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Monthly Archives: February 2009

  • Sweet and spicy beef and pork pie

    Another recipe from our cookbook that didn't get a proper photograph. This is not your usual meat pie. It is rich, sweet and spicy, and looks impressive yet rustic when served whole at the table. Take it on a picnic or serve warm with a salad of mixed bitter leaves. Serves 6-8 550g shortcrust pastry Vegetable oil for brushing the tin 50g pine nuts 8 tbsp olive oil 400g mince beef 400g sausage meat 3 tbsp tomato purée 2 tsp sugar 2 tsp salt 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper 1 tbsp dried mint 2 tsp ground allspice (pimento) 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp sweet paprika ½ tsp cayenne pepper or dried chilli flakes 2 onions, thinly sliced 7 free-range eggs 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley 1. Lightly oil a 22-24cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry 2-3mm thick and line the base neatly, allowing the pastry to spill over the edge by at least 2cm. This excess will be trimmed later. Score the base with a fork in a few places. Rest the tart case in the fridge for at least half an hour. 2. Heat the oven to 170ºC/ Gas Mark 3. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper greater in diameter than the base plus the sides of the tart case. Tuck it inside the tart case and fill up with dried beans or rice. Bake the case blind for 35 minutes, take the beans out (keep for similar use in the future) and cook for further 5-10 minutes, until light golden and thoroughly cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 3. Alongside the baking case you can also toast the pine nuts. Scatter them on a separate tray and leave in the oven for 8 minutes or until they go golden. 4. To make the filling, heat up half the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the beef, break it down with a fork and cook it on a high flame for a few minutes to get some colour. Add the pork meat, mix well with your fork and keep on cooking on medium heat for 15 minutes or until golden. Stir in the tomato purée and sugar and cook for another 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, mint and all the spices. Cook for a further 10 minutes over low heat. 5. In the meantime, fry the onions in a separate pan with the remaining olive oil until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain out most of the oil and add the onion to the cooked meat. Also add the pine nuts and taste for salt and pepper. 6. Heat the oven to 190ºC/Gas mark 5. To assemble the tart, spoon half of the hot meat mix into the pastry case. Make some shallow holes in the mixture, break 3 eggs, one by on, and pour them into the holes. Using a wooden spoon, stir the eggs gently in the meat – just enough to disperse them a little, while keeping areas with more egg and maintaining some distinction between white and yolk. Spoon the rest of the meat on top, create some gaps and holes in it and break in the rest of the eggs dispersing them as before. 7. Put the pie in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. If the top begins to darken cover it with foil for the remaining cooking period. 8. Once ready, remove from the oven, break off the excess pastry with your hands and take the pie out of its tine. Serve hot or warm, garnished with parsley.
  • Dose

    James Phillips, a Kiwi, a coffee aficionado and an ex-shift manager at Ottolenghi Islington, has just opened Dose, a lovely and personal coffee shop near the Barbican. I went there with Basia a couple of weeks ago to wish Jimi and Marketa, also an Ottolenghi person (she is still with us, luckily!), lots of luck with their new venture and taste Jimi's incredible coffee. Dose is the sort of place that London misses terribly but is so common in Australia and New Zealand, an independent food or drink outlet where individual entrepreneurial spirit and love of anything food related is written on the walls. Jimi would talk to anyone who walks in about his love affair with coffee, about espresso as an artisanal craft, about embracing coffee as seriously as wine. Mind, it is a small place and does mostly take-away. The coffee at Dose is supplied by Square Mile Roasters, a London based company that supplies our Islington branch. Their coffee is ethically sourced, carefully roasted and delivered in reusable buckets. Their blend changes with the seasons to ensure that it is always fresh and representative of the best coffees around. You can also get some home-made sandwiches at Dose and little sweet bites to go with the delicious coffee. Jimi with his girlfriend Helen
  • Autumn '09 cooking classes

    Hurry up and and sign up for our next set of hands-on cookery classes. To do this, please call or email Leiths on 020 8749 6400 or info@leiths.com. A class costs £125. The spring classes are all full now but you should be able to find places on the following dates: September 5th Lamb kebabs with pine nuts, tahini sauce, warm butter and parsley Roasted potato wedges with paprika and garlic Tomato and cucumber salad with quinoa, lemon, coriander and spring onion Fresh berries with orange blossom cream October 17th Mezze Roasted aubergine with a sharp salsa of walnut, pomegranate and coriander Fried sweet potato with rosemary and sage Butterbean mash with lemon juice, garlic, spring onion and sumac Char-grilled courgette with balsamic vinegar reduction, basil and caprini freschi Roasted red peppers with garlic, lemon and fresh oregano November 14th Salsify, pecorino and watercress salad with caper vinaigrette Whole pan-fried red mullet Bulgur and cauliflower tabbouleh with red onion, pomegranate, celery, lemon and sweet spices Poached quince with star anise, blackberries and vanilla ice-cream December 5th Whole quail stuffed with pork, pine nuts and herbs, braised with dried apricots and tamarind Saffron couscous with butter and chervil Kohlrabi and white cabbage slaw with lemon zest, tarragon, dill and sesame seeds Baked pears in white wine and cardamom, served with crème fraiche

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