Month: June 2011

Smoked Mackerel, chicory and potato salad

Summer is here at last. This year, for the first time, I have started to realise just how delicious a salad can be. Chicory has long stared out at me from the supermarket shelf and last week was the first time that I walked over, picked it up and put it in my basket. This salad really was delicious, filling and perfect for a hot summers day. Ingredients (serves 2) 8 chicory leaves, washed 1/2 avocado, sliced lengthways 1/4 red onion, finely sliced 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 6 new potatoes 2 smoked Mackerel fillets Handful of pea shoots Sea salt and black pepper Method 1. Boil new potatoes in hot salted water for 25 minutes, or until soft 2. Meanwhile, place the red onion in a small bowl. Cover with red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt 3. Drain potatoes and assemble salad on the plate. Enjoy!

Shoreditch Grind

Another post, another new London coffee establishment. I welcome Shoreditch Grind. Situated on Old Street roundabout, Shoreditch Grind has a beautiful interior, indoor window seating, rather good coffee and not a bad range of grub. Think indulgent morning pastries, chunky lunch time sandwiches, muffins and cakes to satisfy the sweet tooth. We enjoyed a silky flat white whilst trying to get comfortable on the beautiful but slightly impractical stools. A few things made me think that they were not quite ready for opening. The toilets were ‘under construction’ and there were no proper cups or plates. All food that we ordered was brought over to us in a closed paper bag – a tad unnecessary and wasteful. The honey and almond cake was good without being great, the almond and honey topping deliciously moist but the middle quite dry. The cheese croissant that we shared was gone in 10 seconds flat, very delicious but small. And at £2.95, probably too expensive. Our toasted parma ham and mozzarella baguette was good but I forgot to get …

The Wright Brothers, Soho

The first time I went to The Wright Brothers on Kingly Street was shortly after it had opened at the end of last year. The food arrived and I took my camera out of it’s case to capture the delights in front of me but was mortified to find that the lens had miraculously broken. A few months later and I’m back. I have scraped my shoe, moved on and purchase a new lens. I’m not bitter at all. I went this week for an early dinner with my dad who works in London a couple of days a week. I love meeting him for dinner and it’s always a comfort having a member of your family to be able to do this with in a city away from home. The plan was to meet for Oysters, which is why I suggested The Wright Brothers. Their sister restaurant, Oyster & Porterhouse in Borough market has long been suggested as one of the best spots for Oysters in London and the same can be said of …

Paul A Young, Soho

It is no secret that Soho is my favourite area of London. Over the last few years, the vibrant suburb has seen fantastic restaurant after restaurant and cafe after cafe open their doors to welcome very grateful customers. I am fascinated with the history of Soho – from a vibrant jazz scene in the 1940’s followed by the rock scene in the 60’s to becoming home to London’s gay scene and let’s face it, a lot of unsavoury bedrooms (look up at night and you’ll see the redness that I’m talking about), Soho is culturally diverse and never seems to sleep. It’s an area that I love and one that I’d live, work and play in for the rest of my life if I could. One thing that seemed to be lacking, until recently, were good chocolate and cake shops. Although they look mouth watering, the cakes at Princi don’t really cut it for me. And the cakes at Hummingbird Bakery do not exactly float my boat. But from today, my worries need be no …

Da Polpo

You may think that I like to harp on about Russell Norman and his range (yes I can say range now) of London eating establishments. Well, that’s because I do. Already a fan of Polpo, Spuntino and Polpetto, I was quick to try his newest venture. At first I Da Polpo was a joke – I read on Twitter that this is what the fourth restaurant from Russell Norman would be called. I couldn’t quite believe that he’d open another restaurant and just put a ‘Da’ in front of an already existing restaurant name. But he did and I don’t mind because as far as I am concerned, he could have called it whatever he wanted and I wouldn’t give a monkeys because I don’t go for the name, I go for the bloomin delicious grub. I met a friend one evening after work in the first week of opening and I’m pleased to say that I walked in and sat straight down. Probably because it was in the first week of opening but another …

COMPETITION – The Big Chopper

A couple of weeks ago, The Big Chopper was introduced to me. What is the big chopper I hear you say. It took me a couple of minutes to realise just what shape the two lockable chopping boards became when joined together (I think I’m one of the naive ones!) but when I did, it made me chuckle. It’s a cleaver idea really. One board for meat, one for veg and when joined together it looks like… well, you can see what it looks like! I was asked to give one away and thought it would be a great idea, especially since the company is supporting the charity male cancer charity Orchid – 50% of online sales are being donated. I have used mine a couple of times and they’re not just pretty (!!) but practical too. Simply lock to chop and unlock to store! See below for ways to enter: 1. Mandatory. Like the Big Chopper Facebook page here and leave a comment on the wall to say that you have entered via http://www.foodforthink.com

My Britain’s Best Dish journey plus recipe

I can finally write my post now. I was a semi finalist on this years Britain’s Best Dish. The process started at the end of last year when a girl that I used to work with told me that she had been a contestant a couple of years ago. She had won £500 by getting through to the regional finals and recommended that I auditioned – so I did. I didn’t really take it seriously at first – I had never seen the programme before but had heard through the grapevine that it was a ‘poor mans Masterchef‘. Hmmm – nevertheless, I went for it because I love cooking and I wanted a bit of a challenge. I made it through the producer auditions to be a contestant on the show and I represented the Midlands because of my Nottingham roots. I won the regional heat and the regional final (hello £500) to get to Hackney Catering college where I went head to head with the other 6 regional finalists in the dessert category. Much …