if you count the extra croquette that I ate as soon as it was fried)


1. 1 tin of salmon (185g)
2. 1 red onion- finely chopped
3. 1 green bird chilli- finely chopped
4. 1 tbsp soya sauce
5. 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
6. 1 tsp cumin powder
7. 1 large king edward potato
8. 1 large egg
9. 1/2 tube of breadcrumbs


1. Peel and cut your potato and boil for 15mins.
2. While you are awaiting for the potatoes, finely chop you onions and chilli and pan fry with a drizzle of vegetable oil.
3. Now drain your salmon (make sure all bones have been removed), and flake the pieces into the onion and chilli mix.
4. Add the soya sauce, all purpose seasoning and cumin powder. 
NOTE: You can add any seasoning at this point- coriander, chilli powder, basil, pepper, but make sure that the ingredients have been chopped up as finely as possible. If not, they will burst the coating when they are fried. This is why powders are ideal).
5. By this point the potato will have finished boiling. Drain and mash. Now add this to the salmon mixture. Taste, and add salt if so needed.
6. Now empty onto a flat, cold plate, and you can begin shaping your croquettes.
7. In a separate bowl, crack an egg, and use another bowl for the breadcrumbs. 
8. Coat the croquettes twice. 
NOTE: This is very important as we want a reeeeally crunchy bite!
9. Deep fry and eat as soon as possible!

These little beauts are great for parties, or simply plate up with a bit of pasta and salad, for a quick and scrummy dinner option. My advice, always leave a couple in the oven, and once that party is over, kick back with a cup of chilli sauce and let they good times roll, Croq 'n' roll that is.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Lovely grubly!

It's been a great few days. I've been busy buying goodies and preparing myself for the weekend madness, but in my culinary absence, some of you fantastic Grubbers have been holding down the fort for me and trying out some of my dishes. Bless your hearts, you Grub Lovers, you brought a tear to my eye, and a smile to my face!

Here's Honey I ate the Chicken and Ruby Murray- John and Eva, you guys rock.

All you Grubly people out there, try a dish, send me a pic and I'll post it... quick! 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Muffin Top

Well, Muffin tops are usually not a thing of beauty… quite the opposite really as the sight of a human muffin top might well make you cringe away in horror, but be prepared to gawk for your life, as I present to you the celebratory Muffin Top! Made in loving dedication to my darling mama who is… 21 again today! So here's a little pressie from me to you, mum- with all those finer things you love in life- chocolate and peanuts!

To make your own Peanut butter sandwich chocolate cake, here comes the science…

Serves 6 Muffins


1. 4 oz margarine (at room temperature)
2. 4 oz caster sugar
3. 3 oz self raising flour
4. 1 oz cocoa powder
5. 1/4 tsp baking powder
6. 2 eggs
7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
8. 6 tsp of crunchy peanut butter

For the Peanut butter sauce
1. 2 tbsp icing sugar
2. 1 tbsp peanut butter
3. 2 tbsp water

1. Use a mixer to beat the margarine and caster sugar until you barely feel the sugar granules.
2. Add in the eggs- one at a time and mix in-between every addition.
3. Sift the self raising flour and baking powder- again add a small batch at a time. I usually divide into three parts, and this means that the flour can mix properly. 
4. Now add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
5. Slowly mix in, so that the mixture remains fluffy. 

Now you simply lay out your paper muffin cases in a muffin tray and spoon your mixture in. We are going to do this in three stages, the first is the chocolate mixture, the second is a scoop of peanut butter and the third is the final layer of the chocolate mixture. You need to make sure that the total mixture is no more than half full as these babies will rise!

Cover with a sheet of baking paper, as the cocoa powder cooks very quickly and has a good chance of burning (learnt this this hard way…) Gas mark 175. Put the kettle on and wait for about 45mins.

When they are lovely and cool, you can then mix your peanut butter sauce (simply mix all of the sauce ingredients together until you have a lovely thin consistency- good enough for pouring). Then get a spoon and start decorating! If your a tea fan, put the kettle on again- these muffins taste great with a hot cup of Rosie Lea. If, your an impatient bugger (like me), you would have probably left out the sauce altogether and burned the roof of your mouth the moment you gobbled them up from the oven… either way… scccccrumptious!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Grub goes public!

So, I've got dinner done. Just sat down with a bit of tea, and opened my morning paper for an afternoon read and...

Yes dudes, it's official, my food's going public. Love my Grub? Then come join the feast at my stall at the first weekend of The Fortnightly Market on 28th, 29th April, Catford Broadway. 

Right, no time to rest, need to start prepping. Any favourites you've seen and particularly love, then let me know, I aim to please!

For more information go to:

Honey, I ate the Chicken

So, my parents have gone on holiday. Now, I'm not saying I'm angry… because I love them, and they work really hard and definitely deserve a break… but did they have to go to Malaysia? Home of all things delicious and fantastical? No. So, suffice to say, I'm a little jealous.

OK, so after speaking to them yesterday, I decided to bring a little bit of Malaysia to Catford, and made some Sticky Chicken with Egg Fried Rice and a generous portion of prawn crackers- I realise that there are only a few in shot, but some unfortunately did not make the plate up, as they were eaten in transit.

Serves 2

For the Chicken


1. 1 tbsp sesame oil
2. 1 small red onion- roughly chopped
3. 1 carrot - roughly chopped
4. 3 tbsp sweet and sour sauce
5. 4 pieces of chicken -I have used legs (which have been parboiled and roasted in the oven for 20mins)
6. 2 tbsp honey
7. A handful of sesame seeds


1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and fry the onions and carrots
2. Add the sweet and sour sauce and stir until sticky
3. Add the cooked roasted chicken
4. Add the honey
5. Remove from the hob and add the sesame seeds

For the Rice


1. 1 cup of rice (cooked and cooled)
2. 1 large egg
3. 1 tbsp sesame oil
4. 1 tbsp fish sauce
5. 1 stem of spring onion


1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and fry the spring onions
2. Add the cold rice
3. Level out the rice and crack and egg on top and slowly stir the rice until the rice turns from a white to light yellow shade.
4. Add the fish sauce
5. Finally garnish with a bit of spring onions

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mint condition

Well, after a flurry of Easter eating, I thought it necessary to write about an equally fabulous, but non-based chocolate delight. Yes, it is more of a responsible eat, rather than a cocoa treat, but trust me Grubbers, I wouldn't lead you astray!

Introducing my Peppermint sorbet with Lychees.

Earlier this month, my fabulous cousin set up a nutritional blog (check it out people, it's great), and it really got me thinking. Yes, I do love my chocolate and yes, I do love cheese even more…but they don't seem to love me, as my ever expanding waist-line might tell you. As with everything in life, it's all about a balance, and to counteract my last explosive Chocolate post, I thought it best to cool down with a bit of iced heaven. 

Now, I know it's not summertime… (not even close!), but whether you're eating this on a particularly hot day or just after a heavy meal, this sorbet has all the makings of a great drink or dessert. The zesty tang of the lemon and lime work in perfect tandem with the peppermint, and coupled with one of my favourite fruits, the Lychee, every bite takes you one step closer to cleansing your palette and feeling more refreshed.

Who needs the gym eh?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I love the Easter holidays…well, any holiday really! Everyone is off, the weather is not too miserable and it's a time for indulgence. So here's the ultimate yum yum treat, my Cocoa-late cake…

For the Cake

1. 16 oz margarine (at room temperature)
2. 16 oz caster sugar
3. 12 oz self raising flour
4. 4 oz cocoa powder
5. 2 tsp baking powder
6. 8 eggs
7. 3 tsp vanilla extract

For the Ganache

This is major cheating, but I bought a tub of Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge icing. Ssshhh, don't tell anyone, but it was on sale and covers this cake perfectly! 


1. Use a mixer to beat the margarine and caster sugar until you barely feel the sugar granules.
2. Add in the eggs- one at a time and mix in-between every addition.
3. Sift the self raising flour and baking powder- again add a small batch at a time. I usually divide into three parts, and this means that the flour can mix properly. 
4. Now add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
5. Slowly mix in, so that the mixture remains fluffy. 

And that's pretty much it. Preheat the oven at 150degrees, and grease your baking tin. Seriously, this needs to be done properly otherwise you'll end up with a sad 'sticky' toffee pudding after all your hard work! Place in the oven and cook for an hour. After this time, poke a toothpick in the centre of the cake, and if it comes out dry and without any mixture on it, it's done! 

Now remember this is a serious chocolate cake, so diabetics beware!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Ruby Murray

Yes, it seems like a lifetime has passed since my last post- no, I have not forgotten about you, and yes, I have missed you dearly. Truth is, I've been networking with fellow foodies and researching new and wondrous flavours to report back!

I was deciding what to write about next, after ploughing through a few emails and comments, I found a request to "make a good curry sauce that can be easily adapted to different curries". So, Jon, this post is dedicated to you. Pay attention now.

I'm making a good ol' fashioned Ruby Murray Chicken curry.

This recipe is for one baby chicken and should feed about 4- or 2 fatties (sorry hubbie, you know it's true!)

Dry ingredients:

1. 1 tsp cumin seeds
2. 1 tsp fennel seeds
3. 1/2 tsp dill seeds
4. 1 bark of cinnamon
5. 1 Star anise
6. 1 pod of cardamon 
7. 1  clove
8. 3 red dry chills*
9. Handful of curry leaves*


1. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
2. 1 tsp curry powder
3. 1/3 tsp turmeric powder
4. 1 tsp coriander powder*

Wet Ingredients:

1. 2 small onions- finely chopped
2. 1 tsp ginger- crushed
3. 1 tsp garlic- crushed
4. 2 tomatoes
5. 1 tbsp tomato puree
6. 1 cup of water
7. Zest of 1 lemon*
8. 3 tbsp beetroot juice*

Now by all means, this is not a definitive way of cooking curry, but merely how I have come to cook my curry over the years.

Thought it best to add a bit of disclaimer there as there are literally hundreds of ways to cook a curry, but they all include a good range of aromatics, toasted onions, garlic and ginger and a mixture of well seasoned powders. All of the starred ingredients illustrate non-essential products, but will certainly elevate the flavour of your curry. I  know this list seems quite massive, but in reality these are really key to making a full bodied curry.


1. Heat your pan with a bit of oil, then add all of your dry ingredients.

2. Then add your onions and zest of half of your lemon. Toast until they are golden.

3. Add your powders, and quickly after the tomatoes, tomato puree and a half a cup of water. Give this a stir and wait for the sauce to reduce.

This is your very basic curry sauce.

4. You now add your chicken (You can add any meat/ seafood at this point), then your crushed ginger, garlic and the rest of your lemon zest. Stir well and leave covered. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water should the mixture get too dry.
FYI: If you are making lamb or any other red meat, the cooking time will be about 20-25mins, for Seafood- your cooking time will be considerably less, so keep an eye on it. You will probably only need about 8mins max. You also need to eliminate dill seeds, cinnamon, star anise, clove and cardamon as these flavours will be a tad too strong for the seafood.

5. Now here's the best bit. Once your meat is 85%, add 3bsp of beetroot juice. This is seriously not essential, but my word, does it make the colour of your curry come alive.

I've served my Beetroot Chicken curry with coriander lentils, beetroot and cucumber salad and a bit of plain rice. 

Heaven, table for 1 please.