Saturday, 30 January 2010
I wish I knew how to bake. Bommy makes it seem so easy everytime he hovers in the kitchen to make amazing batches of cupcakes and muffins, loaves of yummy banana bread and even plain old sponges. The smell of dough rising is better to have in the flat than all those floral sprays that make everyone realise they have allergies they never knew existed.
Monday, 25 January 2010
Wahaca is MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers' empire of Mexican eating in London. I've been (quite a lot) with friends and we always always have a great time. It's really one of my favourite chain restaurants in the city. The food's always presented beautifully and served with amazingly fresh ingredients, the service domestically comforting, the mojitos fantastically out of this world.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
The complete photo album here.
If you're in Central London and you wanted to have a super spontaneous and slightly pretentious Sunday lunch, I know exactly the place where you can make the most of the free parking and no congestion charge weekend. Tucked in the corner of a nondescript red brick in the not so nondescript Grosvenor Square is Gordon Ramsay's modern stake at nouvelle cuisine, and head chef Jason Atherton's baby: Maze (and Maze Grill, depending on which way you go upon entering the double doors - we decided to go left).
Monday, 18 January 2010
Ever fancied having paella but never had enough time (and patience) to stir and stir and stir for hours? Here’s a quick recipe. You’d be done in 30 minutes. =) I really enjoyed cooking this. Shame I can't cook this tonight as it's Meatless Monday!
- Cook the prawns separately. You can either boil them in a water and beer/lemonade mixture or steam them in stock.
- Cook rice and frozen peas separately, both in stock.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the onion, pepper and garlic until soft.
- Stir in the cooked rice, red pepper and saffron and paprika until well mixed.
- Add the peas for the last few minutes until heated through. Season, stir through the parsley.
- Top with your prawns and serve with the lemon wedges.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
I love those half-baked baguettes that you can easily pop in the oven for quick meals. You get to control how you want your bread, whether super toasted and crunchy or soft, spongy and doughy.
This meal is very easy to make. You'll feel like you're living like a student again. All you need is the bread, pasta sauce, cheese and any topping of your choice. I honestly cannot remember what we used for the batch in the photo. =/ Whack them all on top of each other, bake for 10-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200°C. Really good for quick snacks. And brunch ;)
Friday, 15 January 2010
Another Dr. Oetker product that I actually like? The Onken range of yogurt. 450grams of potted bacterial milk fermentation. Yum. I usually play it safe with yogurt, it’s either plain Greek-style or natural for me. However, the Onken yogurts are really nice and they actually taste like the fruit, and not the syrup. Their Mango, Papaya & Passionfruit biopot is a nice treat that takes you back to the tropics. Mmmm.
One day as I was doing some weekly food shopping, I stopped by the dessert section and a black yogurt pot caught my eye. It said Onken Coconut. That exact moment, I suddenly knew how Charlie Bucket felt when he found the last golden ticket. I’ve been looking (though not exactly actively) for this particular flavor since I saw the advert in 2008 but never got to see it stocked in supermarkets until that day. It was the last biopot in the box that contained 16. It was meant to be. I tried it immediately when I got home and my oh my I nearly cried because I suddenly remembered traipsing and swimming on nice beaches during summertime whilst snow poured out my window. Nonetheless, the limited edition biopot tasted really really really good. Sweet, but not sickly. The yogurt itself is smooth, and the coconut bits make it fun to eat. Mmm.
Coconuts – summer olfactory stimulant. Coconut yogurt – the taste of summer in during winter.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
I’ve casually slighted the Dr Oetker brand of foods before, for humour’s sake. Stereotyping for fun, my friends and I would throw in our comments in fake German accents and go ‘Ahh. I am made by ze grrreat Dr Oetker. I am wery evviciently struwctured. I am ze schaisse!’. That kind of thing. The advert for their Ristorante pizzas were ridiculed as well. Can them yodelers be any better than their Italian neighbours at pizza-making? Surely not.
And then one cold night, Dr Oetker pizzas were on offer and we shamelessly decided to call the doctor and binge on shop-bought pizzas. Frozen pizzas? Not the freshest, but probably the most convenient. We were surprised with the result.
The Ristorante Mozzarella pizza was actually a delight. Unwrapped, we had to laugh because they looked German-made with the well-proportioned and well-placed mozzarella slices and evenly spread out dollops of pesto. But wow. Those pizzas looked, smelled and tasted fresh. Not bad for frozen and shop-bought. It had a thin base that, when cooked correctly, gives you a very pleasurable crunch. It’s cheesy enough to give you that mozzarella stretch and the pesto bits really bring the dish to its full flavor. It’s so light you can finish the whole 11” lot without feeling guilty and still have room for dessert. Top with some rocket salad and you, my friend, will actually have a very good pizza – well, good enough to be served in chains. It won’t look as rustic as them stonebaked pizzas from Italian kitchens, but it will look absolutely efficiently appetizing.
Mom was right. We should not be scared of doctors.
Those pizzas tasted fresh.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
A colleague suggested fish and chips for dinner. I nearly barfed. See, you think living in a country where chippies (chip shop/fish & chips store) are as ubiquitous as the air we breathe would make one very much into battered fish fillets served with greasy chips in newspapers. No thanks, dare I say. I’ve had about two proper servings of fish and chips in my entire life – the first one I threw away immediately after the first bite because even after pampering it with tissue to soak the oil it still tasted like used oil (5 times over), the second one I couldn’t finish because it felt like oil spill in my mouth.
I like fish best when it’s slightly seasoned and cooked on its own but I also like them when they’re covered in some sort of batter. I like oven-cooked (read: not fried) fishcakes. The cod cakes I bought from Tesco (with cheese and chives) were screaming to be eaten. With massive portions of oven-cooked (read: not fried) wedges or chips. Which I didn’t have. Improv – a massive portion of vegetables stir-fried with light unsalted butter, paprika and garlic. I also rarely eat coleslaw but the Tesco Finest ones are nice. Mmm. My 5-a-day (portions of veg) in one plate. =D
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Thank God for Quorn sausages. At least when I crave for something long and stuffed *insert evil laugh* I still have decent and succulent *more evil laughter* options.
Project Meatless Monday #1, served with buttermilk mashed spuds (with skins) and blanched savoy cabbages.
The secret? Patience. Make sure your beef get to enjoy their marinade baths for 24 hours (anything less than that is just a brush). Sloooow cook and give it your constant care. =D If you want to whip up something like this, the marinade is made of *deep breath* soy sauce, white wine vinegar, honey, a splash of rosé wine, paprika, cardamom, cayenne pepper and flour.
Monday, 11 January 2010
Possibly the best peri-peri chicken in London! They have loads of really good food as well - the takeaway menu is different from the dine in menu. Every meal is handled with love and care. The family who run the place is absolutely amazing, especially brothers Tony (who is head chef) and Maurillo (chief dessert maker!). You've got to try the chicken and their out of this world kahlua-baileys cheesecake. Wow.
I'm so glad they have a website now, at least people can have a peek at what they have to offer: http://www.brazasrestaurante.com/
Love Brazas: 45 Tulse Hill, London, SW2 2TJ