18 December 2016

Festive Panna cotta

Invented for the launch reception of a new entertainment zone, bar and cinema room of our very dear friends and long time IF clients, Sue and Keith. The brief was for a "Chrimassy" dessert to finish off the evening's menu of canapés including smoked salmon mousse cones, classic Japanese gyozas and hearty main course of chicken rendang. The IF team created a festive twist on panna cotta inspired by seasonal mulled wine spices and winter berries with flaked white chocolate and a rolled wafer.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!



Posted by incredibly fed
Posted by incredibly fed

21 May 2015

Lemongrass Chicken wings

We last posted about chicken wings in October 2012. That time the chief ingredient of the marinade was a tangy tamarind and was inspired by our recent visit to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo. We still love wings and whenever roast chicken is served there is always a tussle for them. So this time Ghaz suggests lemongrass and in order to please everyone why not bake a tray full and serve them as a delicious and succulent starter?



Ingredients

1 Kg chicken wings
3 Sticks fresh lemongrass
2 cm Fresh ginger
6 - 8 Cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Light soy sauce
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Fresh chillies
1 Tbsp Turmeric powder
2 Tbsp Fish sauce
Vegetable oil
Seasoning
White sesame seeds garnish


Method

Blend all the ingredients apart from the wings in a food processor. Place the wings in a large bowl and massage the marinade into them. Cover with cling film and leave for several hours or over night if possible. Heat the oven to 200 C and place the wings on a baking tray covered with tin foil for about 30 minutes. Uncover and place under the grill for about 5 - 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve with a sweet chilli dip or garlic mayo.

Posted by incredibly fed

11 May 2015

Stout Floats


We've just come back from a wonderful weekend in Ireland where foodie delights included crab claws and a tapas lunch by Skerries harbour, North County Dublin, delicious roast Irish beef with retro prawn cocktail and baked Alaska by Lough Ree on the Shannon and warming Irish coffees in the wonderful eighteenth century Carton demesne where we were staying in Paul and Bryan's idyllic home hidden deep in the beautiful estate woods.

Well what to post to represent the great variety of Irish cuisine. One of our favourites is Irish coffee which we have already posted
(Clouds in my Irish coffee 21/12/12) As making Irish coffees is a delicate business here's a variation which combines not one but two Irish classics and is simply child's play to make.

Ingredients

Tall Sundae glass
Vanilla ice cream
Guinness or Murphy's Stout
Espresso shot

Method

Chill the glass in the fridge for about half an hour. Place several scoops of ice cream in the glass and pour over a shot of espresso. Top with stout!




Posted by incredibly fed

7 May 2015

Croquetas de jamon o champinones

You can't beat this old Spanish favourite which is an absolute must when ordering tapas. We have adapted it very slightly to make it easier to work and abandoned the more typical béchamel sauce filling for a moist mash. This also affords the opportunity to play with flavours so we've added grated parmesan for an extra taste kick! Here we've also suggested the classic chopped ham but you could just as well use fish, mushroom or peas and wasabi and / or mint... Quantities are flexible!



Ingredients

900 g mashed potatoes
Cooked Ham diced
Mushrooms diced
Parmesan grated
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp flour
Salt
White Pepper

Coating
Bread crumbs
Plain flour
2 Eggs ( beaten )

Method

Split the mash into two bowls and add the cooked diced ham or mushrooms to one. Mix well add an egg yolk to each and a handful of grated parmesan. If the mix is too moist to work add a table spoon of bread crumbs. Conversely the mix can be let down by adding melted butter or milk. Leave in the fridge for about an hour to cool down which will make the mix easier to work. Shape into either cigars, balls or small patties. Dust in flour then dip in beaten and finally breadcrumbs.  Deep fry or pan fry and keep warm in the oven on kitchen paper until ready to serve. Smoked paprika mayo makes a perfect accompaniment!







Posted by incredibly fed

26 April 2015

Fennel, okra and cherry tomatoes in tamarind

This is a great vegetarian dish which combines the aniseed flavour of fennel with the texture of okra and the citrus tang of tamarind. It takes only minutes to prepare and will be devoured with relish by both  carnivores and non carnivores alike!



Ingredients
3 - 4 Bulbs fennel cut into wedges
Handful of okra ( lady fingers) chopped
Cherry tomatoes
1 Large red onion
4 Cloves garlic chopped
2 cms Ginger chopped
1 Tbsp Corriander powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Garram masala
1 Tsp Turmeric
Half tsp Cinnamon powder
2 Tbsps Tamarind paste
4 Tbsp Passata
1 Tbsp Chilli powder
1 Tbso Palm or Castor sugar
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp Vegetable oil

Method
Fry off onion and garlic in a fairly deep saucepan until translucent. Add ginger and powder spices and sautee for about five minutes. Add the chopped fennel, passata and tamarind and mix and cook for a further five minutes. If the mix is too dry and catches add small amounts of water as you cook. Allow to simmer until the fennel has softened. Finally add the okra, tomatoes and sugar and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer again for a further ten minutes until the the vegetables are cooked but al dente and the tomatoes are still whole but on the verge of bursting open. Do not over stir as this will break up the vegetables. Serve with steamed rice, couscous, chapati or roti.






Posted by incredibly fed

26 February 2015

Kale and Hearty!

It's funny how fashion trends dictate the ingredients we buy, the menus we create and the things we eat and every so often this process reaches a pinnacle by promoting and incessantly touting a new de rigeur, must have superfood! The observant and the cynical amongst us may smirk and say we've seen it all before. Who doesn't remember for example, the heyday of the kiwi fruit or the popularity of sun dried tomatoes... Where are they now?

The trend, however continues unabated and fashionable ingredients come and go, rising and falling in popularity with monotonous regularity. Currently riding high is the humble kale but it has to be admitted in this case with some justification. Among the properties listed for kale are: it's very high in fibre; it's an anti-oxidant; it is loaded with vitamins especially K, A, and C; it helps prevent the absorption of dietary fats and thereby lowers cholesterol and it even helps retard the growth of cancer cells! Truly a super food! Go ahead and Google it to find out more about the justification for its claim to premier league status.

Similarly there are those foods that fashion demands we eschew and currently receiving a battering, so to speak, is the humble potato crisp. Listening to the radio recently we heard one visitor to these shores recently exclaim that one of the worst things about the UK cuisine was undoubtedly the flavoured crisp! Their negative connotations need hardly be laboured here. Suffice to say they are deep fat fried, laden with salt and totally lack any type of nutrition. Not to mention drenched in the afore mentioned artificial chemical flavour! We would like to make two points here though in defence of the crisp, one is that crisps don't have to be made from potatoes or even root vegetables and two they don't have to be flavoured! So for this post we have combined one of the most hyped ingredients of the day with one of the least admired... kale crisps!

Ingredients

Several stalks of kale
Olive oil
Garlic Salt
Paprika or Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper



Method

Cut out the stalks and shred the kale leaves into crisp size pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner. It is very important the leaves are bone dry. Place on a baking tray leaving some room between the leaves. Drizzle very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over the spices. ( You can experiment with others if you prefer ) Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 180 C and leave for in for about 10 minutes toss them about and leave for a further 5 minutes or until the kale is crispy. It will become even more crisp when taken out of the oven and allowed to cool.

Posted by incredibly fed

17 February 2015

Kuih Ketayap - Malaysian pandan pancakes

How come every year at this time, the beginning of Lent the Brazilians get Carnival - one of the noisiest, sexiest and exuberant annual spectacles imaginable on this planet while over here we get..... pancakes!!!??  Only the merest hint of lemon juice and sugar, jam or if we're very lucky chocolate sauce livens up the dull pan fried flat round flour and egg mix. We have to say we definitely don't think we get a good deal on this one and it's really not the best start to forty days of fasting, hunger and misery!!

Still that's the way it's been since medieval times and there's not much we can do about it.. Or is there? Short of boarding a trans-Atlantic flight to Latin America, stripping off, donning a sequent bikini and pom poms, jumping on a parade float and joining in the party what else can be done? Well you could try a more interesting Asian take on the humble pancake with a tasty coconut stuffing! These are generally made in Malaysia or Indonesia as a mid afternoon snack or to impress the aunties when they drop in for afternoon tea.

Don't be intimidated by the use of pandan ( screw pine ) leaves - they are crucial in this particular recipe and lend the wonderful and entirely natural green colour to the dish but we noticed a version in Sri Lanka recently called panipol pancake which drops the leaves altogether and uses only coconut milk and flour. Happily pandan leaves have become widely available in the UK and can be bought in Chinatown or on the internet.

So for a Shrove Tuesday with a difference try these...


Ingredients

( Makes about 10 pancakes)

Batter

12 Pandan (Screw pine) leaves
500 ml cold water
300g Plain flour
2 Eggs - Beaten
120 ml Coconut Milk
Pinch salt

Filling

600g Grated fresh coconut
300g Palm sugar
4 Pandan leaves
200 ml Cold water

Butter

Method

Filling - Cut the palm sugar into chunks and place in a saucepan with water. Tie or knot four pandan leaves together and add. Bring to the boil and simmer gently adding grated coconut and mixing well until almost dry. Put aside and allow to cool.

Pancake - Blend roughly chopped pandan leaves and water and then strain the the water. Put the flour, salt, egg and slowly whisk in the coconut milk and the pandan water until smooth. Ensure there are no lumps. Add more water if necessary. The batter should be runny and should coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Heat a little butter in a non-stick frying pan. Pour a ladle of pancake mix to cover the pan and cook on a low heat for about 2 or 3 minutes until edges curl. If necessary turn over and cook for a further minute. Repeat and store pancakes separated by grease proof paper.

To stuff place a table spoon of filling mix along the centre of each, fold the ends over and roll tightly. To serve cut each pancake diagonally and arrange with ice cream and / or fruit.



Posted by incredibly fed

3 February 2015

Prawn and Tamarind Salad

The lighthouse in Galle ( a world heritage site ) on the south coast of Sri Lanka
Just before Christmas we spent some time on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka visiting Romesh a very old friend of ours. ( We have written about Romesh before - see blog dated 13th July 2012 where he takes us through typical Sri Lankan curry and a number of other accompanying dishes ).

Romesh studied fashion with Ghaz in the eighties and he worked in the UK and in Germany before returning home about eight years ago to look after his ageing mother. He now lives with Tyson his lively boxer dog, in his family's wonderful Art Deco house in the heart of the embassy district of Colombo. Caruna his cook looks after him and his guests with wonderful Sri Lankan meals all served in the dining room. Meals are a formal occasion and are all ( even breakfast ) announced by several strokes on a gong echoing around the house.

Hearty breakfasts typically consist of fresh tropical fruits with buffalo curd and kitul (a sweet palm tree sap which is the Sri Lankan version of honey) A light prawn curry follows accompanied by hard boiled eggs in a spicy coconut milk and rice of course.






Seafood ingredients are very popular and the light prawn curry is served at any time of the day from breakfast onwards. Grilled prawns are also cooked frequently and here below we have adapted a prawn marinade to make a particularly tasty starter...


Ingredients

( Serves two )

6 King / tiger prawns
1 Cucumber cut into ribbons
1 Carrot cut into ribbons
1 Mango julienned
Coriander leaves
Olive oil

Dressing
1 Tbls Fish sauce
1 Tbls Soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbls brown sugar

Marinade
2 Cloves garlic in paste
1 Tsp Fish sauce
1 Tbls Tamarind paste
2 Tbls Sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbls Thin soy sauce

Garnish
Chopped toasted Cashews
Deseeded and sliced chilli
Slices of khaki fruit or star fruit




Method
Peel the prawns leaving head and tail intact and place in marinade for about 20 minutes. While marinating mix dressing ingredients, season and adjust to taste. Heat a little oil in a wok and fry prawns until nicely pink all over (about 3 - 5 minutes). Mix salad ingredients and cashews and toss in the dressing at the last minute. Arrange prawns on top. Garnish and serve.









Posted by incredibly fed

22 January 2015

Jolly Cauli...

"January, sick and  tired, you've been hanging on me...."
Pilot 1975 

Brrrrr... January the longest and most unrelenting winter month and what with Christmas and New Year festivities at one end and for some of us at least massive half yearly tax bills at the other, it can also a be a fiscally challenged one to boot!  So maybe it's time to start thinking about pulling out some low cost winter warmers if you'll pardon the expression!! Try Ghaz's delicious quick and easy spiced cauliflower soup.


Ingredients

1 Large cauliflower head
1 large white onion
1 large cooked potato in chunks
4 Cloves Garlic
4 Bayleaves
1 Litre chicken or vegetable stock
Half litre milk or soy milk
Half Tbsp chilli flakes
Splash Olive oil
Saffron or turmeric
Salt and Pepper

Garnish ( Optional)
Cooked Chorizo and cauliflower slices
Cayenne pepper

Method

Chop onions and garlic, fry onions and add garlic and bay leaves when onion is soft and translucent. Chop cauliflower and add with two pinches of saffron or turmeric. Lower to medium heat and allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add potato and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until all vegetables are soft. Add the milk and simmer again for 5 minutes. For a creamy texture use a hand blender as required. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the chorizo, thinly sliced and griddled cauliflower and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and olive oil drizzle.











Posted by incredibly fed

9 October 2014

Vietnamese Minced Chicken and water chestnuts in baby gem cups



Looking for the perfect snack that's simple and quick to make, healthy and yet still tastes special and full of flavour. It's also a great pre dinner canapé that will have your friends and family "ooing and ahhing" in appreciation




Ingredients

1 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Garlic cloves minced
3 Red Chillies ( deseeded and finely chopped)
500 g Minced chicken thighs (or pork or turkey)
80 g Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
2 Lime leaves ( finely chopped)
2 Little gem heads
Handful of mint and coriander
Handful of toasted peanuts ( roughly chopped)
5 cms of Ginger root ( grated )
1 Tblsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Can Water Chestuts ( chopped)

Method

Heat oil in a pan and fry garlic chillies and ginger for about a minute. Add minced meat breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Then add fish sauce, soy, lime juice and zest and brown sugar and chopped lime leaves. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until ingredients are well combined and you are satisfied that the chicken is well cooked through. Finally add the water chestnut and cook for a further two minutes. ( See photo ). Allow to cool to room temperature. Prepare lettuce by carefully separating leaves. Place a dessert spoon of the mixture into each leave cup and garnish with chilli strips, crushed peanuts and coriander.

