Month: April 2009

Wild Garlic, Cream Cheese & Roast Tomato Pate on Toast

Seasonal eating is all the more fun and exciting, when you can forage and get the food for free. The ultimate bargain, and usually something that’s quite hard to find to buy. Wild Garlic is the perfect example of this. I’ve not had time to go to any food markets, and had no idea where I could forage it. I’ve looked around the local parks to no avail, and tried on twitter, coaxing friends and followers to reveal their secret stash with the promise that I would not tell anyone. I got some tips  but there was no time to investigate. I was resigned to a wild garlic free week, when fellow blooger Danny (@fooodurchin on twitter and blogging at food urchin) revealed that his garden was teeming with it, and offered to bring me in my very own wild garlic plant. Excitement! I couldn’t wait. I popped down to Borough to meet him, we had a great chat, and I left with a large blossoming and lovely plant. I couldn’t resist devouring a leaf …

Speaking of Asparagus…

Well, make hay while the sun shines, as they say, and asparagus is in season right now, so I am eating a lot of it. I’m a big fan of the Sunday brunch. The lazing and grazing, the paper, the giant cafetiere of coffee, the pj’s… I love it all. Add asparagus to my list and that’s a near perfect weekend morning. I’ve always had a taste for fried potatoes, leftover boiled ones that I store in the fridge, waiting patiently for the day that I fry ‘em up! This particular brunch day, I also had an heirlom tomato, the size of a normal tomato but packed with flavour. I had a slice of rosemary pancetta, which I finely chopped and some flat leaf parsley. It needed no more. Fried pancetta and potatoes with some tomato glue, some greenery and a couple of spears of fried asparagus crowned with a fried egg. Glorious. PS. Real recipes coming back soon – promise :)

New Season Asparagus with a Poached Egg

It’s such a relief when the world starts to wake up again after Winter. Flowers bloom releasing their soft scents in the air, and fruit and vegetables become more lively and interesting. I love Winter vegetables, but they are few, and the bright and broad range offered by late Spring is very welcome. Favourites for this time of year are varied, but asparagus has got to lead the pack. I love it fried and dipped in molten egg, whether that’s boiled, fried or poached is irrelevant, but that egg yolk has got to be soft. I like to fry the asparagus spears, sometimes wrapped in ham but most often on it’s own, so that I can savour the flavour. This particular brunch, I wanted a poached egg, sometimes with a tender tum there is nothing better. It was my breakfast of choice on the morning of exams in University, when my stomach would be shredded by adrenaline and needed the comfort of something soft, comforting and delicate, that would also power me through the morning, …

Easter Sunday Lunch

I have a new house! You may have heard me mention. Once, maybe twice, maybe more? I’ve moved in now and I love it, with it’s big kitchen, range cooker, bay windows looking out onto a little garden, full of yellow and pink flowers, bathed in swathes of light. I’ve yet to unpack but that didn’t stop us having friends around for a big Easter lunch. The ground floor with the kitchen and living areas was perfectly respectable, but upstairs behind every door and one in particular (mine!) lay bags and boxes, the house’s unconscious, repressed memories of former houses and bad wardrobe decisions, pots and pans, condiments and kitchen oddities purchased for celebrating obscure festivals, I do love randomness in my life! So, we kept everyone busy downstairs, collaboratively producing a fine Easter lunch, interrupted occasionally by an Easter Egg hunt or a munch on some chocolate or a painted duck egg. So, what did we do? We kept with tradition and had a succulent roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary with …

Lunch at L’atelier de Joel Robuchon with Bruno Paillard Champagnes

There’s some invitations that can’t be refused, and an opportunity to go to a 2 Michelin starred restaurant for a 5-course lunch that’s matched to a series of champagnes from a reputable champagne house is one. Added to this, there’s the preceding tasting of 5 disgorgements of champagne aged between 6 months and 12 years. The restaurant was L’atelier de Joel Robuchon and the champagnes Bruno Paillard. Now, I’m a novice compared to the wine bloggers and wine writers, I know a bit but not alot, I can appreciate a good match between wine and food and am getting better at matching myself but I needed a mini tutorial when it came to appreciating the disgorgements, which was happily provided by Dan from Bibendum and Bruno’s daughter Alice. So, what’s a disgorgement? Dan advised that it’s the process of removing the dead yeast cells after the second fermentation of the wine. I’ll borrow a little from Denise at The Wine Sleuth to explain further the wine really comes into it’s own, aging throughout the years, …

Gotcha! April Fools Day, Restaurant Style

I had to quickly share something with you that caught me out and made me laugh. Konstam’s April Fools Menu. I should be ashamed to admit I believed it, it’s pretty ridiculous, but – hey – I was busy, in the middle of ten things and have a gullible disposition at the best of times. And I’m sticking with that. So, I used to work near Konstam, the restaurant famed for sourcing everything within the M25 (a motorway that circles London) known to most through the TV show “The Urban Chef”. I loved lunch there, and I love the way they cook, so despite now working miles away, I still receive the emails. It’s like culinary masochism. Every day I look and think how I can’t have it and how crap Victoria is for lunch options. Today’s menu came through and I read the email. I’d been pretty busy and in truth my brain was frazzled following a series of meetings, so I thought, intriguing! Wonder what this is about? So, I opened the attached …