Archives for posts with tag: Pam Hirschson’s Treasury of Recipes

On Thursday night, happily ensconced in Paddington Basin, we invited a couple of friends round to the boat for supper.

Richard and I made one of our favorite chicken dishes, Michael Olivier’s Tulbagh Chicken from Pam Hirschsohn’s wonderful cook book. We served it with couscous and some roasted aubergine flavoured with the very last half gram of my adored togarashi seasoning. I was very sorry to dust the slices of aubergine with those last few sprinkles of togarashi since I had no clue where I’d ever get any more of this now essential store cupboard ingredient. I knew the aubergine would be delicious though. I hoped our guests would appreciate it. Well, at least I hoped there was enough togarashi on the aubergine that they’d actually be able to taste it.

I’d searched every Waitrose anywhere near the canal on our trip from Braunston to London. Nothing. I’d checked on the Waitrose online store. Nothing. Pity. I’d have to email Waitrose and double check if they did still sell it. Or maybe look for a Japanese supermarket in London.


Supper was ready, Paddington Basin was looking gorgeous in the late evening light when our friends arrived. We greeted them on Patience’s bow, they handed over the customary bottle of wine and as I turned to lead the way into the boat our friend Jon said, ‘I’ve been reading your blog, you know’.

I stopped in my tracks and spun around, not quite believing my ears. What? No! I mean I do want people to read it, of course, but preferably when it’s better, more polished. When I’ve really found my voice.

‘You know Waitrose doesn’t sell togarashi seasoning anymore, don’t you?’ Jon said.

‘I suspected as much. Pity.’ I’d been having such fun with it.

‘I suppose you must have looked for it on Amazon, then?’

I looked back at him. What? Was he crazy? You’d never find togarashi seasoning on Amazon.

And as I turned to go back into the boat he handed me a packet. A weighty packet. Floppyish and soft but with a bit of heft.

500g of togarashi spice blend.

I almost fell into the canal. What a man! To say I was touched would be a massive understatement.

So to celebrate tonight I made a meal where even the dessert was flavoured with togarashi.


Togarashi 250g

A salad of smoked salmon, greens and goat’s cheese rolled in togarashi


  • zest of half a lemon very finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • one clove of garlic crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 courgettes cut into ribbons with a Microplane Spiral Cutter (a fabulous implement)
  • 30 g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 tablespoon togarashi spice blend
  • 200 g smoked salmon
  • 200 g asparagus roasted
  • one avocado sliced
  • 60 ml drained capers fried in olive oil


Mix together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and pour over the courgette ribbons. Toss well.

Roll the goat’s cheese in the togarashi spice blend. Slice into discs and cut in hald or crumble roughly.

Layer the courgette, salmon, asparagus, avocado, cheese and capers in a bowl and gently toss.

Roasted peaches with vanilla, cognac and togarashi


  • 4 peaches
  • 8 teaspoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • a generous splash or two of cognac
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon togarashi spice blend


Heat the oven to 220 Celsius.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones. Place in a baking dish.

Put a teaspoon of butter and half a teaspoon of vanilla paste into the center of each peach.

Splash some cognac over each peach and add a little more to the baking dish.

Sprinkle the peaches with a little sugar and the togarashi.

Roast for about 40 minutes or until nicely soften and browned, adding another splash or two of cognac as needed. By the time the peaches are cooked you need to have a couple of tablespoons of liquid in the baking dish.

Divide between four bowls and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve hot with Greek yoghurt flavoured with vanilla and a swirl of honey.


I started the week feeling like a character out of  The Wolf of Wall Street but  after seven days on my very own food waste challenge I ended the week feeling happy.

I’m excited thinking about this week’s cooking and I’m also feeling excited about the little germ of an idea I have growing sparked by Mazi Mas and A Girl Called Jack. I don’t have much time to pursue those thoughts right now – I’m too busy  juggling cooking and work.

So what did we cook last week?


