Category: Kitchen

4

Potatoes – the whole sorry story…

Tinned potatoes in my pantry Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I do not like potatoes. I am not a fan of the mashed potato, nor do I like boiled potatoes, potato cakes, potato croquettes, potato salad, baked potatoes or potato gratin. I avoid any dish which involves the word aloo in Indian restaurants and I don’t like potatoes even if they are disguised as Shepherds Pie or hash browns or slipped into a soup or stew. In short, you may say, that I detest the common spud. The only two potato-based products that I do eat are chips, not wedges (too potato-y), and crisps, preferably Tayto Cheese & Onion, although I also have a sneaking, if unpatriotic, fondness for Walkers Ready Salted crisps.

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Eat Local Challenge: Your daily bread

Bread is very important to me. I love it fresh, I love it stale and ready for toasting, l love it with cheese, I love it in particular – fresh or toasted – with good salty butter. I love the way it mops up your plate after you’ve had a particularly tasty tomato pasta dish. I love the yeasty smell from the breadmaker as it cooks yet another loaf of homemade bread. I love making my own Brown Soda Bread and, most importantly, eating it. In short, I can’t fathom a life without bread. That was why it was so important, after I moved to Christchurch – before the coming of the breadmaker – to find a local source of decent bread. The only time I ever use slice pan or a sliced loaf from the supermarket is when I’m temping and need something quick and easy to make my sandwiches for lunch. But it’s not something that I’d chose as part of my normal daily life.

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Peas, beans, lentils and other useful things

I’ve always been a lover of peas, beans and lentils – things that are cheap and can be turned into something delicious without too much effort. But, in Ireland, a hectic schedule prevented me from really getting involved with these in their dried form. Instead I had to content myself with their tinned equivalents which, although not hugely expensive, do prevent you from using them with too much abandon. Since coming to New Zealand, however, and discovering that dried peas, beans and lentils are readily available through the Bin Inn chain and also through the self-serve bins in all supermarkets, I’ve been putting them to good use.

2

Chocolate and chilli: Mexican Hot Chocolate

Ibarra Mexican Chocolate I think that my interest in the Mexican combination of chocolate and chilli may have been originally sparked from watching the film adaptation of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water For Chocolate in college. The fire of chilli and the dark richness of chocolate seems, to me, to be a rather good combination. The Chocolate and Chilli Biscotti I picked up recently to accompany my flat white (coffee) at the Underground Coffee Company Café in Christchurch was a good example of this and put my mind musing over other ways I could use chocolate and chilli together.

4

Red Onion Marmalade

Red Onion Marmalade Being flat stony broke these days, I like to try and bring my lunch to work with me rather than be dependent on cafés. Sometimes the lunch is leftovers from dinner the night – rice or pasta with some kind of sauce – but other days I am forced to rely on sandwiches.

0

Mainly Moroccan: Ras el Hanout

If you’ve ever seen photos of Morocco, you’ll be familiar with the piles of vividly coloured spices in the market places. My one-time housemate, on a trip to Morocco a long time ago, brought me a mysterious little bag from one of the piles.


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