June 27, 2014

This dish is a real treat - its also very easy and very tasty. Yesterday afternoon I harvested the first of the broad beans and after spending a good half an hour in the sunshine on a rug peeling them I got thinking to how to eat them. When they are young and fresh you don't want to do much to them, just add some complimenting flavours and a little olive oil. 

We decided to use some left over smoked garlic from the Crostini, some Truffle pasta found at a local deli that is extremely tasty and some salty prosciutto fried until crisp. 

They look so fresh and almost ready to eat when they are freshly picked. 

Simply throw your pasta into a pan of boiling water, for a few minutes, melt some butter and smoked garlic and fry your prosciutto in and put the bean in a pan on boiling water for about 2 minutes just to warm through. 

Throw it all together into a pan and then serve. Simple but special with the slightly unusual additions of smoked garlic and truffle pasta, eat bite

Great for an easy pasta supper that you don't want to slave over for hours but still want to impress!

June 25, 2014

An overcast summers day had me hankering for sunnier climates and good Italian food. After a morning of running errands in the drizzle we stopped by The Cotswold Cheese company, a great little haven of good cheese, wine, charcuterie and all other things delicious like Truffle pasta we picked up some smoked garlic, which smells unbelievable and tastes better, some prosciutto, some taleggio and sourdough we set about making the best (and probably most unhealthiest crostini for lunch.

I like to always lightly fry up my prosciutto to make it crispy - up to you but i think it makes it slightly more delicious and of course crispy. 

Cut the top off your garlic blub and roast it in the over for about 30 minutes. This makes garlic soft and spreadable so you can squeeze out the flesh from the skins and spread decadently on your toast. 

Top with sliced taleggio and melt under the grill until golden and bubbling. 

Then top with the crispy prosciutto and serve! 

June 20, 2014

When I was little on the way back from school Mum and I used to find ourselves staring longingly into the local bakery window at the strawberry tarts.

The bright red strawberries, glazed in sticky jam, sitting proudly in their tart cases would stand out from all the bread and buns they surrounded and temp us every time.

With the abundance of summer berries at the moment with this glorious sunshine I decided to have a go a strawberry tart with a little bit of difference.

This is a delicious summer evening treat. Role your pastry out thinly (the thinner the better really as you then get a crisp and lighter finished selection of tarts to treat your guests with and they wont be tummy rubbing and feeling over full by the end.

The secret in this tart is the crème pat alternative. Instead of making a sweet often sickly custard to fill these summer tarts I mixed Total Greek yogurt with cinnamon and some Greek honey. This makes the filling light but still very tasty and with a hint of sweetness from the honey added in.

To make four tarts you will need…

4oz plain flour
2oz butter
2tbps water
5tpbs Greek yogurt
shake of cinnamon
2 tsp honey

Start by making and blind baking your tarts. Mix your butter and flour together until they form crumbs, and your water a little at a time until it forms a dough. Flour a clean work surface, role out, cut to shape and place in your tart tins.

Prick each case with a fork all over the base and then place in baking parchment and baking beans or rice if you have no beans (the rice must be discarded after use – or only used for blind baking)

Bake for 10 minutes with the beans/rice in and then a further 5 with the beans/rice removed.

Next mix up your yogurt, cinnamon and honey and prepare your strawberries and blueberries.

Fill each case half full with the yogurt mixture and then pile high with your berries. 

Drizzle over some honey, or sprinkle with icing sugar and serve!

June 19, 2014

The other night I went for an early supper to the Keepers House at the Royal Academy of Arts. A nice restaurant hidden in the corner and underground. 

If you go and eat before seven you can choose from the early bird theatre menu. Which normally I feel a bit suspect about but this was one of the most exciting I have ever got to experience. We wanted an early supper as we had to catch a train. 

I kicked off with snail ravioloi. I had never eaten snails before and always felt a bit nervous about them, no more. they were delicious, little gems of tasty meat cases in juicy plump pasta cases and a deliciously rich jus drizzled all over.

