BBQ Mushroom with Satay Sauce

By Manishta Sunnia

Peanut butter
Soy sauce
Lemon juice

Grate garlic & ginger into a bowl then add all other ingredients
Mix into a paste.

You can use different mushroom sizes – if large cut them into large chunks.

Add mushrooms into a paste and mix.
Carefully slide mushrooms into skewers
Then add on the barbecue
Grill until mushrooms are cooked


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Frozen grapes

this recipe comes via Juliette Daigre.

– buy grapes.

– wash grapes.

– put grapes in freezer.

– leave grapes in the freezer for a while.

– eat grapes.

That’s it. They are AWESOME.

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Strike solidarity soup (how to make and transport it)

by Soup Dragon

At something like an occupation or a picket line, hot food works wonders for morale. The problem is, they usually take place in locations that are a bit short of cooking facilities, but with a bit of planning, it’s actually quite easy to arrange a supply of home-made food. Most people will have all of the necessary equipment sitting around at home anyway, and since you can make a huge pot of soup for less than £5, it works out a lot cheaper than buying everyone a takeaway.

I’ve included recipes for two variations on lentil soup, because it’s very straightforward, the ingredients are cheap, and it doesn’t contain anything which people are likely to be allergic to. In general, soup is a good choice because you only need a mug or a disposable cup to drink it out of, so you don’t have to worry about finding cutlery.

Remember, if you’re planning to take food (or any other supplies) to a picket or occupation, it’s often a good idea to get in touch with them first. Someone else might already have offered to bring them dinner, or maybe they’re up to their eyes in biscuits, but could really use some more cups. Surprises are fun, but they aren’t always useful.

A really big soup pot with a lid
Stick blender or potato masher
Blankets or clean clothes for insulation
A bag large enough to hold both
Paper or polystyrene cups

Basic Lentil Soup

A vegetarian version of Mammy Soup Dragon’s old recipe. Makes about 6-7 litres of soup.

500-600g of red lentils
2kg of carrots
3 onions
Vegetable stock powder/cubes (dairy and gluten free if possible)
2 tbsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper

Rinse the lentils and put them in the pot and add water so that the lentils are covered in about 10cm of water. Start bringing the water to the boil – this will take a while because of the quantities involved.
Chop the onions and add them to the pot.
Peel and chop the carrots, throwing them into the pot as you go. This may take a while, so find some comrades to help you if you can.
Add sufficient stock for the volume of soup (this will vary according to the type you’re using).
Stir occasionally to stop anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The lentils will absorb water as they cook, so you may need to add more.
When the carrots are soft, blend the soup until it is smooth. If you don’t have a blender, you could mash it instead.
Add the parsley, salt and pepper.

Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup

This one’s a bit more complicated, and it could be expensive if you don’t already have a well-stocked spice rack. Makes 5-6 litres of soup.

2 onions
5/6 cloves of garlic
Vegetable oil
3 tins of chopped tomatoes
Up to 1kg of carrots
3 cups lentils
Stock powder/cubes
Half a tube of tomato puree
About 1 tsp each of chilli powder, coriander, cumin, ginger & smoked paprika (or substitute other spices, depending on your own taste and what’s available)
1 tbsp parsley
Salt and pepper

Chop the onions and garlic. Fry the onions over a low heat in a generous amount of oil until they’re almost translucent, then add the garlic, and when that’s cooked, add the spices.
Add the tomatoes to the pot, and give them a bit of a mash. You don’t want a completely smooth texture, just a smaller tomato chunks.
Rinse the lentils and throw them into the pot. Top it up with water, add the stock and tomato puree, the leave it to simmer.
Peel and chop the carrots, and add those.
Cook until the carrots and lentils are soft.
Add parsley, salt, pepper, and maybe a bit more of some of the spices.

Transporting Hot Food:

It takes a long time for a large volume of soup to go cold, but there are a few basic principles you can apply to maximise the length of time it stays really hot, and to make it easier to transport.

Use something to hold the lid in place on top of the pot. The contents will slosh around and knock the lid off if you don’t.
This can be achieved with string, or with with a folded-up tea towel wrapped around the handles.

You need to insulate the bag you’re carrying your food in, so that there is padding around the pot on every side. This keeps the heat in, and it also means that you don’t burn your legs when the bag bounces off them.

Make sure the top of the pot is well covered. This is for camouflage as well as insulation, because some bus drivers don’t like letting people on with hot food, so this disguises what you’re carrying.

If it’s not going to be eaten immediately when you reach your destination, throw a few extra blankets or coats over the top of your insulated bag for good measure.

This method will keep your food properly piping hot for at least 2 1/2 hours. It probably lasts even longer, but I’ve never had any reason to test it beyond that point.

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NHS solace mince and tatties

The House of Lords today passed the Health and Social Care Bill, which effectively means the end of the NHS. I have given up drinking for a month, so rather than the large whisky I would usually turn to on such an occassion, I cooked the following comfort food. Enjoy.

beef mince
stock cubes
bay leaf
a tin of tomatoes
garam masala
blue cheese (whatever you like best)

Chop the onion, fry it in olive oil. Chop the carrots. Add them. Throw in the mince, stir it occasionally on a medium heat.

Chop the tatties and boil them.

Add the tinned tomato, a stock cube or two, the bay leaf, a good fistful of garam masala, and a good hunk of blue cheese to the mince.

Chop the broccoli.

When the mince and tatties are nearly done – ie the tatties slip off a knife, and the mince tastes great but is still quite juicy – boil or steam the broccoli, being careful not to over do it.

Eat. If you haven’t given up booze for the month, probably have red wine with it. Or whisky. Or beer… And then mourne the slow passing of our finest national institution.

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Throw your own tapas party!

by Kate Harris

Throw your own tapas party!


First off, I should probably level with you that the total cost of all these ingredients is not cheap. You may wish to make it cheaper by serving more of the cheap stuff, like the tomato bread, and leaving out obscenely expensive things like Iberico ham. If you’ve got a bit of money to spare, this dinner party is well worth it. I served it to some friends recently and got rave reviews. Here we go, then…


Start with some white crusty bread, olives, pickled chillies and some sangria. The Spanish often have sherry with tapas, but have sangria, sherry, cider or whatever you fancy.


Sangria recipe:


3 parts red wine

1 part orange juice

2 parts lemonade


Mint leaves

Citrus fruit in slices or segments, e.g. oranges, lemons, limes

>> Method

>Mix together and serve cold.


Then serve bruschetta (I know, I know, it’s Italian), or to be more authentically Spanish tomato-rubbed bread:


Tomato-rubbed bread recipe:

>> Ingredients

Good quality extra-virgin olive oil

A few garlic cloves, halved or quartered

Crusty white bread (one slice per person)

Very ripe tomatoes, pulped

Spanish sherry vinegar (optional)

Salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper


>> Method

>Toast the bread in a toaster or under a grill

>Rub with garlic, finely chop or mince a tiny bit of the garlic and leave it on the bread if you want an extra garlicky kick

>Smear pulped tomatoes in a thin layer over the top of this

>Drip about a tablespoon of olive oil (or more to taste) over each slice of bread

>If desired, top with a few drops of sherry vinegar if you crave that acidity

>Season with salt and pepper


Follow with Iberico ham, or another fine ham. You may wish to put it on bread. I like it on its own.

Then have my favourite dish (and the most simple one!), chorizo in cider.


Chorizo in cider recipe:



1 huge or 2 small cooking chorizos, chopped into chunks

1 bottle dry Spanish cider

Crusty white bread, to serve



In a saucepan, poach the chorizo for 15-20 minutes on a low simmer. It will change consistency and colour. Give everyone some of the cooking sauce as well, which can be mopped up with the bread.



Next serve up that most Spanish of dishes, patatas bravas. This is a recipe I’ve adapted from Rick Stein’s series on Spanish food and a number of other sources. They’re called ‘fierce potatoes’, so I like them quite hot. Alter to taste. I like doing it this way because you don’t have to boil the potatoes first. If you want to take a shortcut, you can buy some great jars of salsa brava from good Spanish delis including Lupe Pintos in Edinburgh’s Tollcross. I’d still recommend adding some Pimenton and a small amount of chopped tomatoes, though, to bulk out the sauce and add some smoky heat.


Patatas bravas recipe:



1 medium-large potato per person, sliced very thinly

Olive oil (ordinary, non-extra virgin is fine)

A couple of teaspoons of Pimenton picante (smoked hot Spanish paprika), or more to taste

1/2 teaspooon dried chilli flakes

A few drops of Tabasco or similar hot pepper sauce

Chopped tomatoes – 1 tin for every 4 people

Salt flakes



>Fry the slices of potato in the olive oil until they start to soften

>Sprinkle over the pimenton, chilli flakes and stir so they stick to the potatoes

>Then add your chopped tomatoes, Tabasco and a teaspoon or so of the salt flakes to season

>Stir and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through and the flavours are combined.


Then serve stuffed peppers. The menu gets lighter towards the end here as your guests get more and more full! This is adapted from a Mary Colgan recipe which can be found on the BBC Good Food website.


Stuffed Romano Peppers recipe:

Serves 4 as a tapas



2 Romano peppers, halved and de-seeded

Cooking olive oil

1 slice bread

2 tbsp pine nuts

2 tbsp grated Manchego

1 fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped

2 tsp capers

Good handful parsley, roughly chopped



>Heat oven to 190C / gas 5

>Season then roast the halved peppers in a little olive oil. They need 20 minutes in the oven

>Toast the bread then crumble into breadcrumbs (a food processor is useful here but I don’t have one)

>Mix with the rest of the ingredients.

>Once the peppers are done, stuff them with the breadcrumb mixture and return to the oven for 15 minutes.



The last savoury course on this menu is a salad. By this point your guests will be almost as heavily stuffed as the peppers. Just serve a very basic green salad (romaine lettuce leaves or even baby spinach), mixed with some slices of red onion and dressed with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and either lemon juice or sherry vinegar. Alternatively, if it’s in season and cheap/you can afford it, you could serve up a mass quantity of thick white or green asparagus shoots. If it’s not deemed too rich by To this stage in the meal you, have them with some serrano ham. Just blanch or boil them and season them with salt and pepper. I don’t like messing with asparagus. In my experience, so many people don’t like asparagus – completely ridiculous of them, but that’s why I suggest the salad.

To finish, you may want to serve this fantastic recipe for chocolate pots from Ben Tish:

Alternatively, just have some fresh fruit salad, or as we did, suck the remaining sangria out of the oranges and have some ice cream! Balls to convention at this point – you should be too full and too drunk to care!

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The world’s best coleslaw

By Siân Berry

This recipe isn’t mine but is my best imitation of the amazing coleslaw you used to be able to get at the Onion sandwich shop on Sicilian Avenue in London.

They don’t even make it like this any more, so I think I’m now the effective guardian of this creation for posterity.

The special ingredient is fresh coriander. It works incredibly well with the slightly sharp dressing (which combines old-fashioned salad cream with mayonnaise). Given the popularity of carrot and coriander soup, it’s surprising we don’t see this flavour used in coleslaw more often.

This is wonderful as a side dish for things like barbecues, pizzas and quiche – and also in sandwiches of course. I particularly recommend it in a brown bread sandwich with thick ham, or with hard mountain-type cheeses, such as gruyere or jarlsburg.

It’s vegetarian but not vegan, unless you swap the mayonnaise for a non-egg equivalent.

What with:

  • White or light green cabbage (about a third of a medium sized one)
  • 2-3 medium sized carrots (to end up with the same amount as the cabbage)
  • 2 thinnish bulbs of spring onion (don’t overdo this)
  • Salad cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped fresh coriander (a large handful)

How to:

  1. Finely shred the cabbage into long, thin strips; put it in a large bowl
  2. Peel and coarsely grate the carrots; add them to the bowl
  3. Finely chop the spring onion; ditto
  4. Chop the coriander and add that too
  5. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the stuff in the bowl
  6. Dump about 2 tablespoons of salad cream and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise on top
  7. Take two metal spoons and stir everything together really well
  8. Cover and keep in the fridge until needed. You can eat it straight away, but it’s better after the flavours have had chance to mix together properly and the vinegary sauce has softened the cabbage. Stir it up again each time before using. You can use it very safely for about 2.5 days.
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Use up the courgette glut – recipe one

By Kay Gee


kilo of boneless stewing meat – I use pork – leave out if veggie.
oil for browning
2 onions
garlic (couple of cloves)
225ml white wine
6 big fresh toms if you’ve grown them or can of tomatoes
4 – 6 medium courgettes – topped & tailed
Sage – few leaves fresh, teaspoon dried (optional)
More wine or water if liquid level gets low

Cut pork into chunks
Skin & chop fresh toms if using or open can.
Heat oil until smoking, brown pork, put aside into bowl
Add more oil if needed, lightly brown onions
Add garlic & fry for a minute or so
Pour in wine & tomatoes
Add meat back if using, add whole courgettes
Season to taste
Check every now & then & add more liquid if needed
Add sage 5 to 10 minutes before end if using

Simmer on low heat for hour to hour & a half until meat is tender

Serve with carbs of your choice – I tend to do it with rice.

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