25 May 2012

Nul Points....No Way!

".....Boom bang-a-bang-bang, Boom bang-a-bang-bang,
Boom bang-a-bang-bang...."

Lulu (Joint winner Eurovision Song Contest) 1969

Yes folks it's that time of year again! Just forget about Lizzie's Diamond Jubilee and the 30th Olympic bash this is so much more fun, makes compelling TV viewing and year after year never fails to disappoint. Up and down the land over excited groups of feverish enthusiasts will be huddled in front of their 40 inch flat screens screaming and shouting approval and dancing around the room. Oh the raw emotion of it all!  Have you guessed yet? Yes it's time for that infamous pan European chanson fest and this year's uber party hosted by Azerbaijan promises to pull no punches.

The Eurovision Song Contest never let's you down, it's captivating and unmissable fun! Watching on BBC we do miss Terry Wogan's drole voice-over trough out the competition so familiar for the last few centuries, but fellow countryman Graham Norton does a fine job.  The international line up gathered in Baku this time looks as eclectic as ever to say the least. So whether your preference is for Dublin duo Jedward, British veteran Engelbert or the Russian Grannies (one of whom sadly just pips the Hump in the geriatric stakes thus denying him even that dubious superlative accolade! ) sit back, relax enter into the spirit and just let the unbelievably kitsch madness wash over you.

Of course the glitzy stage performances are merely the sotto voce prelude to the voting crescendo which follows when, thanks to 21st century technical wizardry, one by one, representatives from the capitals of Europe and beyond are called upon to give their totally unbiased scores for the music on offer. Many of them it has to be said show distinct signs of being the worst for wear!  So why not take the hint and join them. Collect some like minded friends together and have a party. Russle up a few of the quick and simple party nibbles we have posted on the this blog in the past (Double Dip, Sweet Potato Parcels, Chicken Liver Pate, Pimientos de Padron or Amaze Buche or even throw together a couple of Puff Pastry Pizzas) and why not wash them down with these exotic Mango Mojitos. This glamourous cocktail is absolutely guaranteed to score maximum points from every jury, not to mention render the songs almost bearable and make your entire evening go with a big big (boom bang-a) bang!!

Incredibly Fed Mango Mojitos


1 Lime cut into quarters
5 Fresh mint leaves
Soda water
2 Shots white rum
1 Shot Simple syrup*
1 shot Mango nectar/puree
1 Shot golden rum (optional)
Crushed Ice


Squeeze lime into a glass and add the pieces. Add mint leaf, simple sugar and muddle (bruise). Add white rum, mango and fill with crushed ice. Top up with soda water and finish off with golden rum. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Cheers!!

* Simple syrup
2 cups Muscovado sugar
1 cup water

Place in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. (About 5 minutes) Allow to cool.

Posted by incredibly fed

18 May 2012

Adam's spare Ribs

"....Your ribs are looking so tasty, such chewy little chops chums
So eat up...." 
The hyenas in the Lion King 1994

Once upon a time Knightsbridge was our paradise, our Garden of Eden and Adam was there nearly every week hunting for and clothing himself in fashionable labels - Absolutely Fabulous! Then on Sunday evening the buffet and dance party at the Roof Gardens on High Street Ken provided the perfect venue to show them off! Oooh such sophistication! Somewhere along the line late night shopping arrived, a welcome innovation which meant there was yet another opportunity for retail therapy one evening after work. Naturally this was hungry work and one of our favourite haunts for a post shop meal and recovery period was the very 80's inspired Chicago Rib Shack hidden just across the Old Brompton Road near Harrods. At that time there were several branches around the city but we always seemed to gravitate towards this one after navigating around and exercising the plastic in Harvey Nix and the rest of the boutiques and emporiums of Sloane Avenue.

Sadly some years ago it was demolished in a major redevelopment and replaced by the equally wonderful Zuma which we also love but that is another story. I have to confess we do miss the ritual of donning the plastic bibs and the wickedly guilty pleasures of the Rib Shack's wonderful retro bar-b-cue rack of ribs, onion loaf and fries with extra bar-b-cue sauce on the side. So naughty!

Malheuresement these days bargain shopping has been substituted for the designer variety. Now it's more Uniglo than Ungaro and Primark than Prada, and we make our spare ribs at home.

You can google many recipes and methods but after many trials and expriments here is our definitive Incredibly Fed version....

