Cibare Londonâ€™s Food and Drinks Magazine
Issue Nineteen,Winter 2020
Thyme for a drink 4 Spicy Thai Herb Chicken 20 Roast Dinner 22 Roast Potatoes 26 Minkty Spring Vegetables 28 Fancy Sausages 30 Spicy Rub 32 Mexican Sausage Rolls 34 Risotto 36 Pea Soup 38 Tuscan Bean Stew 40 Focaccia 42
GARDENING Grow Your Own Living Larder 52
BOOK REVIEW Fire and Spice
FEATURE Cheese and a Pair Cup of Health and Comfort
Dark Arts Coffee 14 Chin Chin 46 Beer Meets Herbs and Spices 56
HEALTH AND NUTRITION Help Yourself to Herbs 60 Fussy Pup 64
Herbs and Styling by The Urban Flower Farmer 2
Happy New Year! Too late?? Welcome to our first issue of 2020. We’re very excited to be kicking this year off with tasty herbs and spices… There’s nothing quite like them to spruce up even the simplest of meals. As they grow pretty much all year round, we can enjoy their flavours whenever we like, simply changing them if we fancy a completely different taste. Many of this issue’s recipes use fresh herbs, which are easy to get hold of. Or if you’re like me, and keep forgetting them in the bottom of your fridge, you can buy frozen or dried herbs and spices. They work just as well. We hope you find this season’s issue as delicious as always. We do our best not just to find you divine things to eat, but also to share ideas – so you can enjoy that perfect coffee, sample great beers, try new cookery books or even grow your own food too. And of course, keep up-todate with nutrition advice for your canine friends! Wishing you a flavourful 2020, Eve
Thyme for a drink By Emma Walton-Moore
When it comes to herbs with cocktails, no doubt the first thing you think of is mint. Whether you enjoy it in a mojito or mint julep, it’s the most common herb used in alcoholic drinks. Flavourless spirits like vodka can be paired with almost any herb you wish. Gin and whisky take a little more thought, depending on the flavour profile of the particular brand. There’s a wide range of ways to bring herbs into your cocktails: they can be muddled, infused in the alcohol or added as a simple syrup. For some particularly fragrant herbs, it’s enough to use them as a garnish so as not to overpower the other flavours in the drink. 4
Why not mix things up a bit this spring by trying fresh thyme in a delicious cocktail?
Whisky cider punch For the simple syrup:
200g sugar 120ml water 5 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Add the sugar, water and thyme to a saucepan. 2. Gradually bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to make sure the sugar doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan. 3. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved. Cibare Magazine
4. Let it cool and remove the thyme sprigs before transferring into a swing-top bottle or similar airtight container. The syrup will last in the fridge for up to a week. For the cocktail:
4-5 ice cubes 125ml cider 50ml whisky 2 tbsp thyme simple syrup 2 tsp lemon juice A sprig of fresh thyme to garnish
1. Fill a glass with ice and pour over the thyme simple syrup and bourbon. 2. Stir just enough to combine, but not enough to start the ice melting. 3. Add cider and lemon juice. 4. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Lemon Thyme Fizz INGREDIENTS
3 ice cubes 30ml limoncello 30ml gin Juice from 1 wedge of lemon 10ml soda water A sprig fresh thyme to garnish
1. Mix the limoncello, gin and lemon juice in a tumbler along with the ice cubes. 2. Stir together until the ice just starts to melt. 3. Top up with a splash of soda water and serve with a sprig of fresh thyme.
Fire and Spice By John Gregory-Smith By Despina Mina
So I was delighted about a spicethemed Cibare and, just like that, Fire and Spice landed on my doorstep. John Gregory-Smith is a food and travel writer specialising in Middle Eastern and North African food, whose travels have taken him across the world from Mexico to China and everywhere in between. Fire and Spice, his 6th book, is a collection of greatest hits from his first two books published almost 8
ten years ago – The Mighty Spice Cookbook and Mighty Spice Express – with a few tweaks to keep each recipe as fresh as the day it was created. I cooked this meal over the Christmas period, that busy time when we catch up with friends, see family, overindulge in every food group and make promises to abstain in January. With this in mind, I wanted to keep the menu as seasonal as possible – so the ingredients stayed rich in nutrients and flavour, but also to expand the added health benefits all spices have.
First I turned to fennel, specifically the seeds. They have a sweet but subtle liquorice-like taste and a Cibare Magazine
PICTURE CREDITS: Despina Mina
As I slowly step out of winter, I’m not quite ready to let go of the comforting flavours and warm smells that spices lend themselves so well to. For me, there’s nothing more soothing than a cinnamon and clove-infused cup of tea, or as satisfying as a hot bowl of spiced vegetable soup.
Zaatar has become one of my staple cupboard essentials. Originating from the Middle East and adopted all over the world, the combination of sumac, dried thyme (or in this case oregano) and sesame seeds gives it a unique flavour. Being Greek, I gravitate towards any recipe using halloumi and Crispy Zaatar Halloumi doesn’t disappoint: fried slices of halloumi covered in zaatar on a bed of couscous. I find couscous hard to love as it needs so much attention, but John has cleverly added the punchy flavours of capers, parsley lemon and chilli to give it a muchneeded kick.
I only discovered sumac a few years ago when trying out recipes from a Middle Eastern cookbook. The red berries of the sumac bush are dried and ground into powder which has a tart tangy flavour similar to lemons, and is believed to help stomach upsets when diluted in warm water. 10
It also works beautifully on chicken so, if you’re looking for an easy win, Sumac Chicken with Black Gremolata & Tomato Salad is for you. It’s a onepot wonder which should appease all meat-eating guests, including the kids. Chicken has a very subtle flavour, so seasoning it well makes all the difference. When roasted with garlic (a whole bulb), red onion and baby potatoes, all covered in sumac and dried thyme, it’s basically a Sunday roast with a difference. That difference is the gremolata, an excellent condiment and one that I’ll be smearing thickly on everything. Normally a simple affair of parsley, garlic and lemon, this version has been supercharged with the addition of olives, chilli, dill and walnuts.
On to dessert and the final spice of the meal with Vanilla & Honey Syllabub. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world (saffron being numero uno) because it’s so labour intensive to make. It can take two to four years to grow a vanilla vine, the flowers have to be hand-pollinated, then the ripe fruit needs to be handpicked. It’s rich in antioxidants, can help boost your immune system and the distinct smell is believed to help relieve anxiety and stress. Worth every penny I say! I’ve never eaten a syllabub before so was Cibare Magazine
PICTURE CREDITS: Despina Mina
warm aromatic flavour believed to aid digestion: a perfect palate cleanser to start the meal. Pomegranate, Fennel, Orange & Watercress Salad combines fennel seeds and fresh thinly-sliced root to make a crisp, sharp-tasting salad. Dressed with orange segments, lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh red chilli, this cut through the warm richer flavours of the main course.
intrigued to give this one a go. It turns out it’s super easy to make and tastes delicious. The sharpness of lemon and zest cuts through the rich, thick creaminess to elevate this perfect little pudding, and the chopped pistachios give it a bit of crunch.
There’s nothing finer than the sound of satisfied guests scraping their spoons along the bottom of bowls. It’s safe to say this was a successful meal!
Dark Arts Coffee By Emma Jordan
In this issue, I’m reviewing Dark Arts Coffee. Before we start, I gotta say their branding is (and I hate this phrase) on point. Stylish matt black boxes embossed with glossy black goats and red labelling – what’s not to love? Also there’s swearing on the box (I like swearing) and I get the sense these people might be fun to get shitfaced with. Of course, giving a fair deal to coffee producers is important and each box has information about where the coffee’s sourced and who grew it. It’s refreshing, however, that they don’t bang on about it: a fair price for produce really should be a given. Although they’re not Fair Trade certified, a bit of digging in their website FAQs reveals they pay more than Fair Trade prices for their 14
beans. But their selling point is very much the quality of the coffee, rather than the ethical credentials of their organisation. To add to the coolness, they also have a coffee shop called I Will Kill Again in Hackney, where they (apparently) play ‘shitty hip hop and depressing country’. The coffees all have fun names like Machete, Kool-Aid and Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself, and they sell cool mugs with things like Black Mother Fucking Coffee or I Will Kill Again on them. So hipster! I love it! I’m going! Now let’s talk coffee.
Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself
The beans have a fruity ever-soslightly farm-y aroma, with notes of Cibare Magazine
coconut that turn to burnt caramel in the cup. In the cafetière, this has soft rich warm flavours of burnt caramel. These come after an initial sharpness on the tongue – not quite citrus, not bitter as such, but a zing which begins as a strong flavour that quickly softens into all the lovely sweet stuff. The aftertaste mellows into a milk chocolate caramel flavour with a lingering, glossy mouthfeel. It’s quite a mild easy-drinking coffee, mellow and smooth. This is a good choice for people who like their morning brew to give them a gentle hug rather than a slap round the face. From the espresso machine, it has quite a nutty aroma, like toasted lightly-caramelised hazelnuts. Taste-wise, there is a strong acidity that really hits the back of your throat. It’s very sharp, but softens – if you can call it that – into bitter darkest chocolate. If you aerate (slurp) a bit, the hazelnuts come through again, but interestingly, the stronger more bitter burnt caramel flavours present in the long coffee aren’t really discernible. Machete Kills In the bag, the beans have a clean aniseed aroma, which I found nowhere when I tasted it. In the cup it has a juicy, plummy, slightly citrusy aroma – definitely fruity. This carries through to the taste as an 16
intense fruity burst, with a brief kick of lemon as the first thing you notice. It’s a bit farm-y (that sweet manure flavour), though mellows into milk chocolate with a glossy mouthfeel and sort of dark toffee aftertaste which gradually evolves into something a bit more gravelly. Again, it’s quite a mild coffee, more zingy overall than the Epstein and perhaps more of a pick-me-up, but no nostril-flaring here. As a short coffee, this kind of smells like a milk chocolate selection box – chocolatey, sweet and a bit fruity, maybe with a leaning towards the orange ones. It’s quite acidic but in a refreshing way that mellows quickly into a coconutty flavour like – I’m gonna say it – a Bounty bar! The toffee caramel flavours emerge after that, leaving you with a soft comforting well-rounded aftertaste. Am I Demon These teeny tiny pea berry beans were rescued from a producer in Rwanda, having been discarded in favour of their larger siblings. The aroma of the beans is of fresh tobacco and McDonalds. In the cup, it smells slightly gravelly. There is a nice acidic burst which I’d probably describe as citrusy, but maybe more grapefruit than lemon. There’s a pithiness to it – though as quickly as you taste it, it disappears, leaving a very faint grapefruit aftertaste. Cibare Magazine
It’s quite a clean drink in that the flavour doesn’t particularly linger or evolve, but it’s pleasant and refreshing. I actually really like this one. It’s straightforward and undemanding, which are probably two things most of us need more of in our lives. It’s not going to make anyone sit up in amazement, but serve it to your friends and you’ll likely get appreciative murmurs of ‘Ooh, nice coffee’. As an espresso, the first thing you’ll notice is a very sharp acidity, after
which the tobacco picked up from the beans makes an entrance. The list of flavours on the box includes lavender and with a bit of gurning and slurping, sure enough, it’s there. I want to say lavender and white chocolate, which I’m sure I had in Barcelona once. The white chocolate is particularly interesting because it sits there alongside some fairly strong dark chocolate flavours which make up the aftertaste. It’s a complex coffee and worth taking some time over.
