Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Elliot's Borough, The Hemingway Victoria Park


Last weekend long walk down to Borough market.
Stopped at Elliot's for Lunch.
A cheery busy bistro - laid back, staff familiar.

Ordered baked squash, squid, salmon salad, fries, oysters,

Oysters were good, but then we were in Borough market so expected them to be and right next to Wright Bros too.

Squid was super delicious - smoky & perfectly cooked.

Some kerfuffle at another table and a lot of people staring at a baked squash served in 2 halves before it got sent back to the kitchen their squash was replaced then out came ours - but it was just 1 half - we asked about it and it seemed the chef deemed half sufficient for us but having been on the business end of a kitchen cockup or two in my youth and although I always think the best of people one couldn't help but suspect a slight bit of legerdemain which left a tart bitterness in the mouth especially when its almost 15 notes for this now half-squash. 

This bitterness meant the salmon salad sort of passed by unnoticed though it looked pretty & the stringy fries looked great but I felt like a dog hoovering pick-up-sticks tryin to work out how to eat them.

Concluded should've bought some oysters in the market and carried on perhaps to Maltby St. to have a look.


Sunday was a roast at the Hemingway Victoria Park Road.
Comfortable, good beer, papers - all good end of the weekend stuff
Roasts & Salmon all round.

Totally delicious - lots of other people seemed to think so too as the place was rammed
Finished with pudding - pinapple & apple crumble with crumble of coconut and coconut ice cream- not 100% convinced this classic needed meddling with.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

2nd November Salad

I'd had rather a large lunch, had a friend coming over, it was a miserable day and knew I had to offer up something warm and comforting but without the stodge of a pie or a stew (as much as I've love those). I've been eternally disappointed by so called Winter Salads but I think this one works rather well.

Serves 2

4 large chicken thighs (I think the bone has all the flavour)
1 clove garlic- young as possible
Cos lettuce (1 large one or 2 mini ones)
4 Figs (very ripe)
1 small, strong red onion

Almonds (a very large and generous handful)


Put the chicken thighs skin side down in a baking dish, season well and cover in dried thyme leaves, a squeeze of lemon juice and a small knob of butter (half a walnut size) on each piece of chicken. Once they are cooked, turn them over skin side on top, give them a quick basting and season and thyme again. Get the skin crispy and then set them aside to rest.

Wash and pull apart the lettuce, chop the hearts into quarters. Slice the red onion thinly. Cut the tops of the stalks off the figs and quarter them.

Finely chop a clove of garlic and heat in a low sided pan that preferably you can serve in. When the oil has started to sizzle, turn the heat down, add the onion, almonds, figs and lettuce. Let it all wilt and warm for about 4 minutes and drizzle good olive oil, rock salt and a squeeze of lemon juice over the top.

Toss the salad in the pan, add the chicken pieces on top and pour over a tablespoon or two of the buttery, lemony cooking juices from the chicken. Serve at the table and dish out onto hot plates.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Technically this was held on the 28th October, but it was still creepy/ delicious. Big moments were the RIP chocolate sour cream cake (Nigellas basic birthday cake recipe with lots of montezuma and that very good french cooking chocolate- parnier? I can't remember). Another highlight was sausage hand- tomato skin for nails and a freshly plummed tomatoe for the fat palm.

In terms of costumes, special mention to Chip Hand- an outfit created by Martha which I sadly don't have a photo of and is too bizarre to describe and give justice to- essentially an over sized Maccy D chip packet attached to her wrist with beautifully formed foam French Fries that fitted onto her fingers and wiggled around, like a fast food poltergeist.

Pumpkin soup with added squash, a couple of carrots and lots of very good dried chilli went down well- though it's a shame the pumpkins we get here are so dowdy compared to what their name suggests them to be- and as they are realised in Italy where a recent Pumpkin soup was just as rowdily fruity as it should be- and a million miles away from my Frankenstein version.

Toasted pumpkin seeds (high oven with lots of salt and a little pepper) vanished in seconds- and also made an appearance pushed into the top of a big white loaf- Graveyard Bread is a lot less effort than it sounds.

The spread itself. SCARY. But not in a salmonella way.
The sociopath who hosted the evening had drawn up a rather terrifying shopping list in her kitchen. Several attendees from the party have still not returned home.

Catching up

10th November and I'm sitting outside in (really) very short shorts and a t-shirt looking at a computer for the first time in a while. I have some catching up to do, whilst feeling lazy in a very still piece of Provence. The best bread for a croque monsier? Emailed suggestions very welcome.