We visited L’Enclume last weekend, thanks to some lovely colleagues of my spouse who thoughtfully chose it as our wedding gift. It was quite the experience, on many levels!
I had a really disappointing experience with some supermarket-bought falafel recently. It was dry and crumbly, had no taste or kick whatsoever, and all in all, it was utterly dissatisfying. I should have known better, I know. I guess I was just very hopeful that day 😜
“Of course”, I thought, “it can’t be that hard to make falafel myself, as chickpeas are basically foolproof”.
So I searched for a falafel recipe. I found lots from US based writers which used ingredient names I’m not familiar with and I was quite suspicious of, and I was starting to feel a bit disappointed, until I had an illumination, and searched for “falafel honey and co”.
And my wish for a trustworthy looking recipe was fulfilled: Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer —or essentially, the “heads” of Honey & Co— went to Women’s Hour in BBC Radio 4, and shared their falafel recipe there.
BUT I do not have a fryer, and I didn’t want to use a lot of oil to fry the falafels. So I ended up flattening them; I figured that would increase the surface that was exposed to the heat. Which turned them into flat falafels. Or like chickpea fritters. Or patties. Or… any combination of the above. You can’t say cooking isn’t creative…
The end result isn’t the prettiest, but the taste was really good, and that’s even if I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter: I forgot to add a green chilli, and I doubled the amount of other ingredients so I could have a larger batch… except for baking powder and spices, which I wasn’t quite confident about (specially baking powder-it’s got a great ability to ruin things if you add too much of it). Also, their recipe doesn’t mention sesame seeds in the list of ingredients, but then it does when it asks you to add sesame seeds to the mix. And you’re left wondering: “WHICH sesame seeds?!”
The fantastic garlic kick reminded me a bit to the cod croquettes which my grandma used to make (except you can’t find fishbones, yay!). It even made me think that maybe it could also work if adding pine nuts, like in my grandma’s recipe. After all, there are very few things in the world that will not be improved by adding pine nuts to them.
They combined well with salad, as they can be a bit dry on their own.
Maybe a yoghurt and cucumber sauce could work too, but we didn’t have any on the fridge. Instead, I tried making a very purist allioli, with just garlic and olive oil, but it didn’t work, mostly because I was using a blender instead of a pestle and mortar. Something to experiment with some other day. That said, the garlic and oil sauce was great anyway—and we felt very confident that no vampire would get close to our household, haha!
Honey & co don’t recommend reheating, but I did warm them slightly on the microwave the next day before placing them on top of my salad and they were still very nice.
A final warning: this dish is a bit laborious; chopping the ingredients can be tiring if your blender decides to get temperamental (as mine did), and you might need to do it in small batches so it takes longer than it should. I’d personally advise making this on a day where you can take your time and not fall asleep over the bowl. Or getting a mega food processor and blitzing through the chickpeas in two nanoseconds (so to speak!) 🙂
We didn’t really know what to have for dinner, but we also had a lot of random vegetables that we had to eat before they went off. One pepper… another single potato… an aubergine… a fennel… What to do with all these bits and pieces?
The answer, obviously: roast all of them in the oven!
Then we had them with some olive oil (of course), a bit of chorizo and a fried egg (“for protein” 😅). And I made a salad for lunch the following day ✌🏻
Basically any random vegetable that you might have in your fridge, but in our case:
If you skip the chorizo and eggs, this could be a totally vegan dish. Do as you feel!
We had never roasted fennel before, and this was such a nice surprise. It turns way mellower than when raw, and the aniseed flavour is sort of surfing on top of a gentle wave of sweetness. It conjured visions of walking across fields on a slightly chill, crisp Autumn Sunday morning; muddy boots and all.
You would wonder: can a roasted fennel do ALL THAT to your mind? And my answer is that the only way to find out is to try it by yourself.
We attended this afternoon workshop at their Borough Market baking school a few weeks ago. It was actually my Christmas present, but we have been so busy lately that we could only find time in March to do it!
It was really fun, the teacher was absolutely phenomenal and enthusiastic, and I am really embarrassed to admit that I did not remember her name, but thank you, Teacher!
I was a bit scared about baking because I have tried to bake breads in the past and they always ended up really flat and tough. But the workshop helped me realise what my main issues were:
And now I’m not terrified about baking anymore! 🙂
Note: I’m not from Thailand, so please excuse any horrible things I did to your (sort of) national dish 🙂
I had a horrible day/week, and was really upset by various things that had happened, so I decided the best way to leave that behind me was to focus on cooking something comforting.
Somehow I thought of green curry, but I had not cooked this in a very long time—would I still remember how to do it?
For extra challenge, I decided to try and make it vegan, which is not very hard as the only ingredient from animal source is the chicken. I replaced it with tofu instead. Done!