Recent Archives - Two Senoritas

adminAugust 26, 2020
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11min6930

The PR company for Eurostar’s Little break, Big difference campaign recently invited some food bloggers on a culinary day trip to Lille in northern France. Little break, Big difference encourages people to take short breaks to Paris, Brussels and Lille on the Eurostar, (which can cost as little as £59 return, subject to all those terms and conditions!), introducing special events and experiences in these cities. The itinerary was packed with food activities, and it was hard to resist. I was initially hesitant about going, given the recent furore over food bloggers accepting PR freebies. However, I do enjoy traveleating and I would have wanted to visit Lille anyway to see what it has to offer foodies, so I decided to accept the invitation.

I love the research and planning part of any traveleating trip and can spend months choosing restaurants and places to visit (I’ve been doing this since July for the November Japan trip!). It was therefore a little strange to be handed an itinerary, even though it was entirely food-related, and to be guided around the city, when I’m very much an independent traveller. I had decided not to do any research whatsoever, so everything we did on Saturday was entirely new to me.

Lille city centre is no more than a ten minute walk from the train station. We wandered up and down little cobbled streets in the old quarter known as Vieux Lille lined with independent shops, cafés, restaurants and boutiques, – Rue de la Monnaie looked particularly exciting – as well as walking around two pretty squares, the Place du General-de-Gaulle and Place du Théâtre. The area is very photogenic and I loved the architecture, so it wasn’t long before I decided I would be returning to Lille again very soon.

We visited Meert, a traditional pâtisserie and tea room that has been open since 1761 (there is also the restaurant, see website below for more details) and sampled La Gaufre Meert, their famous Madagascan vanilla-filled waffles (€2.80), which you can also buy in small gift boxes in the adjoining shop. A few people also ordered their other speciality, the Merveilleux, a gigantic chocolate-coated meringue filled with rich chocolate mousse (€5.50). They have a good selection of teas, but I had a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail, the Intensive Cherry Cactus (€6.00), a delicious thick and definitely intense berry drink. I also bought a little packet of florentines from the shop afterwards.

The next stop was L’atelier des Chefs (a chain of cookery schools in France, London and Dubai where you learn to make two or three courses for lunch and dinner, then eat what you have prepared), where we were divided into four teams and following instructions from the chef, learned to make lunch for ourselves, which we ate at the communal dining table. Very fresh pan-fried cod lacquered with honey and beer sauce on a bed of vegetables was followed by tiramisu.

We were soon on the move again, to the regional beer and cheese tasting, which was held in the basement of La Capsule bar. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, the cheese shop owner had to close his shop, so he couldn’t attend to introduce the cheeses. I was disappointed as I fell deeply in love with the smelliest and strongest of all the sampled cheeses, the Maroilles, and wanted to buy some to take home. I also liked the Crayeux de Ronqc and the Mimolette, a hard orange cheese, which I’ve had before in London. Philippe Olivier is therefore most definitely on my must-visit list for my next trip, as there is also the ‘cousin’ of the Maroilles, Vieux Lille, also known as ‘the Lille stinker’, which I want to try!

The beer expert more than made up for the cheese owner’s absence however, and he described in detail the four specialty beers local to Lille and the north of France. I’m not a beer drinker, but I particularly liked La Bavaisienne, an amber beer, and later bought a bottle from La Capsule’s specialty regional beer shop L’Abbaye des Saveurs, just round the corner. The beer later got its seal of approval from the husband patiently waiting at home for food treats. By the time we were back on the train again, I could barely sit upright from all the food I had consumed.

If I were to organise my own day trip to Lille, I would have a leisurely breakfast at Meert, then buy plenty of goodies from the adjoining shop. The bakery, Aux Merveilleux de Fred, that we walked past twice also looked very enticing, as did Patisserie Patrick Hermand. With just one day to explore the city and with so much to eat and do however, I wouldn’t attend a cookery course again. I like L’atelier des Chefs very much, and there is one in London which I’ve been to, but I would much rather dine in some local restaurants where I wouldn’t have to do the cooking! There are also numerous cafés and little food shops where I would love to spend time browsing, and of course the upscale independent shops selling clothes and interiors. The beer shop and the cheese shop would be essential stops towards the end of the day. And I would try to time my trip to visit the open market, Marché de Wazemmes, (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings). However, the Little Break trip was certainly an excellent introduction to Lille (thank you to everyone at We Are Social), and has inspired me to do more research and return very soon.

