Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

March 31, 2008

Couscous for the win

Filed under: Healthy, Light lunch — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 1:30 am

I like couscous primarily because it’s cheap, easy to prepare and uses up the herbs I have stashed in my freezer from my last visit to Berwick Street Market. Couscous is also infinitely adaptable and I pretty much use whatever seems good.

To prepare couscous

1 cup of couscous
1 and a half cups of water, freshly boiled from kettle
A heatproof container with a tight-fitting lid

Combine couscous and freshly boiled water in your container of choice and stir with a fork (you could use a whisk, too, but why bother?). Place lid on container. In a couple of minutes, stir with fork again. Keep stirring with fork every couple of minutes, replacing the lid between gos. After about ten minutes, the couscous will have absorbed the water and will be ready to eat (albeit plain, at this point).

dsc01127.jpg

Tomato couscous

Couscous, as prepared above
A few tablespoons of olive oil, preferably extra virgin, though virgin is fine too
Two tomatoes, chopped roughly
One clove of garlic, chopped finely (optional)
Handful chopped basil leaves
Handful chopped mint leaves
Tablespoon or so of pine nuts, toasted for a few minutes in an oil-free frying pan until golden brown
Pinch chilli flakes
Salt
Pepper

Mix together couscous, tomatoes, garlic (if using), herbs and chilli flakes. Add olive oil. You can add some vinegar at this point, too, if you like the idea of a vinaigrette – white wine vinegar or balsamic is good. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts.

And you’re done! Yes, it’s simple, but it’s wonderful, and it takes about ten minutes to make.

Eat well, because life’s too short not to!
Chloe

March 27, 2008

Presidential Cookies

Filed under: comfort food, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 4:18 pm

Yankee Magazine had a very interesting cooking section in their December 2007 issue.  They asked all the American presidential candidates for their favorite cookie recipe and had a bake-off.  It didn’t turn out to be an accurate predicter of the race (Bill Richardson’s recipe won), but it is a fun place to find cookie recipes.  I’ve tried Hillary Clinton’s recipe modified slightly, and the cookies were delicious!

Here’s the link to the online version with recipes from all the candidates:
http://www.yankeemagazine.com/cookieprimary/index.php

Hillary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I use an equal amount of unsalted butter warmed to room temperature)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (when we’re out of vanilla, we substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg for an equally tasty, but spicier cookie)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I add the oats at the end, and add as many oats as the dough will support, usually slightly over 2 cups)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 2 regular size chocolate bars of your choice, roughly chopped.  I used one with toffee bits, and the cookies were lovely)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Rub a bit of butter on the baking sheet.  Usually the amount that sticks on the wrapper is enough. Cream together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in rolled oats and then chocolate chips. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

-Emma

A twist on an Old Classic

Filed under: Dinner — Tags: , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:38 am

How many times have we heard someone go “taste just like chicken”? It’s not out of mere chance that most people regard chicken as the superior of meats, both in its flavour and versatility. Whichever way it is prepared, a good chicken always renders its amazing savor to the condiments it is cooked in/with. While many of us are familiar with the basic roast chicken, with a little bit of lemon, garlic and rosemary, this recipe gambles with a more interesting set of ingredients. To satisfy our ever inquisitive tongues and spice craving palates, we devised this devil of a marinade that certainly packs a punch!

Roast Chicken in a Herb and Mustard Marinade

image056.jpgimage055.jpg 

3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of sour cream

A bay leaf

½ teaspoon of dried thyme                    

½ teaspoon of dried basil

A pinch of pepper

A pinch of salt

A pinch of ground nutmeg

6 chicken drumsticks

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a baking dish, following the order at which they have been listed above. Once they have reached a uniformed colour and consistency, drop the chicken pieces in and evenly coat them with the marinade. Stick it into the oven for about 30 minutes and you have a classic old favourite with a twist. If you want them nicely browned, just brush some honey over each piece about 10 minutes before taking them out. Enjoy!

Eat well…. because life’s too short not to!

tina and chloe

March 23, 2008

Guacamole

Filed under: Appetizer, Quick cook, Snacks, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 5:21 pm

avocado1.jpg

Guacamole is one of the best foods in the world if it’s made well.  If it isn’t made right it can be downright disgusting.  To me, the most important part is that the texture isn’t too smooth.  To get the right consistency, mix the guacamole with the blade of a knife, cutting the avocado into progressively smaller chunks, stopping while there are still some reasonable sized pieces, but everything is mostly incorporated.

Here’s what I use:

1 avocado
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
small splash of Tabasco sauce
1 clove diced garlic
a few sprigs of chopped cilantro (aka fresh coriander)

Everything is to taste, really.  You want to balance the salt and lime so that you can’t really taste either.  You shouldn’t be able to taste the Tabasco, or feel the heat; it will just give the guacamole some depth to the flavor.  Mix together as described above, and enjoy atop Mexican food, or with corn chips (my favorite).

