17 October 2012

guest blog the second: coco solid

Well hello there! I'm writing to you from Treme in New Orleans. I am so excited to be here, it's kind of a good thing that the all-powerful heat here is forcing me to slow it down a notch or I'd be high-kicking with joy all over the place. We only just got here today, and we still have a whole week in this city up ahead, so there really is no need to rush. And may I remind you that if you're interested in following our intermittent updates, Tim and I have a travel blog thing going here. Meanwhile, for you all, my second guest post is from Coco Solid, a talented artist work I've admired for aaaages, and by way of cherry on top she's a really congenial, cool, nice-to-run-into-in-the-street person. It's an honour to have her words here on my blog, once you're done reading I totally recommend you go see her site (and spend a creepily long time reading through her blog archives) and also check out a sprinkling of her music as part of Parallel Dance Ensemble and Badd Energy - for starters I recommend Turtle Pizza Cadillac; Third Eye, and the greatest music video there is, no contest, Weight Watchers.  

Food is bomb. I don’t hate on food photos like many of my friends. I think it’s cool when someone has food to start with and that we are culturally honouring it more. Food psychology has become more enthused and amateur in recent years which has implicitly contributed to varying degrees of body-positivity and acknowledging the creativity of domestic life. Yeah, I think being engorged in chef elimination shows is a bit weird but it’s pretty educational viewing. (I wonder why there isn’t a violent version of Master Chef called The Real Hunger Games yet? Desperate television exec reading this – you're welcome!)

I like to meld the ease and lovability of junkfood with the spiced considered effort of the flash. Context, my apartment is tiny ie. my desk is wider than my kitchen bench. I am also one month out from handing in my thesis. This statement reveals two things: I got f*#k all money and f*#k all time. But I was raised to respect your meal to the maximum of your abilities. I always make sure to serve the pedestrian as flamboyantly as possible. Major example: Ramen.

Ramen is seen as the barren fuel of the after-work slob, nihilistic teen or shelf scanning stoner. One (rude) individual could suggest I’m a mash-up of all three - the difference being I was lucky enough to roll deep in South Korea and Japan, where I was schooled on its possibilities. Infact I think this is the very ramen that flipped my script.

Tokyo 2009 at a ramen-only restaurant. After that I realized what I knew was merely the bed, we in the West treat noodles like the honeymoon and are ripping ourselves off.

So in this ramen I made, it wasn’t from a packet. I’m a Trident, Maggi, ‘zap a foam cup and add a packet’ kinda girl too but if you have the ingredients and time you might as well pimp out your bowl and get sustained in the process.

I made a simple soup with spring onion, ginger and miso paste. I put in some Japanese noodles. This concoction is not only nicer and healthier but it’s architecturally more stable than a packet job and can withstand the accessories I pile on. NB: worst food photographer in the world, I make these packets look like a gothic theatre production about Jack the Ripper.


If you have a keen eye you can see some garlic chipettes and a yellow oil atop the broth. This is a fantastic Burmese Garlic and Tumeric oil that one of my culinary idols makes. You can see the recipe here at Perfect Morsel.

I also make sigeumchi namul, a Korean spinach side-salad that rulz.

This was one of my favourite Banchan (side-dishes) in Korea so I learnt how to make it. Basically you put spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds, squeeze it til it’s semi-drained, chop it up and add it to a dressing of spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil and whatever you like. The only beef I have is that it compresses four massive bunches into one medium serving (and then I skull it all) but here’s a supercute video of how to explain it.

After I had made the sigeumchi namul I kept the water boiling and put in two eggs which I add last as I’m curating my masterpiece lol. I also have Kimchi in there. You can get this from your local Asian supermarket. If you don’t know what I’m talking about kimchi is spiced and fermented cabbage, radish and assorted pickled bombs. It’s Korean, hot and amazing.

Then I added some sweetcorn and a knob of butter which is something I scabbed off Tan Popo, my favourite ramen place in Auckland. And then voila! You are supposed to add meat, tuna, fish but I thought this enough. Especially because my mate Greg came over and after chanting down Babylon we made….


This is an easy campfire American stoner staple that I thought I’d throw in (Laura being in the US and all!) Lately I realised not many people in Aotearoa are down. People! Get down!

