Give Me the Recipe or I Will Cut You

A nice, non-contentious post, for a change.

If you read many food blogs, you’ve probably noticed the tremendous amount of wittering that precedes any recipe, if and when they actually get around to posting recipes. And when they’re American they get the fucking things wrong anyway; vegetables should never be measured by volume. Whenever I see one of those posts, I want to reach through the screen and strangle someone. It’s the most middle-class bullshit I’ve ever read1. You know the sort of thing:

Mondays are so stressful! I was already jet-lagged after the transatlantic flight from my
vacation; I was in a Tuscan villa, dining with other food bloggers and recipe book writers
that nobody outside of my tiny circle of elitist linked blogs has ever heard of. Despite
the horror of being tired, I had to take Rupert to his morning freestyle Jazz clarinet
lesson then ice dancing—if he doesn’t master both by the time he’s four I’ll feel like a
failure and take it out on him by replacing all signs of love and affection with icy
detachment—but one of the people I was holidaying with showed me this recipe, and it’s
nut-free, carb-free, fat-free, protein-free, completely breatharian, gives your body a
full detox because everyone knows that the kidneys and liver don’t do that anyway, fits
perfectly with the Jurassic diet—which is the next step from paleo and if you eat
anything else you are literally poisoning yourself—and photosynthesises oxygen from the
light of sanctimony that shines out of the arsehole of everyone who understands my perfect
philosophy as revealed to me by Jesus during a whole-spirit wellness cleanse crystal diet.
It’s is the only way for humanity to truly engage with food, and until you’ve done one you
shouldn’t really be allowed to eat…

I’d rather stick a pack of Mentos up my arse and get a Diet Coke enema than read ten paragraphs of this absolute bollocks. I mean, I don’t wish to engage in hyperbole2, but **saying that everyone who writes this drivel should be burned alive is an insult to fire***.

And then they add the ridiculous tarted-up instagram-filtered pictures of food that’s clearly never going to meet the inside of someone’s stomach. It’s food that’s been laid out in the middle of a garden of leaves and seeds, plastered with every kind of crap under the sun to make it look photogenic, with bits of herb gently fluttering onto a bowl like confetti at a wedding or flour photogenically leaping at the sky at the impact of an egg, all shot in an impossibly-clean kitchen the size of an aircraft hangar. Can youse bastards work a camera with broken fingers? Because that’s what you deserve, you complete and utter wankers.

So here’s the deal. If you want a recipe, I’ll bet my left bollock that you don’t give a fuck about how it took so long to perfect but finally made me all tingly inside, because it finally matched the experience of the first time I ate it, even though that was with my trousers round my ankles and a particularly talented Lithuanian prostitute under the table. The reader cannot wait to avoid the absolute arse-ache of reading how a recipe it matches my personal philosophy about precisely how often pigs should be masturbated to yield the perfect pork chop. If a dish I’ve cooked is good enough to cause a spontaneous orgasm or three3 then yeah, I’ll write about how it does that. But I won’t make you scroll through that to find the recipe. On this blog, “How it feels” and “How to make it” each have their separate posts, with cross-links, because I’m not a monster who thinks my experience is more important than your cooking—and who uses that to implicitly shame anyone who finally reaches the recipe, cooks it, and thinks *Is that it? That was a pile of bland toss.”

I will add pictures to recipes. Unlike every other food blog on the motherfucking planet, these pictures are of the plate right before I start eating. Yeah, the plate or bowl’s going to be a bit messy. Deal with it. What you see is what goes into my stomach. 100%, all the time, no bullshit.

And if I break that rule? Self-immolation is a hell of a way to go, but I promise to marinade myself appropriately so you can all get some excellent long-pig sandwiches. Bring your own bread. But maybe avoid the liver….


  1. Bear in mind I stay away from things like newspapers, in order to avoid murder sprees. 
  2. He lied. 
  3. Just saying, if anyone fancies dinner… 

Salsa con Chorizo

I wanted something to go on eggs with breakfast. This is kinda spicy; I’m on a “fuck subtlety” kick and I want to taste every goddamn flavour. You may want to adjust the spicing up or down depending on your tastes.

I’ve taken to using the very lazy garlic and chillies just so I don’t worry about buying fresh and only using half before they go bad. Shit happens, y’know?

There would be a picture here, but I keep eating it before I can take a shot. I’ll edit one in if ever I have the patience.

Makes 6 servings
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 130g chorizo, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or 4tsp chopped garlic
  • 3tsp dried oregano
  • 2tsp chopped red chillies
  • 2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2x 90g jars chipotle paste or 200g chipotles in adobo, chopped, with sauce
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 15g fresh coriander (half a bunch, chopped)
  • 2tbsp soy sauce

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying-pan or skillet. Fry the chorizo until it’s just crisp and the oil has turned orange from the spices. Remove the chorizo and return the pan to the heat.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in the same oil until soft and translucent but not brown (5-10 mins).
  3. Add the oregano and chopped chillies, stir, and cook off for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes and chipotle, stir, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, and blend into a chunky puree.
  5. Return to the heat. Stir through coriander, soy sauce, and chorizo, season, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Either use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week.

Make it Vegan

Don’t use chorizo. Start by frying the onions and garlic with a heaped teaspoon (or more, depending on your taste) of good-quality smoked paprika.

Non-Vegan Ramen

My previous ramen recipe was vegan. It’s also bloody lovely. But ramen is one of those dishes that varies a lot, and sometimes—especially on a grey day—I crave the flavour of ramen cooked in a meat stock.

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Ramen

  • 1l boiling water
  • 1 pork or beef stock cube
  • 1 tbsp maggi liquid seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 2 scallions, sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 50g (1/2 pack) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 75g (1/4 pack) beansprouts
  • 1 pack instant ramen
  • 125g (1/4 pack) spinach
  • 1/2 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • Chili-garlic sauce, to taste

Method

  1. Stick 500ml of water in a small pan over a high heat to get a rolling boil.
  2. While that’s heating, put the rest of the water in a pan with the stock cube and maggi. Bring to a fast simmer and stir until it’s all dissolved and incorporated.
  3. Stick the beansprouts, mushrooms, and scallion whites into the broth. Stir.
  4. Put the egg into the boiling water, and cook for six minutes.
  5. With 4 minutes to go, add the ramen to the broth. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove the egg and run under cold water.
  7. Decant noodles and broth into a large bowl. Top with spinach, carrot, and scallion greens, leaving space for the egg.
  8. Shell the egg and slice in half. Add it to the bowl, and top with the chili-garlic sauce.

Bokkeumbap

This recipe requires hitting up an Asian supermarket or similar to get the Gochujang and Doenjang, but it is so very worth it. Stir the egg yolk through the rice right as you start eating. If you’re a spice-lover, keep some sambal or chilli-garlic sauce on the table.

Leave out the eggs to make it vegan, and omit the sesame if some of your diners are allergic to nuts/seeds.

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes (15 if using pre-cooked rice)

Ingredients

  • 120g long-grain or basmati rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1tbsp garlic paste)
  • Half a white cabbage, sliced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced, whites and greens separated
  • 150g (half a bag) beansprouts
  • 125g (1 pack) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 1 tbsp Doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Sesame seeds

Optionally

  • Chopped fresh vegetables, 100g each, sliced/batoned (e.g. carrot, red peppers, onions)
  • 200g kimchi, siced
  • 200-250g cooked meat leftovers (e.g. chicken breast, roast pork), chopped

Method

  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions. Or, use left-over cooked rice.
  2. Heat a glug of oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the garlic, cabbage, beansprouts, and mushrooms (and any other veg). Stir-fry until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  3. In the same wok, add another glug of oil and turn the heat to medium. When the oil’s hot, add the rice. Don’t move it around too much, let it crackle and get some colour.
  4. Stir in the gochujang and doenjang, and once the rice is fully coated add the scallion whites (and kimchi and cooked meat). Give it a minute to warm through, then add the cooked vegetables.
  5. In a separate pan, fry the eggs until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny.
  6. Scoop the rice mixture into two bowls. Top each with an egg, and garnish with the scallion greens and sesame seeds.

Get it down ye.

Miso Ramen

This is both vegan (check your ramen to be sure) and fucking lovely. Serves one hungry person.

