Tuesday, 18 October 2011

We will be continuing the, salad bar, daily hot specials and take-away service from Mildreds Restaurant. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Dancing Wonton Flowers ...

Thank you very much for visiting this blog. It has been close to a year since I last post ...

Cooking can be a great way to express our personality, exercise our creativity and explore new things. Feel like getting in touch with my cooking skills yesterday. Sitting quietly in my kitchen with very few ingredients, enjoying the solitude, playing with the tofu and feeling the texture of the wonton skin, having expectations of what will turn out to be ...

And ... these little dancing wonton flowers just bloom ... 18 of them dancing gracefully on the plate. 

Looking closely at them, the curve, the lightness, the flow, the soft folding of the wonton flower, it is so beautiful and each of them is so unique! Maybe, I learn to see perfection in everyone of them and all of them look lovely. I smile. 

It's mediation, it's quiet and it is lovely.  Had an enjoyable time. 

May you be happy any time regardless whatever you are doing right now, be it cooking, washing dishes, reading, handing out with friends or alone enjoying the solitude ...

p.s: Click here for Recipe - Tofu Wonton Recipe ...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Aubergine chickpea tagine

Aubergine, Chickpea Tagine with flaked almond cous cous & harissa
(Recipe by Daniel Acevedo)
2 cm ginger
1-2 red chillies
3 aubergines
200-300 ml sunflower oil/veg oil

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 star anise
1 pinch saffron

3 tins (720g) good quality crushed tomatoes
150g green olives pitted
2 tins (480g) good quality chickpeas
1 tsp salt

Before we start I would like to explain why this recipe contains no garlic or onions.  Over the recent years working as head chef here at Mildred’s restaurant I have noticed an increase in the demand for people requesting food not containing anything from the onion family.

This dish is fairly mild in spice so feel free to add more or less chilli to your liking.  The star anise and saffron in this recipe gives it a unique taste and makes it stand out above your regular tagine.

For better results with this recipe please source quality tinned tomatoes and roasted red peppers from your local deli or even better buy the equivalent weight in very ripe plum tomatoes and red peppers from the market, with tomatoes dice or give a quick blend in a food processor before adding to your tagine, with your red peppers lightly coat with oil, and roast on a high heat in the oven to blister the skin of the peppers, remove from oven and place in a bowl or plastic container covering with cling film to steam the peppers, allow to cool, peel and de-seed peppers ready to use for your harissa sauce.

Time allowing, your chickpeas can also be bought dried from your local deli and soaked overnight about half the amount of dried chickpeas will yield the same amount once cooked so approx 240g.  Drain and cook these chickpeas in 3-4 cups lightly salted water for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until tender.

Prepare your harissa first and allow to cool before starting your tagine and cous cous.

1. Pre heat oven at 180c, cut aubergine in half length ways then into quarters again cut these pieces in half again giving you aubergine wedges approx 7 cm long and 2cm wide, in an oven tray generously coat aubergines with sunflower/veg oil and toss to make sure all the pieces are oiled.  Bake for 15-25 min until aubergines are fully cooked.  

2.  Wash or peel the ginger to clean, then along with the chilli finely dice and crush with a chef’s knife into a smooth paste.   Alternatively you can blend this in a food processor to achieve the same result.  In a medium sized pot over a low heat lightly fry your paste for 7-8 min

3.  Lightly Toast your coriander, cumin, and star anise seeds in the same manner as your harissa spices, grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder and add to ginger chilli mix along with your pinch of saffron and fry further for a few min.

4.  Add crushed tomatoes, salt and simmer on low heat for 20min

5.  Drain your chickpeas and add to the tagine along with your cooked aubergines and simmer  on a very low heat for a further 10-15 min(at this time you’re ready to prepare your cous cous, see recipie below).   

6.  Remove Tagine from heat and serve with cous cous,  garnish with some fresh coriander  and a side of harissa.

Flaked almond Cous cous

400g cous cous
450ml water
2 tsp Vegetable stock powder
50g toasted flaked almonds
1 pickled lemon very finely diced
100ml lemon juice
100ml extra light olive oil
Pinch of Salt & Pepper

1. Boil water along with pickled lemons, salt and pepper
2. Once water has come to the boil remove from heat and add your cous cous along with lemon juice & olive oil, mixing thoroughly,  cover and allow to sit for 15-20 min.

400g roasted peppers or good quality tinned roasted red peppers
2 chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
50ml  extra light olive oil
To roast the peppers, simply scorch over an open flame, on a chargrill or under the grill in your oven until the skins are blistered and black. Put in a bowl and cover with clingfilm so they steam. When cool enough to handle, then skins should come away easily. 

1. Lightly Toast your cumin seeds in a pan on the lowest heat setting for 4-5 min, adding the smoked paprika  at the last min for a light toasting, remove from heat and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder.

