Food from a Physicist who loves to cook

Monthly Archives: August 2010

So for a couple of days now, I’ve been hankering to cook chicken livers, I’m not sure why it might be this post on Flavourgasm But I wanted to cook them, so I wandered down my village to my butchers and got myself half a pound of chicken livers, it was 77p, SEVENTY SEVEN PENCE, I was amazed. Another amazing cheap meat available at my butchers is Lamb neck, at £2.99 for 3 it was great value and they braise very nicely.

Now what to do with them? I liked the idea of the risotto but I don’t have truffle oil, so I looked around and found an interesting recipe in an old good food for Baby spinach and chicken liver salad. I moved some bits around and this is what I got.

Chicken Liver and Rocket salad

  • half pound of chicken livers
  • 3 rashers of bacon, or pancetta
  • 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp of ground coriander, cinnamon and garam masala
  • sherry vinegar
  • white wine
  • 3tbsp oil
  • fresh rocket
  1. Trim the liver of any sinews and cut into bite size pieces. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add bacon and fry for a few minutes, add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the spice, and fry for another minute.
  2. Reduce heat and add the chicken livers, season and cook till crusty on outside and pink in the middle.
  3. Add the sherry vinegar and stir, in then add a splash of wine, simmer to get a thickish sauce. Place the livers and bacon onto the rocket and reduce the sauce down further. Then drizzle over the top.

Liver salad

Enjoy as a light bite or a side dish on a warm summer night like tonight. Liver is lovely and cheap but this meal makes it seem expensive.


S0 I’ve only been home less than 24hrs and since yesterday we had to have a quick tea, so we could make it to see Russel Howard!  I have yet to really cook anything here, but being back in my old room has been fun, and so I felt I should share some photos with you.

My desk/Dresser

Here is my desk, or more accurately my dressing table, as it is too small to write on, I had a bit of a clear out and found all these old photos which I think are amazing so I used them, who wouldn’t.

Brooches and pictures

Can you tell I like sparkly things? Oh I also like ducks.

Rubber ducks

This is about half of my collections, the rest live up in the bubble with me, one day I will reunite them all but not right now I don’t think. Finally I want to finish with a picture I took on holiday in New York, it hangs opposite my bed and always reminds me of the fun parts of that trip.

New york snow

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past week, it has been my last week working on my project and my last week in  the bubble for  a while, in fact as a type I’m just over half way through my horrifically long  journey home. So with it being the last week I have been emptying the fridge and cooking unusual combination of foods none of them blog worthy.

I haven’t had the energy to cook recently either, I get into work at 9 30, and by 10 I am dressed in a paper jumpsuit, complete with hairnet, blue plastic shoe covers and gloves, I then step into the world of the clean room, with its eiry orange light, that reduces the UV, and its constant hum of air flow, which gets worse when machines are turned on. I will then be in that room till lunch, and then again after lunch, working with machines that scare me just a little bit, and post grads who look at me with distain.So by the end of the day all I want to do is sleep.

This is however all over, and though i will enjoy having a break i will also miss it quite a bit, it’s been excited and well interesting. But heading home means that i will be cooking a lot, both at home and in Chamonix, where I have been informed that myself and the eldest of the family I am traveling with, will be the chefs for the two weeks we will be there. I’m actually looking forward to it. Though there wont be any posts during that time, I will be writing a food journal and taking photos of what I eat. SO hope fully this blog with get more interesting.

Anyways I shall try to have another recipe up on here soon. Bye!

A few days ago I had a very long day, so long, I was chewing dextrose tablets in an attempt to stay awake, and I’m pretty sure I was still falling asleep at my desk. So long, that the only thing I could do when I got home was watch Arthur. Ah Arthur, you funny looking aardvark, still as enjoyable now as you were 13 years ago. So once I was a little perked up I thought, what will really cheer me up?

The answer: CURRY.

