Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spiced apple, brie and rocket salad

This recipe was adapted from a book called Christmas - simple and delicious easy-to-make recipes (now only apparently available through It's a great little book if you can find it!

500 ml/8 fl oz red wine
100g/3.5 oz sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
4 large apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
150g/5.5 oz rocket leaves
150g/5.5 oz Brie, cubed
salt and pepper

(for dressing)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
125 ml/4 fl oz extra-virgin olive-oil
1 tbsp honey

Very easy, serves 4, total time: less than an hour

This offers some very unusual tastes! And you don't have to wait till Christmas!

1) Mix together the wine, sugar, cinnamon and ginger and boil in a large saucepan.
2) Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. You are essentially making a mulled wine mixture!
3) Core apple and cut into bite-size chunks. brush with lemon juice to stop them going brown.
4) Add apple pieces to the mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes.
5) Remove from the heat and leave to cool. This can take a while, so put it outside if it's winter!

6) The dressing is made by mixing the 3 dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shaking well.

7) Put the salad together by first placing the rocket leaves in a bowl, draining the apples (I would keep the wine mixture ;) ) and scattering them over the rocket and then topping all this with the Brie and seasoning. By the way, you should cube the Brie as quickly as possible out of the fridge, or even freeze it a little beforehand, because it will get sticky quickly and be hard to cut.
8) Drizzle the dressing on top and toss the salad until it is all coated. Serve immediately.

Variations: rocket gives the best results, but you could also use mizuna, or something similar. We have also made this with a blue cheese and it's even more tangy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What to do with all that turkey after Christmas?

Note: I have noted with some horror that people are still coming here looking for cold turkey recipes a good two weeks after Christmas. If that is the case, there is only one answer for what to do with that 2-week cold turkey and that is - THROW IT AWAY!! - before a major health hazard arises!

Lots of cold turkey lying around after Christmas?! Wondering what to do with it?

Well, I have no idea either, but why not type "cold turkey" into the Fridge-Googling search box above and see what comes up? There are bound to be plenty of recipes for using up the turkey left-overs of that Christmas dinner.

Oh, wait, you CAME here via Google..! Well, just a reminder, this is a special custom Google search which only searches on recipe sites, so it should help you narrow down your search.

So if you find a good cold turkey recipe, let us know! (though I had venison myself, and it's all gone!)

P.S. Yes, yes, I know the other meaning of the expression "cold turkey"..!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Origin of the word "fridge"

I get the odd visitor to Fridge-Googling wanting to know what the origins (etymology, for the linguists) of the word fridge are.

Well, I don't want to disappoint you, but there is nothing spectacular about it. Having done some research I can reveal the following about the history of the word fridge, or rather refrigerator, since that is the full form of the word, and the history of the fridge itself:

- the word refrigerator is formed from the Latin roots re- and frigus, and would mean 'to cool again'.
- it is not clear who first used the term to refrigerate but the idea of removing heat from an area to keep things cool is hardly new, and was done by prehistoric peoples using ice.
- the modern technique of refrigeration, i.e. circulating some kind of liquid around which removes heat energy from the space desired, e.g. the inside of your fridge is based on experiments done as early as 1748 by William Cullen. But they couldn't think of anything to use it for at the time!
- others to work on refrigeration included celebrated scientist Michael Faraday, but the first to patent an actual device was one Jacob Perkins in 1834, although it apparently flopped commercially! Well, why would you want to cool things down, for goodness' sakes!?

And what is the origin of the word fridge..? Erm, I would have thought it was blindingly obvious but since you ask, the word fridge is a product of normal linguistic processes whereby a word that we use every single day multiple times gets contracted down and because we can't be bothered to say refrigerator every time, we say fridge. And there you have it, the origins of the word fridge! (just don't quote this in any scientific journals!)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First-time Fridge-Googling?

If you're Fridge-Googling for the first time, welcome!

In the 6 months or so Fridge-Googling has been operational, we have turned hundreds and hundreds of seemingly useless ingredients into delicious (or at least edible) meals, harnessing the power of the Google search engine!