The day’s events are also told in this set of Lille photos on Flickr, which can be viewed here, posted in reverse chronological order (last photo appears first). You can also watch We Are Social’s short You Tube video of the day here.

Travel information:

We travelled courtesy of Eurostar in Leisure Select, which I’ve never heard of before, but it’s the class between Standard and Business Premier. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included, depending on the time of travel, as well as a complimentary glass of champagne before lunch and dinner. The breakfast, strangely, was far better than the dinner. Perhaps we were too full from good food in Lille?

We took the 06:59 train from St Pancras, arriving in Lille an astonishing 90 minutes later, at 09:27. After a short ten minute walk, we were already in the city centre. It was very easy to walk around the little streets and explore the city, and there was no need for taxis or public transport as stayed in the centre.

We returned on the 18:35 train, arriving back at St Pancras at 19:03 UK time. It was a long day, but definitely manageable. I’m now debating whether to do a day trip, leaving slightly later in the morning and returning on a later train after dinner, or stay overnight and have a more relaxing weekend.

Contact details:

Meert Patisserie – Salon de thé 27 rue Esquermoise 59000 Lille France Tel: 0033 (0)3 20 57 07 44 www.meert.fr

Opening Hours : Monday: Closed Tuesday to Friday: 9.30am-7.30pm Saturday: 9.00am-7.30pm Sunday: 9.00am-1.00pm/3.00pm-7.00pm

L’atelier des Chefs 74 Boulevard de la Liberté 59000 Lille France Tel: 0033 (0)3 20 17 17 50 www.latelierdeschefs.com

L’Abbaye des Saveurs 13, rue des Vieux Murs 59000 Lille France Tel/ Fax: 00 33 (0)3 28 07 70 06 www.abbayedessaveurs.com

Fromagerie Philippe Olivier 3 Rue Curé St Etienne 59800 Lille France Tel: 00 33 (3) 20 74 96 99

Food bloggers:

The food bloggers (and one wine blogger) who went on the trip were a mixture of old friends and new acquaintances, all writing about very different subjects within the vast realm of food (and drink).

Niamh from Eat Like A Girl Chris from Cheese and Biscuits Helen from Food Stories Kang from LondonEater Krista from londonelicious MsMarmitelover from The English Can Cook Andrew Barrow from Spittoon Liz from Gastronomy Domine Margot from Coffee and Vanilla Michelle from Greedy Gourmet Stephen and Kerri from Dinner Diary


adminJuly 22, 2020
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4min3240

Anyone who works hard to get into healthy shape knows the benefits of nnatural supplements. Staying in shape can be a challenge, especially when you have a budget to consider. Many products are very expensive and you might find yourself losing stamina if you don’t keep up with the necessary natural supplements that help you along. Fortunately, discount sports nutrition suppliers are available to help you stay on track.

Discount sports nutrition suppliers can be found in a number of places. You can find any supplement that you need through these companies. Whether you are looking to slim down, bulk up or maintain a great shape, discountsportsnutrition can be the solution to your budget woes.

I was really into using fish oil supplements along with fat burners to help me maintain a slender figure. This also took a lot of exercise as well. When I found myself out of work I had to give up some of my natural supplements because they weren’t priority in my budget. Not only was I out of work but I was getting out of shape.

Supplements and Discount Sports Nutrition

The supplements that you can buy through discount sports nutrition suppliers are a must for some of us. When I don’t take the natural supplements I just don’t have the energy to work out. This leads to a very dangerous cycle of inactivity and weight gain. While I can’t attribute my weight loss and my weight gain entirely to discountsportsnutrition products, I do believe that there is a correlation.

Basically, I needed to get my priorities straight. While supplements might seem like a frivolous purchase, it really wasn’t in my case. After all, the money I would have spent on discount sports nutrition products was spent on pizza delivery. Once I took into account how much I could spend I started weighing my options.

With the savings offered by the discount sports nutrition supplier I could easily afford to continue my program. That is, if I stopped spending money on take-out every week. Soon the products were at my doorstep and I was on my way to a speedy figure recovery. This process gave me energy and stamina and I soon found that I had the confidence to interview for another job.

