Cooking Without a Kitchen Launches!

The countdown has begun, it’s official, my book will be in physical, published and purchasable form ready for the London Art Book Fair next week!

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It is my first cookery book and it is called “Cooking Without A Kitchen”. Comprised of 20 recipes for dishes you can create without setting foot in a kitchen. The original idea was born out of too many business trips resulting in awkward dinners in hotel restaurants. I wanted to cook for myself, to unwind at end of the day. So, I set about creating meals in my room which were tasty, easy and didn’t make a mess or set off the hotel sprinkler system!

The idea grew to many more scenarios where you need to cook but can’t access basic kitchen equipment like an oven, hob or even microwave.

If you would like to find out more please visit the website of Pedestrian Publishing who are not only responsible for the publishing but all of the design as well; like the fantastic cover designed by Nina Vlotides and made from a hand screen printed tea towel!

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I would also be honoured if you would like to pop along to the London Art Book Fair where it first goes on sale. I shall be there at the opening event on Thursday 12th of September, 6pm at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. It would be fantastic to meet fellow bloggers and readers.

If you can’t make it then don’t fret, the book will be on sale via Pedestrian Publishing and I will post information here and on my Facebook page when it goes live.

But for a little taster of what’s to come I have created exclusive recipes for a cocktail and a canapé which you could whip up away from your kitchen. The following recipes do not appear in the book or anywhere else, they’re just for my smashing blog readers without whom none of this would have been possible. Cheers! Xxx

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Canapé: Cinnamon Bagel with Goats cheese and Berries.
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon of blackcurrant jam
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
1 raisin and cinnamon bagel
Small piece of soft goats cheese (approx 50g)
Handful of fresh blueberries
Few fresh mint leaves

Kit:
2 Teaspoons
Scissors
Grease proof baking paper
Iron & ironing board*
Small bowl
Plate or board for serving

Method:
1. Mix the blackcurrant jam and balsamic vinegar together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Split the bagel in half using the scissors (you can use a knife or fancy bagel slicer but I prefer to carry scissors instead of knives if I’m out and about)
3. Lay the 2 bagel halves out side by side on a large piece of grease proof baking paper. Fold the paper over and seal with folds to make a parcel.
4. Heat the iron to its hottest setting and when it is up to temperature gently iron the parcel for around 5 minutes each side. This will warm the bagel halves and very lightly toast them.
5. Turn off the iron and open the parcel carefully. Use a tea towel to protect your hands as it will be hot. When the bagel is cool enough to handle cut each half into 8 pieces using the scissors.
6. Break the goats cheese into small chunks and use to top each of the bagel pieces.
7. Drizzle each canapé with a little of the jam and balsamic mixture and top with a blueberry.
8. Snip the mint leaves up into fine shreds and sprinkle over all of the canapés to serve. Enjoy immediately.

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Cocktail: Ice-lolly Fizz!
This is a sweet and silly cocktail which allows you to make something chilled and fizzy without a fridge or freezer (just need an ice cream van or a newsagents!)
Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of elderflower liqueur
1 fruit ice lolly (pineapple or lemon works best, not ice cream based ones)
Small bottle of sparkling wine such as cava, prosecco or champagne
2 sprigs of fresh mint

Kit:
2 champagne flutes, or plastic/paper cups if you’re outdoors
Tablespoon

Method:
1. Put one tablespoon of elderflower liqueur in each glass
2. Break up the ice lollies and put the pieces into each glass then top up with sparkling wine.
3. Garnish with the mint sprigs and the lolly sticks for stirrers and serve.

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* in this recipe I used an iron to toast the bagel but you can of course use a conventional toaster instead. If you do decide to use the iron you do so at your own risk and please note that using electrical equipment in a way other than which it was intended may invalidate and guarantee or warrantee you have on the product. Please also check with the owner of the iron and ironing board before you get cooking. Xxx

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The Revenger’s Tragedy

So while I was on holiday in Herefordshire over the Summer I got a text message from the associate director at the Leicester Curve Theatre, and good chum, Suba Das (check me out with my glamorous friends!) asking me to come up with a bespoke cocktail for his next production; The Revenger’s Tragedy.

Of course I said YES!!! I really need very little excuse to get out the cocktail shaker 😉

He put me in touch with his production team and designers and that’s when the brief started to take some serious (and rather restrictive) shape. They wanted:

  • A new cocktail recipe
  • Must be Edwardian in style
  • Needs an element of “theatre” or “process” to it (but not too much as it might not be served by professional mixologists)
  • Quick to prepare at the interval as all the customers could arrive at once
  • There’s no freezer on site so ice is a no, no

Right….

I went away, got slightly obsessed by trying to add grapefruit juice to many things, none of which worked.

Then, on a whim I turned my attention to the ingredients list from a bottle of fentiman’s rose lemonade. The packaging looks fairly Edwardian…ish and I checked in some of my more ancient cookery books that rose would have been used as a flavouring a century ago and it all seemed rather plausible. Rose lemonade is delicious and it inspired me to add ginger to the mix – as the ginger cuts through any soapiness you might get from the rose but equally the rose takes a little of the harshness from the ginger. I just hoped that I could make something similar (and obviously boozier!)

I was still keen on using the grapefruit juice simply because it was pink as I figured anything rose flavoured should be pink…except it really didn’t taste brilliant and I was still struggling to find anything theatrical apart from using a cocktail shaker, and that was out as it would have been too complicated. Aaagh!

CHAMBORD!!! of course. How could I forget this?! I’d been offered some in a glass of prosecco one Christmas and not only is it delicious but who could resist the perfume like bottle with gold band and sparkly cap – not me! Chambord (a black raspberry liqueur from France) luckily sinks nicely to the bottom of the glass to give a beautiful pink gradient – much better than the grapefruit juice and it worked really well with the rose! Success at last – it only took a month!

