Before the mayhem, a little goodness

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Cabbage with potatoes, bread and cheese

Looking out into the misty London morning, makes me think of and long for the Mountains near our home in the Pyrenees. There is something magnetic, I find, about proximity to those majestic peaks, peaceful, ethereal and magnificent…

Some time ago, I was watching Antonio Carluccio cooking up a soup, whilst on a misty mountain, it looked fabulous, in the tradition of the best peasant dishes and on this day, it was the only thing that would would do. Continue reading Before the mayhem, a little goodness

Kennington hash

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Crab, chilli, potato hash

Orginally, the idea was to have masala omelettes for our weekend breakfast last week, those delicious spicy, thin ones, of which we both have such fond memories. Us being us, it didn’t stay like that and soon we had remembered the crab claw languishing in the fridge, surely that would have to go into the mix?img_8238

Another cup of tea later and we had arrived at a masala crab hash…using some lovely heritage potatoes (Duke of York variety) that a friend grew in her garden. The flavour of Goa with lovely British crab and potatoes. Continue reading Kennington hash

You say tomato, I say tomate

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Green Tomato Chutney

On the way back from France last spring, driving north from our place in the Pyrenees, we stumbled on a village fair filled with local people and businesses proudly peddling their wares.

We had stopped off hoping to find a bakery where we could get a pastry to eat in the car but we got more than we bargained for. The place was packed with everything from wonderful produce, breads, cheeses and meats to a flea market area and and lots of farming type equipment for sale. Continue reading You say tomato, I say tomate

Curious roots

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Pan fried Sea bass, chervil roots, Mediterranean vegetables

Sea bass is something of a British favourite these days, it seems to me. I guess the soft white flesh that lends itself so well when filleted is fairly ‘user friendly’.

For me, fillets such as these are just the ultimate fast food and give a delicious but quick meal. Continue reading Curious roots

Sunday Song

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Masala roast chicken and potatoes, Indian Salad, mango and mint dressing.

It’s quite rare that we sit down to a Sunday roast, just the two of us. I guess with Rocket being away so much, when we are together there is an overwhelming desire to lie in bed on Sunday mornings and this naturally provides a barrier to peeling, parboiling and gravy making. On occasion, when friends or family are coming over for lunch and we have made it out of bed, tidied and primped the house and our good selves, the atmosphere is quite different, more like Sunday. Continue reading Sunday Song

South India via south London

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Malabar Prawn Curry

South Indian food is a bit of a theme in our house, not merely because we love food from India, but also because South India has an abundance of seafood dishes to offer, making it very attractive to us.

We love these Keralan flavours, from the traditional Malabar cuisine. Spicy and rich, yet tamarind sour with an undertone of coconut. I always struggle to choose my ‘death cell’ flavours but these must feature, therefore I must cook with them… Continue reading South India via south London

There’s a ship lies rigged and ready in the harbour…

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Mack Roll, radish pickle, apple and fennel slaw.

I love Mackerel, I mean to say, I think it’s a very beautiful fish with it’s inky blue and sliver markings, I adore the flavour and it is for me reminiscent of something that I was never involved in at all… Continue reading There’s a ship lies rigged and ready in the harbour…

A little milk and honey

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Baked Camembert, pistachio, fig, sultana, pomegranate, thyme and honey.

There are definite moments for a proper pudding and there are times when grazing an assortment of cheeses is the perfect thang…

On occasion, I satisfy my desire for both and there are a mix of ways in which I might achieve this – baking a camembert is one … Continue reading A little milk and honey

A Pintxos of Catalonia

IMG_6562 “Is it beer o’clock?” enquires one of the group sprawled on sunbeds…

Some murmurs of agreement and then “who has the kitty?”…I struggle to my feet, The DJ is upright and blinking against the Catalonian sun. We shuffle off…10 feet to the little beach bar, placing our order in Spanglais before we ferry mojito’s, beers and café con leche back to the prone bodies with outstretched arms. It’s hard going this holiday lark. Continue reading A Pintxos of Catalonia

A Midsummer House Dream, with celeriac

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I recently went for dinner to Daniel Clifford’s Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge.

Myself and the Marmoset had planned the trip for her birthday – we’d long held a desire to try the food at this 2 Michelin star establishment. Continue reading A Midsummer House Dream, with celeriac

C’est Cheese

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I know it’s a cliché that France has an abundance of cheese and I also feel strongly that UK cheeses are exceptional too, but having spent the last week at our home in France the quality and selection on offer really smacks you in the face. Continue reading C’est Cheese

Breakfast, with added spice

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My mind is drifting to the pale golden glow of Jaipur and floating through the misty morning is a remembrance of breakfasts past.