Spicy Thai Herb Chicken By Ying Bower
3-4 bird’s eye chillies 1 tsp turmeric 1 stalk lemongrass 2-3 slices galangal (if you can’t source it, use ginger) Half a chicken 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp honey
1. Slice the lemongrass then mix it with the turmeric, chillies and galangal (or ginger) using a blender or pestle and mortar. 2. Once blended, rub the paste all over the chicken, followed by the soy sauce, oyster sauce and honey. Leave to marinate for 30 mins. 3. Roast in the oven at 180°C for 4560 mins or until fully cooked. 4. Enjoy with hot steamed rice or salad.
Roast Dinner By Penny Langford
For a roast that all my family enjoy, it has to be a nice joint of lamb. I prefer leg, as you get more goodsized meaty bits to slice off than on a shoulder joint. As it can be pricey, I tend to buy one when it’s on special offer and keep it in the freezer.
Joint of lamb 3-5 sprigs fresh rosemary 5 cloves garlic Olive oil Salt and pepper
1. Take the meat out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature before cooking. 2. Preheat the oven to 170°C or gas mark 4. The cooking time depends on the size of your joint, so 22
go by the label if it has one, or follow these (fairly standard) guidelines: Medium: 25mins per 500g + 25 mins Well done: 30mins per 500g + 30 mins 3. To add delicious extra flavour, place 3-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary and a few garlic cloves (the bigger the joint, the more you use – be generous) in the base of the roasting pan. Place the joint of meat on top of the garlic and rosemary, coat with a good glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This method adds a more robust flavour throughout the meat which you don’t get when the seasoning is rubbed on the surface or stuffed into gashes. Then the garlic tends to burn and go bitter, while the rosemary just chars. Cibare Magazine
4. Cover completely with foil then roast for two thirds of the cooking time. Remove the foil, baste and return to the oven to brown, basting again if necessary. 5. Once cooked, leave the meat to rest before carving. While it does, make some tasty gravy using the juices in the pan. I use gravy granules for their simplicity, add the roasting juices and top up with water from the vegetables I cook. That way you retain some of the nutrients too. Fancy an Chicken!
A whole chicken 1 onion 1-2 garlic cloves 2 sprigs of thyme Â˝ lemon Seasoning Olive oil
1. Stuff half a lemon, an onion cut into chunks, a garlic clove or two and some sprigs of fresh thyme into the main cavity of the chicken. 2. Add oil, salt and pepper on top. 3. Cook the chicken using a similar method to the lamb, keeping the meat covered to begin with and using the roasting juices to make a delicious gravy.
Roast Potatoes By Eve Tudor
Potatoes – allow about 2 per person Favourite oil and plenty of it Rosemary Garlic granules Onion granules Salt and Pepper
Peel your potatoes, cut them into quarters and pop them into cold water. When you are done rinse your potatoes to get off some of that starch. Fill the pot again so that the potatoes are covered with cold water and heat up the water. When the potatoes are starting to soften take them off the heat and pour off the water. Put the potatoes into a pan ready for the oven and lay them out as flat as you can. 26
Give the potatoes a good coating of your chosen oil and add a little more for good measure. Then add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, the onion and garlic granules and some fresh rosemary making sure you don’t add the stalks. And mix it all in making sure the potatoes are nicely covered in everything. Maybe give them a little extra scattering of rosemary over the top and pop them into the oven at about 200°C or at the top of your oven if you are already cooking something and let them roast up. Check up on them in about half an hour and give them a turn. Check on them after 15 minutes for another turn and maybe once again afterwards Cibare Magazine
should they need it. Depends on your oven and how crunchy you want them to be. Mine usually take about 1 hour and 15/20 minutes all in all, but I like them really crunchy! This does admittedly mean that if you are roasting your average chicken
you will be roasting your potatoes for the same amount of time as your meat. Something to keep in mind. Itâ€™s a little work to keep an eye on your potatoes too, but honestly itâ€™s absolutely worth it!
