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Pic of Burrata, Romesco, Red Chilli recipe

From Catalogued Ideas And Random Thoughts by Stuart Ralston

Acclaimed chef Stuart Ralston is known as one of the most innovative and creative cooks working in the UK today. Catalogued Ideas and Random Thoughts – A Cookbook traces his evolution as a chef, and brings together the food that inspires him, from the finely crafted dishes that he creates in his restaurants to the food he likes to cook at home. 

We are delighted to share one of his favourite recipes with you- Burrata, Romesco, Red Chilli.

Now over to Stuart!


Burrata, Romesco, Red Chilli

According to Jade Johnston, our Ops Manager and partner in everything we do, burrata is hands down the best cheese in the world. It is super versatile, great for sharing and easy to source. It’s also delicious paired with my ride-or-die sauce, romesco. We use a little gochujang chilli paste to give the romesco a slight change of direction from its native Spanish roots.

Seves 2 with plenty of sauce.

For the romesco:

75g flaked almonds, toasted 

75g whole hazelnuts, toasted 

250g shop-bought roasted peppers, drained and seeds removed 

250g tinned tomatoes, drained overnight 

30–60g gochujang chilli paste, depending on desired spiciness 

45g olive oil 

8 garlic cloves, finely grated 

10g sherry vinegar 

5g smoked paprika 

8g salt 

sugar to taste

To serve:

1 burrata

1 red chilli, sliced

olive oil

sea salt 

black pepper

Method:

For the romesco, pulse the almonds and hazelnuts together in a food processor to form coarse crumbs, then place in a large bowl. 

Blend the roasted peppers and drained tomatoes together in the food processor until incorporated but not smooth. Add to the toasted nuts. 

Blend the gochujang, olive oil, garlic, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika and salt to form a paste. Add this to the nut mixture and season as necessary with more salt, sugar and vinegar.

To serve, place the burrata onto a paper towel to drain any excess liquid. Spoon plenty of romesco onto a plate and put the burrata on top. Add a couple of slices of red chilli, season with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper and then drizzle over the olive oil. 

Serve with toasted focaccia.

So tasty! We hope you enjoy this recipe at home.

You can buy Stuart’s book here and discover many more of his amazing recipes.

Cookbook cover
Pic of Stuart Ralston

Acclaimed chef Stuart Ralston is known as one of the most innovative, creative and hard-working cooks in the UK today. Stuart’s inspirations come from all around him, and throughout his career he has kept a notebook to jot down ideas for flavour combinations and recipes. He goes back to those ideas again and again, playing with taste and texture to create stunning and intriguing dishes. 

We are so excited to publish his first cookbook Catalogued Ideas and Random Thoughts – A Cookbook. The book traces his evolution as a chef, and brings together the food that inspires him, the finely crafted dishes that he creates in his restaurants and the food he likes to cook at home.

Cookbook cover

Stuart grew up in Glenrothes in a family of chefs. From learning his trade in kitchens around Scotland, he moved to New York to work in Gordon Ramsay’s flagship 2 Michelin Star restaurant at the London Hotel.

Pic of London Hotel NYC

He spent two years as the Chef de Cuisine at Sandy Lanes, Barbados cooking for the likes of Rihanna and Mark Wahlberg, before returning to Edinburgh to open several highly regarded and top quality restaurants – Aizle in 2016, followed by Noto in 2019 and most recently Tipo in 2023.

Pic of Noto Restaurant in Edinburgh

We caught up with Stuart and asked him a few questions to give us some insight into what he does and what lays behind his love of food and cooking. 

Enjoy!

Was there a cookbook that really inspired you? 

Many many cookbooks have given me something. The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller, my first 3 star cookbook, was life changing. A timeless book now you look back at it. It’s a book that made me daydream about what life must have been like in a 3 Michelin star environment.

The French Laundry Cookbook Cover

I love the David Chang Momofuku book. It was a book that was just so refreshing and cool. The food was so varied that you could have his fine dining dishes like his “ KO Egg” or move onto something causal you’d find at Ssam bar like spicy rice cakes and sausage, which felt like a very New York dish similar to a gnocchi with broccoli rabe and sausage meat.

Pic of Momofuku Book Cover

Books are also about what strikes me in the moment. Others I love in my collection are Ikoyi, Coco, the Ikarus collection, Munchies, or Christopher Kostow a new Napa Cuisine.