Maybe it’s the warmth of the spring weekend, or maybe I was last night dreaming of elephants, tigers and Maharajas, perhaps they whispered in my ear. Who knows, but this day, I crave something to remind me of those delicious Rajasthani repas. Continue reading Breakfast, with added spice

A Starter for Spring…with brother and butter

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I love my brother, not 100% of the time you understand, well I suppose I always love him but then there are those times when I am exasperated by him (as he is frequently with me and not without cause) but all in all, we do ok as siblings and as compardres.

We are very different cooks, but I am a bit in awe of him, because he is one of those natural cooks and inventive as well. Anyway, in amongst all the other things that tie us together, he is very foodie. Continue reading A Starter for Spring…with brother and butter

Mystery at the Atlantic Hotel

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My friend DJ Ozz passed a meaningful milestone the other day….so we kidnapped him, for our own entertainment.

The DJ had specified ’just a  breakfast in London’,  but our group of ‘know alls’  felt a collective  sense that ‘just out for breakfast’ was a little dull and this momentous occasion was worthy of a little more sparkle. Continue reading Mystery at the Atlantic Hotel

Southern Sole

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Look at these beautiful glossy Lemon Sole…. you can always tell a fabulously fresh fish by the slime…which sounds terrible but is really true.

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This March has yielded a few really sunny days and although cold, bitingly so at times, there is nothing like tipping your face toward the sun after a long British winter.

So, off we went for an afternoon on the coast, a really good bracing walk along the beach, snack in the mighty fine Old Neptune Pub.

Continue reading Southern Sole

Chilli Crab Noodles

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There is nothing like the flavour of crab freshly cooked. The sweet white meat contrasting with the buttery richness of the brown…

A few years ago, I decided the time had come to cook a live crab for myself, formerly having relied on the fishmonger to provide me with the ‘end’ product.  I bought the crab at Brixton market and sat on the bus for my return journey, feeling slightly faint as Gerald (it probably doesn’t help to name them?) moved about within my shopping bag. Once home, I put the bag on the table and went away to seek counsel from the oracle that is Rick Stein for the required method of humane despatch, arriving back into the dining room I saw the bag ‘walking’ across the table (sideways of course). Continue reading Chilli Crab Noodles

A Dram of Yorkshire

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It came to pass that we spent a few days in Yorkshire this past week. In Wensleydale, to be precise, having been invited along by Rocket’s brother Slippers and our sister-in-law Tigger.

They are regulars, it turns out, at a welcoming hotel in The Dales, that hosts a twice yearly malt whiskey tasting. With Rocket (and his bro) being very big fans of the golden liquor they were happy to partake whilst Tigger and I sat happily ensconced with a glass or two of our own particular poison… officiando’s of the Malt we are not. Continue reading A Dram of Yorkshire

Conceived in La Boqueria, Born in Borough…

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It is fair to say that we enjoy poking around in French markets when we are down in the Pyrenees and that our menu, when for the two of us, is dictated by what we find in those spectacular places filled with local seasonal produce. I make the distinction of the ‘two of us’ as often we are catering for masses of friends and family staying with us and that is a different kind of planning process! Continue reading Conceived in La Boqueria, Born in Borough…

I think Dad would have approved……….

IMG_5108Introducing a guest blog by my lovely Valentine, Rocket….He writes:

The bonfire of all things food that burns within me was undoubtedly sparked by my Dad. For as long as I can remember Dad spent time in the kitchen – and to be fair, more time than was spent by the average bloke in those days. Dad was no average bloke! A hard upbringing as a child, tales of pulling a milk cart around Ipswich to deliver in the early hours. Buying a Mars bars with his wages then handing the rest of his hard earned salary to his Mum. Merchant Navy then Royal Navy, diving under vessels to check for limpet mines – wished I’d paid more attention when we did manage to eek those stories out of him!

Continue reading I think Dad would have approved……….

I read the news today…oh boy

IMG_4924I’m angry about the news. What news? Well all of it really. Many years ago I stopped buying a newspaper because the press were and are so unscrupulous. I find myself more and more fed up with how things are reported in the media, and also by the content – and so I eschewed the news this Saturday in favour of no news at all… Continue reading I read the news today…oh boy

Food, Life & Loves of a South London girl…

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