Contrary to popular belief, I don’t spend all my time eating jerk pork and barbecuing things in the rain. I do other stuff, okay? No really. Here’s some things I cooked, ate and felt happy about in the past couple of weeks.
Firstly, a little tooting on my own trumpet as I point you in the direction of The Independent’s ’50 Best Food Websites’ article. They said nice things about Food Stories and 49 other sites, including blogs, online suppliers and all-round giants like Chowhound. I’m flattered to be included.
And while we’re talking about ME, I’ll take a moment to point you once again, this time in the direction of my recipe column at AoL Lifestyle. The latest recipe is a very easy smoked mackerel ‘pâté’.
I’ve been out on the town too, as per. Sometimes a woman has to step outside of Peckham you know. Last weekend I made what was frankly a humongous schlep up to the wild wilderness of Seven Sisters to the Akhaya Cookery School, for a Nigerian cookery class. What with Peckham being ‘little Africa’ and all, I wanted to find out more about the ingredients I see in local shops every day. During the 3 hour class we made egusi (a soup thickened with melon seeds), jollof rice (rice cooked in a spicy tomato stew) and akara (black eye bean fritters). The akara were my favourite; very light, savoury fritters, which are incredibly easy to make. I’ll be experimenting with those so expect a recipe soon. The classes cost £75 per person, you cook 3 dishes per class and take home more than enough food for 2 people. Here are some pics:
The bright and airy classroom.
Very familiar ingredients for the Peckhamite; dried shrimp; chilli flakes; black eye beans; palm oil.
Egusi soup. The white stuff is the egusi (ground melon seeds), mixed to a paste with water then added to the soup. The green dried stuff is afang (a dried leaf which is a little like Spinach).
Fried plantain chips. You can’t hear a thing when you’re eating them – that crunchy.
I’ve been eating out too. Last night I perched very happily for several hours around the bar of the Maille Mustard Pop-Up in Spitalfields Market. They kindly invited me down to try the ‘mustard menu’ cooked by Kerstin Marmite Loving Rodgers. I had rather too much fun; the market was buzzing, the wine was flowing and the food was great. It’s on tonight and Sunday too. Here’s the lowdown in pics:
If it’s mustard you’re after…
A ‘Mustardy Mary’ = the best ever bloody Mary. I can’t ever drink one again unless it has wholegrain mustard in it. A brilliant idea.
Steamed artichoke with mustard mayonnaise.
Smoked haddock with mustard and cheese and Asian mustard greens. The fish was umami-packed and delicious. The name of the yellow flower in the middle escapes me but Kerstin picked them from her garden; they surprised everyone by tasting incredibly sweet and delicious. A flower actually worth eating.
Amazing cheese board featuring Langres, Moustardier, Charollais and Comté surrounded by palmiers.
Mostarda tutti frutti ice cream with berries, mint sugar and mustard candy floss. Kerstin and I are both of the opinion that tutti frutti ice cream should be BROUGHT BACK IMMEDIATELY.
And in between all that, I’ve been rapidly expanding outwards due to my extremely close proximity to The Rye pub, which is serving Meatwagon food for the summer. In addition to my favourite chilli burger I’ve been packing away the following, at least 3 times a week.
Smoked pork sandwich
Pulled pork sandwich
Baby back ribs with slaw and deep fried okra. I will be deep frying okra very, very soon.
Smoked buffalo wings with blue cheese dip.
What can I say, get yourself down there.
31 Peckham Rye
So there we go. Ooof. I think I need to go and exercise now.