Olive Magazine

Olive magazine is what you need, if you are looking for a token to give a friend or would like to treat yourself. 6 years ago when it first came out, Olive's appeal was that it was innovative. Not only it contains masses of recipes, what the editorial calls "eat in" but it opens on the outside with their "eat out" and "eat away". I remember at the time being impress by the fact that it was not about chefs or the housewifes, it was about people, people who likes food. Bloggers were included which at the time was a feast.

And today, the magazine stayed true to its founding lines but it became a class act, a little gem, everything is the same but everything has been thought through, experience has simmered and has given it a rich and fantastic taste.

In the February 2010 issue, there is a little for everybody, I'll just pick bits to give you a taste:
  • 10 lunch-boxes (lighter of course), afterall we are hardly 4 weeks away from our good resolutions
  • I like their Menu Spy, they spy on famous restaurants such as Tom Aikens London SW3 where I promised myself to go, one day, or The Three Acres in Shelley take one of their ingredient, this week chicken, and recreate the chefs' recipes.
  • A handy check list when Olive plans 7 meals for £30.
  • one of my favorite of favorite is "ready in 30 minutes", I promise, I'll cook you the caramelised onion soup with gruyere croutons

And there is their star chef, the ever-present, ever in your face, Gordon doing is for ever the same bit, this time a challenge with a nobody cook to see whose of the same recipe is best, I am glad to say after a dozen challenges, it is a dead heat.

John Torode, one of the two from Master Chef, not egg-head, the other at last revealing the secret of his chocolate fondant, he talked about all the time, on the programme.

This month there is something really "magaziny" 4 people talk about their change of career, what push them to leaving their previous career or way of life and start something in food.

There is so much more, let alone: all you need to know about noddles and a little booklet full of yes more recipes.

Let me leave you with one of the in-season recipe

Rhubarb crumble tart by Simon Rimmer

225g plain flour
100g butter
25g golden caster sugar
1 egg (plus 1 extra, beaten for glazing)
1-2 tbsp milk

400g rhubarb
a pinch of ground star anise
a pinch of ground ginger
150g golden caster sugar
1 orange , zested

150g plain flour
150g butter
100g porridge oats
150g demerara sugar
a pinch of ground cinnamon


1.Pulse all the pastry ingredients in a food processor then wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the pastry out and use to line a 23cm tart tin. Chill for 30 minutes.
2.Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line the tart with baking paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and brush with beaten egg. Cook for 5 minutes.
3.Put the rhubarb, spices, sugar and orange in a pan and cook gently until just soft. Cool a little, then spoon into the pastry case. Rub flour and butter together to make breadcrumbs, stir in the oats, sugar and cinnamon, then spoon on top of the fruit. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is crisp and golden. Serve with custard.

PER SERVING628 kcalories, protein 9.3g, carbohydrate 88.2g, fat 29 g, saturated fat 17g, fibre 3.5g, salt 0.55 g

for more info about Olive Magazine click here

It's Winter, Let's Eat Tiramisu.

A refrigerated dessert, in the midst of winter....and why not? I bet that if you repeat the word : Tiramisu often enough, you too, will not be able to resist making it.

That's what happened to me, I saw this recipe for "light Tiramisu" by Phil Vickery. Yes, yes, we are still in a period of post-festivities restrictions. I thought "Pfffff what a silly concept when it's snowing" but it kept haunting me.

Next thing I knew I was rummaging in the drinks cabinet.... looking for the long lost bottle of coffee liqueur and thinking "that would be a good use of....."

Having located this, the only ingredient I needed was lady fingers, now I was close and this should be easy to find, but it took me several weeks. You will understand that it was not a consuming mission. Well to start with, it was not; but the more, the lady fingers eluded me the more I became obsessed with finding them.
In the meantime the word Tiramisu was going round and round in my head, at the end I marched in the Italian corner shop and rummaged madly among their million of specialities biscuits shelves. Can you imagine what this exercise did to my diet-filled brain. I triumphantly located a packet, at last I had all the ingredients.

Phil Vickery's Tiramisu

Serves: 4
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooling time: at least 1 hr
3tsp espresso powder
5tbsp cold water
3tbsp coffee liqueur
300g tub low-fat cream cheese
6tbsp condensed milk
1tsp natural vanilla extract (not essence)
8 sponge fingers
15g (½ oz) cocoa
To serve
4 pretty cocktail or open wine glasses

1. Dissolve the coffee granules in 2tbsp boiling water. Tip into a large shallow dish with the coffee liqueur and the cold water. Mix together.
2. Beat the cream cheese with the condensed milk and vanilla.
3. Dip one sponge finger into the coffee mixture until soaked. Break the sponge into the bottom of one of the glasses. Top with a generous spoonful of the custard and a generous sprinkling of cocoa.
4. Repeat the layers once more, finishing with the cocoa dusting. Use the remaining mixture to fill the other 3 glasses. Chill for at least 1 hr before serving.

