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Making tamales

Though it’s become a lot easier to find good Mexican food in London since I moved here in 2010, it’s still pretty hard to find tamales. I was in the mood for them over the weekend so tried making them for the first time.

Edit 14.05.16 — I’ve changed my mind, I’m not really that pleased with how these turned out. They’re too dry, and I definitely didn’t fill them with enough cheese. Also, I don’t know where the heck Sainsbury’s gets their jalapeños from but they were just about the hottest ones I’ve ever had! I think that the main issue was the fine cornmeal, so will definitely wait until I find some masa before making these again. I’ve found a good way of eating too-dry tamales though; they’re really good reheated in the oven with a spicy tomato sauce and plenty of cheese (kind of like enchiladas).

Edit 30.10.18 — A shop in Brixton Village sells masa and corn husks!!! I think it was Faiz Latin & Carribean (corner of 1st and 5th). Time for tamales v2.0.

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Dal tadka recipe

This is the recipe I follow for dal/dhal/dahl/daal tadka/tarka. “Tadka” is a tempered spice-and-oil topping that you add before serving to enhance the flavours of the dal. The ingredients and method are based on one of the dal tadka recipes on the excellent site Vegetable Recipes of India (see recipe). It would be best to use arhar or tuvar dal, but I use red lentils generally since they’re the easiest to find and still taste great. This serves 4 people and is excellent with jeera rice.

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Whiskey Sour recipe

Was shown the light this past New Years and have been enjoying whiskey sours ever since. Keep forgetting the recipe though.

Homer Sourball

Pour 2 parts bourbon, 1 part lemon juice (lime’s nice too), ½ part simple syrup, and ½ part egg white in to a shaker with cubed ice and shake hard until very cold. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice, garnish with orange if you’ve got it.

Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) also works if you don’t want to use egg whites. The egg white from one US large egg is roughly 1 oz.

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Oatmeal bread reference

Honey Oat Bread recipe

Modifications / Measurements

  • 1/4 c (USA) = 45g butter, no need to melt
  • Mixed dry active yeast directly in to dry ingredients, works fine
  • Decrease oats to 160g
  • Increase bread flour to 275g, more if using whole wheat/brown

Notes

Makes a pretty wet dough. Knead very thoroughly. Thoroughly preheat oven to prevent dense bottom of loaf. Try preheating oven w/ tray, then placing loaf tin on that to bake.