Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Review - Sojo

'The Interpretation of Dreams'. That was the subject title of the email from the friend who emailed me the photo. The body read 'you were very rude to me in a dream last night.' Later that week, I was rude to him in person. After he'd made me a cheese sandwich and fed me lots of water to sober me up. Terrible behaviour on my part. Anyway, he was emailing me the photo from our lunch at Sojo earlier in the week. And the dream probably wasn't so much a prediction of rudeness later in the week but picking up on my less-than-100% mood at that lunch. I don't have much of a sense of humour when I'm tired and during this lunch, I was tired then a bad-taste joke was told which I couldn't find funny which put me in a bad mood. Then I was mocked (as I always am) for wanting to take a photo of the food when it came. I usually take it in my stride. However, my bad mood meant that I did NOT take it well. Further mocking ensued when I asked for the food to be wrapped up to take away (I ate barely half of it, I don't think that's unreasonable...) which was followed by me denying that I was annoyed. But I was. But it's never nice to admit you're cranky!
The food was also disappointing. But maybe that was my bad mood colouring my palate? I've been to Sojo before and loved the food. But this time, it just didn't have the same wow-factor. My mouth was not popping and bursting with heat. Indeed, all I could pick up was the headiness of the rice-wine overpowering everything else on my Szechuan pork. Perhaps I ordered badly? Last time I went, we had spicy beef and aubergine, yellowbean chicken and green beans with minced pork. I can't commend it all highly enough. My two friends who ordered the spicy beef and aubergine and yellowbean chicken both seemed happier with their food though. I'm going to put it down to poor ordering. And maybe as a sign that it's usually better at dinner? More research needed. It wasn't so bad that I'm hesitant about going again.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Recipe - Salmon 'Teriyaki' Noodles

A friend shared with me some cruel break-up advice she was once given: 'buy him an ice cream'. The logic behind it, if I remember correctly, is that it will either cheer them up or give them something to cry into. Ever since I was told that story, every time I think of someone crying, they're always doing it into some sort of food. So, on a day when I was a little down and decided to make myself a stir fry for dinner one (I felt like milking it) I thought about crying into my noodles. This image is even more pathetic than the one with ice cream. Anyway, as I sat there watching Brick Lane, blinking back tears whilst eating out of a tupperware box, I thought about starting a 'Depressing Eats' series. Not because I was feeling sorry for myself (although I really was) but because I was thinking that the stir fry was surprisingly tasty and I'd like to write about it. So here we go.

Salmon 'Teriyaki' Noodles
1 large green chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped with whites and green parts separated
1 yellow pepper, chopped

2 skinless, boneless salmon fillets
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
black pepper

2 portions of cooked noodles
soy sauce to taste

Drizzle the salmon fillets with lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, wine and black pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 220.
Heat some frying oil in a wok. Once very hot, add garlic chilli and whites of spring onion. After a minute, add the peppers and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the noodles and green parts of spring onion and continue stir frying.
Remove the salmon from the oven and add both the fish and the 'sauce' to the wok, stir frying to flake.
Add a dash more soy sauce.
Unfortunately, I'm not miserable frequently enough to make 'Depressing Eats' a fully fledged series which is a real shame because I think it's an excellent idea.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The best thing I ever cooked - Cassoulet

The first time I cooked this, it was the best thing I ever cooked. It was cooked for a 'dinner party' which was the result of an in-joke relating to being 'charmed' by an Articulate clue administered through the medium of song. Of course, I later took the joke far too far and got egg on my face (as is my way) followed by an uncomfortable atmosphere in the house I was living in for a couple of weeks. Now I'm not really in contact with any of the dinner party guests except (interestingly) the one I fell out with for a little while. The second time I cooked cassoulet was about a week ago and it wasn't as good. But I'm still friends with all the people who came to eat it so I suppose 'it's all swings and roundabouts'.
Cassoulet
4 Toulouse sausages, cut into chunks
200g streaky bacon, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 small onions, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 x400g can haricot beans
1 x400g can plum tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
250ml white wine
Tinned confit duck - I used one with 4 duck legs
About half of the duck fat that the confit duck was encased in
Parsley, finely chopped
3 slices bread, made into breadcrumbs

Fry the bacon in a large pan until the fat melts and it starts to crisp.
Add the sausages and brown all over.
Add the onions, carrot and garlic, thyme and bay.
Once the vegetables are soft, add the haricot beans and plum tomatoes.
Add the white wine and confit duck and the duck fat.
Season with salt and pepper and make sure everything is well mixed.
Mix the parsley and breadcrumbs and top the cassoulet with the parsley-breadcrumbs.
Place in an oven preheated to 150 Celsius for an hour and a half.