Posted by incredibly fed

7 September 2014

Salt and Pepper Squid


From the Mediterranean to the South China Sea squid is a popular seafood eaten almost daily. In Spain no self respecting seaside eatery would dare to omit deep fried calamari served with a tomato dip or garlic aioli, whilst further east they like to add a pinch of pepper and spice to heat things up. Our favourite is the definitely piquant "Salt and pepper squid" the pepper referred to of course is the hot Szechuan variety. Here's how it goes...

Ingredients
Serves 4
800g Squid cleaned
2 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper Corns
2 Tsp Chilli flakes
2 Tbsp Sea salt
8 Tbsp plain flour
8 Tbsp Cornflour
Half Tsp Turmeric powder
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Lemon wedges Garnish

Method

Crush together pepper corns, chilli flakes and salt in a pestal and mortar and mix into the flour Slice the squid down one side so that it lies flat and score on the inside into diamond pattern. Cut into bite sized pieces and coat in flour and turmeric. (The turmeric will help turn the deep fried squid into a beautiful golden colour) Heat the oil (To test a pice of bread should go golden brown in 30 seconds) Shake off excess flour and deep fry until golden - about 1 - 2 minutes. Serve with a wedge of lemon and your favourite dip.

Posted by incredibly fed

10 February 2014

Miso Salmon

Some time ago we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant off Leicester Square and enjoyed Nasu Dengaku, a simple dish made with aubergine halved and baked with miso paste and always one of our favourite sides. Not impressed with the price though we discovered how easy it was to make at home for a fraction of the cost. ( See the post dated 15th July 2013 ).

Fast forward to last week when we were searching about for some new ideas for a birthday buffet we were cooking for a very good client in Wimbledon.  We decided to transfer the idea to salmon fillets with great effect. It went down so well at that event we decided to share it with you. The photo we show is the party version - four kilos of salmon made 25 portions. We have adapted the recipe for the more usual dinner party.




Ingredients
( Serves 4)

4 Salmon fillets (about 150g each)
1 Tbls Red miso paste
1 Tbls Muscovado sugar
1 Tbls Light soy
1 Tbls Grated ginger
1 Clove crushed garlic
1 Tbls Sweet chilli sauce
1 Tbls Sesame oil

Method

Mix all the above ( except salmon) and pour over the salmon for approximately half an hour before cooking. Cover and leave in the fridge. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 C) for about 15 minutes then caramelise under the grill for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Ideally garnish it with chilli and spring onion and serve with rice or noodles and cucumber salad.





Posted by incredibly fed

29 November 2013

Porc Normande with lumache and sugar snaps

".... You are the apple of my eye
Forever you'll stay in my heart"
Stevie Wonder 1973 

Similar to Kent in South-East England Normandy just across "Le Manche" in France is famous for its apple orchards which are mentioned as far back as Charlemagne in the eighth  century. It doesn't take a PhD to work out that in French cuisine the term "Normande" is generally used to denote a dish with apples! But perhaps the best known products from this fruit crop are not a food but drinks - apple cider and the liqueur distilled from it.. Calvados. Both of these are used to great effect in this recipe.

Pork and apple is a classic match made in heaven and this unctuous creamy sauce with apple is no different. Here we serve it with lumache and sugar snaps. If you wish you can substitute the pork with chicken or veal escallop or even a meaty white fish which will work very well.





Ingredients

2 Pork cutlets (flattened to form escallops)
1 Apple
200 - 250 ml apple cider (approx)
2 - 3 Tbsps Calvados
100 ml Cream
Seasoning

Method

Season the pork escallops and heat a little oil and butter in non-stick pan. Fry the pork for for one to two minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. Slice the apple and place on the pan. Fry until soft and then deglaze the pan with the Calvados then add about 250 ml of apple cider and allow to reduce. When about a third of the original quantity remains switch off the heat and add the cream and mix. Return any juices from the pork to the mix. Place the pork on a serving dish and pour over the apple slices and cream.

Here we show the dish served with lumache pasta shells and sugar snaps. Boil the pasta as per the packet instructions and add the sugar snaps one and a half minutes before draining. Drizzle olive oil over and serve as a bed under the meat.





Posted by incredibly fed

15 November 2013

Spiced Plum and Apple Chutney

The plum tree at Tatjana's allotment is undoubtedly temperamental! For a number of years there has been barely any fruit worth talking about and one or two apple and plum crumbles were about all we managed to muster out of the harvest. Ah... But not so this year. The branches positively groaned under the weight of fruit and in some cases were bent almost double. Even the voracious appetite of the raucous parakeets that frequent the skies over the Chiswick / Acton boarder lands couldn't devour the bountiful produce. Determined to take advantage of this bumper crop Ghaz insisted we all stagger home with as much fruit as we could carry to experiment with fruit chutney recipes. As usual our recipes are intended as a guide and are very forgiving. You can make this recipe your own by adding some of your favourite ingredients - here for example we would suggest sultanas or dried cranberries or dates even!















Ingredients

1 Garlic Bulb
2 Thumb sized Fresh root ginger
2 Large red onions
1 Kg Apples
1 Kg Plums
3 Star Anise
6 Cardamon Pods
12 Cloves
2 Bay leaves
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp Curry powder
1 Tbsp Chilli powder
1 Tsp Chilli flakes
2 Tbsps Salt
450g Castor sugar
Juice one lime
568mls Apple Cider
250 Mls Balsamic vinegar
6 Jam jars Sterilised

Method

Peel garlic and blend with ginger until a smooth paste. Peel and thinly slice the onion and place in large saucepan with the paste. Peel, core and chop the apples and add to the pan with spices, vinegar salt and sugar. Gently bring to the boil stir and simmer about 30 minutes or until the apple is cooked and pulpy.
Meanwhile stone and quarter the plums and add to the mixture and simmer for 40 minutes until plums are cooked but still retain some shape. Bottle cold after a few days and seal. Once opened use within a month.

Posted by incredibly fed

28 October 2013

Game....? Boys

"On the first day of Christmas 
my true love gave to me 
a partridge in a pear tree"
English Carol thought to be of French origin first published in England in 1780 

As the song would seem to gleefully and repetitiously suggest one of the tastiest game birds is undoubtedly partridge but thankfully we don't have to wait until the twelve days of Christmas to cook and enjoy it. We are currently right in the middle of the game season and a few days ago we featured pheasant where we also detailed this type of "pot roasting".

Having attempted to oven roast game on numerous occasions in the past and failing miserably to achieve the optimum goal of a tender, moist and succulent meat we think this cooking method successfully ensures the best balance of the finished product.
Here the accompanying jus we suggest is slightly sweet, rich and fruity and is the perfect partner for the gamy taste of the fowl.


Ingredients

2 Oven ready partridges
1 Carrot chopped
2 Sticks celery chopped
1 Small onion chopped
3 Cloves Garlic chopped
2 Tsps Chilli paste
2 Bay leaves
1 Sprig rosemary
Seasoning
Butter
Olive oil
300 mls White wine

Jus

2 Tbsps black current jam
Dash Worcester Sauce
Dash Tobasco
Juice of one orange
Butter
Tsp sugar
Seasoning


Method

Check the fowl for shot and remove. Pour a little olive oil and a melt a knob of butter in a small casserole dish (one which will accommodate the birds snugly). Brown off the birds all round (this will be the only chance to give them a pleasing golden colour). Remove and set aside. Place the onion and garlic in the dish and gently cook for a few minutes before adding the remainder of the vegetables and the chilli paste. Cook for a further few minutes then sit the birds on top of the vegetables and pour the wine into the dish. It should come to well up the sides of the birds ( the snug fit should make this easier). Cover and kick start the wet roasting by warming the wine on the hop before placing in a pre-heated oven at 200 C. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes then remove from the oven and allow the partridges to rest for 10 - 15 minutes. Drain the juices into a pan and reduce to about about a third. Add the orange juice, butter, jam, Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco and season to taste.

To serve place a spoonful of the vegetables in the centre of a large dinner plate, half each bird and arrange on top. Pour a generous amount of jus over.






Posted by incredibly fed

26 October 2013

Game Over... Fruity Pot Roasted Pheasant

So the autumn equinox has come and gone and tonight we put the clocks back - an annual ritual which well and truly heralds the advent of the winter months. One of the compensations of this time of the year however, as we witness the disappearing sun and lengthening hours of darkness is the abundance and variety of game available in our local butchers. At the moment he is offering succulent pheasant at a very reasonable price of less than £3.50 per bird. The one we cooked was ample for two people making it a very economical dish and tasty to boot!

Pot roasting the game helps to keep the breast meet from drying out whilst at the same time allowing the leg joints to become tender.







Ingredients

1 medium sized pheasant
1 large apple (sliced)
3 - 4 Plums
250 mls Apple or dark fruit cider
1 small red onion (chopped)
4 - 5 cms Chorizo
Sprig Rosemary
2 Bay leaves
Juice and rind of one lime
Seasoning
Butter / Olive oil
Cream
2 Tbsps Blackcurrant or Blackberry jam



Method

Melt butter and olive oil in a casserole dish  season and brown the pheasant on all sides. Remove and set aside. Sautee the onion and chorizo until translucent and then add the apple and plums. Then add in the cider, rosemary, bay leaves and lime juice and rind. and put the pheasant back in. The liquid should come well up the sides of the bird. Cover and place in the oven at 180 C for about an hour. Baste occasionally. About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat remove the bird from the dish and allow to rest. Spoon in the jam and dissolve then add the cream. Strain into a sauce boat. Halve the pheasant, pour the jus over and serve with Game chips or sauteed potatoes.






Posted by incredibly fed

18 October 2013

What Baloo didn't tell Mowgli..!

"Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear 
Try to use the claw..."

Baloo 1967 

Although Rudyard Kipling's story is set in the lush Indian jungle Baloo's survival tips to Mowgli may indeed prove useful should you ever find yourself stranded and alone in inhospitable terrain.  Prickly pears are the fruits of the paddle cactus and grow in very arid locations mainly in the Americas and particularly in Mexico where they are known as 'Nopales'.
Beware though if you are tempted to try to harvest them. As Baloo cautions they are covered in nasty spines but even more treacherous are the tiny almost invisible hairs which cover the fruit and the pads which need to be burned or rubbed off. Thankfully when buying them in the market these hazards have already been removed.
We saw them recently in our local market and decided to try them out. Having eaten some raw we came to the conclusion that the best use was to make a compote similar to that made with passion fruit. It works well with vanilla ice cream or cheese cake or as a smoothie with bananas. Here we suggest an entirely diferent option though and team them up with chicken livers.




Ingredients

300g Chicken livers
50g Bacon lardons
2 Med sized pears peeled and sliced
1 Red onion thickly sliced
1 Clove garlic sliced
2 Tbsps Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsps Sherry Vinegar
1 Tsp Cayenne pepper
Tbsp Oil
Knob butter
Salt and pepper
1 Tsp sugar
3 Tbsps Prickly pear compote*



Method

Melt the butter and oil in a non-stick pan and add the onion, lardons and garlic . Gently cook until the onion becomes translucent then add the pear slices, vinegar, cayenne, sugar and Worcestershire allow the liquid to reduce and add the livers. Cook gently until the livers change colour - no more than a minute. Finally add the fruit compote. Turn off the heat and season to taste. Serve with mixed leaves or pasta shells.

* You can substitute with 1 tbsp blackcurrant jam.









Posted by incredibly fed

11 October 2013

Tomato and Tamarind Chutney

The word chutney derives from Sanskrit and means "to lick" the first Indian chutneys being sweetened with honey and thus being more runny they were served as a dip rather than a condiment. Chutneys can be dated as far back as 500 BC and their ingredients are now almost limitless. Early globalisation ensued as their popularity spread along the trade routes driven first by the Romans and then much later spread through out the English speaking world via the British Empire. As new foods poured in from around the planet, the Americas in particular and sugar was substituted for honey the recipe format was adapted and expanded to include exotic ingredients such as chillies and tomatoes. In Europe the preservative qualities of sugar, vinegar and salt were quickly realised and pickling and making chutney became an invaluable and tasty means of keeping fruit and vegetables edible over the cold winter months.


Ingredients

1 Kg Ripe Tomatoes
500g Red onions (finely sliced)
8 Garlic cloves
1 Red Chilli chopped (inc seeds)
2 Thumbs of ginger
250g Brown sugar
150ml Red wine vinegar
5 Cardamon pods
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Bay leaves
1 Tbsp Chilli powder or flakes
5 Tbsps Tamarind Paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 Jam jars (sterilised)



Method

Blend garlic and ginger to paste and chop the tomatoes into cubes and tip all ingredients into a large heavy bottomed pan and bring to a gentle simmer stirring frequently for one hour until mixture turns dark and jammy. Allow to cool and bottle and seal after a day or two. The chutney will keep well but once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.



Posted by incredibly fed

5 October 2013

Open Fruit Tart


Continuing on our dessert theme from last time, this one is easy and so versatile. Recently we served it up making use of the delicious Saturn peaches (also known as doughnut peaches)  which are so plentiful at the moment. We stoned and halved the peaches before griddling them. Equally try pineapple nectarines, plums, strawberries raspberries almost anything in fact.


Ingredients
1 Sheet ready made puff pastry
Fruit of choice

Creme Anglaise*
6 Egg yolks
65g Sugar
Vanilla pod
500 ml Milk

Glaze
1 Passion fruit
200 ml Fresh Orange juice
4 Tbsp Sugar
Lemongrass

Method

Cut a piece of baking paper and place on a baking tray and then roll out the pastry. Cut around the edge about 1 cm in (not  the whole way through the pastry) and prick the centre to prevent the pastry from rising excessively. Brush the edge with milk or beaten egg to ensure a pleasing golden colouring. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes.

Creme anglaise - Whip the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Heat the milk and vanilla in a pan and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and pour the milk over the egg yolks whisking continuously, Allow to cool.


* Don't tell anyone but you can cheat by using a ready made custard!  In which case whisk 300g of mascarpone with 250ml of ready made custard and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and further sweeten to taste with icing sugar.

Glaze - Half and de-seed the passion fruit add the orange juice, lemongrass and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer until mixture has reduced and is syrupy. Allow to cool.

When ready to serve spread the creme mixture over the pastry and arrange the fruit over. Brush on the passion fruit glaze.