Pic of Ikarus Cookbook

2. What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

My Cast Iron pans, without a doubt. My pans were made by the Griswold Co in Pennsylvania in the 1850’s. They last a lifetime, and are always non stick and heavy as hell. They retain heat like no other and basically I use them every day.

Pic of Griswold Cast Iron Skillet

3. Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

Sadly a lot of the time I listen to Talksport radio in the house when I’m cooking haha. But at work it’s pretty eclectic – INXS, Wu Tang Clan, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and podcasts like Dave Chang Show and Restless Natives are all pretty good.

Pic of Childish Gambino
Image from Restless Natives Podcast

4. If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

Dream location to actually cook would be somewhere in the deepest woods or mountains, something similar to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

View of Blue Hill Restaurant from Stone Hill Farm

Or perhaps The Willows Inn on Lummi island, overlooking water somewhere, but very calm and quiet on long summer days…

Pic of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island

5. If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

Just to try and be organised, that always helps.

Pic of Gnudi from Stuart's cookbook

Massive thanks to Stuart for taking the time to share his fascinating and inspiring thoughts with us.

His absolutely stunning new cookbook is now available in all good book stores and of course direct from us right HERE.

Stuart Ralston cooks great food and now you can try his recipes at home for yourself.

With Brother Marcus

Tas Gaitanos and Alex Large are old school-friends who set up the first Brother Marcus restaurant in 2016. Since then it has been called the ‘Best Brunch in London’ by Time Out and as having ‘Some of the best brunch options in the city’ by Harper’s. They now have outlets of their hip Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in Angel, Spitalfields Market, Borough Yards and South Kensington and are about to release their first cookbook Brunch With Brother Marcus.

Tas is of Cretan and Cypriot heritage and grew up working in his father’s restaurant. He was lured into the family trade by his love of the flavours of the Eastern Med. Alex is a trained actor so finds running front of house and developing the notorious Brother Marcus cocktail list a natural home. Both have travelled extensively in the Eastern Med and look to it constantly as a source of inspiration. Brunch at Brother Marcus is a weekend institution in London, and in their first cookbook you can find out why.

Brother Marcus Cookbook Cover

In the book, Tas and Alex take the flavours of the Eastern Med to make dishes really worth getting out of bed for, from simple favourites such as Menemen – a spicy scrambled eggs made with peppers and tomatoes – to the sublime: think Pulled Lamb Flatbreads or Rosti with Fried Chicken and Eggs. 

Picture of Menemen

Brunch with Brother Marcus also features recipes to make your own yoghurt, pickles, salt beef and breads.

Picture of Pickles

As well as a drinks chapter that delivers both smoothies and fortifying cocktails such as the Brother Mary, or the alcohol-free Pomegranate Ginger Beer (sure to put a skip in your step). 

Picture of Brother Mary cocktail

And there are sweets too, including traditional Baklavadika and a truly divine Portokalopita, an extraordinary orange filo pastry cake. You won’t want to brunch with anyone else.


Picture of Portokalopita dessert

We recently caught up with Tas and Alex and asked them a few questions to give us some insight into what they do and what lays behind their love of food and cooking. 

Enjoy!

1. Was there a cookbook that really inspired you? 

Our office and home shelves are full of cookbooks that we like and admire, but specifically for our book there were three that inspired us, Mazi, Palomar and Brunch The Sunday Way

Picture of Maxi Cookbook Cover

Specific brunch books aren’t as easy to come by as you might think so Brunch by Sunday’s was a real inspiration in terms of creating a book just for that one meal and seeing what they included and how they positioned it. 

Brunch The Sunday Way book cover

In terms of aesthetics, design and writing style, Palomar and Mazi have been books we’ve always liked and gravitated to. 

Picture of Palomar Cookbook Cover

2. What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

This was a hard one to answer as we have too many favourites, it depends what cuisine we’re cooking, the mood we’re in and who we are cooking for but we’ve gone for Aleppo chilli

Picture of Aleppo Chilli

We use it in so many dishes at Brother Marcus it must subconsciously be our favourite, or maybe just very versatile! Aleppo is a variety of capsicum that is used a lot in Eastern Mediterranean and Turkish cooking. We sprinkle it on lots of dishes including in our fennel tzatziki but also make a delicious Aleppo butter that we use with our king prawns, adding a subtle kick to the dish. 

We even use it in cocktails such as the Aleppo Margarita that’s in the book, it’s a very useful spice to have in the kitchen. 

Picture of Aleppo Margarita

3. Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

If I’m on my own in the kitchen I normally put on whatever I’m currently watching on Netflix, at the moment it is a football documentary, but if my wife and baby are in the room it’s a different scenario altogether and football is definitely not on the cards! Normally we put music on as we listen to different podcasts and audiobooks so music is our mutual ground. Our favourite band is Fleetwood Mac

4. If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

I was brought up in Elounda which is a town on the island of Crete. It has a pretty beach right in the town where I spent much of my childhood so I think I’d have to say the beach there. 

Picture of Elounda, Crete

It’s right across the road from my father’s restaurant where me and my siblings were able to play whilst my parents sat in the restaurant half watching us. I used to catch octopus just off the beach so I’d love to cook octopus, or local seafood, on an open fire on the Elounda beach. 

5. If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

Don’t stop exploring, there are so many amazing cuisines, ingredients and produce so never get stuck in your ways and take the easy option with sticking to things you know. New ingredients and produce are always being discovered which is one of the most exciting parts about being a chef, experimenting with these and coming up with new flavour combinations and recipes is always fun. 

Massive thanks to Tas and Alex for taking the time to share their thoughts with us. Their absolutely stunning new cookbook is now available in all good book stores and of course direct from us right HERE.

Fi Buchanan Pic

With Fi Buchanan (Seasonal Soups)

Fi Buchanan is a food writer and chef who owned Glasgow’s legendary Heart Buchanan café and deli. Winner of a Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland award, she presented the BBC series TeenCanteen, has worked behind the scenes on many tv food shows and has given a TedX talk on courage. She lives in Glasgow and we think she is wonderful.

We asked Fi if she would write the companion volume Seasonal Salads to the best-selling Seasonal Soups by Fraser Reid, which has sold over 10k copies, and Fi said yes!

Seasonal Salads Cover

‘Salads can be anything you want them to be’ says Fi and with Seasonal Salads she created a book that celebrates salads in all their seasonal glory.

What these recipes all have in common is Fi’s trademark inventive flair, her ability to combine flavours and textures in the cleverest of ways to make the most of what’s plentiful in each season.

Watermelon Salad

If you thought salads were something you served on the side, it’s time to turn over a new leaf.

We recently caught up with the lovely Fi and asked her a few questions to give us some insight into her background and her love of food and cooking.

Enjoy!

Q: Was there a cookbook that really inspired you? 

A: Yes definitely, there were three; Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater, The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukens & Julie Rosso, and The Nantucket Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase.

Real Fast Food Book Cover

I poured over those books on my work breaks, on the bus, in the laundrette, and I truly loved them. The authors seemed as if they were speaking to me like a friend as I read and the recipes were irresistibly fresh and sparkling with flavour. I wanted in.

Open House Cookbook Cover
Silver Palate Cookbook Cover

It was 80’s Edinburgh, I was vegetarian and sick to death of boiled potatoes and brown food. I remember the first day I ever tried fresh basil, the first day I ever tried a kiwi fruit, the first day I tried the Italian mountain cheese Taleggio … literally … I can remember where I was and what I was wearing. It was like getting the key to a door into a technicolour world from a black and white world.

Fresh Basil

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without? 

A: Well for practicalities sake I’d be an idiot if I didn’t say my knife. A very plain – non designer – wooden handled, easy to sharpen, 20cm cooks knife.

Pic of Fi's kitchen knife

After that I’d have to say the music and podcasts on my phone. They set the tempo for me – giving me energy, soothing my hot brain, educating me, talking me … or dancing me … through the solitary days and nights in the kitchen for the past few years.

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to? 

A: My musical taste is eclectic, I make playlists all the time, and my son has caught the bug, and laughs at me for calling them tape-mixes. A good mix is a magical thing, very similar to a good dish, it has to match your mood and then find you and lift you a little. When you share what you’ve made it’s a deeply personal thing, and if someone you like appreciates it, it can generate deep joy in you.

Pic of Mixtape

I’ve made a tape mix for each of the 12 months of salads in the book. Here is the QR code for January’s playlist:

Fi Mixtape QR Code

When it comes to podcasts; Invisibilia, How To Fail, Shedunnit, Origin Story, and The Desert Island Discs archive are all wonderful.

Shedunnit Podcast logo

How To Fail Podcast Logo

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose? 