Now that I have a new job I really don’t need to order from the discount sports nutrition supplier but I still do. I could always use the money that I save for other things, like new clothes.


adminJune 20, 2020
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5min5150

Crumble is an all-time favourite of mine and yet I’ve never made it before. Boarding school lunches and dinners were made all the more palatable with the anticipation of a large bowl of fruit crumble drenched with an extra portion of steaming hot custard. We would sometimes get seconds too, if we were very lucky. It marked the perfect end to a not-so-great meal. I’m not fussy about the fruit used in a crumble. Rhubarb, apple, pear, blackberry and other berries are all wonderful. The texture and thickness of the crumble topping, as well as the proportion of crumble to fruit, are more important factors for me. I need a lot of crumble and even more hot custard (although some people like it cold!).

I reviewed Mark Hix’s British Regional Food a few months ago and came across his recipe for apple and blackberry crumble, which I’ve been meaning to make ever since. When our ever generous neighbour gave us some Bramley apples from his allotment, the husband wandered outside the house to pick some ripe blackberries from the bushes on our lane, and we were all set to make crumble (if you’re wondering why I still have blackberries, I don’t. This post was written weeks ago when the berries were still fat and juicy!).

Ingredients: (with my comments in italics)

good knob of butter (

I took this to mean a good scoop with a knife)

3 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped

75g caster sugar

150g blackberries and / or any other berries like blueberries or elderberries

thick or clotted cream, or custard, to serve

for the crumble topping

40g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

30g ground almonds

60g caster sugar

80g plain flour

What to do next:

Preheat the oven to 190C / gas 5.

First make the filling – melt the butter in a pan, add the apples and sugar, and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until they begin to break down but are not too soft.

Remove from heat and stir in the blackberries (and other berries). Put in a suitable ovenproof pie dish or small individual pie dishes (which I greased).

Mix all the topping ingredients in a food processor or mixer, or rub between your fingers until they look like breadcrumbs (I did the latter). I also doubled the amount of crumble topping, as it didn’t look like there would be quite enough to form a thick layer.

Sprinke the crumble topping over the top of the filling and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. (Our oven behaves rather erratically, so the crumble was ready in 20 minutes).

Serve with thick or clotted cream, or custard.

I used shop-bought custard from Waitrose. It’s also delicious with some pouring cream added on top of the custard. After two helpings though, I knew I had over-indulged…

What are your favourite fruits for crumble? Do you prefer custard or cream? And do you know the origins of crumble? According to Wikipedia, it originated during the Second World War in Britain, but I thought it was a lot older than that…


adminMay 18, 2020
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5min2160

Rating:

This particular type of dog food is an example of a lower-quality commercial food. The Eukanuba dog food rating is at a lower range, deserving only two out of five stars because of a number of different factors (which we’ll go into later). If you buy this commercial dog food already, or are considering it for your dog, then keep reading this Eukanuba dog food review for more information. This review will contain information regarding Eukanuba dog food nutrition, its ingredients, tips on where to buy Eukanuba dog food, as well as information on the Eukanuba dog food price.

History of Eukanuba Dog Food

Eukanuba is one of the more commonly known dog foods because it is a commercial product and can be found on shelves in any major store. They also spend quite a bit on advertising, which can significantly increase the price of their products. This probably means they have less money to spend on their ingredients and the formula of their products. Nevertheless, this dog food which is manufactured by Procter & Gamble does provide the dogs with sufficient enough nutrition. Because it is manufactured by such a large corporation, it may not be as nutritious as premium dog foods, but it will do in a pinch.

Eukanuba Dog Food Ingredients

The main reason why commercial products are lower quality than premium products is the fact that the quality of ingredients is simply not the same. To save money on manufacturing in order to give marketing a bigger budget, some commercial companies substitute some of the higher quality ingredients with feed grade quality ingredients. As an example, the fourth ingredient on this dog food is chicken by-product, which is essentially all the parts of a chicken which are leftover after it is processed for human consumption. Chicken by-products can include anything from the beak, heads, feet, and even undeveloped eggs (except feathers).

There are several controversial ingredients in this pet food including wheat gluten, an inexpensive filler which also boosts the protein content of the food. However, it makes this food unavailable for sensitive dogs. Another ingredient is meat by-product, which can be anything that is left over from a slaughterhouse process. However, since the type of meat is unspecified, it can pretty much be anything from beef, pork, or even road kill or diseased and dying live stock.