Just look at that...

The others all went for gazpacho (I had a go at making this the other week) with an amazing olive oil and tomato sorbet, so fascinating and so tasty I am having a go at this concoction myself. 

For main we all went for duck breast served with a beetroot puree. 

And pudding....strawberry soup with spiced brown bread ice cream - again delicious and something i have to try out soon. 

All in all a fantastic meal of firsts and interesting flavours and combinations - I came away inspired to be back in the kitchen trying all of them out! Find them here...

June 11, 2014

This is super easy - I was so impressed at how easy and tasty this mid week pudding was I decided to share it. The photos are not the best but I wasn't aware it was going to be so good I should share it!

You will need an apricot each, so depending on how many you are entertaining just count them up cut them in half and stone them. 

Place under a hot grill and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar. Watch them until they sizzle and turn golden.

Next get your cream substitute, I always use total yogurt as it is amazingly good for you and filling too. Add a few shakes of cinnamon and mix together. 

Then plate up your golden roasted apricots and serve with lots of tasty 'cream'

An easy summer time pudding, that is extremely delicious and leaves you dreaming of log warm summer evenings. 

June 10, 2014

Nothing beats a good homemade loaf. This focaccia is easy to make, light to eat and delicious with some extra sea salt sprinkled over to serve. It looks impressive when it balloons up in the oven and is good to bring to any table. 

I use a bread machine to make mine (slight cheat I know)

225ml lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped 
400g bread flour (I used a tomato and herb mix)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast

for decoration two tablespoons olive oil
seat salt. 

Once left to prove prod with your finger to make holes all over it and stick with rosemary and sprinkle with salt

Bake in the oven and then cut up, place in a large basket and enjoy in the garden along side a BBQ. 

June 09, 2014

Sticks and Sushi is a danish sushi restaurant that last year landed in Covent Garden. Greeted by large plush dark doors, its a place where platters of delicious sushi surround you and from the moment you walk in your feel excited and ready for alot of sushi. 

The platters are generous and beautifully presented. A sushi dinner with some girlfriends was the perfect post work treat and the sharing style of the sushi menu suited us perfectly and we came away rubbing bellies and satisfied full of fresh fish and wonderfully sticky rice. 

We kicked off with soy charred edamame beans. Really tasty and different. 


followed by a large platter of sushi...

These crispy prawn goodies were my favourite.

We finished with the tasting pudding plate. A mix of lime sorbet, rice puffs surrounding a chocolate ganache, chocolate fondant and creme brulee. The perfect taste of pudding after a filling meal of sushi. 

Big eyes watch over you as you demolish your food...

A really nice meal out, not as cheap as chips but if you want something for a slightly special supper it wont disappoint. Book a table and view their menu here.

June 05, 2014

There is nothing I like more than a good burger, and even better if, instead of beef it is deep fried, deliciously battered chicken. (fried chicken is one of my downfalls) The other night, after a long day all I wanted was some some good street food that would satisfy the biggest craving for deep fried goodness. A friend knew just the place and I had my first experience of Meat Market

It is situated just off Covent Garden, up some stairs and along a corridor of a fairly unsuspecting building but once you are inside, can smell the food, have a glance at the menu, all manner of hunger pangs hit you and you know you are in the perfect place for a good meal. 

Everything is written/spray painted on the wall...

and big luminous signs direct you where to order and pick up.

You sit on benches and when your face becomes covered in sauce you rip off some communal kitchen towel like you are all at one funky picnic. 

When your order is ready your name is shouted over the tannoy and you go out to the counter and take your tray piled high with paper wrapped goodies..

Unwrap, rip apart and tuck in! My friend went for a pepper dog.. as delicious as it looked and we shared the crispiest skinny fries.

While I went for the dirty chicken burger. Any fried chicken lovers dream.

Find them here, a really great little hideaway, a must visit for a great burger or dog. 

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