Month: December 2010

Favourite Bites of 2010: Part 3 (Best Meals)

I know I said that my roundup would take 3 parts, but I lied to myself and I lied to you. I did the exact same last year and it became a living nightmare. There is so much that I want to talk about and I don’t want to shut up so here we go again. Luckily, you’re not in the same room as me and you can escape, I just hope that maybe you want to read on ;) It’s not my fault really, so much happened in 2010 it was simply bursting, and I have so many recommendations, it would be terrible not to share them with you. In this post, I want to tell you about the best meals that I had throughout the year, and where I had them so that you can have them too.Again, these were my favourites, the ones that really stood out. Early in the year I had one of my best meals at Trinity in Clapham. Chef patron Adam Byatt runs one of my favourite restaurants …

Favourite Bites of 2010: Part 2 (Supper Clubs)

So that was Part 1 of my lovely 2010, and here is Part 2. Excitingly since I published it, The Telegraph have listed ELAG as one of the best food blogs with images and it popped up in another top 10, this time of London blogs, not just food! I am, of course, flattered and delighted. Each one is as thrilling as the first. Thank you for reading :) This portion of my round up is devoted to something that I found myself exploring more and more this year, supper clubs and pop-ups. This new dining format allows up-and-coming chefs and cooks to explore possibilities, test menus and have interesting evenings in unusual places. They sometimes simply allow people that love to cook for people that appreciate it to do just so. Prices are usually very affordable with lovely BYO drinks policies. Locations are often wonderful, sometimes bizarre. You might find yourself in someone’s living room, other times at a café in a park, and once I found myself in a Hackney furniture studio. I …

Favourite Bites of 2010: Part 1 (Recipes, Travel and Posh Lunch Club)

So, that’s it! 2010 is almost gone. It all feels a bit surreal really, the year seemed to both whizz by and at times go slowly, but one thing is for sure, there was a lot packed in. I’ve never been one for plans and resolutions, preferring to let life take its course and do things as they come up, but this year I promised myself two things: that I would travel a lot more (I have been promising and delivering poorly on that for a long time now) and that I would eat out more, and work a little less. 2009 was great but it was the year of the workaholic where I was concerned. I must confess that I had a few moments throughout the year where I faltered, its amost 4 years since I started writing this blog, and it takes so much of my time now, I sometimes wondered if it is worth the mammoth effort. Everytime I felt that way, something wonderful happened that lifted my spirits, and spurred me …

Merry Christmas!

A very merry Christmas to you and yours! I wish you a very relaxing, festive and fun few days. I hope you have a lovely long meal planned. I am cook here (of course!) and we’re starting with Frank Hederman Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Pickle and Frank’s Smoked Eel with Bacon & Greens. For mains we’re having 12 hour roast shoulder of pork with spiced apple sauce which I am staying up until 2am to start, fluffy roast spuds and veg. We’re finishing with candied clementines with chocolate sauce and cardamom & chilli chocolate truffles. I will post the recipes soon. Everybody else has a white Christmas but we’ve no snow here, just a big bright blue sky and crisp sea air. See this satellite pic? I am in the little green band at the bottom :)

Christmas Giveaway: Laura Santtini Easy Tasty Italian Book & Taste #5 Umami Paste Kit

This is a lovely and fun giveaway. I have a Laura Santtini Easy Tasty Italian & Taste #5 Umami Paste™ Kit to give away. The book is gorgeous and quirky, the paste took the media by storm earlier this year when announced. Add some to any dish that requires an umami punch and depth of flavour, it really works. Available exclusively from Waitrose, I have one set, and you just need to leave a comment to enter. The competition closes on Christmas Eve. Here’s the blurb: For a truly tasty Christmas, Waitrose has teamed up with flavour-expert Laura Santtini and created an inspired Christmas present or stocking filler for any in-the-know foodie or umami-enthusiast. Exclusive to Waitrose, the specially created kit contains a copy of Laura’s award winning first cookery book Easy Tasty Italian and a tube of her groundbreaking flavour bomb™, Taste #5 Umami Paste™. The kit provides the secrets behind umami with simple recipes showing how to make the most of the 5th taste sensation and a full size sample of the product …

Christmas Giveaway: Wonderful Chocolate from Chocolate by Trish

From Harvey Nic’s to Selfridge’s this next giveaway is very exciting. Chocolate by Trish are offering two bags of their luxury gorgeous cooking chocolate, one milk & one dark. It’s super stuff, as always, just leave a comment to enter. The competition closes on Christmas Eve. Should you win, or choose to indulge anyway, there are some wonderful recipes on her website which would be perfect for your festive table: http://www.chocolatebytrish.com/recipes Here’s the blurb: Renowned chocolate lover, author of the best-selling and award-winning Je veux du chocolat! (I want chocolate!), Trish Deseine unveiled her unashamedly gorgeous dark, milk and white cook’s chocolate range: Chocolate by Trish in Selfridges stores nationwide, this autumn. Trish has developed a fantastic range of chocolate ingredients that doesn’t compare to other cooking chocolate. The couverture offers incredible flavour that adds intensity to any dish. Made in France from the very best cocoa beans the Chocolate by Trish range benefits from a fabulous length and depth of flavour. Because each button is rich in cocoa butter, this wonderful cook’s ingredient melts …

A Recipe for Yellowman (aka Honeycomb, Cinder Toffee)

YELLOWMAN! How great is that? Yellowman? I love it. The quirky Irish decriptor for Honeycomb, or what the ‘merican folks call cinder toffee. Such fun to make, a joy to eat (for all except your fillings who will retreat to the back of your mouth for safety), and a really ace little Xmas present for those you love from your kitchen. But, wait! It’s not all fun and games. Making yellowman has it’s downsides. The first is the intense temperature, you need to heat the sugar & golden syrup to 150C to reach hard-crack stage, and you may burn yourself. Of course most of you won’t, but I did, and I have a nice cascade of blisters on my arm. The other, less described danger, is that you may find yourself wandering around your kitchen waving a jam thermometer with melted sugar spindles dripping off it, singing YELLOWMAN to the Elton John’s Rocket Man at the top of your voice. It was all worth it. Even the burn. It’s such fun to make. Once the …