-Emma

March 19, 2008

Pecan goodness

Filed under: Dessert — Tags: , — peoplewhoeat @ 9:15 pm

Anyone who loves a good dessert would agree when we say there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned pecan pie. But once tagged “grandma’s favourite” , many recipes immeditely request a larder full of spices that god knows if they even make anymore. Irene, another of our friends who shares this unfathomable passion for baking decided that we should for once, try to exclude chocolate from our baking extravganzas and see what comes of it. A few stares of disbelief and a handful of gasps later, we decided to embark into uncharted territory. This pecan pie recipe is so ridiculously simple that buying the pie shell would just be excessive. Plus, half the joy of dessert is preparing it anyway. Give it a go…you shall be amazed.

                                                                                                                                       

image1941jpg.jpg

 

Pecan Pie*

Ingredients
For the sweet pastry:
225g/8oz plain flour
110g/4oz caster sugar
110g/4oz butter
4 egg yolks

For the pecan filling:
3 eggs
110g/4oz sugar
4 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tbsp rum
50g/2oz butter, melted
a pinch of salt
a few drops vanilla extract
175g/6oz pecan halves
 

Method
1. Make the pastry by putting all the ingredients into a food processor and whizzing until you get a dough.
2. Remove and place in a plastic bag and put into the fridge to relax for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a 9in/23cm pie tin with the pastry.
4. Break the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat well and then beat in the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
5. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the oven heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for another 30 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden. Check if it s cooked through by inserting a skewer, it s done if it comes out clean.
6. Turn out of the tin when slightly cooled and serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream or a spoonful of crème fraiche.

*feel free to :

1. Leave out the rum  

2. Substitute half the pecans with walnuts as pecans can be quite expensive

3. Substistute the ice cream/crème fraiche with just plain single or double cream

4. Screw they food processor… we just mixed it using our hands and it worked perfectly.

It will taste just as good……….

                                                                                                              

Eat well… because life’s too short not to….

tina & chloe

*recipe adopted from BBC food : http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/pecanpie_12453.shtml

                                                                                       

Tofu surprise

Filed under: Healthy, Quick cook — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 7:59 pm

Tofu is sadly misunderstood by the Western world as a gross, bland health food eaten by vegans and losers. Fortunately we, who come from Asia, understand this magical substance for the amazing thing that it is. Tofu can be eaten in a variety of ways: fried up crispily with sweet chilli sauce, silky and steamed, in soup, or in a stir fry. While it is a substitute for meat for many a vegetarian, what sets tofu apart from its bloody counterparts is its ease of preparation. You hardly need to think about much preparing it, and unlike meat, tofu won’t go tough if you overcook it, and it’s really hard to screw up! You don’t need to worry about specific accompaniments because tofu is a versatile beast. It goes with anything. It is, if you will, the slut of the food world!

 For both of us, tofu has a special place in our hearts and our memories. Chloe’s mum blended chocolate and silken tofu and put it in a pie shell, which two-year-old Chloe gobbled up with glee. Tina’s favourite tofu memory is of her grandma making tofu sambal every Friday. The aroma was so intoxicating that the household would drop everything they were doing for tofu sambal.

Tofu is a cheap, tasty source of protein for students. It can be bought in any supermarket, but like the bargain hunters we are, we prefer the larger, cheaper, softer packets from Chinatown (not to mention the wonderful Chinatown atmosphere…any excuse will do!).

tofu-surp.jpg

 

Tofu stir-fry

1 packet of tofu
1 packet of button mushrooms (about 250g), cut into quarters (including stem)
1 clove of garlic, sliced
Soy sauce, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste (we added a nice fat pinch)
Brown sugar, to taste
Frying pan
Vegetable oil

1) Fry tofu till slightly brown
2) remove tofu and put aside on a plate
3) stir-fry the garlic
4) add the mushrooms and continue to fry until soft
5) toss tofu back in. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and chilli flakes. Let them get friendly on the hob for about thirty seconds
6) serve!

Eat well…because’s life’s too short not to!

 

Chloe and Tina!

The beginning of something beautiful

Filed under: Dessert — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:57 am

So we’re sitting here in Chloe’s room and she suddenly signs us up to this blog thing. For lols, which is the main reason we do anything. We are students at the LSE who dream – literally – of being chefs. Not everyone understands this dream. But when we found each other (Tina and Chloe) we knew: it was fate. Although we had lived side by side for 18 years, we never knew each other. Damn the border!

 We cook.. we eat and we do it damn well.

Although when we made popcorn, the kitchen filled with smoke the colour of mustard. Why? We shall never know. But since we live in halls with state of the art smoke detectors, it was quite the adventure.

Our greatest love is nigella lawson….. domestic goddess extraordinare. The afficinado of not only comfort eating…. but comfort cooking at its best. Such is our adoration for nigella that we decided to inagurate our blog with one of her most celebrated recipes (she even cooks it on regis & kelly) … the caramel croissant pudding.

Its essentially a bread and butter pudding but as she says… “a bread and butter pudding for angels to eat on clouds……”. Link yourself up and enjoy: 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AXaovJPSS5E

This is a fabulous, delicious and most importantly, easy recipe that requires such little effort its ridiculous.Feel free to leave out the bourbon, because we did and it turned out amazing still.  

Eat.. because life is too short not to……

tina & chloe

Blog at WordPress.com.