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Digital Color Meter

macOS ships with a handy piece of software called Digital Color Meter that you can use to find the colour of something on your screen.

  1. Open Digital Color Meter (found in Applications → Utilities).
  2. Click View → Display Values → as Hexadecimal.
  3. Hover over the thing you’d like to sample and press Shift-Command-C to copy the colour as a hex code or press Option-Command-C to copy the colour as an image.

Curry sauce 2

This is a curry sauce that lends itself to tougher pieces of meat like stewing beef, goat chops, etc. For the paste I use the mill attachment for my blender but I’ve also use a pestle and mortar which takes a little longer but is more satisfying.

Ingredients

  • Garlic, ½ bulb, crushed
  • Ginger, peeled and grated, ~2 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds, 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds, 2 tbsp
  • Cardamom pods, 4
  • Cinnamon bark, 1 stick
  • Black peppercorns, 4
  • Whole tomatoes, 400g tin, broken up
  • Tomato purée, 2 tbsp
  • Beef stock, 300ml
  • Coriander, 2 good handfuls, chopped
  • Red onion, 2 large, minced
  • Stewing beef, 500g, cut into 4cm chonks
  • Olive oil, a glug
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon bark and peppercorns in a pan on a medium heat until fragrant.
  2. Set the pan aside to cool then use the flat side of a knife to release the cardamom seeds and discard the shells.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cadamom seeds and black peppercorns to the mill followed by the chopped coriander, a teaspoon of olive oil, a splash of water and a pinch of salt.
  4. Blend until a fine paste! You can add another splash of water if it’s struggling.
  5. Take a heavy pan, add a glug of olive oil and brown the beef chonks in batches on a medium heat then set aside.
  6. In the same pan, add the curry paste, cinnamon bark and red onion, stir well and cook for 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  7. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the beef chonks back into the pan and stir well, ensuring all the chonks are evenly coated in the mixture.
  9. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and beef stock, followed by a good pinch of salt.
  10. Pop a lid on and simmer for 1 hour1, stirring ever so often.
  11. Remove the lid and reduce on a simmer for ½ hour (or more depending on your desired consistency). Stir often to prevent sticking!

  1. Simmer for longer depending on the meat! 

Roast gammon with honey and mustard glaze

I roast a gammon throughout the year for cold cuts. To glaze the gammon you’ll a pastry brush and my preference is to remove the rind and roast it separately to make crackling.

I got the cooking times from this BBC Good Food recipe:

Roast gammon cooking time is generally 20 minutes per 450g, plus an added 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • Gammon, rind removed with about ¼ centimetre fat left on.
  • Bay leaves, a handful
  • Fennel seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Black peppercorns, 8
  • Cider, 2 litres
  • Honey, 454g jar
  • English mustard, 3 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp
  • Bourbon, a generous glug

Instructions

  1. Take a pan that’s large/deep enough to comfortably fit the gammon (with extra room) and add the gammon and the bay leaves, fennel seeds, yellow mustard seeds and black peppercorns followed by the cider.
  2. Bring to the boil then reduce to a hearty simmer and cook for ½ the calculated cooking time.
  3. Once done, gently remove the gammon and set aside on a drying rack. Cover loosely with foil and leave for ½ hour (or when you’re closer to eating).
  4. Pass the remaining pan contents through a sieve and reserve the gammon stock. Discard the bay leaves, fennel seeds, yellow mustard seeds and black peppercorns.
  5. Rinse the pan thoroughly then add the reserved gammon stock. Reduce on a medium-high heat until it’s ~¼ of what it was.
  6. Add the honey, English mustard, ketchup and bourbon then stir well with a whisk. Continue to reduce on a hearty simmer, stirring regularly with a whisk until a thick consistency then set aside.
  7. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  8. Place a roasting rack in a deep roasting tin then gently place the gammon on the rack. Generously apply the glaze using the pastry brush ensuring the glaze gets into all the nooks and crannies.
  9. Roast the gammon in the middle of the oven for the remaining cooking time, applying the glaze every 20/30 minutes. I like to flip the gammon onto alternating sides to ensure the glaze is evenly covered.
  10. Go ham.

Whole roast duck

This is a great recipe for roasting a whole duck for crispy duck pancakes. I’ve had success roasting in advance and reheating the shredded duck in a foil parcel in the oven.

Like my whole roast goose recipe, I used a baster and a v-shaped roasting rack for a more relaxing time.

