Apathy

You’ve wandered into this Best Pizza and Kebab Palace

apparently by accident

and now you’re surrounded

by a cackle of lads

throwing up casual bigotry in the air

as if it where confetti

made of all the ripped-up pages

of the  books they’d never read

 

So you sit down heavy

as the make-up of the girl sat in front of you

who appears to have caked over her sadness

with enough foundation to support a city with

but that city’s Atlantas – no more than a sinking myth

 

And you notice she’s perfumed as heavy as a foxglove

as if to try and ward off

the unwanted attention

of the type of men she’s spent a lifetime escaping

and failing

as they always flock back to her

 

like this one

but he’s no humming bird

more a one-tonne boiled ham

stuffed into a tight Primark jumper

who hovers too close over her

chirping out nasty compliments, like:

‘nice tits love’

reaking of the same aftershave

of overconfidence, fosters and threat

as his old man did

 

And yet

like any good Samaritan

you do nothing

just sit there

look ever-more intently at your meal

become increasingly suspicious of the species of the chicken wings you’re eating

as they where that cheap

 

But then you thinks it’s fitting

as everyone in here is just poultry dressed as a peacock

so say you’re free-range

when you’re battery fed

all your hand-me-down opinions

the odd paradoxes in your behaviour

the incongruity between your morals and what you do

 

You know you’re about as free in your actions

as the swallow nested on that dick-heads neck

who’s still continuing to p-p-peck at her discomfort

egged on by that pack of boys

as she sits there stunned

 

And you

my friend

continue to do nothing

as this is the place where apathy has won

Fair-trade

Have you noticed those faces

upholstered in the leather

of too many a Spanish summer

 

Their cheeks and noses a cracked

purple-red road map

to every vineyard in France

 

Angry flat caps

sat in big-bullying cars

shouting out the corner of their immaculately kept gardens

to stir up the pub chorus

of the young and disenfranchised

with a copy of their Daily Telegraph

 

Conductors of the

late night rawkus

10 pint fighter

too fat to not topple over in high heels

wankered on half a weeks minimum wage

 

Slurred frustrations

taken out on takeaway accents

too thick to understand

that salt and spices are both ways

of masking the taste of shit meat

 

‘See, where’e all the same boat here’

 

croons he

who hiding behind Guardian

delivers diatribe kindly

from astride his

jam-jar of flat white IPA

 

Chooses with a considered irony

to piss away his protests to porcelain

by scrawling pithy paraphrases

of someone obscure

to a Shorditch toilette

where activism is now no more than

an aesthetic

 

Bumps Ket off keys

to a house worth the GDP of

whichever small country’s problems it is

he has resolved

from the comfort of an armchair spliff

and fair-trade cup of coffee

 

Like there’s some guarantee

that blood is hasn’t been spilt over either

 

 

 

Breakfast tings

Breakfast tings

Here are a few easy and tasty idea for your breakfast.

I thought you might want to have the recipe for Lebneh, as it’s a perfect addition to some of these breakfast and that extra source of protein. If not, you can always just mix up some Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and few herbs when you’re doing your prep of a Sunday. It’ll last the week. – https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/greek-yogurt-labneh-51134560

Garnish is extra fresh flavour. Go the extra mile, it makes all the difference.

Some I’ll give you some options for things that may take more time n- you can either do them of a weekend, or ignore them. See how it goes.

 

Shakshuka:

Ingredients:

  • Mix taken from tagine (see tagine recipe)
  • Eggs
  • Za’tar
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate
  • Lebneh/yogurt mix

 

  1. Heat sauce on high heat for 2 mins, stirring.
  2. Crack in as many eggs as you like. More eggs = more time.
  3. Place in bowl or on plate, scoop on Lebneh or yog mix, sprinkle wit above garnishes.

 

Spiced beet rosti/crisps, wilted spinach and poached (or fried) egg.

Ingredients:

  • l large Beetroot – fresh, peeled. Grated in food processor, by hand. If can’t be arsed, just cut finely into crisp-type things
  • l large carrot Carrots – fresh, peeled. Grated in food processor, by hand. If can’t be arsed, just cut fineley into crisp-type things
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 large handfuls of Spinach
  • 50g Butter
  • scoop of Lebneh/yog mix
  • desert spoon of Cumin seeds
  • Teaspoon of Fennel seeds
  • Teaspoon of turmeric
  •  slat and pepper
  • Parsley
  • Pomegranate
  • Lebneh/yogurt mix

 

  1. Either grate beet and carrot in food processor, by hand or slice. If grated, strain as much liquid by hand or through kitchen paper. After doing so, mix with spices in a bowl and season. form into patties. If sliced, don’t.
  2. Heat 30g of butter in pan. When melted, put in patties. If just cut, put them in with the above mentioned spices. At same time heat water in pan to poach eggs.
  3. Heat oven to 100c
  4. When veg browned off, after about 3-4 mins put in oven to hold. Start to poach/fry eggs.
  5. Keep residue from cooking veg. Add in rest of butter and melt. Throw in spinach and season. Mix around and wilt
  6. Serve with garnish and scoop of lebneh.

 

Omelette enchilada

Ingredients:

  • Chorizo (or tablespoon of smoked paprika, if wanting to be veggie). Chopped.
  • Spinach
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 red chilli chopped.
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped.
  • 1 bottle of pasata
  • Bunch of coriander. Chopped, keep stalks.
  • 1 can/packet of pre-cooked black beans (best), or pinto, or black-eye, or kidney.
  • Cheese. Preferably Manchago, but cheddar or other hard cheese would do. Grated. As much as you fancy.
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper.