I served this with mashed potatoes (with a dollop of duck fat instead of butter) and kale (fried in duck fat, naturally.)
The cassoulet was supposed to feed 4 to 6 people. It fed 5 people for dinner that night with mash and kale. And then me for lunch the next day. And then my friend for dinner the next evening. And then me as a drunken snack later that night.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Review - Al Andalus

It's ironic (no, it really isn't) that I talked about how much I love my trusty old phone only a few posts ago since it broke a few days later. Well, I thought it broke. It broke for a day. Then it was fine. Then it broke again. The incident happened during my mulled wine party. There were thirteen (ooh) bottles of wine knocking around from which I drank an unspecified amount. I don't really know what happened to take my phone to the permanent 'push to talk' screen of death but I imagine it had something to do with the mulled wine splashing all over my room when people started throwing plastic balls at a moving target: me, carrying a very large saucepan of mulled wine. The next morning I should've been crying over my broken phone, clearing up claret-stained balls and worrying about what to do with the sick in my bin (pleasantly, not my own). But all this had to wait because I was due at my friend's 21st birthday family meal at Al Andalus on Little Clarendon Street in Oxford.
I thought I was going to pass out. Thankfully, my friend's mother had provided thoughtful little party bags which included chocolate coins that I gobbled down to avoid causing a scene. Then came the bread. The bread was fresh and warm and came with a zingy tomato salsa dip. Exactly what I needed in my sorry state. I would've been happy had they brought nothing but that glorious dip but out came the cheese and meat. Peppery and textured with little sides of fresh leaves inviting you to make a little sandwich. The other tapas disappeared too quickly for me to get a picture. Patatas bravas were gloriously crisp yet perfectly soft inside. The aioli went ignored by me since the heat and smokiness of the tomato sauce had my complete attention. The same garlicky sauce came with the spanish omelette and I think the spanish omelette provided a better accompaniment for it than the potatoes. It was almost too dry but the sweet onions and aioli saved it. Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same for the cheese balls and spinach balls. The cheese balls were just a tad too heavy and rich. At the time when they were brought out, I was flagging and full. To counter the stodge of the cheese, I tried a spinach ball. Bizarre. It would've been more apt to call it a raisin ball rather than a spinach ball since they were barely savoury. This one dish was the only disappointment though. Other tapas not pictured here include garlic buttery mushrooms and garlicky chilli prawns. Both very simple but so good, indeed, the flavour of the main ingredient was allowed to shine. Fabulous.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Recipe - Iranian Stuffed Aubergines with Yellow Rice

The worst thing about cooking dinner for people is who to ask. Especially when you're not doing it for an occasion but really because cooking for several is easier and nicer than it is for one person. It makes it really obvious where you draw social lines in your head since you ask groups which fit together 'logically' for whatever reasons. It can start seeming like a non-invite can seem like a personal slight which is only the correct interpretation very, very rarely. Well, maybe not that rarely: a corollary of spending less time with someone will always be eating with them less. My reasons are mainly based upon food preferences I know people to have. Anyway, two friends were bitching about the fact that I never ask them to dinner anymore. This wasn't because I hate them and was slowly cutting them out but because they're vegetarians and my little experiments often involve meat. So, a vegetarian dish was cooked based loosely on this recipe. This recipe serves 4. As always, spices were all added approximately but I imagine it was about as much as the quantities I've given.
Persian Stuffed Aubergines
2 medium aubergines
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
garlic cloves, chopped

1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric


1 green pepper, diced finely
60 ml orange juice


1 can cooked chickpeas
100g(ish) dates, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped


135g roasted, salted cashews



1 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
                       
Half the aubergine. 
Sprinkle with salt and a little olive oil and roast for 35 minutes - until the insides can be scooped out easily.
Fry the onion for a minute in olive oil.
Add the garlic and chilli.

