Black Pepper Tofu
Once upon a time Blow Up Food was a slightly neglected Posterous blog. As from today Posterous will cease to exist, so I thought I’d have a quick rummage to see if there’s anything I’d hadn’t yet salvaged and I found this old post on Black Pepper Tofu. Black Pepper Tofu is an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty. It’s super spicy and fairly easy to make, though the heavy...
Showroom Vegan Night
My second foodie piece for Sheffield website Our Favourite Places has just been published - it’s a review of the Vegan Night recently held at the Showroom Cinema, which was a bit lovely. If you fancy a read, you can find it here.
Smørrebrød - Danish Open Sandwiches
Mmmm, Danish food. This Easter Sunday we made Smørrebrød - Danish Open Sandwiches. I love Denmark, and I’ve eaten some of the best meals of my life there. Everything is so fresh and full of warm Scandinavian flavours, plus you get to wash it down with a nice glass of hoppy beer, if you frequent the right places. We’ve made Smørrebrød before, but this time we decided to do it right, with the...
Mexican Vegetable Soup
It’s Arctic in Sheffield this month. Even though it’s nearly Easter, we’ve got nearly a foot of snow in some places. So, I’m cold and craving soup - hella spicy soup to be precise, which is how this recipe came to be. INGREDIENTS 1 medium onion (diced) 1 red pepper (diced) 1 green chilli (sliced - seeds in if you like it hot) 2 cloves of garlic (minced) 1 courgette...
Our Favourite Places - Top 3 for Veggies in...
The lovely Our Favourite Places folks have launched a brand spanking new website to house their reviews, previews and top tips for having a brilliant time in Sheffield. I’m very proud to be a contributor to the site, writing bits and bobs on veggie, vegan and wheat-free food (as well as film - the day job!). Have a look at my first veggie piece: Top 3 for Veggies, which includes some top tips...
Aubergine and Wild Rice Salad
I’m making a lot of my work lunches at the moment because a) I’m not loaded, and b) I’m not eating much wheat these days and my bread-free choices in Sheffield city centre are getting a bit repetitive (Fanoush aside - I love that place). Today I made this salad, which is based on my interpretation of the Ottolenghi formula - one awesome vegetable of your choice + left-over rice/ grain + a...
The Ledbury - 8 course vegetarian tasting menu
(Saint Nectaire on toast) Tasting menus used to seem to me to be something designed for meat-eaters - opportunities for chefs to showcase their butchery skills, their meat cooking techniques and to introduce new types of animal bits for diners to try. No ta. However, this seems to be seriously changing. I’ve been to several places in the last few years that not only provide full vegetarian...
There are a lot of pesto recipes out there, and I’ve tried them all: with/ without pecorino; with butter instead of olive oil (thanks for nothing Matthew Fort); toasting the pine nuts; roasting the garlic… I even went through a long period of persisting with the pestle and mortar after reading an article about the pesto championship in Liguria that made me feel a bit inadequate - but to be...
Yoghurt & Spelt Flatbreads
— Guest post by Gregory Povey, @topfife. Last week, I bought Jaq Jerusalem, the new book by Yotam Ottolenghi (and Sami Tamimi). It’s a love letter to Jerusalem, taking in Israeli and Arab dishes, and covering a lot of the influences from the Mediterranean — about 60-70% of which is vegetarian or vegetable-based. We’ve been a fan of Middle Eastern and Jewish-heritage food for a long time....
Zeugma, with its open grill and famed Turkish kebabs, is a Sheffield institution for meat eaters, but I wouldn’t have been a loyal patron for the last 6 years is they didn’t know how to treat a vegetarian too. For most of those 6 years I’ve been ordering the same two things - Kisir (a spicy bulgar wheat dish with walnuts and yum) and their vegetarian kebab. The kebab is a total feast -...
