roasted cabbage wedges

sort of like wedges – just that they aren’t fried. or made of potato. so really not much like wedges except for their shape. I really am just a bag of laughter on this blog.

this is a method-post, more than an exact-measurements exposition on how to turn a huge head of very inexpensive green cabbage into a soft, sweet blast of a dinner with charred edges and a kiss of garlic. I’ve taught (I use this word loosely) you how to sauté any vegetable chinese-style, and now here’s an introduction into the world of roast-any-green-matter you like.

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corn muffins, à la kenny rogers

I’m on a quest to recreate the beautiful sweet corn muffins that they serve at kenny rogers outlets. I used to eat them by the quadruples as a kid and it never occurred to me till recently that I might be able to churn them out at home.

just as background, kenny roger’s is an american restaurant that markets itself on its wood-fired rotisserie chicken. if you’re american though, it’s likely that you haven’t seen one around you, or even recognise the name since they ceased operations in the US a long time ago. kenny rogers now operates predominantly in asia, as in singapore, and is pretty well known for both its chicken and square (as opposed to typically round) corn muffins.

I think it might be blasphemy to call it cornbread in many parts of the USA, and many people feel an incredible passion for what constitutes proper cornbread. in an effort to not incite any hate, I am calling these corn muffins. essentially a honey-sweetened yellow cornmeal batter with nuggets of sweet corn, it bakes up with a great dark crust and a moist fluffy inside.

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zucca, london

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fantastically fresh italian food down in bermondsey, near london bridge. this is my second visit to zucca, three years after my first one and boy has it lived up to my memories and hence inflated expectations.

I think of zucca as a very japanese italian restaurant, and I don’t mean that it is
some sort of confusion. rather, much of japanese cooking is about retaining and enhancing the flavours of fantastic ingredients, and showcasing lots of traditional styles and methods at a very high standard, and this is what zucca does.

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okra with chillies

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this is just a quick stir-fry and not so much a recipe, as with my other posts on chinese cooking. there is something very fundamental about chinese home-cooking where you basically throw in a basic set of ingredients in varying amounts to make it taste good.

I stand by my conviction that all vegetables can be cooked successfully chinese-style.

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fruit+veg markets, poland

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just a couple snapshots from my visit to markets in krakow and gdansk.

i am a complete photo-junkie when I get to markets – there’s something about all that colour, and the lighting that you get in the morning/afternoons (which is the time that they’re open) makes photography a pleasure.

I love markets like these – in london my favourite is borough market, but that’s quite a bit of a trek for me so I don’t usually go there. there is north end road market, but I find that a little more real-life (to me) and less outing-like, which is what I think of my trips to borough.

in europe there are amazing markets like these in squares, and oftentimes we just happen on them. most of them are going out of fashion since supermarkets are taking over the world becoming more prevalent and the younger generation (I’m an old soul myself) tend to prefer pretty standard-looking fruit and pink slabs of meat in plastic wrapping. I do most of my shopping in supermarkets so I’m not being judgmental; I just think that when we can, we ought to help our small-scale growers and small-business owners as possible.

polish markets were interesting to me because I realise that they carry quite a bit more dried fruit (as part of the fruit stores, instead of separate stalls as is normal) and I saw these dried black pears (3rd photo down on the left).

if you know what those dried pears are used for please let me know! I’ve done a google but I’ve been turning up recipes for the typical semi-dried pear slices that we usually get.