Minty Spring Vegetables By Penny Langford
tablespoons of mint sauce. You can buy a jar, though I like the freshness of making my own. That way, you can control the sweetness/tartness to suit your vegetable selection, or tailor the taste by varying the sugar to vinegar ratio. It’s very simple to make!
Easy Mint Sauce 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp caster sugar 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Choose a colourful selection of seasonal vegetables such as: 1 pack of baby carrots 1 pack of radishes 1 pack of garden peas 5 shallots 1 tbsp olive oil 1. Put the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the shallots until they start to soften and turn golden. 2. Add the other hard veg, such as radishes and carrots, and fry for 5 minutes. Then add a cup of water, cover and boil for 5 minutes. 3. Add the softer vegetables, such as peas, and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly. 4. Stir through a couple of 28
1. Grind the mint, oil and sugar using a pestle and mortar to release the mint flavour and aroma. If you don’t have one, just mix the ingredients in a bowl. 2. Add the vinegar and stir. 3. Stir through your veggies and serve. That’s it! Cibare Magazine
Fancy Sausages By Eve Tudor
1 packet chipolata or simple pork sausages 1 tbsp or half a handful of fresh thyme 2 tbsp of good honey Olive oil or rapeseed oil
1. Cover an oven pan with a little oil to stop the sausages from sticking and cook according to the pack instructions. 2. When they are 2/3 cooked, remove from the oven. Coat all over with the honey and thyme, then put back in the oven to brown 3. Enjoy as part of a roast dinner, or in a simple sandwich with mustard!
Best Ever Herby Spiced Rub By Dani Gavriel
This is so versatile! All the ingredients are dried herbs and spices you can keep in the spice rack or cupboard ready for when you want them.
It works really well with whole or filleted fish, poultry and red meats. With chicken or red meat, you could add a large spoonful of natural Greek yogurt.
1 teaspoon of each: Garlic powder Dried onion granules Smoked paprika Mixed dried herbs Cayenne pepper Dried parsley Â˝ teaspoon of each: Ground cinnamon Dried chilli flakes Celery seed Nutmeg Ground coriander
Simply marinate food in the rub, along with a little olive oil, and store in the fridge.
Itâ€™s also great with a mix of vegetables, especially grilled or roasted. Try it on sweet potato fries, baked in the oven with a little spray oil. Yum!
Pinch of salt & pepper 32
Mexican Sausage Rolls By Jack and Hayley Rowbottom
It’s very rare that I conclude a visit to the butcher without purchasing a cheeky sausage roll. I seem to think of myself as some kind of sausage roll connoisseur. I know what makes a good sausage roll. And I’m more than willing to argue my side in the hot vs. cold debate. (It’s hot by the way. Hot all the way.) And I’m not alone – I have the Great British Public behind me. Greggs sells over 2.5 million flaky porky delights every week. We Brits LOVE our sausage rolls. Which set my mind to creating my own ‘fusion’ version... Quickly checking that it hasn’t been done before (it hasn’t) I developed the Mexican Sausage Roll. All the yummy goodness of a sausage roll combined 34
with gooey cheese and Pepper Jack spices. My whole prototype batch was snarled up by friends and family, dipping porky treats in salsa and smashing them in their faces. This one’s definitely a winner.
Makes 28 sausage rolls 750g sausage meat 2 packs ready-rolled puff pastry 200g Mexican Pepper Jack cheese Salt and pepper 1 egg to egg wash 1 tsp oregano to season
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 2. Combine the meat and cheese in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Make sure you take the pastry Cibare Magazine
out of the fridge at least half an hour before rolling. Cut it in half to get two long sausage rolls out of one sheet. 4. Take approximately a quarter of the mixture and roll it into a sausage. Place it on the far side of the short edge of the pastry, leaving about an inch of pastry at the end. Use the egg wash to wet the exposed end piece, then roll using the egg wash to seal the edges.
5. Trim your long sausage roll into handheld size pieces, then egg wash the top of each roll to get a lovely golden colour during baking. Sprinkle with oregano. 6. Place the rolls evenly on a pastry sheet and bake at 200Â°C for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffy. 7. Enjoy with your favourite Mexican dipping sauces.
Risotto By Eve Tudor
1 garlic clove, or more if you prefer ½ onion 5-6 sage leaves (optional) 500g Arborio rice 500g vegetable or chicken stock 200g water 1 pack cream cheese ½ pack Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 3 large knobs of butter Seasoning Olive oil 1 pack mushrooms 2-3 sprigs of thyme All dairy ingredients can be replaced by vegan options and taste equally delicious – just watch out for the consistency of the risotto.
