Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sexy New Pig in the Kitchen!

Do you ever wonder about blogging?  Like, why do people do it? 

Me too. 

It is 01.21 on a Thursday morning.  My alarm will go in 5 hours and all day tomorrow my left eyelid will do this weird twitchy thing because it's absolutely knackered.

But as I hike myself up on caffeine tomorrow and eat far too many carbohydrates, at least I will know exactly why I blog.

Because... take a look at my new, bad-ass blog!  She looks fab doesn't she?! 

 I've spent hours uploading pix and mending broken links, but I'm a happy cochon.  My blog is all mine and she makes me proud.   

And uber thanks to Violet Posy for doing all the techy html stuff and for putting up with patently idiotic questions:

Pig: 'I can't see the recipe page.'
Violet Posy: 'That's because you're looking at my site not yours.'

Seriously.  You couldn't make it up could you?

And hugest thanks to my clever friend Jo Smith who created the new Pig in the Kitchen.

So in case you're wondering where the bloody hell my latest recipe is...

It's coming, really it is.

Ciao bellissima dahlings!

A bientot :-)

Pig x  
© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Spicy Carrot and Fennel Soup (Gluten free and/or Vegan)


 There are some vegetables that I find disturbing.

One of them is this odd, black root vegetable that I see here in France. I’ve yet to work out what it’s called but it looks like a cross between a long, sweet potato and a lump of coal. And then there’s the Topinambour  also known –apparently – as the Jerusalem Artichoke.

Woeful in my ignorance, I had never heard of Topinambour, but after my dear friend Sam told me it makes you fart like a trooper, I have pledged never to cook it. And I have still not cooked a real artichoke, despite lovely blog friends describing at length how to do it in one of my comments boxes. Oh shameless cooking heathen.

And then there’s fennel.

The colours are pleasing enough and as far as I know it doesn’t make you trump, but what’s with it looking like a heart?

Here’s a diagram of a heart:

Here's a picture of fennel:





You see? Is it any wonder that in nearly 4 decades (I said nearly) I have never sliced into the Aorta or Vena Cava of fennel?

But now it’s January and I’m feeling lardy. The December bliss of stuffing tasty morsels willy- nilly into my mouth has to stop and it’s time to get back on track.

And while I was clicking around God I Love Paris I came across Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Carrot and Fennel soup

Filled with that January feeling that this year I might really change and become a much better, funnier, slimmer, nicer, kinder, more adventurous person whose skin is smooth and who has tight buns, Heidi’s recipe inspired me to take a blade to the fennel left ventricle.

Of course I wasn’t content to just follow the recipe, I had to bastardise it completely, adding plenty of spice to increase my metabolism and burn off fat (or something like that). Go heavy on the spice and you’ll find this a very warming dish indeed!

Happy January dears!

Spicy Carrot and Fennel Soup
Perhaps you would like to adopt my 'you can never have too much spice' maxim for 2011? In my book, if you're not sweating and agitated and you can still feel your lips, it ain't hot enough... Readers of a gentle disposition may adjust the spice quantities to suit their taste. 

2 bulbs of fennel
3 large carrots
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 green chilli peppers (or red ones)
1 tsp fenugreek powder (methi powder) check it's GF
Olive oil to fry
2-3 GF stock cubes
1 litre water (maybe more)
2 tbsps wine vinegar (weird, I know. Optional)
160g Basmati rice/other rice
  • Remove the frilly green bits from the fennel and reserve for decoration at the end
  • Faced with fennel I wasn't really sure what to do. I thought the outer skin might have to be discarded, but couldn't bring myself to waste it. So I washed it and chopped it along with the rest of the bulb.  I did cut the base off though. I also cut off the stalky bits that look so much like an aorta.  So, wash the exterior of the fennel, cut off the aorta and vena cava (stalks), cut off the base and chop roughly
  • Peel, top and tail the carrots and chop roughly.  Finely chop the garlic and green chilli peppers
  • Heat some olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the fennel, carrots, garlic and chilli peppers.  Fry on a medium to high heat for a minute or so and then add the cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and fenugreek.  Stir and fry until the veg is coated.  Add the vinegar
  • Add the litre of water and the GF stock cubes, bring to the boil, stir and reduce the heat so that it simmers energetically until the fennel is just cooked.  Adjust seasoning to taste
  • Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions
  • When the rice is cooked, ladle some into the bottom of your soup bowl, then top up the bowl with spicy soup.  Add the chopped frilly fennel bits to garnish
  • Add a splash of Tabasco if you dare!
  • Eat, perspire and beg for water. Yum

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Happy New Year

Rural Normandy, France

It would be really nice if I had an editor for my blog.  You know someone who looks ahead, marks important dates in the diary and then commissions content from me. 

If I had someone like that then:
a) I would have posted this new year greeting in a timely manner and
b) I would have a new year recipe right here to show you.

So anyway, here I am wishing you a slightly belated  Happy New Year! and leaving a frosty, wintry sort of photo for your pleasure instead of a new recipe.  I know.  Sloppy.

I will now retreat to my kitchen and concoct for you. 

My head says cleansing soups and plain food.  My heart is all about steamed syrup pudding, sweet jam roly poly and thick custard. 

I may have to re-name the blog Fat Pig in the Kitchen's Artery-Furring Recipes for Lard Arses (gluten free and/or vegan.) 

What d'you reckon?

Hasta luego chicos!

Pig x

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