A: Hmm. Would I be cooking for my friends & family? If I could bring them with me there are some pretty nice beaches in the Virgin Islands I’d quite like to go back to.

I’ve always thought that a vineyard in Chile would be a great place to hang out and cook up a storm.

Chile vineyard

However, if the forces of magic were at work (oh please let them be), I’d conjure an amphitheatre of growing walls full of veggies and herbs, and wood fired ovens. I’d put it in every single school in the land and we’d make huge platters of salads, big vats of soup, and homemade bread everyday for lunch. I know it sounds a bit far out, but could you imagine?! It would be so good. That would be magic that’d make more magic.

Pic of growing walls

Pic of growing walls

5. If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be? 

My one single piece of advice to you would be to cook the food you like. You can’t get your mojo from food you don’t like. Motivation is the unstoppable force. Be motivated by what you love. Do yourself proud, then share it with people you love.

Massive thanks to Fi for a truly inspiring chat. Her Seasonal Salads cookbook is now available in all good book stores and of course direct from us right HERE

Urvashi Portrait Cropped

With Urvashi Roe (Biting Biting)

Urvashi Roe was brought up in a family who loved to snack.  Any news of impending visitors would prompt a flurry of activity in the kitchen. Within 30 minutes her mother and aunties would have the ‘biting biting’ prepared – a spread of vegetarian and vegan snacks made with store cupboard ingredients and leftovers. 

Her family are originally from Gujarat in India, but Urvashi grew up in Tanzania in East Africa, where she lived until she was a teenager.  Their family tradition of ‘biting biting’ takes its roots from classic Gujarati farsan – salty snacks served with tea or as street food – famous throughout the In- dian subcontinent. The recipes evolved to use East African ingredients like cassava, then again as the family moved to the UK. 

Biting Biting the cookbook is a celebration of this delicious family custom, and of the food of the Gujarati diaspora in Africa and in the UK. Extremely tasty, quick and easy to prepare these snacks will set your tastebuds buzzing.

Biting Biting Cover

We recently caught up with the lovely Urvashi while she was holidaying in Greece and asked her a few questions to give us some insight into her background and her love of food and cooking. Her answers are as delightful as her book and her cooking.

Enjoy!

Q: Was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: Nigella Bites is the first cookbook I ever owned. My husband bought it for me for Christmas in our first home. We used to watch Nigella on TV cuddled up in a fluffy red throw with red wine and popcorn. We had very little furniture at the time and we’d watch with the odd exclamation now and then. “Ooooh let’s get spoons like that” or “I love the way she has those twinkly lights on the bookcase”. We totally did get those spoons and twinkly lights when payday came round.

We started writing the dates of when we made the recipes in the top corner of the page. If I had carried this tradition on til today then there are most certainly pages that would have run out of space.

A few highlights would be:

Breakfast Muffins – I remember one morning when we woke up to find our neighbour’s cash register in the back garden. We called the police and as they did their investigations I put on a batch of these and we had them with hot tea. My girls were little then and they enjoyed toddling out offering Mr Policeman a muffin.

Chocolate Fudge Cake – still the go to cake recipe for our birthdays. Over the years the decorations have changed from My Little Pony to Polly Pocket to Disney Princesses to Harry Potter most recently when my daughter turned 16 but the base is always this same delicious recipe. The memories that page in the book evokes are so special. It’s almost like the book holds them safely for us.

Stovetop Rice Pudding – when I had my flower shops the hardest season was always Christmas. Your hands are shredded with snips from the thorns of thousands of Grand Prix roses or spiky ivy wreaths. The phone is constantly ringing. There is never enough time to get warm. The first Christmas was especially hard as I had no experience of the madness. I’d been on my feet for nearly 15 hours, just shut the shop door and flipped the open sign to closed when one of my regular customers came in not looking his usual cheery self. His mum had passed. We sat in silence with hot tea. I held his shaking hand for about an hour before he was ready to make her funeral arrangements and then I drove him home. Tone had been taking care of the girls all day and I got back just as they were setting out their mince pies for Santa. He saw the tears in my face as I came in for a big hug. He bolted the door, led me to the spot in front of the fire and deposited Amber and Amy Sienna on my lap for cuddles. Over the next 20 minutes I lost myself in their happy chatter and then the intoxicating smell of vanilla and milky rice as he brought me a bowl of this pudding. It’s become a Christmas Eve ritual ever since.