The Gloriana

It’s called The Gloriana after the murdered wife of the main character, the revenger, Vindice.

1 measure of Gin

1 tsp of Rosewater

4 measures of Ginger Beer

1/2 measure of Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)

Make sure all the ingredients are chilled before making this or slide in a couple of ice cubes a the end.

1) Pour the Gin into the glass

2) Stir in the Rosewater

3) Add the Ginger Beer

4) Slowly add the Chambord – don’t stir, let it sink, Serve!

My cocktail is now on sale at the interval in a purpose built Edwardian style bar, complete with an Edwardian barmaid! You can purchase a Gloriana during performances of The Revenger’s Tragedy at Hoxton Hall (10th of October – 10th of November).

 

This play is pretty gruesome so it’s perfect for Halloween – grab a ticket here. Or if you can’t get to London you’ll just have to dig out those cocktail glasses and stir up a couple of Gloriana’s at home.

x

 

Adventures in Canapés

I think a good canapé should look and taste delicious but equally your guests need to know they will be able to actually pick the thing up!

You shouldn’t need to use your hand like a claw from a fairground toy-grabbing machine just to avoid the very real danger of the base of the canapé sliding to the floor whilst the topping collides with your eveningwear! Many a lapel has fallen foul of a blob of rogue hollandaise! (true story!)

Canapés are ace when done well (and structurally sound), and I love them because they are a great way to feed people who are going to be moving around a lot! Together with my business partner Bradley Taylor; we are going to be hosting themed pop-up cabaret nights in London. We are very keen to have our events centred around food to help bring together the theme and make everyone feel welcome.

Because canapés are small you can have real fun with the flavours and reinvent classics to fit your theme. Pastry or mini pancakes make great bases so why not try adding additional flavours to the mix. Add fresh dill to blini batter before frying and top with sour cream and salmon or Bradley’s creation of cooked prawns mixed with chilli jam and fresh rocket – delicious!

Canapés don’t just need to be reserved for parties or events; a plate of three of four would make an elegant starter for a special meal and many can be prepared in advance.

Mini Sweet potato & cardamom patties

We’re making sweet potato patties for our first big event so we’ve put mild curry powder into the pastry to give it a subtle spicy flavour and a lovely yellow colour (Makes around 25)

For the Pastry

200g plain flour

100g of butter

2 tablespoons of mild/medium curry powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

cold water

1 egg beaten

For the filling

1 small sweet potato (around 150-200g)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of ground cardamom

1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder

1 small red onion finely diced

1 red pepper finely diced

100g of sweetcorn

50g of peas

1 teaspoon of honey

Start by making the filling:

1) Peel and chop the sweet potato into large chunks and boil for around 10 minutes or until soft. Drain, mash and set aside.

2) Next, heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the cardamom and the chilli powder

3) When the mixture starts to sizzle add the onion and red pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to soften slowly until the onion starts to be come translucent but not brown.

4) Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes, sweetcorn, peas and honey. Keep stirring until everything is thoroughly combined and the honey has melted into the mix.

5) Take the filling off the heat and set aside whilst you make the pastry.

6) Rub the butter, flour and spices together in a bowl until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs

7) Add a pinch of salt then gradually add the water – only add just enough to bring it together to form a firm and smooth dough (so just add it a dessertspoonful at a time and knead gently as you go).

8) Wrap it in cling film and rest the pastry in the fridge for around 30 minutes

9) Once rested roll out to around 1 or 2mm thick and cut into circles with a straight or fluted round pastry cutter.

10) Brush one side of each circle with beaten egg

11) Place ½ teaspoonfuls of the filling mixture onto one half of each pastry circle and then fold the opposite side over to cover it and enclose the filling into half circle shaped patties.

12) Press to seal and then use a fork to make small indentations along one side (this helps secure the seal and looks good too)

13) Repeat until all the pastry is used and brush all the patties with the rest of the egg wash.

14) Bake at 200°C for around 10 minutes.

15) Serve cold on their own or warm with a red pepper sauce or a yoghurt dip.

(If you have any of the filling mixture left – it makes a great side dish with grilled or barbecued chicken)

Grilled pineapple with lime and coriander

Canapés don’t have to be tricky either – this grilled pineapple number is a cinch but has wonderful flavour – if you can grab some of those fancy bamboo skewers they’ll look extra special. (Makes around 50)

1) Mix the juice of 1 lime with a small bunch of fresh coriander which has been finely chopped. Add half a teaspoon of ground black pepper and set aside.

2) Peel, core and cut 1 fresh pineapple into chunks. Place on a baking tray and the pineapple pieces until they start to caramelise at the edges.

3) Take the tray out from under the grill and immediately pour over the lime and coriander mixture and toss the pineapple gently so it gets well coated in the dressing.

Serve warm or cold on sticks or bamboo skewers.

The recipes in this post are taken from the menu at our “A Tropical Storm” event taking place on the 4th of October at Caipirinha Bar in Highgate – a night of Music, Drama, Comedy and Canapés. Caipirinha is known for it’s great cocktails but we’ll be adding one or two of our own to their menu on the night too, like this Lychee Bellini:

Lychee Bellini

1) Place a whole sprig of fresh mint into a champagne flute.

2) Fill up halfway with Rubicon lychee juice drink

3) Top with prosecco and serve.

It would be wonderful to see you all next Thursday at A Tropical Storm

For more details on our pop-up events venture Taylor & Nice visit our website, come see us on facebook or join in on twitter

xxx