June 2011 Archives

Blackheath Cooks Mediterranean dinners, fourth Tues of the month

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bcooks-header.jpgBlackheath Cooks is a fantastic new cookware shop and cookery school in Blackheath, southeast London.  On the fourth Tuesday of each month I'll be there teaching a series of delicious Mediterranean classes. 

smtortillacanapes0002.JPGWe'll create fabulous three-course dinner party menus inspired by the flavours and traditional cuisines of Morocco (Feb), Turkey (March), France (April), Italy (May) and Spain (June).  I will share some of my favourite recipes and help you prepare them before sitting down to enjoy our hard work with a few glasses of wine.

Dates:  Tues 22nd Feb, Tues 22nd March, Tues 26th April, Tues 24th May, Tues 28th June

Times:  10:30am - 2:30pm, repeated 6:30pm - 10:30pm

smspringgreensarma0003.JPGLocation:  Blackheath Cooks, 31 Old Dover Road, London SE3 7BT

Price:  5 session course £315 (or £70 per session)

To book:  Download the course booking form from the Blackheath Cooks website, or call them on 020 8269 1331.

Summer preserving workshops, 24th, 25th & 26th June 2011

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smcarrotchutney0001.jpgsmbottledcherries0001.JPGIn association with Riverford, the lovely organic veg box people, I offer seasonal preserving workshops.  I cover all the basics of preserving fruits and vegetables and together we make five you can take home.

You will learn about sterilising jars, using sugar, salt and vinegar correctly as preservatives, reaching ‘setting point’ for jams and jellies, safe bottling and more. Class sizes are kept small (max 8 people) and very hands-on.  As well as your filled jars, there are recipes and guidance notes to take home.  

At the June workshops we hope to make (subject to produce availability):

smstrawbrhubjam0001.JPGStrawberry & rhubarb jam
Spicy courgette chutney
Bread & butter pickles
Brandied bottled cherries
and more...

Dates:  Friday 24th, repeated Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2011

Time:  10am - 3pm on Friday and Saturday; 11am - 4pm on Sunday

Location:  London N5

Price:  £60 (includes light lunch)

To book:  email Anna  Please read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place.  Thank you.

"Thanks again for such a brilliant day and for sharing your wonderful skills. I can't believe how much we made and how much I learned in your lovely kitchen!"

"The pace was just right- a good combination of a bit of the science behind preserving, a hands on approach to learning, and the opportunity to chat and discuss. I think the size of the class was ideal."

Secret Kitchen menu, 18th June 2011

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a tale of three sausages

Watermelon martinis
Feta, olive, tomato & mint skewers
Merguez meatballs with charmoula yoghurt dip

Turkish pizzette spread with sucuk sausage meat
with herbs, pomegranate and lemon

Butterbean, tomato & chorizo salad with sherry vinaigrette
Wild rice, broad bean and spinach salad with pomegranate molasses
Grilled courgette, asparagus & halloumi salad with basil dressing
Roasted red pepper, tomato & mozzarella salad

Cherry clafoutis

Coffee, teas and homemade cherry liqueur

How to Drink in Summer, Thurs 16th & Fri 17th June 2011

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drinkingbabyjoes.jpgAn evening of wine tasting, cocktail mixing, eating and learning about the best things to drink this summer, with expert drinks writer Victoria Moore.  Come and join us!

You’ll be welcomed with an aperitif and a quick word on choosing wine glasses, then guided through a fascinating tasting of four glorious summer wines - Victoria’s picks for the season - with canapés that match.  We’ll move on to delicious Lebanese mint and lemon coolers and then make our own Pimm’s from scratch to compare with the original.  To finish there will be stunning watermelon martinis with Feta, olive and mint salad.  We’ll keep you fed with snacks throughout the class and send you home with a pack of Victoria’s recommendations and my recipes.

Victoria.jpgVictoria Moore has been writing about drinking since 1998 when she began a column in the New Statesman.  She is now the wine writer for the Telegraph, and previously wrote the wine column for the Guardian Saturday Weekend magazine.  Her bestselling book - How to Drink - is a hugely readable and beautiful handbook that aims to inform, entertain and ensure you are never without the perfect drink for every occasion.

How to Drink book cover.jpg
Dates:  Thursday 16th June, repeated Friday 17th June 2011

Time:  6.30pm - 8.30pm

Location:  London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)

Price:  £50.  10% discount if you book 3 places.

To book:  Email Anna
  Please read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place.  Thank you.

And look out for our How to Drink in Autumn classes in October!

Mum's chilled pea soup

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My mother sent me her favourite pea soup recipe in time for one of my Secret Kitchen dinners, assuring me everyone would adore it.  I played with it just a bit, and the result was absolutely delicious.  Thank you mum!

smpoddingpeas0003.jpgIf you’re making your own vegetable stock - simmer chopped carrots, onions, leeks and celery with bay leaves, parsley stalks, a sprig of thyme, several peppercorns and a pinch of salt for an hour or more until its flavour has really developed. 

You can serve this soup hot or chilled.  I like it chilled, in early summer when English peas are in season.  Buy a big bag, find a friend, pour yourselves big G&Ts, and get podding. (Add the pods to the stock pot.)

Cooking Club, Tues 7th & Weds 8th June 2011

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smday10002.JPGThe Cooking Club is a monthly series of classes that you can dip in and out of as you please.  Classes are usually held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month, 6-10pm.  At each class we cook a seasonal supper, the stars of which are Riverford's beautiful organic vegetables and fruits. 

Each class focuses on different produce and culinary techniques, so if you attend several they form a course.  You will develop knife skills and learn easy but delicious dishes you can repeat at home.

Classes end with an informal meal together around the table with some good wine, and recipes to take home. 

SmMoroccanClass0805100010.JPG“The Cooking Club was such GREAT fun and DELICIOUS … I very much look forward to coming back.”

"Very useful, clear, helpful and observant. Anna made sure we were all involved."

Example menu for early summer 2011:
(exact menus depend on ingredient availability and guests’ preferences)
Spring minestrone with pesto
Jane Grigson's pan-roasted new potatoes
Kohl rabi, orange, watercress & radish salad
Braised globe artichokes
Classic clafoutis

Date:  Tuesday 7th, repeated Wednesday 8th June 2011

Time:  6 - 10pm

Location:  London N5 (Arsenal tube 2 mins walk)

Price:  £40 per person per class.  Or £35 if you book 3 Cooking Club class places, which could be 3 for you, or you plus 2 friends, or as gifts, or any combination of those options.

To book:  Email Anna
  Please read the booking terms & conditions before booking your place.  Thank you.

Vote for a cooking class

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Elderflower fritters

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If you can’t quite get round to the four-day process that is elderflower cordial or champagne, let alone deal with all those buckets and bottles, then this quick elderflower recipe might be for you.  Elderflowers can be consumed whole, as they are, after a brief encounter with some batter and some hot oil.


Elderflower Delight

turkey, uk
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This recipe is adapted from John Wright, the River Cottage forager.  It seems like it must be difficult and prone to problems, and half-way through you won’t believe it’ll ever work, but have faith - the final product will come good and taste remarkably elderflowery.



Culinary Anthropologist