After a couple of minutes, add the spices and fry for another minute.


Add the green pepper and orange juice and cook until the pepper is softened.
Mix the chickpeas, dates and cherry tomatoes in a bowl.
Add to the onion mix. Add the aubergine insides to the onion mix.
Season with salt.

Add the cashews to the onion mix.
Season with lots of black pepper and lemon juice then stir in some fresh coriander.

Fill the hollowed aubergines with the mixture and bake for a further 15 minutes.




Yellow Rice
250g rice

250g lentils

1 heaped tbsp turmeric

Enough water to cover

Fresh coriander




Mix rice, lentils and turmeric in a saucepan.
Add water.

Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until the rice and lentils are cooked.

Stir through the fresh coriander.
This dish is called 'khichuri' in Bangladesh and I realised that this is where the English kedgeree comes from. I've never seen 'khichuri' with any kind of fish in it in Bangladesh though - usually it's plain and sometimes it has chunks of curried lamb in it. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Recipe - Baked Potatoes and Mulled Wine

Usually on bonfire night, my college kindly puts on an evening of fireworks with a bonfire and mulled wine. This year due to the the organiser had a little spat and refused to put it on. A real shame since bonfire night actually fell on a Saturday. Anyway, since there was no mulled wine and fireworks, I thought I would host 'mulled wine and a view of a wall' in my room (my room looks out onto a wall). This was a safe option: I saw some other people who had decided to watch the fireworks from the roof of my building by climbing up there. An excellent idea. Well, it was until the aforementioned non-organiser of the fireworks caught them climbing back into the building with a very disappointed look upon his face. I saw this because you climb out onto the roof from the kitchen and I was in there making the Guardian's 'perfect baked potato'. The recipe that I used for the wine was based on the Guardian's 'perfect mulled wine' too. I am very annoyed that Facebook can now record what you've been reading on online newspapers. I rarely look far past the life and style pages on the Guardian.
Baked potatoes and mulled wine
2 large baking potatoes
Salt
Butter

Half an onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tin of butter beans, drained of the liquid
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 glass of red wine

Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Whilst still wet, sprinkle them all over with an even coating of salt. Put in the oven at 220 for 1h10mins.
Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a little butter. Once starting to colour, add the butter beans and tomato puree. Add the wine and season with lots of salt and pepper and two teaspoons of sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, adding a little more liquid if necessary.

3 bottles of red wine
250g caster sugar
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks, broke in half
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 orange, peeled and juiced
1 orange, studded with 10 cloves
5 cardamom pods

Pour the sugar, orange juice, orange peel, spices and clove-studded orange in a large saucepan. Dissolve the sugar then add enough red wine to cover (this was about half a bottle) and keep on the heat until it has turned into a syrup.
Add the remaining wine and heat through, ensuring it does not boil away.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Recipe - Pumpkin Lasagne

I had a conversation/argument with my friend the other day as I was making dahl. He just couldn't fathom why I would put so much time and effort (except not really that much effort) into cooking for so little reward. I tried to explain that I actually enjoy the process so the 'effort' is its own reward but I was still met with a blank face of no-comprehension. It just puts me in a really good mood and also passes the time. Good moods and time are essential ingredients (ha ha ha) for patching up a fight. Which brings me to the other strand of this story: a friend I'd had a minor falling out with earlier in the week was visiting. I was offended that they didn't invite me to their graduation and instead invited someone (who is much less close to them) who never once visited them at university. Indeed, the one time they had planned to, they 'accidentally' gambled the train fare money betting on a horse which was 'sure to win'. I was so fucked off that I was close to posting on here. Also this is the point where I pray that Graduate only pretends to read this and Gambler never stumbles upon it. We've had a tempestuous relationship and many cunning devices have been dreamt up to make us get past a fight. The most enjoyable has been playing a variation on Articulate with just the two of us. But I'd left my Articulate elsewhere so that wasn't an option.  So instead, we cooked lasagne in a pumpkin! Hurrah.