It’s a very special book and I love the storytelling within. It’s her relaxed and open style that inspired me to do the same – capture moments in time within the pages.

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: My Velun. A Velun is a rolling pin. We use it for rotli and other flatbreads. It’s got a slightly thick bit in the middle and this is the part we use to flatten the ball of dough. The outer sides are thin and we apply a little pressure on the right then left and so on. This makes the disc of dough spin to get bigger. It’s very clever.

I’ve had mine since I was in primary school and it travels with me to demos and when I teach at Demuth’s. I have used a wine bottle at friends’ houses but it’s not the same. It’s also handy for smacking naughty husbands who try and steal hot off the pan rotli smothered in ghee before it’s dinner time.

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: I like a really quiet, calm kitchen to cook in. No music. I like just getting lost in the recipe I’m following or my own thoughts.

Sometimes if I’m making rotli I listen to a podcast. It’s a monotonous, step by step task that requires very little concentration. Roll the dough ball, flatten it, roll into a disc, flour it, roll out into a circle, toss it on the hot griddle, make another dough ball, flatten it, roll it into a disc, flip the rotli on the griddle, back to the disc of dough, flour it, roll it to a circle, flip the one on the griddle one more time and then off, plop the one you just made onto the griddle, put ghee on the hot one and then back to making another dough ball and so on.

I like listening to How to Fail by Elizabeth Day.

A particular favourite is the one with Andi Oliver. That one made me cry and I got flour all over my face wiping the tears away. The one with Delia Smith is also great. 

I wasn’t allowed to fail as a child. My father set high standards for my schoolwork and it wasn’t a happy conversation when I got less than As. It took me a LONG time to accept failing and understand that failure is what helps us grow. Elizabeth is exceptionally good at highlighting the learnings that come from her guests’ failures and is a constant reminder to me that in the grand scheme of things I am not a failure just because I slipped a few As at school.

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose and what would you cook?

A: Just after I finished filming for Series 2 of Bake Off we went on a holiday to India. Tone and I had been before but this was our first trip with the girls. We were driving from Jaipur to Udaipur when the first episode was aired and I was on Twitter and Facebook all the way to get an inkling of how it was. It was so stressful!

We arrived in Udaipur tired, hot and hungry. After freshening up we went down to the restaurant of the Shiv Nivas Palace Hotel. The one that was in Octopussy where the bad guy stays.

Unfortunately the restaurant was full with an event and their other restaurant was being renovated. Room service was also too busy to take more orders so the waiter sat us down in the courtyard with some drinks while he tried to find a solution. After what seemed like hours he came back and ushered us into the hotel again. We thought they’d sorted out room service but we went a different way. Down a long corridor, through a few sets of locked double doors. Elaborate, wooden doors with intricate carvings and brass handles. The girls were proper grumpy and we had to carry them.

Finally we arrived into a large banquet hall. The Maharaja was not happy that as guests of the hotel we were not able to eat and so had offered us his private kitchen and banqueting suite. Every table was masterfully laid with silver platters, brass goblets, crystal glasses and cutlery. The napkins were made of silk. There was a full kitchen staff to welcome us. They promptly lifted the girls out of our arms and into the kitchen. Ordinarily the girls would have objected but they were so tired they complied. Warm Nankathai biscuits and fresh sugarcane juice perked the girls up and abated my hunger. We were given a tour of the immaculate kitchen before sitting down wherever we wished in the banquet room. We chose middle middle. Dinner was Dhal Makhani, buttered Naan, a myriad of vegetable curries and the poshest pasta with tomato sauce we had ever seen. The waiters served us flamboyantly with flourishes and bows and trays under huge silver domes. It was magical.

I would go back to that kitchen and cook that Dhal. I’d make Naan in that tandoor and learn how to cook the giant prawns on skewers you see on TV. I’d bake those nankathai, simmer some chai to go with them and marvel at the magnificence of the room again.

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: If you are making a recipe for the first time always follow it precisely. Then it is much easier to adapt it and get creative. I’m sometimes in such a greedy rush to eat that I skip a step or miss a spice. I never get a good result with this impatient attitude!

Thank you so much Urvashi for sharing these wonderful stories with us.

You can order Biting Biting direct from KP here or in all good book stores.

