Month: February 2014


This is my take on Greek dolmades. I first had stuffed vine leaves at my grandad’s guesthouse in Southend, and deeply regret not pilfering his recipe before he passed away. I wrap mine in cabbage leaves, which will no doubt have him swearing at me from beyond the grave, but these go down well in my house. (Makes 20) at 30p each 1 large savoy cabbage, 80p 100g rice, 4p 1 tbsp oil, 3p 1 onion, very finely chopped, 9p 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped, 6p 400g minced meat (pork or lamb is best but turkey is good...

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In January, Jack Monroe, a young British woman in her twenties with a shagged, boyish haircut, uploaded her fourth video to YouTube. It showed Monroe in a gray T-shirt and cardigan, pushing sweated onions and greens around a saucepan with a wooden spoon on an electric stove. “Hi,” she says, meekly, and waves. Tonight she’s making turkey meatballs and spinach pasta. “I’m really tired and I don’t really fancy haute cuisine tonight, so here we go,” she explains with wry weariness. Monroe then squeezes the last of a tube of tomato paste into the pan. A fluorescent light casts a yellow glow as Monroe cooks, and the sizzling vegetables overpower her voice. A cat perches on a wooden IKEA stool in the background. Monroe is a resourceful and skilled cook, with a recipe book out this month, but she is the opposite of most celebrity chefs. Since May, 2012, she has posted hundreds of budget recipes on her cheerful blog, called “A Girl Called Jack,” ranging from peach-and-chickpea curry (“a good place to hide extra vegetables”) to at least a dozen kinds of bread. She had no computer, so she typed out each recipe—and even her book—on a pay-as-you-go Nokia phone. Each recipe includes the price of each ingredient and the total price of the meal per serving, which typically adds up to less than one pound. Back in...

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This morning I conquered my fear of cooking on television with a brief stint on Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch – awesome, loved it, and had lots of lovely messages on Twitter afterwards too from people who had seen it – including a picture of a bowl of dough proving, from one reader who was cooking it along with me! I mean seriously, how awesome is that? The recipe itself is here – Chickpea, tomato and rosemary best brunch loaf – but if you don’t have any yeast or half an hour to prove it, you can fling the chickpeas,...

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It’s been a totally crazy week this week, and nothing beats when one of your musical and political heroes offers to take you out busking for an afternoon. I lost my voice on Sunday – still don’t have it back – but there was no way I was going to let that stop me. Slight mortification about having to bellow/holler instead of actually sing, was completely cancelled out by the fact it’s BILLY BRAGG and we got to sing A New England – a few times – outside Camden Tube station on Friday afternoon. Between us, and four songs...

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This wholesome, earthy soup is packed with flavour from the sweet roasted onions and unmistakable taste of fennel. (Serves 2) 49p a portion 400g cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen, 60p 1 potato, diced, 9p 1 onion, quartered, 9p 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled 6p Scant teaspoon of fennel seeds, 5p 2 tbsp oil, 6p 500ml vegetable stock, 2p Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark six. Put the cauliflower, potato and onion into a large roasting dish. Bruise the garlic cloves by bashing with a rolling pin or wooden spoon, and add to the roasting dish. Combine the fennel and...

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