Author Archives: Jonny Kaldor

About Jonny Kaldor

three kids, two days, one dad. no reason to eat rubbish.

For all you meat lovers…

It seems I’m getting into some sort of rhythm with DATW (it must suggest too much free time, which can’t be a good sign) so I’m going to try to keep the momentum going. I’m still a country mile away from the 500 views in one day that I set out to achieve back in January, but it’s been fun failing to get there.

Anyway – the other day my friend Eve told me that I should put up a few things for Christmas, which I think is a great idea. So I’m going to start with something that I did a few years ago and I think works really well in the lead-up to Christmas, or as an antidote to cold turkey. One thing though – you do need to have a lot of hefty meat eaters in the vicinity – this isn’t something you can get through on your own in a hurry…

Winter terrine with duck and chicken

This takes a little work, but it’s so good and certainly worth it if you’re a full-on carnivore.

Start with the duck, as this takes the longest time: take four duck legs, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then cook them in a warm oven (150c) for two hours covered in foil – this will essentially confit them, making them beautifully tender. Once done, pull the duck meat from the legs with your fingers – leaving them in little pieces, and put them aside.

While the duck is cooking, you can do the rest. Firstly, make the forcemeat (which helps bind the terrine while keeping the duck and chicken from drying out) by taking a bowl and putting in 500g good quality sausagemeat, a few chicken livers (chopped), two handfuls of white breadcrumbs, half a red chilli and two cloves of garlic, finely chopped, a good glug of olive oil, vermouth and brandy, an egg and a handful each of parsley and thyme along with 4 juniper berries ground down with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Next fry four chicken thighs (skin removed) in butter and oil until golden brown, and almost cooked, and as with the duck, remove them from the bone, cut into strips and set aside.

Now, take a rectangular loaf tin and line the bottom and sides with slices of good streaky bacon so that they will wrap around the terrine. Into the bottom of the tin put a layer of the forcemeat, then a layer of the duck (with some of the juices from the roasting tin, but not too much of the fat), then another layer of forcemeat, then a layer of the chicken thighs (again with their juices), then a final layer of forcemeat and then finally wrap around the edges of the bacon strips. now press it all down and place foil over the top.

Cook the terrine in a bain marie (roasting tin half filled with water) in a warm oven (160c) for 2 hours. Then take it out and let it cool fully before putting it in the fridge. There are loads of juices in there which will set into a lovely jelly, but you have to let them cool fully – I made the mistake of taking the terrine out too soon and they went everywhere – precious precious juices…

That’s it – take the terrine out of the tin and serve with a really good chutney, bread, salad, cheese, etc.

(by the way, If you wish, you can substitute the chicken and duck for any game you like – rabbit, pheasant, partridge etc)

Chilli fig chutney

I did this is Spain earlier in the year with figs from my mothers garden and it goes perfectly with cheese and cold meats and especially the terrine. Start by cutting about 20 figs into quarters, or eighths (keeping the skins on). Then take two large onions, five cloves of garlic, an inch of fresh ginger and a whole red chilli (or two if you’re in a dangerous mood), chop them and fry them just for a few minutes in olive oil. Put them in a saucepan with the figs along with about 200-300g sugar, 500ml of red wine vinegar, seasoning and a sprinkling of (freshly) ground coriander and cumin seeds. Let it boil away for 5-7 minutes until the figs are just cooked, then remove the figs and continue to reduce the liquid for another 10 minutes or so, until it takes on the thickness of double cream. While you’re doing this, taste the liquid and adjust for sweetness and seasoning. Replace the figs, and then decant the whole lot into sterilised jars. You can use it pretty much straight away, but of course it gets better with age.

An attempt at healthy biscuits

Whilst I think being single is healthy on so many levels, I’m starting to wonder whether there is something about living alone that makes me eat and drink far less healthily than I should. Firstly, I’m out more, which needless to say leads to eating and drinking in quantities that I’d like not to think about. But also, when I’m at home I tend to wander between the living room and the fridge, substituting my desire to constantly spew forth banalities with other ways of keeping my mouth full – the most popular of which I’ve found to be stuffing food into it (to be honest I’m not sure there are many other options but I’m open to suggestions).