 

  1. Whisk eggs together, season and put to one side. Turn on grill nice and high.
  2. Fry off chorizo, onions, chilli (keep some for garnish), garlic, stalks, beans. Add a 2 tablespoons of pasata. Cook for 5 mins. Season and add lime juice + half the chopped coriander. Put to one side.
  3. Make omelette. When flat, add above mixture and fold over to form half moon. Cover in rest of pasata and add cheese to the top. Put under grill for 1/2 mins.
  4. Garnish with coriander and chilli.

Beef, chicken, lamb or aubergine tagine, with shakshuka variant

Beef, lamb or aubergine tagine, with shakshuka variant

 

This includes a way take out enough sauce to make a shakshuka with. All you need do is take the sauce of in the early stages and then put it in a pan and poach some eggs in it… Then you get you’re brekky in under 10 mins as it’s basically the amount of time it takes to cook ya eggs.

You can literally use this sauce with any meat and it’s banging with aubergine. It’s all about the low and slow… if you can. leave it all day and do your portioning in the evening.

For optimum flavour, try and get your meat with some fat on it. Use chicken thighs… Unless you want to be healthier, but if you’re using chicken breast use super gentle heat or it will dry out… With the Aubergine char it on your gas hob before cutting it up. Gives the tagine a richer flavor.

Garnish ain’t just to make things look pretty, it gives things so much more flavour and freshness. Especially with this stuff. Prep it or the week, or some each night when you eat it for dins, it should last a few days. It will make the difference.

To safe time, if you have a food processor, use it to do all your shopping. Especially the base – garlic, chilli, ginger, onions, coriander, mint and parsley stalks.

 

I like this with fresh ginger, but it’s not that authentic, so you can omit if it’s not to your taste.

 

You can always bulk this out with chick peas… But I know you’re not the biggest fan.

 

For your greens, I’ just steam some broccoli, wilt some spinach with some butter and seasoning and have it along side… Though you could wilt in the spinach into the Tagine.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.6kg of diced beef, lamb or boneless chicken or breast. 100g per person for 14, taking into account fatty meat.
  • variant 1.5 kg of aubergine – Charred and cut  into large chunks.
  • 2 red, 2 orange/yellow, 2 green peppers. Chopped roughly into large chunks. add another 1 of each pepper if doing Shakshuka  
  • 4 red onions, diced in food p or chopped in as easy a way as possible. Save time. Add another onion if doing Shakshuka  
  • 1 head of garlic diced in food p or chopped in as easy a way as possible. Add 4 more cloves if doing Shakshuka  
  • 250g of fresh ginger. diced in food p or chopped in as easy a way as possible. Add 50g more ginger if doing Shakshuka   
  • 2 red and 2 green chilli. diced in food p or chopped in as easy a way as possible. Add another of each chilli if doing Shakshuka  
  • 500/600g of chopped tomatoes (depending on tin size). Add another 300g if doing Shakshuka.
  • 1 tube of tomato puree.
  • 1 bunch of coriander. Chopped, keep stems and put to one side.
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley. Chopped, keep stems and put to one side.
  • 1 bunch of mint. Chopped, keep stems and put to one side.
  • 2 tablespoon of cumin seeds (ground will do but not as good)
  • 2 tablespoons of tumeric + pinch for meat.
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander + pinch for meat.
  • 3 pieces of cinnamon or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon + pinch for meat.
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds + pinch for meat.
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika + pinch for meat.
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, or just get a few packets of seeds (to garnish)
  • Tahinni (to garnish)
  • 300g of dried apricots, chopped.
  • 300g of dated, chopped (get these pre-chopped and de-stoned if possible)
  • Oil (use whatever you want with this) + 150 g of butter of ghie if doing aubergine.
  • Seasoning – salt and pepper.
  • 100ml of stock, to suit whichever meat/veg you are using.

 

For meat and aubergine:

  1. Heat enough oil/and butter if aubergine to coat bottom of deep saucepan in 1/2mm.
  2. Put in meat/aubergine. Season. Add a good pinch of all the above spices. Add half the tomato puree. Add apricots and dates. Add the stalks of mint, coriander and parsley.
  3. Brown off and put to one side.

 

For sauce:

  1. Heat enough oil to coat bottom of pan in 1/2mm.
  2. Add the bay leaves, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Cook until the aroma is strong
  3. Add chopped garlic, chilli, ginger, onion. Cook for 5 mins on medium heat – remember to add additional ingredients if doing sauce for Shakshuka
  4. Add peppers and smoked paprika. Cook for 10 mins. Season well at this point.
  5. Add Chopped tomato and half of the tomato puree. Simmer for 10 mins.
  6. If you are doing the sauce for Shakshuka, this is the point you take it out. Remove 1/5 of sauce and put to one side. Make sure you get all the goodies from the bottom!
  7. Now add sauce to meat/aubergine. Add turmeric and cinnamon. Put to simmer or put in oven at 100-120c (depending on oven and how long you’re going to leave it for) for at least 2 hours, though the longer the better.
  8. 10 mins before service, add the chopped hers and leave to sit. Keep a bit of each of them to garnish with
  9.  To serve – sprinkle herbs, pomegranate and a drizzle of tahini 

 

Somewhere
benjohnwilson@hotmail.co.uk
+447902691253

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