Saturday, 27 November 2021

November 2021 Favourites list

Welcome to this month’s favourites list. As the month has progressed, we’ve definitely seen a big drop in temperature; the coats and hats have been reluctantly dragged from where they languished at the back of the wardrobe. However, the earlier part of the month still gave a us few nice days, and the very last of the Autumn sun.

After many years of working at Gray’s Inn in the Holborn area of London, the law school moved to the shiny building at Sebastian Street, near Northampton Square. Everything is brand new and fresh. Given that the entirely of last academic year was taught online, it is great to see students studying, chatting, and actually using the space.

I have found a secret sanctuary in the new building. There is a fabulous little hidden garden. OK, it isn’t exactly “hidden”, anyone can use it. But so far it seems to be a well kept secret, given how few people are using it. Maybe I’m making a mistake by telling you about it, and an even bigger mistake by sharing photos of this quiet little oasis… But this month’s photos are the magnificent tree ferns from the City Law School courtyard garden. I love how sculptural they are, and how ancient they seem. The leafy fronds are so feathery and vivid. They have stayed green while the other trees nearby are golden brown and slowly falling to the ground. 

 

I hope you enjoy these statuesque beauties as much as I do. Now, it’s time to present my monthly collection of wonderful stuff….

Food writing and articles:

What's in season in November? Cabbage, carrots and kale among other things! https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whats-in-season-november

Some cool ingredient hacks for home cooks. Personally, I always add Dijon mustard to my Macaroni cheese. https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahloewentheil/best-flavor-booster-ingredients

A very personal account from Eshani Surya on being an American of Indian heritage, food, growing up, identity and Saunf (Mukhwas/sweet fennel seeds): https://catapult.co/stories/how-saunf-or-mukhwas-or-fennel-candy-built-me-a-home-indian-american-identity-food-eshani-surya


 

Cooking tips - how you might be cooking pasta incorrectly: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-13/nine-ways-you-re-cooking-pasta-wrong

A very thought provoking blog post on food waste. This is a really important read from Dr Elly McCausland: https://www.nutmegsseven.co.uk/blog/2021/11/on-wasting-food-and-why-banana-bread-is-not-the-answer-nbsp

Students share their advice on how to eat well at university. Remember, you need to feed the body as well as the mind. Eating healthily and regularly will help you do well. https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/student_uni_plans

Recipes:

Two student recipes from Chef Romy Gill - tomato chicken curry and a sweet potato and pea sabzi: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/oct/19/romy-gill-easy-curry-recipes-tamatar-murg-chicken-coconut-sweet-potato-pea-sabzi

While there are still courgettes and sweetcorn around, here is a farro vegetable bake for the last of the summer veggies: https://smittenkitchen.com/2021/08/baked-farro-with-summer-vegetables/


 

This recipe for Patlican Eksileme Salatasi (roasted aubergine salad) shows how great Turkish salads are:  https://ozlemsturkishtable.com/2010/06/smoked-eggplant-salad-withvegetables-and-olive-oil-patlicanli-eksileme/

Lo mein noodles with tenderstem broccoli and scallops. A luxury stir fry supper recipe from Chef Jeremy Pang: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/scallop_and_tenderstem_70577

Vietnamese Bánh Canh Thịt Heo, a pork udon noodle recipe from Uyen Luu: https://tastecooking.com/recipes/banh-canh-thit-heo-pork-udon/  

Recipes and some wok cooking tips from Adam Liaw. Includes cashew nut chicken and prawn and corn fried rice: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/nov/08/flash-in-the-pan-adam-liaws-20-minute-wok-dishes

Smoky lentil stew using Beluga black lentils: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/this-smoky-lentil-stew-is-one-pot-comfort-food-perfection-1.4704638

Turmeric and yoghurt marinaded chicken with garlicky toum dip: https://tastecooking.com/recipes/turmeric-chicken-with-toum/


 

My cooking adventures – from my mini blog:

Umenishiki brown rice salad: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/668760868205527040/salad-umenishiki-brown-rice-sliced-frankfurters

Gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic prawns): https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/667955191802462208/oven-preheated-raw-king-prawns-placed-in-small

Making Elpida’s moussaka, as made for Rick Stein and Patrick Leigh Fermor: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/667400646726647808/tonights-dinner-is-a-labour-of-love-this-is

Ravinder Bhogal’s Udon noodle carbonara: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/666582181560369152/udon-noodle-carbonara-an-italian-japanese-fusion

Sumac roast chicken: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/666498930278858752/rick-steins-turkish-style-sumac-roast-chicken

Allegra McEvedy’s Tuk Tuk salad: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/666222996613152769/tuk-tuk-salad-a-thai-influenced-rice-salad-recipe

Patlican salatasi (Turkish roast aubergine salad): https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/666042594232598528/patlican-salatasi-aubergine-salad-with-roasted

Film:

Sardar Udham

TV:

What We Do In The Shadows – Series 3

Outlaws

Music:

Immigrants - Nitin Sawhney

There’s No Place Like America Today – Curtis Mayfield

Fur and Gold – Bat For Lashes

Pet Shop Boys - Introspective


 

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.

Monday, 25 October 2021

October 2021 Favourites list

Hello and welcome to my October favourites list.

This week I’m sharing photos of some of my kitchen creations from the month. A recent trip to the Chinese grocery shop allowed me to stock up on soy sauce (dark, light and Japanese), chilli oil, fish sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, Shaoxing rice wine, and wonton skins. I also bought some frozen dim sum, which I like to keep for lazy days when I don’t fancy cooking. Naturally, these purchase have influenced this month’s cooking adventures. 

Vietnamese inspired baked sea bass
 

I hope you will like my choices of food writing, which includes some food science, recipes (including a sneak peek into Nigel Slater’s new cookbook), and my cultural pickings. I have also included some of my mini blog posts, in case you missed them. So, I’d like to invite you to take a little time out of whatever has been keeping you busy and unwind a little with this month’s Favourites list!

Food writing:

What’s in season in October: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whats-in-season-october

Jonathan Nunn's dissection on the ridiculous British correlation between food and class is well worth reading. Since when did multicultural staples become "middle class"? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/02/food-choices-proxy-class-britain

The Sixth taste - Kikunae Ikeda, Ajinomoto, umami and Kokumi: https://lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v43/n17/daniel-soar/the-sixth-taste

Men farting more isn’t a sign of bad health, it’s a sign of good bacteria at work: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2289171-men-fart-more-when-eating-a-plant-based-diet-due-to-good-gut-bacteria

Claudia Roden on her new cookbook and how travel still inspires her: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/claudia-roden-new-book-cooking-travel-b1913010.html

The science behind grilling the perfect steak: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/science-behind-grilling-perfect-steak-180978054  

Wonton soup - see below

Delicious magazine chooses its fave Taco restaurants: https://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/best-taco-restaurants/

Izakayas are Japan’s version of a pub. Usually in Japan, restaurants specialise in a particular type of food/cooking (sushi, tempura, robata grilling). Izakayas try to do a little bit of everything, like the Japanese restaurants in the UK. Chef Tim Anderson’s new cookbook Your Home Izakaya: Fun and Simple Recipes Inspired by the Drinking-and-Dining Dens of Japan by Tim Anderson seeks to bring Izakaya cooking to British home cooks, as reviewed at Kavey Eats: https://www.kaveyeats.com/your-home-izakaya-by-tim-anderson-japanese-cookbook

Recipes:

For the freshers and students among you, some student recipes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/occasions/student_food

Usually, TikTok is a site for food abominations like those “kitchen island” cook outs. Thankfully, there is some genuinely useful cooking content being posted there, like this viral 60 clove of garlic soup: https://www.thekitchn.com/tiktok-60-garlic-clove-soup-23247722

Nigel Slater’s new book A Cook’s Book is coming out soon, here are some preview recipes to get you in the mood: https://www.stylist.co.uk/food-drink/nigel-slater-a-cooks-book-recipes/575093

