Archive for June 30th, 2010

June ’Meanderings’ …

All images ©’Meanderings through my Cookbook’

Pictured (top to bottom)
Chicken & Cashew Nuts
Eton Mess
Pork with Lime & Chilli
Cherry & Rosewater Pavlova Meringue Roulade 

100_2903 Chicken & Cashew Nut Stir Fry

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

This month I have been posting food with a taste of the Far East – sweet, sour, salty and/or spicy flavours, sometimes all in the same dish.  In particular, I have included my basic Chinese style stir fry method along with a Vietnamese style dish, which can be made with either duck or chicken.  There are also two recipes with a definite Far Eastern influence, although the wording of the original recipe did not connect them to a particular country.  All these recipes include one or more of the special flavours and ingredients commonly used in the region: among these are soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, star anise, creamed coconut and sesame oil.  

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Also posted this month are a selection of cold desserts for warm summer evenings.  I am planning to continue these into July with ice cream and sorbet recipes.  Three of these summer dessert recipes are fairly simple ones which are easily made so could be eaten at midweek meals.  The other dessert I have posted, however, is a truly sumptuous concoction which includes cherries, coconut and chewy pavlova style meringue filled with a rosewater flavoured cream.  A little more time consuming to prepare but delicious and ideal for a special occasion. 

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Over the past few weeks I have enjoyed watching recorded episodes of Food Safari, an Australian SBS TV programme presented by Maeve O’Meara, shown on the UK Good Food channel.  Each programme starts with a clear overview of the foods of a particular country, although it is just a taster as each episode is only 30 minutes long.  I particularly liked the initial section of each episode on the essential foods and flavours of each country.  Recipes are available on the website for many of the dishes demonstrated.  The downside, just a small one, was that alternative suggestions for unavailable ingredients were (obviously) for Australian consumers and therefore usually unheard of (and also unavailable) in the UK.  The episode on English food made me smile: a bit of an eye opener on how others see us, I suppose.  I am not sure it particularly represented what I serve and eat at home, but there were certainly a good selection of well known traditional dishes! 

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

My short holiday to Kent, in the far south-east of England, has come and gone.  The weather was scorching hot, so in the end all we wanted was simple food: salads, ice cream, a cream tea and fish and chips eaten outdoors, of course – the best way!   Recommended places to visit along the coast: Deal, Sandwich, Broadstairs and Whitstable.  Recommended places where we ate: The Piece Of Cake Tea Rooms, Strand St, Sandwich, where I enjoyed the shady yard and a delicious ham salad and The Kingfisher Fish & Chip Cafe, Margate Sea Front, for Cod with a lovely crisp batter, chips and mushy peas while watching the evening sun sink towards the sea.  

Monthly ‘Meanderings through the Blogosphere’  This is an idea I have developed from the weekly ‘Friday Favourites’  posted by Italian Mama Chef (who gave me a recommend – thank you, Michelle!), initiated by Life Without Pink.   I have, sort of, borrowed their idea, but made it my own!   I plan to share sites in this monthly review that I have discovered through comments, links on other sites, idle surfing, etc…  Some links will be recent discoveries: others I will have been watching for some time.  I plan to hightlight one food site from the UK, one from outside the UK plus something completely different, which may or may not have a food connection.  (I do have a life outside the kitchen after all!)   This month my three are:
UK foodie site … Gourmet Gorman  A fellow member of the UK Food Bloggers Association, Mike Gorman is a professional musician.  He is often on the road touring, yet he and his fellow musicians cleverly manage to avoid the obvious ‘greasy spoon’ type food options (Adventures…).   His cooking ideas when not on tour are good too: most recently spicy food (Prawn Dhansak – film) and stir fries (Sesame & chilli beef stir fry with … ).   (I play guitar – where can I sign up?!)
Non-UK foodie site … Global Table.  This is such a wonderful idea!  Sasha (from Oklahoma, USA) is cooking her way (and her family eating their way) through 195 countries one week at a time.  I really admire her commitment to this idea as well as the amount of research that she must have to do to cook and post each week. Each new country is introduced on a Tuesday, with a final round-up after the weekend feasting on the following Monday.  I have a personal interest in the food and cooking of other cultures and I am learning a great deal from this site.  I do hope we make it all the way to Zimbabwe (in about 3½ years).  At the time of writing it is Week 22 Botswana with, among other ideas, a recipe on how to prepare and eat loofah!
…and something else – St Luke’s in the High St.  Yes, its a church, but church with a difference.   An example of what happens when a church manages without a building, known as a ‘Fresh Expression of Church’.  Having been part of this venture I can, from experience, say it is an exciting way to serve our community albeit from a market stall/tent rather than from a conventional building.  If you live near London, E17, take a trip to Walthamstow Farmers’ Market (10am-2pm each Sunday) and see it for yourself!  (St Luke’s is one of the four churches of our parish – read more about the Parish of Walthamstow.) 

June Recipes

Chinese Style Stir Fries – Chicken & Cashew Nuts
Duck or Chicken Stewed in a Vietnamese Style Spiced Orange Sauce
Pork with Lime & Chilli
South Pacific Fish Stew 

Cherry & Rosewater Pavlova Meringue Roulade
Eton Mess
Fruit Compotes
Marmalade & Ginger Baked Bananas 

Previous Meanderings Revisited …
Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle (using coriander seed)
Eggs Flamenco
Roasted Lemon Chicken with Rosemary & Red Onion
Sweetcorn Pancake Fritters 

Read Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months   

‘For what we are about to receive…’ July 2010 and beyond

July Food Focus – Vegetarian Dishes & more summer desserts, in particular Ice Creams/Sorbet 

Recipe Book(s): 
…from my shelf – Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook; The Time to Eat Cookbook, by Sîan Davies; Ice Creams (published by Hamlyn); Making Ice Cream & Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow & Sara Lewis
…from the library – Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson 

July is a busy month, trying to tie up the odds and ends of life before enjoying our long Summer holiday – more about that in the next review…   

Happy Cooking & Eating!

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