Month: August 2011

East India butter shortbread with clotted cream

I really wish I could have a butter and clotted cream shortbread with my tea now. But I can’t because I ate them all. I was sent a packet of Butter Shortbread with Clotted Cream by the East India Company a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I opened the packet and started munching on the biscuits, I knew I was in trouble. I adore shortbread but even more so when it contains clotted cream. Unfortunately, I have a REAL taste for anything creamy and buttery. The biscuits are pale in colour and slightly chewy. At first the texture reminded me of biscuits that have just started to go stale but I realised quite quickly that the clotted cream makes them chewier than usual. Apparently they were a favourite of Queen Victoria and go great with afternoon tea. I wouldn’t know if they do because I ate them all before I even had a chance to think about afternoon tea. The packet that they come in is pretty too and I would definitely …

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House

One of my earliest memories of dining out in London, before I even dreamed of moving here, was my dad taking my brother and I to a Victorian dining room in Clerkenwell to eat a roast dinner for lunch. I can’t remember what the restaurant was called but I walked into the dining room, with it’s high ceilings, and was surrounded by men in suits talking business while drinking ale from metal tankards. I was infatuated. I loved the setting – the old wooden pews, the creaky floors and of course the food. So I was delighted when I was invited to the launch of Meatballs at The Quality Chop House last night. The Grade II listed building was built in 1870 and has operated as a restaurant for almost 150 years. Many times have I walked past and marveled at the building but never stopped to wonder what was inside. The Quality Chop House was traditionally a working men’s chophouse and was later favoured by the kind of businessmen that I mentioned earlier. But, …

tarte au citron recipe

Who doesn’t like a good slice of tarte au citron? The buttery, flakey pastry with the rich, sweet and tangy wobbly middle. Pour some double cream over a big slice and that’s me done. I’ll tuck myself away in a corner for a few minutes so no stray forks can interfere, while I enjoy every last morsel. But despite there being a few decent shop bought alternatives out there, home made is definitely preferable. Having never made one before, I set out to do just that on Sunday. What I didn’t realise was just how long the process is – I completely understand why people shove one in their supermarket trolley. Not only is it 10 times quicker, it’s also around the same price. But nothing compares to home made (if done well of course) and it is oh so satisfying to see the golden pastry and wobbly lemony filling come out of the oven almost perfect. I got my recipe from Lindsey Bareham, who wrote a piece about the delightful dessert after being inspired …

Win a Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine!!

To celebrate the arrival of the month long pop up Galleria illy in London, I am offering one lucky Food For Think reader the chance to win a gorgeous Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine (worth £199), courtesy of Espressocrazy. Now, I know that this is a good little piece of kit. I have recently been to a few photo shoots at Georgia Glynn Smith’s house and she has one in order to provide her guests with delicious coffee. It’s easy to operate, simply pop in an illy coffee iperEspresso capsule and press the button. The milk frother on the side is also very good, considering the size of the machine. After runs in Berlin, New York, Milan and Istanbul, Galleria illy will run from 13 September – 16 October. It’s free to get in and you’ll be able to enjoy a programme of gastronomy, art, literature and design events. I’m really looking forward to popping along and learning a trick or two from the Università del Caffè illy baristas. I’ll be there mid September so …

Melt in mouth meringue recipe

If you have read my blog in the last few months, you will know that I have three gorgeous chickens on my roof who provide me with fresh and delicious eggs daily. Since only two of us in the house eat eggs, we sometimes get a bit of a glut, as you can see. So we’re forever having to come up with ways to use more than just one or two eggs at a time. Someone suggested I make meringue but I wasn’t keen on the idea at first – I would rather tuck into a big slab of cake or a delicious brownie than a light and fluffy meringue. Then again, I had never made them before so decided to give them a go. As our eggs are very small, I would recommend using Bantam eggs. If you are using hens eggs, use two less than I have stated. I was so pleased with how they turned out – they have a beautiful golden colour due to the fact that I used unrefined golden …

Pan fried lemon sole with samphire and parsley butter

Samphire is everywhere at the moment. I had it with fish at three different restaurants last week and I can’t get enough if it. So when I was getting my fish from the Waitrose fish counter at the weekend, I was very happy to see a pack of the delicious green edible plant sat next to the fish. I chose two filets of lemon sole and grabbed a pack and a lemon to go with it. I was very looking forward to my Monday evening dinner but was left slightly disappointed with the samphire. I followed the cooking instructions on the pack but the stalks were quite hard and a small amount was inedible. Only a very small amount though so the meal was not ruined. I can’t expect cooking with a new ingredient to be perfect first time, so as with most things, practice makes perfect! Ingredients 2 skin on lemon sole fillets 1 garlic clove 1 red chilli 2 knobs of butter 4 tsp fresh or or frozen parsley 90g samphire Salt and …

Maille pop up supper club

I have had a battle with mustard over the years. After trying that powdered English stuff that used to be popular about 20 years ago, I abstained from putting myself through the misery again. That is until someone persuaded me to try a dollop of Maille mustard with a salad a couple of years ago. I didn’t love it straight away but it was a lot more pleasurable than my first experience. I was invited to the Maille mustard pop up in Shoreditch, which was hosted by Ms Marmite Lover a few weeks ago and couldn’t say no – partly because I wanted to try the new range, which includes honey mustard and mayonnaise with a hint of mustard and partly because I was allowed to take a guest and my boyfriend is the biggest mustard fan. We turned up to Spitalfields market on a Friday evening and I was surprised to see a small pop up located just in front of the main entrance. It looked beautiful and featured stained wood with beautifully packaged …