Onion and tomato curry

Recipe taken from from Biting Biting: Snacking Gujarati-style By Urvashi Roe

Biting Biting book cover

Urvashi Roe was brought up in a family who loved to snack. Any news of impending visitors would prompt a flurry of activity in the kitchen. Within 30 minutes her mother and aunties would have the ‘biting biting’ prepared – a spread of vegetarian and vegan snacks made with store cupboard ingredients and leftovers.  

Cupboard ingredients

Biting Biting is a celebration of this delicious family custom, and of the food of the Gujarati diaspora in Africa and in the UK. 

Extremely tasty, quick and easy to prepare these snacks will set your tastebuds buzzing. Next time you have guests for tea or you need a little something that’s not quite lunch or dinner, you can simply reach for some Biting Biting inspiration. 

Urvashi Roe and aunties

We are extremely happy to be publishing this wonderful Biting Biting cook book in September 2022. So we thought we would give you a taste of what delights you can expect by sharing this tasty Onion and Tomato Curry recipe taken from the book with you to try out and enjoy over the summer.

Enjoy your Biting Biting!

A Brief Introduction To Shaak

In Sanskrit saka means ‘vegetable but in Gujarti it is the word we use for ‘curry’. Depending on which part of Gujarat you are from, you might say shaak or saak. My family all say shaak except for my friend Kavita who says saak. Shaak can be dry or with sauce, and it can feature a stuffed vegetable, single vegetable or combination of vegetables. It is often associated with certain rituals or functions – for example, at weddings you will often see potato shaak, mixed vegetable and dumpling shaak and some form of lilotri or green vegetable shaak.

Shaak section page from Biting Biting

Usually on weekdays we have one shaak with rotli. On a weekend or at family functions we may have a few more. When I first got married my husband always got three of four shaak at dinner as he was the Jamai (son-in-law) in favour. Nowadays he gets one unless my mum needs a job doing around the house or garden.

Onion And Tomato Curry (Shaak) Recipe By Urvashi Roe

When you literally have a bare fridge and are not in the mood for a complex cook, this is your recipe. It is guaranteed to fill the kitchen with a wonderful aroma and bring warmth and comfort at the end of a long, tiring day. It’s fast to make and you can eat it unceremoniously with your fingers on cold leftover rice, crusty day-old parotha or even on toast or in a sandwich. We like it with torn baguette too. You can omit the ghee but I find it adds a velvety, buttery sheen, making this dish one you’ll want to lick off your plate. Green tomatoes or tomatillos work exceptionally well. 

Curry spices

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp ghee

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 large onions, thinly sliced

2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp amchur

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, grated (optional)

4 large tomatoes, halved and cut into 2cm slices

Urvashi Roe

Method

Heat the vegetable oil and ghee in a wok or large saucepan until the ghee has completely melted and started sizzling. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow them to fizzle and pop for a few seconds. Quickly add the sliced onions and sauté them briefly so they are well coated. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, ground cumin, amchur and salt and then toss well so everything is thoroughly combined. Add a shot glass of water and the garlic if you are using it, cover and cook for five minutes on a medium heat until the onions are just starting to soften. 

Take a moment here to inhale the aromas and commend yourself for making this epic dish. 

Carefully fold in the tomatoes, then cover and cook for a further two minutes so the tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape. Eat immediately! 

If for some crazy reason you have leftovers you can spoon the cold shaak over buttery toast and top with a fried or poached egg. Or this makes a great topping on hummus scattered over with toasted sunflower seeds and scooped up with pitta bread. 

You can pre-order Biting Biting direct from us here

Urvashi Roe and aunties

Kitchen Quiz 

With Fraser Reid (Seasonal Soups)

One of our favourite and most popular KP titles is Seasonal Soups by Fraser Reid. This beautiful wee book is now in its second edition and has brought joy to readers around the world with its straightforward, healthy approach to soups.

Author Fraser Reid is an absolutely lovely chap with a strong community ethic. Having experienced a sudden personal nirvana moment with vegetables, Fraser transformed both his career and the local community in the West End of Dundee by opening his wee green fruit and veg corner shop.

The focus has always been on quality, local and international produce all provided with a smiling face and cheery personality. A simple yet powerful and infectious approach. The shop has also become a supplier of other quality deli goods such as Spanish black pudding, fresh baked bread and craft beers.

Fraser’s trademark is his warm and affable style. He really is a business owner who’s personality and passion are at the heart of everything he does. No one just pops into Fraser’s Fruit And Veg without a nice chat or learning something new.