All you need: marshmallows, chocolate and the trick - Graham crackers

These US puppies are sturdy honey biscuits with the resolve of Digestives. They also chill the hell out of the sweetness and in a weird way steal the show.

Step 1: Put chocolate and marshmallows on one half of a Graham cracker

Step 2: Put these in the oven until they are melty and mangled

Step 3: Drop the other half of the Graham cracker to make a sandwich

Step 4: Watch Cartoons

Later guys!

9 October 2012

guest post the first: pocket witch

Well hello there. It's Laura here, Tim and I are still in America (reluctantly packing to leave intoxicating NYC, but excited to head to Nashville. My plan-so-cunning while I'm away, is to enlist a couple of dashing guest bloggers to keep hungryandfrozen.com afloat till my return with their own excellence. The first is my dear, dear friend Kate of pocket-witch.com. She is bodacious and clever and inspirational, like all my dear friends, and it's an honour to have her here. And, as she alludes to, there is some kiiinda ridiculous news ahoy. Consider yourself told! I'll now hand it over to Kate. Or at least, point you towards her writing which I copy-pasted below. Hooray for modern technology. And lentils!
Hello! I’m Kate, and I can be found at my new blog, Pocket Witch. How nice to be asked to write a guest post for Hungry and Frozen! Laura is one of my very favourite people. We became friends IRL nearly two years ago when I blogged about wanting to join a book group, and she generously offered hers. As soon as we met I acquired the meanest friend-crush on her and Tim, and since then I’ve managed to worm my way into their lives as much as possible. To my wonderment, this culminated in being included in the cookbook crew, which was the most delightful time of satisfying work and uproarious play. So sad it's finished! But onto the next adventure. I’m loving following along with Laura and Tim's travels, and they are making me yearn for New York. Plus... how about that news! I literally cried in the street. Cannot wait to bombard them with inappropriately long hugs upon their return.
Laura has blogged quite a few recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, but I couldn’t help but pick another. You must believe me when I say, this is the BEST cookbook. I’ve made nearly twenty things from it by now, which is an unparalleled number. I don’t even own it yet! Yeah, I wouldn’t advise lending me this cookbook if you want it back in a timely fashion. Aside from the outrageous number of ingredients in some recipes, Plenty is a perfect book, with all of the vegetables, flavours and herbs, and has taught amateur-me some wonderful new ways with food.
I suppose I do wish I’d picked a slightly sexier recipe. Lentils! What was I thinking? The other guest blogger is Coco Solid, and I’m posting a tarted-up dahl. Sigh. But you can’t be fancy all the time (though I do try), sometimes you’re just in the mood for something kinda wholesome.
Strangely, this is one of his more simple and relaxed recipes, but still the most complicated and involved lentil/dahl-type dish I’ve made. But don’t let that put you off, it’s also likely the nicest dish of this type that I've made, really warming and the perfect amount of spice. The yogurt is an excellent topping, despite my detesting cucumber in most settings (I have a weird thing about watery, fresh-tasting foods, don't get me started on watermelon). The inclusion of the cucumber and olive oil made the yogurt super fresh and silky, perfect to cut through the filling lentils. I also found the stirred-in butter a delicious necessity, though it's effect was most known in my first, fresh bowl. Some coconut milk would be lovely if you were looking to make it vegan.

Spiced Lentils with Cucumber Yogurt
from Plenty or The Guardian
  • 200g split red lentils
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 40g ginger, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 mild green chilli
  • 1½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fenugreek (optional)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
  • Salt
  • 150g Greek yogurt
  • 75g finely diced cucumber
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice

Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes. Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves. Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli - all roughly broken - and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.
Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for five minutes longer. Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.
Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt. Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.
I didn’t use curry leaves (couldn’t find them nearby) or asafoetida (I don’t even know what that is). I did use fenugreek but you could skip it if trying to cut down on ingredients. I doubled the recipe, as it seemed like a lot of effort to go through to feed only 2-4 people, and this it made mountains. It fed two people for lunch most of the week, by the third day I was getting a bit tired of the idea of lentils, but as soon as I actually sat down and began to eat them the tiredness would disappear. Because they are quite fantastic.
Thanks for having me, Laura! Enjoy the rest of your amazing trip, you crazy kids.