Rye Croutons with Garlic and Mustard – Video Recipe

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Soup, The World of Food, Vegetarian, YouTube Food Videos

rye croutons with garlic and mustard
Add Some crunch to your lunch Croutons are those crunchy, munchy accoutrements of soup which I have to say, rarely get much sway from me. They seemed like an unnecessary adornment to my soup, because I’m often going to get a large doorstep of toasted bread to suck the liquid life out of my soup and transfer it into my mouth, or I just want to eat/drink/slurp the soup, so adding some small bits of bread seems unnecessary. After all, surely croutons are just small, fiddly bits of dipping bread which disappear into your soup, to be lost forever. If you transferred the concept of croutons into another aspect of food and drink, the nearest comparison I can think of is dunking rich tea biscuits into a mug of tea. Now I’m not a ‘two sugars love’ kind of guy, generally eschewing a good ol’ cuppa whenever it’s proposed in…

Olio di peperoncino chilli oil

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food

olio di peperoncino chilli oil
I’ve visited Italy twice in my life, or even three times if you count the occasion that I arrived at Milan after a few months in South East Asia, then immediately booked myself onto the next flight to London without leaving the airport because my ‘friend’ stood me up, hence I decided to simply go home instead. Aside from that minor dalliance with Milan airport which I’ll choose to ignore in the context of this post and life in general, I’ve always been awestruck by Italian towns’ and citys’ overwhelming sense of beautiful, crumbling, architectural romanticism. Of course for a foodie (ugh! That word) like myself, eating is another highlight, because the Italians have a very powerful secret ingredient in their food, passion. They’re also blessed with fruitful and abundant produce which their land pours forth and without doubt their cooking makes the most of that bounty as well. Recently,…

How to make gravadlax

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Fish & Shellfish, Food Techniques, Main Dishes, Recipes, Small Bites, The World of Food

how to make gravadlax
Today I’m talking about gravlax, or gravalax, or gravadlax, or even Gravad laks depending on where you are, who you are and why you’re here. There might be other spellings that I’m missing out, but so far I’ve covered Norwegian, Swedish and Danish as well as the slightly confused situation in England where it seems to go under a few of those names. However you spell it, this is an absolute peach of a recipe, a personal favourite of mine which gives smoked salmon a run of it’s money without having to go through that messy process of smoking. It’s also another super long-make recipe which is more like a small food side-project rather than a recipe. There’s no way that you can describe a 48-36 hour make time as a quick-to-throw-together meal or easy dinner, this is something completely different, which creates astoundingly tasty results that I can happily…

Coconut & date vegan frosting

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Dairy free baking, Desserts, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Vegan

coconut date vegan frosting
I often make cakes that are either dairy free, with no refined sugar, or both, then finish them and think, oh, that would really benefit from something on top. What can I use? Whipped cream? No. Buttercream frosting? No. It becomes a whole new juggling act trying to create dairy free and refined sugar free frosting ideas which will sit on top and stay there, without it being utterly contrived. I could, of course, just refer to the internet, with it’s myriad answers to everything, which all vary enormously in quality and credibility. Some are good, some not so good, but you’ll inevitably find an answer that fits for you. I once found a coconut cream frosting recipe on the internet which looked fabulous on the blogs which I’ve seen it published, but was actually awful. The reason was that you need to serve it super-chilled and they omitted to…

Wholemeal Fresh Spelt Pasta

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, The World of Food

wholemeal spelt pasta tagliatelle
I’ve made homemade pasta previously, from silky whisps of fine tagliatelle to carefully manipulated, pillowy ravioli. It’s one of those things that’s a domestic indulgence, because shop bought, dried pasta is so good and easy to cook that it’s hard to justify the time and effort required in making your own. But, in the true spirit of indulgence, it is also incredibly satisfying to make this simple ingredient and if we always chose the quickest, easiest, ready-prepared method, we might all turn into mindless zombies. Despite this previous experience of homemade pasta and the fact that pasta contains so few ingredients, it ended up quite a tricky recipe to develop. Balls of pasta, eggs shells and flour very nearly adorned the kitchen window as I tried to rationalise dryness, stickiness, toughness and splitting, so that I could explain it to you. The end result really is quite a rough (rustic?)…

Sun dried tomato pesto – pesto rosso

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegan, Vegetarian

sun dried tomato pesto rosso serving ideas
A few weeks ago I posted a traditional pesto recipe and spent some time ruminating on the bastardisation of recipes. This week, I’m going to continue the pesto theme with a recipe for a delicious sun dried tomato pesto, or pesto rosso. I would love to say this is a traditional Italian recipe adhering to the specific ingredients handed down through generations by all Italian chefs, however I’m not sure that’s not entirely possible. Whilst the traditional, green basil pesto has a fairly consistent set of ingredients that are in attendance in all recipes, pesto rosso seems to be a little bit more vague and open to the whimsical tastes of the creator. There are wild variations in content and ingredients from recipe to recipe, and as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is undoubtedly applicable to food as well, leaving a lot of room…