Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

May 25, 2008

Tuna Fish Cakes

Filed under: comfort food, Dinner — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 9:22 pm

These are delicious, but I haven’t yet perfected the art of making them look pretty, so there’s no photo yet.

Adapted from ‘The First-Time Cook’ by Sophie Grigson (nice stuff in that book!)

Tuna Fish Cakes

1 large baking potato
1 can tuna fish
30g melted butter
½ white onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
Plain flour

(1 TBSP lemon juice, and 2 TBSP diced parsley optional)

Butter and olive oil to fry

Bake the potato in its skin until soft.  Halve the potato while still warm and scoop the flesh out of the skin and place it in a bowl.  Drain the tuna and add that to the bowl along with the melted butter, onion, and salt and pepper (and parsley and lemon if using).  Add about half the beaten egg.  Mix the whole lot together with your hands squidging up the chunks of potato and tuna, but leaving the mixture slightly rough and uneven.  If it isn’t sticking together (but isn’t overly runny) add more egg ’til the mixture sticks together. Divide the mixture into quarters.  Dust hands with flour and shape each quarter into a cake ½-3/4 inch thick.  Coat each in flour.  Fry in butter and oil until brown and crisp.  Serve with tartar sauce, salsa cruda, or salsa verde.

Salsa Cruda

Tomato, Onion, Olive Oil, garlic, salt and pepper, sugar (basil optional)

Dice all, let sit and meld in refrigerator.



May 18, 2008

Ceasar Oven Fries

Filed under: comfort food, Dinner — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:46 pm

These are just as good, if not better, than the French Fries you’ll get in most restaurants.  And they’re easy!

Ceasar Salad Dressing (creamy)
Olive Oil
Potatoes, in wedges
Garlic, in slices
salt and pepper
(Quantities all really depend on how much you like garlic, and the consistency of the dressing you start with, you’ll need enough of the dressing and olive oil combined to coat the potatoes you’re using)

Dilute the Ceasar dressing with olive oil until it is the consistency of a vinagrette.  Coat the potato wedges and garlic slices in the mixture, and add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake at about 200 C for about an hour, or until the potatoes are golden and crispy.



May 9, 2008

South-American Fried Egg

Filed under: Light lunch, Quick cook — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 12:02 pm

This is honestly the only way I’ll cook eggs.  It’s a delicious recipe!

Adapted from ‘The First-Time Cook’ by Sophie Grigson 

Olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a frying pan)
1 Egg
1/4 red chilli (diced), or chilli flakes, or ¼ tsp chilli powder, or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1 slice of toast
a splash of Balsamic vinegar
a pinch of salt
Chopped cilantro to garnish

Use enough olive oil to cover the base of the pan.  Heat over fairly generous heat and break the eggs into the pan once the oil is hot enoguh to sputter.  Spoon the oil over the egg white to help it set and get nice and crispy.  Start with the heat high and then turn it down to get crispy whites and a runny yolk.  When the egg is half-cooked, add the chilli, cumin and garlic to the oil and continue cooking and spooning oil over the egg.  Lift the eggs out of the pan and onto the toast, and spoon some oil onto the toast.  Drizzle the egg on toast with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with cilantro and salt.

Buen provecho!

May 6, 2008

Soba Noodles with Peanut Butter

Filed under: Healthy, Light lunch, Quick cook, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 7:50 pm

This is one of my ‘sunny foods.’  I wouldn’t dream of having it in fall or winter, this is a spring and summer recipe.  I’ve cooked it and am posting it here in celebration of our nice spring weather! 


Soba Noodles

2 spoonfuls peanut butter
1 TBSP Sesame Oil
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
a pinch of cayenne pepper
diced ginger

Topping (optional):
Spring Onions
Vegetables (green beans and peas are both nice)
grilled chicken breast

Prepare the Soba noodles as directed on the package.  Make sure you rinse them in cold water after they’ve been boiled; this keeps them from clumping all together.  Mix the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce and cayenne pepper together (to taste) to a molassesy consistency.  Prepare your chopping of choice, and mix it all together.  Simple as that; and delicious!

Let us know if you have any other great toppings!

