Month: April 2020

Lady & Pups’ Curry Risotto

Affiliate banner explaining there is an affiliate link for Bookshop.org, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores, in this article.Mandy from Lady and Pups has been one of my biggest flavor inspirations for years. I think we share a penchant for flavors that pack a punch and innovations that some might consider sacrilegious.

She is also a pioneer in the moody style of food photography I thought I’d end up doing before I turned into a brightly colored butterball. So when her book The Art of Escapism Cooking came out last year, I just had to have it.

A picture of Mandy from Lady and Pups hiding behind a copy of her book The Art of Escapism Cooking

Where Mandy and I drift apart is that I tend to like short cuts where she appears to be a gluton for punishment. The chapter Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself thus rang the most true to me, and this kare (Japanese curry brick) risotto was the first recipe I cooked from Escapism.

What are Japanese curry bricks?

Now you can make your own curry bricks, but Japanese food tends to be high quality at all levels. And making life harder for yourself is so not the point of this dish. So get yourself some bricks.

Because I get greedy when I go to my bigger Asian supermarket, I got a few brands. My favorite was the Kokumaro-brand. The hot version isn’t that hot, and it has a nice creamy edge to it that I get off on.

An example of a Japanese curry brick box by the brand Kokumaro

All the brands I got were hot. Some packed too much of a punch for me, were too salty or too bland. Do with that information what you will. I’d recommend trying a bunch if you can afford to. If not, go with Kokumaro and blame me (no refunds tho).

How do you eat Japanse curry risotto?

This is a very filling main course and it really doesn’t need anything else.

I added frozen peas to mine for some greens. Broccoli would probably also work. But I like all green veggies.

If you have to eat this as a side I would cook whatever greens you are having separately and serve it with chicken or pork schnitzel for Tonkatsu (Japanese schnitzel) vibes and use the recipe below to serve two.

Some things to look out for

I thought I’d get smart and fancy with this recipe and not read the instructions properly, so the first time I made it with arborio rice in my Instant Pot. This was a bad idea.

Curry bricks are an instant cooking solution and don’t need a lot of time to thicken (or burn). Use leftover rice from the day before (or: make sure you have leftover rice at hand).

I have on occasion been out of ginger and curry powder to add and didn’t miss these. I did try and make this without any of Mandy’s additions to the bricks at some point and that was very meh, so please don’t omit too much. Though I also didn’t miss the Parm on days where I’d run out.

What I did miss is this recipe on days where I didn’t have any curry bricks. The egg yolk really is a must-have finishing touch. So on to the recipe.

You can buy Mandy Lee’s The Art of Escapism cooking here if you’re in the US or here if you’re in the UK.

A blue background with a white plate with a black circle on top. On the plate to the right front there is a small brown and wood patterned dish with some grated Parmesan inside. To the back and left on the plate is an oval black bowl, filled with dark yellow brown rice dotted with peas, topped with a golden egg yolk. A wedge of parmesan has been set on it's backend to the right backend of the plate.

Curry Risotto from The Art of Escapism Cooking

Dorothy Porker
A quick and easy hearty and aggressive risotto made with Japanese curry bricks and some extra veg from The Art of Escapism Cooking by Lady and Pups.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Fusion, Italian, Japanese
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Grater

Ingredients
  

  • 1 c - 250 ml chicken stock
  • 3 T - 45 ml milk most variaties work - more as needed
  • 1 1/3 T - 30 gr Japanese curry bricks whichever brand you like, can find or afford
  • 2 T - 30 gr caramelized onion powder I buy ready-made caramelized onions and grind them up with my pestle and mortar
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr ginger grated
  • 2 t - 12 gr unsweetened cocoa powder yes really
  • 2 t - 12 gr curry powder
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t - 3 gr honey
  • 1 1/4 c 160 gr rice pre-cooked, leftover is fine
  • 1 egg yolk you can freeze the whites for up to one year
  • Parmesan grated, to serve
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 c - 125 gr peas fresh or frozen, optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine everything 1 c - 250 ml chicken stock, 3 T - 45 ml milk, 1 1/3 T - 30 gr curry brick, 1 T - 15 gr caramelized onion powder, clove of garlic, 1/2 t - 3 gr of ginger, mustard, honey and the 2 tsp - 12 gr of cacao and curry powder in a heavy based saucepan until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  • Bring to a simmer and stir until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add 1 1/4 c - 160 gr rice and 1 c - 125 gr peas and warm through. Adjust thickness with milk if so desired.
  • Serve with 1 raw egg yolk on top and lots of the grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Notes

Lady and Pups' curry risotto keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge and can best be reheated by coating it in breadcrumbs and shallow frying it.
Keyword comfort food, cookbook recipe, Italian food, Japanese curry, Japanese food, Lady and Pups, The Art of Escapism Cooking

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor Japanse curry risotto van Lady&Pups.

Affiliate banner explaining there is an affiliate link for Bookshop.org, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores, in this article.

Mexican Chorizo Tofu Tacos

Sometimes being stuck indoors brings out the best in you. Or me. As the case may be.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a vegan version of Mexican chorizo for ages. I had figured out the spice mix for Lady and Pups’ chorizo and shrimp burger was the way forward, but the mix itself was too dry and for years I just couldn’t figure out how to fix it.

