sunday eggday

this is how it has gone for a while now: i wake up groggily of a sunday morn to a view of snow-capped rooftops and a man dressed in running reds. i mumble something about beauty sleep and fall back into it, only to be awoken what seems like moments later by a sweaty drippy man in running reds. having done nothing to earn it, i then happily partake of our other sunday morning ritual – eggy breakfast. today it was pitched somewhere near the med, owing to the leftover haloumi from last night's feast. together with a toasted loaf of walnut bread, it played the perfect buddy to baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes, which went like this:

wash four handfuls of baby spinach, shake it off and wilt it in a covered pan over high heat for a minute or two. throw it in an oven-proof dish and wipe the pan. halve 10 cherry tomatoes and toss them in a teaspoon of brown sugar. grill them cut-side-down on a hot pan until they caramelise and then throw them in with the spinach. make 4 wells in the spinach-y mess and crack an egg into each one. bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 10 minutes, or until the whites are set. turn off the oven and leave the door open a little while you get the pan hot again. fry 6 haloumi slices in olive oil until golden on both sides. sprinkle both eggs and cheese with sumac and pul biber and drizzle eggs with olive oil.
der teufel steckt im detail

it took me a good couple of years of living in germany before i was able to figure out where the seeteufel fit into the english culinary spectrum.  part of this lethargy i attribute to the fact that he doesn't swim in southern waters so much. the rest of my ignorance can be pinned to the ridiculously erratic naming conventions – seeteufel in german, monkfish in english, ange de mer in french. evidently there is some dissent in ranks over the moral integrity of the poor man's lobster. he certainly leaves much to be desired in the looks department but tastes quite divine so i can kinda appreciate the confusion. unfortunately he lives much longer than your average anchovy and so overfishing tends to be a problem if not handled properly. happily the uk marine conservation society seems to think that monkfish fishing is fairly sustainable at the moment.

we celebrated this last night with our friend the bouillabaise. actually it was kinda the bastard cousin of the bouillabaise but tasted delicious all the same – monkfish, fennel, tomatoes, orange zest, lovely little leccino olives and rouille setoise. oh. so. so. good.

resurrection (or i heart ottolenghi)

aaaaaand we're back.

i'm not even going to talk about how lazy we've been with this blog. instead i'm going to tell you about my new favourite thing: yotam ottolenghi. would that i could keep him on my mantel. in lieu of the actual miniaturised man in my house, i have his book, plenty, which was a christmas gift from that other man in my life. it is a glorious study on the world of vegetables and just thinking about it makes my tastebuds tingle. i took it for a spin on the weekend and made a collection of wintry mezze which we hoovered up with glee. the emotion, not the tv show.

on the menu:
caramelised fennel with sheep's curd (voted most elegant)
puy lentils dressed with yoghurt and spices (voted most flavoursome)
beetroot, orange and olive salad (voted most surprising)
kisir = bulghur pilaf with pomegranate molasses (voted most moreish)