2 racks of spare ribs
4 tbsp Honey
4 tbsp Soy
6 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
6 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
4 tbsp Worscestershire Sauce
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
Juice of one lime
2 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tbsp 5 Spice powder
2 cloves Garlic grated
1 inch Ginger grated and chopped
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon powder

Fill a large saucepan with water and add two star anise, a cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves and 4 cubes of un-peeled ginger. Place the ribs in the water and bring to the boil. Remove any scum that may form and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Remove the ribs and place on kitchen towel to dry. Discard water. Cover the ribs with the marinade and massage to ensure each is covered evenly with the mixture. Place on a large baking tray and place in the oven pre-heated to 180 oC for approximately 30 to 40 minutes to glaze the ribs. It may be advisable to turn them once or twice and to re-brush with extra marinade.

10 May 2012

Spicy Rice is Twice as Nice!

We have been asked to post a blog as quickly as possible by two of our greatest fans one living in Kuala Lumpur and the other currently studying in Melbourne Australia. They are Julie and Josie two of my lovely nieces. Josie is experiencing living away from home for the first time and Julie too has struck out and now has a trendy apartment in KL. Earlier this year Julie came skiing with me to Baqueira in the Pyrenees where we had great fun cooking together. We even used to get up in the middle of the night to polish off the left overs of what we had made that day. Learning to ski can be a hungry business. We have blogged about this earlier and you can read about the delicious tummy filling Spanish tortilla below. 

This recipe is equally filling and just as simple. It is a one pot rice dish so makes no mess and could have been specially designed to utilise any items lying around. The ingredients are variable and so the list below is intended only as a guide. The only rule is there are no rules. Just remember you are looking for colour and the vegetable pieces should be roughly the same size. I should mention at this point that I use a rice cooker for this dish. Yes even in far away Baquiera the rice cooker travels with us along with much other kitchen paraphernalia, much to the disapproval of our host who is concerned about the damage to our image on arrival at Spain's premiere ski resort. Personally I have never worried about such things, years ago I brought one back as hand luggage from KL before they were widely available here in London. If you don’t have one you can use a large saucepan. If you like rice, however perhaps you should consider investing. They take all the guess work and uncertainty out of rice preparation. Either way you just place all the ingredients listed below together and do NOT stir. If using a rice cooker the switch will pop up when the rice is ready. If using a saucepan heat vigorously at the start and then allow to cook gently on a low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until you are happy with the texture of the rice. 

Ingredients (4 portions)

2 ½  cups Basmati or long grain rice
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp curry powder
¾ tbsp salt
½  tsp turmeric powder
Vegetable or chicken stock cube
2 star anise or 1 cinnamon stick
2 or 3 Bay leaves or 8 curry leaves
4 tbsp cooking or olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 carrots chopped
½  cup peas
1 red pepper chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
1 small can sweet corn
1 inch ginger chopped
3 ½  cups water


4 May 2012

Braised Fennel, Celery hearts in Parmesan Jus

We notice fennel is making a welcome appearance once again on the market stalls in North End Road. Are you a fennel fan? We are. It has a unique taste and is widely used in cuisines from Southern Europe, where it is native, across Asia Minor to the Indian subcontinent where it is an important ingredient in Khasmiri, Pandit and Gujarati cooking. Further east the seeds with their distinctive aniseed flavour are key in Chinese 5 spice powder.

In Greek mythology Prometheus used a fennel stalk to steal fire from Zeus and give it to the mortals with disastrous consequences. He was punished by being tied to a rock where an eagle would eat out his liver every day only for it to grow back in time for the following day's gory fest. But let's get back to fennel.
The familiar bulbs we cook with are known as Florence Fennel which is a cultivar, that is it has been especially bred for its desirable qualities. One thing to watch out for though, particularly in larger and more mature plants is that bulbs can be stringy. The recipe below calls for over an hours braising in a hot oven which should be sufficient to soften even the toughest bulbs. We suggest teaming this delicious vegetable with celery hearts and parmesan but you can also make a meaty version by adding strips of pork or chicken into the dish. It is also a classic accompaniment for fish such as sea bass or sea bream which should be cooked separately.

2 bulbs fennel
2 celery hearts
1 red pepper
50 g grated parmesan
150 ml chicken or vegetable stock
150 ml white wine or vermouth
2 tbsps olive oil
50 g Butter
50 mls creme fraiche or cream
Seasoning and Celery salt

Prepare the vegetables by cutting off the fennel stalk tops and chopping them. Likewise cut the leaves and tops off the celery and chop. Chop the pepper. Quarter the fennel bulbs, halve the celery  hearts lengthwise. Melt a little butter in a casserole dish and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Place all the vegetables in the dish and pour in the stock, white wine and parmesan. Season, cover with damp and crinkled grease proof paper known as a cartouche and the vessel lid and place in a pre-heated oven for 40 mins.  Cook for a further 30 mins with the lid and cartouche off. Once you are happy the fennel is well cooked spoon off some of the liquid to a separate bowl containing the creme fraiche and then put back into the main dish. This will help prevent the cream from splitting. Serve with steamed new potatoes.