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February « 2012 « Hand to Mouth | A Blog About Food

Archive for February, 2012

Slaw Dogs

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Big Apple Hot Dogs Pimp Steak

Last Sunday I was invited to take part in Big Apple Hot Dogs food blogger meet up / competition Blog Eat Blog. The brainchild of BAHDman Abiye, the idea is simple. Food bloggers create their own topping for his dogs, they bring them down to the Vibe Bar, eat dogs, drink beer and somehow a winner is chosen. Having played a small part in Abiye’s story, and a as a lover of dogs and bit of a challenge, I couldn’t resist.

Now, you’ll think I’m bragging when I say that I SMASHED it and won my heat, but I should probably mention that the other three competitors didn’t show up, which is a bit of a shame (lazy buggers whoever you are :) ). This being the case, it was a bit of a hollow victory. But a wins a win, right? Right??

Bog Apple Hot Dogs Big Dog

Anyway, it was a good afternoon of dogging and boozing, and my Turkish inspired slaw seemed to go down pretty well with the punters. There are three more heats over the next few Sundays, so why not get yourself down to Brick Lane and beat off the Sunday blues with a Pimp Steak.

I’m not 100% sure when the final is, but I’ll be there with my Turkish Slaw, and if you want to make some of your own, here’s how its done (NB. this makes a pretty large quantity, so scale back as required).


2 red onions

1.5 heads of spring cabbage


Dante’s Spoon Bread

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Sppon Bread 1

Whilst road tripping in the Deep South of the US last year, we got pretty excited about the Southern food. And when you look at the evidence, there’s a lot to like. Barbecue, shrimp & grits, shrimp boils, fried pickles and green tomatoes, boiled peanuts, fried chicken, corn bread. Not the kind of thing to be writing about when you’re hungry like I am now.

Anyway, one of the many memorable meals we had was at a place called Dante’s in New Orleans. I mentioned it before in this post, but as an ‘amuse bouche‘ we were given something called a spoon bread. A close relative to corn bread, it had a softer, spongier texture, was deeper in colour due to the inclusion of molasses and as the name suggests, was eaten with a spoon. It was totally sweet and delicious, a bit like eating a desert before you’ve even started your meal, and I thought it was great. I asked our waitress if I could have the recipe, and before we left the chef handed it over, of which this is a slightly re-worked version.

Like they did at Dante’s, I baked mine in cast iron corn bread skillets (16 x 3 cm) that we picked up from the Lodge factory store whilst we were over there. But you could bake them in any oven proof dish, or do mini ones in a muffin tins.

A couple of notes before we begin, I’ve switch the molasses in the recipe for black treacle for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I find that molasses has a slightly bitter aftertaste which I personally don’t like, and secondly black treacle is easier to get hold of. Similarly, if you can’t get your hands on stone ground grits, just use polenta. Finally, the original recipe also calls for buttermilk. Again, this isn’t that readily available in the UK, but you can just switch this up for plain low fat yoghurt.

Ingredients (makes 2)

1 large egg

250ml butter milk / low fat plain yoghurt


Baked Vacherin

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Baked Vacherin

We are pretty much slap bang in the middle of Vacherin season, which runs from late September to early April. This creamy, smooth, slightly nutty and super runny cows milk cheese is an Alpine speciality traditionally sold in round wooden boxes, cinched with a piece of spruce bark.

Vacherin is great eaten at room temperature with some bread, but a killer way of serving it is baked. Particularly when it’s been snowing. It’s like a fondue without the hassle and the Abigail’s Party baggage, and is great lunch for two.

Pre-heat your over to 180 – 200c, then remove all the plastic wrapping from the cheese, but leave it in it’s box. Slice a fat clove of garlic, and then using a sharp knife, pierce the Vacherin’s rind and slide in the slices. Pour over around 50ml of white wine, and then put the cheese into the oven to bake until it’s golden brown and bubbling (15minutes or so).

Serve it with whatever you like, but I like a good mix of raw veg like raddishes and carrots, some hunks of good sourdough, a few boiled potatoes (pink fir are particularly good), a pear and a bit of salad.

Then just dunk in your vehicle of choice, and get cheesy.