Google is a wild and unpredictable force, we cannot guarantee that simply searching for certain ingredients will yield results. But we have tried to make things easier for you by limiting the search to recipe sites. You can help by:

  • adding the word recipe to your search
  • spelling words correctly (you wouldn't believe how many wrongly-spelled words we see!)
  • following the did you mean..? suggestion Google sometimes gives, especially if you spell something wrongly, and also by retrying with different combinations of ingredients if the first time doesn't reveal results
The real secret is, you never need come back here to search for recipes using Google, you can go straight to the Google website! But if the truth be know, we'd love you to make Fridge-Googling your first port-of-call whenever you have an empty fridge moment. So why not bookmark with CTRL+D and make our day (or just make dinner, thanks!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fridge-Googling - a word of reminder

Remember, this site is intended to give you an idea of how Fridge-Googling works, it is not a big database of recipes that you can search by ingredient. Some visitors come hoping that they can key in the names of ingredients and get the results of a nice recipe search containing those ingredients.

Fridge-Googling doesn't work like that, it is a lot more hit-and-miss! In Fridge-Googling you are trying to harness the wild forces of the world's biggest search engine to do what you want, and the results cannot always be guaranteed! When you key in your ingredients, ANYTHING could happen. You could just happen to hit upon someone's shopping list, or the stock list of a supermarket - there is no guarantee that it will turn up a useful recipe!

I have tried to help you by partially limiting the search results to recipe sites, and you can also improve the results by adding the word "recipe" to your search terms. But at the end of the day, you are at the mercy of the whims of Google, and one day you will have to go it alone, to strike out by yourself into the harsh world of search-engine recipe-searching. I wish you luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Potato spelt without an E - it's official!

Just a quick word to the Fridge-Googlers out there. I've been following your search habits, and I hope you have been able to Google some culinary delights based on the meagre contents of your fridge. They are sometimes VERY meagre indeed!

I've just got one thing to say to you, though, and I will keep this short!:

'potato' is spelt WITHOUT AN E, i.e. NOT potatoe. 'tomato' does not have an E on the end, either :)

You are probably getting it confused with the plural, which DOES have an E - tomatoes, potatoes.

Hope that little tip helps you find what you were looking for!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Grilled mackerel with parsley, lemon and garlic

OK, here's a quickie to make the most of that mackerel. By the way, mackerel is one of the cheapest fish but also supposed to be very good for you.

All those Omega-3 fatty acids and what-not. So you can't beat it, even if it is maybe not the most refined fish around.

Here's what I do with mackerel - I didn't fridge-Google this by the way, but perhaps you found this recipe by fridge-Googling!

Gut and clean the mackerel (the worst bit by far). Most normal people can manage 1 large or two small mackerels at most, so here I have prepared 5 for myself and Mrs. D!

Next, prepare the following ingredients:

  • lemon
  • parsley
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • bay leaves

The pepper and rosemary are basically for on top of the mackerel, the rest are for stuffing. I stuff the inside of the mackerel with parsley, garlic, bay leaves and lemon in that order, using the lemon to "plug" the whole and cocktail sticks to hold it all in.

Then I ground the pepper and sprinkle the rosemary on top (DON'T leave out the rosemary, whatever you do, it is awesome with mackerel) and pour olive oil over, too.

There's really no science to it, the point is that the stuffing will spread a lovely flavour all over the inside of the fish.

Pop all this in the oven at a medium to high temperature. I cover it with aluminium foil for the first 15 minutes, just to get it cooked properly. Then uncover and grill until it's all lovely and brown.

The end result is this.

Mmmm... Serve with white wine and a nice potato salad, I think (see pic at the top). By the way, it is OK to remove all that stuffing once you come to eat it, it's done its job! If you have any tips on how to easily remove the bones from mackerel, now THAT would be worth fridge-Googling for!

Epilogue: I must just add that after completing this meal and serving it up for myself and Mrs. D, I got some more lemon to squeeze onto the mackerel and gave the slice an almighty squeeze. A massive squirt of lemon juice shot out, straight into my right eye, causing not a little discomfort for the ensuing few minutes before I washed it out. So the moral is, watch where you point that lemon!