In Season: Citrus Potato cakes

I got a new "kitchen doodah", I have wanted one for ages. I neeeeeded one for ages, but now I have got it, I am not sure it is thaaaat necessary.

Presumably this is what happens to doodahs, just before getting buried in the bottom kitchen draw.

However, in an effort to use this brand-new zester at least once, a bit of time was spent looking for an appropriate recipe but that was not be difficult as we are right in the midst of citrus season.

Abel & Cole have a Citrus Potato cakes recipe which tickles the taste-buds, honestly this zingy cakes do. They are extremely quick to make, not much more difficult than baking potatoes, goes really well with fish, so exhume your zester and give this recipe a go.

Abel and Cole Citrus Potato Cakes

4 baking potatoes
a little bit of olive oil
zest of 1/2 Orange
zest of 1/2 lime
a food grating of nutmeg
sea salt
2 tsp orange juice
1 egg yolk
flour for dusting
butter for frying

Rub the potatoes with olive oil and prick them all over alternatively boil them for 20 minutes or till cooked.
Cook them in the over for about an hour gas mark 190C/mark 5
when the potatoes are done, slice them in half and scoop the flesh out
into a bow, add the orange and lime zest, the potatoes the nutmeg mash the lot
then add the orange juice the egg yolk and a little salt
Mash some more
make 4 rough portions,
shape each portion into a patty/cake
lightly flour the tops of the cakes
fry in butter for 3-5 minutes, each side

Paper-Wrapped Quiches

Have you noticed how, twice a year : in July and January, one turns to healthier options, last July I mentioned a recipe from a book published by Quadrille "Lighten Up" by Jill Dupleix. She is an award winner of the Guild of Food Writers for her work on Healthy eating, more over she offers an healthy version of one of my old-time wickedy-weakness "Cheddar & Bacon flantastic".
These tasty morsels take about 1/2 hour to make, each quiche contains 120 calories & 8grs of fat - oh yes, I am getting obsessed with these details again. They look fun and fun is good.
Paper-Wrapped Quiches

400g (13oz) spinach, well washed
6 large eggs
100ml (3½fl oz) milk
2tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère, plus 1tbsp extra
black pepper
2tbsp chives or parsley, finely chopped
2 thick slices ham, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Cook the spinach in a dry nonstick pan over a high heat until wilted, tossing well. Squeeze dry and set aside.
Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan160°C. Cut out eight 15cm (6in) squares of baking paper and use to line eight deep muffin moulds.
Beat eggs with milk, cheese, pepper and chives or parsley.
Scatter a little spinach and ham into all the muffin moulds.Fill each one with a little of the egg mixture and top them with two cherry tomato halves.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until just set. Top with the extra grated cheese.
Eat warm, or cool.

Jamie Oliver's Cauliflower Risotto

Let's tick
Risotto - tick - love risottos
Anchovies -tick- have to love anchovies, have you notice how anchovies tins reproduce in the pantry, or is it only a phenomenon happening in my kitchen cupboard only?
Jamie Oliver -tick- nothing wrong with Jamie, very like able chap sorry chef.
Get together-tick-

Therefore "Risotto ai Cavolflori" should have worked but it didn't.
I've wanted to participate to Meeta's Monthly Mingle for a long time. Someone who takes such great food pictures can only be passionate about it.
I asked myself the following question: "what is the most common non-root vegetable in the winter", I came up with cauliflower. then I googled cauliflower and picked a Jamie Oliver's recipe. See, I trust Jamie Oliver. no "chi-chi" (simple), great flavours.

It was not disaster but honestly Jamie a risotto without creaminess, "Nope" this is not a good idea. Nevertheless, undeterred I am going to enter it in this month's Mingle and if you have great risotto ideas, don't hesitate to tell us with a comment.

Cauliflower risotto
This month Mingle is hosted by Sudeshna -Bengal cuisine-

Happy New Year - Meilleux Voeux Pour 2010

2009 was a watershed, a weird and wonderful year of discoveries and successes which could not have happened without me knowing that you were there, reading me, so thank you.
One thing I love almost as much as lists is year's review so here we go.
January- First time for pearl barley in my kitchen, now a firm favorite.

February- Your favorite recipe, if I believe google analytics, Smoked Salmon & Crab terrine, February was also the month when I got involve with Blogger Aid Change the Face of Famine, I am so proud that my Lemon and Basil Tart was selected. And a trip to Essaouira the birth town of my grand-father

March- Pebble Soup gets its first of many product and book review, I love doing these- hint-hint-

April - Got a 6 months trainee-ship as a journalist with FE News, one of the first exciting assignment: to cover the budget.

May- Met a food blogger in real life: Michelle of Greedy Gourmet and after a long collaboration which included a "cook-book review soap" I say good bye to Paper Palate with a Cocktail book review.

June- Decided to jump in the abyss and go Freelance as a writer Aaargh, scary but I have not looked back since. ..........


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