Friday, 21 September 2012

Cooking with Olives I: Monkfish with Saffron and Olive Sauce on Cous Cous

Monkfish with Saffron and Olive Sauce on Cous Cous

This is the first of my two recipes using black olives. I basically wanted to combine black olives with fish, because I think that neutral, meaty fish like monkfish is complimented so well by that salty, anise-like taste of the black olives. I also like to cook down the sauce until it's a thick paste, almost East African style so that the paprika, coarse garlic and saffron retain their characteristic fiery intensity.

This recipe was created using black olives from Fragata, which they kindly provided for me along with some other great ingredients. Fragata are currently running a promotion in order to win a chance to cook with the one and only Jose Pizarro! If you're interested in entering the competition, please click here.

Here goes:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Honestly, what you know about burgers internet?

Honest burger (@honestburgers)
4a Mead Street,

Another burger restaurant has ventured into the murky depths of central London. Honest burger have expanded their successful Brixton home to Mead St. just off Dean Street, right near to Burger & Lobster.
With MeatLiquor / Market, B&L, Tommi's burger joint, Slider Bar, not to mention those mini burgers at Opera Tavern, and a new Byron Burger popping up seemingly every month, all within walking distance; is the demand for burgers going to be saturated soon? It sure doesn't seem that way. Honest, continue the trend of a minimal menu with a choice of chicken, beef or vegetable fritter (has anyone actually tried this, surely that smell of burgers on the grill is enough to turn anyone), and the special. 
See that McDonald's over there son...don't let me see you ever go in there

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Beer Chronicles: Grimbergen (Belgium)

Grimbergen (Belgium)

This is the first article in our brand new category, where we will be reviewing beers (and perhaps other drinks too!). We're going to hopefully focus on mainly some more artisan beers, rather than the big name brands unless they have a clear brewing tradition that deserves to be highlighted.

Grimbergen is an abbey beer (not to be confused with Trappist beer) taking it's name from  what is effectively a northern suburb of Brussels. This is the location I've highlighted on the map. However, it is now produced by the Belgian Alken-Maes brewery, a large-scale producer. The original beer was established in the 11th century by St Norbert (amazing name!), the founder of the Norbertine order. The glass is a chalice with a perpendicular rim.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Burger & Lobster - No Alarms and No Surprises

Burger & Lobster (@londonlobster)
36 Dean Street, London, W1D 4PS

Well, you couldn't accuse this one of false advertising. Featuring a minimalistic menu consisting simply of burger and lobster (either whole or as a roll), the Dean Street branch is the second of the two B&L restaurants opened by the team behind the eponymous Goodman in Mayfair. Goodman is famous for boasting some of the best steaks and burgers here, but we were particularly intrigued here by the prospect of £20 lobster.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

DIY Sous Vide - Salmon

According to Heston (see article) all foodies should have a sous-vide. Well I hate to burst his, no doubt elaborataly formed, bubble but not all of us have a spare £300 for a water bath, and another hundred for a (not even professional) vacuum sealer. Nevermind the fact that each of them are the size of the microwave, it's probably one of the most inconvenient gadgets you would be likely to purchase.
Sous-vide is the new standard in cooking and allows for ultimate temperature control to cook your food evenly while not overcooking the outside, also the main advantage is that if temperature is maintained it'll never overcook. No excuse for inconsistency if a restaurant uses one of these!
Help is at hand for those wanting to do sous vide at home, a few fellow foodies have been fighting the system, and have come up with some DIY methods to do your own sous vide set up. It's all very 'Blue Peter' but it does the job....just about

Professional sous-vide - Cha-ching

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Opera Tavern - Pigging out at the 'Tavern

Opera Tavern @saltyardgroup
23 Catherine Street

Opera Tavern is by far my favourite restaurant in London. It's food lies in between great cuisine and indulgent sharing food. From it's marvellous mini burger, of ibérico pork and fois gras, to the incredible ibérico pressa. Yes, there is a theme in what they do well here, and it is the pork from the black footed acorn fed pigs. While, the other dishes are good these are definitely their USP.