Category Archives: Recipes

St John Roasted Bone Marrow on Toast with Parsley Salad

St John's roasted bone marrow on toast with parsley salad

If you’ve never eaten roasted marrow bones before I urge you to give them a try. Soft, sweet, salty, melty, meaty deliciousness, it will be one of the best things you’ll ever eat on toast. Of course the reason they taste so comfortingly luscious is because what you’re eating is mostly fat with just a bit of protein, meaning this may not be the best meal if you’re trying to lose weight. On the other hand, I’d rather do a bit more exercise or have a slightly fuller figure than miss out on this kind of simple edible joy. And anyway what are you trying to lose weight for, you look beautiful just the way you are.

Marrow bones are super simple to cook, just stick ’em in the oven for 20 minutes then serve, and they’re usually fairly cheap too, some butchers may even throw them in for free. Most recipes seem to recommend 2-3 bones per person as a lunch or starter, but really it depends on the person and the bones. The one in the picture seemed to supply and never-ending amount of marrow and I had to fetch extra toast to spread it on, making it a filling lunch in itself.

I followed this recipe from Fergus Henderson’s St John restaurant, somewhere I really need to eat and a book I really need to buy in the near future. Damn limited funds. I’ll give you the measurements I used though as I decreased the amounts to feed one rather than four.

St John’s roasted bone marrow on toast with parsley salad
serves 1 for lunch

  • 1-2 marrow bone sections (or three, if they’re small/you’re really hungry)
  • hand full of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • A few slices of sourdough (or other bread if you prefer, but I’ve come to the decision that all bread should be sourdough – it’s just better than the others)
  • Course sea salt.

Stand the marrow bone sections on their widest end in an oven proof dish, then roast in an oven at 190C/fan 170C/gas mark 5 for 20 minutes.

Chop the parsley and finely slice the shallot. The original recipe didn’t say to chop the capers, but mine were slightly larger so I chopped them up a bit too. Whisk together the juice from the lemon quarter and the oil, then toss together with the parsley, shallot and capers.

Toast the sourdough slices. When the bones are ready* place them on a plate and sprinkle the top with a pinch of sea salt.

To eat, just scoop the marrow out with a spoon or knife, spread across the toast and top with the parsley salad. Beam with meaty contentment.

* The bones will release a decent amount of fat while they’re cooking. This is beef dripping, don’t throw it away! Strain it into a cup, leave it to cool and keep it in the fridge. Spread it on toast with a sprinkling of salt, use it to shallow fry potatoes or Google other uses. Every time you throw away good beef dripping a Northerner cries.

Parsley, Walnut, Miso Vegan Pesto

Parsely walnut miso pesto

Super quick post as I utterly fail to battle my way through the backlog and get a lengthier post up (sorry, sorry, sorry).

Vegan pesto made using miso paste to replace the parmesan cheese, incredible! I was utterly stuck trying to think of something for dinner tonight that a) the fussy boyfriend would eat b) didn’t require much work and c) didn’t require a trip to the shops.

Pasta was suggested but I wasn’t really in the mood for a tomato based sauce and didn’t think I had much of anything else in. A rummage in the fridge drawers however pulled up some rather wilted parsley and some slightly sprightlier basil. So, pesto.

Except I knew I had no cheese. So, vegan pesto?

I wasn’t sure what vegan pesto would use instead of cheese. My guess was nothing, but a quick Google turned up this recipe that suggested using miso paste as a replacement. It seemed odd, but the logic made sense; one salty umami hit replaced by another.

I also knew I had a jar of miso in the fridge, so vegan miso-pesto it was. As I didn’t have pine nuts in the house I replaced them with toasted walnuts instead, inspired by the unbelieveably good mushroom udon with walnut miso that I’d recently eaten at Koya (seriously. Go there. Eat that. You won’t be sorry).

My scales are broken at the moment so I just measured everything by eye and tasted as I mixed. There are more accurate measurements on the inspirational post behind this, but they are in American cups and so utterly mysterious to me (another reason for me not measuring anything).

Parsley walnut miso pesto

Makes…an amount (I haven’t decanted it into a jar yet, enough for two plus leftovers though)

  • Bunch of flat leaf parsley (about the size of a supermarket packet)
  • Half as much basil as parsley
  • A generous handful of walnuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp of miso paste (I used Clearspring unpasteurised barley miso)
  • Extra virgin olive oil/rapeseed oil
  • 1/4 lemon
  • Two cloves of garlic (if they’re big you may only need one)

Put the basil and the parsley into a food processor (I threw them in stalks and all) together with the miso paste.

Heat a dry frying pan and lightly toast the walnuts, then add them to the food processor. Peel the cloves of garlic (easiest way, smash them with the broad side of a knife, then pull the skin off) and add to the walnuts and herbs. Blitz everything together.

Once everything’s ground down, with the food processor still running, slowly pour the oil in through the feed tube. Again, I didn’t measure how much I used so just carefully free pour and stop every so often to check the consistency; you’re aiming for a loose paste.

When you’re happy with the consistency squeeze in the juice from the lemon and give it one last mix. Taste, and if you think it needs more of any of the above ingredients i.e. more lemon, more garlic, more miso, add them and blitz again.

Like most pestos I imagine this will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for about a month, but as I’ve only just made it I can’t say for sure.

Sweet Potato, Fennel and Feta Frittata

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming…

Sweet Potato, Fennel and Feta Frittata

Well, May happened. May happened and I did almost no blogging, and the one post I did write doesn’t even really belong here. Terrible, I do apologise.