And so it was that I came upon the novel idea of making biscuits that would fill said mouth while maintaining some sense of healthiness and still, hopefully, tasting rather good.

Chocolate chip ginger oat biscuits

I’ve never been very good with measuring quantities, so every time I’ve made these, they have been slightly different. I think the key is just to get a good balance between sweetness (syrup & honey), ballast (flour & oats), moisture (oil or butter) and interesting bits (chocolate chips & raisins).

Anyway – start with a mixing bowl, into which you put the following: at least two inches of fresh ginger, grated finely (more if you like it spicy), a handful of raisins, 100g of green and blacks dark chocolate broken into little pieces (before you open the pack, smash it a few times on the kitchen counter – that should do it), three handfuls of organic porridge oats and one of plain flour. Now add four tablespoons of honey, a tablespoon of syrup and a few good glugs of sunflower oil (this is me trying to be healthy by avoiding butter, which to be honest would probably taste much better, but as the whole point of this was to be healthy, bear with me and use oil (or ignore me completely and substitute for butter, then tell me how much better yours are than mine). Thinking about it, you could use a little butter and a little oil. You decide. Mix it all together well (I use a kitchen aid mixer at this point).

Now this is where you come in – what you are looking for is a moist but not too sticky biscuit dough that comes together in your hands in one big ball. It should also taste good, so this is the time to add more honey/sugar/syrup/oats/oil to get the flavour and consistency you prefer.

Once you have it, flour a suface, roll out the dough to 8mm thickness (I think the ones in the photo are a little too thick), and cut into biscuits. Bake in the overn at 180c for about 10 minutes, but keep your eye on them – they are inedible if you overcook them. They should go golden brown but still be a little soft when they are done. They’ll continue to harden once you take them out. And be careful of the burning hot melted chocolate when you put them on the cooling rack. If you like, sprinkle a little caster sugar on top of them while they’re still hot.

Once cooled, they are like a cross between a flap jack and a chocolate cookie. But without the butter. So they’re healthy. Kind of.

Brunch. Like you wouldn’t believe

When Kiliaen told me he was going to take me to brunch with his two recently married (and lovely, as it turns out) friends, I was expecting what any normal person would expect in the circumstances. Classic New York brunch – leather sofas, newspapers, eggs benedict, one or two cheeky bloody marys and back home in time to relax before the onslaught of another night out with Kiliaen – which, if you know him, is a thing to be taken lightly at your peril.

And so it was that the four of us arrive at Lavo at 2.30 in the afternoon, ready for a civilised, grown up and relaxed brunch. But rather than being greeted by a neatly pressed waiter in a white apron, Kiliaen is approached and hugged by two big guys who pull aside the purple velvet rope that’s holding back a line of about 45 twenty-somethings dressed not entirely differently to a group of girls out on the town in Blackpool on a Friday November evening (but being New Yorkers, they were of course beautiful, and not falling over and vomiting in the gutter).

And then we enter. It’s a restaurant. And if the lights were up, I suppose there’s a chance that people might have been sitting there quietly enjoying their coffees and the Wall Street Journal (sorry, still have my allegiances). But the lights aren’t up. There are no papers. There is no coffee. It’s basically a club. With food. Tables. Music. Lights. Whistles. People dancing on tables. Champagne buckets being flung around with dry ice billowing down onto the the beautifully manicured hands of the frighteningly pretty waitresses.

So we go to our table, drink too many bloody marys, eat too many oysters, just about manage to chat to each other, eat more fantastic food, narrowly avoid dancing on the tables, ammo fails to avoid having something rather sharp thrown at him from a distant table, Kiliaen gets the table thrown out and we have the best time I have had in far too long. It’s only after all this that we try to play tennis. Bad idea.

There are other things to say. But not here sadly. And thanks Kiliaen.

