Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Who remembers Live and Kicking?

Once again it's time for a recipe that one of you have sent in - here's my friend Lisa's classic carrot and coriander soup!  Hell yeah!

LISA: This is a quick and easy recipe, which shouldn't cost more than £1 to make, as long as you have a well stocked store of staples and you grow your own coriander. The recipe claims to serve 4, but I could easily get 6 servings of this soup (or 2 if you were serving me - Tim).

You will need:

450g/1lb carrots, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1.2l/2 pints vegetable stock
Few sprigs of fresh coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan. Keep it on a medium heat, and add the carrot and onions.
Make sure everything gets a coating of the oil, and then leave on the heat for the onions to start to soften (it begins to look clear when it's ready). Stir occasionally.
Add the ground coriander and stir. Add seasoning, if required.
Add the stock, then leave to simmer for 15-25 minutes, until the carrots have softened.
Take off the heat, and use a blender to purée the soup.
Finely chop the fresh coriander, and add to the soup.
Voila, there you have it - homemade carrot and coriander soup!!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Crumble of Filth

Here at Heavy Metal Cooking, we're all about the classics, and they don't come much more classic than this.

Any English people reading this have probably eaten this about 240563986 (approximately) times in their lives. Crumble is a very easy way of making a delicious dessert using only a few basic ingredients - flour, sugar, butter and some nice fruit. I've embellished on it a bit here but really that's all you need. For this crumble, I thought the walnuts went really well with the pears, and the sprinkling of oats made a nice crunchy surface. Other fruits that go well with this include apple (obviously), rhubarb (add lots of sugar though), blackberries or a combination thereof. Just don't put raisins in or your crumble will be crap and I will be forced to slap you.

NOTE: I've used two types of sugar here - I used demarara for the crumble because it's crunchy, but I used soft brown sugar to caramelise the pears and give them a nice flavour. It's just a poncey little thing I did, feel free to just use one type.


  • 225g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 110g demarara sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 x conference pears
  • 2 tbsps cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps (I guess?) soft brown sugar e.g. muscovado
  • Enough porridge oats to sprinkle over the top
  • A few walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees.
  2. Sieve the flour into a big bowl.
  3. Mix a pinch of salt into the flour and rub in 110g of the butter with your fingertips until you have a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs (you may find this easier if you get the butter out of the fridge in advance so that it softens). Then mix in the demarara sugar. NOTE: this is basically a pastry mix without the water, so if you wanted to make a pie instead of a crumble you could just add a little bit of very cold water so that it sticks together - however if you do that you should let the pastry sit in the fridge for at least half an hour, or perhaps read a different recipe, e.g. a pie/tart recipe.
  4. Peel and core your pears and mix them in with the soft brown sugar. I'm not sure exactly how much I used but you want a decent covering. Add some cinnamon according to taste - I like quite a lot but it's up to you.
  5. Get a baking dish like the sexy pyrex one in the picture and rub some butter round the edge, then put the pear mixture in. Dot a few little lumps of butter around to aid the caramelisation process, then add the crumbly goodness, making sure the pears are all completely covered. Sprinkle some porridge oats on top and finally scatter a few walnuts over.
  6. Bake it in the oven for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown, and serve with a generous blob of vanilla ice cream!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


If you're like me and always throw in random amounts of spices while cooking, this dish can turn out to be your Life of Agony. However, I ask you to take a leap of food and let me guide you through the bliss Asian cuisine can provide. As a student I used to cook together with an Indonesian friend making food his mother did bother to teach him, as opposed to mine. Armed with this experience I recently took up the challenge of getting the typical American-Asian take-away dish called 'Beef & Broccoli with Oyster sauce' the way I like it. For the uninitiated, some ingredients can seem a bit odd, but I'll give some tips on what to buy and how to preserve them. I've chosen for fried rice (nasi goreng), but plain ol' white rice is perfect too.

Ingredients (serves 2 ppl):

· Beef, about 200 g a person. Tim's has been rambling on endlessly in this blog about the virtues of buying proper beef. He's right.

· Broccoloid. A single trunk feeds about 2 persons

· Red pepper (fresh or fresh ones stored frozen whole. Hey, this means you can have fresh peppers all year round? What an excellent idea!)

· Oyster sauce

· Soy sauce (the dark stuff)

· Ginger (freshly grated or in a glass jar stored in oil or mashed with some citric acid, store in fridge)

· Garlic (fresh or in a glass jar stored in oil or lightly pickled, store in fridge)

· Lemon grass (fresh or, you guessed it right, in a glass jar in oil, store in fridge)

· Ground dried coriander seeds

· Ground dried cumin seeds (djintan)

· Shrimp paste (trassi)

· Sambal (hot chilli based sauce used in Indonesia. Comes in lots of varieties, I love the sambal trassi one which has shrimp paste for cooking and the regular fried sambal badjak to spice up food as a table condiment)

· White rice (basmati has an awesome flavor, pandan is great too but sticks a bit more which is less suitable for frying)

· Wok oil (peanut/arachis oil or mild olive oil suitable for high temperature cooking, i.e. *not* extra virgin)


1. Start with boiling the rice until done, remove the hot water and let it cool by spreading it out on a plate and put it in your fridge. Never eat cooked rice that has been between 60 degrees and RT for more than a few hours, as heat-stable, extra-ribosomally produced Bacillus cereus toxins will have your bowels turned inside out!

