I LOVE… AUBERGINES.

Aubergine season is upon us from now until early October, and these dark purple, glossy beauties lend themselves to all kinds of cooking – from low and slow curries to quickly battered and fried fritters, whipped up into a melintzasolata, or roasted for a spicy baba ghanoush. Aubergines don’t have much of a distinctive flavour of their own – unless […]

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OVEN ROASTED SARDINES ON SOURDOUGH TOAST

Behold the humble sardine, one of the staples in my store cupboard for a quick lunch or light snack. I love sourdough for this recipe, although a nice brown or wholemeal bread will work nicely. Serves 2: 3 sardines or pilchards 400g tinned tomatoes 1 onion, cut into rings Salt and pepper Fat clove of garlic 3 slices sourdough bread, […]

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GLAMOUR MAGAZINE: ON QUESTION TIME

“Someone tell Jack Monroe she has something in her hair!” someone tweeted me at 11pm last night. That would be sick then, or sicked-up shrimp, to be precise. A combination of television nerves and a not-quite-right pub lunch, but according to my Twitter feed, only three people noticed the glob of something indeterminate and pink looking in my fringe as […]

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KERALAN AUBERGINE CURRY

One of my favourite restaurants in Southend specialises in Keralan cuisine – and when I couldn’t afford it but really wanted a rich, spicy curry, I decided to make my own version. Aubergines are comparitively expensive to buy individually, so look out for the bags of three or four, and eat them all week! Serves 2: 2 aubergines a pinch […]

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JACK & ALLEGRA’S HOT PORK SALAD

When we were invited to River Cottage HQ to do a cooking demo together, we didn’t realise we would be writing the recipe on the train on the way there, with some home grown radishes, a couple of pork steaks and a whole lot of knives tucked into the luggage rack of the 09:15 from London Waterloo to Axminster. A […]

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MY LITTLE KITCHEN GARDEN

It’s that fabulous time of year when Spring seems to be dancing into Summer, when I can wander around with my tattoos out (the ones on my arms, anyway) and I can scatter some seeds into buckets and bags and pop back a few weeks later to some home grown goodness. Regular readers will know that I’ve grown herbs and […]

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BBC QUESTION TIME

It’s one thing being asked to go on BBC Question Time as the token ‘non politician’ that they like to throw in to mix things up again – it’s another thing entirely making your QT debut on election night, and being seated between the deputy chair of UKIP and a senior Conservative MP. Anyway, I won’t spoil the surprises: you […]

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SUMMER BROAD BEAN SALAD

  Broad beans can be bought frozen for around £1.50 for a 750g bag – much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and no prising them from fiddly little pods either – although I do love thumbing the velvety lining of fresh pods to pop them out… Whether you choose fresh or frozen beans, this salad uses a lot of storecupboard […]

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NOT-MEATBALLS

These ‘Not Meatballs’ are adapted from a recipe in The Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion cookbook. They are a great veggie alternative to meatballs, and a favourite in my household. Delicious served with spaghetti and tomato sauce – a simple can of chopped tomatoes heated through at the end with a pinch of salt would be a perfect accompaniment. […]

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MIXED BEAN GOULASH

  I never tire of this quick, simple meal. Originally adapted from a beef goulash recipe, but tweaked and tampered with in the way that all recipes are, it has become a sweet and spicy staple in my household and doesn’t disappoint. I use cheap baked beans in place of haricot beans, as they are simply haricot or borlotti beans […]

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DOES ‘BEAUTY’ MATTER?

I’m never knowingly overdressed, or underdressed, or really give that sort of thing much thought. I just get up and get mostly dressed, for perching at my kitchen table to write, dash out to nursery or for a pint of milk, and pop my one suit jacket on if I’m going to a meeting. If it’s not screwed up in […]

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SPAGHETTI ALLA PUTTANESCA

My take on spaghetti alla puttanesca is a little different – I prefer tinned sardines to the more traditional anchovies, and I like to add some of the preserved oil for a distinctive flavour. This dish is a hot, fast joyride for your tastebuds with its fiery chilli, soft chunks of fish, vinegary capers and salty aftertaste. (Serves 2) 4 […]

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PRAWN ETOUFFEE

Etoufee is traditionally made with shrimp, but I’m more likely to have a bag of prawns in my freezer, so this is my version. The trick to a good etoufee is not to rush the sauce, which should be the consistency of a good gravy – not too thick, not too thin. Be generous with the salt and pepper, too. […]

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JAM TARTS

Jam tarts are one of those simple, delicious things that I remember consuming in droves in my childhood, but not so much as an adult. I always have flour in the cupboard and jam in the fridge, and this makes for a lovely rainy-day activity for small children to help with. Of course, you can cheat with jam tarts and […]

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BEERY BERRY CRUMBLE

This pudding came about a bit by accident, when I had the remains of a can of cheap bitter kicking about in the fridge door from a Beer and Sultana Bread, and some frozen berries defrosted in a dish in the fridge that needed using up. Rather than drink half a flat beer and pick at squishy berries, I decided […]

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RHUBARB & GINGER SODA BREAD

    Here’s the Rhubarb and Ginger Soda Bread recipe I made for my first ever FoodTube video… Ingredients: 300g flour 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda 200ml milk (semi skimmed, soya, UHT, any milk will do) Juice of half a lemon, or 2 tbsp bottled lemon juice 100g fresh rhubarb 1 tbsp sugar Small piece of fresh ginger First, […]

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MY FIRST FOODTUBE VIDEO

    Hello! So excitingly, my first video for Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube went online last night, a rhubarb and ginger soda bread recipe. I was supposed to be making an ordinary soda bread, but on the morning of the shoot I came downstairs to find my dearest had left some sad-looking rhubarb in the sink with instructions to ‘use this […]

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ABOUT JACK

  Here’s some general facts about me. I was born in Southend on Sea, Essex, in 1988. I attended Westcliff High School for Girls,  gaining 4 and a half A*-C GCSEs. I’m often asked about the ‘half’ – it was a short course in Religious Studies. I left at 16 and worked full time in ‘odd jobs’, retail and coffee […]

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LIVE BELOW THE LINE 2014

This week, I’ve been taking part in the annual Live Below the Line challenge, living on £1 a day or less to raise money for Oxfam (you can sponsor me here). People say I should find it easy, considering my history of living on a tight budget for myself and my son. But I survived those periods by growing herbs […]

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