Not sure there’s a recipe in here, except to say that the next time you have oysters, make sure you have a bloody mary in your hand (and if at all possible, make sure you’re in Lavo while you’re eating and drinking them).

Daube (beef stew to you)

My god I think I’m getting old. I just started writing “it’s that time of year again…”, which I’m sure is the sort of thing I used to think old people said, along with “it’s a bit nippy” and “why did I come in here again?”, not to mention*, and this really is the worst, mixing up the names of the kids. I remember how irksome it was when my parents did it to me (and I had two sisters, imagine the embarrassment) but now I’m doing it myself. Put me down now please.

But it is though isn’t it? It’s the time of year when you’re allowed to start eating buttery, creamy, oily, salty, rich food that is, for the rest of the year, deemed too unhealthy. And I’ve been wanting to do this one for ages – it’s the perfect meal for a weekend lunch in winter. And it goes so well with the cabbage I did the other day.

Daube

Start by flouring the beef (use stewing or braising steak) and frying it in in small batches in a hot pan with olive oil. Make sure the meat is nicely caramelised before you put it into a large casserole. Then take a couple of handfuls of shallots and fry them gently with 4-5 roughly chopped cloves of garlic, followed by (if you like) a few handfuls of chestnut mushrooms each cut in half. Put these into the casserole and then deglaze the pan with a glass of French red wine – preferably from provence, but it’s not that important. Now pour in the rest of the bottle (not taking a cheeky little glass because you’re oh so naughty, unless of course you’re a mediocre celebrity chef).

Now all you have to is add fresh herbs – I’d go for bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme and some seasoning – only a tiny bit of salt right now – you don’t want to dry out the beef.

Put the lid on the casserole and put it in a low oven (150c) for 2.5 hours. The picture below is before it went into the oven.

Once the daube is ready, make sure you season it to taste before you serve – it will certainly need salt.

Now, there are loads of things you can serve this with. When we used to eat it in France they would serve it with a bowl of buttery penne with a few sprigs of parsley thrown on top – which was lovely. You can also go with mashed potato (with sweet potato and plenty of butter, milk, cream, grainy mustard and seasoning). Of course, the cabbage is a must if you go with the spud option…Or even red cabbage…

Whatever you do with it – they’re going to love it. And, as ever, you’ll get loads of leftovers to keep you going for the rest of the week…

OK – I realise it’s somewhat reminiscent of dog food in the picture, but please trust me, it takes really good…

 

*I think “not to mention” is probably one too, no?

Embrace the cabbage

Cabbage is often misunderstood. People see it as the Pat Sharpe of the vegetable world – outdated, with no taste and to be avoided at all costs. Now that may be true of the mullet-sporting, back-stabbing (apparently) amateur DJ (who one of my ex-closest chums likened me to the other day – note the ex), but it certainly isn’t the case when it comes to that lovely round green bundle of crunchy sweetness that I have come to love more and more over the last few years.

As with most food, it’s simply a matter of what you do with it that will mean the difference between you offering your friends a pile of vomitous mess and the most beautiful mouthful of goodness they have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

So, here are two ways I’ve used it over the last few weeks – both of which I wholeheartedly recommend you try…

Coleslaw – really decent coleslaw. nothing like the crap from Tesco

This is so easy. all you have to do is finely chop a spring cabbage (see pic above), a fresh red chilli (with the seeds removed) and few spring onions along with a few grated carrots and a handful of raisins. You can also throw in a few cashews if you like. Now you have a choice: You can either go East by adding sesame oil, soy sauce and a little rice vinegar, or you can stay in Europe and go with olive oil, red wine vinegar and plenty of salt and pepper. Either way it’s fantastic with chicken, lamb and pork, and works really well in a wrap with any of the above.

Braised spring cabbage

This is even easier, and it takes no more than a few minutes…

As above, finely chop a spring cabbage and put it into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Leave it for no more than 2 minutes and then drain it in a sieve and put it back into the saucepan with fresh cold water. drain again and put back into the pan again with freash cold water, so that the cabbage stops cooking completely.

