Tahini Garlic Chicken Wings from the Moro Cookbook

There was a blog that I enjoyed reading. One day, she wrote something along the lines of – what’s the point of chicken wings, you have to work so hard to get out so little meat?

I un-subscribed.  Because frankly, if we don’t see eye to eye on chicken wings, we just aren’t going to be friends. I’ve got a chicken wing thing you see.  From Melrose & Morgan days when the large Brazilian girl would scream up the stairs “Susy, the chickens are ready my love.”  And I would bound down the stairs happily, find myself the corner to eat,  errant Sutton Hoo* chicken hairs tickling my nose while the rest of the kitchen busied themselves with preparing the chicken pie.That the meat is hard to get is a good point for me.  It awakens all my hunter gatherer instincts as I snarfle through.  There is the optimum ratio of crispy skin to soft meat. (Don’t tell me you don’t eat the skin?!) Plus organic chicken wings are only €5 for 6 (at the bigger Rewe)

I’ve been marinating them in all kinds of things, star anise and hoisin sauce was a delicious option, courtesy of Marcus Wareing’s Nutmeg and Custard but this later incarnation via The Moro Cookbook, is it.

This is really it. Read more of this post

Chicken in Lemon Syrup with ras el hanout and harissa paste

I am not particularly gifted when it comes to meat cooking. In fact, I would say it’s my weakest area.  Some of the blame for that has to be attributed to the sub-standard meat available to the consumer.  You just need to take one bite of Michy’s Churrasco, and you instantly remember that “oh yeah” – this is what meat should taste like!  But the majority of it is all me.

I have a deft hand with poultry though and no doubt it helps that I have less performance anxiety.

I steer clear of animal during the week, having labeled myself with the moniker “a weekday vegetarian”.  Primarily to reduce my impact on the environment (thereby feeling virtuous) and because I love vegetables and pulses so it’s easy.

A it’s the weekend, I made this great chicken recipe out of Jason Atherton‘s book Maze: the cookbook.  I like this book as it has some truly original recipes including one for chicken poached in 1 kg of butter! (Love that! Don’t you?  And then we wonder how, some, restaurants make everything taste so good?!)  Here, Atherton has us making up a stock syrup, throwing in 5 lemons and a head of garlic poaching the chicken briefly then pan frying it.  The result is the chicken is sweet and spicy with crunchy skin and a fragrant red oil that goes particularly well with some simple green beans. (Although, my all time favourite chicken lemon recipe comes from Maggie Beer and I wrote about it here).  Read more of this post

Roast Cauliflower with Raisins and Parsley dressing

People generally avoid cauliflower, even vegetarians.  It’s so easy to over boil it until it’s grey, limp and malodorous.  That is why unless you are a wizard with timing and know how to judge the crucial moment to whisk it out of the boiling water and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking, I recommend roasting. Read more of this post

Another Day at an Athenian Market

When I woke up today it was 29 already, at 8 am.  Its going to be hot!

Of course, that didn’t stop me from going on my weekly Monday shop.  I do this religiously when visiting my mother.  I am not sure what the markets of Berlin have in store for me?  Kohlrabi I guess…  I am sure that this is a misunderstood vegetable, even deciding how to spell it puts my mind in a muddle, let alone how to eat it.  

No Kohlrabi today…

Just 3 heads of garlic, from the garlic man with the plastic flowers in a pot.  I trek to the end of the market whatever the weather to get these wonderful alliums!  I even took some back to London with me last time I was here.  Why do I pass endless garlic sellers just to buy this old mans stuff?  He caught my attention a couple of months back when he gave my baby a clove of garlic for luck and insist I try his wares.  3 bulbs for 1 Euro.  I was intrigued that he only sells garlic, surely that must mean he is a garlic specialist.  And he is!  The cloves have a certain translucency and even though they certainly taste of garlic, the taste does not linger on your breath.  

I then made the obligatory stop at the tomato man. He never needs to yell to hawk his orbs.  His stand is swarming with retirees, jostling their metal carts and trying to get the good stuff.  Its a symbol of the Meditaranean that they all squeeze past his table to the stacked plastic crates behind to get “the good tomatoes”, seemingly oblivious that the man is constantly replenishing his stand with tomatoes from this very exclusive stash.  He is raking in the money though, so his humor is good and he doesn’t chastise the buyers as other sellers might. 

Next I stopped at the fish stand and bought some Gavros.  I used to order this fish as a child and eat it, head tail and all!  But sadly, restaurants are not what they once were.  The humble tzatziki, the calling card of any descent Greek restaurant, is usually watery, under salted and is often so old that the grated cucumber had pickled.  Ugh! The shame!  Before I betray my years (only 34 actually)
with more lamenting over the demise of the Greek restaurant, let me get to the point.  I refuse to pay upwards of 14 Euro for some flabby Gavros complete with their bitter entrails when I can clean them myself and have them tonight for dinner, with my delicious and fresh tzatziki!

And lastly, although I didn’t buy any, I did take a snap on my Blackberry of the “Aromes Bananes” guy.  

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