Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tomatoes on Toast (a non-recipe really)

This is really assembly rather than cooking, and something I had seen/heard about but I never realised how blissfully simple and delicious it was. I have been known to eat this for breakfast 7 days straight while on holiday in sunnier places, where the tomatoes are always juicy, but it is almost as good on a slightly humid morning in Surbiton. For those clever sausages growing tomatoes right now, this would be a worthy use. What ever you do, don't use those crappy, pale, tasteless tomatoes you buy in the supermarket. Buy from the supermarket by all means but splash out on the more pricey ones, the ones that are actually properly red. And even more importantly, never use cold tomatoes!!!! If you keep them in the fridge, let them warm up before using.

All that is involved is the toasting of as much bread as you need, sour dough is brilliant for this, I would recommend something a bit interesting for this (the heavy dense but thinly sliced bread we buy on holiday in Portugal is perfect, but that doesn't really help). Rub each tasted slice with the cut side of a halved clove of garlic. Top with sliced tomato, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, and most importantly, sprinkle with salt. That's it.

Munch too many slices and marvel at how you ever managed to live without this in your life. And also possibly repel passers by with garlic breath. But don't worry about that too much.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Unofficial But Generic Thai-ish Curry

Trying very hard to be Thai and nearly making it
I won't win points on authenticity here, but when I wanted something delicious for dinner the other night, I reached towards lemon grass, chillie, lots of garlic and salty salty fish sauce for a taste sensation that did the job. This is a really easy curry but so fresh and delicious. A more authentic version would have you searching for galangal instead of ginger and pounding for hours in a pestle and mortar but it was a week night and I needed something tasty pronto. This is much much better than using ready made pastes (even though they can be pretty good).

Feeds 2 (with a tiny bit leftover but apparently not enough for proper seconds). Take two lemon grass stalks and discard the really woody outer layer. Chop into one inch pieces. Chop a couple of red chillies. Peel a biggish knob of ginger and chop roughly, also chop most of a small bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves (save the rest for later). Shove all these ingredients into a whizzer, topping with the zest of a lime. Whiz into a coarse paste (you might need to push it down with a spatula a couple of times and add a splash of groundnut oil if it's too dry). Add a decent splash of fish sauce, dark soy sauce and two small/one large tomatoes and whizz again until quite smooth. De-vein a couple of handfuls of raw prawns, any type, the bigger the better (this job is gross but better than eating prawn poo surely?). Fry the paste in a splash of groundnut oil, in a deep frying pan or wok, stirring constantly and dribble a little at the gorgeous aroma released. Add a tin of coconut milk, stir well and let it bubble away for about 10 minutes until reduced slightly. Prepare any veg you want to use, I used pak choy and broccoli and add them to the pan. When just about cooked, add the prawns, stir well, when they are pink they are done. no-one likes hard little curled up prawns so be careful not to over-do them. Make sure it tastes how you like it, is it salty and sour enough? Squeeze some lime juice over the curry, top with chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice. 

This is good for boys with man-flu and girls who somehow never get girl-flu but just want something delicious for supper.