Now leave it until a few minutes before you want to eat, at which point you drain the cabbage and put it to one side, put a big knob of butter in the pan with a couple of finely chopped cloves of garlic and let them soften for a few seconds before putting the cabbage back in and gently cooking in the butter for about 3-4 minutes until it’s warmed through, then season generously. That’s it. Nothing more to see here folks…

If you ever cook a beef stew (see my next post) then you must, must, must have this with it. Consider yourself told.

The Week, Enfield and Lasagne

We did it. We finally did it.
Kerin, Alex, Paul, Tim, Matt, Michael, Xandie, Paul, Harry, Jon, James, William, Carlos, Clare, Laura, pugpig and many others worked together for 5 months to develop something beautiful and truly unique. And so there we were at the launch party, glass of champagne in one hand, phone In the other, talking to Apple in the US and making the last few adjustments before Alex was able to hit the button, bringing our little baby, neither kicking nor screaming, into the app world. This was a good week indeed. If you have an iPad go and check it out. Download it. Read it. Rate it 5 stars on the App Store.

And now I sit here on a beautiful Saturday morning in Enfield and realise how much I love living here. It’s a little surprise in the North of London – with Tottenham and Edmonton on one side and the M25 on the other, you’d be forgiven for expecting it to resemble an inner city warzone packed with hooded youths stalking the streets (actually, one Sunday night a few months ago that’s exactly what it resembled). But in fact it’s rather leafy. Went for a run this morning and within a few minutes I found myself in the midst of fields and views of the London skyline – Hampstead eat your heart out…

Anyway, I suppose I better do something foodie. I took a photo of this a few days ago after cooking it for the shorts and thinking I’d add it to a post I had written earlier. As it turns out, I hadn’t written about it, so here goes:

Lasagne

I know it’s an easy one and everyone knows it well, but I’m going to quickly do this, just for the record. Please, please, please do not use Delia Smith’s recipe – if I remember correctly, for some bizarre reason she puts chicken livers and bacon in hers – nutter.

So there are two things to do – the ragu and the bechamel. Start with the ragu –
Take 500g of beef mince and fry in batches until it caramelises and then stick it in a large saucepan with a tin of chopped tomatoes (and a little extra water). Now gently fry a finely chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic in olive oil and again add to the saucepan. Deglaze the frying pan with a glass of red wine, and into the saucepan with it. Now season with salt and pepper and and a big handful of finely chopped fresh basil and/or oregano.

Now make the bechamel. in another saucepan melt a large knob of butter (25g) and add four tablespoons of plain flour, mixing it well, Gradually add milk constantly stirring until you have a thick smooth paste. Now, keeping it on the heat, add more milk and single cream until you have the consistency of thick double cream (as you cook it, it will get thicker). grate in a third of a nutmeg and again season with salt and pepper. The sauce should taste rich and creamy.

Now assemble the dish. Start with a very thin layer of ragu, then the bechamel, then a layer of lasagne sheets, then ragu, bechamel, lasagne, ragu, bechamel… you’re done. If you like, grate parmesan on the top.

You can now leave this as long as you like in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, stick it in the oven preheated to 180c, leave it for 40 mins, get it out and eat it…

Random tortes

We’re a week away from launching The Week. James Murdoch has just been labelled the only mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise (you may think me biased but Tom Watson really is a nasty, chippy little man – is it possible to be any more bitter?). Oscar just had his 11th birthday party. Frankie cockosa was just thrown out of the X factor in a last-ditch attempt by the producers to bring a grain of intrigue into a programme that would be more compelling if the entire roster of artists were replaced with a selection of week-old cow pats. Geeks around the world have just celebrated the fact that 111111×111111=12345654321 (including me). Siri can’t tell the time in Enfield – can it do anything? I have the shorts with me (upstairs) and I’m reminded of a really good pudding that Immie and I made together a few weeks ago –

