Friday, 18 December 2009

Jake's away

Jake, my lovely American boy (not in the Estelle/Kanye way) is away for xmas and I wont be flying out to Austin after xmas day, so I'm alone in the flat, which means.... all my favourite foods.

Is it wrong that I'm quite excited? (When I'm not missing him desperately of course!)

Although the boy likes indonesian food, I don't think he can stomach it every day, and he definitely can't stomach it when it's low carb (don't ask!). Alth
ough I only learned to cook via osmosis, I do know a lot of my mother's recipes, but also I like to experiment and see what I can make that's tasty with her flavours.

Whilst in NYC in April I had some cold stuffed tofu, which was...alright... but needed something... meat! And a certain crispiness. I like tahu best when it's crispy on the edges and soft inside.

The stuffing was actually with pork (sorry mum!) mince, galangal, coriander, scallions, some home made (by my mother) sambal, pepper, and kencap manis (which is a very thick indonesian soy sauce) I also threw in various spice, cumin I think... other things, whatever I had to hand really, I would have u
sed more veg if I had any, finely chopped broccoli would be good I think or pak choi, there was pak choi in my original stuffing.

The tahu has been marinating overnight in toasted sesame, 1/2 dark, 1/2 light soy sauce, a drizzle of thai fish sauce, garlic and ginger. I then let it sit wrapped in kitchen paper for a bit to get the moisture out, carved it up into triangles and stuffed with the pork/spice mix.

Now if I wasn't lazy I probably would have dry fried, it's the best way to get some crispness on the tahu, but I couldn't be bothered after all the fuss of today, so I put the stuffed tahu squares in a baking dish and shoved it in a hot oven.... 20 minutes later I sprinkled with more coriander and some really lightly toasted sesame seeds, et voila. Pork stuffed tofu, it just needs some stir fried brocolli/pak choi and some drizzled chilli sauce (although the stuffing was pretty hot, damn mouth burning sambal!)

I really enjoyed it, it was a good combination of the light texture of the tofu and the denser stuffing, the tofu wasn't bland (it really soaked up the marinade and the juices from the stuffing) and had good crispness on the edges, the tahu took some of the chilli heat from the stuffing as well. I would definitely do this again, but possibly still dry fry them for extra crispiness.

Sorry about the picture! It looked fine on my phone, as always I should have got my DSLR out! They did taste (and look) better than they do on this sad plate :(

Rain, sleet, snow

I love weather, more than anything else I love the seasons changing, weather patterns developing, clouds drifting and snow falling.

I'm loathe to discover the real reason why ( I suspect it's something to do with ions) but the truth is, I only feel happy, comfortable, right in my skin, when it rains.
Something takes me over in those moments before a downpour when your heart and your head fill up with that lightness of knowing and the first drops are tears on your skin.

I try and photograph the weather as often as I can, it's an impossible job to capture, these photographs look like the remnants of performance art, intangible and unexplainable as the magic is in the action, in the bicycle riding around in the pain, not the canvas print covered in lines.

In this post are my two favourite weather shots from the last few weeks, the first is my office as I got off the bus this morning, it was so beautiful this morning, cold and crisp and amazing shades of purple, I'm so annoyed that for both of these shots I only had my phone camera not my DSLR. I need to get a decent compact to have on me all the time.

This shot is from a couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for another producer Dan and his lovely girlfriend to come meet me for dinner, everyone was hiding from the amazing rain so I had the mezzanine of Liverpool 1 to myself, it was amazing, gorgeous shiny rain, that just heightened the colours of everything around.

It is of the xmas "Liverpool Eye" and it's reflection on the concerete.