January is universally acknowledged as the month of detox. Gyms burst at the seams with enthusiastic new joiners determined to stick to their new year’s resolution… this time. Community centres across the country swell with the weight of weight watchers. Just yesterday, in search of a healthy sushi lunch, I was turned away from Yo Sushi due to an inordinately long queue. Call it what you will. Detoxing. Dieting. Getting fit. Yes, everyone’s at it folks. And I’m afraid I’m including myself in that number. For me, however, it’s slightly more epic. You see, I have done absolutely no exercise in the nigh-on nine months since Finn was born. Combine this with the fact that I seem to have continued to eat as if I’m feeding two, you have one mighty miss feedetgastro. Something needs to be done. And fast.
Category Archives: Chillies
I think by now my regular readers will have gathered that I’m a complete and utter Italiaphile. I love the country, the people (my grandma being one of them), and most of all the food. Despite it’s no doubt devastating effect on my (ever-growing) waistline, I have pasta two or three times a week and, as with most people I’m sure, I have my favourites that never fail to delight and satisfy in equal measure. Most are ready within 20 minutes – surely one of the major perks of pasta – and all are delicious.
I’ll hold my hands up right from the start, this doesn’t look like an authentic “rendang”. Firstly, it’s pretty darn wet and doesn’t a bit resemble the other rendangs I’ve seen out there (all of which look marv). And secondly, I fiddled with the recipe a bit. However, I’m going to dub this a “wet rendang” (which is a real thing, I swears it), and press on confidently.
Whilst I was on my recent pregnancy-enduced spice kick my body demanded chilli pretty much wherever it could get it (I know you know this, but it dominated my diet for a good while so it’s natural it will crop up in this here diary of my kitchen, innit?). After some serious consideration I realised that the only way I could reasonably wrangle chilli in pre-midday was to dish up a spicy breakfast burrito. This I did. A good many times. The below recipe is the product of my furtive chilli endeavours.
Now that I can finally talk about the fact that I’m up the duff, I can tell you about my craving for spicy foods. For the first month or so of my pregnancy, I could not get enough chilli and heat. It was the inspiration for my burritos, the drive behind a heinous number of Indian and Thai takeaways, and the (no doubt frustrating) impetus for me throwing chilli into absolutely everything I cooked. It was also the motivation for me cooking up my favourite Malaysian curry.
American favourites: Wail, no burritos in Brighton (so I had to make them myself): Carnitas (braised pork) Burritos
Recently I’ve been hankering after burritos. Like I mean I’ve been downright craving them. The problem is, when you want a burrito on the run Brighton doesn’t really throw up any viable options. We have El Taco which certainly does a job in a bind, but the microwave is in full force and the resulting burritos leave a lot to be desired if truth be told. If you want a decent taco on the fly in Brighton I’m afraid you are really shit out of luck.
Sometimes when you’re having people round for dinner, you find yourself planning an elaborate and expensive menu because you really really want to impress them. What that actually means is that you really really want them to like you. You think if you cook something absolutely mind-blowingingly complicated and sophisticated then your guests minds will be so befuddled and amazed that they will forget all your perceived shortcomings and will simply adore you for the rest of eternity. You even dream that they will forever refer to “that” meal as the benchmark against which all their future meals will have to be measured against.
When I mentioned last week on twitter that I was planning to make gnocchi from scratch for dinner I was met by a surprising reaction. Unbeknownst to me, gnocchi has gained the reputation of being a big fat ball-ache not worth attempting because it inevitably ends in total disaster. Just check out the response I received from the twitterverse when I happily tweeted that I was off to make gnocchi from scratch.
The other day I popped into Tesco (not my usual shop of choice) to pick up something quick for dinner. I had intended to go for something super lazy, perhaps even just opting for a can of baked beans for my jazzed up beans on toast (you’ve got to love baked beans). However, to my delight I noticed that they’ve started selling pick’n’mix tomatoes, which is an absolutely genius idea and one I hope Sainsbury’s will nick. As my husband utterly revels in anything tomatoey, I immediately resolved to abandon the lazy dinner I had planned and make him a special dinner treat of roasted mixed tomato risotto.
When I innocently tweeted recently that my chilli brings all the boys to the yard, I did not expect the Spanish inquisition. Congratulating myself on the pleasure of taking leftover chilli into work for lunch, my fervour was heightened when a girl in the office kitchen actually commented, whilst drooling, that my leftover chilli “smelt amazing”. I knew it did, but I self-deferrentially and demurely thanked her and went back to my desk to write a gloat-tweet. I had not foreseen that I would be called out on my wild claims.