Then for some reason it hit me. The answer had been right in front of me the entire time. I just mixed it in with some tomato paste, as I do with harissa tofu puffs, and landed on a majestic beast of a sauce.

Chorizo sauce is boss

The sauce is great like this, with tofu mince on a taco. But it also works with fish, mixed with some mayo as a dip and stuck on a cheese melt. Basically I haven’t stopped eating this since I first made it.

Start off with the tacos below and eat your way up from there.

How do I eat Mexican chorizo tofu tacos?

I like to eat two of these as a main course for lunch or dinner, a cold beer would do nicely with this as well.

If you have a bigger appetite than mine and this doesn’t sound like it’ll even remotely do, serve it with an quick coleslaw with store-bought grated red and/ or white cabbage, a finely diced jalapeno and some olive oil, white wine vinegar and maybe even a drop of Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco or two.

What you’ll need

I have also included these recipes in the recipe below, so you don’t have to click back and forth to recreate this.

A bamboo platter on a cement backdrop, on the platter are two fried tacos with minced tofu and a red sauce as well as some pickled shallots and fresh coriander

Mexican Chorizo Tofu Tacos 🌱

Dorothy Porker
A super tasty take on Mexican chorizo, made vegan with tofu mince and a banging sauce that you can slap on pretty much anything.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Heavy pan or other heavy object
  • Kitchen towels
  • Big bowl
  • Sieve, optional
  • Small saucepan
  • Glass jar
  • Small blender or pestle and mortar
  • Two large frying pans or skillets

Ingredients
  

For the pickled shallots, or get store-bought

  • 3 small shallots cut into thin rings
  • 3/4 c - 150 ml white wine vinegar or similar
  • 3/4 c - 150 ml water
  • 1 t - 5 gr salt
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and peeled
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • pinch sugar

For the minced tofu, or get ready-made (vegan) mince

  • 9 oz - 250 gr firm tofu get it from an Asian supermarket and thank me later
  • 1/2 T - 7 gr corn flour or other starch
  • pinch salt
  • neutral oil for shallow frying, I use sunflower

For the Mexican chorizo sauce

  • 3 T - 45 gr tomato puree
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr hot paprika or cayenne more if you're nasty
  • 1 t - 5 ml red wine vinegar Balsamic will also do
  • 1 t - 5 ml tequila omit of dining with minors or people who don't drink alcohol
  • 1 t - 5 gr salt
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 gr dried oregano Mexican if you can get your hands on some
  • 1 pinch cumin
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml olive oil

To finish

  • 4-8 burrito or taco skins I prefer corn, but you do you
  • sunflower oil for shallow frying
  • 1 t - 5 gr chili flakes optional
  • bunch coriander freshly chopped
  • feta crumbed, optional

Instructions
 

Pickle the shallots, or get store bought

  • You can also use store-bought pickles. If you are making these, be sure to make them the night or morning before so the shallots are properly pickled.
  • Bring 3/4 c - 150 ml white wine vinegar to the boil with equal parts water, 1 t - 5 gr salt and a pinch of sugar.
  • Place 3 sliced shallots in a small jar, make sure you separate the rings out a little before you do this.
  • Poor the warm vinegar mixture in with the shallots. Add the smashed clove of garlic and 3 black peppercorns.
  • Leave to cool on the kitchen counter before moving them to the fridge.

Start the minced tofu, or get ready-made (vegan) mince

  • You can also use store-bought mince of choice, pick up the process for this from step 3 under the header 'Back to minced tofu'. If you do make your own, make sure you start this part of the recipe about 45 minutes before you want to eat.
  • Press 9 oz - 250 gr of tofu by placing it between some kitchen towels and placing a heavy object on top for 30 minutes or so.
  • Now make the sauce so you can mix this in with the warm tofu mince later.

Make the chorizo sauce

  • In a small blender or pestle and mortar mix together 3 T - 45 gr tomato puree, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 1/2 t - 7.5 gr chili powder or flakes, 1 1/2 t - 7.5. gr sweet smoked paprika, 1/2 t - 2.5 gr hot paprika or cayenne, 1 t - 5 ml red wine vinegar, 1 t - 5 ml tequila (if using), a pinch of cumin and 1/4 c - 60 ml olive oil to a smooth paste.

Back to the minced tofu

  • Crumble the tofu into a bowl. The pieces should remain of uneven in size and shape, as if you've fried off some actual minced meat in a frying pan.
  • Thinly coat the crumbled tofu with 1/2 t - 7 gr corn flour and salt generously.
  • Fry the crumbled tofu in a thin layer of sunflower oil in a (non-stick) frying pan. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and ensure crisp. Fry the tofu until golden and partially crisp.

Create your tacos

  • Fry up 2-4 tortilla skins in a shallow layer of sunflower oil. You should end up with four each. You want the edges to be crisp and the centers to remain kind of chewy. You can spice the oil with some chili flakes while it heats up for added oomph. Salt while draining on some kitchen towels post-fry
  • Drain the tofu on some kitchen towels and then mix in 2 to 4 T's of the sauce until the tofu is evenly coated.
  • To compose a taco: place 2 tortilla skins on a plate. Top with a few tablespoons of the tofu mixture. Finish with a generous hand of pickled shallots, some freshly chopped coriander and feta if using.