I adapted this recipe. Also I laughed for a long time at the pun in the blog title.

Pumpkin Lasagne (a tribute to Halloween)
1 large pumpkin
Nutmeg
Cayenne pepper
Cinnamon

20g butter
Half a large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
10 button mushrooms, quartered
A small bunch of thyme (probably about 6 sprigs)
A glass of white wine

25g butter
25g flour
150ml whole milk

10 lasagne sheets, pre-cooked
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 courgette, thinly sliced

Cut the top off the pumpkin. Hollow out the seeds. Sprinkle the insides with a light coating of nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Stick in a hot oven (220) for about 50 minutes or until the flesh if soft and easily scooped out. Once done, scoop out the flesh (leaving enough for the pumpkin walls not to collapse)
Meanwhile, melt 20g of butter in a frying pan.
Add the onions, fry for a minute. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine and thyme and bring to a slow simmer until mushrooms are soft.
Take off the heat. Add pumpkin flesh to the mushroom mixture and season well with salt and pepper.

In another frying pan, melt the 25g of butter.
Once melted, add the flour and stir to combine quickly.
On a low heat, add the milk slowly, stirring/whisking continuously until you have a smooth sauce. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cook the lasagne sheets for 10 minutes in salted boiling water. This was hell since we only remembered to put a little oil in the water when it was too late.

Assemble the lasagne: lasagne sheet - white sauce - cheese - courgette - pumpkin/mushroom mixture until the pumpkin is full. On the last layer, add another lasagne sheet, then some white sauce and cheese on top.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

This recipe fed two for dinner. The next day for lunch, we scooped out the remaining pumpkin lasagne and chopped the lasagne sheets into realllly fat tagliatelle. Then we boiled a little more pasta, fried another half onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a handful of cherry tomatoes then combined the tomato mixture, pasta, leftover lasagne and a dollop of pesto. This was (I think) more delicious than the original lasagne.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Review - Chiang Mai

I might hate the cinema (I don't really, I like it sometimes but I have to be in a very particular mood for it to enjoy it properly. Also it's not worth £7.) but I go to the theatre a lot. This is mainly because I have a friend who's very into her actressing and we religiously go to every play she's in. Partly out of duty but mostly because they tend to be very good. We are, as another friend astutely pointed out in the subject line of an email, her fan club. This isn't that weird since all we're really doing is being supportive, good friends who also happen to like nice evenings out. But what is weird is when you start recognising other people from the acting 'scene' around almost as if they're celebrities. It really is like they're celebrities: having seen them in so many plays and heard about what they're like to work you, you feel that you almost 'know' them. So far, so harmless. When it does get awk though is when you're playing pub golf and feel that it's appropriate to interrupt a private conversation of two of these people to say 'Hey, I know you! you're X! You've been in these plays!' Maybe one day I'll become a super-prestigious theatre reviewer (unlikely), then they'll be pleased.

Anyway, before the 7th meeting of fan club, we decided to go for dinner at a thai place on Oxford's High Street. This place is tricksy - there are two places next too each other, one which is supposed to be good and one which is allegedly shit. You just have to gamble at which one is which. Thankfully, this game is set up so that you can only be wrong once (providing you don't have an awful memory) and this was the second time I went. Last time I went to the bad one and it was truly shocking. Anyway, that meant that this time we would definitely enjoy a good meal.

We were not disappointed. This is the best Thai food I've ever eaten. It even beat Thai Corner Cafe. I chose venison jungle curry because I thought I might not easily find venison cooked with Thai flavours in another restaurant. All I can think of to describe it is John Torrode's description of perfect Thai food on Masterchef: 'you have to balance four flavours: sweet, sour, spicy and hot.' And that they did. It was bursting with flavour. It had a massive chilli kick which made my eyes water but the other flavours were vibrant enough to match it. I think I use the word vibrant too much to describe food - probably all the other times I used it it was inaccurate because I don't know if anything less than this dish could be properly described as vibrant. The vegetables were still crunchy and fresh and some I barely recognised because I'm so unaccustomed to them in a fresh form. The venison was soft and just cooked and not at all overpowered by the rest of the dish.

