Category Archives: Food & drink

How to cook perfect southern fried chicken

Kentucky Fried Chickens across Britain are closed because of a chicken shortage. But who needs the Colonel? Here’s how to cook your own version at home

Kentucky Fried Chicken, the nation’s most popular fried chicken chain, has been in crisis this week with hundreds of outlets across the UK shut thanks to problems with its supplier DHL. If you’re desperately in need of a chicken fix, here’s a classic Perfect recipe from 2012 to get you through until normal service is resumed:

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Source: gad

How I beat anorexia by savouring the lavish meals of literature

Laura Freeman had the eating disorder since her teens, but the enticing food conjured by Charles Dickens and Laurie Lee set her free

Laura Freeman was first diagnosed with anorexia aged 14. A decade later she had begun to rebuild her life but still struggled with her attitude to food, eating small portions of the same thing for months on end. “At 24, I’d got to the point where I was recovered enough that I could eat, but only in a very formulaic way,” she says. “I had a pretty boring diet. It was more about getting through each day.”

Then one day she read a passage in Siegfried Sassoon’s 1928 Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man describing “a breakfast of boiled eggs eaten in winter”. It changed everything.

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Source: gad

Ruby Tandoh’s recipe for cherry blondies with bay cream | The Sweet Spot

Beautify your brownies with these grown-up blondies spiced up with citrus and cherries

Usually I like to take a recipe straight to its basest form: opera cake? Make that a chocolate sponge. Towering croquembouche? Serve ‘em a nice eclair instead. These blondies are unusual for me, then, because for once I’ve taken something a bit saccharine and naff and made it classier. Brought to life with citrussy cardamom and plump cherries, these avoid the cloying sweetness of traditional blondies, while the bay-infused cream adds a subtle aniseed warmth. They might only be brownies with a wig on, but they taste a million bucks.

Prep 20 mins
Cook 30-35 mins
Serves 12

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Source: gad

Yotam Ottolenghi’s kale recipes

We’re often told how healthy kale is, but rarely how versatile it is, too

If Popeye had been born in the 21st century, he would surely be shoving kale down his famous pipe to boost his powers, rather than spinach, and it wouldn’t have come out of a tin, either. Fresh kale’s much-vaunted health benefits are discussed at such length these days that we often forget quite how delicious and versatile this leafy vegetable actually is. A simple saute with garlic and olive oil is usually my first port of call, but after that the possibilities are endless. Kale may make you big and strong; it will definitely leave you cheerful and sated.

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Source: gad

Cornelia Parker: ‘When a deadline looms, you have to come up with the goods’

The sculptor and installation artist, 61, on anxiety dreams, eating with family and being blood sugary

I need eight hours of sleep, but I never get it, except at weekends. I have anxiety dreams, usually about putting up an exhibition and not having the work. Sometimes work comes to me in a dream. You can be gnawing away at something for months, years even, and suddenly wake up and it gels. I do 10 minutes of Pilates every morning, if I’m in the mood.

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Source: gad

Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust you’ve never had a bacon butty | Chas Newkey-Burden

Frightened animals being caged, killed and turned into food – we’d never dream of such evils in the west … would we?

Would you eat rabbit? Even those who regularly consume meat from chickens, sheep and pigs will often balk at the thought of eating a cuddly little bunny rabbit. But what’s the difference? Why do we see some animals as furry friends and others as fair game to chop up and eat? With the Winter Olympics turning attention towards South Korea, dog meat has been put on the media menu. The west has gone into shock mode. They eat dogs? They must be mad!

Dogs are smart and friendly – but so are pigs

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Source: gad

How to eat flowers without poisoning yourself

I spent a week adding a floral touch to my meals – but if you don’t know what you’re doing, swiping flowers from the meadow can be a risky business

There are ups and downs in the world of edible flowers. By her own admission, Jan Billington, who grows and sells them from her organic farm in Devon, “smells amazing”. On the downside, she is regularly stung by Italian honey bees and is badly allergic, “although it’s just a matter of swelling”, she says. “It goes down eventually.”

Billington sells seasonal flowers to chefs and cocktail-makers, but more recently she has begun selling to amateur cooks who are hoping to inject a little personality into their cooking. Edible flowers are in the spotlight, or rather the polytunnels (thanks to the frost), because of Instagram, where they are used to zhoosh up food shots, and because of the rise of veganism, where they provide a bit of textural variation.

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Source: gad

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta cacio e pepe | A kitchen in Rome

You always remember your first time: Rachel Roddy hails the classic Roman three-ingredient pasta dish

Of all the classic Roman pasta dishes, cacio e pepe was the one I tasted first – and still the one I like best. It has just three ingredients: pasta, cacio (aka pecorino romano) and freshly cracked black pepper. In cooking, though, the pasta creates another ingredient: the cloudy cooking water slightly thickened with starch that has seeped from the pasta as it boils. This cooking water is a sort of culinary negotiator, melting and then emulsifying the cheese into rich, creamy sauce on the strands of pasta.

Unsurprisingly, there are as many ways and opinions about how best to make a cacio e pepe as there are cooks. Some like to add a little olive oil; others have ways with double boilers and grated ice, which, as far as I can see, require the almost gloopy starchy water of a trattoria pasta cooker and the wrists of a chef. But one thing people seem to agree on is that the enemy of cacio e pepe is chilly china – that is, cold plates – which can make the cheese clump into almost plasticine-like blobs from which there is no coming back. Happily, it is an enemy easily overcome by warming the vessel in question. Most agree, too, that the smaller the quantity, the better the result. With this in mind, here are two ways to prepare two main-course portions of cacio e pepe.

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Source: gad

The Quorn revolution: the rise of ultra-processed fake meat

It was reported last week that Quorn is on course to become a billion-dollar business. It is part of a booming industry of meat alternatives – but many of these products are a far cry from the idea of a natural, plant-based diet

What exactly is Quorn? I have been asked that question regularly for more than 30 years. This may be a reflection of the general population’s scientific illiteracy, but most people remain hazy about the composition of Quorn – even those who eat it regularly. However, many of us are prepared to accept this understanding gap because Quorn seems to be on the right side of the prevailing food paradigm, which holds that eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs is a redneck habit that has had its day, one that amounts to propagating cruelty and environmental ruin and will lead to dire consequences for human health. On the other hand, “plant food” – an appealing neologism for vegetarian and vegan that owes its intellectual heft to US food writer Michael Pollan’s maxim “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – is riding high on a wave of moral purity and an extravagant “feed the world and save the planet” promise.

The short explanation is that Quorn is a “mycoprotein” fermented in vats from a fungus found in soil. A fuller – but still heavily truncated – one is that it is made from a strain of the soil mould Fusarium venenatum by fermenting it, then adding glucose, fixed nitrogen, vitamins and minerals and heat-treating it to remove excess levels of ribonucleic acid. (In other words, it is a long way from what the phrase “plant food” may seem to denote.)

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Source: gad