June Roundup

It’s The Gammon Kitchen’s 6 month sort of birthday! Hi to all of you who have been with me from the start and welcome to my new followers. Thank you to each and everyone of you who has liked, commented or followed my journey and I hope you stick around! I’ve been a bit quiet on here over the last couple weeks. In all fairness, I’ve only missed two posts but my presence on social media has taken a back seat whilst I’ve been focussing on my day job. The joys of working in customer services during a busy summer sale period! The slight break has given me time to refresh and I’m ready to get back into the kitchen and share more of that with you.

June has been such a wash out in Britain. We’ve had non-stop rain, thunderstorms and even some cold days. It’s grim. July hasn’t exactly started any better either but here’s hoping for some improvement. The UK isn’t just suffering due to the weather though, we’ve been hit with political and economic bombshells that have turned the whole country a bit mental. Whilst I don’t agree with the decision that has been made, life is certainly too short to worry about such things and we all need to move on, drown our sorrows into some chocolate cake and then beĀ positive for the future.

Before moving on, let’s look back at The Gammon Kitchen’s posts during the month where I turned half vegan. As in I tried to be vegan, managed a few days, went vegetarian for a further few days then kinda gave up but still want to try to go back.

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Recipe Review: Sabrina Ghayour’s Feta Bites / What I Ate In A Day #9 / Recipe: Salted Caramel Pineapple Wedges / A Vegan Food Shop / Recipe: Chickpea, Spinach and Potato Curry / What I Ate In A Day #10 – Vegan EditionWhat I Ate In A Day #10 – Vegan Edition / My Vegan Week / Recipe: Sweet and Salty Pecans / Recipe Review: Leon’s Lemon Cake / My Hero Ingredients / Recipe: Pimped Up Kidney Beans / Summer is Coming

Recipe Review: Sabrina Ghayour’s Feta Bites

I had Sirocco, the new cookbook from Sabrina Ghayour, on pre-order and was excited to receive it on it’s release date. Having already been a huge fan of Persiana, Sabrina’sĀ first book, I was eager to see what the new book had in store. I’ve not been disappointed, it’s full of colourful, exotic dishes from the Middle East and beyond and is the perfect follow on from Persiana. I love Sabrina’s use of some of my favourite ingredients; feta cheese; sumac and pomegranate. One of the recipes that originally caught my eye was the Feta Bites with Preserved Lemon Jam. I’ve never seen feta used in this way and with a jar of preserved lemons in the fridge I could see no reason not to try it out.

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You start the recipe by making the preserved lemon jam which consists of no more than 6 finely chopped persevered lemons and 6 tablespoons of caster sugar, stirred together over a medium heat until it has thickened.

To make the feta bites, you simply chop a cube of feta into 8 cubes and dredge each piece in some flour. Meanwhile, make the batter by whisking together 100ml of ice cold water and an egg then lightly whisk in 150g of self raising flour. Coat each piece of feta in the batter then carefully lower each one in to some hot oil and deep fry until they are golden brown on all sides.

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I was really excited to try this recipe but mine came out nothing like the picture! Firstly, my preserved lemon jam wasn’t jam at all, it was a hard lump of congealed sugary mess that tasted delicious but was impossible to dip anything into. Perhaps I cooked it for too long or over a too-high heat. My feta bites were OK but the batter was so much thicker than I was expecting and they came out looking like chicken balls you get from the Chinese takeaway. They tasted like fried cheese which was fairly pleasant but were just too heavy and we only managed to eat a couple between us.

I’m really not about negativity and still love this book. I’m sure I either made an error somewhere along the way or the recipe really just wasn’t to my taste. Has anyone else made this one and had better success?