marrakesh prawns with bulgur

It takes forever to get to summer, but it’s always worth it. It’s time to breathe, take our watches off and just let it all soak in. Summer days stretch long into the night, warm and filled with old friends.

Easy summer dishes come hand in hand with the ingredients that are in season. Tomatoes are ripe, seafood is fresh and cool, crisp white wines pour freely. So here’s a recipe for a simple summer dinner to eat warm or pack up and picnic on the grass, in the sun that keeps our backs warm late into the night.

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hong kong egg tarts

Hong Kong is a playground for the hard working to party harder. And even amongst the never sleeping bright lights of this big city there is some solace to be found. When we weren’t shopping or sipping on cocktails at rooftop bars we were eating, and the food in Hong Kong is truly heaven.

On our first day, in a darkened street in Sheung Wan we found a small pastry baker with steaming egg tarts on display. The pasty was delicate and the custard sweet and glossy. It was a small treat to end a full day of walking from one side of the island to the other.

The Hong Kong egg tart is more delicate in texture than the Macau egg tart, so I’ve used a shortcrust pastry. Also, Hong Kong egg tarts don’t have the bruléed, caramelised tops of the Portuguese tart that it originally derived from, and instead it should be smooth and glossy.

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fruit and nut chocolate truffles

I used to tutor a girl whose mother grew her own tiny little lemons and apricots. She’s the type of woman to imagine her old home new with a white picket fence, so she’d buy the pine and get on her way to realising that fence. 

She’d take these apricots, sun dry them and make these incredible little chocolate truffles with them. She’d serve them to me with a mug of black tea sweetened with a touch of honey. 

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//A recipe for fruit and nut chocolate truffles
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petite madeleines

When I first learned about madeleines I was in a literature class reading Proust. A couple of months later, Michael and I were in Columbus Circle buying Christmas cards and trinkets from the markets. Cinnamon lingered in the air and Christmas was aglow with fairy lights.

A small bakery had set up shop selling pastries and small cakes, and, to my delight, petite madeleines. I bought a pair and two cups of milky tea, and in Columbus Circle we sat, watching teenagers in t-shirts skateboarding. New York was warm in the height of winter, and even the nose-numbing, bitter winds couldn’t dampen it.

//A recipe for petite madeleines
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