1. Add the onion, garlic and a little olive oil to a semi-deep pan
and cook the veggies till they soften. Don’t let them brown as it doesn’t look great. 2. Once they get going, stir in the rice, still watching to ensure nothing browns. 3. After a couple of minutes, stir in the stock and half of the cream cheese. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes, keeping an eye on it. You shouldn’t need to stir but do so if it needs it. If the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan and looks dry, the heat’s too high. Take it off and stir until it cools down. 4. When it’s starting to stick a little, add half the water, another 1/4 of the cream cheese, a good fine grating of the parmesan and mix it all in. At this point I like to add a knob of butter and some seasoning too. 5. Take your mushrooms and fresh thyme (taking off the stalks)
and cook them up with a good knob of butter and some seasoning. 6. You need about another 15 mins for the rice to cook, so keep stirring and don’t let it get dry. Around that 15-minute point, add the rest of the water, cream cheese and obviously some more parmigiana. Let it cook in then taste to check the
rice is cooked and for cheesiness! 7. When you think it’s ready, add another knob of butter. Taste for seasoning – keep in mind you’ll absolutely be adding more parmigiana – top with your mushrooms and cracked pepper as preferred when serving.
Pea Soup By Eve Tudor
1 small onion ½ - 1 garlic clove 500g frozen peas 500g veggie or chicken stock Handful of fresh mint Olive oil Seasoning Croutons
held or jug blender until smooth. 5. Serve with croutons or a big wedge of bread and cracked pepper to taste.
1. Chop the onion and garlic as finely as you can, then fry in a pot with a little olive oil, taking care not to brown them. 2. Once they’re soft, add the peas, mint and stock plus some seasoning. 3. Cook until the peas soften and the stock almost boils, then remove – you don’t need it that hot. 4. Whizz it up using a hand38
Tuscan Bean Stew By Emma de Sousa
This cheap super-healthy dish is a favourite in my house. It takes little time to prep and tastes even better when made in the morning or night before, then re-heated. It keeps in the fridge for a good few days and freezes well. Pair with brown rice, cauliflower rice or homemade bread to mop up all the juices…mmm.
1 red onion 3 garlic cloves 3 stems fresh thyme* (strip off leaves, compost stalks) 1 stem fresh rosemary* 800g (or two tins) butter beans 400g of another bean of your choice (black, kidney, Borlotti) 800g (or two tins) tinned tomatoes, blitz to a smooth consistency 900ml vegetable stock A handful of fresh parsley Olive oil
Salt and pepper 1 tbsp tomato puree – a good squeeze *Use dried if you don’t have fresh: 1 heaped tablespoon = 3 fresh stems
1. Gently cook garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme until soft. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Once softened, add the tomatoes and puree, cook for five minutes, then add the stock. 3. Wash the beans under cold running water and add to the pot. 4. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add more seasoning if required. 5. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving in a big bowl with a hunk of freshly baked bread and crispy salad on the side. Perfect for cold dark evenings…
Easy-Peasy Focaccia Bread By Emma de Sousa
This is so easy to make – don’t be put off by waiting for the yeast to start working. I prefer to work in cup sizes as I’m terrible at weighing ingredients and tend to eyeball things! Any old cup will do, as long as the cup amounts stay the same. A regular mug size is about a cupful.
1 ½ cups warm water 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp sea salt 3 ½ cups strong white bread flour, or regular white flour 7g or 1 packet fast-acting yeast FOR TOPPING Sea salt Garlic Rosemary Thyme or oregano 42
Black olives – push these into the bread once it’s risen and before cooking for some extra bite!
1. Mix the warm water and yeast together and stir to activate the yeast. 2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, slowly add the liquid and make into a dough with your hands. 3. Once combined, give it a quick knead, place into a greased (with olive oil) rectangular baking tray and leave to rise for 60 minutes covered with a slightly damp cloth. 4. Once it’s risen, place in the oven (220C/200C fan) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. 5. Leave for five minutes before turning out and serving while still warm. Cibare Magazine
TOP TIP If you can’t be bothered waiting for yeast to work, try making flat breads with flour, water, salt, your choice of herbs/spices and mix to form a dough. Make balls slightly bigger than a golf ball, roll out to thin flat ‘pancakes’ and dry fry. Serve immediately.
I use this quick easy method when I make Indian or Mexican food. They take no time to prepare and taste delicious! Flavour it to suit whatever you’re cooking: cumin seeds for Indian, rosemary and thyme for Italian-based dishes, brush with garlic and dried parsley for yummy garlic flat breads… The list is endless.
Cheese and A Pair By Sam Wilkin
Sometimes, however, flavouradded cheese represents a place so wholeheartedly that it can’t be dismissed with a disdainful flourish. Meet Fleur de Maquis, a sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica. The cheese itself is firm yet curdy, fresh and tart with a floral quality you often find in sheep’s milk cheeses. It’s coated with herbs and spices that grow wild on the maquis, the high 44
upland shrub area in Central Corsica. Rosemary, thyme, chilli and juniper all form an aromatic, herbaceous perfume that sits happily along the acidity of the cheese. As it develops, a blue mould blooms across the rind and the cheese begins to form a fantastic glossy creaminess. A tricky pairing this… Herbs and spices are big flavours and sheep’s milk can be a little funky at times. I’ve gone for a Pinot Noir from Bread & Butter in California (Majestic Wine, £15.99). It’s full of ripe red fruit, good raspberry acidity which cuts through the fatty cheese, and notes of cedar and bay which really take off next to the aromatic, herbaceous rind. An unusual pairing but one that’s definitely worth seeking out! Cibare Magazine
PICTURE CREDITS: La Fromagerie
Confession: I’m not a massive fan of flavour-added cheeses. We’re just emerging from the Christmas fug, a time of year full of Cranberry Wensleydale, Toffee Apple Cheddar and Limoncello Lancashire. All of which should be confined to the back of the fridge, and preferably left there.