Tuscan bistecca alla Fiorentina, Italy’s most delicious steak meal: https://www.saveur.com/italys-most-delicious-steak-on-weeknight-at-home/

Recipe ideas for cutting down on food waste – Tom Hunt’s bowl food from fridge leftovers: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jan/09/how-to-make-bowl-food-from-fridge-leftovers-tom-hunt-waste-not

A twist on Laab Gai (Thai chicken in lettuce)
 

My cooking adventures – from my mini blog:

Jhal Moori – a no-cook Indian snack full of crunch and spice: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/663939104283721728/jhal-moori-moori-puffed-rice-sev-peanuts

A spin on a “luxe” fish pie: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/664053857554432000/fish-pie-with-cod-loin-scallops-and-king-prawns

Wonton soup with homemade prawn and pork wontons: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/664957270871916544/wonton-soup-prawn-and-pork-wontons-in-chicken

Crispy fried homemade wontons: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/665859759015100416/crispy-fried-wontons-stuffed-with-chopped-prawns

My other writing:

My 10 knowledge subject learning tips for students on the Bar Course, regardless of their provider (BVS, BTC and BPC). https://snigsclassroom.blogspot.com/2021/09/10-bar-course-knowledge-subject-tips.html

Crispy fried wontons - see above

 

Film:

Strangers On A Train

The Kitchen

Joker

TV:

British As F*lk

Music:

Solar Power – Lorde

Please – Pet Shop Boys

Electronic – Electronic

Call the Comet – Johnny Marr

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

September 2021 favourites list

Hello again my lovelies! Thank you for coming to visit this latest instalment of the favourites list. 

September is my new year, since I work in academia. It might seem odd to you, but January doesn't ever feel like the big turning point of the year to me. In September all the faces change for me as the old cohort of student graduate and go on to bigger and better things, and the cohort come in to start their journey to become professionals. No, I don't buy a new pencil case each September or a new school bag, like I used to. But there's a new academic year diary which I copy my timetable into, because I'm old school and I like something which doesn't need battery life to record my various commitments and appointments in. 

This year, however, is unique. This September I have taught face to face students in classrooms on campus for the first time since February 2020. You can guess the reason for this - which I won't mention here. 

I'm getting used to it bit by bit. It's a bit like when you haven't been on a bicycle for years. You don't forget how to ride a bike, but you are wobbly. So I'm hoping the students bear with me, while I get used to being in a physical classroom, and using the lecture Pod, the recording facilities, and white boards.

In the meantime, the cooking and eating continues. There's always something new to make and discover. So I hope you enjoy the pictures of my recent creations. 


 

Food writing

What's in season in September? https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whats-in-season-september

"Picnic as…" – Aaron Vallance muses over the many possibilities of a picnic. Emotion, recollection and food beautifully combined. https://www.1dish4theroad.com/2021/08/picnic.html

Updated in July, this is Eater London’s 38 essential restaurants in the capital: https://london.eater.com/maps/best-london-restaurants-eater-38

It might provoke more than a touch of food and travel envy, but Kavita Favelle’s account of her trip to the Manoir De Quatre Saisons has wonderful photos and fab descriptions of her experience: https://www.kaveyeats.com/raymond-blancs-le-manoir-au-quatsaisons

My menu planning has gone off a bit recently, so I have taken inspiration from Connie’s approach to avoiding wastage: https://connieconsumes.com/2020/01/zero-waste-living-tips/


 

Food and travel: Madrid’s best restaurants and food markets: https://www.standard.co.uk/escapist/travel/madrid-best-restaurants-and-food-markets-a3766536.html

How to bring the flavours of Spain to your cooking: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/aug/24/how-can-i-get-a-taste-of-spain-in-my-home-cooking-kitchen-aide

A day in the life of a flavour inventor: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210602-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-flavour-inventor

How a student ate for free for two years! https://metro.co.uk/2021/09/04/student-saves-thousands-with-genius-tricks-to-never-pay-for-food-for-two-years-15206816/