Ingredients

  • Duck, ~2.5kg
  • Lemon, 1 large
  • Rosemary, handful
  • Bay leaves, 3
  • Five spice, 4 tbsp
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Take the duck and pat dry with kitchen roll then prick the skin all over with the tip of a skewer (or similar).
  3. Season the bird cavity and skin generously with the five spice and salt and pepper. Use your hands to ensure the rub gets into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Place the lemon in the duck cavity followed by the rosemary and bay leaves.
  5. Take some butchers twine and tie the legs together at the “ankles”. I also like to tuck the parson’s nose up through the legs and pop a skewer through to keep it in place.
  6. Place a roasting rack in a deep roasting tray. Take care to locate the duck on the roasting rack so that it fits neatly and isn’t hanging over the edge of the roasting tin.
  7. Roast for 10 minutes at 220°C then reduce to 170°C and roast for ~3 hours.
  8. Every 30 minutes or so, baste the duck using the fat from the roasting tin then use the baster to decant excess fat from the tin into a large bowl (there is a lot of fat!).
  9. Once done, leave uncovered to rest for ~30 minutes then shred!

Curry sauce 1

I make this curry sauce regularly because it’s tasty and I usually have most of the ingredients to hand it makes a particularly great egg curry.

Ingredients

  • Cloves, 4
  • Black peppercorns, 8
  • Cardamom pods, 5
  • Cinnamon bark, 1 stick
  • Onion, 3 large, chopped fine
  • Garlic paste, 2 tsp
  • Ginger paste, 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder, 2 tsp
  • Ground coriander, 2 tbsp
  • Ground turmeric, ½ tsp
  • Garam masala, 1 tsp
  • Coriander, good handful, chopped fine
  • Whole tomatoes, 400g tin, broken up
  • Yoghurt, 125g
  • Olive oil, a glug
  • Water, 300ml
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Add a glug of olive oil to a good-sized pan on a medium heat followed by the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods and cinnamon bark and toast for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion and a good pinch of salt and fry until the onions are starting to turn.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger paste, stir well and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the chilli powder, ground coriander and ground turmeric, stir well and fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Stir in the broken up tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the yoghurt and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the water and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the chopped coriander followed by the garam masala then stir well.
  9. Pop a lid on and cook on low for at least 1½ hours.
  10. Take the lid off and reduce to desired consistency.

Lamb kofte kebabs

Ingredients

  • Lamb mince, 450g
  • Flat-leaf parsley, good handful, stalks removed and chopped fine
  • Ras el hanout, 1 tbsp
  • Celery salt, 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Tomato purée, 1½ tsp
  • Harissa, 1½ tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and stir well with a large spoon.
  2. Use the hands on the end of your arms to thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Wrap the mixing bowl with cling film and pop in the fridge for an hour.
  4. To make the kofte, take a handful of the mixture and roll into a ~6cm diameter ball before forming into a flat disk by gently pressing between the palms of your hands.
  5. Grill on a high heat for a few minutes either side.

Paprika seafood soup

This is a simple (if slightly labour intensive) method to make a deep and flavoursome seafood soup.

Ingredients

  • Whole prawns, 6
  • Cod fillet (or other firm white fish), ~250g
  • Crab claw
  • Whole tomatoes, 400g tin
  • Onion, 1 medium, chopped
  • Garlic, ~5 cloves, bashed
  • Paprika, 2 tsp
  • Ground cumin, 1 tsp
  • Smoked paprika, 0.5 tsp
  • Chilli powder, 0.5 tsp
  • Celery salt, 0.5 tsp
  • Tomato puree, 1 splodge
  • Harrisa, 1 splodge
  • Lemon, 1, juiced
  • Chicken stock, 1 pint
  • Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Take the prawns, remove the the heads and shells, set aside. Devein the prawn tails then pop in the fridge.
  2. Take the cod, remove any skin, cut into chunks then pop in the fridge.
  3. Blend the tomatoes until a smooth consistency then set aside.
  4. Take a good-sized pan, put on a medium-hot heat, add a touch of olive oil and the onions and fry until they start to turn.
  5. Add the garlic and fry for another few minutes.
  6. Add the paprika, cumin, smoked paprika, chilli powder and celery salt, stir well then fry for a few minutes.
  7. Add a splodge of tomato puree, a splodge of harrisa, stir well then fry for a few minutes.
  8. Add the prawn heads/shells, crab claw, stir well then fry for a few minutes.
  9. Add the blended tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper then stir well.
  10. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for ~45 minutes until the soup is looking a rich dark red.
  11. Pass the contents of the pan through a sieve. I’d recommend using a sturdy ladle to press all the delicious juices out! Discard the prawn heads/shells and the crab claw1 and put the strained soup back in the pan.
  12. Bring the soup back to a simmer then add the prawn tails and cod.
  13. Cook for ~5 minutes or until the prawns and cod are done.
  14. Ladle into a deep bowl and finish with finely chopped flat-leaf parsley.