Chin Chin By Eve Tudor
WOW! Where do I begin. I just got back from my delicious outing to Chin Chin and honestly I feel sick. I so over did it. But it just tasted so bloody good!!! And I don’t care, I’d do it again! I have no regrets! I may have been to their Camden store some time ago and it was sooo good, but I’ve been insta-stalking their Soho store (as they have a huge selection of cakes there) and OMG all I’ve been talking about for the last four months is Titty Cakes. Yes, you heard me TITTY CAKES!!! As genuinely funny as it sounds to say and their titillating shock factor is to hear, they are beautiful rounded pink fondant cakes full of Tonka bean buttercream, soft vanilla sponge and juicy raspberry jam, all wrapped up like a soft boobie pillow! Cake bliss! 46
And they did not disappoint. As adorable as they are to look at, my first mouthful just spread this excited kid sized smile across my face. Sheer joy!! Oh yeah, but that wasn’t it. I had a squirt of Panda whipped cream and huge honeycomb pieces!!!! (see photo obviously!). Oh my days!! I don’t even know where to put myself. I don’t really go out for cake, I’m not that kinda girl. Cheese always, ice cream yes. But I had to have this. I had been dreaming about this and it was just like being in a movie eating this beautiful cake that tasted just as incredible as it looked. Pink clouds of joy. The flavours together worked perfectly and the Panda Whip was exquisite. I’m quite simply, really happy. Cibare Magazine
But that wasn’t it. How can I come all this way and not have a hot chocolate? I can’t. That would be insane! So after my first sugar indulgence I had some more. Hot chocolate with a marshmallow that changes your life. This is the ultimate hot chocolate and I dare anyone to compete. The chocolate is really dark and a little bitter but in the best way. It’s creamy and thick but made nice and hot to have the perfect pudding topper. A giant marshmallow, happily scalded with a blowtorch right in front of you and topped again with more bitter powdered chocolate. Come to mama!!!
too. It’s kinda welcoming like a boob I have to say. I felt warm and comfortable with smiling faces and sweet things and hot beverages. It was really nice. I like it there a lot. I’m gonna go back there. Maybe with my friends. Maybe with the kids. Definitely for a date! That would be fun. Yeah you should go there too. Definitely! Find them in Camden, Soho and Shoreditch check online for details.
I can’t stop myself. At least I had to drink it with a spoon as I was too embarrassed to get chocolate all over my face! But also it allowed me to enjoy every little chocolate covered marshmallow spoonful. Christ. I want another one! There may be something wrong with me. I don’t care. There really is an element of naughty Alice in Wonderland-esque feel about their desserts. Their staff were so lovely and helpful, telling me about what they do and how they make things as well as what their favourite desserts are and they seemed just as excited to tell me about them as I was to eat them. The shop isn’t massive but it’s welcoming and warm in tone and has a fun vibe with the other people coming in getting desserts 48
Cup of Health and Comfort By Samina Iqbal
When the temperature drops, all we want to do is curl up in the warmth and enjoy comfort food. For me that usually means mashed potatoes, puddings and pies. But since current health thinking isn’t too keen on these, I’ve had to get inventive in the kitchen. This drink, with its blend of warming spices, is soothing and magically comforting. It’s also very good for you (bonus) despite being a teeny bit addictive. Be sure to add a little twist of black pepper to activate the healing properties of the turmeric.
Golden Latte INGREDIENTS
1 cinnamon stick ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg A twist of freshly ground black pepper ¼ tsp turmeric powder ¼ tsp ginger powder 1 cup organic coconut or almond milk 1 tsp honey
1. Place all ingredients in a pan and warm gently. 2. When the milk comes to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for one minute. 3. Remove the cinnamon stick, pour into your favourite cup and enjoy. Cibare Magazine
Grow Your Own Living Larder By Emma de Sousa
Since switching to a plant-based diet just over a year ago, after being a long-time vegetarian, I’ve totally fallen back in love with cooking! I love experimenting with new flavours and finding replacements for favourite dishes like mac ’n’ cheese – you can do an awesome non-dairy version. Not only am I more mindful of what I put into my body, at the age of 48 I’ve never felt better, fitter or more energised.
in the greenhouse, on the patio, by the raised beds, in old butler sinks… anywhere I can find a space.
One thing that’s changed considerably is the look of my food cupboards and fridge. They’re so much more colourful, bursting with fresh produce. As for my herb and spice cupboard – I need a bigger space! I have a store of dried versions, plus lots of fresh goodies growing in pots. On the kitchen window ledge,
So – how easy is it to grow herbs and spices in the UK?