It’s a hugely contentious subject – what are the must have condiments? https://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/must-have-condiments/


 

Recipes

Rice vermicelli with coconut cream sauce, Thai style: https://thecookscook.com/recipes/mee-gathi-rice-vermicelli-with-coconut-cream-sauce/

Prawn perfection - 10 recipes: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/30/prawn-perfection-10-delicious-shrimp-dishes-from-coconut-curry-to-pea-and-chilli-pasta

Pork Tenderloin with Sauce Verte by Fiona McLean of London Unattached: https://www.london-unattached.com/pork-tenderloin-sauce-verte/

Rapid weekday supper – a herby aubergine and steak salad: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/steak-aubergine-salad


 

From my mini blog

Roasted garlic with olive oil and thyme: https://snigskitchen.tumblr.com/post/663149842474926080/do-you-think-we-roasted-too-much-garlic-for-two

My other writing

My 10 knowledge subject learning tips for students on the Bar Course, regardless of their provider (BVS, BTC and BPC). https://snigsclassroom.blogspot.com/2021/09/10-bar-course-knowledge-subject-tips.html


 

TV

Classic Albums: Gil Scott Heron “Pieces of a Man”

Soul Sisters at the BBC

Duran Duran at Isle of Wight Festival 2021

Film:

Parked

Music

Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

Buena Vista Social Club

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom


Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.  

Saturday, 28 August 2021

August 2021 favourites list

This month's photos are from a yarnbombing I found a few months ago. I loved the exuberance and cheeky creativity of them, so I photographed them all. Located near the garden centre in Catford, you can see where they got the inspiration for the knitted planters from! They seemed even more cheerful in the sunshine.

Some years ago street art was just dismissed as vandalism. But I think attitudes have shifted, and we see how they improve the urban environment. Guerrilla gardening with a touch of yarnbombing might just be the next level?

I hope you enjoy this month's list and photos.

Food writing and articles: 



What's in season in August? https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whats-in-season-august

Kavey on the subject of the intensely sour and utterly delectable taste of tamarind: https://www.kaveyeats.com/a-taste-for-tamarind

Chef share their cooking tips from choc chip cookies to roasted veggies and mashed potatoes: https://www.insider.com/chef-tips-for-recipes-everyone-should-know-how-to-make-2021-6


 

Nowadays beans and pulses are recognised as a healthy source of protein and fibre. But once upon a time, it was thought they induced lust and libido. https://www.historyextra.com/period/stuart/when-beans-were-the-food-of-lust/

We imagine Sylvia Plath hunched over her typewriter writing poems in her unique style. But she was also a keen cook who typed up her own recipes with great care on index cards. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/sylvia-plath-recipes


 

“Steakhouse butter” is a simple way of fancying up grilled or barbecued steak. Here’s how: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-steakhouse-butter-at-home-1847102251

Cooking tips which go beyond fixed recipes: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahloewentheil/best-cooking-tips-according-to-chefs

Kavey on the subject of the intensely sour and utterly delectable taste of tamarind: https://www.kaveyeats.com/a-taste-for-tamarind


 

Recipes:

Kala Channa (or black chick peas) have an ultra nutty flavour. Here’s a black chickpea hummus recipe to ring the changes: https://aahaaramonline.com/black-chickpea-hummus/

For my friends who are growing their own tomatoes, a puff pastry tomato tart with caramelised onions: https://frugalflexitarian.com/tomato-tart-with-puff-pastry/

Heidi Swanson’s Vaghareli Makai – while summery sweetcorn is abundant: https://highgatehillkitchen.com/2015/10/15/heidi-swansons-vaghareli-makai-makhaniya-lassi/

 



Korean inspired cheeseburgers, ginger lime chicken, salmon and couscous salad with cucumber-feta dressing, salad pizza with white beans and parmesan, and yo po mian (oil sprinked noodles) with pak choi: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/week-meal-ideas-summer-burger-b1856872.html

With lavender in bloom, you might want to make use of these fragrant and edible flowers: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/recipes/lavender-shortbread


 

