fancy breakfast or brunch? baked egg and proscuitto in a bread roll

baked egg and proscuitto in a bread roll
Every so often I find a couple of rock-hard bread rolls looking up at me forlornly from the bread bin. One of my favourite things to do with them is to reheat the rolls, stuffed full of a few of my favourite things - ham, cheese and eggs and a little fresh basil. A fabulous breakfast or brunch.

kaya toast: a weird but wonderful breakfast of champions!

kaya toast with soy eggs
It's not really weird, although it might sound a bit odd to English tastes. It's a Singapore-Malaysian thing - kaya toast for breakfast at a kopitiam (coffee shop). Coconut jam (kaya), which is very similar to say lemon curd, but made with coconut milk, is slathered over hot white toast, which is then sandwiched together with a slice of cold butter. Dunk this sweet toast into a bowl of very soft-boiled eggs with soy sauce. Sounds weird? Tastes heavenly!

a perfect spring pasta supper: spaghetti with leeks, parma ham and hazelnuts

spaghetti with leeks, parma ham and hazelnuts
Have you ever seen a recipe on a website, or while flicking through a cookbook or magazine and thought, I must cook that? And have you, despite modern technology, mobile internet, digital cameras and other technical fol-de-rols, failed to make a note of it, instead relying on your memory and an ability to substitute those ingredients you haven't got or that are hard to come by? So what happened? Did it turn out as expected, or like me, did it turn out that you had substituted every ingredient such that the recipe was unrecognisable and sadly just not terribly exciting.

fragrant and soothing: thai coconut chicken soup (tom kha gai)

Thai coconut chicken soup (tom kha gai)
Tom kha gai is a rich coconut broth infused with galangal (kha), lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, topped with chicken (gai) and seasoned with fish sauce, tart with lime juice.

what's in season: april

scented clematis armandii - April 2015
April Rain Son
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes, 1902-1967

Like Langston Hughes, I love the rain too. Of course, I am equally partial to a bit of sunshine too. Which is probably a good thing, since we seem to get both types of weather on the same day in England during April.

indian spiced potato cutlets (aloo tikki)

 indian spiced potato cutlets (aloo tikki)
I am pretty sure that I love snacking more than anything else. (My shame, sorry!)  Most of my favourite snacks are probably Asian. However, my mother used to make these potato cutlets or patties as a way of using up leftover mash and veggies. I suspect she learned some of this when we were living in the Far East. In those days, it never occured to me that they were snacks. It is no wonder that they are a few of my favourite things.

ash-e-reshteh - persian bean and noodle soup

 ash-e-reshteh - persian bean and noodle soup
It is Nowruz, a time to celebrate the Persian New Year and the first day of spring. Ashe-reshteh is a traditional celebratory soup, which is both comforting on a cold blustery day and packed full of fresh green herbs to feel like spring.

vietnamese lemongrass and chilli tofu

 Vietnamese lemongrass and chilli tofu (uncooked)
Think you don't like tofu? I beg you to reconsider. This recipe for Vietnamese lemongrass and chilli tofu could change your mind and have you begging for more.

sambal belacan

sambal belacan
I have mentioned before my love of sambal, a spicy chilli condiment hailing from Malaysia and Indonesia. In the past year or so I seem to have got into the habit of making up large quantities of this, to stick in the fridge, on the basis that firstly, you just never know when you might need it and secondly, that it seems to go with everything. Well everything in my household that is, from curries, noodles and stir-fried vegetables, from burgers and sausages, to salad dressings, scrambled eggs and cheese toasties. Admittedly I would draw the line with say ice cream or cupcakes, but then that's the beauty of lines ... sometimes you just can't help wanting to cross one.

indonesian seafood sate lilit

Indonesian seafood sate lilit
A fabulous sate (satay) from Bali which can be made with a variety of different meats; I love the minced seafood version. What makes it different from the myriad of other sates from Indonesia (and satays from Malaysia) is that firstly it contains coconut and secondly it is not typically served with a peanut sauce.

a fabulous tangy malaysian curry: kari kapitan

kari kapitan
Kari Kapitan (or Captain's Curry or Ayam Kapitan) is a classic Nyonya recipe from Penang in Malaysia and is the perfect combination of Malay and Chinese influences; every family has its own version, passed down across the generations and often served at big family gatherings and celebrations.

what's in season: march

spring garlic and the green shoots of recovery!
Helloooooo. I'm back!

Which might be a strange thing to say if you hadn't noticed I'd gone. Well, I won't bore you with my tales of woe. I had  bit of an accident and I've been recovering. Frankly, I hadn't been doing much cooking either, but now I want to get back in the food saddle and start blogging again. Yippeeaiyay!