There have been a few exciting developments though. To celebrate my blog’s first birthday (erm, which was in early April, there’s a post about the past year somewhere in the back log, honest) I bought myself a domain! Okay so not that exciting for people who aren’t me, but for people who are me it’s a shiny new toy to play with…and procrastinate from blogging with. At the moment it’s just set up to redirect here while I figure out what I want to do with it and how I can do whatever it is that I decide I want to do with it. In the meantime I’ll try not to let it distract me from actually writing something and hopefully posting will once again become more regular.

For now, here’s a quick post about the frittata I took into work today. This was my contribution to a colleague’s fundraising drive for the Japanese disaster relief. She’d asked a different person each day, over two weeks, to bring in a dish to share and asked everyone who ate to donate a small sum in return. Of course I forgot that I’d signed up to bring something in today, until about 8:30pm last night. Cue me scouring the cupboards and making a mad dash to the shops.

I love frittatas and tortillas. I like to think of them as pastry-less quiches, which is something else I love. They all fall under that category of brilliantly simple, anything goes dishes that can change to reflect the seasons, your mood, or whatever you have lurking in the back of the fridge. My favourite kind of cooking.

This one pretty much came about for the last of the above reasons; I had sweet potatoes and I had fennel. I suspected the two would work together, and Google bolstered my suspicions. Both caramelised slightly in the pan, which gave the frittata a delicious sweetness. Of course a frittata is almost always improved, as many things are, by the addition of cheese. I’d originally planned to add ricotta, inspired by a recent post from Eat Like a Girl, but the local shops didn’t have any so some creamy feta was a great alternative.

Sweet Potato, Fennel and Feta Frittata

Serves 4-6 with some salad on the side

  • 2 Sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb (or 1 small blub – mine just happened to be huge!)
  • 100g feta (1/2 a standard sized block)
  • 6 eggs
  • milk (at a guess 100ml, I just sloshed some in, how much is a “slosh”?)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt & pepper

Peel the sweet potatoes and thinly slice into rounds about 5mm thickness. Halve the fennel if using a whole bulb, cut the core out and thinly slice this too. If you’re lucky enough to have some fronds on your fennel save these.

Preheat the grill to high. In a decent sized frying pan, ideally with a lid, heat the oil then add the potatoes. Move the potatoes around to coat them in oil, then cover with the lid. If you don’t have a lid you could use a plate, the seal doesn’t need to be perfect. Leave to cook on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes give the potatoes a bit of a stir and add the fennel, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

Beat the eggs together with the milk and season with a little salt and pepper. When the potatoes and fennel are ready pour over the eggs mix and give it all a gentle stir. Keep moving everything in the pan around a bit until the egg is almost set then crumble over the feta, pushing it down slightly into the nearly set egg. If you have any fennel fronds tear them up and scatter them over the top too.

Pop the pan under the hot grill for a few minutes until golden on top.

This is probably nicest warm, but it also makes a really tasty lunch cold the next day.

Squash Seed, Parsley, Chilli and Goat’s Cheese Pesto

Spaghetti with squash seed, parsley, chilli and goat's cheese pesto and roasted squash.

This was something I first tried a few months ago, it’s slightly less seasonal now but still just as frugal and you can always replace the squash seeds with pumpkin seeds from a packet.

Anyway, I’d bought a squash with the usual plans to roast and mix with pasta/risotto/whiz into soup, when a though occurred to me; could you eat squash seeds the same way you could eat pumpkin seeds? I couldn’t see why not, they’re basically just variants on the same fruit. So I Googled it, and according to the internet you can. Continue reading

Mayonnaise Brownies

Hellmann's "Posh Brownies"

I forgot to take a picture of my brownies so this is Hellmann's press shot instead. Mine looked exactly the same as this though, honest.

For many it seems the idea of brownies made with mayonnaise ranges from confusing to repulsive; although it of course doesn’t help if the person in question hates mayonnaise to begin with. Yet when you consider that the main two ingredients of mayonnaise are oil and egg yoke it makes perfect sense. I’ve seen these sorts of recipe before, which use mayonnaise to replace either the fat or both the fat and the eggs in baking but despite the obvious reasoning behind the substitution I’d never felt sure enough to try them. Why would you bother baking with something odd like mayonnaise when you could bake the normal way with butter or oil? Continue reading

Making do with what you have: not really bibimbap

Not really, but sort of, bibimbap

Sort of bibimbap ready to be stirred.

This isn’t my recipe for bibimbap and what I did doesn’t really constitute a proper recipe any way. I doubt even I would be able to replicate the random substituted ingredients if I made this again, let alone anyone else. If you want a proper recipe for bibimbap I suggest you follow Hollowlegs recipe that I adapted to make this version.

Rather than providing a clear and reliable recipe this post is here to show that you don’t have to follow a recipe exactly to make something that tastes good, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have exactly the right ingredients or even equipment. Cooking, as with life, is all about doing the best with what you’ve got, and that is precisely what I tried to do here. Oh, and when in doubt consult the internet. Continue reading

Kenny’s Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

Forced rhubarb and ginger jam

Kenny's bright pink rhubarb and ginger jam.

About a month ago I posted about a breakfast event I’d attended at Fifteen London, where we were got to try the first of Kenny the Baker’s hot cross buns accompanied by some incredible Barbie pink forced rhubarb and ginger jam, that Kenny had apparently made the night before especially for us. So good was this jam that I ambushed Kenny on the way out and asked if I could please have the recipe to replicate at home, which to my delight he generously provided. As my original post was already getting pretty long though I promised I’d post the recipe up separately, giving me a chance to try it out for myself first too.

A few days later we received the date for our audit at work, a black hole of a deadline which progressively sucked in and consumed more and more of my free time the closer we got it’s event horizon. With the audit now passed though (hoorah!) I can finally get back to the business of catching up with my back log of posts, starting with Kenny’s rhubarb and ginger jam. Continue reading