  1. You could crack the crab claw, pick out the crab meat and add to the soup. 

Braised lamb shanks

A key part of this recipe is to ensure the casserole pan is sufficiently full so that the lamb shanks don’t dry out. I use a casserole pan that is a couple of inches wider than the length of the lamb shank, and the contents usually fill the pan to a couple of inches from the top, with the liquid just about covering the lamb shanks.

Ingredients

  • Lamb shank, 2
  • Chicken stock, 500ml
  • Red wine, 500ml
  • Carrots, 2 medium, scrubbed and cut into into ½ inch cubes
  • Celery, 3 ribs, diced
  • Onion, 1, diced
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Tomato purée, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh thyme, handful, tied up
  • Bay leaf, 1
  • Worcester sauce, 1 tbsp
  • Baking paper
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Take a heavy-lidded casserole pan, add a touch of oil and brown the lamb shanks, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery and cook on a medium heat until the onion goes translucent.
  3. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further few minutes.
  4. Add the stock, red wine, Worcester sauce, thyme and bay leaves and stir well, then bring the pan to a slow simmer.
  5. Add the lamb shanks and season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Place a piece of baking paper on top of the pan, then place the lid on top of the baking paper to seal.
  7. Cook in the oven at 170°C for 2 hours, or until the lamb is almost fall-apart tender.
  8. Gently remove the lamb shanks from the pan, wrap in foil to keep warm and set aside.
  9. Take a fresh pan and pass the sauce through a sieve, using a large spoon to press all the sauce out. Discard the contents of the sieve.
  10. Using a fresh pan and sieve, strain the contents of the casserole pan. Use a large spoon to press all the sauce out. Discard the contents of the sieve.
  11. If you like, you can reduce the sauce to preference.

Quick pickled fennel

Ingredients

  • Fennel, 1 whole
  • Lemon, ½, juiced
  • Cider vinegar, ~1 tbsp
  • Olive oil, ½ tsp
  • Fennel seeds, 1 tsp
  • Caraway seeds, 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds, 1 tsp
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the fennel into thin slices (or run through the mandolin!) and stir into a good-sized bowl with the juice of half a lemon.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar, bash up the fennel, caraway and coriander seeds until fine and add to the bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the olive oil and cider vinegar and stir well.
  4. Put the bowl in the fridge for half an hour or so to marinade.

“Hey, World!”

New, in beta, weblog service from HEY where you post by sending an email to [email protected].

I was reminded of Blogger Mobile from 2005(!):

When you send an email or MMS to [email protected] we set up a new blog for you and post your photo and text to it. You can keep the blog we set up for you or switch everything over to your existing blog by signing in to go.blogger.com with the code we send to your phone.

J Dilla’s Donuts: 15 year tribute

With this digital experience we try to commemorate [J. Dilla’s] legacy, but, furthermore, let old time fans and newcomers immerse themselves into the thirty-one carefully crafted tracks.

Very nicely done.

Just signed into IFTTT for the first time in a long while (one of my workflows had stopped working months ago) and yikes. Not sure what happened to IFTTT — it used to be great.

Whole roast goose

For this recipe I bought a baster and a v-shaped roasting rack for a more relaxing time.

I got the cooking times from this Nigel Slater recipe:

Allow 15 minutes in the oven per 450g, plus 20 minutes extra

Ingredients

  • Goose, 5.5kg
  • Large handful of herbs (I used lemon balm, marjoram and thyme from the garden)
  • Lemon, 1 large

Instructions

  1. The night before, remove the goose from the packaging and the giblets from the cavity. Leave the goose uncovered in the fridge to dry out.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
  3. Take the goose and pat dry with some kitchen roll then prick the skin all over with the tip of a skewer (or similar).
  4. Season the bird cavity and skin generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Place the lemon in the duck cavity followed by the herbs.
  6. Place a roasting rack in a deep roasting tin. Take care to locate the goose on the roasting rack so that it fits neatly and isn’t hanging over the edge of the roasting tin.
  7. Roast for 15 minutes at 220°C then reduce to 180°C and roast for 3 hours 13 minutes (3 hours 23 minutes in total).
  8. Every 45 minutes or so, baste the goose using the fat from the roasting tin, then drain the goose fat using a baster into a large bowl (there is a lot of fat!).
  9. Once done, loosely cover with tin foil and rest for 45 minutes.