June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
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November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
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  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
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May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
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  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
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Lagom: the real food of Sweden

31 October, 2017

Food writer Steffi Knowles-Dellner’s new book looks beyond Scandi-chic, hygge and the next Scandinavian food trend – instead she introduces the food of her heritage, and offers an inspiring look at the Swedish approach to diet, as a way of life that we could all learn from. With the launch of the book in the Cooked library, we chatted to Steffi about what exactly is lagom?

What does Lagom mean?

Lagom doesn’t really have a direct translation in English, but it basically means not too much, not too little. Think of Goldilocks finding the just right porridge, chairs and beds – then take that deep into the heart of a nation’s psyche. It’s about fairness and an aversion to anything too ostentatious.

Does that mean average?

Yes. One definition is average, or in the middle. We have a lagom attitude towards our economy, and our stance on gender equality, for example. The Volvo is a classic example – it’s the most lagom car: practical, dependable, not too flashy.

How does this relate to food?

For me, I think Swedes have achieved something in their eating habits, which a lot of other nations struggle with – a balance, or harmony. The Swedish diet is very varied with a healthy mix of whole grains, lean protein, such as fish and game, a focus on vegetables and berries and fermented dairy – all things that have been hailed as part of the healthy Nordic diet.

What about a cinnamon bun?

Swedes also have a really sweet tooth and understand that life has to be lived and enjoyed and food is part of that. So they have fika (a word to describe the act of sitting down with a cup of coffee and something sweet like a cinnamon bun). Or a dessert after a special meal.

Does eating with lagom in mind mean sticking to the classics?

The Swedes do have a rich heritage of classic recipes, however, they have also embraced new ideas and influences. Swedes are early adaptors to trends, so while we have our own traditions that we hold very dear indeed, we also think new things are fun.

Was this what inspired you to write the book?

While you may think of Swedish food as what you find in the IKEA canteen, or very high end Nordic cuisine, that image doesn’t paint the whole picture. When I go home I see that people are really interested in food and in a wide range of flavours. It’s a lot fresher than it is given credit for, and I really wanted to show that off because I’m proud of Swedish food.

As you mentioned IKEA first, can we ask about meatballs? Do they feature in the book?

In my book, there is a section called, OK, let’s talk about meatballs… I’ve got three recipes, but none of them are traditional. There’s a lamb and lentil version with lots of cumin and fennel, but also spicy Pollock dumplings in a Thai red curry noodle soup.

Finally, can you tell us something that will surprise us about Swedish food?

One of my favourite examples of something that is surprisingly Swedish is the taco phenomenon for Fredagsmys (Cosy Friday). This is when you gather together with friends or family, hunker down and watch a film. Normally you’d have some really relaxed, more indulgent food and tacos are definitely the most popular. My recipe is made with venison, grilled guacamole and quick pickled red onions.


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