Sushi Express, Sheffield
Sushi Express has been open for a while in Sheffield - the sushi is always very fresh, and the complimentary miso soup is vegetarian to boot. Happily, they also seem to frequently introduce new vegetarian options and they recently added kimchi maki to the menu. Readers of this blog may have noticed my growing obsession with Kimchi. ‘It’s very hot’ warned the waiter, and although he was right,...
Wheat Free Elevenses - Chocolate dipped...
Wheat messes with a lot of people these days, but that shouldn’t mean you have to go without your biscuity/ cakey elevenses, or that you have to settle for a packet of dusty gluten-free digestives. These two recipes can be whipped up in no time and last for several days (if you don’t scoff them all before they’ve cooled). They don’t even have to be shared with your pals under the premise of...
Warm cucumber, pea and broad bean salad with...
I missed the first half hour of Saturday Kitchen this week, but @topfife caught it, and he watched Ashley Palmer-Watts make a deliciously fresh looking warm cucumber salad to go with some mackerel. We decided to give it a go for tea, but instead of mackerel, we thought some griddled halloumi would do the job. It really worked. The contrast between the rich, salty cheese and the fresh, herby...
Courgette, artichoke and spelt salad
Just a quick post today with a recipe for a nice spelt salad, which is what I just ate for my lunch. Spelt is lovely - chewy, versatile and much faster to cook than barley. I know barley is cheaper, but I resent standing around boiling it for the entire evening. I have some very important telly-watching to do. Ingredients 4 baby courgettes (trimmed and sliced in half lengthways) A handful of...
Little Hanoi, Sheffield
Little Hanoi is a brand new Vietnamese restaurant that just opened on London Road in Sheffield. I went along to the ‘soft’ opening on Sunday, and left with a belly full of well cooked, tasty, meat-free food. Some points that will make vegetarians happy about going to Little Hanoi: Lots of choice I’ve been told there are 18 veggie options on the Little Hanoi menu, and although I didn’t count,...
Ssam - Tofu Lettuce Wraps
This isn’t an authentic, bang-on recipe for Ssam (the Korean term for wrapping food up in lettuce - usually pork) but is a completely delicious recipe for a tofu version, resembling ‘lettuce wrapped’ which is a starter you can sometimes get at Chinese restaurants. It’s completely delicious, fairly healthy and fast to make, providing you get all of your chopping out of the way before you start to...
(Fresh Cucumber Kimchi being made) I wrote about vegetarian kimchi a few weeks ago, but I thought it might be helpful to give a more detailed version of what substitutes can be made so that you can avoid fish sauce. Cucumber Kimchi is probably the easiest and cheapest kimchi to make, and you can eat it after 15 minutes, instead of waiting for several days like you need to with cabbage kimchi....
Baked Eggs Florentine
The day after our wedding reception in Liverpool all I could think about was gorging on eggs, bread and fat (it was a very good party). Luckily, we were staying at the London Carriage Works where their Eggs Florentine comes in a big ramekin and smothered with what I think is Mrs. Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese. Nom. I’ve been playing around with making my own version at home, but sadly poaching...
It’s been a funny year for asparagus. Bad weather delayed the British season by two weeks, which had me tearing my hair out back at the start of May. Happily though, this means that the season is only just ending and you can still grab a bunch if you’re quick. Most shops are starting to run out of it now, but yesterday I hunted some down in M&S - a British purple variety, which I’d never...
A few weeks ago I made these little beauties - mini loaves made with Västerbottensost, which is a lovely Swedish cheese. I followed Bertinet’s standard bread recipe from Dough, and worked in about 100grams of the cheese, which tastes a bit like a tangier, but softer parmesan. There’s a lot of resting and proving in this recipe, but it’s worth the wait. To make the standard white bread dough:...
Being a Vegetarian at Noma
Somehow @topfife and I have been lucky enough to go to the world’s best restaurant Noma three times. It’s been a mixture of daring and luck, but I suspect it’s something to do with the fact that we’re young and excitable and clearly not rich, as I spotted this lovely quote from Rene Redzepi recently. When he was 18, he saved up for months to eat at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Arzak: ...