My friend chose a red curry which came with tofu, all array of vegetables, lychees and pineapple. What she had was my second choice of order. The lychees and pineapple really made this dish, adding a fruity sweetness which perfectly offset the heat of the red sauce. Despite being cooked, the lychees retained that lovely quality where when you bite into them all their juice squirts out. Except the juice had taken on the flavours of the curry. All verrrry good. Even down to the coconut rice and vegetable rice. This meal has given me faith in a new theory. Places in Oxford which are decorated in this 'looking old with lots of timber and stuff but also including lots of things from the culture' way are the best places to eat. So far only Chiang Mai Kitchen and Shanghai 30s confirm this but I will find further proof.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Review - Edamame

I was considering getting an iPhone again the other day. This is because my phone does this new fun thing where I'll be composing (yes, it is an art form) a text and all of a sudden, it'll freeze and turn off. So many witty quips lost. But I've decided to stick to my crappy Nokia. I think if I were to get an iPhone, I might eventually come to this conclusion. So I may as well save myself the expense. This particular Nokia is actually one of my more advanced phones: it has a camera and everything. Before, I had this bad boy:

On this I managed to get the highest Snake score I have ever seen on any phone ever. It was 10 times larger than the next highest I knew of which was in turn a lot higher than the next highest. I'm so cool. I can't remember what happened to this phone but I can make up some bullshit story about how me and my ex-boyfriend had the same phone in different colours and swapped phone backs but then he went to university and got a Blackberry and we broke up. Poetic. It was time to move on.
This came next. I think it was just a slightly newer and smaller basic phone. I got very excited when I first got it because it reminded me of my favourite phone in all of the world ever:
I was 14, I was in love and this phone had the coolest version of Snake EVER. Oh, and it had number blocking! I can't even remember what happened to this phone but it is not longer with us. Anyway, my excitement was misplaced, the grey phone was NOT the same. And it did this fun thing where it stopped sending texts without telling me. Once I realised that I wasn't just being blanked by everyone ever all the time, it had to go. It has now become the phone which gets used if anyone breaks their phone. During one of these stints, my friend dropped it down the toilet. Gross. This is the phone I currently use:
It's definitely one of the more advanced phones I've had. I only have it because my brother got a smartphone. It doesn't look as pretty as in the picture though: the screen is cracked in three places and the red music controls were at some point ripped off. But it's still pretty snazzy - CAMERA. But you must remember that while this phone has a camera, it is not a camera phone. That's why the photos in this entry will be worse than usual. I have used it to take photos only 5 times - when there was something that really 'needed' capturing but I'd left my (not particularly good) camera at home. When I found myself without a camera at Edamame, I felt that this was one of those times. I got to Edamame not-infrequently - it's a 5 minute walk away and the food is delicious, after all. However, since going there usually occurs on the spur of the moment, I'm unlikely to have my camera with me. So I just went with it.
First impressions are everything and being given a free, lightly flavoured tea ensures that you'll make one. It helps the decision making too. I've eaten everything on the menu from Edamame which is a rare treat. It meant I could go for what I reallllly really wanted instead of feeling compelled to order interestingly. Pork curry won.
Unfortunately, this is probably the worst meal I've ever eaten at Edamame. But it was still really good. The sauce remains the favourite Japanese curry sauce I've tasted, a lovely light gold with delicious pockets where the carrots and the flavour-drenched potatoes are. Unfortunately, the pork let it down this time. It was a little overcooked and the coating was too bready and heavy. This has never happened before. But it was very minor and probably wouldn't even have noticed had I not been accustomed to flawless food from here. Flawless even down to the rice and miso soup. I didn't like miso soup until I tried Edamame's. It's just so savoury. There's no other way of describing it. And the rice is sticky and infused with a subtle flavour to stop it being bland while at the same time retaining its purity. My fellow diners went for yakisoba. All plates were left as if they had never had food on them. It's interesting that I chose to write a post mainly about my various phones given what happened subsequently.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Recipe - Pot Roasted Chicken

