Category: Food (page 1 of 2)

Masak Lemak recipe

I discovered this delicious Malay dish in a little backstreet counter restaurant called Dapur in Lamb’s Conduit passage in central London. The colour, taste and spice were delicious. The version I had was vegetarian but it is commonly made with chicken or prawns. The core elements are a heavily turmeric-ky gravy with some fish sauce and lemongrass to add freshness.

Improvised recipe based on memory and Google translates of various Malay websites.

  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • Fresh ginger – 2cm chunk diced finely
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • Kale or Asian cabbage torn away from hard stems
  • Roasted butternut squash cut into large cubes
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric (yes, lots)
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce (more added to taste later)
  • Tamarind to taste
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 3 deseeded green chillies
  • Coconut milk (250ml)
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Prawns (butterflied) or chicken thigh


  1. Heat 5 tbsp of vegetable oil in deep pan or slow cooker
  2. Add shallot, garlic and most of ginger to oil (save a little for garnish) and fry for 5-mins
  3. Add fish sauce, prawns, kale, chillies and turmeric then turn down heat (5-mins)
  4. Add stock, lemongrass, tamarind, squash and coconut milk
  5. Simmer or slow cook for 4-hours
  6. Serve with sticky rice

Pizza Napoletana – Another pizza dough recipe

I’ve posted my basic and versatile pizza dough recipe before, but this is a different one which I’d like to share. It’s much simpler than the other recipe which can make a good range of different pizzas. This one on the other hand gets you as close as possible to the faithful original pizza Napoletana – how they have long done and still do it in Naples.

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Craving pizza, just not in Malletti

I had a craving for pizza today and had wanted to try Malletti in Clerkenwell for some time after it had been recommended. They claim to offer authentic pizza al trancio as it is served allover Italy every lunch time.

On entering, the presentation was certainly very authentic with big trays on show. The pizza was cut to order and reheated, again quite authentic. Unfortunately the main event, the pizza itself was the let down. Far too thin for pizza al trancio, and the toppings were only average quality (ham especially) in spite of the claims of finest Italian ingredients. Two slices and a can of Chinotto had set me back £8.25, making the price another let down. I’d have let them off if it was up to scratch.

The quest for perfect pizza al trancio in London goes on sadly

Whitecross Street Market: great street food

Street food has really taken off in London in the last couple of years, with small markets run by the city’s vast migrant population serving up all of those favourite holiday eats.

BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme broadcast about London street food in 2010, in a somewhat progressive observation by their standards.

Whitecross street is just off Old Street, and just a minute walk from the tube station famous for a confusing number of exits (8 I think). The market caters for the density of workers in this area, who are an amusing juxtaposition of suited financial drones and hipster design types. Needless to say, they all lap up the delicious street food.

The longest queues seemed to be for Luardo’s Burrito van (a trendy affair in an old converted Citroen bakery van) and a place serving Tikka Paneer wraps who need to advertise their name better.

The winning formula seems to me to be:

  • Good stall design with an obvious concept
  • Actively cooking i.e. producing drifting delicious smell
  • Really fast turnaround and service
  • Price – £4-5 is the going rate for a main dish

We ate at Sawadee Thai on the corner with Old Street, mainly because the queue wasn’t too long. They served delicious aromatic and very spicy Thai curries with sticky rice from their cobbled together van at £4 a box. Delicious and a very filling portion.


Another street food market I really rate is at The Brunswick Centre on Saturdays.

Read what Time Out London say about Whitecross Market

Created by “The Curtains Up” a cracking local boozer / theatre in Baron’s Court. It tasted pretty good too.

Pizza – basic dough

Lots of people ask me for my pizza recipes. I first learned to make pizza from my grandfather Albert Fascia (dcd. 2004). I have fond memories of him laying the sheets of dough out in front of the fireplace to leaven overnight draped in a damp tea towel. I am not faithful to his original recipe as I have explored deeper the art of pizza making, but I cannot deny the strong early influence his methods had on me.

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Ketchup + Soy Sauce + Brown Sugar = Barbecue Sauce
James Martin, Ready Steady Cook 23/04/2011 :-)

Pizza di zucca

Inspired by Exeter Street Bakery by High Street Kensington, London


Using a pizza al trancio style base dough. Blind bake at 250C for 5mins

  • Half a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add a few antipasto style slow baked tomatoes and a bit of tomato puree paste to intensify the flavours.
  • Slice the courgettes longitudinally with a potato peeler to get nice flat strips.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven, it should be rising and bubbling. Spread the tomato mix over the base with a spoon then drape in courgette slices. Pack them tightly as they shrink with baking. Drizzle generously in olive oil and cracked black pepper
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20mins.


Wild Boar & Emmental Pizza

Wild boar & emmental pizza (by Daniel Fascia)

Pizza al taglio style rather than thin round.

Blind bake dough for 5mins

Add toppings:

  • Chopped tomato with garlic, spoonful of homemade pesto and 1/2 clove finely chopped garlic.
  • Wild boar sausage.
  • Drape finely sliced pieces of emmental over the top.
  • Season with black pepper and drizzle capful of olive oil over top.

Bake in oven for 10mins and enjoy hot with salad and a glass of fruity Sangiovese.

Tagliatelle with fresh homemade pea and rocket pesto

Tagliatelle with fresh homemade pea and rocket pesto

Pestle together the following:
– 30g pine kernels
– 20ml olive oil
– 20 fresh basil leaves
– 10 fresh rocket leaves
– 3 tsp of frezh garden peas
– 1/2 clove of garlic
– dash black pepper and salt
– 3 tsp fresh finely grated parmesan

Cook tagliatelle al dente and strain out water. Add tagliatelle back to the pan and add generous coating of olive oil. Stir in the pesto and turn through the pasta for 5 mins.

Serve with cracked black pepper, parmesan scrapings and a glass of good dry white wine