Notes

The chorizo sauce will keep in the fridge in a well-closed container for about a week. Mix it with mayo or stick it on a cheese melt. The possibilities are endless.
The pickled shallots will keep in the fridge in a well-closed container for about a month. 
Keyword chorizo, Mexican food, tacos, tofu, tofu mince, vegan, vegan mince, vegetarian

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor Mexicaanse tofu taco’s.

Super Easy British Fishcake Recipe

Fishcakes and Ready Steady Cook marked the beginning of my love affair with British food. They combine two of my favorite things: fish and potato. Fried in ample butter, nothing can really go wrong with this one for me.

When I made fish cakes for the first time myself, I followed a Nigel Slater recipe and used fresh fish. This seemed fancy and correct. But then one day I was broke and used tinned fish instead. Turns out those are a thousand times more delicious than fresh fish fishcakes.

I love nothing more than money saved and taste buds pleased, so here is my very basic fishcake recipe that you can make from stuff that you’ll probably have on hand.

What do I eat with fishcakes?

I claim this is a recipe for two but generally I eat this by myself with some butterhead lettuce and a light vinaigrette made with olive oil and white wine or cider vinegar, some salt and pepper. You don’t really need much more.

Instead of the below tarragon sauce a mayo on the sharper end of the spectrum would also do nicely.

Variations on fishcake

You can also make these with fresh fish, as mentioned. Choose a slightly firmer but not too fatty fish, like cod or salmon. Be sure to pick a fish that is ASC- or MSC-certified.

Super Easy British Fishcake Recipe

Dorothy Porker
This is a recipe for super quick, easy and delicious fishcakes made with ingredients you probably have laying around.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Lunch, Main course, Party snack, Snack
Cuisine British, English
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Potato peeler
  • Pan
  • Sieve
  • Large bowl
  • Masher
  • Frying pan

Ingredients
  

For the fishcakes

  • 7 oz - 213 gr fish roughly one tin - I use tuna or salmon, check for ASC- or MSC-certified fish
  • 3 medium sized potatoes you want roughly the same weight as the fish
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • pinch cayenne optional
  • 1/4 c - 50 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 pat butter

For the sauce, optional - mayo or store bought sauces are also nice

  • 1 pat butter
  • 1/4 c - 50 ml white wine
  • 1 c - 250 ml cream
  • 1 small bunch tarragon stem removed
  • 1 clove garlic optional
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped, optional

Instructions
 

To make the fishcakes

  • Peel and roughly cut 3 potatoes into large chunks. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until completely tender. You can test this by sticking a fork in the potatoes as they cook, it should slide right through.
  • In the meantime: drain one 7 oz - 213 gr tin of fish. Flake to your desired consistency, I like mine kind of chunky. Season the fish with pinches of pepper, salt and cayenne (if using) and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them to your desired consistency in the pan. I like mine with a remnant of chunkiness.
  • Add the potatoes to the fish mixture and mix together. Again: to your desired consistency. I like there to be chunks of fish and potato left, so it's not so much of a coherent mush but more of a textured affair. I'm not judging you coherent mush people however.
  • Melt some butter in a hot skillet or (non-stick) frying pan.
  • Form your potato-fish mixture into 4 patties, they don't need to be a super nice shape unless that's your thing. Lightly dust them with a bit of all-purpose flour and fry until golden in the butter.

To make the sauce, optional - mayo or store bought sauces are also nice

  • After frying off the fishcakes, remove from the pan and melt some more butter into the pan.
  • Add 1/4 c - 50 ml of wine and 1 c - 250 ml of cream. Let it come to a nice bubble and let it go until the sauce thickens ever so slightly. Finish with tarragon leaves, salt and pepper.
  • You can gussy this sauce up further by glazing off a small helping of finely chopped shallots and garlic but let's not complicate things unless we want to ey?

Notes

The fish cakes keep for up to 3 days unfried or fried in the fridge and can be (re)heated in a frying pan with butter (or oil if they've already be fried). 
Keyword canned food, easy fish, fish, fish cakes, fish recipe, potato cakes, potato recipe, seafood, tinned food

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor supermakkelijke Britse fishcakes.

Shortlist Pink Lady Awards 2020

I am incredibly proud to announce I have been shortlisted for the Pink Lady Food Photography Awards 2020 in the category Food Bloggers.

You can find all the other nominees on their website, be sure to have a look at there are some mad talented people nominated in 2020.

A Playmobil astronaut, surrounded by purple cooked octopus tentacles on a space backdrop

Octopus, no more, no more

This photo was one in a series of two, and the last time I ever worked with or ate octopus. You can find my octopus-recipes and my reasoning behind no longer eating one of my favorite foods here:

Zoek je dit nieuws in het Nederlands, ga dan naar VetteSletten.nl voor het nieuws over mijn nominatie voor de Pink Lady Awards 2020.