Posted by incredibly fed

30 September 2013

Coconut panna cotta and passion fruit coulis

"Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey,
Your first kiss thrilled me so,
Sweets for my sweet sugar for my honey,
I'll never ever let you go..."
The Drifters 1961


It's a truism that we could be criticised for not paying enough attention to the sweeter side of life. Yes there are very few desserts on this blog and it must be admitted that it is not really our area of greatest expertise. But let's try to rectify this omission and learn some easy and quick puddings together.

Behind the scenes we have been  busy developing a new line of desserts,  largely it has to be admitted driven by the necessity of providing a sugary conclusion to our buffet, cocktail and dinner party menus and fortunately our shot glass desserts have become very popular. In line with our general ethos we endeavour to produce menu items which blend east and west with a twist or to coin a popular phrase "fusion"!

Here's a panna cotta dessert we developed recently and it has just made it's debut onto our party menu lists. Literally "cooked cream" it makes a wonderful foil for all sorts of accessories. Here it is shown with a passion fruit coulis but goes equally well with other fruit toppings such as cherry jam for example or chocolate sauce. To add texture try a biscuit crumble.






Panna cotta with a summer berry jam. 
Ingredients

300 ml Double Cream
400 ml Thick coconut cream (1 can)
4 Sheets gelatine or agar agar
Castor Sugar to taste
1 Vanilla Pod
Pinch salt (optional)

Coulis
3 Ripe passion fruits
Juice of half a lime
Castor Sugar to taste

Method
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 - 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine coconut milk, double cream sugar and vanilla in saucepan. Squeeze gelatine and add to the pan. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes in medium heat (Do not boil) Sieve liquid into serving dishes and allow to fall to room temperature before placing in the fridge for a few hours or preferably overnight.

Coulis

Scoop out middle of passion fruit and add sugar and lime juice and simmer for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved and liquid has become syrupy. Before serving pour coulis over panna cotta and garnish with tropical fruit.




Posted by incredibly fed

13 September 2013

Fregola Grossa

A few months ago a very lovely foodie friend of ours gathered up her savings, took her courage in both hands and headed up the hill to Highgate to fulfil the dream of a lifetime. Emine found a rundown little shop carried out a major upgrade and launched "Limone" a new bijou delicatessen. Conveniently its just up the road from our good friend and sometime co-chief Rebecca. Behind its cute Victorian window the shop is bursting with hand baked breads, rare olive oils and bespoke goodies which are already proving a wonderful, much needed and very popular addition to the Highgate high street scene!

Shortly after the opening we were sitting at one of the little bistro tables wedged between the wicker baskets of crusty loaves sipping an oversized beaker of delicious hand roasted coffee and nibbling a delectable home made chocolate and walnut cake.  We had the perfect opportunity to eye up Emine's very personal and unusual selection of foods and vowed to take home some ingredients which we had never cooked before. Among those items which prompted our curiosity were the packages of fregola grossa which could easily be mistaken for very large irregular grains of cous cous or even a breakfast cereal crunch but is actually an unusual (here at least) type of pasta made with semolina dough from Sardinia.

If you decide to give this one a go you will wind up with a delicious dish which is similar to a risotto or paella but made with pasta of course. Classically it is cooked with tomato sauce and clams and is a wonderful and very filling winter warmer. The recipe below is a basic version but please feel free to try your own variations. If you are feeling really indulgent try adding your own favourite shell fish such as prawns or mussels or a strongly flavoured chorizo or smoked sausage. For added flavour and appeal sprinkle each serving with flakes of parmesan cheese before serving.



Ingredients

100g Fregola grossa
1 Litre carton Tomato juice
1 Red onion (finely chopped)
2 Large Tomatoes (chopped)
2 Gloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 large glass white wine
2 large bacon rashers coarsely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 or 3 bulbs fennel cut into quarters
Large knob butter
Handful coriander
Dash Woscester Sauce
Dash Tabasco
Salt and Pepper

Method

Melt the butter in a deep frying pan and add the onions garlic then the bacon and tomatoes and fennel cook gently for a few minutes until the onions become translucent and the fennel begins to soften. Add the wine and cook for a further few minutes to burn off the alcohol before adding the tomato juice. Pour in the uncooked fregola and stir through the liquid. Allow the pasta to absorb the liquid slowly. Add the Woscester sauce, lemon juice, tabasco and seasoning. Cover and stir occasionally until the fragola is soft but still slightly al dente. Further season to taste and garnish with torn coriander leaves.


Posted by incredibly fed

5 September 2013

Forager's Crumble

Forager's table at Tatjana's

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow 
in an English country garden..?
...How many insects come here and go 
in an English country garden..?
...How many song birds fly to and fro' 
in an English country garden...? 
Jimmie Rodgers 1962 

Last Sunday the Indian summer was in still in full gear so we got up early to visit the first-Sunday-of-the-month Chiswick car boot fair... Quite an entertaining experience for the princely sum of £1.00 and very reminiscent of another of our favourite old haunts  - Incants flea market in Barcelona. If you, like us fancy a good rummage well then there are no better places. Just stick a few bob in your pocket and go with an open mind and see what appears. Having made a modest purchase to support the traders we continued on to the nearby farmers market for fair trade coffee and then to Tatjana's allotment where late summer's wonderful bounty was ripe for the picking. Tatjana's plot neighbour John has an extensive plantation with just about everything that grows in this climate on offer. It is undoubtedly one of the best allotments on the site with neat rows of trellis and raised beds between manicured paths and trimmed bushes and trees. Thanks to their generosity we staggered away at the end of the day with all we could carry and have been cooking ever since.



One favourite which we tried out the next day on some of Ghaz's girlie friends to great effect was undoubtedly the forager's crumble. To give this very popular dessert a twist and to make it our own so to speak we played around with both the filling and the topping using up ingredients that were to hand. Making the basic topping is easy but to make it more interesting many recipes recommend that you also add various breakfast cereal type ingredients such as muesli or porridge oats or even crushed biscuits of various sorts. In our case we added an assortment of ingredients which we found in the cupboard and which needed to be used up - namely coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts and toasted almonds. Keep in mind that you are seeking to achieve a slightly sweet and crunchy topping to compliment the soft stickiness of the fruit filling. Similarly for the fruit filling many candidates are eminently suitable, a base of apples is a good start but the possibilities are really only limited by your own imagination! The exact amounts will vary depending on the amount and nature of your chosen ingredients so the recipe below is intended as a guide only.



Forager's Crumble
Ingredients
Filling
4 - 6 Cooking Apples
Handful of Blackberries
Handful Pineapple chunks
Handful of sliced Plums
20g Butter
50g Castor sugar
Tsp Cinnamon powder
2-3 Tbsps Cherry Brandy

Crumble (Basic)
100g Flour
50g Butter
Sugar to taste (Several tblsps)

Method
Slice the apples into small chunks and place in a deep pan with the butter and sugar and cinnamon and cherry brandy. Melt the butter and cook for a few minutes until all the ingredients come together to make a good syrupy filling. Softer fruits such as berries and plums should be added when you turn off the heat. Allow to cool. In the meantime place the butter, flour and sugar in a bowl and rum with you fingers until the mixture forms a breadcrumb like structure. Rub for a few minutes but do not over do it! Mix in whatever other nuts and seeds etc you might like to use. Place the cold fruit mix into a baking dish or individual ramekins and cover generously with the crumble topping. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes or until the topping is a pleasing golden brown.

Posted by incredibly fed

30 August 2013

Beloved Barceloneta!


The night time view from Piotr's apartment over Barcelona harbour
"....please don't cry, this is adios and not goodbye,
Soon I'll return, bringing you all the love your heart can hold,
Please say si, si,
Say you and your Spanish eyes will wait for me.. "
Al Martino 1965 and 1973 

OK, OK, we know the song is about Mexico not Spain but the lyrics seem to fit... well sort of!

A week or two ago between a 60th birthday buffet and a 21st celebration the IF chefs had an opportunity to take a short break to carry out a little research and development in our favourite Mediterranean city - Barcelona. We were invited to stay at a friend's bijou penthouse apartment overlooking the harbour in the distinctive Barceloneta quarter of the metropolis. So temporarily forsaking our usual pied-a-terre (Jose's cool, contemporary and brilliantly designed Eixample flat on Avenida Aragon - which in any event was already booked) we were delighted to take up the offer to stay in Piotr's "Beloved Barceloneta!".

Barceloneta is a self contained triangular city district which forms a promontory on the north side of Barcelona's impressive harbour. One side encloses multi-million pound sailing craft whilst another, more democratically provides accommodation on a sandy beach for anyone brave enough to attempt to find a patch sufficiently large to unfurl a beach towel and brave the blisteringly hot sunshine!

Built on a grid pattern in the 19th century to house fishermen and their families, sailors and other dock workers it is a staunchly working class barrio, only thinly veiled by a waifer veneer of uber trendiness and paella tourist traps. Consequently the buildings are modest and the streets tightly packed but thankfully despite its increasing desirability amongst outsiders has not lost its wonderfully unique character.




"Bombas cojonudas"
The landmark food market, which is the neighbourhood's centrepiece, has been recently refurbished beside a new civic square which in turn boasts a number of Michelin star eateries. Behind the flat there is a wonderful artisan bakery whose croissants would rival anything central Paris or Vienna has to offer and numerous querky resaurants which actively discourage "giris" (foreigners and tourists).  One of which, a favourite of Jose's, has no sign outside, serves soupy rice as its signature dish and started out life when one fisherman's wife was persuaded to cook a meal for the entire boat crew each time they returned to port! Even today you still get the overwhelming impression you are eating in some one's front room!

One of our favourites though does have a sign which says "La Bombeta"  a tapas restaurant on the Calle de la Machinista with a wood panelled and formica 1950s interior straight out of la dolce vita and a hand painted sign proudly proclaiming that.. "we don't speak English but we make f***ing good bombas!" It was so true too, the maitre spoke Castillian and the bombas, croquettas and morcilla were out of this world! Try it if you get a chance but don't go late at night as you won't get a table!









"We don't speak English but...!" 


On a slightly sweeter note the best ice cream on the peninsula was from a parlour Jose introduced us to, the newly arrived Vioko which proudly displayed all its flavours in three languages (Catalan, Castillian and English). We tried the hazelnut and an off piste grapefruit and jasmine both of which were delectable! Giris very welcome!



Spot paintings at Vioko. 
Further into the shop delicious dark chocolate was on offer whilst rows of colourful macaroons had all the appearance of Damien Hirst spots lined up and waiting to be applied to his latest canvas!

On the beach front we had a delicious lunch at Kaiku very recommended.

Further afield Jose took us to eat at two trendy new eateries Cornilia and Co on Calle Valencia which also has an interesting deli and wine shop and where we chatted to Cornilia herself who was taking a break and a quick bite at the next table, and the former Moritz brewery turned bistro on Ronda San Antoni near the plaza Universitat. This is a beautiful old beer factory now cleverly converted by the Moritz family into a large restaurant with a comprehensive and central Eurpoean influenced menu. The complex boasts a bakery and shop and still makes just enough beer on the site to fill the pitchers on the dining tables. It is well worth a visit.

















Posted by incredibly fedhttp://www.restaurantkaiku.cat/

23 August 2013

"Salmon-chanted Evening..."

"Some enchanted evening 
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger,
Across a crowded room" 
Emile de Becque 1949

Misheard lyrics from the southern seas aside this one really is enchanting! It is inspired by the Peruvian and Nikkei fusion cuisine on offer at Pakta, the Adria brothers' latest eatery in Barcelona which we had the pleasure of visiting recently. (See post 6th August 2013) Based loosely on Pakta's ceviche of sea bass and kumquat, its flavours are sophisticatedly subtle like most of the fare on offer there. Very easy to do, it is guaranteed to raise eyebrows and win accolades from every corner of your dining table. It is a salmon and ruby grapefruit ceviche with maracuya (passion fruit) syrup. The blend of bitter sweet fruit juices together with sashimi will blow your socks off!


Ingredients
Organic Salmon
1 Ruby grapefruit
Lemon zest for garnish
Coriander leaves for garnish
Maracuya syrup
1 Passion fruit
200 ml Fresh Orange juice
4 Tbsp Sugar
Lemongrass

Method

Syrup - Half and de-seed the passion fruit add the orange juice, lemongrass and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer until mixture has reduced and is syrupy. Allow to cool.


Peel the grapefruit by cutting off the top and bottom and remove the skin by cutting down the sides of the fruit following its curve. Cut between the segments with a very sharp knife to produce slices which have no pith or stringy bits. Set aside squeeze the juice out of the remainder Thinly slice the salmon and arrange on a plate. drizzle olive oil over and spoon over the grapefruit juice and a little of the syrup. Sprinkle a little salt over. Arrange coriander leaves and lemon zest on top.

Posted by incredibly fed

11 August 2013

Ice cold Spanish Summer soup!

Why wait till you go to Spain to enjoy a gorgeous gazpacho? Now that the weather is so warm and tomatoes and cucumbers are so plentiful in the market what better lunch or starter than an ice cold super summer soup. Oh and do we need to mention its economical and very healthy too?


Ingredients
6 - 8 Large ripe Tomatoes
2 Cucumbers
2 Yellow or red Peppers (Roasted)
1 Lemon (juice and zest)
1 Tbsp White wine vinegar
1 Tsp Tabasco
1 Tsp Woscester sauce
2 Tsps Castor Sugar
Seasoning

Garnish
Ice cubes
Croutons
Parsley
Olive oil
Ground Black pepper

Method
Slice and de-seed the peppers, season, drizzle with olive oil and place in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for about 25 minutes. In the meantime core and de-seed the tomatoes, peel the cucumber, slice in half lenght-wise and scoop out the seeds. Place in a food blender or liquidizer with the peppers and any juice on the baking tray. Add the juice of a lemon, tabasco, Woscester, vinegar and sugar and a little water and blitz for several minutes until soft and creamy. You will need to let down the pulp further at this stage with a little more water until you are happy with the consistency of the soup. Now place in the fridge for several hours until very cold. Taste and finally adjust the seasoning and maybe dilute a little further. Add the lemon zest, garnish and serve ice cold.








Posted by incredibly fed

6 August 2013

Pakta, Togetherness in Barcelona

Round One! Honzen Ryori.
"Su reserva esta confirmada" the email read. It had just been sent to us by Jose in Barcelona who was so chuffed at having secured a booking at this the latest of the Adria Brothers' new stable of eateries, more or less all located in the Poble Sec district of the Catalan capital, that he felt he should send us the proof!

Pakta the website explains is an indiginous Peruvian language word meaning 'Together or Union" and the restaurant is so called because it brings together two chefs, one from Japan and one from Peru to create this fusion menu. Japan and Peru, readers are informed have had a long association and Nikkei cuisine is very popular in Peru.





Mortared chalaca with mussels and yucca chips
As we seated ourselves the delightful and very pretty Sussie Vilanova our Filipina-Danish hostess introduced herself and brilliantly guided us through the whole gastronomic oddyssey. (We were even told where the beautiful white glass and porcelain crockery was sourced!) At the onset perspective diners are advised to allow two hours for the whole experience but for us I must say this was way out - it was more like three and a half with no programmed breaks for cigarettes or the loo which you are encouraged to request!! Such a contrast from London eateries where you are shushed off the table after one hour twenty. Furthermore a quick calculation indicated no more than 30 covers and a staff to customer ratio way in favour of the customer! The place is small!





Sea Bass ceviche with kumquats "leche de tigre" 
The choice is simple there are two taster menus with between about 14 to 18 courses, one is slightly longer than the other but Sussie carefully explained to us that the actual quantity of food was similar as the portions varied and that we should make our choice based on personal preference not quantity! In true democratic style the entire table is obliged to agree on one menu or the other.

It would take far too long to discribe each course but once our little troupe embarked on the voyage there was nothing but ooooos, ahhs and ghasps of delight as Sussie held us all spellbound with her knowledgable presentation of each new dish and we listened enthralled to a description of its social history, component ingredients and cooking techniques.







Posted by incredibly fed

15 July 2013

Nasu Dengaku (Miso Aubergine)

We know it's not that long ago we were extolling the virtues of the humble griddled aubergine but make no apology for mentioning it again as this dish is really special. It is a favourite whenever we go to Japanese restaurants but to be frank it always seems such poor value that last time we ordered it a few days ago at Eat Tokyo just off Leicester Square we resolved on the spot to get the ingredients and make it ourselves. Over lunch Ghaz surfed the world wide web on his iphone and we picked up the ingredients we didn't already have in Chinatown on the way home!

It's actually very simple to make. The only sightly tricky ingredient is the miso paste of which there are two varieties, red and white. We plumbed for the red simply because the resultant colour is more appealing. (We have yet to try the white in the same recipe). We have put in a link below which explains the nature of the ingredient. The paste totally transforms the taste of the aubergine flesh so even if the humble egg plant is not one of your particular favourites we think you will really enjoy this as a wonderful vegetarian starter or side to accompany fish dishes in particular!


Ingredients (For 1 aubergine)

2 Tbsp Red miso paste
2 Tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Rice wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Castor Sugar
2 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Light Soy
White Sesame seeds for garnish
Vegetable Oil

Method

Pre-heat grill. Cut the aubergine lengthwise leaving the stalk on. Score the flesh diagonally taking care not to pierce the skin. Brush the halves all over with vegetable oil and place under the grill flesh side up for a few minutes until browned then turn over for a few more minutes until you are happy the flesh is soft and cooked. Remove from the grill and pat dry.

Meanwhile in a separate pan mix all the paste ingredients and simmer until the mixture thickens to a syrup. Spoon over the aubergine flesh and grill for a further two minutes until the syrup has caramelised. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.



Posted by incredibly fed

5 July 2013

Lycee Mojito for Cocktail O'Clock!

Ingredients (Makes one drink)

2 Wedges of Lime
2 lycees
25 ml algave
3-4 Mint leaves
Shot (25 ml) lycee liquor
Double shot (50 ml) white rum
Soda water
Crushed ice

Garnish Sprig of mint, 1 lycee cape gooseberry (optional)

Muddle lycee, mint, sugar and lime then add rum and lycee liquor and top up with crushed ice and fill the glass with soda water and garnish

Posted by incredibly fed

21 June 2013

Gravlax Sauce

A few weeks ago we were asked to do a "chef's table" seated birthday dinner for 14 people. (That is to prepare and cook all the courses in front of guests) The client told us that as it was her special evening she wanted to choose her all time favourite dishes. So in reverse order the menu included Tiramisu for dessert, Halibut and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce for the mains and seared carpaccio of beef to kick off. We had great fun cooking and very much enjoyed being so involved with the guests all evening and watching the fare disappear from the plates almost a quickly as it was served!

Afterwards we were complimented all round but quickly discovered that one item in particular seems to have stolen the show. We had decided to dress the carpaccio with a gravlax sauce more commonly seen on smoked salmon but we find goes equally well if not better with meat.  This is a great little condiment and people have been asking for the recipe ever since! So here it is...

Ingredients

2 Tbsps honey mustard
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1Tbsp White wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Castor Sugar
1 Tsp Salt
1 Egg yolk
150 ml Rape seed oil
Dill chopped
Ground black pepper

Method

Whisk the egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar together in a small blender or mixer. Slowly drizzle in the oil. The mixture should emulsify, that is become thick and creamy. Stir in the chopped dill and spoon over the meat or salmon. Please take note the ingredients are intended as a guide so once the basic sauce is made don't be afraid to calibrate the levels of sweetness and sourness to your individual taste by adding more sugar, salt or vinegar as appropriate.

By the way the carpaccio of beef is prepared by dusting the beef with a mix of garlic salt chilli powder, salt and ground black pepper and quickly searing it all round on a smoking hot pan. Allow it to cool and wrap tightly in cling film. It will be much easier to slice thinly after a couple hours in the freezer.


Posted by incredibly fed

14 June 2013

Street Food!

A few days ago a client asked us to cater for a corporate event his company was hosting. We had already catered a private party for his birthday in April and were delighted to be asked back so soon to cook again. This time it was to be an evening of corporate entertainment, the main event being a performance by the "Pop Up Opera Company" but also included was a book signing by the author Garry Hunter of copies of his study of recent street art from around the world. Our client asked us to come up with an original theme for corporate entertainment. After some thought the suggestion was a world street food fair to compliment the book's "World Street Art" subject.

We suggested the food should be served from a street stall, an idea which the client loved and provided a menu of street food from around the world which we thought would be appropriate. The list included amongst other dishes fish and chips, burgers and hot dogs from Great Britain, stuffed vine leaves from Greece, various kebabs from the middle east, bhajis and peckoras from India and noodle and rice dishes from the Far East.
"Posters" advertising our wares... 

In the end the client plumbed for Great British fish and chips, summer rolls from Vietnam, Falalels with hummus and tabouleh from the Lebanon, tandoori chicken from India and Asian rice noodle boxes all accessorised with heaps of prawn crackers, poppadums and a variety of delectable sauces and dressings!  Desserts were retro fruit skewers with salted dark chocolate sauce and poached pears with ginger and mascarpone.

Once the choice was made Andrew our trusty IT support consultant designed and printed off posters to adorn the stall. So "Alfie's Falafels", "Tandoori Junction", "Saigon Vegetarian Rolls", "The Great British Fish and Chip Supper" and "Capa Street Noodles" all made their debut but for one night only...

All hands on deck during the interval! 

On that night we erected a garden gazabo indoors which made the perfect street "stall". Very much relieved that the tent structure actually fit into the room we set up shop underneath. Serving food had to be done pre- and post- the opera perfermance as well as during the interval. Luckily with the A Team of Ghaz, Emma and Maria manning the fort all the guests were "Incredibly Fed" in double quick time!







Posted by incredibly fed

7 June 2013

Asparagus Spears

"Paneed"Asparagus with Goats' milk Camambert 
Neatly sandwiched between the medal winning blooms at Chelsea at the end of May and the thrilling tennis at Wimbledon at the end of June we have what has to be one of the most pleasant periods of the year, the delightful asparagus season. The appearance of those uniquely flavoursome green spears herald the advent of the summer months and the balmy days of the season to come.

Now those of you who are regular readers will spot instantly that we have already posted about asparagus. Almost a year ago while staying at a friends' chateau in the Gers region of south west France we raved about white asparagus and bemoaning it's rarity on these shores. This time we'll talk about the green cousins which are more in favour here in the UK.

If you are one of those people who steam their asparagus, very well, but as we pointed out a few weeks ago baking, roasting and griddling will get far more flavour and sweetness from your vegetables so in this case we strongly recommend baking!

Try "paneeing" the spears. Literally "to bread". Peal off any hard skin from the base of the spears and sprinkle with a little plain flour. Beat an egg and roll the spears in it followed by the breadcrumbs. (You can use Japanese panko crumbs or more economically normal bread crumbs as shown here) then place on a baking tray in the oven at 180 C for about 20 minutes. You can finnish off by placing under a hot grill for a minute or two to bring up the colour. Serve with Hollandaise sauce and a strongish cheese such as grilled goats' milk Camambert and fresh crusty bread.





Two weeks ago we were invited with Joyce my visiting cousin from Dublin to Rebecca's North London chateau for dinner after the Chelsea flower show. We volunteered to prepare the starter and chose to use two of her favourite ingredients. Joyce is addicted to  asparagus so on this occasion the green spears were paired with smoked Scottish salmon (another of her favourites) and placed on top of a mooli and carrot slaw with lightly boiled quails eggs (boil for one minute remove from heat and leave to stand for a further minute) and walnut crumbs with an orange vinaigrette. For added panache the spears were arranged in what Rebecca dryly termed "Bonfire night" fashion!









Posted by incredibly fed

31 May 2013

Dublin Coddle (Updated)

I can't believe that just a few days away from the year's brightest twenty-four hours we are writing about an essentially hearty winter dish but the weather is so awful here in London it somehow seems appropriate so here goes...

Way back in November 2011 when we started this blog the very first post we wrote was about a childhood memory of the dynamics between my parents in the kitchen and centred around a dish my father used to make called Dublin Coddle. Like much of Irish cuisine the dish was based on traditional Irish peasant food using ingredients that were cheap and plentiful. The recipe was as close to the original as I could remember and I noted at the time of writing how much tastes and ingredients had changed and how the idea of offal boiled in milk would probably not be taken up by many on this blog's readers these days. Ever since that I have been intending to update the recipe to create a dish that we would all enjoy today. Well recently we did just that...


Ingredients

12 Cumberland sausages
12 Streaky rashers rolled
500 g button mushrooms
2-3 Lambs kidneys (optional)
500g Small new potatoes
1 Large Onion sliced
2 Bulbs Fennel cut into wedges
2-3 Cloves garlic
300 mls Chicken stock
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tobasco
Half cup milk
2 Tblsp Creme Fraiche
Fresh parsley for garnish
Seasoning

Method

Place all the ingredients into a large casserole dish. (If using kidneys halve them and cut out any tough white sinew) Pour in the stock and a little water if necessary. Cover, bring to the boils and simmer for about twenty minutes or until you are happy that all the ingredients are cooked through, particularly the potatoes. Drain off the liquid to another pan and simmer until reduced to about a quarter or third of the original amount. Add the milk and creme fraiche, stir well and season. Return to the main dish and allow to simmer gently for a further few minutes. Serve with Irish soda bread and a garnish of chopped parsley .


Posted by incredibly fed

24 May 2013

Poached Pears in Ginger


This is a nice elegant dessert which is not too sweet or stogy and goes well if the preceding courses have been particularly... shall we say hearty! It works well after most dishes and is a lovely way to finish a meal, the ginger, like mint stimulating the digestive juices and refreshing the pallet.

IF offer a shot glass version of the poached pear dessert at part of the party menu. This is a mini version served in shot glasses and has proved to be an extremely popular dish to finish off drinks and canape parties!



IF Party poached pears in shot glasses

Ingredients

6 Fairly unripe Pears
2 "Inches" Fresh Ginger
Jar Stem Ginger
5 - 7 Tbsps Sugar
Water
Mascarpone
Ginger Snap Biscuits

Method

Make syrup by heating water in a saucepan and dissolving the sugar. Slice the fresh ginger and add to the syrup. Peel and cut the ends off the pears so they stand upright, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Test with a small kitchen knife, the fruit should be al dente. Allow to cool and leave the fruit in the syrup for several hours if possible.

Drain the syrup and return to heat to reduce until thick enough to serve with the pears. Chop the stem ginger into small cubes and add to the syrup. Serve the pears with a table spoon of Mascarpone and crushed ginger snaps biscuits.




Posted by incredibly fed

17 May 2013

"Roast" Belly of Pork

"Oooooo this is the best pork belly I've ever eaten the crackling is just amazing!" My friend purred as he munched his way through lunch the other day pausing briefly only to  iPhotograph his repast for later broadcast on a well known social networking site. The two of us had recently reconnected after a long hiatus (an estimated twenty years certainly) thanks to the wonders of cyberspace and now meet for lunch whenever he visits from his adopted hometown, Barcelona. We both share a delight in all things culinary and this time we were at "Roast" that eatery perched in the rafters of Borough Market in south London with the wonderful view of the market stalls below. London's rather feeble answer to the Boqueria.

The menu is eclectic contemporary British and was a choice on my part intended to afford him a break from the cuisine of the Iberian peninsula. My first suggestion had been Jose Pizarro's nearby but quickly thought a dose of British contemporary would be more welcome so "Roast" it was, and boy was I right..!! As he continued to sing the praises of the pork to our Polish waiter I felt my delicious rump of lamb has been well and truly trumped and privately vowed to return to order the pork belly as soon as possible!

To finish off we chose dessert. Eyeing the selection of classic Irish Cheeses on the menu, Cashel Blue, Ardrahan etc, and not content to leave well enough alone we felt compelled to compliment their inclusion to the waiter "Ah yes" he said with a broad grin, "we like to keep the ingredients as BRITISH as possible!!" OH DEAR!


As we strolled back along the south bank the pork belly encounter reminded me that we had recently experimented with the cut and come up with a couple of ideas for in the IF menu. This one is very easy and works well.

Ingredients

1 kg Pork Belly
1 Tbsp Coriander powder
1 Tbsp Five Spice
1 Tbsp Cayenne powder
Half Tbsp Celery Salt
Half Tbsp Garlic Salt
Salt

Method

Make sure skin is bone dry before starting to cook. (Some people rub vinegar into it and leave it uncovered in the fridge for several hours) Score the pork skin with a scalpel or very sharp knife. Mix powders and dry rub the meat making sure you penetrate all the score lines. Place on foil on a baking tray for 1 and half to 2 hours until skin is crispy. If you are still not happy with the crackling factor try leaving the meat under the grill for a few minutes to finish off.







Posted by incredibly fed