Notable Ingredients:

Chicken

Chicken liver

Chicken by-product

Wheat gluten

Meat by-products

Dried beet pulp

Eukanuba Dog Food Coupons

It’s entirely possible to find coupons for Eukanuba dog food if you would like to buy them for cheaper. This pet food is available in all major stores and may as well be available in pet and feed stores.

Eukanuba Dog Food Review and Rating

If you look at the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate content of this dog food, it may seem above average. However, the low quality of the ingredients as well as low regard for complete dog nutrition (vitamins and minerals are not chelated) makes this dog food deserve only a two star rating for its formulation. This dog food will do if you have no other choice, but it is not recommended if you can afford better quality food for your beloved pet.


adminApril 14, 2020
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4min2170

Wild Honey opened earlier this year, following in the footsteps of its acclaimed elder sister Arbutus, which now has a Michelin star. Situated in Mayfair, in contrast to Arbutus’ Soho location, the formula is nevertheless similar. Wild Honey offers the same set lunch and dinner menus, and the quirky but clever initiative of selling all their wines by the carafe (250ml), which allows diners to sample the more expensive ones on the list. The formula clearly works for Arbutus, so my friend and I headed off to Wild Honey to see why it’s been doing so well.

The dining room is long and quite narrow, with oak walls and banquette seating down one side of the room. It’s more intimate than Arbutus, which is a bit too stark for my liking. Service was friendly too, to the extent that the waiter gave me the menus and wine lists to take away with me, to save me from frantically scribbling down everything. Both Wild Honey and Arbutus pride themselves on simplicity and seasonality, so unsurprisingly, the menus were not that dissimilar. Of course, the dishes were different, but not the style and presentation.

What we ordered:

Neither my friend nor I were that hungry, which was a shame, as we only had a main course each. Scanning the mains quickly, I inevitably chose the roast Scottish beef (Buccleugh), baked onion, autumn vegetable puree (£14.95), while my friend tried to decide between two fish dishes – the piece of plaice, nut brown butter with shrimps (£16.95) and the halibut, mushroom risotto, braised celery (£14.95), eventually settling for the latter. Another option for me would have been the roast black leg chicken, glazed salsify, brussel tops (£16.95). We also had the Wild Honey cocktail – prosecco with Braeburn apple puree (£8.50), which was rather nice!

My beef came medium/medium-rare, which was perfect for me. Not too tender, not too tough, it had a nice texture and the two pieces were a generous size. It also came with a portion of gratin dauphinoise, which was a nice surprise. Although it was a tiny bit too salty for me, it was neverthless eaten up. The halibut was incredibly fresh too. None of the desserts appealed, particularly as we really weren’t hungry to start off with. Looking at the menu from home though, I could easily have the classic baked egg custard tart with clementine marmalade (£5.95) or the Wild honey ice cream, with crushed honeycomb (£5.95).

The verdict?

Based on just two main dishes, I’m loathe to make a rounded judgement on Wild Honey. But the other choices on the menu sounded very tempting. I also like simple menus. With 7 starters, 7 mains and 5 desserts, the diner isn’t left confused. The bill came to £62, with two mains, cocktails, water and one coffee. I think I’d return on a very empty stomach to enjoy a three course meal and then reach a proper decision about Wild Honey. Additionally, breakfast is also served here, including a Full English Breakfast (eggs, sausages, bacon, tomato, mushroom and black pudding) for £13.25.


adminMarch 12, 2020
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4min1810

Diet shakes are quite tasty, and in fact they are not too complicated to make! They’re even more affordable than the premade diet shakes you will be able to purchase at the store.

Diet shakes, also known as meal substitution shakes, have been practiced with much success for a long time now. They have been part of diet programs at various stages in the history. But one thing for sure, is that they have been around for a long time and have always worked out.

Fruits to include for a healthy diet shake include fresh strawberries, sweet bananas, tasty kiwi, and sweet peaches and so on. Fruit bears the carbohydrates that will keep you going for your physical exercise and your day. The complex sugars in fruit are crucial to diet programs or weight loss programs (contrary to the simple sugars in sweets, sodas, and so on) and this is one of the well-known how to cut sugar from your diet tricks.

Next, diet shakes are modest in calories and they help satiate you. This is a primary diet principal that will work out with an assortment of foods such as soup and smoothies. Diet shakes are broadly speaking one hundred fifty calories or lower and they may be relished as a meal, or as a snack. Since shakes are substantial and healthy you will be able to even replace breakfast with diet shakes made by yourself or part of various diet programs. Diet shakes are also known as protein shakes. As pregnant women should not substitute their meals during their pregnancy, it is strongly recommended to seek medical advice if they should want to consider any meal substitutions.

Diet shakes are not the magic trick in the struggle of the bulge. Applied judiciously, they could facilitate weight loss and aid you in maintaining a more sensible weight. Diet shakes are a different neat alternative for weight loss diet programs. Diet shakes could be applied as part of successful diet plans (see what makes up a balanced meal). Diet shakes are fashioned to be partial meal replacements, where 1 or 2 meals a day are substituted with the shake and the remaining meals comprised of regular foods. With an absolute kilojoules count arraying from just 500-800kJ per meal replacement beverage, they definitely exercise their effect thru kilojoules restraint.

Protein is among the most crucial constituents to helping you arrive at a genuinely healthy diet shake. Protein could be a much tedious facet to diet programs. Protein demands may be well achieved by consuming an equilibrated diet and including foods plentiful in proteins. These foods include healthy eggs, fresh fish, lean meat, skinless chicken, bean sprouts, fresh milk and various milk products.

Nutritional wellness is also significant, but it’s most vital while losing weight on diet programs. Even on a diet you body still requires those vitamins and minerals since without the suitable amount of nutrients you may become undernourished. Nourishment could bear upon more than only your weight. People who apply good nutrition, proper hygiene and exercise formulas acquire a lifetime of habits that will maintain their health for umpteen years.


adminFebruary 11, 2020
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5min1780

Haozhan means ‘a good place to eat’, according to its menu. This description does not usually apply to many of the restaurants in London’s Chinatown, and being both Chinese and the child of a successful restaurant owner, I should know. This new kid on the block, however, has decided to be a bit of a rebel. The service is not just efficient, it’s actually friendly. Charming, in fact. The decor is upmarket. And most crucially, the food stands head and shoulders above that of most of its neighbours. It’s not Cantonese, but more of a fusion of various regional cuisines, with a modern twist. As a result, it has attracted rave reviews from the national press. World Foodie Guide had to check it out.

For my dining companions, I chose Indian novelist Jaishree Misra and her husband Ashe, and my vegetarian husband. Our friends had eaten here just three days ago, so I tried to avoid ordering what they had already sampled. They enjoyed the chilli soft shell crab starter and the coffee ribs, but found the signature dish of champagne cod (£18.80) disappointingly soggy (unlike Matthew Norman of The Guardian, who loved it).

What we ordered:

After some deliberation, and avoiding bizarre dishes like Marmite prawns and cheese lobster, the decision was made: wasabi prawns (deep fried king prawns tossed in a wasabi-infused mayonnaise sauce topped with vegetable seeds and tobiko – £9.80), Sanpei chicken (authentic Taiwan-style chicken claypot with sweet basil, peppers, chilli and spring onion – £9.50), Szechuan duck (stir-fried sliced duck Szechuan-style – £8.80) and Thai Gai Lan (Thai-style stir-fried Chinese broccoli with minced salted fish – £8.50). And plain white rice of course.

My vegetarian husband chose the Szechuan Vegetables (yam bean, asparagus, brown beech mushrooms, celery and tofu stir-fried in a Szechuan sauce and sprinkled with almond flakes – £8.00) and Ka Heung Ramen (stir-fried Japanese ramen with brown beech mushrooms and bean sprouts. Unfortunately, even though Haozhan makes its own tofu, none of the four tofu dishes on the menu were vegetarian!

The verdict? Neither the duck nor the chicken were attention-grabbing. But I absolutely loved the Thai Gai Lan. The minced salted fish turned these tender vegetables into a stunning dish. I grew up on salted fish as an accompaniment to rice or congee and love the taste of it, but have rarely come across it in restaurants. I wasn’t sure about the wasabi prawns though. The prawns were fresh and crunchy, but I didn’t like the mayonnaise. These were Jaishree’s favourite however, while Ashe liked both these and the coffee ribs from his last meal. My husband thought his food was tasty, but expensive for what they were – small dishes.

The dessert, recommended by Jaishree and Ashe, was the other highlight – Cream of Pumpkin (chilled pumpkin and cream puree with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream served with steamed black rice and cocoa powder – £4.50). I could have eaten several portions of this glorious combination of flavours.

The verdict?

I like what Haozhan is trying to do. It’s a bold statement to make in the heart of Chinatown. Some of the dishes are a bit hit-and-miss, but I’m sure they’ll improve over time. Perhaps I also made a mistake with a couple of the dishes. There are stunners here though. And I’m willing to return to see if these include the chilli quail, XO black cod, Haozhan tofu (pan-fried homemade tofu topped with chipped spinach and scallop with a supreme sauce) and the coffee pork ribs.

The bill came to £80.00 for lunch for four, minus alcohol.

10 – Perfection, 9.5 – Sensational, 9 – Outstanding, 8.5 – Superb, 8 – Excellent, 7.5 – Very Good, 7 – Good, 6.5 – Above Average, 6 – Average

All the London restaurant reviews on World Foodie Guide

Contact Details: Haozhan 8 Gerrard Street London W1D 5PJ Tel: 020 7434 3838 mail@haozhan.co.uk www.haozhan.co.uk


adminJanuary 9, 2020
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6min1070

Background:

I was recently invited by gastropub Fox & Anchor to enjoy a complimentary dinner. Located opposite Smithfield Market, this traditional Victorian pub (with six bedrooms upstairs) has been serving customers for over a hundred years. It’s an intimate and narrow space, and you have to practically hold your breath in to squeeze past the drinkers standing at the bar. We headed towards the back of the pub, past various tables here and there, to find three wood-panelled snugs, two larger ones and one cosy one for two people. My brother and I spent the evening in comfortable armchairs in the smallest snug.

Menu:

The menu is simple, with Maldon oysters and prawns, plus a few starters including pressed ox tongue, celeriac remoulade and wild garlic. There are four options on toast, such as the ham toastie with fried duck egg and fish finger buttie. The mains include a choice of four types of pie, five specials and eight other dishes, plus the ‘carving trolley’ option. It’s a meat and fish-heavy menu, with rather limited options for vegetarians unfortunately. I was glad not to have to sit next to a grumpy vegetarian husband, but rather my brother, who eats anything and in vast quantities, or so I thought.

What we ordered:

 

pint of prawns

(£8.95) – I was looking forward to these, and they didn’t disappoint. When I was shown the pint tankard, I wasn’t sure a pint would be enough, but it’s more than plentiful for two. They were lovely and fresh and came with mayonnaise (which wasn’t needed)

deep fried white bait, spicy mayonnaise

(£6.20) – I don’t usually like fish deep fried, and the batter on these delicate little things overwhelmed them somewhat. However, we did manage to demolish the entire serving!

Welsh rarebit (aka rabbit)

(£4.95) – I only had a small bite of this, so I can’t really comment on it, but as with the other starters, it was consumed with relish

Lancashire lamb hotpot, mash potato lid

(£9.95) – this looked lovely, but the brother was surprisingly starting to flag at this point, and wasn’t able to finish it

rabbit & cider pie with thyme and bacon dumplings

(£13.50) – for me, the absolute star of the evening and highly recommended. The pie crust was thick but flaky and the rabbit was deliciously tender and flavoursome. I had to leave the dumplings though as I was also starting to flag by now

goose fat chips

(£3.00) – heavenly thick-cut chips! If I hadn’t been feeling so full, I would have eaten the entire portion

duck fat roast potatoes

(£3.00) – compared to the chips, these were a little disappointing and not as fluffy inside as they could have been

lightly spiced plum fool

(£5.50) – it was a struggle to get beyond the piece of plum on the top of the fool and I admitted defeat soon after…

The verdict:

Our extremely hearty meal was served by two very friendly waitresses, who stopped by our snug just enough times to serve us efficiently without being overly intrusive. I really enjoyed my evening at the Fox & Anchor, mostly because I was ensconced in our snug. Generally, I don’t like pubs much, whether normal or gastro. I hate to shout over my food and be surrounded by too much noise (and in the old days, sit in clouds of smoke!). So if you’re a delicate flower like me, ask for a snug when you reserve a table. I think they’re great for hanging out with friends and you still get some of the pub atmosphere without being overwhelmed by it.

