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?)…

More about me… Food bloggers get to know

Gavin WrenFood Blogging, The World of Food

#fdbloggersGTK
I’ve been hovering around the fringes of the @fdbloggers Twitter community for a while, watching the #foodbloggersGTK posts. So I’ve finally decided to join in the party, with my own responses to the questions below… Name? Gavin Blog? lepetitoeuf.com (the little egg) What was your reason for starting a blog? I started taking photos of food I made, and posting recipes on internet forums about 7 years ago. When I was looking for something to do with my time, that I would find challenging and rewarding, starting a food blog was the logical progression and I’ve been doing it a year now. Since then I’ve found blogging to be a lot of fun and sometimes utterly exasperating work. What’s the dish you’re most proud of? The individual Labneh cheesecakes because they’re a genuinely tasty and uncompromising no added sugar dessert. I remember the elation when tasting them and realising they…

How to make peanut or any nut butter

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Breakfast, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spreads & Dips, The World of Food

Homemade peanut butter
Peanut, or in fact any nut butter is so incredibly simple to make, it’s a joke. It’s one of those things that when you discover how it all works, you feel like letting out a Machiavellian cackle, akin to some kind of heinous villain plotting to take over the world, due to it’s fiendishly simplicity. The main ingredient of any nut butter is nuts, something I’m sure you could have guessed. However, there are no other requisite ingredients, nothing else is required to make this work. And the process? You simply blitz it all up in a food processor and you’re done. It’s also utterly non specific regarding quantity or type of nut. They all work the same and can be whizzed up into a smooth and creamy or rough and chunky peanut butter. You could make almond butter, hazelnut butter, mixed nut butter, or add spices, seeds, chocolate, salt.…

How to make great labneh and avoid the mistakes I made!

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

Mango, labneh and pistachio on a plate
Do you get food obsessions as well? Mine are so whimsical that I can rapidly shift between favourites regularly, not hanging around too long before a new gastronomic sensation passes my nose and sucks me in. It’s like fashion, how quickly foods or flavours can become the next big thing, yet before you know it, they’re gone again. Labneh was a ‘thing’ that I’d come across in the past, so you might ask why my interest wasn’t piqued already? I’ll hold my hands up and admit the reason for this was because I had been doing it wrong. The process of making labneh is incredibly easy, you merely take a pot of normal yoghurt and strain it. Simple, non? But how you strain it is important and has a big impact on the final product. I had put my faith in the internet, but sometimes, the internet lets you down.…

Book Review: Cooking in Provence by Alex Mackay with Peter Knab

Gavin WrenCookbook Reviews, The World of Food

Cooking in provence by Alex Mackay book cover
Today I’m looking at the not-so-recent book “Cooking in Provence” by Alex Mackay and Peter Knab, seven years since it’s release, yet it’s a book that could have been published yesterday for all it matters, it’s content being of such timeless quality that a date is largely irrelevant. I originally bought it for a self catering holiday to, well, you’ve probably guessed it, Provence. We did a road trip through France with short stays in Beaune and Lyon to savour the food and sights on offer in those lovely towns before ultimately reaching the sun in Provence. Travelling by car allowed us to take endless frivolities that you’d never even consider trying to take on Ryanair (double inflatable lilo with drinks holders anyone?) as well as the more carefully considered essential items, such as hardback cookery books. “I think he was probably a Provençal gourmet in a former life” Raymond

How to make preserved lemons

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

Jar of preserved lemons
When life throws you lemons There’s a saying “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade”. I find it a peculiar saying, because lemons are pretty desirable objects to me. Although I understand the concept behind this idiom, that we’re supposed to see lemons as sour, sharp and unpleasant representations of life, I just can’t do that. They’re such bright, joyful fruit that it just doesn’t wash. I’m someone who has a bowl in the kitchen which is just for lemons and limes to nestle in, so if someone started throwing me lemons, I’d be out there filling up my bowl and shouting ‘thanks’. The lemon preservation society I keep on discovering these little techniques and basic preparations that when I try them out, discover they’re incredibly simple. For example, making yoghurt, who knew it’s so easy? Sun dried tomatoes made in the oven? Simple. There are lots of straightforward…