It’s quite interesting that one of our most successful cookbooks is not written by a chef at all, but by someone passionate about produce and who had the courage to try out lots of soup recipes. The purpose being to make the menu at home more interesting, varied and packed full of vegetables. This is a philosophy we are 100% behind here at KP. Cooking is for everyone.

So we caught up with Fraser recently (which is always a pleasure) to ask him a few questions for our Kitchen Quiz series.

We hope you enjoy!

Now over to you Fraser.

Q: Hey Fraser, hope you are good. So was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: The cookbook that really inspired me was Jamie at home. We started growing veg in the garden before opening the shop and using the recipes in this book after harvesting. The broad beans fritters in there are amazing.

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: My favourite item in the kitchen would be the soup pot. We use it every week and its been the pot that’s tested all of the recipes in Seasonal Soups.

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: Music is always on in the kitchen. Depending on who’s in, that dictates the tunes.

If it’s my 4 year old then it’s I Like To Move It by will.i.am.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLEQRIisP_Q

If it’s my 6 year old it’s Katy Perry. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevxZvSJLk8

If it’s me it’ll be BBC Six Music.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_6music

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: If I could cook anywhere in the world then it would be the simple beachside BBQ. The sound of the waves are mesmerising and feeling on the sun on your skin. I love cooking outdoors.

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: My advice on cooking would be not to stick to a recipe but use it as a guide that you can tailor for personal tastes. It also makes you a better cook, just being able to adjust things as you go. Also don’t be afraid of seasoning.

Great advice from a lovely man. Thank you Fraser!

You can order a copy of his wonderful soup book here.

Katerina Nitsou, author of Macedonia

Kitchen Quiz with Katerina Nitsou (author of Macedonia – Recipes & Stories From The Balkans)

Author Katerina Nitsou

Katerina Nitsou spent her childhood in the kitchen helping her grandmother, mother and aunts prepare family feasts using fresh herbs and vegetables from the family’s prized garden. Growing up in a large Macedonian-Canadian community in Toronto, she was immersed in Macedonian culture through language, dance and of course, food. 

Family in Macedonia in the 1960s

She began writing about traditional Macedonian cuisine long before she completed her training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She honed her recipe writing skills in the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen and developed her cooking style working as a food stylist, caterer, and private chef in California. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two young children, whom she is teaching to cook.

Katerina Nitsou and her family today

Macedonia – The Cookbook; Recipes & Stories from the Balkans is out on Kitchen Press now. It is such a beautiful book and a wonderful culinary journey into this part of the world.

We caught up with Katerina recently and asked her a few questions so we could all get to know this talented, enterprising and creative woman a little better. 

Q: Hey Katerina, was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: It wasn’t any cookbook in particular that inspired me, it was actually the lack of Macedonian cookbooks in the market that inspired me. I will say however that when you love food and cooking, being surrounded by cookbooks is just a part of daily life and then it makes it hard to pick a favourite.

Macedonia book cover

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: I had this tiny thin spatula with a watermelon print on it that I’ve probably had for 12 years. I had to toss it out recently because it was literally falling apart, and I’ve been trying to find the same one with the same shape and profile and sadly not succeeding.  

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: I’m a big Spotify fan, I always have music on at home. These days I’m listening to Michael Kiwanuka and Federico Aubele’s radios, but I also am known to jam some old school 90’s and early 2000’s Hip Hop and R&B.

The podcasts I’ve loved most over the last year are “Second Life” with Hilary Kerr  and “More Than One Thing” with Athena Calderone. For those that may not know this is about me, in addition to being a retired chef and cookbook author, after a journey of working in real estate for Sotheby’s and doing our own developments, I now work in interior design and property development as a professional renovator here in Melbourne. These podcasts that focus on featuring women who are not afraid to embark on new experiences and try new business helped me so much in my waves of doubt and transition in my recent move from Los Angeles California to Melbourne Australia this past year and enterprising and creative women are certainly the ones in the world I connect to.

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: Macedonia, I would love to spend time traveling around Macedonia, cooking and learning in all the villages and towns.

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: Trust yourself and your senses. Cooking is about sight, touch and smell just as much as taste and don’t over think it… Worst thing that can happen is you’ll have to order in.

Katerina’s delicious Braised Quail recipe from Macedonia – Recipes & Stories from the Balkans

Thank you so much for your lovely insights Katerina! 

