“Compassion is the radicalisation of our time.” Dalai Lama
Leon's Recipes for Good
Spicy Eggs was comfort food and was served and it was shared in the Calais Jungle very often.
Whilst eating Spicy Eggs we shared our stories and dreams, our hopes and fears. When you are in a situation stripped away from your labels and without any social pressures you focus on what we have in common, our shared humanity not our differences.
It is a dish which I still cook very often and brings me many memories of the amazing people I have met.
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp Aleppo chilli flakes
1 red onion, finely diced
1 knob of fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely diced
6 vine tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp of olive oil
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
How to Make It
Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and add the fennel, cumin, mustard seeds and the Aleppo chilli flakes. Sauté for a few minutes minutes
Stir in the onion, ginger and garlic and cook until slightly soft. Then, add the red pepper and tomatoes. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
Taste and crack the eggs on top. Simmer gently for 7 minutes until the eggs are cooked. Serve with a bit of olive oil, fresh herbs and some yoghurt
Aioli - Garlic Mayonnaise
Cooking is alchemy and I love how by bringing certain ingredients together we can create something totally different.
I was trained in France and still love all the French techniques.
This is a very refined French recipe.
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups canola oil
pinch piment d'espelette
How to Make It
You can do it by hand, but it's better to use a blender. Poach one egg in boiling water with a bit of white vinegar.
Boil the garlic twice, split in half so it's a little less pungent.
Blend the poached egg, the yolks, garlic and other ingredients together, then slowly add the oil till you get a smooth silky mayonnaise.
Add a table spoon of water to ensure it doesn't split and is nice and silky. Taste and season.
Basic Fish Soup
Food is alchemy. When alchemy truly happens the result is bigger than the sum of its ingredients. In food there are some great flavour combinations which go well together.
Here are a few examples:
When we follow a few simple rules the results will be amazing, as it will be in our own lives. We have to understand the basic laws of nature, when we understand these we can start to apply and play with them.
When I had my restaurant I used to make a delicious basic fish soup, it had only four ingredients. The whole recipe was based on the quality of the ingredients and a basic understanding of cooking and what happens when
you combine ingredients. The skill was to know exactly when to add the next ingredient.
10 finely sliced shallots
1 bottle Nouilly Prat
750ml fish stock
750ml double cream
How to Make It
This whole recipe depends on doing things right and understanding the basics. Life and achieving great things is exactly the same.
Sweat the shallots in a bit of olive oil without colouring until they are soft and cooked. Add the Nouilly Prat and reduce until a thick golden syrup is left. Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Then add the cream, bring to the boil and season.
That’s all there is to it. You can use this recipe as a basic fish soup or reduced with some flavourings as a sauce for fish. Yet the same ingredients done in a different way can be disastrous.
“The stove is the shrine where I convene with my ancestors” Adam Ragusea