Wordplay is the name of 'rap battle' night at the Cellar in Oxford. I don't know if you've ever been to a rap battle but you should DEFINITELY go to one if you haven't. I ended up at one by accident last week. Despite being a lyrical master, I did not participate. But the night did make me reassess how talented rappers who have 'made it' are. It acutely demonstrated that even being quite good at rapping did NOT equal good music. Anyway, pre-rap battle dinner was a basque style pot roasted chicken. It was the best thing I've cooked so far this term which is good because otherwise my dinner guest would have had to smile politely at my strange company (I thought I was behaving oddly and then kept referencing the fact I thought this which is weird in itself) with nothing else good to focus on. So this is the recipe! It's one of Angela Hartnett's. I first saw a similar recipe it on Saturday Kitchen but then found this recipe which I thought sounded nicer so I adapted it. 

Pot roasted chicken with chorizo
5 chicken legs
Olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 red peppers, diced
2 bay leaves
2 sprig rosemary
2 large glasses white wine
150g (3½oz) chorizo
Lots of chopped parsley
Season the chicken joints. Heat the olive oil and brown the chicken. Set aside.
Add the chorizo, onion, garlic, peppers, bay and rosemary to the pan and sauté gently for 5 minutes until softened.
Return the chicken to the pan, deglaze with the wine and simmer gently until cooked through – around 30 minutes.
Once cooked, stir in the parsley. Serve with nice bread.I am kicking myself for not having eaten more
bread dipped in the sauce. It was glossy and rich and mellow and soothing and yes. The regret was particularly potent when I came home after a night of hardcore rap-appreciation and several drinks.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Recipe - Swordfish Tagine

A bad workman must never blame his tools. But my camera is shockingly bad. It does fine for taking photos of people getting drunk and sitting in the sun (I won't lie- that's mainly what I use it for) but nice, close-up shots of food? No. A new friend I made who lives down my corridor has a sweeeeet camera and kindly took some photos of the food when he came to dinner. It was a good one for him to photograph - full of deep yellows and purples and reds.
Dinner: swordfish tagine. Originally moroccan fish tagine which was intended to be made with either mackerel, gunard or monkfish. The monkfish I could only find in too large quantities, gunard is scarce at the moment according to the fishmonger and this photo from the Telegraph recipe for mackerel tagine put me off because it made me think of mermaids having their tails cut off. Weird.
Anyway, I ended up using swordfish and it worked gloriously. 

I broadly followed this BBC Food recipe but made some changes.

Swordfish Tagine


Olive oil
Groundnut oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red chillis
1 green chilli
1 thumb sized piece ginger, finely chopped
12 green olives, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
Juice of two lemons
1 large glass wine
200ml fish stock (made with 1 Knorr stock cube and around that much water)
1 tsp turmeric
100g cherry tomatoes
500g swordfish, skinned, boned and cut into chunks
Salt & pepper

Please note that the spice quantities are estimates: I tend to just sprinkle it in straight from the jar. But that should be an OK estimate (assuming the tsp is heaped). ALSO if I made it again I would only use the juice of 1 lemon and I would use 200g of cherry tomatoes.

Fry the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger gently in groundnut or some other flavourless oil. 
When softened and aromatic, add the cumin, cinnamon and chopped olives.
Fry for a minute until the smell of the spices really starts to come out. 
Add the lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil and cook for a minute.
Add the wine and fish stock. 
Stir in the turmeric as you bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Let simmer for between 5 - 10 minutes.
Add the swordfish and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes, season everything well with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. 

250g cous cous
Enough stock to cover the cous cous (I made veg stock using a Knorr stock cube)
Lots of finely chopped coriander
1 green pepper, finely chopped

Put the cous cous and pepper together in a bowl. Add the veg stock, cover with a tea towel and leave for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, check that it is fluffy and cous-cous like and stir in the coriander and a little salt.

Now compare this bad boy with the ones clearly from my crappy camera: