• Restaurant foodie
Monday, 29 August 2016 15:03

Levi Roots goes into Crisps

Mr Roots was there himself handing out his new range of crisps and fizzy drinks at Notting Hill Carnival. I can say I tasted both and they were really good, but he really wanted me to tell you about his new cd.

Published in Fast foodie
Friday, 15 July 2016 12:16

Tim Tams - for our Australian readers

Apparently famous in Australia my Australian friend Jess said I needed to try one. Sadly they are not the best biscuit in the world!

Published in Abroad
Friday, 24 June 2016 09:04

What to eat in a Brexit.

Cameron ate a hot dog with a knife and fork, there was that famous bacon sandwich incident and now we are coming out of Europe what can we look forward to in the food-meets-politics scene? I'm off to Lidl before they run out of stock...

Published in Abroad

 I was late and rushing for the 2pm train. I had had nothing to eat so after I found a seat and had put it off for as long as possible I bought a sausage roll. It was worse than the last one I had ten years ago. I don't need to describe it because you can see its flabby, rusky, microwaved self, for yourselves.  Abelio Greater Anglia - your crisps have improved, your drinks have improved, now try serving a nice sausage roll?

Published in Fast foodie
Monday, 22 December 2014 18:07

24 Pork Pies for Christmas

Pork pies are much easier to make than you might imagine. Just a little time needed to prepare the filling and the pastry and some patience required with the crimping and sealing of the pies.

INGREDIENTS- Filling

750g of very good sausage meat

750g of pork shoulder (finely diced or quickly chopped in a food processor)

100g smoked streaky bacon (finely diced)

a handful of chopped fresh herbs. I used sage, parsely and oregano

two large pinches salt and a very generous few grinds of black pepper

Mix all this together very well in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Pastry

200g lard

200g butter

350ml water

1kg plain flour

1 tsp salt

4 medium eggs

1 beaten egg for glazing and sealing the pies.

Heat the water in a saucepan with the lard and butter until melted, gently, it needn't boil. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. I used my Kenwood mixer with dough hook and making a well in the middle add the beaten eggs. Start mixing and slowly add the water and fat mixture until you have a smooth and soft dough. Add more flour or warm water to get smooth soft dough. Cover and chill for about 1 hr.

Using a deep muffin tray grease well and line with rolled out pastry with some good overlap which you will need to crimp with. Fill with the pork and make a lid and crimp shut, using the egg wash to stick together. I had to lift the pie out of the tin to crimp and then set back into the tin. Make a hole in the middle to let the steam escape.

Bake in the oven 170C/Gas 4 for 1 hour, until golden brown.

Jelly or not? It does keep the meat moist and soaks in so you won't get a huge amount of jelly unless you keep adding more stock which is time consuming. I used 1 pint of pork stock with the equivalent amount of gelatine to set and poured it into the warm pies, no jelly layer but succulent meat.

Published in Home Made
Thursday, 05 September 2013 20:21

Zero Waste Week Day Four. Frittered.

Tonight I made Pakora with a bag of out of date spinach which was just begining to wilt. Use any vegetables that you have shrivelling in the bottom of the fridge.  Just cut the vegetables into slices, or shred according to their density.  Remember that courgettes will cook a lot quicker than chunks of carrot. I have yet to find anyone who doesn't wolf down a plate of these delicious Indian snacks. Gram or Chickpea flour is easy to find, usually with gluten free products on the supermarket shelf, from wholefood shops or anywhere 'ethnic'.

Published in Events
Thursday, 05 September 2013 20:01

Pakora

  • Delicious Indian snacks which are vegan/vegetarian and gluten free.

  • Ingredients
  • 70g gram flour (chickpea flour)
    1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 6 tbs cold water

  • large pinch ground cumin
  • large pinch of ground coriander
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 4 handfuls of spinach leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped green chilli ( optional)
  • good pinch salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Method
  • Prepare all of the vegetables.  Substitute any vegetables that you don't have with an alternative of your choice. Just about all types of vegetable work.
  • Starting at the top of the list of ingredients add all to a large mixing bowl, everything except the oil which is required for frying.
  • Mix very well making sure that the vegetables are all coated with a thin layer of batter.