Now I recently watched Gordon Ramsey’s trip around India- where he sampled the delights of traditional Indian cuisine- making my taste buds tingle. However, at the same time, he insisted that it is impossible to get an authentic curry in the UK. I disagree. I come from a small village, half an hour away from Bradford, and my parents lived for some years in Bradford, so I like my curries.
I feel that in a society where so many cultures come together, and where the concentration of one culture is so great, how can we not get that culture’s authentic food? You just have to look. Now I’m not saying there aren’t bad curry houses, The Balti House near where I live loads up their curries with cream and sugar, so much so I hate to go there, and if I do I eat vegetarian because it’s cooked for the locals. However in my area there are several great restaurants: The Aagrah, Akbar’s and The Muntaz to name a few. These are restaurants that provide excellent dishes, from specific regions, with their own special flavours that do not try to cater for a bland English pallet.

As for cooking at home, the number of Asian supermarkets has doubled, and in larger mainstream stores you will find aisles dedicated to food from other cultures. Where once curry ingredients were hard to find you can now find garam masala, coriander seed, mustard seed, turmeric, cloves, black sesame seed, cinnamon, and many packs of spices pre-combined for recipes. SO it is not impossible to cook a good curry at home – it just takes practice!

Our amazing spice cupboard, yes I know Marmite isn’t a spice.

So today I am going to show you my recipe for tandoori style chicken, I cannot guarantee I get all the ingredients right but I will try.

Tandoori chicken

  • Chicken on the bone – either a whole chicken or the breast with wing still attached is best (scale up amount of spice if a whole chicken).
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2cm chunk of fresh ginger or powder
  • pepper
  • 4tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 3tsp coriander, powder or seeds
  • 2tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp black sesame seed
  • Oil, butter or ghee

The spice mix

  1. Chop the garlic and ginger into small chunks and add to a food processor with the juice of the lemon. Then add the spices and blend until you have a runny paste. If its too thick add some of the oil or butter.
  2. Rub this mix all over the chicken and let it marinade it in the sauce. While marinating set the oven to 200C and wait for it to come up to heat.

    Marinating the chicken, looks gross but will taste amazing

  3. Once the oven is up to heat stick skewers in the chicken and rest over a deep roasting tray. Then dry roast in the oven, leave it for 30 mins, and then check every 10 mins, till the chicken is cooked and the juices no longer red.
  4. Serve with rice and/or Indian breads. The chicken should be so tender that it falls off the bone. So there you have it – (hopefully) gorgeous tandoori chicken!

Brief side note about lemons: I never used to add lemon to my Indian food. I’m not sure why but I didn’t, recently though I have. Lemons work so well – they have a distinct flavour, cut the spiciness of the curry and give it depth. If you haven’t used lemon in curries before I suggest you do.

So I’ve had a busy weekend away from the bubble, which is why I didn’t manage to update. I was in Glasgow, seeing friends and family, which was great. It was lovely to see everyone and get a break from work.

A selection of my favourite food

My cousins husband, cooked an amazing tea for us on the Saturday night, it was tai chicken curry with noodles, and was absolutely fantastic, I’m going to be stealing the recipe for sure. He’s also amazing at cocktails; he put my pathetic attempts to shame, so Saturday was amazing.

Getting home on Sunday night, I was exhausted, but quite hungry, so after rushing to do the food shopping before everywhere closed I decided to make fondue. This made me very excited for my holiday to Chamonix later this month, where I will hopefully be eating a lot of traditional Savoyard food, and fondue is the perfect example.

Can do cheese fondue

  • Cheese, a mix of hard strong cheese like gruyer and a soft cheese like brie
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Rosemary
  • White wine
  • Flour
  • Bread for dipping

Three key ingredients

  1. Peel the cloves of garlic and crush with flat of a knife, and then rub around the bottom and sides of the pan. Leave the cloves in the pan, to infuse into the mixture, and deepen the taste.
  2. Then add some white wine, about 200ml depending on how much you are making, turn up the heat and allow the wine to simmer/boil.
  3. While waiting for the wine to boil, chop the cheese into small chunks, and when the wine is boiling, at the cheese a few pieces at a time, making sure you whisk it lots and lots.
  4. Keep whisking until you have a smooth consistency, if needed add a little flour to thicken up the mixture, and season with pepper and rosemary. Serve piping hot in the pan, and eat by dipping chunks of bread into the molten cheese.

This is a simple, yet flashy meal, that will impress, without taking you ages to prepare, plus, it’s so much fun dipping the bread in the cheese and trying to catch the strings. Be careful though it is very easy to overdose on cheese with this recipe.

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