Month: October 2007

Something Halloween-y – Pumpkin, Celeriac & Chilli Soup

Happy Halloween! I love festive occasions, any excuse for a bit of fun and a party. Halloween was one of my favourites as a child. We were always on mid term break and so had ample time to fashion costumes, from, *cough*, the most humble of substances. Witches costume from a refuse sack? No problem! I blame Bosco (all you Irish readers can nod your head). Pumpkins were never something we could get our hands on in the wilds of Waterford, so we use to raid the local sugar beet fields and fashion jack-o-lanterns out of them. I wish I could communicate using words the foul stench of burning sugar beet, but we persevered and carried them from house to house. There was a big band of siblings, cousins and neighbours that would march for a mile or so, stopping at the sporadic houses, singing in 3 parts everything we knew – stuff from TV (yes, Bosco), school, church, you name it. We didn’t want monkey nuts, we despised them, just money or sweets please, …

A Sunday afternoon in Marylebone

The cold weather has really grabbed London now, and with it’s friend, the rain, has made it a thoroughly miserable place. Well, miserable in that, being wet is no fun, but, in truth, I do like the autumnal evenings as long as I am inside in the warmth looking out or next to a roaring fire in a pub somewhere! This was not the case yesterday where I was exposed to the weather alot more than I care for. From my current Zone 5 outpost, I made the trek into London yesterday to revisit my old routine, Marylebone Farmer’s market for my veg and random other bits, The Ginger Pig for some smoked streaky bacon and whatever else takes my fancy, La Fromagerie for, on this occasion, granada ham & pata negra chorizo as I already have too much cheese in the fridge & finally, a nice lunch, this time at Orrery Epicerie next to the Conran Shop on the Marylebone High St. The whole of the transport network seemed to grind to a halt, …

Onion Rarebit

A friend recently recommended this Nigel Slater recipe to me. It’s a comfort one, for times of stress or indulgence. Nigel himself describes it as an “unctuous mix of onions, thick toast and melted cheese that pleases most.” I am an indulgent kinda gal and recent events have been particularly stressful, so, as a form of escape, I dedicated some time to this. It’s perfect for this time of year! So creamy, and beery, and cheesy. Although, I am not a huge fan of beer, so, I am thinking about ways I can smuggle white wine or even champagne into this dish instead. But, everyone else loves it so, it’s beery, and, I’m sure that you’ll like it that way. I changed a couple of things: I caramelised the onions for an hour or so for an extra level of decadence, I used dijon mustard, and, I substituted manchego for the cheddar. Use good bread, I used one with seeds in and the contrast was lovely. Nigel’s original recipe is published on the Guardian website. …

Latkes with apple sauce

Another conspicuous absence and another apology! I have been keeping a low culinary profile recently but have dug out a dish I made some weeks ago and never had the chance to blog – latkes. As always there is some sentimentality attached, I first came across these many years ago when I lived in Amsterdam. I had just arrived, and, was staying in a youth hostel that a friend was working in. It was Rosh Hashannah, and, two Jewish girls from the US decided to make latkes. My interest was piqued, I had never heard of them before (I was relatively fresh from the Emerald Isle ;)), and a new way of cooking potatoes that involves frying sounded good, surely, this is a new posh crisp?! I was soon to discover it was much better, and, it’s a recipe that I make now with fond recollection. I most recently had latkes on my August trip to Paris on a visit to the Marais. I went to the famed Jewish deli, Finkelstajn’s, and indulged. It’s a …

Sushi Say

Erm, apologies for the absence. My life has been upside down for the last few weeks but it’s slowly normalising. My laptop broke, I killed the screen on my remaining camera (it doesn’t have a viewfinder), I’m half way through moving, I’ve moved out but not in anywhere yet, so I haven’t been cooking much as I haven’t had a kitchen and when I have had one it’s contents are in boxes. I have been eating out though and there’s one place in particular that I would like to blog about – Sushi Say as promised in my last post. Sushi Say in Willesden has been on my list for a long time. I am terrible for going to places that are near me as I feel they will always be there but, Sabras proved that this is not always the case, so, I made sure we went when my sister and her fiancée were over. They had never eaten Japanese before and were a bit nervous, but, open to it. I gave my sister …