May 3, 2008

A party without a cake…

Filed under: Dessert, Special occasions — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 10:12 pm

What’s a birthday party without a cake? Well, I guess it can be a perfectly respectable affair, but to me it just lacks a certain celebratory flair. When a friend’s birthday came our way, we knew we had to bake something special and beautiful. There were only two criteria: it couldn’t be a chocolate cake, and, as students with limited kitchen facilities (not even a handheld mixer!), it had to be something simple and easy to put together. Since we even lack round baking tins,Tina and I opted for a yellow, vanilla-flavoured sheet-cake which could be baked in a rectangular brownie pan, the recipe of which we found on Baking Bites.

Since we made this all by hand, the cake was dense rather than fluffy, but it was absolutely wonderful and came together quickly and easily. The icing was a spectacular surprise; although caster sugar is used, the result is smooth and buttery, with absolutely no crunchy bits of sugar throughout.

the beautiful finished product, which we decorated with decorative sugar flowers and candles bought from Waitrose. The dark splodges on which we’ve placed the white flowers are little dollops of dulche de leche (Argentinian milk jam) which Tina bought at Borough market some time ago. The dulche de leche also makes a great topping for a classic banana cake…

Sheet cake (the instructions reflect what we did, lacking a mixer)

2.5 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups sugar (we used golden caster sugar)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius
Grease 9×13 inch sheet pan with vegetable oil
Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Note: we don’t have a sifter, so we improvised by tossing the dry ingredients around a bit to aerate them. This might have contributed to the cake’s denseness, so if you like a denser, moister cake, don’t sift the ingredients.
Add sugar and mix to blend
Cut butter into four or five chunks. Drop into bowl with flour (we cut the butter into small pieces and rubbed them into the flour mixture). Blend until mxiture looks sandy and no chunks of butter remain (one or two minutes with an electric mixer on slow)
Combine milk, eggs and vanilla in large measuring bowl. Beat lightly until combined, using a fork.
Pour one cup of this egg mixture into bowl with mixer on low. Turn speed up to medium and mix for one and a half minutes (we mixed this until smooth. You could use a fork, spatula or even just your hands for this).
Reduce speed back to low and pour in the rest of the egg mixture. Continue to beat at low speed for about 30 seconds (or until smooth! It does take a bit more time by hand) until liquid is fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl and beat for a few more seconds if necessary
Pour batter into prepared pan; spread it evenly with a spatula. Tap gently a few times to eliminate any bubbles
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes clean
Let cool for 30 mins in the pan before tuning it out onto a rack to cool completely

Vanilla Frosting

the paste of flour, milk and salt. It is not tasty, but it is the start of something beautiful (and tasty). Anyway, once you have this product, let it cool for about an hour and a half before adding it to the butter and sugar

the fluffy gorgeousness of this sweet, rich frosting

1 and 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/3 cups sugar (we used golden caster sugar)
1 and 1/3 cups butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine milk, flour and salt in medium saucepan with heat turned off. Whisk until smooth.
Cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 5 – 7 minutes.
Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat
Strain into medium bowl and cover. Cool to room temperature, about 1.5 hours
When flour mixture is cool, beat together sugar, butter and vanilla until mixture is creamy and light (it is possible to do this with a fork and whisk, as we did, it just takes a bit longer!)
Add flour mixture a dollop at a time, beating it in until frosting is creamy and light

Original recipe is here, original frosting recipe is here

May 2, 2008

Russian Grocery Store in London

Filed under: Light lunch, Reviews, Snacks — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 10:37 am

It wasn’t long ago that I discovered the wonderful little Russian grocery, Kalinka at 35 Queensway in London (Queensway or Bayswater tube).  While most of the products are technically imported from Poland or Germany, you can find all your favorite Russian foods here (or introduce yourself to the delights of simple, tasty Russian food).  We went on a walk on a nice spring day (punctuated by hail…oops) and then had a picnic in Hyde Park, which is conveniently located just a block away.  We went for the ‘peasant lunch’ buying two types of sausage (кольваса), farmer’s cheese (сыр), black rye bread (чёрный хлеб), eggplant caviar, Russian pickles, and some квась (Russian soda made from fermented bread) and apricot juice to wash it all down, and then finished with some poppyseed cake and spice cakes (пряники).  Kalinka is also a great place to buy things like buckwheat flour for a good price, get a nice bottle of vodka, or explore the interesting world of Russian candy.

In short, we highly recommend this little gem of a store in a fun part of London.

For more adventures in Russia, please visit

(Apologies for any egregious Russian spelling errors, I don’t type in Russian often)

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