There’s nothing like popping to the end of the garden for a handful of fresh thyme for Tuscan bean stew or drying rosemary to flavour freshlybaked focaccia bread (see recipes below). Another thing I do more now is bake bread – it doesn’t take long and is soooo tasty.
Spices are a little trickier because they typically grow in warmer climates, but some do well in a greenhouse or sunny spot in the garden during the summer months. As long as you have well-drained, reasonably fertile soil, there’s no reason they can’t thrive. Cibare Magazine
I grow mine in big terracotta pots that can be moved around and donâ€™t take up lots of space. This also means more aggressive herbs such as mint can be contained, rather than take over the garden. I leave some to go to seed, then collect them to plant the following year. A few (rosemary, sage and thyme) make great border plants which look, smell and taste wonderful. When they flower the bees will love you, and we should all be looking after our bees! Easy-to-grow Spices Try ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, fenugreek, mustard and of course, good old chillies. You need a light sunny spot (in a greenhouse is perfect) and can grow most of them from shop-bought plants. Root and plant the ginger, turmeric or lemongrass, and grow all the others from seed. You can find a wealth of information online so get creative and create a wonderfully fresh larder. No need for a fridge, plastic packaging or pesticides: just a sharp pair of cutters, some soil and a watering can! You wonâ€™t get fresher than that.
Beer Meet Herbs and Spices By Jon Moore
Herbs and spices have been used to flavour beer for centuries. Historically they were an essential ingredient of beer, particularly in the Netherlands, Belgium and western Germany, where the blend of herbs and the resulting drink were commonly known as ‘gruit’. Today adding herbs and spices is far less common, save for certain niche styles, but adventurous brewers are once again experimenting with botanical ingredients, often with delicious results.
Adding some local flavour
In the Middle Ages, before the widespread cultivation of hops in Europe, beer could be flavoured with a range of herbs and other natural additions, either foraged from the land or purchased from a 56
specialist merchant. Each producer would have their own special blend of ingredients to give their beer a distinctive taste and aroma. The exact recipe would depend on what was available locally, and on the preferences of the brewer, but typically might include flavourful ingredients like yarrow, bog myrtle, rosemary, mugwort, heather, sage, fennel seeds, mint or juniper. The herbal additions would not only flavour the beer, but could also enhance its effects, particularly if using ingredients known for medicinal or intoxicating properties. Today, very few breweries produce modern interpretations of ‘gruit’. However, a small number of brewers are adding herbs and spices to Cibare Magazine
contemporary styles to showcase these ingredients and bring a unique flavour to their beers, often drawing inspiration from their local environment.
EARTH ALE BREWERY | Wood
Green, North London One brewer specialising in the use of herbs and spices is Earth Ale Brewery, based in Wood Green in North London. The brewery was founded by a Michelin-trained chef and flavour is crucial to everything they produce. Their range includes a Lemon Verbena Pale Ale, a Dandelion Stout, and a Smoked Saison infused with Chamomile. My favourite is the Lemon Verbena Pale, a light, easy-drinking and refreshing beer where lemony citrus herbal notes complement the floral hops beautifully. It’s a subtle twist on a classic that sets their beers apart from those of other producers.
YONDER | Mendip Hills, Somerset
Yonder specialise in mixedfermentation beers that often taste funky or sour. Their own culture of wild yeast and bacteria gives their beers a distinctive and unrepeatable flavour. Yonder also make use of seasonal, farmed and foraged ingredients from the hills and fields a stone’s throw from their brewery, including herbs, fruits and other flora. 58
I’ve particularly enjoyed their amazing ‘Loop’ series of sour wheat beers, especially the Rhubarb and Magnolia edition that marries bold tart fruit flavours with subtle floral and spice notes. Their beers also include a Belgian-style pale ale infused with local lavender and a delicate pilsner brewed on a bed of hay. Others feature even more adventurous ingredients like sumac, rose petals and even root vegetables. The Carrot Gose is bright orange and tastes sensational!
Taste your country
A similar ethos has been adopted by other microbreweries across the UK, including Little Earth Project in Suffolk, Fyne Ales in Argyll and Harbour in Cornwall. It’s an exciting time for the UK beer industry. While so much of today’s food and drink is industrially produced in a market that strives for uniformity, some craft brewers are using herbal and hyperlocal ingredients that expand your palette by letting you taste your way around the country – and beyond.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
Help yourself to herbs By Jo Farren
Springtime feels so full of promise health-wise. It’s when I get busiest, as it’s a more natural time to crack down on wellbeing than New Year. January is awash with ‘New Year, new you’ malarkey, but I’m not always convinced these resolutions are organic, so can be tricky to maintain. Especially as January and February are pretty cold and dark months...
Spring sees the light come back, meaning we can leave the house wearing a mere three layers, as opposed to the wintery seven or eight. ( Just me?) And when it stops raining so heavily, a bit of foraging is definitely in order to blow those cobwebs away. We can find and embrace amazing cleansing herbs in plentiful amounts if only we look around.
As well as being yummy, dandelion leaves are a great source of vitamins (A, C and the B family), iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Not such a silly plant now!
