Hakuna Frittata

Hakuna Frittata

Picture this; I’m 5 or so years old, I’m adorable, I’m in my Rainbows pinny and I’m just dying to get my cooking badge because society has already spoon fed me the idea that I need to learn how to cook on account of the fact that I’m a girl (an adorable girl, don’t forget).

We made frittata with some red peppers, onion and ham. I have no clue how it tasted, but I’ll never forget the excitement of actually helping to cook something. We had chopped things and mixed things, we were like the fucking sorcerers on Blue Peter!

The beauty of the Hakuna Frittata is that it really does mean no worries (unless you burn yourself but that’s an iss-YOU not an iss-me). Raid the fridge, use everything, use hardly anything at all, either way you end up with a quick and easy meal with the added benefit of feeling cheffy as fuck while you use the broil setting on your oven. The list below is what I tend to need to use up, chop and change ingredients as you need.

From an idea born in St. Lawrence’s church hall in Eastcote, now come to life in your own kitchen. You lucky bugger.

What you need:

  • 6 large eggs (free range because we’re not dicks, are we?)
  • 100g ‘Nduja (any other protein, if you want to use one, will work too)
  • 175g Broccoli florets, halved or quartered (depending on their size)
  • 70g frozen peas
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • Handful of chopped, frozen spinach
  • 1 tbsp rose Harissa
  • Meltable cheese of your choice for topping

What to do:

Get a large, non-stick frying pan that can also go in the oven (no melting handles here, baby) and place it on a medium heat to get up to temperature, in the meantime you can prep your veg.

Once the pan is ready, add a glug of any cooking oil you have, followed by the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover and let soften for about 5-10 minutes.

While that’s happening, crack your eggs into a bowl and beat them, season and stir in the Harissa.

Once the onion is soft, add in your ‘Nduja and break it up with a spatula; stir it together with the onion and watch that shit dance *sniff* it’s just so beautiful. After a few minutes, turn your heat up to a medium/high to add your pepper and broccoli. Leave that for about 5 minutes, or until you start to see the tips of the florets catch a little. Turn your heat back to medium (lest you burn some shit).

Now we get to that ‘cheffy as fuck’ bit, so buckle up sports fans.

Turn your broiler on to the bloody hot setting and arrange your rack (excuse me) in the middle of the oven (the handle on my pan tilts up slightly so I need to account for that, you do what you need). Stir in your peas, and now pour in the egg/harissa mixture and give a quick tilt of the pan to make sure everyone’s tucked in. Leave it on the top cooking for a few minutes, or until you see the sides of the frittata set.

Adorn with the shards of frozen spinach and the cheesy goodness of your choice, pop under the broiler, shut the door and sit and watch it obsessively to pretend your on your own little episode of Masterchef.

We’re looking for the egg to puff up and the cheese to melt and start turning a beautiful golden brown; think JLO, not Donatella.

GET AN OVEN MITT ON YOU ABSOLUTE DONKEY (obligatory message as I often forget that the handle of the pan is now hotter than all hell).

Grab a large plate, place it over the top of the pan and do a quick prayer as you flip the pan and plate upside down to turn out the frittata onto the plate; it will come out upside down. Then do another hail Mary as you flip it back onto a cutting board, right side up (I like a meal with a certain amount of peril, fun no?).

There you have it; the Hakuna Frittata. It means no worries, unless you burn it, burn yourself or you drop it on the floor.

Slice, serve, follow the bouncing ball, munch, enjoy.

Basic bitch fish and boujee chips

Basic bitch fish and boujee chips

I’m not going to bother with a painful soliloquy of how fish and chips are an institution in my homeland. They are, and you know it.

What I will tell you is that my local chippy bloke is happy to see me on my annual visits back home (sans covid), and he remembers me from when I would pop in with my Dad in THE FUCKING ’90’s.

I’ll never be able to recreate his magic but I have a quick weeknight solution for when the homesick hits hard; simple, yummy with a little bit of pomp (because, British). This is not the greatest fish and chips in the world, this is a tribute (of a tribute).

What you need:

  • Firm white fish fillets (I use Cod or Haddock; one per person)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Spices of your choice for fish dredge (see recipe for ideas)
  • Approximately 200g fingerling potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2tsp champagne vinegar
  • 1tbsp your favourite honey

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 425f (220c or gas mark bloody hot). Slice your potatoes in half (leave any tiny ones whole if you like) and add them to a roasting tray lined with parchment if you want to avoid stick-age. Crush both garlic cloves (unpeeled), add them to the tray and then drizzle over your oil, your honey of choice and a ton of black pepper; mix it up. Hold back on the vinegar and any salt right now though, those will come later.

