A Trip to Borough Market

Plans for Saturday morning? Why not get down to Borough Market and try something new this weekend!

Having been brought up in the fairly averagely sized town of Cheltenham, I am not really used to the variety of food on offer in big cities such as London. Recently I have been spending more and more time in the big smoke and last weekend I took the opportunity to sample the delights of Borough Market…

There is so much to try and buy and it is hard to resist the tantalising smells that sneak under your nose as you wander around. It is a vibrant centre for foodies and the curious alike and the perfect place for picking up new and exciting ingredients to cook and experiment with over the weekend.

Check out Gamston Wood Farm’s stall for exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo and springbok. We treated ourselves to a supper of ostrich steaks and crunchy cubed potatoes.

The diverse array of vegetables sold at Turnips are definitely work a look, I certainly couldn’t find some of this veg in my local supermarket:

There are also plenty of stalls selling hot and cold meals for lunch. Drawn by the cheesy aromas of the Kappacasein stall, we tucked into Swiss raclettes for lunch: a dish of potatoes, gerkins and pickled onions, coated in freshly grilled Ogleshield cheese… Mmmm!

So if you are in London over the weekend, take time out to visit the market and excite your taste buds!

Find Borough Market in South East London between The River Thames and Borough High St. It is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays but get down there early on a Saturday as it can get pretty busy if you don’t like being jostled around.

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A recipe obsession

Sometimes you make something for the first time and you immediately know it is going to be a keeper: one of those recipes that is going to fit into your repertoire of monthly dinners for the rest of your life. Whilst this may sound a little over the top to you, my first sampling of this Moroccan dish left me in no doubt that I had to eat it again, and again, and again!

Anyone who was witness to my recipe discovery, or who saw or talked to me in the weeks surrounding the event, will confirm that it was all I could speak of. As I bashed up the spices in my pestle and mortar for the first time, the smells that were being produced already had me hooked (as well, it seems, as my housemate who hovered with her nose twitching at the aromas of mashed cumin and coriander). When eating the dish, my delight was confirmed and I immediately rang up my boyfriend to rant about it. I made it for him a few days later, for a friend that came to stay a few days after that and then for another two friends a few days after that. I was so excited by the flavours that I felt desperate for everyone else to take a bite!  I cannot recommend this meal highly enough and must thank dear Jamie Oliver for sharing it with me.

This recipe for Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Dip comes from the Moroccan Street Food section of Jamie does… Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece, France, a brilliantly varied book with beautiful photographs and tempting recipes. I actually missed the TV series of this one as I was living abroad, but the book is jam packed with food to inspire. You can find it from around £9 on Amazon and I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Dip (Serves 4)

4 chicken breasts

4 flat breads (I sometimes use naan)

Lemon wedges

Marinade:

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

1 tbsp hot paprika

1tsp turmeric

1tsp ground coriander

3tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Dip:

2 avocados

1 tsp cumin seeds ground

2 garlic cloves

1 fresh chilli

A bunch of fresh coriander

2 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Cut the chicken into chunks and add to the marinade, stirring until all of the chicken is covered. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.
  2. To make the dip, add all of the ingredients to the chopped avocado and mash well.
  3. When marinated, cook the chicken on a griddle or a grill for 5-7 minutes. You could also use a George Foreman Grill if you have one.
  4. Warm the flat breads and fill them with the dip and chicken.
  5. Serve with a salad garnish if you wish.   

A taste of autumn

With so much ripe fruit in the garden, now is the perfect time to get baking. This Apple and Rhubarb Loaf would be a delicious addition to any afternoon tea table. The texture of the chunky fruit and the beautiful flavour of the spices combine to make a truly great loaf. Try experimenting with different spices such as vanilla, nutmeg and mixed spice.

Apple and Rhubarb Loaf

1 ½ cups finely chopped rhubarb

1 ½ cups chopped apples

1 ½ cups brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

4 eggs

3 cups flour

1 cup chopped nuts

3 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ᵒ/ Gas mark 4. Mix the sugar, eggs and vegetable oil together in a large bowl and then stir in the chopped rhubarb, apples, and spices.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, and sifted flour. Fold this into the first bowl of mixture and stir in the nuts.
  3. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking parchment and bake for 60-75 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
  4. After a few minutes of cooling, remove the loaf from the tin and leave to cool fully on a wire rack.

I would definitely recommend trying a piece of this loaf warm!