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 150g silken tofu, drained cut into 3 slices
  • 2tbsp plain flour, well-seasoned with salt & pepper

Ramen

  • 300ml vegetable stock & 300ml boiling water or 600ml veg stock from cube, made at half strength.
  • 1tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated
  • 1 sheet wakame seaweed, cut into 2cm squares
  • 1 pack instant ramen

Optionally

  • 50g Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • Beansprouts
  • Sweetcorn
  • Baby spinach

Method

  1. Stick the flour on a plate, and season well with salt and pepper. Don’t skimp.
  2. Press the tofu between sheets of kitchen paper to extract excess liquid. Coat all sides in the seasoned flour.
  3. Fry over a medium heat for about 3 minutes a side, until golden brown and crunchy.
  4. Stick the stock and the water in a pan, bring to a boil, and mix in the miso paste. Reduce to a fast simmer.
  5. Add the scallion whites, mushrooms (if using), and wakame to the broth, stir, then add the noodles. Continue to simmer for 4 minutes.
  6. Serve in a large bowl. Top with the tofu and scallion greens, and beansprouts/baby spinach/sweetcorn if desired.

Cups Must Die

Let’s start this blog with a lovely, non-controversial topic that’s guaranteed not to annoy anyone at all with its sweet fluffiness. After all, start as you mean to go on, and all that…

Actually, knackers to that. Let’s swear at an entire country.

Dear America: You are doing recipes wrong. Specifically, you are fucking up measurements. For a change I’m not talking about your irrational attachment to an antiquated and hideous system of measurement that no sane person would use given that the metric system is a thing and base-10 is literally the easiest counting method on the planet (except for people from Glenrothes, or Norfolk).

No, this is about your irrational desire to measure non-liquid ingredients by volume.

It’s… not acceptable, but understandable why you might mistake this for a suitable practice when using fine powders or crystals, where a change in particle alignment will not result in a great change in quantity at the amounts used in most home cooking1. Once you get larger than things like sugar, however, the practice is idiotic.

I have read American recipes—actually in cookbooks, not just by morons on the internet—that call for diced peppers, sliced mushrooms, etc to be measured in cups. Which, for readers who don’t live in a backwards hellhole, is a unit of volume. Yes, even though the fluid ounce and the pint are both also used for volume in the USA (despite their pints being fucking tiny, presumably to charge more for shit-awful beer).

Quite apart making sure everybody in sane locations has to sit around with a conversion chart to find out what actual volume your recipes are dribbling on about, no two cups of chopped vegetables will ever yield the same amount. The particles are too big.

If you’re unable to fathom this basic principle of geometry, might I suggest purchasing a number of wooden blocks. As they are normally sold to parents for the enjoyment of small children, you may find the bright primary colours soothing as I explain something that should be so fucking intuitive that I don’t need to teach it to a goddamn chimp. The blocks won’t just distract you from me calling you every name under the sun, they are a vital teaching aide.

Take eight blocks. Make them into a cube, two blocks on a side. Measure that cube. Now, turn them so they’re arranged in a diamond pattern, touching at the edges only. Measure the resulting cube. Now, balance them carefully (get someone from a grown-up country to help) so that each block only touches the others at the corners. Measure the resulting cube.

See how the measurements are all different? Yet they all contain the same number of blocks. So if you always want eight blocks, you can’t guarantee any of the overall measurements will get you eight blocks, because you can’t predict how they will stack.

And that’s why cups are a hideous measurement for dry ingredients. Just fucking stop, okay?


  1. Though if you bake using anything other than strict weights you are an idiot who deserves the ridiculously variable results. Though given America’s attachment to awful sugary-sweet bread you may not even notice. 

Musings of a Greedy Sod

Some people, on seeing the title ‘Little Pleasance Kitchen’, may think this is going to be another twee food blog.

Bollocks to that.

It’s little because my kitchen’s tiny.

It’s pleasance because that’s where I live

It’s kitchen because… seriously, you do the English.

So yeah. I’m Stew, I like food, both making it and shovelling it into my face. I do not like the twee waffle that comes with almost every other fucking food blog on the Internet. Expect good food, decent recipes, and a fair bit of sweary language.

You’re welcome.