Sunday, 28 October 2012

Why was the jack-o-lantern afraid to cross the road? He had no guts! -Halloween Risotto

Happy Halloween all!
I have always loved celebrating Halloween but usually just by bathing myself in fake blood and drinking far too much in Camden Town. This year however I decided to be a little more mature and break my Jack-o-lantern virginity, especially if it meant I had some scrummy pumpkin to create an autumnal treat with afterwards. 

So I know he isn't the most impressive of the bunch but I am still VERY proud to introduce to you my lovely Mr Jack. 

....and now for the yummy bit... My 'Pumpkin, sage and goats cheese Halloween Risotto'. 
For this you will need (to serve 4):
- 1 Pint of chicken stock
- 1 small pumpkin and a small sweet potato (diced)
- a handful of fresh sage (please use fresh as dried really just isnt the same!)
- 100g gooey Goats cheese (I use Cartmel or Soignon)
- salt and pepper
- A tbsp of fresh Parmesan to serve
- 200g Risotto rice

This really is SO simple and heavenly! 
Fry your onion and sage in olive oil in a big pan (the sort you would use for stew or soup) until soft. Next add the rice until fully coated in the oil and then add about a quarter of your hot stock. Keep stirring until simmering. Next add the pumpkin and sweet potato. Once the first bit of stock has been absorbed add another quarter and keep stirring (its a great forearm workout!), repeat this until the pumpkin is soft and the rice is fully cooked. Be patient and make sure the end result is still lovely and gooey (add a cheeky chunk of butter!) before adding generous chunks of goats cheese.

Serve with some crispy fried sage (fry for 1 min in olive oil and its heaven!) and a sprinkle of parmesan....oh and a glass light red wine! 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Malaysia: The queen of streetfood

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a long long time. I spent nearly 4 weeks travelling through Singapore and Malaysia in July this year. It was a trip that I have been dying to do for so long and although it is an incredible experience and a stunning country, I must admit that my main desire was for the FOOD! I have been in love with Malay cuisine for as long as I can remember so the thought of 4 weeks of exploring the streetfood and hawker markets of Malaysia filled me with SO much excitement.  

Our first stop was Singapore, where we very excitedly had our first Singapore Chilli Crab experience. EPIC! For this we ventured into Chinatown to a restaurant called 'Da Dong' that has serving Chill Crab since 1928!!  

The next evening we discovered what turned out to be my favourite of the Singapore Hawker markets 'Lau Pa sat' where we feasted on roast duck and pork. These hawker markets are full of lots of tiny stalls where you can feast on anything from Malay, Japanese, Indian for next to nothing - Our meal with fresh watermelon juice cost us less than £2 each!

Followed by a very strange looking but lovely tasting dessert. 

Next we moved on to Kuala Lumpur. We spent our first night here in a beautiful little Japanese restaurant called 'Kameya'.

After a hot, sweaty day of trekking up to the Batu Caves and fighting with horny monkeys we went to check out a little traditional Malay cafe which I had read lots of very flattering reviews about. 'Betty's Cafe' lived up to our expectations to say the least. We ordered enough food for 6 people but when the bill comes to £12 for the lot (including beer) you kinda just think "why not?".

Chicken and prawn laksa

Malaysian chicken curry 

4 Hours and lots more beers later in the hussle and bustle of a Friday night in KL we stumbled back to our hotel to find Jimmy, our satay man. Now Jimmy's satay is no where near as cheap as we found in Penang (photos further down) but it WAS without doubt the best satay I have ever tasted, and very conveniently just outside our hotel Maya each night after 11pm. 

As you can see Jimmy did not just sell chicken satay but everything from beef to crab to squid, all equally as yummy. 3 nights later Jimmy was our best friend......

On to Penang. This is where the proper streetfood got going..... 

I wanted to take this little man and his homemade wonton and pork soup home with me. 60p a bowl!!!

Pork wontons from scratch

Once the sun went down we headed to Penang's Red Garden Night market for some VERY cheap and very yummy Dim Sum

The next night we went to check out the longest standing night market in Penang on New Lane. 

 ....and had yet more delicious satay

 Once we moved on to Langkawi we were greeted by some friends who live there and who whisked us off to their favourite restaurant  on the island,Sawadee a little family run Thai. The food here was so good we ended up going back there twice during our stay. 

 fresh watermelon juice

 Duck and shallot salad - seriously delicious, I have been trying to recreate this at home ever since, but it just isn't the same :(

Mango and dried fish salad - heaven!

chicken with chilli and Thai basil

We really did eat some incredible food during our time in Malaysia and I was never disappointed so I would really recommend any foodies who fancy an epic taste bud tour to give it go. It really was also so so cheap, we ate like kings for a pittance!  

Oh beautiful, stunning, YUMMY Malaysia how I miss thee......


Saturday, 22 September 2012

SO Dirty and SO Good

So yes.. I know I know...its been a VERY long time since I last posted. This is for multiple reasons but in all honesty the main one is laziness :( I am sorry and this will change.
So this is just a quick post, in fact as usual its more of a boast. A boast to say that I have officially found THE BEST burger. For the last 3 years I have been yearning for what I considered the best EVER burger which I couldn't get hold off whenever I had a craving, as this was the In-N-Out  burger which sadly only resides in the US. My best friend Akua and I discovered this whilst gallivanting in LA and to be honest I didn't think we would ever get over it....until now. Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce you to the Dirty Burger.

So Dirty Burger is near Kentish Tube station on Highgate Road, but it is not at all easy to find, it is hidden behind Pizza East (also amazing and will post on soon!!) Luckily my friend Anthony had already had this incredible experience and so was happy to guide us there, to this tiny little 'shack' with about 10 seats only. Now the menu is literally just a cheeseburger and 2 types of fries (crinkle or onion) but that is ALL you need believe me. I am trying to figure out what makes this burger so amazing but honestly I cant, you just have to trust me and try it. I do however think it is partly the way they cook the raw meat with the cheese on straight away, it is just so tasty and gooey and moist. Dirty Burger also do breakfast but I am yet to try this.

and lastly YES... however much you love Meat Liqour (which I do very much too)... this IS better. I promise. 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Racy raspberry & white chocolate brownies

So I LOVE nothing better than an good excuse for a luxurious baking session, particularly when I get a chance to try something new.  The last working day before Easter was the perfect excuse, not only because it was it my best buddy's last day at the company but it was also my manager's Birthday and so I knew I had to come into work armed with something pretty special. 
I am not usually one to blow my own trumpet but these really were heavenly and delicious and I am going to post the recipe below for all to try at home! They are great for those who (like myself) don't like treats which are too sweet and sickly, as the sharpness of the raspberries cuts straight through so they are lovely and fresh.  

  • Heat your oven to gas mark 4/180c
  • Line a medium sized baking tray
  • In a pan melt 200g of milk choc and 200g of dark choc with 250g of butter
  • One fully melted remove from the heat and slowly mix in 5 eggs,170g of plain flour and 450g brown sugar
  • Once all mixed together to a thick goo then add 150g of fresh raspberries
  • Pour all the mixture into the baking tray and then sprinkle over the top another 150g of fresh raspberries and 100g of broken up white chocolate
  • Bake in the oven for 25 mins until top is crispy but the rest is still sticky and oozing
  • Leave to cool for at least an hour before digging in!
These will stay yummy and fresh for up to 5 days...Treat someone who deserves it and enjoy!! 

.....Oh and Happy Easter to all! XX

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Delivery from France

Now this will probably be a very boring post for most as it is literally going to be me just showing off. 
The only thing better than Christmas morning for me is the afternoon my parents return from a French mini break. They always leave with a shopping list from me longer than my arm and return bearing gifts which excite me more than you can imagine, especially on a day when I am off sick from work and feeling a tad under the weather. 
Put me in a French supermarket and I am like a panda in a bamboo grove - Gosh I am so easily pleased sometimes. 

I wont blabber on too much but there a couple of items I must mention because they are simply heavenly if you can get your hands on them. 
Both of the below tubs are different types of Rillette. The blue tub is duck (my fave) and the red is pork. Rillette is basically a type of pate however is a lot more gooey and luxurious. It is made by slowly cooking the meat in fat and then shredding it. 
It so so yummy slathered onto fresh baguette, topped off with a cornichon or two. Give it a go - you will never look back............

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bob's ya uncle..

Now this is actually a restaurant I visited back in the Winter which I was taken to as a lovely Birthday surprise but I came across the photos and had to have a belated rave about it because it is well worth a visit.
Bob Bob Ricard is a luxury British and Russian diner in the middle of Soho, famous for its 'Press for Champagne' buttons on every table. The interior is unique yet classic and frankly very beautiful. Everything from the service to the food to the toilets was absolutely perfect. 10/10. Despite a Russian/British style I really felt like I had been transported to a chic backstreet in Paris in the 1950s. 

I will let the photos do the talking but if you are planning on a visit then make sure you try one of the starters (I had the Russian salad topped with truffles) that comes with  -18c ice cold shot of Russian vodka, the perfect way to start a meal! Then finish with the salted caramel ice cream which was to die for. Oh and don't forget to PRESS FOR CHAMPAGNE (or espresso martinis like us! hehe)