No. 32 - April 2005

Welcome to the free monthly newsletter and April 1st sees our 5th Birthday! If you have any suggestions for additions to this newsletter,   please write to me at . 


Happy Cooking ! 



Florence Sandeman, Editor




Food Funny


What's the definition of a Recipe?

A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don't own, to make a dish the dog won't eat.

What's New This Month


Cooking by Country




Click the picture to find out about the Malaysian culinary cultures and history, present day cooking and customs plus lots of recipe



Ingredient Analysis



Click the picture to find lots of information about Almonds plus lots of recipes



Cooking Tip of the Month

To peel tomatoes and peaches quickly and easily: Drop them in boiling water for 20 seconds, then into a bowl of ice water. The skins will slip right off. You can make this even easier by making a small X cut into the bottom of the fruit; the skin around the cut will pull away from the fruit in the water.



What's in Season

Asparagus, broccoli carrots, chervil, early cucumbers,   kale,  morel mushrooms, radishes, rhubarb, rosemary, spinach, early strawberries, watercress -  don't forget Spring Lamb!



How does your  Kitchen Garden grow


Sowing is still the order of the day but unlike March April is a time when you can sow the majority of vegetable and herb seeds outdoors unless there is an unusually long cold snap.



Continue to sow Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, dill, summer cabbage, carrots, turnips cauliflowers, Kohl Rabi, Leeks, peas, lettuce, marjoram, parsnips,  radish, spinach, spring onions


Start thinning out seeds which were sown last month but in order to prevent large gaps occurring, only thin to half the final distance.


Continue to sow Aubergines, Capsicums (Sweet peppers), Chives, mint,,  oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage,    sweet basil, thyme, tomatoes


Start thinning out seeds which were sown in pots or trays last month once they  are about 12mm/1/2" tall.. Don't delay too long as crowded plants not only fight for light, making them grow tall and spindly, but they are also more prone to damping off disease


For detailed growing instructions visit growing herbs and vegetables section



Readers' Questions


I have only ever eaten figs cooked in one way or another but can you tell me if you can eat them "straight from the tree" I read your article about figs and it says that they are pollinated by small insects crawling into them. Does this mean eating them from the tree, skins and all, could be risky.



I would imagine that by the time a fig is ripe enough to eat any "occupants" would have vacated. In any event, millions of people have eaten fresh figs for thousands of years and it didn't kill them.

In fact, at the right time of year, you will find fresh figs on sale in supermarkets and green grocers here in the UK although getting really ripe and sweet fresh figs over here is a matter of luck, probably because of the shipping.

I would urge you to give it a go if you manage to get some....they are DELICIOUS.

You can read all about figs  Here  and there are, of course, lots of recipes too.



The things I have to do in the name of food


A couple of weeks ago,  I was invited to the Argentinean Ambassador's residence in Belgravia, London ( a very salubrious location) for the launch of a initiative to promote Argentinean this case Beef and Wine.


I got to taste the wine , well actually it's what I drank all evening,  and was very pleasantly surprised by it, being an old fashioned girl who prefers French wines. I also got to taste the beef. Well! I'd always heard that Argentinean beef was good, but it far surpassed my expectations. Now, as you may have guessed, I am usually very supportive of British products, and I LOVE British beef but I must admit I'd rank the Argentinean beef on par with it.


Oh, just as a side, I was schmoozing with an Importer whilst I was there and was amazed to hear that it was mainly our dairy cows which were infected with BSE (mad cows disease) because they were the ones given feed made with animal products. I'd like to know whose bright idea it was to feed a herbivore on animal products. I'd listen to their theory...... then SMACK them.


Anyway,  back to Argentinean beef ....below is short promo piece about the launch and although I loved the beef, I don't think I was the journalist who made the comment below.... then again the wine was very good.


Argentine Beef - A Quality Promise Explained

On the 14th March the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute launched their £2million campaign to increase awareness of Argentine beef in the UK.

Over 150 people attended the reception at the Argentine Ambassador's residence, with representatives from leading restaurants, supermarkets, importers and food trade media.

Guests were invited to sample Argentine Beef and wine imported from Argentina. Beef was prepared as Empanadas of Beef, Carpaccio of Lomo, sandwiches and canapés in different styles. Many were amazed at the taste of the beef with one journalist remarking that Argentine Beef was 'honestly the best beef I have ever come across.'

The   evening  began   with  a   promotional  DVD

showing the extensive farming methods employed in Argentina as well as the stringent quality controls that govern Argentine Beef production, followed by a speech by Arturo Llavallol, President of the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute.

"We are planning a £2million trade and consumer education campaign to build awareness of the high quality and taste that the Argentine brand can offer to the UK," said Arturo Llavallol, president of the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute.

"Last year Britons consumed some $65million worth of Argentine beef. With the right brand-building campaign we are confident that we can grow our business here in the UK, complementing the local product, thereby growing demand for premium beef."



Ever fancied a Gastronomic holiday abroad? Well,  my good friend and owner/ webmaster of food site Hub-UK may have just the ticket for you. Click on the banner below to find out more but don't wait too long as places are limited to this exclusive event.



! ! !    STOP PRESS    ! ! !

It's St. George's Day on 23rd April. We have some super traditional English recipes on both the St. Georges day page and the England Cooking by Country page. Why not treat yourself to a good old fashioned English Tea.....Scones with jam and clotted cream, Victoria Sponge cake,  Devonshire Splits or even better to one of our Traditional puddings.


Recipe of the Month


                                                    Morel Rosti

Did you know that the Morel mushroom is still in the process of evolving from a single celled organism (a yeast) into a

multi-celled organism? That's why its structure looks the way it does. Here's a simple recipe for this unusual and prized



Serves 4    

Cooking and Prep time:   

45 minutes


50g/2oz Butter

1 tbsp Olive Oil

50g/2oz  Streaky Bacon, chopped
75g/3oz Onions, finely chopped

675g/1-1/2lb Potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
8 Small Morel Mushrooms, chopped
Salt and Black Pepper

Freshly chopped Chives and Parsley






1. Heat half the butter and olive oil in a saucepan, add the bacon and onions and cook over a medium heat, turning from time to time, until softened.


2. Add the grated potatoes and some of the herbs, mix well, season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently.


3. Add the morels and mix well.


4. Heat the remaining butter and oil in a large frying pan and when hot transfer the potato mixture to the frying pan, spreading the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan  (like a pancake) and cook each side until browned.


5. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and parsley.

New and featured Recipes 

V = Vegetarian       GF = Gluten/wheat Free      DF = Dairy Free


Almond & Cucumber Salad    V   DF

Almond Sauce for fish

Noodles with Almonds

Indonesian Rice        Vegan  GF   DF  

Broccoli with Almonds    V

Green Beans with Basil      Vegan  GF   DF  

Potato & Almond Croquettes        GF   DF

Bilimbi Sambal      GF   DF   

Malay Mixed Salad      V   DF

Anchovy Chutney    GF   DF

Malay Rice Roll       Vegan  GF   DF  

Cucumber Pickle     GF   DF  

Nasi Lemak    Vegan  GF   DF

Roti Canai     DF


Desserts Cakes & Bakes

Almond Paste (Marzipan)      GF   DF

Almond Shortcrust Pastry     

Almond Ice Cream      GF 

Coconut Amaretto Pie     V

Santiago Almond Tart     V

Florentines     V

Almond Cake     V

Toucinho do Ceu      GF   DF

Strawberry Dacquoise       V

Dundee Cake       V

Almond Tea Jelly    GF 

Banana in Coconut Milk     Vegan  GF   DF

Mung Bean Pudding      Vegan  GF   DF

Steamed Banana Parcels     Vegan     DF

Tapioca Cake    GF   DF

Apple Scones      V

Rhubarb Cake    V

Soups, Appetisers & Starters

Camembert Stuffed Vine Leaves     V   GF  

Baked Brie with Mushrooms      V   GF  

Creamed Almond Soup

Baked Asparagus with Almonds

Spiced Carrot Soup    V   GF  


Stilton and Spinach Parcels     V

Creamed Broccoli Soup        V


Main Courses 

Duck with Almonds   DF

Trout and Almonds

Spiced Prawns with Almonds  DF

Mughlai Chicken    GF

Potato Courgette Casserole      V

Bobotie (beef)

Mrouziya (Lamb)   GF   DF

Malaysian Noodles      DF

Malay Grilled Fish    GF   DF

Squid Satay     GF   DF

Stuffed Bean Curds      Vegan  DF

Prawn Fritters     DF

Rendang Daging (beef)       GF   DF

Malay Chicken Curry        GF   DF

Nasi Lemak    Vegan  GF   DF




Whether you're looking for everyday,  exotic or unusual food and drink,  visit 

Food shopping has never been easier !


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