Note on the honey; I currently use the Spanish Orange Blossom Honey from Fortnum and Mason because little doses of home is what makes me happy. It’s light in taste but has just enough flavour to bring out the butteryness of the fingerlings. Don’t like my boujee style? Don’t care. Let’s move on.

Once your oven is up to temperature, chuck the spuds in and set your timer for 40 minutes.

When half an hour has vanished into the fabric of our universe, take a non stick frying pan and pop it on a medium heat to warm up while you get your fish sorted.

You’ll need two dishes/shallow bowls. One that will hold the beaten egg, and the other that will hold the flour and any spices of your choice. I like to keep things simple and use garlic powder, mustard powder, salt and pepper. If you want to switch things up here some sumac or smoked paprika would be welcome. Dried dill is absolutely a good choice but I find it’s easy to go overboard with it, so don’t get all salt-bae on me with the dill.

Tippy top tip! To get this basic bitch coating to stick as much as possible, make sure to thoroughly pat your fish fillets dry with kitchen towel before dredging them. No one wants a soggy fish, except maybe the fish when he was alive. But it’s a bit late for that.

When your pan is hot, add a few tablespoons of oil to it (aiming for a shallow fry). Arrange your egg dish and flour mix dish close to the pan to make things easier. We’re going for a double dredge here; one fillet goes into the flour, press it in and make sure it’s covered. Then to the egg, again, thoroughly coated, then back to the flour, coat it again. When coating with the flour, don’t be shy, press it in firmly. You’re eating this animal, all niceties went out the window a while ago.

Once you’ve coated a fillet, add it to the pan then do the other one quickly and add that too. The fish won’t take long to cook; if the fillet is thin like the one in my picture, only a few minutes on each side. Don’t rush flipping it though; as aforementioned, this is technically known as a basic bitch coating. We want to disturb it as little as possible to ensure it has the most chance of sticking to the fish itself.

As your fish is finishing up in the pan, grab your potatoes and give them a toss around; add the vinegar and some salt and they should be tender, caramelized and just fucking delightful. Leave them to the side as you finish the fishy.

Place said fishy, on a dishy. Add your boujee chips. Dollop some tartar sauce on the side and there you have it. Easy, simple but just so bloody satisfying.

Cry, munch, enjoy.

Biccies 101

Biccies 101

I reckon I’ve embraced my Canadian life well; I love watching hockey, I would never fuck with the Maple mafia and I always have a stash of some sort of edible around.

But hot, strong tea with a splash of milk still runs through my veins and there must be a biscuit to go with it (as such is British law). Be it a choccy biccy, a digestive or a shortbread, I’ll never choose a favourite. These are my babies, how very dare you.

We can thank my Grandparents for my love of all biscuits great and small. I think we can also thank them for the genetics that gave me depression and asthma but lets just start with the food mkay?

I aim to run the full gambit on biscuit recipes; here we are with shortbread, probably the simplest kind. Easy as shit and done two ways to please at least two of your multiple personalities; chocolate chip, and lemon with cardamom.

What you need:

  • 300g of all purpose flour
  • 200g of butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 100g sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 a lemon of zest
  • 1.5 tsp of cardamom (if you’ve got pods, 10 of them with seeds ground fine)
  • 50g semi sweet mini chocolate chips

What to do:

Mix your flour, sugar and butter into a large bowl (if you need cup measurements then I suggest you google the conversions or you know, get with the program and weigh out your damn ingredients). Using your dainty little fingertips, rub the butter into the flour and sugar mix. Be sure to avoid using your palms as we’re going to have to handle this dough a fair amount and if you faff around with it too much now, you’ll be rolling out half melted butter and you’ll cry.

Boujee tip of the day! I keep a small jar of used vanilla pods and sugar; over time the sugar is flavoured by the vanilla and you’re left with vanilla sugar (yes bitch). I used 50g of vanilla sugar in this recipe, and 50g of regular but don’t panic if you’re not high maintenance like moi; this will taste brilliant without that added dose of fancy.

When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, take half of it into a separate bowl. For those of us with a scale, your mix is around 600g, so 300g in each bowl IS indeed half WOW MATHS RIGHT I KNOW.