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Baked – a loaf of ‘Rosies Brown Bread’ from one of my all time favourite recipe books, Pam Hirschson’s Treasury of Recipes.

Treasury of Recipes

  • Baked – a sponge cake to use a test batch of cream cheese icing make by my daughter for the wedding cake she is making for my niece next week. We served this with some of the left over roasted plums in the fridge.
  • Supper – left over green bean bredie with an added tin of cannellini beans. This was served with a grain salad made with bulgur wheat, a tin of chick peas, read rice. We added basil, mint and chopped red pepper out of the garden and dressed it with olive oil and lemon juice and garnished with fried onions(garden produce too).


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch a slice of ‘Rosies Brown Bread’ with scrambled eggs and rocket
  • Children’s school/university  lunch – left over grain salad
  • Supper – Lettuce and Lovage soup from the freezer. While defrosting the lovage soup I discovered that in fact one of the packets was not lovage soup but a lentil and cumin soup. The combination of the two soups ended up being delicious and inspired me to add a tin of coconut milk to the mix. I garnished the soup with fried onion, more cumin, slivered apricots (from the South African Food and Wine Blogger Indaba’s overflowing goody bag courtesy Cecilia’s Farm) and chopped almonds from my sisters perfect piece of land in McGregor. And served the soup with pappadums.


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch -pancakes with cinnamon sugar and lemon. It was a gloomy, rainy day and my daughter enticed me away from my desk to indulge her.
  • Supper – Pasta with freezer tomato sauce which on tasting was very hot(too many chillies) so I added two tins of cherry tomatoes from Super Sconto and a generous portion of ‘olive toffee’. The olive toffee was the result of a failed attempt to make olive jam. I think I’ve now hit on the perfect tomato sauce enhancer. I still have enough ‘olive toffee’ to enhance another 8 pasta and tomato sauce meals….


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon
  • Lunch – scrambled egg made with four left-over egg yolks(from the wedding cake trial) and two whole eggs on ‘Rosie’s Bread’ served with rocket and balsamic glaze.
  • Cooked 500g of chick peas
  • Supper – Salad of garden watermelon,cubed, on a bed of rocket with roasted balsamic glazed beetroot, shredded beetroot leaves, ‘confettied’ beetroot leaf stalks, a handful of chickpeas and olives marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil. Potatoes roasted with bay leaves. Home-made hummus done the Nigella Lawson way from How to Eat. Chickpeas soaked and cooked according to her instructions too. There is no other way to do this!
  • Also made a quinoa and chick pea salad dressed with the left-over lemon, garlic and olive oil marinade made for olives.


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon. We should be sick of this by now but we’re not. Panicking a bit that we are going to run out of oats.
  • ‘Rosie’s Bread’  with hummus, rocket and cheese
  • Supper – pasta with the balance of the tomato sauce, thinly sliced fried salami and parmesan.
  • YA’s lunch for school and university – quinoa and chick pea salad
  • Also made another loaf of “Rosie’s Bread’


  • Breakfast – oats porridge with yoghurt, honey and cinnamon.
  • Lunch – bread, hummus, rocket, slivers of parmesan.
  • Supper – fritters made with the balance of the quinoa and chick pea salad mixed with two eggs, some chick pea flour and  – the first bought item of the week – a packet of bacon. These were served with a watermelon, rocket, basil, left-over roasted beetroot, olive, sesame seed, sunflower seed  and hummus salad.


Pasta with porcini mushrooms

Also made during the week

  • One jar of tree tomato, rose and vanilla jelly
  • Two jars of tree tomato jam
  • Two loaves of banana bread (one in the freezer)

Everything we ate came from either the garden or the store cupboard except for one packet of bacon. I call that a successful week. But what on earth did the rest of the family think?

Over supper on Friday night I asked the family what the favourite meal of the week was?

They all loved the soup from Monday night and voted the quinoa and chick pea fritters a close second. On Saturday night they seemed to think the pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil was the meal of the week.