No-one cooks potatoes better than a northerner. You’re in luck: not only am I from Manchester, I’m also the biggest potato addict you’ll meet. Trust me when I say THESE ARE THE BEST roasties you’ll make.
Time to Cook
1 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of season all or red salt
4 dollops of vegan butter
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Once you’ve peeled your potatoes, cut them into really big chunks. I’m talking, 1-2 roast potatoes per potato. The bigger, the better. These beasts should take up a quarter of your plate.
- Parboil them for around 15 minutes, until they’re halfway cooked. You don’t want they to be cooked to the point of being able to mash them, otherwise they’ll fall apart.
- Drain them and sprinkle half your flour and red salt over them. You want them coated in the mixture – but if you stir them, they’ll probably break up. So gently pour them into another bowl, and pour the rest of your mixture on the side of the potatoes that aren’t yet coated. Tip them back into the pan, then back into the bowl, then back again (you catch my drift) until they’re coated. The flour will give them a light batter when cooked.
- In your roasting dish which has plenty of oil in it (I’m talking, at least a cup – maybe even 2, if you’ve got a big dish), position your potatoes LOVINGLY. Turn them over with a spoon to get them coated all round.
- Spoon knobs of butter around the dish — then put everything in the oven.
- The next bit is very important. Check them EVERY 20 MINUTES. You want to turn them over, each time. These potatoes are like puppies. The more love they give you, the more they’ll love you back.
- After about 1.5 hours of roasting, they should be just perfect.
Everyone in London has their favourite falafel spot. For me, it’s an unobtrusive stand in Whitecross Market, where they cook the outside of the falafel nice and crunchy and make the inside surprisingly sweet. Serve these up with as many pickles as you can stomach.
Time to Cook
1 cup dry chickpeas
1 cup broad beans
1 tsp baking soda
1 medium-sized shallot
1/2 cup parsley
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sugar
Oil, for frying
- Soak your chickpeas and broad beans overnight. It’s important you use dried beans: tinned ones will turn to mush and won’t work properly.
2. Blend them up with your other ingredients (shallot, parsley, spices and baking powder) until it’s coarse. I use a hand blender — my Nutribullet isn’t a friend for this recipe.
3. Mould them into little balls then squish them up so they look like thick, half-inch pancakes
4. Drop them in the sizzling oil. I use a deep fat fryer, because I’m northern. You can use oil in a pan if you don’t have one — just make sure it’s super hot.
5. The baking powder will make them puff up in the heat. Cook them for a few minutes, turning them over if you need to, to ensure they’re completely browned.
6. Take them out and eat!
I’ll never forget the first time I tried agedashi tofu for the first time. I was at Bone Daddies, in High Street Kensington. Once I tried them, I couldn’t get them out of my head! If you’re tired of tofu tasting like chewy clumps of water, give these a try. You’ll be eating them all day long.
Time to Cook
One block of firm tofu
One tablespoon of cornflour
Fresh red chilli
Lots of oil
1/2 cup dashi
2 tbsp soy sauce
- Wrap your tofu in a tea towel and put something heavy on top of it to drain out the excess water. I tend to use a pan full of water! Make sure you put the wrapped block on a plate, to stop any excess water flooding your worktop. Leave it to drain for around 15-minutes.
- While the tofu is draining, it’s time to make your broth. In a pan, mix the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar and bring it to a heat. I like my broth super vinergary (because I’m northern). Give yours a taste, and add a splash of rice vinegar if you want more of a tang.
- When your tofu is drained, cut it into inch cubes. Pop them in a carrier bag and drop in the table spoon of cornstarch. Wrap the bag tight, keeping the air inside, and shake it all around to get that cornstarch all over the chunks. Or, if you want to be lazy, just stir it round in a bowl. This way’s more fun though.
- Heat up your oil in a pan – or a fat fryer, if you’ve got one. When it’s sizzling, drop the coated tofu into the pan and let it sizzle for a few minutes. The cornstarch will develop a nice, crunchy batter.
- While it’s cooking, it’s time to quickly chop your veg! Cut your chilli and spring onion into thin slices. Keep it to the side for a second: you’ll be using it next.
- Put your fried tofu cubes on a piece of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil if you’re healthy. Or, if you’re like me, put them straight in the bowl. The oil’s tasty and will just float around the top!
- Pour your lovely broth over the cubes, so they’ve got a nice soup around the base. Don’t submerge them!
- Sprinkle them with the chopped chilli and spring onion and eat to your heart’s content!