For a few years now, the white spirit of the moment has been gin. Most bartenders are very happy about this, and so am I. Don’t get me wrong: good vodka is a wonderful thing. But gin is just more interesting. Fiddling around with the botanicals – the flavourings, led by juniper, that give gin its unique flavour – allows distillers to produce an infinite range of drinks.
My name is Paul A. Young and I am a cake-a-holic. I cannot imagine my life without the humble cake, whether it’s for afternoon tea, a quick coffee break or a stolen hour gossiping with friends. Moist and sticky with crunchy cocoa nibs and an aromatic sweet-spiced syrup, these cakes are the perfect dessert served warm with real vanilla ice cream or cold with rooibos or Earl Grey tea.
Britain has more than its fair share of Jewish entrepreneurs making, marketing or simply selling the addictive stuff. Many from unrelated backgrounds — seduced by their inner chocoholics into working with the products of the cocoa bean.
Making your own hummus means that, with practice and by trial and error, you can flavour it just the way you want. Play around with the seasonings like garlic, tahini and lemon juice to obtain a hummus to your taste.
The tahini you use can dramatically affect the flavour of your hummus. Raw tahini is stronger while canned, roasted tahini has a milder, nuttier flavour.
A lot can happen in two years. In 2013 I was unable to attend the annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience, sponsored by Kedem and held at the Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly. This year, after getting there late (idiotically missed my bus stop), I dived into tasting and quickly became aware of something curious.
This cake is very fast to make and can be put together in one bowl. It is also a healthier option and the carrots and pineapple count towards your ‘5 a day’ so ideal for family Purim celebrations.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
225g plain flour
2 tbsp poppy seeds
175g caster sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Cakis are tiny savoury biscuits - perfect with a Purim drink. You can add all sorts of things to the basic recipe to flavour them such as green olives, anise seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, nuts and anchovies. I have used olives, capers, jalapeno peppers and nuts.
V This is delicious with Greek yoghurt and topped with granola and blueberries. After the oat mixture has cooked, you can add whichever dried fruits you prefer. I love dried banana chips and pecans, but if there are other dried fruits, nuts or seeds you prefer feel free to use those.
Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 26-28 mins
The wonderful thing about sun dried tomatoes is they keep their flavour no matter the season. It is important that you use the dry tomatoes as the beauty of this recipe is that you can choose your own oil and herbs. Being Italian I like to add garlic, rosemary and capers but you can be creative with what you add. Use them in salads, on bruschetta, as pasta sauce and in may other ways.
Blush oranges, as blood oranges are so coyly named nowadays, are beautiful, but have such a short season. They make a gorgeously orange curd, which gives breakfast toast a zesty bite and is perfect for sandwiching between two Victoria sponge cakes. It is also delicious with Greek yoghurt.
5 or 6 blush oranges
155g caster sugar
4 large eggs, yolks only
115g unsalted butter
I took my wife out to dinner at Racine, a short walk from the V&A, for what is known in the matrimonial trade as a VIB.
Racine is one of her favourite restaurants, and mine too, for that matter. It’s a Paris bistro more properly Parisian than many you would find in Paris itself – though there wasn’t a scowl on the faces of any of the front-of-house staff.
Blood oranges are one of the few seasonal ingredients we still have. Sicilian and Spanish oranges are particularly good. The feta is my addition and is optional, but a lovely one which accentuates the contrast of sweet and savoury and also adds texture and colour. It makes a refreshing and different starter. Replace the blood oranges with regular oranges out of season.
I learned this recipe in a cooking class and it turned out to be a very successful dish with a surprising flavour combination. It is a wonderful use for date honey (silan in Hebrew), which is very popular in the Israeli kitchen. Date honey or date syrup is available from some UK supermarkets.
Serves: 4 - 6
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 15 mins
By Zoe Winograd and Victoria Prever, February 28, 2014
Middle Eastern cooking is bang on trend.
Chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi and more recently, Eynat Admony (Balaboosta) have worked hard to ensure that the flavours of the shuk are now up there with French, Italian and other popular Mediterranean cuisines.
So much so that visitors to Israel now expect an epicurean adventure as well as the more traditional historical sights and sounds.