You can purchase the book direct from us here and begin your own journey into Macedonian food culture.

Dina cooking

Kitchen Quiz: With Dina Begum (Brick Lane Cookbook)

Food writer and chef Dina Begum, author of Brick Lane Cookbook, is a woman who lives and breathes what she cooks and writes about. 

Portrait Of Dina Begum

As a child she would visit the Brick Lane market with her Dad and purchase lamb kofta rolls at the Sweet & Spicy Cafe

Pic of Brick Lane

She was absolutely the perfect person to author Brick Lane Cookbook, her debut book which paid tribute to the multicultural essence of the East of London.

Brick Lane Cookbook Cover

Brick Lane has served a role for many, many years now as a hub for newly established immigrant communities – Huguenot, Bangladeshi, Jewish – arriving in the capital city making their home there, establishing communities and businesses, while expressing themselves and their cultural traditions via food. 

Brick Lane Beigel shop

An area packed full of city boys, art students, curry house touts, models and tourists, the story of Brick Lane is truly a snapshot of London at its authentic, multi-cultural best.

Restaurant sign in Brick Lane.

We caught up with Dina recently in London for our latest episode of Kitchen Quiz.

Pic of Dina Begum

Q: Hi Dina, we hope you are doing fine. So tell us was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: Cookbooks that have inspired me are classic ones, such as books by Siddika Kabir – Bangladeshi author, television personality and nutritionist. My favourite cookbook of hers is the Bangladeshi Curry Cookbook, which focuses on traditional recipes and home cooking. I also love Delia Smith’s writing and recipes – especially her baking books. 

Delia Smith
Bangladeshi Curry Cook Book cover.

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: I can’t live without my kitchen scales. I’m an avid baker and this is essential for baking cakes, pastries etc. 

Dina's scales

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

I usually listen to Nina Simone, The Eagles, Paolo Nutini or Classical music – both Eastern and Western.

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: I would love the adventure element of cooking in the Sundarbans – the mangrove forest which lies in the Bay of Bengal – across Bangladesh and West Bengal. Perhaps on a boat with freshly caught fish!

Pic of the Sundarbans, Bay of Bengal.

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: I would say cook what you love to eat and try and cook by instinct instead of focusing on recipes by the letter. This is great when you’re baking – as precision is required but general cooking should be joyful. It’s the best (and tastiest) life skill. 

Pic of Dina cooking

Massive thanks to Dina for sharing her thoughts with us. 

And if you haven’t done so already, then don’t forget to check out her cookbook for an amazing snapshot of multi-cultural East London at its finest and tastiest.

You can order the book direct from us right here.

illustrated recipe for scottishstani spiced paratha by sumayya usmani

Recipe by

Sumayya Usmani

From

Tomorrow’s Kitchen – A Graphic Novel Cookbook

cartoon recipe for Scottishstani Spiced Winter Squash and Tattic Scone Paratha by Sumayya Usmani
Illustration by Shuangshuang Hao

Sumayya says about this lovely recipe for Scottishstani Paratha: ‘This recipe I share with you now has to be the one that gives me the most comfort. As a child, I would wake up on a Sunday morning to be greeted by the smokey scent of fresh parathas being made on the tawa (flat griddle pan), my mouth watering in anticipation of breakfast. My mother made these by mixing leftover mashed potato bhujia into flour to make thick breads with generous amounts of fresh coriander, green chilli, cumin and ghee. When I moved to Glasgow, I was amazed at how similar parathas were to tattie scones – leftover mash mixed with flour and butter, best cooked on a cast iron ‘girdle’. For me, this is my go-to breakfast now.’

Ingredients

  • 60g butternut squash, roasted until soft
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed
  • 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 6 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee or coconut oil

How to make your Scottishstani Paratha

Mix all the ingredients except the ghee in a large bowl. Stir in the melted ghee, a little at a time, until the mixture reaches a dough-like consistency.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into tennis ball-sized pieces. Cover with a damp cloth.

Heat a griddle pan, tawa or frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add a little ghee, then reduce the heat to medium.

On a floured surface, roll each dough ball into a 6mm-thick patty. Place in the hot ghee and cook gently, pressing down the corners with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper, to ensure it browns evenly. When one side is cooked – about 3-4 minutes – turn over and cook the other side. Repeat with the remaining dough and enjoy your Scottishstani Paratha!!!

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