cookingbrains

Brains for cooking – Cooking for your brains

Brilliant Baking: A Simple Plum Tart.

plum tart (1 of 1)

A sweet crust filled with sweet and sour plums. The perfect combination of silk and crunch. The plums are soft, sweet and retained their tang, making this the perfect summer tart. The base is buttery, and flaky, with a pale bottom and brown edges. Done in about half an hour and less than ten minutes work, this is the perfect treat for a busy Sunday afternoon. Not a fan of plums? This is the season to experiment: strawberries, cherries, peaches or appricots. Make this your own and celebrate summer.

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Soup Supper: Tori Ramen – chicken broth based ramen soup.

ramen (1 of 1)

Light and packed with flavor. Growing in depth with every ladle. Tender noodles, crisp spring onion and the vibrance of fresh cilantro. Add to that succulent chicken meat, almost sweet kombu and the hint of ocean that nori brings, and you’re left with the perfect soup for any time of the season. Throw in a soft-boiled egg marinated in soy sauce, and heaven is only a spoonful away. Making a good broth for ramen is all about taking time. There is almost nothing for you to do, but wait – assemble and eat. The perfect dish for a relaxed day. To treat yourself or to impress others.

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My tagliatelle in a quick tomato sauce.

quick tomato sauce (1 of 1)

Thick and tender tagliatelle. A sweet and creamy sauce of aromatic tomato, with the comfort of garlic and the depth of basil. A good plate of pasta makes my heart jump – and fills me up like nothing else. This special little sauce is done in 10 minutes, which makes it the perfect summer lunch. Just sit outside, with a glass of wine and enjoy your day. Or, even better, eat with friends. It is summer after all.

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Breaking Bread: Bruschetta two ways – Grilled Courgette and Sardines.

bread - courgette (1 of 1)

Smoky and tender courgette, with a hint of summer, bedded on a bed of creamy ricotta. Or salty and savoury sardines, with a fresh and vibrant mix of parsley and lemon. With the temperatures rising and hours spent in the sun – what could be better than a light and fresh summer lunch. No effort, no fuzz. Just pure and heartwarming tastiness. 

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Posh Pork: My slow-roasted pork belly.

slow roasted porkbelly (1 of 1)Succulent meat that falls apart by just looking at it. A salty and crunchy crackling. An aromatic sweet sauce, with a hint of good ale that is what it takes to turn any Sunday great. My slow-roasted pork belly is as easy as making toast – it just takes a little longer. So, while you enjoy a relaxed morning – or a hard-earned evening wait with excitement as your kitchen and your house will fill with the aromatic scent that only a good roast can bring.

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Breaking Bread: Bruschetta two ways – tomato & grilled mushroom.

bread - tomato salad (1 of 1)

Crispy, aromatic bread for the right chew. A soft and silky layer of creamy ricotta or rich and smoky bacon grease. And two different subtle but delicious toppings. This take on the italian classic might not be quite conventional, but who really cares when it is so delicious and simple to make. Sweet tomatoes, the comfort of garlic and the vibrance of basil for one, savoury and slightly smoky mushrooms, with depth of grilled onions and the punch of parsley. The secret to this dish is in the bread – and a little bit of patience. But who if not yourself is worth a little treat every now and then.

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Brilliant Baking: My lemon cheesecake.

edit - burned lemon cheesecake (1 of 1)

A almost golden yellow, slightly burned top, slightly crumbly base, and a rich an moist filling. Cheesecakes are a special kind of treat. Add to that the freshness that lemon brings and you end up with my little sneaky lemon cheesecake. Done in about an hour, requiring almost none of your time, this treat is just the right thing for a day that can’t really decide if it is summer or spring. 
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Sneaky Salads: My split chickpea and parsley salad.

chickpea salad (1 of 1)

The comfort that comes with a good plate of food is like no other. Warming the heart and filling the stomach. Soft chickpeas, warming chilli, vibrant cilantro, aromatic parsley, sharp spring onions, tangy feta, and the sourness of lemons really tie this little salad together. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to something nice today.

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My Godly Greens: Braised celeriac and carrot matchsticks.

braised celeriac and carrots (1 of 1)

Celeriac really is no-ones favourite vegetable. A strong taste, a weird texture and a bad reputation. We rarely have it on its own – occasionally we serve it with something, mash it up, or add it to give flavor; but only rarely do we appreciate it for its own sake. But when we do, it is worth it. Given a bit of time it will melt right on your tongue, leaving behind an intense note of umami, without a single ounce of meat to it. It is the combination of rice-wine and soy-sauce, the sweetness of the carrot and the intensity of the celeriac, that makes this dish special. And it is the warmth of chilli that will bring it home.

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Busy Bites: My grilled tofu with grilled greens.

grilled tofu (1 of 1) 

Smoky firm tofu, spicy spring onion, and savoury mushrooms. My grilled tofu with grilled greens might not sound like much, but they are the perfect light snack. Low in carbs, high in flavour. And the best thing? They are done in a couple of minutes.

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