Had we paid for this meal, it would have cost approximately £60.00 without service charge, tip or alcohol.

10 – Perfection, 9.5 – Sensational, 9 – Outstanding, 8.5 – Superb, 8 – Excellent, 7.5 – Very Good, 7 – Good, 6.5 – Above Average, 6 – Average


adminDecember 7, 2019
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4min1090

Turkey Recipes Information

When you’re looking for an economical and easy family dinner, a nice roasted turkey fills the bill. We all know there are hundreds of turkey recipes to make use of leftovers. Everyone has their favorite way of preparing the bird, probably the way Mom always has. The first time around, it’s the typical turkey, stuffing and gravy plus whatever your family’s traditions entail.

If you chose one of those twenty plus pounders, you’ll doubtless have lots of leftover turkey. That’s when you start to wonder, ”What am I going to do with all this turkey?”, as you’re packing the many portions into the freezer. Instead of a hundred turkey sandwiches, it’s nice to diversify and serve a variety of dishes that are chameleons of taste.

Depending on the turkey recipes you choose, you can represent a variety of cuisines so they’ll never know it’s that same bird they’re eating a month later. Here are a few ways to disguise the fact that you’re serving turkey for the fourth time this month.

If you and your family are the adventurous sort of eaters, you’ll get the biggest bang for your culinary dollar by using turkeyrecipes that span several cuisines. It’s doubtful you can identify a cuisine into which turkey cannot fit.

Mexican turkey recipes include tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and rice dishes, seasoned in spicy Mexican tradition, replete with cayenne, cumin, other hot peppers, fresh diced tomatoes, guacamole and onions, salsa and sour cream. Think of the possibilities!

 

Turkey Recipes – Different Flavors

Turkey recipes with a Chinese flavor are another set of dishes and seasonings, with therefore yet a new take on this same wonderful bird. Try cooking up a batch of rice in chicken broth, seasoned with Chinese Five Spice, a heavenly, fragrant seasoning that makes you want to chew slowly! Toss in some leftover bite-sized turkey pieces, a can of water chestnuts, green onions and sweet red peppers. Another leftover turkey recipe that tastes completely different and says, ”I’m new!”.

Let’s see what turkeyrecipes may be suited to Indian cuisine. Turkey curry comes first to mind. A good curry blend, chunks of turkey, vegetables and coconut milk, served over rice with Chappatis transports the diner far away from that initial turkey and gravy dinner.

Well dressed Italian turkey recipes include Turkey Parmesan, a delectable dish consisting of turkey, pasta, Parmesan cheese, garlic and a tomato based sauce. For a dish of a different complexion, try turkey, sliced mushrooms, green onions, with Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese in a butter and cream sauce.

So, with just these few suggestions, you’ve got eight different turkey recipe family meal ideas. You may just be able to serve that giant turkey for two months to come, with the bonus of applause from your family with each new dish.

 


adminNovember 4, 2019
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10min1070

Background:

I was recently invited to have dinner at The Butcher’s Block, a private dining room at the Malmaison London Brasserie, and write a review about it. Even though the meal was complimentary, I was nevertheless very conscious of the need to treat it exactly like any other meal that I would have paid for myself. I looked upon it as an interesting experiment to see if I was still able to write a fair and balanced review. I think I was successful. I also took along with me the vegetarian husband, who is my toughest critic and whom I thought would present a challenge to the chef and his meaty menu!

First impressions:

Being located just round the corner from Smithfield Market (meat suppliers to the Brasserie), it is only appropriate, I suppose, to have a huge, solid Butcher’s Block located in a cosy and dimly lit vault, set aside from the main Brasserie. It seats up to eight diners around it, perched on high stools, and has its own separate menu. There are striking portraits of butchers on the walls, meat hooks lining one wall and a hurricane lamp hanging from the ceiling. And you can still see out into the main dining area through the floor to ceiling glass, but at the same time, be cut off from the noise. After having been seated for no more than five minutes, I was already contemplating which of my friends could join me for my birthday dinner there…

Recently promoted manager Helen Gibbons looked after us from start to finish. She was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, especially the cheeses, about which she is evidently passionate. I have to point out that even had we not been at Malmaison on invitation, I am sure she would still have looked after us very well, as I observed her with the other guests and she spent just as much time with them.