Courgette, quinoa and samphire salad
Today’s lunch was supposed to be this Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall salad, but I added samphire because I still had half a pack, and basil because I love it too much. To be honest, I didn’t really follow the recipe much at all (I made it without butter), but that’s ok - it was really tasty and makes for a pretty picture.
On our last day in Copenhagen in April, we dragged our families to Torvehallerne - an incredible indoor market in the Nørrebro district (just up from Nørreport station). I’m not sure if they enjoyed it as much as we did, but I spent a good hour taking pictures of the incredible vegetables on display, and lamenting that we were going back to England that same day. I suppose it wasn’t really...
Perfect Carrot Cake
I like Felicity Cloake’s ‘Perfect’ blog for the Guardian very much. There’s much to like, particularly the fact that about half of her recipes are vegetarian, and that she’s done the amount of recipe perfecting that would take me months, maybe years if I were the one doing the hard work. I don’t think you generally have to worry about carrot cake being non-veggie, but my attempt at...
Potato, samphire, baby spinach and pine nut salad
This was my lunch today (yes, I remembered to make something!) It is a variation on an Ottolenghi recipe, made with what I had in, rather than what the ingredients are supposed to be, and was obviously not warm. It was pretty tasty though, and I’ve got enough for tomorrow too. I’m finding it hard to find good recipes for samphire that don’t involve fish, so if you know of any send them my way.
Northcote - 7 course vegetarian tasting menu
I firmly believe that it’s perfectly possible to be a vegetarian and a foodie. No, I don’t eat meat or fish - but I think that a good chef can be just as much an artist with vegetables, cheese and herbs than with lobster, lamb and steak. Last year, on a whim, I booked a ‘gourmet break’ at Nigel Haworth’s 1 star Northcote, in Lancashire where the amazing Lisa Allen...
Quinoa, breakfast radish and broad bean salad
At the start of the week I always intend to take my own lunch to work, but by Wednesday (probably Tuesday if I’m honest) I’ve given up and have resorted to stuffing my face at my desk with M&S hummus and pitta breads. This is one of my more successful lunch attempts. It’s an Ottolenghi recipe from Plenty (I forgot the avocado) and was pretty good. I used lime instead of...
Kimchi is great - you make up a big batch, leave it to fizz in the fridge and you’ve got quick and healthy teas sorted for weeks. I’ve never bought pre-made kimchi in jars because it always has fish sauce and/or shrimp paste in, so we’ve started to make it ourselves (that’s me and @topfife). We use David Chang’s Momofuku recipe, and substitute the fishy ingredients...
I’ve never been to Mexico so this recipe is probably far from authentic, but it’s a good way to eat your eggs in the morning, and it makes a pretty photograph. INGREDIENTS 1 onion (diced, with some reserved for the guacamole) 1 clove of garlic (minced) 1 green pepper (diced) 1 red chilli 1 tin of tomatoes Cayenne pepper (2 tsp) Ground Cumin (1 tsp) Sea salt and black pepper Few...
Paneer is something that a lot of non-vegetarians don’t know too much about. It’s an Indian cheese (sometimes referred to as Indian Cottage Cheese, but I think that’s a tad misleading) and crops up in curries, or marinated and cooked on skewers. The picture above is of Paneer Tikka, which I ordered last night at Nirvana in Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent. It was particularly...
Pappa al Pomodoro
I’m a big of fan of ‘pauper foods’ - those soups, stews and one-pot wonders that have been created with the sole purpose of filling you up after a long day at work. These foods are about love, comfort and fulfilling your basic energy requirements and that combination of emotion with practicality is very appealing to me. In this country, regional ‘pauper food’ crops...
Originally posted on 23rd October 2010 We tried out Jamie Oliver’s pizza dough recipe tonight and it really worked. It’s very easy and only needs to prove for an hour, which gives you enough time to make a decent passata and choose some toppings. We went for Fattorie Garofalo Mozzarella and some of the basil I have growing in the window. Simple is best, especially close to pay day.