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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.

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

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.

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