2.  Drain your peppers and blend in a food processor along with your chillies, spices, salt and oil for 5-10 min until you have a very smooth sauce.  You can also pass the harissa through a small to fine sieve for a smoother result.

3. Set aside and allow to cool

Serve all three together with some warm flat bread. 

Monday, 27 June 2011

Mushrooms on Toast


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Foraged Wild Garlic Pesto

Foraged Wild Garlic Pesto
Recipe by Sarah Wasserman

Last time I went up to visit family in North Yorkshire, I went foraging for some wild garlic. I think its a little late in the season now but if you do see it pick some because its a great seasonal wild herb with broad leaves and pretty little white flowers. You don't have to be out in the country either, we have picked it in Hampstead Heath. The best place to look are in shady areas, often the sides of paths or road sides. If you do find it, don't pick it all just take some leaves from several plants so that you don't kill the plant. 
The leaves have a mild-ish garlic and spring onion taste which can be stirred into pasta, made into garlic butter, added to a quiche filling and is lovely for sauces. I used it for a pesto in order to retain the wonderful green colour. 

3 Big handfuls of wild garlic leaves (thoroughly washed)
150g Parmesan or similar vegetarian Italian hard cheese diced in small chunks or thickly grated
100g Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts
Sea salt and black pepper
Approximately 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

1) Blend all the garlic leaves thoroughly in a blender with a big pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 


2) Add the parmesan and the pine nuts. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice. 
3) Start to slowly pour in the oil until you reach the desired consistency. I like it when it still has some chunky bits.

4) Adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Use as with any other pesto, for example as a sauce for pasta or gnocchi perhaps. If you wish to keep it, put in a sterilized jar, smooth the top and cover with olive oil. It will keep for several weeks or alternatively you can freeze it.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Fresh pickled crooks

Fresh pickled crooks

Recipe by Sarah Wasserman
This is another recipe from my mother in law, Sylvia. Crooks are little cucumbers which are thin and quite twisty, hence crook as in crooked. They have a wonderful bendy quality which means they are ideal for squeezing into jars. I'm afraid they aren't super easy to find. We find them in Middle Eastern/ Greek shops on the Edgware Rd, Holloway Rd and Golders Green (all London), but they turn up in other places too.

This is a nice spring recipe because you can use any seasonal herbs you have around. They are fresh pickles so they keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge but you can't keep them for ages like ordinary pickles. They are the perfect thing to make on a weekend when your having people round for a BBQ the following weekend. 

This is a tricky recipe to write as the measurements aren't really very exact as is so often the case with family recipes but basically get a big jar and we'll go from there. 

Crooks (enough to fill a big jar)
Celery with lots of leaves (you just need the leaves)
2-5 Cloves of garlic
Cracked black pepper (pestle and mortar are ideal)
Sea salt
White wine vinegar

Optional ingredients (depending on what you like and what is available):
Flat Parsley
Bay leaves
Fennel leaves 

1) Get enough crooks to fill a large jar. Choose the smaller bendy ones (the ones pictured could be slightly more twisty but its the best we could do). About an 2cm to 3cm. Wash them. 
2) Choose a large jar, I used a kilner jar which is 22cm high and 12cm wide,  and sterilize the jar by filling with boiling water (from the kettle is fine). 
3) Boil some water, enough to fill around half the the jar. Allow the water to cool till just warm. 
4) Put around 2cm of white wine vinegar in the jar. Start to jam the crooks in with the herbs and garlic. Crooks are nice and pliable so you can really cram them in. 
5) Season the warm water generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper and pour over the crooks in the jar until completely covered. Then give the jar a shake to make sure the vinegar distributes evenly.
6) Let the jar sit outside the fridge for a 24 hours or so and then put in the fridge. Consume within 2-3 weeks.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Tofu Bolognese

Tofu Bolognaise 
(recipe By Daniel Acevedo)

1 parsnip
1 carrot
1 onion 
3 celery sticks
1/2 fennel bulb
250g tofu
4 cloves garlic
1Tbsp dry oregano
2 bay leaf
1 tsp fennell seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp smoked paprika
300ml red wine
1 cup water
3 tins chopped tomatoes (1200g)

Crumble the tofu onto a baking tray, lightly oil and season with salt, pepper and oregano, bake this in the oven at 180c until it starts to brown slightly (approx 15-20 min).  You don't have to bake the tofu you cad add it fresh to the sauce, I prefer baking as it gives the tofu a better texture.

Dice onion, celery, fennel, parsnip and carrot into small cubes and thinly slice or crush your garlic.
In a med sized pot, Lightly fry you garlic and onions for a few minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a further 5 min.  Add your herbs, cooking for a further 4-5 min, this helps release the flavor of the herbs.
Add the red wine, letting this simmer for a good 10 min before adding your tomatoes, water and fresh or cooked tofu, simmer this on a low heat for a good 20-30 min.
serve with you favorite pasta and cheese for the non vegans out there.