Tortilla de Patatas

I want to do what Elena did in her pink frying pan. Tortilla de Patatas. I try to follow her hand-written recipe to the letter, but her careful Spanish script gives directions so succinct they seem too simple for something that tastes of sunshine and salt and melting-soft potatoes. It is a quintessentially Spanish tapa. I dig … More Tortilla de Patatas

The humble potato story

A humble potato – not much to look at – meets a cupful of thyme. The pair realises that times are changing, and so they are. (Scissors, a peeler and a knife are introduced, in a very respectful way). Butter is melted and brought on board, and garlic has a small say too. Sliced, stacked … More The humble potato story

Making Manakish

In the Levant (so I’ve heard), people take their own za’atar to the local baker, where it is mixed with olive oil, then smeared onto flatbread dough and baked for a few minutes until crispy brown but with a lovely softness inside. These manakish (or man’ousheh in the singular) are very good for breakfast. Za’atar is both … More Making Manakish

Simply Tunisian

A glut-gift of turnips together with a Tunisian tip: slice them thinly, coat with harissa, and enjoy raw. My friend promises me that her old Aunt’s method is authentic and good. Turnips are not my top choice of root veg, but they have a strong track record for having sustained people through the ages. Once upon … More Simply Tunisian

Elizabeth David, Chocolate Cake and Garlic

In 1951 Elizabeth David wrote, “Good food is always a trouble and its preparation should be regarded as a labour of love.” I read this in the introduction to David’s book, French Country Cooking, before turning further pages in search of her famously flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake, a moist, elegant and subtly simple creation. My beautiful old book is bespattered with the … More Elizabeth David, Chocolate Cake and Garlic