Chilli chocolate torte

The chilli works really well in this recipe – it gives it a depth and intensity that really appeals to me. I thoroughly recommend giving it a try – embrace the heat…

Start by greasing a loose bottomed cake tin (about 10cm in diameter) and lining the bottom with greaseproof paper. Now for the base – I’m not sure I have this completely right yet, so I’ll update this bit when have the best bottom, but so far two options: One is to finely crush amaretti biscuits and the other is to use galettes au buerre. The key is to get a rich, crispy base that will give the torte a little crunch. You need just enough for a base of about 1.5mm, no more. Next time I’m going to add a little melted butter too so that it binds together. Spread the crushed biscuits evenly on the base of the tin and put it in the fridge.

Now break up 100g of Green and Blacks milk chocolate and 100g of a good 70% cocoa dark chocolate into a bowl above very gently simmering water along with two tablespoons of dark rum, a small fresh medium hot red chilli, very finely chopped (with all the seeds removed) and three teaspoons of liquid glucose. Turn off the hob so that the bowl doesn’t get too hot – the latent heat from the steam in the pan will be enough to melt the chocolate.

Whip about 300ml of double cream into soft peaks. Take a large spoonful of the cream and mix it gently into the melted chocolate (make sure the bottom of the melting bowl isn’t too hot at this point – if it is, you can dip it into cold water) – this will loosen it a little so that you can now very carefully fold the remainder of the cream into the mixture, ensuring mix the cream and chocolate thoroughly (best done with a large metal serving spoon).

Now pour the chocolate over the top of the base, smooth the top with a knife and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Before serving you can either dust it with cocoa powder, or grate more chocolate over the top (I prefer the latter). Oh and make sure you take it out of the tin before you do this – I find removing the torte from the edges of the tin, turning it upside down onto a plate, lifting the tin base and baking paper from the bottom of the torte, putting your serving plate on top of the upturned torte and then flipping the whole thing back the right way around is the best approach. Hope that didn’t sound too confusing.

Serve with single cream and eat with gusto…

 

What’s your beef?

I’m not an idiot. And I know that the vast majority of Hindus do not eat beef. I know that. And I can’t ever remember having beef curry anywhere outside South East Asia (or possibly, in the very distant past of 1970s Lytham St Annes, out of a tin), but that doesn’t mean that it’s not allowed. Or indeed that it, in fact, cannot be a tantalisingly delicious dish. Because, as it turns out, it can – here’s how –

Curry with Beef

Start by putting the following into a dry frying pan: two teaspoons of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon bark and a couple of cardamom pods and warm them up, then pound them with salt (not too much just yet – you don’t want to dry out the beef) and pepper corns and put them into a large casserole with a tin of chopped tomatoes and swoosh the tin out with a little water – into the casserole also.

Now cover about 500g of chunkily cut stewing steak with a little flour and seasoning and fry them in batches in the same frying pan until they are brown all over. Not to ‘seal’ them, but to caramelise the sugars in the beef thus bringing out more flavour (I mean really – what does sealing mean? Come on people – It’s time to destroy the fallacy of the scientific chef – do you honestly believe Heston Blumenthal got better than a C at O’ Level chemistry?)

Next, take four fresh red chillies, a large onion and 6 cloves of garlic, chop them all finely and fry them gently in oil and butter and add the spices. Next, into a liquidiser pour a big handful of raw cashews and enough milk to allow them to blend into something like a smoothie. blend them. Into something like a smoothie. Put it all in the casserole along with a handful of chopped fresh coriander and a tablespoon of turmeric, and put the casserole with its lid on in the oven at 150c for at least 2 hours.

Now, when you want to eat, make some of this brilliant rice (you can follow the same recipe but only cook for 15 mins if you prefer, the 40 mins is only if you want a crunchy bottom).

5 minutes before the rice is ready, take the casserole out, pour in 150-200ml of double cream and another handful of chopped fresh coriander into it and put it back in the oven.

That’s it. really really good. And even better on day two…