In one bowl tip your chocolate chips, and in the other, your lemon zest and cardamom. Mix each up and choose one to work with first. We need to make this floury mess into a dough, so start squeezing it together with your hands. The heat in your palms will now help us to make this into an actual dough. Start squeezing (not kneading because bitch we’re not baking bread). You’ll notice it starts to hold up the more you squeeze, and eventually you’ll be able to tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to around a 1/2cm thick.

Cut these buggers into whatever shape you like; I have a round ravioli stamp that works well but you do you, I ain’t the shape police. When you’ve cut them out, lay them onto a lined baking tray and prick the surface of each one with a fork a few times to make sure they don’t rise up too much.

Once you’ve done this for all of your dough (other flavour included), put them in the fridge on their trays by balancing them on top of some cans of things and a box off eggs and pray that’s good enough. They’ll need to chill out for about 20 minutes so start heating the oven up to 340F.

After the chill time and when your oven is ready, sprinkle the biscuits with some more sugar and bake for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll notice them starting to turn a very light golden brown when they’re done. Bring them out of the oven and leave them on the tray to cool for a good 10 minutes or so before inhaling them.

Chief, you just made biscuits. Actual biscuits (I’m looking at you, ‘murica).

Pop the kettle on, brew, dunk, munch, enjoy.

Double Trouble Pizza Dough

Double Trouble Pizza Dough

I’ve been known to take a six hour round trip journey on a dodgy bus to a market town for nothing else than fantastic pizza. Several times.

Once I brought an extra back to my hostel and popped it in my fridge to enjoy in the wee, not-so-sober hours. Some fucker ate it and let’s just say his eating days are over.

This pizza is just as good and doesn’t involve felonies. It also makes 2 pizzas worth of dough (hence the clickbait name).

Bon app├ętit.

What you need:

  • 500g of 00 flour
  • 15g of dry, active yeast
  • 4g of sugar
  • 4g of salt
  • 325ml warm water
  • 1tbsp of olive oil

What to do:

Start by pouring your water into the bowl you intend to mix in; add the sugar and yeast. Give it a little stir to dissolve the sugar and walk away for a few moments to let the yeast bubble and bloom. Pour a G&T or something (and that’s an order. Unless you’re not into that, then get some water and stay hydrated, amigo).

Once blooming, add your flour, salt and olive oil. If you’re a lazy ho like me you’ll pop this in the mixer with a dough hook attachment and let that bugger run for about 5 minutes. If you’re more of the “I’ve got to work this off” type of person (welcome! we’re talking about carbs) knead the dough on a floured surface for about ten minutes until the dough is soft, supple and ready for action.

Lightly oil the bowl and pop the dough back in, making sure it’s lightly coated in the olive oil to prevent it from sticking everywhere and ruining your life. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (I additionally use an elastic band around the lip of the bowl to keep the wrap sealed) and let rise for about an hour. Be sure to put it somewhere that is completely in the way of not only yourself, but everyone else. Nothing screams “I’m a boujee kitchen queen” more than leaving your shit everywhere for people to deal with.

Once doubled in size, punch the dough down to deflate it and tip it out on to, yet again, a floured surface and give it a little knead just to bring it together. At this point, cut it in half to form two dough balls; I wrap one back up in the plastic wrap and freeze it as these defrost brilliantly. The other can sit aside while you prepare your crown jewels to top it with. Once your toppings are ready, take the dough and stretch it out nice and thinly onto your baking tray (lined with parchment might I suggest, and sprinkled with some semolina if you have any? What’s that, a rogue ingredient not in the list? ARE YOU MAD WOMAN).

Toppings vary in this house; sometimes it’s a simple margherita, other times a spicy buffalo chicken, but on this occasion it was a garish pepperoni that won the vote. Most of the time, my sauce is simply some good, organic tomato paste that I mix with oregano, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sugar. I always microplane some Parmesan over the base before adding the rest of the cheese (that I refuse to grate as grating cheese is one of the few kitchen tasks that I loathe).

Let’s be honest with each other, pizza toppings are controversial and I’m not here how to tell you to live your life. Do your thing, let your freak flag fly and whenever you’re done that, bake the pizza at 425F for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and your crust is lightly golden and looking good enough to eat (because guess what it’s there for?).

Give it a few minutes before you hack it into incredible uneven slices.

All that’s left is to take that drink and a couple of slices over to my heated blanket and watch Drag Race and there’s nothing you bitches can do to stop me.

Devour, munch, enjoy.