Coconut Spinach and Lemony Chickpeas

This was an interesting creation I happened upon on an American blog called ‘the kitchn‘. Edgy title. Edgy? Well, see how they miss out the ‘e’ from ‘kitchen’. That’s edgy. It says ‘we do food, but we don’t follow the rules’. Anyway enough banter, they do some very nice dishes and are now a useful source of inspiration. And this one was dead easy, served with a baked sweet potato, which is a culinary sensation in itself.

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Mississippi Mud Pie

I definitely do like a good pie. Pie and chips. Pie and ale. Pizza pie. Pie-eyed (that’s me). All things pie (except the maths version, which you were taught at school, which is useless information unless you are paid to draw circles, and it doesn’t have an ‘e’ on the end).

But nothing resonates in this food blogger’s brain more than the term ‘Mississippi Mud Pie’. I mean come on, what dish, what culinary creation, has a name more evocative? Dirty water and dirty…well dirt.

Of course, as we all know, Mississippi Mud Pie is so called because its biscuity base reminds one of the banks of the Mississippi. Actually I have no idea what the banks of the Mississipi look like, except from what I have seen watching Mel Gibson in Maverick, and possibly an episode of National Geographic at some point.

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But can a Mississippi Mud Pie really evoke a dirty big river? I can feel a scientific analysis coming on…

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Chicken Tagine

Having an extensive family has it’s advantages. I can’t really think of many right this moment but I know there are some. No, seriously, the best thing about a big family is you know you’re going to get some useful kitchen implements, toys or utensils for Christmas or birthdays.

This Yuletide period I got, amongst many things, a tagine.

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Vegetarian Steamed Buns

I am developing a new list. I call it the ‘Irritating List of Annoyances’, or ILA. The ILA currently comprises:

  1. Our intermittent leaking roof. How can a bloody roof leak intermittently? How does it do that? Why does it not leak when the roof man comes round to investigate? And then start leaking once he’s gone, and it isn’t even raining.
  2. The Highways Agency. They decided that to ease the traffic problem on my way to work they would make the road narrower. Yes narrower. The reason? To make more space for the pedestrians. But there aren’t any bloody pedestrians because the road is a dual carriageway and no one walks.
  3. Squeaky noises from the car. I hear a noise and noises = £££s. But was it a noise from my car or the old banger in front? Has life come to this? Listening out for noises and then cursing other people for having noisy cars?
  4. BBC Weather forecasters. No one has any idea what the weather is going to do. But some people get paid for not knowing.

I will add to my list as time goes by. Then I will publish it and people will buy it and I will be rich and drive my car straight into my roof and that will deal with a lot of the things that annoy me.

Food doesn’t annoy me.

Some time ago I decided to try out Pork Steamed Buns. They were delicious but I had to eat all of them because the wife is vegetarian and the children were indisposed. So I thought I’d try a vegetarian version, with mushrooms replacing the pork. Maybe they’d turn out better, maybe not.

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Shrimp Etouffee

When I started this blog, way back in 1784, I promised myself I would try and never cook the same thing twice (at least not cook the same thing twice and blog it, I mean I’m not going to try and live out a whole lifetime without literally cooking the same thing twice, that would be stupid. Stupid and tedious).

Of course I have failed. I’ve done fish and chips several times. I’ve cooked steak about a million times. I just love photographing bloody steaks. Yumbo. Never really blogged about pasta though. The odd lasagne maybe.

But generally I am on a constant search for inspiration. TV programmes (Watching Saturday Kitchen in bed in the morning is usually a good source of ideas, or anything Gordon Ramsay, like his souffle pancakes). The BBC Good Food Magazine comes up with some gems every now and then (Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake, for example). And films. The Godfather, where they make meatballs, is always a good one.

So I was watching ‘Interview with the Vampire’, with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. They are a pair of vampires sucking the blood out of the locals in 18th century New Orleans. And I got to thinking. What would they eat round there if they didn’t have to drink fresh blood?

So I got busy on Google (All pray to the real God) and found Shrimp Etouffee.

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