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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Comfort food

There are many things that bring comfort in life. A warm blanket in winter; an old movie that still makes you laugh; a postcard from home. But nothing is quite as comforting as sharing good food with friends. It could be the simplest thing - sharing fudgy chocolate cookies while watching reruns of New Girl - but it's all you really need. Yes, there are crumbs on the carpet. Yes, I will need to hit the gym tomorrow. But right now, I feel safe in this moment, and I wouldn't give it up for the world.

To different people, comfort food comes in different forms. It could be a hot greasy hamburger, on the way home from the pub, bursting at the seams with onions, pickles, mustard and melted cheese. Or it could be a rich chocolate cake, smothered in icing, that glues your teeth together as you try to chew through its dense chocolate goodness. For me, comfort food is a bowl of fried rice, fresh out of a sizzling hot wok, the scent of fried egg, caramelised onions, and barbecued pork wafting through the kitchen. Below is a photo journal of various noteworthy comfort foods discovered in the past few weeks - some bought, some made, and all enjoyed.

Homemade tofu and egg fried rice. Nothing better on a cold winter's night. 

Sweet chilli trout with avocado, coriander and lime vermicelli salad. Reminds me of summer. 

Pork katsu curry with vegetables and seasoned rice. This was surprisingly easy to make. The pork cutlets I bought from Sainsbury were sliced very thin, so I didn't need to pound the meat before I coated it in flour, beaten egg and panko crumbs. 

I don't know about you, but I find it extremely difficult to get up early on a Saturday morning. It probably sits at the same level of difficulty as mixing concrete with my eyelashes. That's how heavy my eyelids feel anyway. But the one thing that will make me leap out of bed on a weekend, is pancakes. I mixed these with frozen berries and drizzled them with Canadian maple syrup.

Hedgehog spiced pumpkin coffee cake. Everything looks better with googley eyes. 

Black forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte). Not technically comfort food (more party food) but it definitely tasted good. I couldn't find kirsch so I used plum liqueur instead. Perhaps more cherries in the middle layer next time...

Sticky toffee pudding from St John's Chophouse. It has now claimed a place in my heart as my favourite dessert. 

Avocado spaghetti - the easiest thing in the world. Crush 4 ripe avocados, mix with diced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and a spoonful of pesto until it's a thick, gloopy pulp. Mix in spaghetti, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Bombs away!

Steamed pork and vegetable dumplings at Dumplings' Legend, London. This place is legit. Five dumpling chefs swiftly tucking meaty flesh into tiny dough parcels, before they are steamed to perfection. 

The Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai soup dumplings) were amazing. Each tiny parcel was filled to the brim with hot soupy broth which exploded in your mouth upon first bite. Add soy sauce flavoured with strips of fresh ginger and it's happy days. 

Until next time. 

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