Ironic Thai fried rice with Tofu & (or) Prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thai fried rice with tofu beans pak choi lime and chilli
Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food. It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith. Yet, we…

Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch

Gavin WrenRecipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Feta hazelnut and rosemary crunch spread in a bowl
Two weeks ago, Guardian Witness asked for people to submit recipes on the theme of ‘poached’, with the best entries to be published in the Saturday edition of the newspaper’s ‘Cook’ food supplement. I looked at my nearly-brand-new blog, knowing that my third recipe featured a poached egg, and, somewhat scared, submitted the recipe. I was completely shocked when a few days later, I got an e-mail informing me that they were posting my recipe on their facebook page! Surely the glory of seeing my own recipe in print was within grasp! So, on the Saturday of reckoning, I rushed home from the shops with the newspaper, clawed my way past the Sport, Family and Money supplements (but had a quick look at the magazine) and then got to Cook. But alas, my moment in the spotlight was short lived and I had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws…

Spelt rolls with za’atar

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Za'atar spelt rolls in baking tray
I wasn’t going to make anything for the blog this weekend. I was feeling down and struggling to find the motivation to make anything, let alone think up, research and write a recipe, then test it for all you lovely blog reading people out there. But then I remembered that I had stocked up on spelt flour a few weeks ago, direct from Shipton Mill, because white spelt flour (also known as ‘refined’ spelt flour) became hard to get hold of locally. Also, I bought a large bag of Palestinian Thyme, or Za’atar, only yesterday, as I love adding it to all sorts of recipes. And if there’s one type of cooking that makes me feel good, it’s baking. I started to feel a joyful plan forming. So I pulled together this simple recipe for spelt rolls and added a hint of flavouring with the addition of some Za’atar,…

Red cabbage salad with roquefort and poached eggs

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

red cabbage egg roquefort walnut salad
This recipe is thanks to a crate of fresh home-grown vegetables that my folks bestowed upon me on Friday. Having worked our way through tomatoes, runner beans, sweetcorn and cucumber yesterday, I reached the red cabbage bag and wondered what to do. Looking for some inspiration online I was bogged down with the festive spiced red cabbage recipes which the internet is awash with, but they didn’t feel right for a warm summer’s day lunch. I wanted something lighter and more salad-y but which would be a meal in itself. So I pulled together this bunch of ingredients and here is what happened. I’ll confess at this point that I have never, ever, cooked red cabbage in my life. And after having made this recipe, that’s not changed, as I’ve opted for using it raw. In fact, if you remove the Roquefort and eggs, then the base salad with dressing…

Sun (oven) dried tomatoes

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Semi sun oven dried tomatoes
I love making things that take a long time. Although, let me qualify that – I’m less keen on fiddly or awkward processes, as they send my blood pressure due North. What I like is the gradual process of change and development that occurs over long periods. Because long, slow cooking processes normally mean that you’re allowing rich, strong flavours to develop. I’m also a big fan of basic ingredients, the things that we buy off the shelf, but which can be made at home. However we normally get them from the supermarket because funnily enough, they take a long time to make! Sun dried tomatoes fall squarely into that category. If my North London location was blessed with a Mediterranean climate then I would try making these in the traditional way, by leaving them out in the scorching sun to dry for a few days. You just need to…