    Heat oil in a wok or use a deep fat fryer and drop spoonfools of the vegetables (coated in batter)into the hot oil.

  • Cook until browned and the pakora holds its' shape.
  • Turn to cook the other side.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
Published in Recipes
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 21:31

Zero Waste Week Day Three. Pizza please.

Leftover French bread turned into a pizza for lunch today.  Did you know that if you run a stale baguette under the cold tap for a second and then place it in a hot oven for 5 or 10 minutes it's nearly as good as new?

Published in Events
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 21:08

Potted Cheese

Potted Cheese

 

A perfect way to use up all those leftover pieces of cheese in your fridge. All types of cheese can be used. It will keep for a week in the fridge and is a good vegetarian recipe.

 

Ingredients

225g grated cheese ( chop up cheeses that are hard to grate i.e Brie/Camembert

170g (small tin) evaporated milk

1 very small onion or 3 spring onions finely diced

1 tsp chopped chives

pinch of mustard powder

pepper

a little oil or butter for fying the onion

 

Method

Heat a small knob of butter or splash of oil in a saucepan and soften the chopped onion

Pour in the evaporated milk

Add the grated cheese, mustard powder and a little ground pepper

Stir well until the cheese has melted

Stir in the chopped chives

Pour into ramekins and leave to set in the fridge

Eat spread on toast or with a baked potato

 

 

 

 

Published in Recipes

Started in Italy after the war when there wasn't much money about - yes, its an old idea - promoted in seventeen countries in the world and recently hi-jacked by Starbucks, here's how it is intended to work.

Choose a nice local independent cafe that has a discreet 'suspended coffee' sign in the window to buy your lunch, buy yourself a sandwich and a coffee. At the same time, pay for an extra coffee, asking for it to be suspended.

Johny Cakes - a man who has lost his job (it happened) is facing being homeless (not quite) and is looking for work, will see the sign that the cafe has out the front, saying they are taking part in suspended coffee, and asks if there are any suspended coffees available. Within five minutes he has a warm drink in his hands, thanks to the anonymous act of kindness of yourself and the cafe. Some places have extended it to food - I would like liver and bacon with mashed potatoes and runner beans please. 

Published in Cafe and tea rooms
Monday, 20 May 2013 00:00

And over at Greene King...

A late arrival got us both in for a fiver (you have to pay for this one...) but most of the food people were still there. What a proliferation of pickles! Lots of the same thing (of the chili jelly/home-made tomato ketchup variety) with one or two interesting exceptions - home made drinks and hot food, and lots of suppliers from Essex. But we love Abroad, and of course Essex gave us Jamie Oliver. We tried ice-cream, crisps, chocolate, strawberry and raspberry vodkas (although they weren't keen on Inspector X's horseradish vodka suggestion...) rhubarb and ginger cordial, fresh lemonade (so easy, so nice) and a shark kebab (very close to my Caribbean heart...shark kebabs...)

Published in Street foodie
Sunday, 19 May 2013 00:00

The Orford Food Revolution

Oh the choice? Where to go first? With so many foodie things on one day we did an extensive expensive dash around the county - first to Orford where we knew we were going to find treats because they have the Pump Street Bakery and Pinneys and then to the Greene King Beer Festival (they may have had food but it was more about the beer...)

At Orford I spent £80 in as many yards, starting with a fab strawberry tart (well, half of one, because even Inspector X and I can only eat so much in one day...) followed by (half) a pulled pork wrap with coleslaw, the best salami we have tried in a while, an oyster, a Bloody Awkward (which regular followers of suffolkfoodie will know is an espresso with hot milk on the side - ie a SMALL coffee not a GIANT coffee, in fact I think it's called a cafe con leche Abroad, but is still to catch on here...) Where was I... a chocolate mousse and a dessert wine. What we couldn't eat we bought home - two bottles of Hill Farm oil, two Hill Farm mayo, a pheasant scotch egg, a fennel salami, honey-salted caramels, peanut brittle; doughnuts, a bears paw (more later on that one...) portuguese tarts and some other little tarts with almond and plum whose name I've forgotten, hot mint jelly, three crabs and two huge skate wings. The only thing missing at Orford was hot food and a home-made drinks.