You don’t have to pay any extra to reserve the Butcher’s Block, and on a quiet evening with no other bookings, even two people could be seated there, although ideally it’s best to have at least six diners to enjoy the space to the fullest extent and dine from the special Butcher’s Block menu.

Menu:

You can see from the standard à la carte menu that the simple dishes are prepared with an emphasis on local ingredients. Malmaison also do a simple Homegrown & Local set menu (£14.50 for two courses, £17.50 for three courses), which changes weekly. The Butcher’s Block menu is different in that the idea is to share a ‘family meal’, so one starter, one main and one pudding for the whole table to share are selected from a choice of five starters, four mains and five puddings including a cheese selection (costing £45 a head, minimum six people).

Being the Butcher’s Block, meat naturally dominates the menu, with the mains consisting of four bone rib of naturally reared, grass fed beef; roast sirloin of Aberdeen Angus beef; four bone rack of Herdwick lamb and Pugh’s suckling pig. However, if you’re a vegetarian, the chef will come up with something suitably delicious for you, so don’t worry.

What We Had:

Starters consisted of Maldon hot & smoked salmon with capers & toasted sour dough and chicken liver & foie gras parfait, served with grape chutney and toasted brioche. I didn’t like the salmon quite so much, but the husband (who occasionally eats fish) enjoyed it served with sliced shallots and capers.

However, I fell in love with the chicken liver & foie gras parfait, which came as an alarmingly large block. It was so light and heavenly that I wanted to take the rest home with me and share it with friends. If you ever eat here, you must absolutely order it. If I hadn’t been conscious that there was a lot more food to come, I would have happily eaten nothing else but this.

As the husband isn’t a meat eater, he was served a wild mushroom risotto with plenty of fresh black truffle shavings. It came in a copper pan, the correct way to serve risotto, and was pronounced ‘perfect’ by the fussiest eater I know. I, on the other hand, had to eat the Donald Russell 28 day rib of beef (which serves 4) on my own, which also came with an obscene amount of black truffle shavings, two pieces of roast marrow and salad. Carved at the block, this was a succulent piece of meat, but I personally would have preferred it without the black truffle shavings, the pungent smell of which somewhat distracted me from enjoying the meat more.

A little about the three sides – the signature zucchini frites, pommes dauphinoise and creamed spinach. The zucchini frites, served with grated Parmesan in a cone like very thin fries, were delicious (if slightly greasy, but that’s to be expected). I loved the pommes dauphinoise too. But I didn’t like the creamed spinach, which was too rich. I think the third side needed to be something a little more simple and less strongly flavoured to balance out the other two.

Then came five cheeses, all personally selected by Helen – Tomme Marc Raisin – tangy cheese coated with marc (seeds, skins and stems after making wine), Mimolette – which reminded me of Chinese pork jerky I used to eat as a child, while the husband described it as Parmesan with carrot, Fleur de Marquis – a sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica with sage and rosemary, Vacherin Mont d’Or and Barkham Blue, the only English cheese and yet also very good.

Finally came the two puddings. I wasn’t expecting pudding, let alone two puddings, after five cheeses so it was a struggle. Pear tarte tatin and apple crumble were both served with vanilla ice cream. The apple crumble was served in a shallow cast iron dish, but was rather bland when compared to the more magnificent pear tarte tatin.

The verdict: 8.5/10

I would certainly return to the Butcher’s Block, because it is a intimate and cosy space and I don’t think I could bear to be seated in the main dining room after having experienced it. But I would have to choose a small group of meat-eating friends in order to make the most out of the meaty menu. It’s not cheap though, and alcohol and service charge have to be factored in too. So the Butcher’s Block is more of a special occasion place for a small group for birthdays and other celebrations, rather than a romantic dinner for two.

10 – Perfection, 9.5 – Sensational, 9 – Outstanding, 8.5 – Superb, 8 – Excellent, 7.5 – Very Good, 7 – Good, 6.5 – Above Average, 6 – Average All the London restaurant reviews on World Foodie Guide Contact details: Malmaison London 18-21 Charterhouse Square London EC1M 6AH T: 020 7012 3700 www.malmaison.com Helen Yuet Ling Pang @ World Foodie Guide Tags: dining out, food, London, Malmaison, meat, restaurant review, restaurants