2. While the rice is cooling, chop the beef into strips or cubes of a few centimeters. Marinate the beef in 1 tbps oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 thinly chopped garlic glove, and 1 thinly chopped red pepper in a bowl for about 15 minutes (no fridge, keep the beef at RT!)

3. Put your wok on the fire, add oil until its almost smoking. Then quickly add 1 tsp shrimp paste, 1 tbsp sambal, 1 tsp lemon grass (or one piece of grass, remove after cooking), 1 tsp ginger. Stir for about 10 seconds, this will release an aroma that instantly kills Chris Barnes so I recommend opening up a window and remove all children and other innocent animals. Then add the rice and stir it while on full heat until golden brown (I always wanted to write that in a recipe!). Add coriander and cumin to taste. If you like bonus veggies, this is the moment you can add tauge (bean sprouts), chopped carrots, chinese cabbage, whatever you fancy, but don't worry, there'll be broccoloids acomin'! Remove from wok and keep hot.

4. Clean and chop up the broccoloid trunk, larger pieces in fours, and smaller ones in halves, remove most of the common stem. Now's the time where tr00 wok sk1llz0rs need to be mastered. Heat a wok with plenty of oil until it’s extremely hot and smoking. Depending on the material, weight and size of your wok, add the broccoloids in several portions. The wok needs to be as hot as possible throughout cooking. Wok every portion for about 3-4 minutes, stir like hell. For every burned broccoloid, chances will reduce the broccoloid queen will let you sleep with her hot broccoloid daughters! Put aside finished portions on a plate.

5. Now apply the newly acquired wok skills on the marinated beef, cook for 1-2 minutes, and then add the broccoloids until everything's hot but not longer than a few more minutes.

6. Re-fry the fried rice to heat it up if necessary. Serve the beef&broccoloids with the fried rice. You can add a lime wedge or some nice Asian condiments like fried onions (bawang goreng), seroendeng (a mixture of grated coconut, peanuts, onions and spices) and of course more sambal to the table to finish it off!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Hammer Smashed Pudding

The blob you can see to your right is the classic English bread and butter pudding!

This is the first time I've made the classic bread and butter pudding so I was glad to see that it turned out OK. Instead of following one recipe verbatim I got ideas from seeing how other people had done it. Some people use poncey expensive bread like brioche but I don't see the point. This is a basic tr00 version. I opted to use raspberry jam with this because it's absolutely gorgeous when it's hot, but feel free to use other types of jam and marmalade - whatever you like, really. Like many of the best things, it's brilliantly simple.

  • About two thirds of a loaf of sliced white bread
  • A jar of raspberry jam (use as much of it as you like)
  • Butter for the bread slices
  • A handful of sultanas
  • 600ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps soft brown sugar
  1. Turn the oven on at 180 degrees.
  2. Deliberately let your bread go stale as it will soak up more awesomeness that way, then cut the crusts off and cut them into triangles. Spread some butter and raspberry jam on each slice and arrange them standing up diagonally in a baking tin (such as the pyrex one in the picture), then scatter some sultanas on top. N.B: if, for some reason, you don't have loads of stale bread hanging around, you can bake the bread slices, covered with foil, in the oven for a minute or two so that they dry out. No longer than that, though.
  3. Make the custard. Bring some milk to the boil and then reduce it to a very gentle simmer - if you're using an electric hob, take it off the heat completely as it's best to err on the side of not making the custard curdle. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract and mix it into the milk mixture. Keep stirring for a few minutes until it's thickened, then pour the whole lot over the pudding.
  4. Bake the whole thing in the oven for about 35 minutes until the peaks have gone golden brown. Serve hot with blobs of vanilla ice cream!

Pork ballotine with invisible sauce

Anyone seen that episode of the IT Crowd where they go to Heston Blumenthal's restaurant and eat invisible food? Well, this is a bit like that. Yep.

What actually happened was that I misjudged the amount of juice I was going to get from the ballotine, and as such it was nice but it was missing something. Therefore, I'm going to describe this recipe as if it has apple sauce with it, as it's a classic combination with pork.

  • 4 x pork steaks
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 12 x new potatoes
  • Handful of thyme sprigs
  • 2-3 tbsps olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 15 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 8 x sage leaves
  • 1 x large bramley apple
  • About 2 tbsps soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Tenderise a pork steak, i.e. bash it flat using a rolling pin or tenderiser (this is a special hammer you can buy from cooking shops). When it's roughly doubled in size, put a couple of sage leaves in the middle along with half a clove of grated nutmeg. Season it lightly with some pepper, but NOT salt.
  2. Put a layer of streaky bacon rashers on the sheet of cling film. Put the pork steak on top and roll it all up very tightly so that you have something that looks like a sausage. Fasten each end with sellotape and chill it in the fridge for half an hour. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for your other torpedoes. The reason you didn't add salt is that the bacon already has a lot of salt in it anyway.
  3. Poach the ballotines in simmering water for about half an hour. Make sure you sealed them tightly.
  4. Peel some new potatoes and cut them into slices. Pour some butter into a frying pan with some olive oil on a medium-high heat. Season the potato slices and fry them for a few minutes on each side until they're golden and cooked through.
  5. Melt some butter in another pan. Peel the apple and cut it into slices, then gently fry them in the butter with some sugar so that the apples melt.
  6. When the pork is done, take it out of the packet and get a pan very hot. Add a smidgen of olive oil to said pan and sear it on all sides so that it goes crispy.
  7. Carve it into slices and serve with the potatoes and invisible apple sauce.