Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Oriental feast!

Sunday morning car boot, I pace up and down the rows of cars not really getting into the spirit of the early morning treasure hunt. I dip in here and there pretending to have a rummage when boom, a cute little 8-piece set of rice bowls, rice spoons and soy dishes catch my eye. I'm officially the worst haggler so leave the tough work to my boyfriend, and by the end of the morning I'm the owner of a lovely little set destined to be showcased at a dinner party. Best get practising then with these little numbers... 

Ingredients (serves 2):
For the pickled cucumber...

1/2 cucumber
1/2 inch of ginger, cut into batons
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds

For the chicken teriyaki...200g chicken thigh fillets, cut into chunks
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 leek, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sugar

For the crispy pan fried sea bass...
2 fillets of seabass
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 inch of ginger cut into batons
1 garlic, sliced thinly
1 tsp chopped coriander stalks
Sprinkling of coriander leaves to serve

Stage one: the pickled cucumber
1. Peel and halve the cucumber lengthways, then scoop out the seeds in the middle.
2. Cut the halves of cucumber into 1cm semi circles.
3. Place the the cucumber in a bowl along with the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and ginger and leave to pickle for 30 (or until you've finished the rest!)
4. When you're ready to serve the rest, sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Stage two: the chicken teriyaki
1. Pan fry the chicken in the oil until the chicken starts to turn golden.
2. Add the leeks and cook until softened.
3. Throw in the teriyaki sauce and sugar and you're done.

Stage three: the crispy pan fried sea bass
1. Get your rice on the go, to make the perfect rice - see step 5 here.
2. Next, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and score the skin of the sea bass fillets 3 times, and place into the frying pan skin side down and fry for 5 minutes, then for 30 seconds on the flesh side, then remove from the heat and cover.
3. In the same pan, turn up the heat and add the remaining oil, cabbage, most of the chilli, ginger, garlic and spring onions that were cut length ways, fry for 3-5 minutes.
4. Now add the soy sauce, fish sauce and honey and fry for a minute.
5. Remove the veg from the pan leaving behind the sauce and continue to simmer until reduced to a syrup like sauce, and then pour a little over the veg, placing the sea bass on top.
6. Once the rice is cooked, if you fancy making a rice tower, find a small bowl and line with cling film. Then if you have any sushi vinegar (or rice vinegar) coat the cling film with it and put the remaining tsp of sushi vinegar in the rice. This gives it a lovely glossy sheen and slight sweetness. The rice then is placed in the bowl and turned upside down on the plate, and then remove the bowl and voilĂ !
7. Finally, decorate your rice with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, the spring onion discs, a couple of slices of chilli and coriander. 


Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Smoked trout, greens & fennel salad

Ingredients (serves 2):
2 smoked trout fillets
200g mangetout, halved lengthways 
100g peas
1 fennel bulb, shredded 
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp white wine vinegar 
1tsp honey
1/2tsp wholegrain mustard
2tbsp chopped almonds

1. Cook the peas and mangetout in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and allow to cool.
2. Once cooled, mix the greens with the shredded fennel.
3. To make the dressing, mix the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard in a pot, and give it a thorough mix by fastening the lid of the pot and shaking.
4. Flake the trout into the greens mix, pour over the dressing and mix altogether.
5. Plate the salad and sprinkle over the chopped almonds.


Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Feed the hunger. But where?

London is a fantastic place for a foodie to live. You fancy Italian? We have plenty. You want street food? It's everywhere.

Trouble is, that is the trouble. There is so much and it's hard to make a decision on a hungry stomach. So here are a couple of things I do when picking out somewhere to eat.

1. Keep a food bible
Have you ever read TimeOut and thought, I DEFINITELY need to go to that restaurant and then two weeks later you find yourself with a free evening with no dinner reservations and can't think of anywhere to go? Annoying.

So here's what I do, I collect clippings from TimeOut, Olive Magazine, The Times etc., and keep them all in a file to reference later. This includes recipes too, it's like my go to guide for all things food.
Seems like a lot of effort? Then just create a Pintrest board.

2. My favourite app
Dojo - great for finding out what's nearby: street food, markets or restaurants, they show it all. They do a regular email newsletter but I can't say I find it that useful and a little bit try hard, but the app itself is great.

3. Pop-up kitchens
These are increasingly becoming more and more popular. Many set themselves up in your favourite boozer, so although you can't count on the food being good (although I've yet to have a bad experience), you can at least rely on the venue being OK, especially if it's your regular haunt. They usually stick around for a month or so, such as the one in Market House, Brixton. Here I've sampled Nanban of Tim Anderson fame (who opened his own restaurant on Coldharbour lane this week and yes I was straight in there and visited only last night) and Baba G's Bhangra Burgers - now taking residence in Pop Brixton.

Alternatively - just check out this list by me here.

Yelly-fi-felly-food-belly x