A few issues of Cibare ago I shared a recipe for nettle soup, and this herb is still a firm favourite. Readily available and full of vitamin C, iron Cibare Magazine
PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_Tatjana Zavjalova
I harp on about this a lot. Foe of gardener and friend of herbalist, this incredible plant is perfect to eat at this time of year. The young new leaves, which are lighter green and stand proud of the ground, are the best to go for. And with its slightly bitter taste, this wonderful sunshinebloomed plant is great in salads.
and calcium, it’s spinachy-tasting and works really well in a soup or as a tea. When you pick it, wear gloves and aim for the ‘tips’ of the plant – the top four or so leaves which are lighter green in colour – and avoid the darker leaves towards the bottom. In a soup it’s delicious. Or steep the herb in boiling water then strain it to make an incredible tonic tea. It tastes very different from dried nettle – you won’t regret trying it!
Cleavers (a.k.a. sticky weed, sticky willy) The seeds of this plant are those annoying little balls that get stuck like Velcro in your pet’s hair! Pick it early in the season, pre-ball and before the tiny white flowers appear. This climbing plant is what we call a ‘cleansing’ herb, traditionally used for conditions that need movement, such as urinary tract infections. Once picked, steep it in cold water. It’s delicious and tastes a bit like freshly-picked pea pods.
This has become increasingly popular over the last few years – sadly there’s none where I live. The leaves and flowers make incredible pesto, with a mild garlicky taste and a familiar, slightly sulphur-y smell. You could also include nettle in your recipe to concoct the most epic foraged meal. On a herb walk 62
last year, we found Garlic Mustard or ‘Jack-By-The-Hedge’ which makes a fabulous alternative to wild garlic. One attendee went home and used it in her pesto in place of garlic – with delicious results.
Tips for foraging
• Abide by the rule of thirds: one third for me, one for nature and one for someone else • Try not to strip an area of its plants as it does affect the ecosystem • Remember you can pick but never dig, so roots are off limits • Be careful not to pick anything you aren’t 100% sure about There are poisonous species out there, but plants like nettle and dandelion are fairly well-known and may appear in your back garden if you have one. I’m lucky enough to see them on my own doorstep on a regular basis. The Woodland Trust website has a great guide to responsible foraging which is worth a look if you feel like giving it a try. Why not embrace the ‘weeds’ and see just how delicious these unsung heroes of the spring can be?
Fussy Pup Got a fussy canine eater? Let’s shake it up! By Roz Lishak
There are many reasons why a dog can be off its food. Obviously, your first thought might be that they’re poorly, especially if this is totally out of character. If it continues, your vet is always on hand to help. However, if you have a discerning (or shall we say fussy) dog who turns its wet nose up at most things and seems to be turned off now and then, you might want to consider shaking things up with a topper. Topper? Yes, as the name implies, it’s a product you sprinkle over the top of dog food. It has the magic effect of 64
encouraging them to sniff the bowl, because it’s highly seasoned with herbs and often supplements. As with any dog diet, you need to know about its pros and cons. Make sure you read up on ‘good’ herbs for dogs and are aware of which ones can cause toxic reactions. As well as adding flavour and interest, herbs can be very beneficial to pet health. • Rosemary is an antioxidant • Chia seeds contain a nearperfect ratio of omega oils • Dill is good for a gassy tummy and can have a positive effect on breathing problems • Parsley, coriander and fennel are all perfectly fine for the dog bowl • Garlic and most members of the allium family are best avoided, Cibare Magazine
PICTURE CREDITS: shutterstock_xkunclova
If only every doggy mealtime was as simple as ‘prepare and serve’. But, like us humans, there are days when your dog just doesn’t have much appetite.
but studies show that in very small doses garlic can help regulate blood sugar and is also a natural flea repellent. Spices and salt can cause excessive thirst and cause your dog to vomit, so steer clear.
If you’re in the mood to jazz up your dog’s menu, first take advice and check the ‘naughty or nice’ list. Above all, try to make sure every meal is a pleasure. If giving their taste buds a bit of a party now and then helps clear the bowl... sprinkle away!
Team Links Despina Mina - @forkedldn
www.forkedldn.com Emma Walton - @supperinthesuburbs www.supperinthesuburbs.com Jon Moore - @beerinthesuburbs Emma de Sousa @theurbanflowerfarmer www.urbanflowerfarmer.com Ying Bower - @yingenough Dani Gavriel - @dani_gavriel Penny Langford -@peneoplepeer Roz Lishak - @yourpupparazzi Rebecca Stratton -@cakerebecca www.rebeccas-cakes.co.uk Gillian Balcobe - @gillianbalcombe Jo Farren - @jo.farren www.jofarren.co.uk/link Samina Iqba - @samina.i Eve Tudor - @editoroffood Eileen MacCallum www.aweebirdie.com Theo Micheals - @theocooks www.theocooks.com
Jack at @jacksmeatshack
Viners Cutlery @vinerscutlery
Welcome to Cibare Issue 19 Herbs and Spices We are full of delicious every day recipes and drinks that you can spice up nicely with some lov...
Published on Jan 26, 2020
Welcome to Cibare Issue 19 Herbs and Spices We are full of delicious every day recipes and drinks that you can spice up nicely with some lov...