Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hake with Mussels in Coconut Broth

So a saturday lunch loomed: fish with mussels and whilst in the aisles i went for a bit of an off-piste excursion by way of coconut milk lemon grass & chilli

After i got back from the shops i found these things in my basket:

chilli flakes
olive oil
hake filets
red potatoes
flat parsley
green beans

Clean the mussels of beards, moustaches, throw broken/ dead mussels.

Chop the shallots, and 2 cloves garlic, fry then add glug of wine and put the cleaned mussels in.
Steam the musssels til they are cooked - i think about 5mins.
I then strained the juices to keep for later and took the mussels out of the shells.

the juices go back in a pan with half tin of coconut milk, lemongrass cut lengthways so easy to remove later, pinch of chilli flakes - shouldve been fresh chilli,
potatoes were boiled then finished with thyme & salt.
Made some sodabread with buttermilk too.

Hake fell apart as soon as it went in the pan - think i should've chosen a different fish.
Samphire fried in butter for few mins.
Mussels re-added to the coconut broth chopped in parsley then spooned over the cooked hake - Done!!
It was really delicious - next time different piece of fish, more fresh chilli in there,  & would reduce the liquor further for a thicker final sauce but all the flavours were great!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mackerel with Curly Kale

Back to a favourite: Mackerel - this time with with Curly Kale.
This was drafted in as a quick sunday lunch.
One mackerel per person is loads if the mackerel are big.

1x Mackerel per person
Curly Kale - 2 handfull per person
3 Cooked Beetroot
2% Greek Yoghurt
Truffle Balsamic
Hot Horseradish Sauce - should probably be fresh horseradish but...
Fine Polenta to dip the fish in.
Served With Brown Rice

This was sort of thrown together after a sweep round the supermarket.

Get the rice on first 25mins - last 10mins with teatowel to steam.
Next mixed the chopped beets with yoghurt & horseradish - blended then seasoned.
Next clean and prep the mackerel in the polenta & pepper.
Kale in with water for 10mins
Almost dry fry the broccoli with honey and truffle balsamic.
Mackerel just need a few mins each side - and polenta once cooked off gives it a lovely crunch.

It was delicious!

Then it was the persian's turn to cook pudding: a banana strawberry crumble with Heston's salted Caramel ice cream.


Monday, 10 October 2011

Jazzy's night off

My fridge broke over the weekend. I'm blaming the unseasonal October heat but it may have more to do with my over zealous deicing utilising a much neglected hammer and screw driver set from Ikea. Freon gas everywhere is all I'm saying. As such I have no leaves, no left overs, no delicious morceau that I can alchemy into edible gold. So I came home, heated up some classic Heinz baked beans, the can of which I have moved house with 3 times, decanted into a bowl and added some Lea & Perrins. The emergency tin was finally utilised and washed down with a couple of Earl Greys it was probably the most delicious meal I've had all year.


A vaporetto in, a couple of absurd meals, hot weather and a wander around the cemetry. The funniest meal being a Sunday dinner by the water at the Cipriani- an old American man in a suit he was boiling to death in made his only conversation of the meal with wifey- "that girl is wearing jeans!" in reference to my dining partner. I got a filthy look from the waiter for wearing no socks with my brogues (gimme-a-break) but the gazpacho with set cream on top and rabbit risotto were superlative.

Best meal, some cichetti, a walnut pasta and a plate of fried fish washed down with gallons of spritz- my favourite place in venice yet I have never once written down the name...

Smuggled back a kilo of various funghi from Rialto market and made the best mushrooms on toast, topped with slithering of melted parmigianno (another kilo of that imported as well) on my return. No pringles for me thanks Ryanair.

10AM campari on a jetty.

Good rope. Custard donut still slightly warm and an amazing espresso.

Chiodini and farfelli! Oh for living in the Italian hills and foraging for these with my pet pig Bruno. The fat market man wrapped them in brown paper and threw in some generous stalks of parlsley. Back in England even the best mushrooms on toast in the world look a bit like vomit. I was heart broken to find my single porcini had rotten after a day. Should've cut it and dried it. Bugger.

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Mexican in America

New Yoik

Lot to catch up on. First up is La Esquina in New York, on Lafayette. Eat downstairs if you can (you need to book) or you can grab handfuls of gravy soaked tacos and sit in the park across the road, realise you haven't ordered enough and go back for more again and again and again.

There's also a nice room round to the side- in total I ate here 3 times in 2 days. The cheesy/ spicy corn is excellent as is pretty much everything else. Some watermelon juice helps to counter the food exhaustion and jet lag that I brought to the table.

Stayed at the Americano- will be a great hotel when it's created some atmosphere of it's own in a year or two. Despite being the first day they'd served it, breakfast was excellent. Refried beans and eggs. So good I forgot to take a photo until I'd polished it off. Big fan of the coffee pots and tea towels.
Oh and also had a few spare minutes to introduce Matt to the joys of Katzs one lunch time. Also massively snooze inducing. When Harry Met Sally (with it's most famous scene shot over a pastrami sandwich in this very joint) was the only decent film on the way back- I had a little cry over my microwaved, plane mac n cheese.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A Big Pham of Sushi

I've been a fan of Whitecross St. food market for last couple of years - vegi burritos from the muraled Luardos van, piles of salad with extra feta & foccacia from Serpil Erce's salad stall and so on but never been into Pham's until now.

About 8pm on saturday it was fairly busy and we were sat at the sushi bar. Staff were immediately personable and attentive. We eschewed Japanese beer in favour of a cold white.

We ordered a LOT of food and it arrived in perfect intervals.
(please excuse bad iphone pics)

First up was mixed sashimi - it was so incredibly melt-in-the-mouth and so fresh looking and tasteing - almost jewel like.

Next to arrive was for me the highlight of the meal. "Scallop Sashimi With Creamy Spicy Sauce" - this was amazing!  Served in the shell with said spicy sauce - not 100% sure what was in it - think a touch of mayo in there. The scallop and sauce was  topped with roe & sesame seedsthat exploded like popping candy in your mouth it just tasted so good. 

Our neighbour at the sushi bar then shared some of his rock shrimp as we tucked into our next dish: deep fried squid tentacles with this dipping sauce sauce that had this curious cola syrup caramel hint to it.

Sushi rolls followed, samourai & dragon - again delicious - so much more flavoursome than a lot of sushi joints with carefully balanced textures and tastes.

It was delicious, fun and service was great.

Supper for two with a glass of wine each was about £45.

They are on Whitecross St, EC1