Tacos Norteños with chunky guacamole: https://food52.com/recipes/86188-best-tacos-nortenos-recipe

Nigel Slater’s recipes for couscous with apricots and mint, and mozzarella with tomatoes and parmesan: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/aug/08/nigel-slaters-recipes-for-couscous-with-apricots-and-mozzarella-with-tomatoes

A “no knead” onion bread for home baking fans. https://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/2021/01/quick-no-knead-onion-bread-no-yeast.html

Film:

Stop Making Sense (Talking Heads)



TV:

Time

Ghosts (series 1, series 2, Christmas special)

Music:

Arlo Parks - Collapsed In Sunbeams

Thom Yorke – The Eraser 


Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.  

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

July 2021 Favourites list

 Dear Readers,

Please excuse me this month. For personal reasons which I don’t wish to elaborate upon, I won’t be sharing a summary of my thoughts this month, or any photos nor will I be sharing cultural recommendations.

However, I have not missed a monthly Favourites List since I started this feature in August 2012. So I hope you won’t mind a shortened effort for July 2021.

I hope you enjoy my selections and I look forward to sharing more with you next time. 


 

Food writing and articles:

What’s in season in July: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whats-in-season-july

The world's greatest food stores as chosen by FT readers. https://www.ft.com/content/6b2f235f-04ea-4d6a-9b09-710c69fc5fe5

A fascinating insight not only into the late great Anthony Bourdain, but also the forthcoming documentary "Roadrunner". https://www.gq.com/story/anthony-bourdain-morgan-neville-roadrunner-documentary

A brief history of frozen food, including that one true hero of the freezer - the frozen pea: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210701-the-hidden-history-of-the-peas-in-your-freezer

How to regrow spring onions: https://www.hungryhuy.com/regrow-green-onions/

How Italian food is so much more than what you find at Eataly. https://vittles.substack.com/p/italy-isnt-eataly

Pep up your instant noodles with this cooking hack – poach an egg in your instant ramen:

https://lifehacker.com/poach-an-egg-right-in-your-instant-ramen-1826540837

Hot toasted sandwiches with a myriad of amazing fillings for those of us still working from home (many are not suitable for the office kitchen!): https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/may/12/toast-haste-20-chefs-on-the-best-hot-sandwiches-to-make-in-a-hurry

Recipes:

Khageena, or spicy scrambled eggs, a recipe by Chef Asma Khan of Darjeeling Express: https://www.wsj.com/articles/spicy-scrambled-eggs-11624630016

Recipe for potato, red cabbage and roasted garlic salad. Because garlic is life! https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/recipes/potato-red-cabbage-and-roasted-garlic-salad

Garlic pepper butter prawns, a recipe from Ed Smith’s Crave, from @kavey at Kavey Eats: https://www.kaveyeats.com/garlic-pepper-butter-prawns

Chef Nisha Katona revives a classic - Chicken tikka masala: https://www.itv.com/thismorning/articles/nishas-friday-night-curry-a-golden-oldie

Erchen Chang’s Chinese noodle recipes for Dan dan and duck man mei: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jun/26/dan-dan-and-duck-man-mei-erchen-chang-chinese-noodle-recipes

Shakshuka with Merguez sausage: https://www.foodifancy.com/shakshuka-with-merguez-sausage

Gyudon (Japanese rice bowl), Yoshinoya style recipe: http://www.littlejapanmama.com/2011/11/yoshinoya-gyudon-recipe-beef.html

Roast miso aubergine (eggplant) “steaks” (vegan recipe): https://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/2021/06/roast-miso-aubergine-eggplant-steaks.html

Fruity lamb tagine with apricots and ras al hanout: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/fruity-lamb-tagine

Is ricotta on toast, which can be eaten in either sweet or savoury fashion, the new avocado toast? https://metro.co.uk/2021/07/14/ricotta-toast-is-tiktoks-latest-food-trend-try-these-three-recipes-14928442/

No knead foccacia for the home bakers out there: https://cookingwithayeh.com/no-knead-focaccia/#recipe

Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.