It has rained on and off all day and now, as a streetlights start to come on, it has spin bone chillingly cold, too. There is tiny or no enticement to leave a house. Dinner will be some-more rummage than forage. we don’t keep a heavily stocked fridge, though we can customarily get some arrange of plate together though carrying to shop.
There are cans of chickpeas in a cupboard. we imagination creation them into soothing cakes, seasoned with rosemary and garlic and frying them to a frail on a hob. But once a peas are dejected to a velvet purée, we raid a tiny box of aromatics in a bottom of a fridge for some seasoning. Even that is scarcely low, divulgence zero some-more than a shallot or two, a integrate of chillies rather past their best and dual stalks of lemongrass, though there is a good organisation pile of ginger. There is also a bag of spinach, somewhat past a use-by date, and a few herbs. The chickpea cakes can have a badge of spinach regulating by them, a southeast Asian seasoning.
The tiny bowls of fruits in a pantry now offer zero some-more engaging than dual pears that need a few some-more days ripening and a handful of tiny carmine apples. we cut a apples in half and bake them, basting them now and again with a dash of sherry and a stays of a jar of marmalade.
Tomorrow we will fill a tiny box of aromatics with glossy new chillies, a parcel of orange leaves, some-more ginger and uninformed limes. we will come behind from a shops with a crinkly leaved cabbage, some well-spoken heads of pinkish chicory and a bag of flush skinned blood oranges. we will collect adult a pomegranate, some dim grapes, pumpkins and parsnips. But for now, there’s a compensation of carrying done a many of what there is, quietly, and giving interjection for a few tiny apples, a bag of spinach and a can of chickpeas.
Chickpea cakes with spinach and lemongrass
A thin, frail membrane is essential here, a contrariety to a soothing hummus-like hardness of a cakes. Once a cakes have complacent and firmed in a fridge, they should be carried delicately into a sizzling oil regulating a palette knife, afterwards left to form a thin, golden membrane on a bottom before we try to spin them. Fiddling with them as they cook, nonetheless tempting, will outcome in them violation adult in a pan.
Makes 12, serves 4
lemongrass 2 vast stalks
chickpeas 2 x 400g cans
banana shallots 2, small
garlic 2 cloves
Dijon mustard 2 tsp
breadcrumbs 120g, excellent and dried
groundnut oil for cooking
Wash a spinach and mislay any tough stalks. Put a soppy leaves in a low saucepan over a assuage heat, cover and steam for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn a leaves over and continue cooking until they are splendid and soft. Drain entirely and give a leaves a organisation fist to mislay any remaining water.
Peel a outdoor leaves from a lemongrass and drop them. Chop a softer middle leaves and put them in an electric coffee indent or piquancy millstone and routine to a counterfeit pulp. Alternatively, clout them really finely.
Drain a chickpeas and tip them into a play of a food processor. Peel and roughly clout a shallots. Add a lemongrass and shallots to a chickpeas. Peel a garlic, flay and coarsely abrade a ginger afterwards supplement both to a chickpeas.
Finely clout a chilli, abrade a liking of a orange finely afterwards supplement to a food processor. Pull a coriander and packet leaves from their stems, supplement to a play and routine to a severe paste, seasoning with mustard and a tiny salt as we go.
Transfer a chickpea pulp to a blending play afterwards mix with a spinach and breadcrumbs. Divide a reduction into 12, figure any into a tiny cake a distance of a digestive biscuit and set aside to chill in a fridge for 20 minutes.
To cook, comfortable about 1cm of groundnut oil in a shoal vessel over a low to assuage heat. Lower a cakes, a few during a time, though crowding a pan. As they spin golden on a underside, kindly spin with a palette blade and prepare a other side. Remove delicately to comfortable plates.
Baked apples with sherry and marmalade
There is something appreciative about basting food as it cooks, about spooning a cooking juices over it as your repast bakes. Basting a apples here will safeguard they are uniformly caramelised and richly coated with a sherry and marmalade. we do this 2 or 3 times during a 45 mins or so it take a apples to bake. The salsa will thicken to a jammy coherence on a hob later.
sherry 200ml, middle sweet
lemon extract 100ml
caster sugarine 100g
bay leaves 2 or 3
orange jelly 3 heaped tbsp
small apples 6
Set a oven during 200C/gas symbol 6. Pour a sherry into a medium-sized saucepan. Add a lemon juice, sugar, brook leaves and marmalade, afterwards comfortable over a assuage feverishness until a sugarine has dissolved.
Cut a apples in half, place them cut side adult in a baking dish, afterwards flow a sherry and jelly syrup over them. Bake for 40-50 mins or until their strength has puffed adult a tiny and they are soothing adequate to cut with a spoon. Baste a apples frequently while they cook.
Remove a tin from a oven and place over a high heat, examination delicately as a syrup reduces to a jammy consistency. Serve a apples and syrup with crème fraîche or thick yogurt.
Follow Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater