Month: September 2011

Video: An Afternoon with Ferran Adria, at Google HQ London (Part 1)

I know, right? *Pinch* Ferran Adria, at Google HQ. For a geek who is into food that’s a pretty dreamy combination. Ferran was visiting to promote his book – The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria – and was cooking lunch at the Google London HQ Canteen. It started badly as I got lost, which was frustrating, and that is all too regular an occurrence too, but an hour later, I found myself in a room with Ferran Adria, with an unexpected opportunity to interview him. Now, I never expected this so I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t even know how to change the setting on my camera so that the video could be in colour. I had had a few too many glasses of red wine the night before. BUT, an opportunity to interview Ferran Adria, I couldn’t refuse. It was more of a chat really. What a lovely man he is and he is hugely inspiring. PLUS, he gave us an exclusive. As part of his new initiative, the el bulli foundation, he is …

Recipe: Crispy garlic chicken thighs with diced roast potatoes and crispy sage

Everyone loves a surprise, and this chicken dish has one. Tucked under the skin is a hidden secret, some crushed garlic paste, which coats the chicken flesh and flavours it beautifully, underneath a crisp chicken skin. I’ve used chicken thighs here. I find them full of flavour and much better value for money than breasts. They cook better too, and on the bone retain their moisture. Legs would work well too if you prefer them. Cooked on top of diced potatoes, the potatoes on the edge go nice and crispy. The potatoes underneath the chicken absorb all those fantastic chicken juices and are a delight. They serve two purposes: they keep the bottom of the chicken thigh lovely and succulent, and are utterly delicious after they have done all their work (that is purpose 2!). Read more and find the recipe on iVillage: Crispy garlic chicken thighs with diced roast potatoes and crispy sage | iVillage UK

Lucky Chip: Bang On Burgers and Great Chilli Cheese Fries

Oh, it breaks my heart to publish photos now, it really does. Whoever stole my SLR, lenses and iPod, may – whoever is in charge – smite you down with a giant lens shaped object. Anyway, I don’t want to stop blogging, so to fill a temporary gap, I bought a cheap point and shoot, hopefully it will be for just a short time. I felt this keenly, when I went to Lucky Chip recently, and had to use my flash instead of my lens for lowlight, but I liked it so much, I wanted to tell you about it anyway. So, Lucky Chip is a burger van located in Netil Market Car Park, around the corner from Broadway Market. You can’t miss it, it’s just a van, and the only one in there. This weekend it was licensed with drinks from Off Broadway, but normally it is BYO. The menu is simple and offers simple burgers – just burgers with cheese in a bun – right through a menu with Burgers like the Selleck through …

Decadence: Claudia Roden’s Flourless Gateau Au Chocolate with a Lick of Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I have a Kitchenaid. At last. I feel like I have always wanted one, perhaps I have, although it’s realistic to say that in my early years, I was craving sweets a big stronger. It is bright pink and stands proudly in my kitchen. I have been sent one to review – disclaimer – and I have been happily whipping up cakes and brownies and all sorts of other bits and pieces that are detrimental to my waistline but so, so good for my soul. It has made life very quick and convenient. We had a few run ins but I soon realised that that is because I was putting too much in the bowl. 1.5kg bread too much. That was a bit silly, it is a home mixer, not an industrial one, and treated as such – with one cake mix, not three – it works like a charm. It is tough and quick, and the patisserie attachment has been very useful, especially for my new baking experiments that have been taking place in …

Pumpkin, Pecan & Spinach Mash for Inbetween Days

Summer has gone. The leaves are falling, the winds rising, and the rain is a more regular visitor. The nights close in earlier than before. It’s that time of year when it is impossible to dress correctly, always being too hot, or too cold. It’s just not all that pleasant. But, it’s not all bad. Pumpkins are in season again, their proud round orangeness proclaiming the arrival of an imminent Halloween. Carve ‘em, light ‘em, and make them a jack ‘o lantern. Do eat them too, they’re delicious. I love them in soups, curries, tarts and pies. I love a rough and tumble of diced cooked pumpkin with strong cheese, nuts and spinach. I especially love them in a mash. Now this mash is non traditional. It’s crunchy and soft, salty and sweet. For me it was the perfect plate of comfort that I needed to get me through one of the first autumn evenings. Now pumpkins may seem tricky, but I promise that they’re not. For this, buy one small one, cut in half …

Abergavenny Food Festival: A Masterclass with Some Blaas, Some Hangover Guidance & Lots of Scandi Goodness

Everyone loves Abergavenny. Touted as one of the best food festivals for very serious food lovers such as us, I don’t know why it took me so long to get there. Abergavenny (or in local speak Aber-gaa-veiny) is a sleepy town in Wales, and home to two of the best restaurants in Wales and – I have been told and am yet to eat at either – the UK generally: The Walnut Tree and The Hardwick. The festival was charming. Gentle corporate sponsorship that didn’t interfere with proceedings supported it. It was rich with masterclasses from the likes of Bill Granger, Angela Hartnett, Fergus Henderson, Lucas Hollweg, Henry Harris, Richard Bertinet, Signe Johansen, Trina Hahnemann, James Ramsden and lil ole me. I made lots of blaas – literally hundreds – and homemade butter from raw cream. I loved it. What brilliant company too, I had to pinch myself. Highlights for me were: