Month: March 2011

Wild Garlic Frittata

The seasons are swiftly moving, it is almost April folks, and yesterday marked the beginning of summer time. Yeeehaw, isn’t that exciting? It has come very quickly this year. The first asparagus has already been harvested in Cornwall, and wild garlic abounds. I say abounds, I have yet to actually see any confined by busy-ness to my immediate surroundings. To my rescue rushed Food urchin Dan, wielding a wild garlic plant freshly dug up from his garden as he had done two years previously. Wild garlic, I just love it. Sour, sharp and aromatic, it brightens soups, spikes salads and caresses potatoes and eggs. It absolutely loves potato and eggs more than most things, who doesn’t? So the first thing I did with it on a busy Saturday, was made a quick lunch frittata. Simple, delicious and I loved it. I have a small frying pan which is perfect for a frittata for one, but you could double up the ingredients to make it in a large pan. The best frittatas are made with the …

Bread & Butter from Shacklewell Nights with Ben Rymer

Shacklewell Nights has returned this weekend for the first time in 2011, popping up in another fantastic location in Hackney. I arrived a little late and had missed the waitress that would guide the diners to the venue so I followed the low rumble of almost 100 people talking. I thought that I had the right building, although I wasn’t entirely sure, until I turned a corner and was greeted by a large room lit beautifully and dramatically lit in red and yellow, with tables of silhoutted people drinking their aperitif and awaiting the starter. Shacklewell Nights is an evolved supper club, much bigger than most, always located in an interesting and often dramatic place, with well respected chefs at the helm – Jonathan Woolway of Shacklewell Nights works at St John and is often supported by colleagues from there. Professional waiting staff effortlessly glide around the room ensuring that everything is perfect. British Seasonal Food is always on the menu. We started with an aperitif, this time a cava from Codorniu. Sadly I missed …

Spuntino Review: Now With Decent Photos

The other day another blogger asked me if half the photos from my Spuntino post were from a PR agency and the ther half mine. It’s a compliment really, as they were all mine from a really rubbish old phone with some post processing. Granted I clearly should have left the ropey half out but I wanted to leave them in. I have had no contact with the PR agency whatsoever, for the record. It was a walk in visit, as I like to do. I liked it so much, I went back again a week later, and now I love it more. Why? The olives. The olives? The olives are stuffed with anchovies and breadcrumbed then deep fried. Unbelievably rich and intense and salty, and I wanted more. So I got more. And I plotted to make them when I got home. So here are some proper pictures so that you can get a real feel for the place – in a fancy new slideshow too. I am not sure what I think of …

Bitesize: Shacklewell Nights, Ravinder Bhogal at The Modern Pantry Pop-Up, London Coffee Festival

The sun is out, my book is almost written, so I am looking at ways that I can let my hair down from this weekend. Top of my list are: Shacklewell Nights in association with Ben Rymer presents “Bread & Butter” on Friday 25th & Saturday 26th March Shacklewell Nights is back! I went last November and it was superb. The fourth weekend of Shacklewell Nights has moved to a new secret venue in the heart of Hackney. 4 courses of British seasonal food will be served in unusual and informal surroundings and will include a Pot Roast Gloucester Old Spot, Butter Beans, Wild Garlic & Cider which I am excited about. Price £46 including booking fee, aperitif and single malt whiskey to finish. BYO with no corkage. Full menu details and last remaining tickets here: Shacklewell Nights – Event brite Ravinder Bhogal at The Modern Pantry at Meza in Association with the Friday Food Club The Modern Pantry has taken over Meza on Wardour St for a month, and RavinderBhogal (aka Cook in Boots) …

Excitement! Included in The Irish Times Food File

Today, there was a lovely little piece in The Irish Times which has made me very happy indeed. The piece was in the Food File and was on me, this blog, and my forthcoming book, to be published in September by Quadrille. My good friend The Wine Sleuth is in there too! Thank you so very much, and if you are coming from there, you are most welcome here. I hope you like it :) The Irish Times, Food File

St Patricks Day Giveaway: Two Irish Food Hampers from Bord Bia

OK folks! It’s time for a giveaway. It’s St Patricks Day today, a huge day in Ireland of national celebration with parades in every town, everyone wearing green, and lots of children breaking their lenten fasts and tucking into sweets they have been storing over lent like squirrels. They won’t have gotten too far with our late Easter this year, but I am sure they all have a healthy stash in an old biscuit tin somewhere. Celebrating St. Patrick ’s Day in true Irish style, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) is giving away two fantastic hampers of authentic Irish goodies. Each winner will win a selection of some the products below, which include the fantastic Flahavan’s porridge made local to my family home! Butlers Chocolates Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey Ditty’s Oatcakes Solaris Botanicals (herbal tea) Ballymaloe Country Relish Lir Chocolates Flahavan’s Irish Porridge Oats Jelly Bean Factory To enter, just comment, and tell me a funy Paddy’s Day story, something about Ireland or simply the colour green. Should be interesting, an fun! …

Spuntino has Landed

Spuntino has landed. Smack bang in the naughty part of Soho, amid the peep shows and porn shops, this is the latest offering from Russell Norman and Co, the brains behind Polpo & Polpetto, both of which have taken London by storm. I hadn’t anticipated going so early, certainly not on the first day, but I was walking past yesterday and spied a seat so I nabbed it. You’ve just got to, no? As a result, you will have to forgive the photos as I didn’t have my camera, and they are taken with my horrible little phone, s,oto compensate I have gone a little AWRTY. Yawh. There is lots to love about Spuntino. A large counter dominates the room with one table at the back and a long small shelf down the side allowing those in the queue to munch and imbibe. Original tiling crumbles on the wall, and it has a cosy and almost industrial feel. It has a great energy, even when not particularly busy. The service is very good, the menu …