Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Fish oil anyone? January 28, 2010

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Recipe: Peppered mackerel salad with butter beans


A lot of things are getting branded a superfood these days, and I was wondering if mackerel was one of them? If it isn’t, it should be. Not only is it an oily fish with healthy omega-3, it is also super delicious!

I have my Mum to thank for this recipe, (hi Mum!) not sure if she got it out of a book or made it up, but I’ve made it countless times since she took a big platter to a party once.

This is a great salad that can be knocked together in minutes, and is lovely with some crusty bread for an after-work supper. I used peppered smoked mackerel, but plain and honey roast would also work well (Better?). I imagine it would be awesome with hot-smoked salmon as well.




Daring Bakers January 2010 Challenge: The World Comes to Canada January 27, 2010

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Recipe: Graham Crackers & Nanaimo Bars










The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and


I really enjoyed this month’s challenge as Nanaimo Bars are not something I have heard of before here in England. Although one of the optional challenges was to use Gluten-Free flour, I used regular flour in my crackers as GF would have been cost prohibitive for me. I look forward to trying gluten free baking in the future, though.


The crackers were made completely in the food processor and were therefore extremely quick to make. They are also delicious and are what Americans use for cheesecake bases where we would use digestive biscuits or gingernuts or something.




OMG Mate – Crispy Crunchy Crumbs January 26, 2010

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Recipe: James’s broccoli with burrata, pine nuts, & warm anchovy vinaigrette









Seriously, wow.


Having seen this recipe in (had you guessed) my new favourite book Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table, I couldnt wait to try it out. I didn’t like pine nuts up until a couple of years ago when I tried them toasted (where had you been all my life delicious nuts?!) and now I really can’t get enough of them. I have been meaning to share with you some more pine nut recipes such as pear, pine nut and blue cheese tarts, and roasted vegetable cous cous with goats cheese and pine nuts; but those are stories for another day.


I say, let’s get to the recipe shall we?


This was originally a starter recipe made to serve 6, but I reduced the quantities (of everything except cheese it seems. How predictable) and served it as a main course for two. This is actually very quick to prepare, but does use quite a few pots and pans.


The fresh green broccoli and asparagus (they were on offer together…) went so well with the milky mozzerella and salty crumbs, and there was a little pool of anchovy-y buttery sauce left on the plate to mop up with a slice of olive sourdough. MMMMmmmm I want to make it again!!


Anywho… have a gawk at this…




Appley Caramelly Goodness January 21, 2010

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Recipe: Gingerbread-apple Upside Down Cake


I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (one of my home-page blogs – yes, firefox takes a long time to load due to unhealthy amounts of food-porn…) and just had to make it! And, as luck would have it, the british transport system failed yet again so I was at home on a school-day.


Anyway, the recipe as I made it was quite far removed from the original but was still delicious! It makes a lot of batter, and I made 6 individual dessert portions plus a 6 inch round cake. I used russet apples, an english classic, which is currently being sold off cheaply by the supermarkets due to their dull brown appearance. What people are failing to realise, however, is that they have a much better flavour than the huge red shiny apples which sell for such a premium. All the better for us foodies, I suppose…






Blue-Cheese-a-palooza 2010 January 18, 2010

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…or rather, we have a HUUUGE slab of stilton in the fridge leftover from Christmas (yes, still…), so here are a couple of things we’ve done with it:


1. Stilton, apple and walnut salad.


Combine wild rocket leaves, crumbled toasted walnuts, thinly sliced russet apples and crumbled stilton in salad bowls. Toss with a sweetened vinaigrette made from olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little honey. Eat for lunch, together with a delicious glass of Kir Royale like we did!




Marmalade! January 17, 2010

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Yay, look – I made my first ever batch of marmalade with some Seville oranges I found at the market! Isn’t it pretty? I had no bread on which to spread the warm preserve so I used a digestive biscuit instead! And you thought I wasn’t classy?!



I used the recipe from Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2 and it worked a treat.


Now, what to use it for… What do you think I should do with all that beautiful orange sunshine in a jar? Perhaps as a filling for cupcakes…or as a topping for an old fashioned sponge pudding… I have 2 years to use the marmalade up so I guess there’s no rush!



Snow day baking! January 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Saigon-Bites @ 1:53 pm
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Recipe: Maple Pecan buns


Due to the large amount of snow currently covering the UK, many of us (including me) are home from work as travel is near on impossible!

So what better thing to do than warm the house up with some nice baking (ok ok, any excuse to bake…)?

You may remember I had made some banana and cinnamon buns before, well I used a similar recipe but tweaked the ingredients and method to make this maple-pecan version. They are delicious! I should go to the Common and give them to all the children making snowmen but I am just too cosy and warm to brave the oustide world!

Whatever you are getting up to today I hope you all keep warm and stay safe x


Warm, bready, sticky goodness


Maple Pecan Buns
450g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
7g sachet easy-blend yeast
150ml warm milk
1 egg , beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200 ml water
50g salted butter , melted
Handful dark muscodvao sugar
Handful chopped pecans
Handful sultanas
4 tbsp maple syrup


Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast, warm milk, beaten egg, oil and enough of the water to form a soft sticky dough.
Knead until smooth and leave in a warm place, covered, until doubled in size.
Roll out on a floured surface into a 40 x 20cm rectangle. Brush with butter and sprinkle over the pecans (reserving a few), sugar and sultanas.
Roll up into a sausage shape, and cut into 16 pieces.
Nestle into a buttered 20x20cm tin, sprinkle over the remaining nuts and bake at 180c for 35 minutes or until golden and puffed.
Mix the butter with the maple syrup and brush over the buns when they are still hot.

Eat with a cup of tea!!