In the next few days we will tell you what we bought in BSE and show you ALL the sumptuous pictures of the food we found.

 

 

Published in Street foodie
Saturday, 06 October 2012 14:00

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

A delicious treat and the perfect way to use up those unripe tomatoes.  Vegetarian too!

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 green tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • beaten egg
  • cornmeal
  • vegetable oil for frying

Preparation:

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in the beaten egg and then the corn meal. Fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!

Published in Home Made
Monday, 20 August 2012 19:01

The Liver and Bacon Sandwich

Yes, in my local Italian cafe you can get liver and bacon on a plate with veg, or in a sandwich!

Published in Cafe and tea rooms

What to do on a weekend as miserable as this except cook? Last Sunday I went to Brick Lane and only had a fiver, although you can get a good meal for that I wanted to try more than one, so I was looking for the best bargains. I had two crispy filo pastry 'cigars' stuffed with feta and spinach for a £1 from one stall, and a box of four Vietnamese spring rolls for £3 from another. That left £1 for a  juice. As I was watching the lady make the spring rolls to order - they soak the paper in water, fill them with salad and satay sauce and roll up - I decided to try it myself, so have been to buy a pack of the papers.This is the quickest, easiest, cheapest, healthiest snack I have had in a long time. I used peanut butter with soy, honey and lime to make the satay sauce, and the sweet chili sauce that most of us have now for dipping. My spring rolls were not as good looking as hers, but tasted the same! if you can't get the papers let me know and i'll send you some.

Published in Street foodie
Thursday, 12 April 2012 10:23

It's big in Taiwan

Up the road is a Taiwanese supermarket that sells bubble tea, it looks a bit like it has frogspawn in it - no doubt it will be the Next Big Thing. I haven't tried it, but I did buy some other interesting stuff, including the green grass jelly.
Published in Gossip
Sunday, 01 April 2012 21:33

ribbet, ribbet, ribbet

The  French lady in our village has started a frog patrol.  She goes out in the evening to rescue frogs from the traffic. We are not quite so sure of her intentions.

Published in Street foodie
Sunday, 25 March 2012 21:09

London - the East End street food tour

oysters     coffee and pastries

This three hour tour takes you through the foodie paradise of Bethnal Green in East London - from the famous and beautiful Columbia Rd flower market for fresh morning coffee and pastries from Italy,  to Brick Lane, the home of curry, with foodie stops all the way.  Jamie Oliver comes here to buy his Vietnamese street food and even the kebab vans are good.  So we can try fresh oysters; beigels stuffed with salt beef or smoked salmon, traditional Cockney pie, mash and eels and home made baklava - from the traditional shops that have been here for years, and from the fabulous new street food vendors that cook here at the weekend.

pie_n_mash

The tour is £10 per person, runs most Saturdays and Sundays and meets at Hoxton station. You buy your own food throughout but don't worry, it's mostly under a fiver and you'll easily walk it off! It starts at 11.00am going for coffee, and ends at 2.00pm with whatever you liked best...and there is even a Cockney cashpoint to get your money out in rhyming slang!

Send me a message for details of the next tour dates and how to book.

the street art    columbia_cafe

food_tours    salt beef beigels

Published in Tours
Saturday, 11 February 2012 14:19

Salt Fish fritters

If you can get salt fish try these, the fish needs soaking overnight and smells horrible but the flavour afterwards is worth it. Just make a thicker batter than usual, add the shredded salt fish, some chopped spring onions and chili, and fry until crisp. Mmmmm... 

Published in Home Made
Saturday, 04 February 2012 22:20

Simple and stylish in Southwold

I found another good lunch stop in Southwold. You can't miss the Blyth Hotel as you arrive in the town.  It's not on the seafront, just a short walk away. The bar and dining area has a rustic look and some great dishes on the blackboard. I had a roast beef and horseradish sandwich which arrived with some chips and a little pot of homemade coleslaw.

Published in Restaurant foodie
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